Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I've been listening to this song on repeat for the last couple of days. It's long, but it's so good. "Method Acting" is a song by Bright Eyes and "Cortez the Killer" is Neil Young. This medley is by Dave Rawlings.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Maggie Sez...

... These are some freshly baked cookies you have here, Mama!

She said this while taste-testing one of my chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. Then, after I laughed, she said...

... Sometimes I'm very cute.

And then she said, apropos of nothing,...

... Sometimes tigers pee pee on their tails. Sometimes!

Sometimes giving chocolate to little girls who are already acting very silly turns out badly for their mamas later. We'll have to wait and see.

Edited to add this gem from bedtime:

... I'm looking for Kate's paci. It's the Mystery of the Missing Paci, by Maggie Jane.

Where does she get this stuff?? Also, she was nuts at dinner so the chocolate was NOT a good idea after all. :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Katie Sez...

Yeah, yeah
Mama (finally!)
Uh oh!
Story (Not book, an easy one-syllable word, but story with tough sounds like s and r. Weird.)
Sit down!
Stop it! (Guess what she hears me saying 1,000 times a day?!)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Dan Auerbach is usually a member of the Black Keys, one of our all time favorite bands, but he recently released a solo album called Keep It Hid. It's wicked awesome. This is the first track and I just love it.

If you prefer to rock out, here's "Heartbroken, In Disrepair."

A Pox on Sears

Our dishwasher is FINALLY fixed. Our less-than-a-year old, fancy, expensive, German-engineered Bosch dishwasher, which has been broken for about a month now, is finally fixed. (Knock on wood, hopefully I haven't just jinxed it.)

One day, as I said almost one month ago, we noticed that our lovely, gleaming, high tech, dream dishwasher was running but not actually washing anything with water. We called the Sears Service Department, with whom we have a fancy 3-year service plan, and they offered to send out a service tech the very next morning. Excellent! What service! What a deal!

The guy came out the next day, looked at the dishwasher, said he needed to order a part and he'd be back next Tuesday to install it. Tuesday morning, I still hadn't heard from him nor gotten a part, so I called the Sears people to inquire. They were very embarrassed to admit that not only was our part not scheduled to arrive earlier than Wednesday and as late as Friday, but also the tech had actually scheduled himself for Easter Sunday which shouldn't have even been possible in the computer system. We rescheduled for the earliest available time, the following Thursday which was more than a week away.

Thursday, April 1st (April Fools!! What fools), a new tech came out and informed us that not only was the part we got broken, but it also wasn't the right part to fix the problem. He said he would expedite the new part for Friday or Saturday delivery and be back Monday to install it. We off course did not get the part and called Sears, who said the part was not expedited, it was shipped on Friday and wouldn't be expected until Wednesday at the earliest. We rescheduled again.

Fortunately, the new motor did arrive on Tuesday and a tech came out that day and installed it. Unfortunately, the tech didn't install it properly and the dishwasher still didn't work. Now it was using water, but it didn't switch over to the rinse and dry cycles and so it never stopped running.

The next day another tech came out and said that a seal had been broken when the new motor was installed, which was very common, and he'd have to order a new one since our dishwasher was such a special little snowflake of a machine and we'd have to wait another 3-5 days.

The NEXT tech who came out on the 12th said that no, in fact, the seal wasn't the problem at all, the heater was busted. Guess what?! He'll order a new one! We were irate. We'd already had several angry phone calls with Sears at that point. We'd been offered gift cards and informed that if two more things break on the dishwasher before July, we'll get a whole new machine. We'd become those people who call up customer service reps and rant insanely over the phone.

Finally, the new heater arrives. A new tech comes out to the house. He lays in the kitchen floor, shines his flashlight under the dishwasher, and peers into the guts of the machine. "Here," he says, "look under here. See that white wire hanging down there? See where it's supposed to be plugged in to that box next to the red wire? That's what's wrong with your heater. I thought so, when I read your case description in the van. I thought it was probably going to be that wire." He was right. For once, once and for all, finally, finally, finally, they sent someone out who was right. He plugged in the wire and now we're all good. I wasn't sure whether to hug him or punch him in the face, so I just signed the work order and told him to have a nice day.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Our Trip to the Big Apple

So, what did you do today? We went to the circus! Mike's coworker Kevin gave us four tickets to the Big Apple Circus in downtown Boston because his kids have come down with chicken pox. Poor kids, I feel bad for them, I really do... but the circus was fun!! Thanks for the tickets, guys! We had a great time.

Mike took the day off and we drove into town and parked the car in our old neighborhood. Seems like a lifetime ago that we lived down there in the heart of everything. It's also a gorgeous day today - cool and sunny - so the girls were excited and having a great time before we even got there!

The circus was a nice one. Small, without the big exotic animals, but with a good sized tent that allowed us to be close to the ring and see everything well. Perfect for little kids in the city. They're a not-for-profit performing arts organization; the profit from ticket sales goes to fund their community outreach organizations, especially concerning children's health care and programs for disabled or at-risk kids. They are celebrating the return of Bello, "America's Best Clown" according to Time Magazine, who apparently began his career in The Big Apple Circus and is back now with his teenage daughter who did aerial acrobatics in the opening act. The ringleader said that Bello is an 8th generation circus performer and that his family has been in the circus for more than 200 years! Talk about the family business.

Of course we got pink "candy cotton" and popcorn for the show. Both were enthusiastically received by the girls, who love popcorn already but hadn't ever had cotton candy. We only needed about 20 wet wipes and a wad of paper napkins after this and Mike still has cotton candy goo all over his sleeve.

Sticky Face:

Both girls were pretty mesmerized by the circus acts, at least for the first half or so. After that, Kate's favorite part of the circus was wandering around the hallway outside making faces at the food vendors, checking out the souvenir booth, and lurking around the bathroom area.

After Kate maxed out her exploring opportunities and Maggie's popcorn box was empty, we decided we might want to make a break for it a little early. Beat the crowds out of the parking lot, as I'm sure someone's Grandpa used to say. Before we could leave, Maggie's conned us out of a $2 foam clown nose (the cheapest thing at the souvenir booth - and the thing she wanted most). We knew we wouldn't be leaving without some kind of (probably light-up) trinket, so I definitely feel like we got off easy.

As it was a little past lunch time, we headed over to Quincy Market to grab some actual food type lunch. Maggie had a small meltdown over a green balloon and Kate was starting to look like a zombie, so we headed for the car.

Zombie Kate:

Maggie feeling better after drying her tears and wiping her nose:

Kate zonks out:

And if you liked that, here's another photo of Kate asleep on the couch after she nodded off in the car on the way home from the grocery store Tuesday morning. She rarely does this (and Maggie almost never did either), so I had to get a cute picture of her sleeping while I could.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Warning: This song is an earworm. It's going to build a nest in your brain and start raising a family there. If you have an aversion to that, you might want to skip it. I predict it will be especially hard to shake for Amy and Roger because every time they see a sign for Brooklyn they'll end up humming, "Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in." Well, except that they aren't going to leave their apartment for about the next 3 weeks!

Anyway, I've been meaning to share this video for the Avett Brothers' song "I and Love and You" for a while now, ever since my Aunt Sandy sent it to me. I have a bad feeling that if I were still 20, I'd be following these cuties around in a van, selling sandwiches in the parking lot before the show or some ridiculousness like that. Good thing I'm more mature than that now. :P

Katie Sez...

night night
Daddy (but not Mommy! ugh)

She also shakes her head and says "nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh" for No.

We took her to her 15 month check up yesterday and she's all good despite the teething and the head cold. She's almost 32 inches tall (Maggie's only 36!) which is about 85th percentile. She's just under 23 lbs. which seems like she's lost a little weight since the last visit, although that probably just means that they didn't weigh her quite the same and she just hasn't gained. That puts her in about the 40th percentile for weight. She's always been a beanpole and she's grown taller since 12 months, so the doctor was fine with that.

Our 18 month check up in July will be our last closely-spaced baby appointment. Then we will only have to trek in to the doctor once a year for the girls' annual 2 year old/4 year old, etc. appointments! Yippee! Hey Wendy and Val - good going having both of your kids with close birthdays, too. There is a silver lining... combo doctor visits!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch

The Boston Children's Museum has been advertising their Curious George exhibit on PBS, and every time Maggie sees it she says, "That looks like fun!" So yesterday we left Kate and Daddy at home and headed into the big city for a Maggie and Mommy Adventure. The Curious George exhibit was OK, but it wasn't really big enough for the hordes of kids who were there on a Saturday morning. Maggie was interested in some parts of it (especially the rocket ship slide), but she was a little wigged out by the crowds of screamers, so we didn't get any pictures in that part of the museum. She loved the rest of the exhibits and we spent the morning running from thing to thing and having a blast. She climbed on the climbing sculpture, built things out of blocks in the construction zone, chased butterflies on a screen that casts your shadow on the wall, made huge bubbles in the bubble room (also no pictures, it was a mess!), played a steel drum and dominoes and tic-tac-toe (unfortunately Mom couldn't explain the rules of the giant chess game), and conned me into buying her chocolate milk for lunch. And I also had a hallelujah moment being able to go somewhere fun without a diaper bag and without having to haul the stroller with us everywhere!

After all this fun, fun, fun, what did she say when Daddy asked her what her favorite part of the day was? Her favorite part of the whole day was buying this rubber caterpillar in the museum gift shop:

I said she could pick out one thing there and they had so much really great stuff, as museum stores usually do, and this was the thing she picked out. We decided to name her Kitty (I suggested Pilar, but she like Kitty better). Her favorite thing all day. Kate is kind of afraid of it!

PS - It's very hard to get a photo of Maggie's face these days!
PSS - There are some more Easter pics up on Snapfish if you're interested!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I'm Back With Big News!

As of last Thursday, we are officially one step closer to realizing our dream of putting together that all-girl rock band! With three girls you can have a decent band set up, but with FOUR girls you can really get into the whole rhythm guitar-lead guitar songwriting possibilities.

Meet the newest little bass player in the family (the youngest always gets stuck playing bass), Elizabeth Grace Brandt. Weighing in at 8 lbs. 6 ozs. and 20 ins. long, she was born to Mike's sister Amy and her husband Roger a few days ago.

Look at those sweet cheeks! How kissable are they?! Mommy and baby are doing great and the early reports say that Miss E has a delightfully sweet disposition. And although her father would say that she is a Respectable Young Lady, I think she looks ready to rock. She was born ready!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!

Yes, yes, I know, I've been awol. But I wasn't just asleep on the job - I wasn't getting much sleep at all really - because I spent the week as a single mom. Mike had to go to Santa Clara, CA for training from Monday night to this morning. It was not an experience I'd like to repeat any time soon, I'll tell you that! Both of us are total zombies now and trying to get back on track. Kate was up all last night crying from some teething and maybe some tummy pain, and Mike arrived at Logan at 7:30 am off a red-eye flight. But we pulled ourselves together and headed out to our friends John and Heidi's for a super-fantastic Easter egg hunt! There were 600 treat-filled plastic eggs to find, buckets with the kids' names on them, cookie decorating, and egg races! The girls had an incredibly good time. We're already hoping for a Second Annual Easter Egg Hunt next year and that we'll be invited again. We didn't get a ton of photos (I know, I know) but here are a few: