Saturday, August 30, 2008

And today's featured artist... Chickie. Just one name, like Cher. Aliases include Silly Billy and Goober Girl.

Pieces #1 and #2:
Titles: Seagull 1 and Seagull 2
Medium: Crayola Washable Paint on construction paper
Notes: At various times in the creation of these projects, the artist described the subject as a trampoline, a girl, and a banana. The benefit of abstract art is that the artist can continually change the subject, and no one is the wiser. In the end, she declared both pictures to be seagulls.

The Artist at Work:

The Finished Projects:

Seagull 1:

Seagull 2:

The Cleanup:

I am happy to report that these paints are easily washed off of skin and hair.

And tables.

And chairs, floors, and doors.

And hopefully fairly new comforters.... We'll see.

Piece #3:
Title: Alternative Uses for Fluoride
Medium: Colgate gel toothpaste on glass shower door
Notes: This artist has yet to learn an important lesson. No matter how artistic it is, tagging is indeed illegal graffiti. The judge required the artist to assist in cleaning up. While the artist preferred using her tongue, the judge insisted she use a washrag instead.

The Cleanup (and, yes, the destruction of this piece of rebel art):

Piece #4:
Title: Bob's Teeth
Medium: Ballpoint pen on magazine
Notes: If your children go to the same school as the artist in the future, you may wish to suggest they not allow her to sign their yearbooks.

And I never thought Trainer Bob's teeth needed braces.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Door-to-door art

Remember a few months ago when I blogged about buying a couple of paintings from a door-to-door salesman?

Well, the paintings are both oil on canvas and were sold to us as unstretched canvases (with no frame). Never have I been more glad that The Engineer worked in a framing shop when he was a teenager. He bought stretcher bars online and did a fantastic job stretching the canvases himself. So it's time for the great unveiling of our door-to-door art....

This one is the smaller one; it's 20" x 24". We haven't hung it on the wall yet. This was The Engineer's pick; I really like, it, but it doesn't particularly "speak to me".

The second one is big (35" x 47") and definitely my favorite. It's hanging high above the stairs (hence the distorted perspective of the picture). The leaves on the top half are real, and other textured elements, such as string and corrugated cardboard, are also utilized. The warm colors and botanical aspect just, well, make me feel good.

They both go really well in our house, and as odd as it was to buy paintings from a traveling art student, I'm pretty glad he showed up at our house that day. These original paintings cost us a whole lot less than if they'd been non-original, signed & numbered prints from a well-known artist.

They're paintings that we like to look at--and that, not the name of the artist, is the most important quality a piece of art can have.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I need to tell you something about your kid.

They can't be whatever they want to be.

I know this goes against popular children's books, well-loved teachers, and "The More You Know" spots on NBC.

But despite my tongue-in-cheek statement otherwise, I am a firm believer in the limitations of kids (and adults, for that matter.)

I will never be a WNBA player or a runway model. I could play basketball for 14 hours a day, followed by fiercely strutting my stuff as I watched America's Next Top Model, and it wouldn't happen. Simple reason? I'm 5'2".

And I'm glad I was encouraged to build on my true skills and talents instead of following pipe dreams. By focusing on what I was actually equipped to do, I accomplished some pretty cool things as a kid. Primarily in the field of academics, which doesn't require height or coordination.

Those terrible singers on American Idol who are genuinely convinced they have talent? Many of their parents told them they could do anything. What a hard fall it is for them when they realize it's not true.

And this one goes against our academically-focused mindset in America, but here goes....

That kid in college who flunks out not because he didn't try but because his brain genuinely doesn't fit into the test-taking model? That guy might have succeeded if he'd followed his dream of working on cars instead of listening to his parents and going to college. He might be a homeowner, a mechanic living comfortably and working happily, instead of slaving away at McDonald's convinced that because he failed his tests, he can't succeed in life.

So let's encourage our kids to try new things, to experiment, and to set goals. Let's remind them that not being good at a subject doesn't mean they shouldn't give it their best shot. But above all, let's teach them to find the things they are both passionate about and naturally good at, and cheer them on as they become better at being...themselves.

Please, somebody give me a good lashing if you ever hear me tell my children they can do anything they want to do.

A tongue-lashing, that is. My petite, 5'2" frame couldn't handle a lashing of any other kind.


Just remember, kiddies, you too can do anything if you put your mind to it and just keep trying.

Yes, the toes and the gums have made contact!

Well, Zoodle, you've achieved your first goal. Next week we start talking about college scholarships. You ready, big boy?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The sounds of motherhood

There I sat, doing my business on the toilet, my laptop living up to its name as I caught up on e-mail. (Hey, laptops are portable for a reason! Okay, you're right. It's kinda gross.) And then...

...Chickie came in to ask for a banana, which she was already holding, half-eaten. While Chickie was still in the bathroom...
...Zoodle, in his swing, started to scream. While he was screaming...
...the home phone rang. While it was ringing...
...the cell phone rang. While it was ringing...
...As Chickie tried to climb into (or onto?) the trash can, she dropped her banana into it.

And underneath it all, the soundtrack of annoying classical music coming from the baby swing.

I think a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I used to be able to spend a few private, quiet minutes in the bathroom each morning. Or was that just a dream?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Zoodle and Chickie are both hitting some important milestones. First for the not so fun ones....

Chickie's been having some sleep issues resulting in two zombie-like parents who disagree over who took her back to bed in the middle of the night (and eventually figure out we both did, at different times). So imagine my relief when I found that her first 2-year molar has popped through. Three more molars to go...but at least knowing the (possible) cause of her nighttime waking gives me hope that this phase will pass once the teething is over.

I'm actually hoping Zoodle is teething too. He's also been having some sleep difficulties and I'd love to be able to blame it on teeth. Chickie's first tooth didn't break through until 11 months(!) though, so I'm skeptical that Zoodle would be teething now.

And now for the fun stuff...


Zoodle is darn close to sitting up on his own. He can prop himself up on his hands, as you see in this picture, for a maximum of several seconds. (Then he topples over to the side, which I find quite entertaining. Yeah, Mommy of the Year award for me.) I think he'll enjoy sitting up; it affords a new perspective on the world. I'll enjoy it too--it's nice to be able to sit a baby up on a blanket or even just on the floor, with a few toys. And the beauty of it is, that baby stays in one place. Sitting? Bring it on. Mobility? I think one mobile child at a time is enough, so, Zoodle, if you could just wait to crawl until Chickie reaches, oh, kindergarten age, I'd be much obliged.

Also in the picture above you can see that Zoodle has discovered his feet. He really enjoys grabbing them. I love how feet are built-in toys at this age. When he lays on his back he tries to get his feet into his mouth, and he's getting close. Once he succeeds, his feet will be built-in teething toys. Now that's pretty awesome.

Half of you are smiling with me, thinking about the cuteness of a baby chewing on their toes. The other half of you are packing up antibacterial wipes to send me. Don't worry...I draw the line at my kids eating my toes. (Not that Chickie hasn't tried.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bring it on

I hope you enjoy the new look of the blog. It's not officially fall yet, but the general sound of groaning emanating from half the houses in the neighborhood indicates that it is time for school to start this week. Let's hope the weather turns "fall-ish" very soon.

I've been working on one other change which is less obvious but probably more welcome. I've been consciously making my posts shorter. My favorite high school English teacher told me I was too verbose, so I'm trying to change that. I want this blog to be readable if you have two minutes on your hands, rather than counting on you taking an afternoon off work to read my latest post.

Now it's your turn to give me any feedback about where you'd like this blog to go. Is there a type of post you like, or don't like? Maybe a particular topic you'd really like me to address soon? A grammar mistake I repeatedly make that you want me to change? (Like incomplete sentences or too many question marks?)

Bring it on.

And completely off topic, but...happy 36th anniversary to my wonderful parents! Thanks for setting a great example for me. I hope you have at least 36 more wonderful years. Hey, you married young.... It's possible.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Memo to self

  • ...the dish is pretty.
  • ...the peaches are pretty.
But Chickie...
  • ...loves peaches.
  • ...can climb.
For heaven's sake, just put the peaches in the refrigerator next time.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I love Etch A Sketch tablets and always have. It's a challenge to try to draw something with a toy that only lets you draw vertical and horizontal lines, and doesn't let you "pick up the pen". In fact, I freely admit that the Etch A Sketches in our house (full-sized model and mini model) both belong to me, though Chickie thinks they're hers. I had The Engineer buy them for me as a gift before we ever had kids.

The other day Chickie asked me to draw Mommy and to draw Chickie on the Etch A Sketch. Chickie's portrait turned out pretty cute.


The one of me, on the other hand....


I promise, I don't really look like Jay Leno's ugly cousin.

My little boy and my little girl

Chickie is still having so much fun with Muck (her new plastic backhoe.) Today she used him to scoop up sand at the volleyball court in our neighborhood park. She also introduced him to Zoodle the other day, and my little guy quickly became friends with ol' Muck.


But despite Chickie's preference for traditionally boyish toys, I occasionally see a glimpse of a "little mama" in her, and it is precious.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Foundational truths

For The Odd Couple I'll be wearing a couple of fabulous vintage 1960s dresses. (Pictures later!) I "modeled" them both for our director, Linda, the other day.

Linda complimented me on the second dress, then came close to me and lowered her voice.

"You may want to get a good foundation garment," she said in a kind, conspiratorial tone. "It'll help smooth things out and will make it easier to zip it up."

Foundation garment--that's code for girdle.

Yep, I've had two kids, and my body is still recovering from the second, and honestly I wonder if my skin is ever going to entirely bounce back this time. I have...

(deep breath)

...a little tummy pooch. Yes, I said it. Hear that, Zoodle? I've got some saggy skin on my belly, thanks to you. And while we're being honest, there's still some extra fat there too. You are worth it, kiddo...but I miss that taut skin.

So I will be "smoothing and cinching" with this bit of spandex, stays, and hooks:


The comfort of this garment is still to be determined; a brief time in a fitting room doesn't tell me much. But it definitely works--my tummy profile is nicely smooth with this little miracle (or little torture device, however you look at it).

Think it would go well with a bikini?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Oops...guess I Mucked that one up....

Chickie loves construction equipment. Which means she loves the Bob the Builder TV show and characters. My friend Karen recently hooked me up with a box of "boy toys" that Chickie will love, including several small, die-cast Bob the Builder vehicles--cool, quality, metal toys. I've told Chickie she can choose one of them when she poops in the potty for the first time. I'm certainly not above a, I mean, a reward.

Today we were at Goodwill and I saw a plastic backhoe toy, about a foot long. Of course, since it was Goodwill, the price was right, so we went home with it. Chickie was psyched. She started calling it Muck (who is actually Bob the Builder's bulldozer, not his backhoe, but it's still a good name).

A little while after we got home, I looked over to see Chickie standing at the breakfast room window. Chickie standing at a window means one thing. It's her special place. She's creating a lovely gift in her diaper that Mommy will soon be unwrapping. Get out the wipes and haz-mat masks.

"Chickie," I said encouragingly, "would you like to poopie in the potty so that you can choose a Bob the Builder toy?"

"No thank you, Mommy!" she replied politely. "I got Muck! I got big Muck!"

So let me get this straight. Brilliant Mommy bought Chickie a construction toy that, being bigger than her die-cast Bob toys, is better in her toddler mind. And brilliant Mommy gave it to her, no strings attached.

My apologies to her future college roommate, whoever you are. Because I'm convinced I'll be changing her diapers until the day she leaves home, and after'll be your turn.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Would there be any interest... me posting a video of Zoodle's birth?

It's not graphic; the video camera was set up on a table in the birthing room, and with me in the tub the view is of the top of me (wearing a bikini top)--not to mention the fact that the midwife spent quite a bit of time between me and the camera. But you can hear what's happening, and see some of it, and you can see when I hold Zoodle for the first time.

I just got up the courage to watch it this morning and of course bawled my eyes out...but it's my baby and not yours and so I don't know if it would be of interest to many of my blog readers or not. Just comment below and let me know. With years in theatre my inhibitions and modesty are not what they used to be, so I need honest opinions here!

If I do post it, you'll have to click to watch it, so it'll be "optional"! But if I post, and you prepared for lots of obvious statements like, "This really hurts!!!!!" Yep, no painless birth for me. Beautiful...but not painless.

Edited--thank you for the comments! I may be posting it at some point. It's not uploaded yet, and I'm still talking to The Engineer about the privacy aspect of it. I'd like to share it; I just never know quite where my boundaries should be as I share information in a forum accessible to anyone with Internet access. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

23,400 days

That's the number of days in 60 years. And that's the number of days my grandparents have been married, as of today.

I talked to Mamma and Papa this morning. I asked them both how she has put up with him this long. Mamma graciously said he's put up with her too! She also said that Papa learned really early on he wouldn't be able to change her even though there are a lot of things he'd probably want to change...hmm, that might be a good one for me to learn too.

They have 3 kids, 10 grandkids, and a slew of great-grandkids. (I've lost count.) The oldest great-grandchild is 20, so in the next few years they may be able to add great-great grandparents to their impressive list of titles.

Papa served in the Navy after World War II. He worked for the US Post Office until his retirement. He has incredible skills as a woodworker and I'm thrilled to have some of his pieces, such as Chickie's little rocking chair.

Mamma stayed at home with her kids, crafting gorgeous clothes for them without patterns, and working as an Avon Representative. (She's been doing that over 45 years now--yep, still going strong.)

On their wedding day they went to a drive-in (the food kind, not the movie kind), and while it's changed names, the place still exists. So they'll head out there today, sixty years later, to celebrate. A burger and fries never sounded so romantic.

Congratulations, Mamma and Papa!


My week

My week (so far)

Rehearsals started for the play
(Wednesday was a LONG day)
Zoodle's fussy, feeling sick
Chickie snorted play dough--ick!
Today I'll play; I'll read a book
Today I just won't clean or cook

Yep, time for a personal day for Mommy. I'll play with Chickie, read to her, read to myself, waste time on the computer, and take a relaxing bath during the kids' naps. I'll even clean up Chickie's toys (with her help), move her books to the new bookshelf, and straighten up the kitchen, since those things, once done, will help me feel more relaxed. But I'm putting off housecleaning and planning leftovers for tonight. Sometimes it's more important to relax than to be Super Mom!

And if you're a mom, whether working or stay at home, you have my official permission to let go of your cooking and cleaning duties for the day. Relax and pick it all back up tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I guess play dough really does foster creativity...

...because it's pretty darn creative to put it up your nose.

When I saw the offending red gunk in Chickie's right nostril this morning, I tried getting it out with a cotton swab.* First she was annoyed--but then she started crying in obvious pain, and it became clear it was more than just annoyance at the little bit of swabbing I'd done. I called the doctor's office, and they said there is a danger of aspirating something that's stuck in the nose and since I probably hadn't gotten all of it (a good conclusion considering the wailing toddler), I needed to take her to the ER.

She calmed down after 10 or 15 minutes, but the nurse still wanted us to go in, because any time something is stuck up the nose and not 100% retrieved, it can be potentially dangerous. So we spent a couple of lovely hours at the new hospital near our home. There was no evidence of the dough in her nose or ears; and her lungs sounded good. The crying was probably because she sucked the stuff into her throat, and homemade play dough has a lot of salt, which can be irritating. (She was crying about her mouth/tongue hurting.) When she eventually swallowed all of it and the irritation calmed down, she was fine.

*Note: If your kid (or spouse or friend) sticks something up their nose, don't use a cotton swab to get it out. It can push it further in. Guess I should've Googled that before taking matters into my own hands!

P.S. I feel like this post should be funnier, because, really, what's funnier than toddlers sticking things up their noses?! But my guess is I'll be able to really see more humor in it when just a little more time has passed. Right now, I objectively know it's kinda funny, but mostly I'm just annoyed at the way it messed up my day, not to mention dreading the hospital bill!


For the play I'm rehearsing, I'm required to have a British dialect. (Woo hoo!) The actor playing my sister suggested Daphne from the sitcom Frasier as a good example of a middle-class British dialect. She and I decided to both work on "Daphne dialects" so that we have the same model and actually sound like sisters.

So yesterday as I cooked and folded clothes I had running in the background several episodes of Frasier. And it was fun! I remembered what a great show Frasier was--smart humor that somehow avoided being pretentious despite the pretentiousness of two of its main characters.

It got me to thinking about some of my other favorite sitcoms of years past. As a kid I loved reruns of The Brady Bunch and was a diehard fan of Full House and Family Matters. Thankfully my taste ran to less-cheesy shows as well, like the awesome Cosby Show. As I got older, I loved Mad About You. I watched Seinfeld (mostly in syndication). Friends was at the top of my "must-watch" list, though I missed the first couple of seasons of its long run. (Thank goodness for reruns!) The Engineer and I both liked the first few seasons of Scrubs and really enjoyed the ill-fated Arrested Development. Currently, the only sitcom I care much about is The Office (American version).

So, what are your favorite sitcoms of years past? Do you watch any sitcoms these days?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bob the Builder

The Engineer earned the title "Bob the Builder", bestowed by Chickie, this weekend. He spent several hours putting together these awesome IKEA bookshelves. Isn't he great?


I love the way they look--and I also love that he filled them with books, which means these boxes are now empty and won't be sitting around upstairs anymore!


Unfortunately, Bob still has a Honey Do List. Alert the Mommy Police; Zoodle's nursery is not yet done. Okay, I'll be honest, it hasn't been started. We've got a lovely IKEA dresser that has to be assembled, and a bed he needs to assemble for Chickie so the crib can be moved into Zoodle's room. Then I need to do some sewing and decorating. By the time he's a teenager, I promise, his nursery will be complete.

And I haven't even mentioned the awesome playscape that is in boxes in our garage. This is what it will look like when complete--minus all those awesome trees (bummer), and minus several children (thank goodness):

Poor Bob; this thing will take him days to put together. But he's waiting until the weather is nicer to start--if Bob the Builder gets heatstroke, America's toddler population will be devastated.

I love my handy husband! "Can he build it? YES, HE CAN!"

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Million dollar idea

Well, I thought I had my big money-making idea.

Remember my recent post with pictures of Albert Einstein and Zoodle? Well, Jonah Lisa suggested I make something with those images. That got me to thinking.

So I put the two images together and started the process of opening an online shop with Cafe' Press, who lets you design and sell T-shirts, mugs, etc. I figured I'd buy some for my family as gifts and maybe even sell a few. Quirky stuff sells well, right?

Then I encountered a problem.

Albert EinsteinTM is actually a trademark; the genius bequeathed his name and image to Hebrew University. Yep, they makes lots of money off of him, so I can't just go selling Albert & Zoodle cap sleeve baby tees. It says so right here. In fact, I'm very carefully checking the peep hole in my front door every time the bell rings, since I'm expecting a SWAT team any time, ready to arrest me for using the image without permission on this lil' ol' blog.

My first million dollar idea is dead, but never fear, I have another. I am now selling my name and image. You can own them and place them on all sorts of merchandise.

Bring offers.

Ain't life grand on a Saturday morning?


9 a.m.

Chickie and I both still have bed head. Baths will wait until after we go swimming later today.

Chickie has found Zoodle's new sunglasses and is wearing them upside-down.

It's quiet, with Zoodle taking his morning nap in bed with his daddy, who is enjoying the chance to sleep in.

Chickie has already received a reward of FIVE Dark Chocolate M&Ms for going pee pee in the potty, and I sneaked a few, too.

And I'm relishing the sweetness of my little girl hanging out on my lap as I doodle around on the computer.

What a great, lazy Saturday morning.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Chickie is finally old enough that our dog Hammer finds it fun to play with her. This is a pretty big deal, as Hammer normally likes to play rough. The Engineer literally picks him up and throws him, and he comes back for more. He doesn't play rough with kids; he just gets bored easily. But Chickie's strong enough now to play a semi-decent game of tug-of-war with him, and they both enjoy it.


I really am glad we've reached this phase. Honestly, since having kids, having a dog is more of an annoyance than anything. (Boy, I hope he's not reading this!) But now that Chickie is learning to play with him I think it'll be a great thing for both of them. Now if I could just keep him from jumping up to get food off our countertops, we'd be in great shape.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sibling love...or something

The scene I just witnessed:

Zoodle was laying on the floor on a blanket. Chickie was holding up his feet in a "diaper changing" position, her nose to his bottom, saying, "You tooted, Zoodle? You tooted?"

Zoodle's face was sporting a huge smile.

My kids are weird.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Play time for Mommy

I love acting. My college degree is in theatre. Maybe someday I'll write a post about that--yes, it's pretty much a useless degree to me in terms of my career, but boy did I learn a lot about myself and my passions when I was in college.

I got burned out on theatre at the end of college, then started a job that required a lot of travel--not conducive to rehearsal schedules. But a few years after graduating I changed careers and got involved in a local community theatre. I re-discovered my passion, loved it even more than I had in college. No, it's not a well-known theatre, not professional (at least not in the paycheck sense), but it fits me. I can pursue it as a hobby; and I even like the "raw" quality of an all-volunteer troupe. And in this particular theatre, there's some quite inspiring talent.

I'm not sure there's a non-cheesy way to put this, so here it is, cheese and all--there is a part of me that is alive when I'm in the middle of rehearsing for, and performing in, a play; a part of me that is dormant at other times. My artistic side suddenly crackles to life. It's almost magical.

When I got pregnant with Chickie, I began a hiatus from theatre that has lasted a little over three years. Recently I've felt myself getting "the bug" again, wanting to be on stage. I figured I'd wait a little while until Zoodle's a bit older, but when I got an e-mail the other day from a director at that little theatre, needing someone to fill a role, I started feeling that yearning. Last night it became official; I'll be playing the fun little role of Cecily Pigeon in Neil Simon's The Odd Couple.

I will only be in a couple of scenes and don't have to be at rehearsals until next week--fortuitous as it will give me time to not only start learning lines, but to make lots of use of my breast pump. I've got to get a good supply of Mommy Milk in the freezer so my sweet babe doesn't starve while I'm at the theatre--or, worse yet, have to drink formula. (Yes, that's a joke; if you've ever read vitriolic online debates between breastfeeding and formula feeding moms, you'll get it.)

We open in mid-September, and if you live in the area rest assured you'll be getting some e-mails from me begging you to show up. Based on what I know of the cast and the director, I think this is going to be a good one.

It's play time for Mommy. Yippee!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Elf boy

This is what happens when you hold your baby in the crook of your arm too long while accidentally folding his flexible little ear....


Don't worry; I was able to peel it apart...after leaving it long enough to take the picture. Cute blog pictures must be kept a high priority.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Homemade play dough

When I was growing up, my mom didn't buy Play Doh. We made our own dough, and when I tried the "real" (i.e., storebought) stuff for the first time I was surprised how much less malleable it was than the great stuff we made at home.

So I was excited when I checked one of my favorite blogs recently and found a recipe for play dough that I think is very similar to the one we used when I was growing up. Click here to check it out.

Last week Chickie wanted to play with play dough, so we made our own. It brought back great "sense memories"--the salty scent as I cooked the dough, and the warm feel as I kneaded. I even tasted a bit of it, and I let Chickie do the same--then had to try to convince her its main purpose was as a plaything, not a main dish.

One note--when we were growing up we put the food coloring in after cooking the dough, once it had cooled enough to handle. That way we could make multiple colors with one batch. I did that with this recipe, and it worked nicely. Sure, I got stains on my hands, but let's be realistic--if you're going to have kids, you gotta be willing to get your hands dirty!

Chickie and I had fun. I asked her what she wanted me to make, and she said a dinosaur. So I made a red Brachiosaurus. I asked her what she wanted me to make out of the yellow, and she said...a dinosaur. So she got a lovely golden T-Rex. Next was a green Stegosaurus. And with the small amount of green left over, she of course wanted a fourth dino, so she got some sort of flying thing that probably went extinct simply due to its extreme ugliness. It was fun.

Thanks to Jonah Lisa for the recipe, and thanks to Mom for the memories!

Friday, August 1, 2008


My friend Laurel finds it amusing that Chickie loves to play with toy trucks and knows the names of various types of construction vehicles. "She doesn't play with dolls, does she?" Laurel asked me.

Well, Chickie does occasionally play with dolls. Today I found her favorite doll, Baby Gina, in the diaper bag. I tossed it to her and was rewarded with a happy, "Thank you!"

Laurel would be proud! I thought.

And then she drove a Hot Wheels car on Baby Gina's head and tossed her on the coffee table.

She is currently hitting herself on the head with her Thomas the Tank Engine trains, saying, "No, don't hit me!"

That's my girl.