Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Audrey and I are watching Goonies, thanks to Michael. 15 min into it and she's had questions about penises, drugs, cop chases and whether or not she can use the word shit. 

Very educational Thanksgiving break so far.

four ladies bowling

Bowling. Audrey fell, Nina nearly put a hole in the floor and i was a brainfart away from telling the guy next to me that his "balls have a wicked spin." I shouldn't be unsupervised.

watching the fock at night

Nina has a speaking part at her preschool holiday performance. Here's how she recites it (word-for-word):

(high-pitched voice) "They were in the same country shepherds biting in the field, watching their fock by night."

Calgon, take Nina away

Nina telling me why she wants to take a bath:

"First, I'm really sweaty. Second, I've had a long day. Last, I want some time alone."

She's 5.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

8th anniversary and we can't get it off

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary. After having a great evening out, we put the kids to bed and high-tailed it to the bedroom. Get your mind out of the gutter. It's not like that.

Well, not yet, anyway.

Michael bought me a new dress; he couldn't wait for me to try it on. It's funny...he often buys me pieces of clothing and says, "I know it's a little outside your box, but just try it." Yet when I purchase something I think is outside my box and cute...and I've actually seen it on fashion blogs (I'm lying a little)...he's appalled and usually raises his eyebrows at me.

Back to the dress. Bear with me while I describe it, because I'm sure I won't do it justice. It's quite cute, but yes, outside of my box. The top is grey (my fave!) with a ruffle detail down the front (good), then the bottom, which looks like a separate piece, but isn't, is a blue, grey, black and red wool plaid.

As Michael anxiously awaits the fashion show, I examine the romper-for-a-30-something. No zipper on the back or side-- just lots of tiny buttons down the front of the "top." I undo the buttons and step into it.   Michael has a bit of a view and sees that I'm instantly in a pickle. The thing is never going over my hips. He calls out, "It's a medium, right?"

"Yes," I reply. "I just can't figure out how to get it on." I step out of it and throw it over my head. As I start to pull the skirt down, I realize my arms are completely stuck, straight up in the air. Now I look like E.T. Sexy for your anniversary night, right?


I'm starting to panic because it's actually really tight around my chest. Michael hops up and tries to help, but I get a fit of giggles...partially because I'm nervous that we have to cut it off, but I'm also feeling extremely vulnerable because my arms are stuck above my head and I'm certain that if he tickles me, I'll stop breathing. I can barely breath as it is.

So as I "run" from him, saying over and over, "Don't tickle me, please. Don't tickle, don't tickle," he's trying to catch Wife E.T.

He stands in front of me, pulls my arms down, which means I'm totally bent at the waist (his ploy to have me bow to him?) and he's pulling hard on the dress. Doesn't budge.

Now I'm really laughing because I catch a glimpse of us in a mirror. Oh god. Really? It's only been eight years and we're already here? I'm in Hanes Her Way undies, trying on a dress that's obviously too  small for me and now I'm STUCK in it.

Finally, we get a shoulder out of it and I can breathe. I have red marks, though, to prove we struggled. When he frees me of the rest of it, he examines it because he's sure I've missed an obvious entry into it.

Again, nope. So he admits it's a crazy-ass garment and he'll be returning it to tomorrow. Whew. Now we can start over and have a nice night.

"Wait," I say. Just don't kiss my neck, I just put acne cream on it."

And just like that, I kill the mood for the second time that evening. Ahhh...wedded bliss!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Our Audrey

I thought I was peeing my pants all day. What? It happens when you're pregnant. I assure you it's totally normal. Or at least I thought it was.

I was nearly 35 weeks pregnant with our first baby. After four hours of considering wearing a diaper to work, I called my doc and explained what was happening. They suggested I go to Labor & Delivery at the hospital. Oh. God. I hadn't even registered/toured at the hospital.

Not wanting to panic anyone, I called Michael and told him what was going on. "Do you want me to meet you there?" he asked. I declined the offer, said I was sure it was routine, etc., and said I'd call him later. I left work without telling anyone anything; after all, it was lunch time and I was certain I'd be back at work.

At Labor & Delivery, my doc had me undress, cough (guys out there - not exactly your kind of coughing exam)...and then announced that my water was leaking. "You're going to have a baby today," Dr. Rice said.

Stunned and confused, I called Michael. "MT, we're gonna have a baby." He replied, "Um, yeah...I know that."

"No, we're going to have a baby TODAY. My water is leaking, they can't send me home. Get down here," I said. Little did I know that we'd be waiting another 32 hours to meet Audrey.

I won't give you all the gory details - it involves pain, blood and a placenta, but when she came out, I cried. I cried because I'd never felt so ready to love this baby girl, and then I sobbed because her head was REALLY POINTY. I patted it and asked Michael through tears, "This will go down, right?"

It wouldn't be until I had our second baby, Nina, that I'd fully appreciate how tiny Audrey was when we took her home. She weighed 5 lbs., 2 oz. at birth and was only 4 lbs., 9 oz. when we left the hospital. She spent only one hour in the NICU as a preemie, and she and I spent the next several weeks trying to figure out this new thing neither of us was ready for: breastfeeding.

But again, I'll spare you the deets.

So today, July 13, Audrey Laine is now 7 years old. She's the same today as she was in my tummy--impatient. But she's also kind, loving, funny, sensitive, creative, and beautiful.

In one word, we're blessed.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lucky to have Louie

Nina, Louie and I drive down the street to pick up our neighbor/friend, Addi, for preschool. I jump out of the car, get Addi. Nina gets out, runs up with me. Go back to car, it's locked...and it's running. I'm panicked, running around it, blaming Nina for it, of course. Louie is in front seat, getting spun up because he seems me running around, then he ROLLS DOWN THE WINDOW! I unlock the car, then we're off. And now I know how the car got locked in the first place (thanks, Lou).

What a good boy!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The best Easter story

At 6:30 today, Easter morning, Nina wakes me. She has that sad, semi-fake crying voice going on..."...the Easter Bunny didn't leave us any eggs. I looked all outside, in the trees...there's nothing. All I wanted was some eggs from the Easter Bunny and he forgot about us. Audrey will be so sad, too."

I start to console, then bristle a bit, reminding her of the true meaning of Easter. She says sheepishly, "I haven't forgotten the meaning, ...I just wanted some easter eggs."

Back up a day to an easter egg hunt at my mom's work. Nina RAN for a giant egg and a kid beat her to it. She gave up, sobbing, and didn't even try for more eggs, so she left empty-handed. Her own fault, for sure, but waking on Easter to find no eggs in her backyard was just insult-to-injury.

"Nina," I said. "It would take the Easter Bunny forever to hide eggs in every kids' yard. He already brings you easter baskets!"

She stomped away and I found her sulking on the couch. I ignored her. I was frustrated at her fit and also angry at myself. Here's why...

I worked until midnight in my office, crawled into bed, forgetting to do my kids' easter baskets! Michael was fast asleep and I was exhausted. Audrey woke me at 4:00 in the morning, telling me she'd looked everywhere but the Easter Bunny hadn't visited yet. I told her to crawl in bed with Michael and I'd take her bed. And by take her bed, I mean I'd stay up reading for 15 minutes until she was asleep again, then assemble the baskets and pass out in her bed at 4:45 a.m.

So, fast forward to Nina now crying about no eggs and I'm see-sawing from frustration to guilt.

Then I open our front blinds.

"Nina! Come look!"

There, in our front yard, are dozens of colorful easter eggs and a big note in chalk that reads, "Happy Easter from the Easter Bunny." I almost cried.

Just yesterday, I photographed a fabulous teen, Janae Calaway. She has a fabulous mom, Beverly. Janae and a group of friends have carried on her sister's tradition of "Egging" several houses on the eve of Easter. They told me stories yesterday about frolicking through yards in the middle of the night...Beverly driving the "getaway car," the girls praying there are no dogs loose at the houses they visit.

I said jokingly, "Well, if you decide to egg my house, I love Twix, Snickers, and Kit Kats." We all laughed. Guess what was in all of the eggs in our front yard?

As if all of this wasn't precious enough, the real topper came a bit later. Audrey had left an egg and a note for the Easter Bunny. It was on the front porch and I didn't even know where she'd put it. She picked it up and said, "Mom, it doesn't look like he opened the egg to read it." She'd left a cute note that said, "Plese open the ege Eastr Bunni." Inside, she'd left him another note.

"I'm sure he read it," I said.

When the girls ran out the front door to hunt the eggs, there was another note, written in chalk, on our driveway. "Thanks for the note!" Audrey. About. Died.

And, again, I almost cried.

So, THANK YOU, our not-so-secret eggers...for saving my bacon, by bringing us eggs.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Another fab dance by Nina

Crushing my ego...again

As I was blow-drying my hair one morning, Nina walks into the bathroom, wrinkles her nose and says, "Smells like...poop...and bum. I think it's you."

Nina's beach day

Nina's preschool class was learning about all things beachy and aquatic. I missed the flashing neon sign about "dress up beach day," so a disappointed Nina entered the classroom in her usual school clothes.

Not one to miss a dress-up occasion, she declared the following Monday another Beach Day. I explained that it actually wasn't beach day and she'd be the only one dressed up. "No," she said, "I need to wear a bathing suit."

This was a day for me to choose my battles. It was 30 degrees -- maybe -- so I said she at least had to wear pants and a sweatshirt over the suit. She acquiesced and promptly put on flip flops and headed out the door. I packed some tennis shoes, socks, a heavy coat and gloves and we headed to school.

I, of course, knew that it wasn't Beach Day, but it seemed to be news to Nina when she entered her classroom. She shyly walked back to me, head hanging low, and said, "No one else has a bathing suit on."

"I know," I said. "I tried to tell you." She looked back in the classroom, then back at me and asked, "Can I take my pants off now?"


Her moment of mortification had passed. She was ready to rock the bathing suit.

So there's my Nina, marching into class wearing only a hot pink bikini, a sun hat, and flip flops. She sat next to a kid wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, but she didn't give a damn.

Well, that was awkward

After a quick trip to the DMV (no joke - half an hour!), I decided to drop in on a good friend. The receptionist greeted me and asked who I was there to see. The rest of the conversation just got downright awkward.

Me: Mike Denslow.
Receptionist (hereto after referred to as "R"): He's on the phone. Can I tell him who's here?
Me: Oh, that's ok, I'll just contact him later.
R: He should be just a minute. I'll email him. What's your name?
Me: Tell him Dick Trickle is here.
R: (confused face, fingers poised on keyboard) I'm sorry, who?
Me: Dick Trickle (smiling)
R: (still confused) How do you spell that?
Me: (just realized someone was in waiting area and didn't want to sound inappropriate) Oh, just how it sounds. (wink)
R: I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be difficult, I really don't know how to spell it.
Me: (starting to sweat) It's fine. You can just tell him it's Andrea.
R: I'm really not trying to be difficult.
Me: No, no, totally fine. I don't want to repeat the name with (pointing discreetly over my shoulder) someone in the room. It was just a joke.
R: Oh, an inside joke, huh?
Me:'s just a funny name of a racecar driver.
R: (still missing point) Oh, I don't watch racecar driving.
Me: Me neither. It was just a joke.

And then I walk away and bury myself in my blackberry...dear. god. Last time I try that funny business.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Groundhog Day

Nina's learning about Groundhog Day. She comes home from school and says, "So, Mom, we're learning about Groundhog Day. You can learn more about it by going on-line to dot com. You can look up pictures and find out if he saw his shadow."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Naked chipmunks & aliens, oh my!

I love listening to backseat convos between my girls and their friends. Here's one from this morning:

Friend: We looked all over our house for the naked chipmunk and we can't find it anywhere.
Nina: Maybe aliens came down from outerspace and took it (dramatic look & pause here).
Friend: We don't even know if aliens exist, Nina.
Nina: They do. They have big heads and really, really big toes.
Friend: Andrea, has Nina been to outerspace?
Me: No, but she's from there.
Friend: (jaw drop)
Me: Just kidding.
Audrey (piping in from 3rd row peanut gallery): But we all are from outerspace! God is in outerspace - in heaven. We all came from heaven. We were created from dirt and bones.
Friend: It's called skeletons.
Nina: Yeah, bones.

And this is when I turned up the music...