In the category of "Mommy Blogs": a chronicle of my life in Chicago and wherever it takes me. Stories from my past.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Teeny Weeny Weaning

As we prepare for this life transition, and as Maya Bird is one year and 1 week old now, we've decided that it's time to wean her. Wean her from our love? No. Wean her from our affection? No. Wean her from our near CONSTANT attention? hmmm. Wean her from my breasts? Absolutely.
We have a small problem, though. This child is Willful. And when I say that, I mean that she knows what she wants, and does everything in her power to get it. And I mean that she is just like her father, Will, who knows what he wants and does everything in his power to get it. I've started by taking away her two morning feedings and replacing them with delicious (and insanely messy) peanut butter toast. Somehow, though, breakfast always seems to be followed by the hard skull of my baby crashing full force into my chest, pulling my shirt down as I pull her out of her high chair. "No, Maya, " I say, "Not now." This sends her into a super sonic wail accompanied by the most acrobatic contortions ever witnessed by man. Can you touch your heels with the back of your head? My baby can. Thankfully, she is extra sticky after the peanut butter, and I haven't dropped her yet.
I know this must sound familiar to Those Who Have Traveled This Road Before, but, for me, this is new and painful and difficult. As I write this now, I heat her waking from her morning nap. Time to start it all again.

Teeny Weeny Weaning

Monday, April 25, 2005


Originally uploaded by Mamaramma.
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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Oh Boy! P.S. Happy Birth/Deathday Shakespeare!

Your Brain is 86.67% Female, 13.33% Male

You have the brain of a girly girl

Which isn't a bad thing at all

You're emphatetic, caring, and in tune with emotions.

You're a good friend and give great advice.

After so many years of being cast as "Girl-Boy" in various Shakespearian plays and other theatrical ventures, it's been confirmed: I am part boy. Well, I'm hardly surprised. Now, please excuse me. I've got to go adjust myself.

Oh Boy! P.S. Happy Birth/Deathday Shakespeare!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Welcome Back, Ollie!

Welcome Back, Ollie!!!
Originally uploaded by Mamaramma.

We just got a call from a college student nearby who took her in last night, fed her, and took good care of her. He was about to make some signs that he found her, but he saw one of our signs first. Thank you everybody for all your good vibes. I am awed by the power of bloggers. I'm ready to start a religion.
By the way, I didn't mention it before, but Ollie is a girl. Ollie is short for Olive Oyl, but I can see why anyone would think it was a boy name. IT USUALLY IS!

PS The weird thing is that before they ever saw the posters, they guessed her name. I don't know how, but the just decided that her name was Ollie, and sure enough...

Welcome Back, Ollie!

Ollie, Come Home.


It was only a couple of years ago that we walked down what looked like Doggie Death Row at the Springfield Animal Pound, looking for a dog to take home with us. Cage by cage, we passed so many aggressive, barking, howling dogs - all angry at their imprisonment. And then we saw you. Sitting quietly in the corner of your cage, there you were looking downtrodden and oh so sad. They brought you in to a special visiting room so that we could meet you, and you were the sweetest dog we had ever met. When we had to leave, you clung to Will's leg as if to say, "Dear God, do not leave me here another day!"
We brought you home to Chicago, and you were a little freaked out by the traffic, but we eventually taught you to sit at each corner before crossing the street. We found out we were going to have a baby, and we joked with you, "You're one lucky dog, Ollie! If we had known about this 2 months ago, you'd be sitting in that cage today!" You didn't think it was a very funny joke. One thing we learned about you is that you love to chase squirrels. Sadly, Ollie, the squirrels seem to be smarter than you, because the only time that you ever got close enough to one to do any damage, it scratched you in the face, and you came inside whimpering. I think I heard the squirrel laughing. I can't be sure.
Lately you have a new trick. When the baby is taking her nap - her short-slept, highly cherished nap - you like to walk by her door and shake your collar soooo loudly that she inevitably wakes up. Well, I outsmarted you! I've started taking your collar off during the day. But Ollie, that backfired horribly.
Yesterday, we accidentally left one of the gates open, and then let you outside unknowingly. My friend Jen was over, and we were deep in conversation, so I didn't realize that you had been gone until 2 hours had passed. Will came home, and he and Maya and I split up (well, Maya went with her Dada. Although she knows how to say "Oyeeee", I don't think she's a very fast canvasser) and searched the neighborhood for 2 more hours, but we didn't find you. I talked to every postal carrier, crossing guard, and dog walker I ran into, and asked them about you, but no one had seen you. We went home and made up a sign, and posted it on trees and lightposts all over the neighborhood last night. We've got you on the hotlist with the Chicago pound. I'm so afraid though, that all of this is too little, too late. Thank God you have a microchip in you that gives your information when scanned. It just makes me sick to my stomach to see your collar sitting here with the little tag on it that says, "My name's Ollie" and gives my phone number. You should be wearing that collar right now. But I didn't want to wake the baby.

Ollie, Come Home.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Does everyone here know how much I love Greenthumb? Well, if you don't, you should really go and pay a visit to Greenthumb's page. It's full of beautiful pictures of the most beautiful plants, people, and doggies you may ever see... again... EVER! Also, Greenthumb was so kind to give me a gift of more uploading power on my Flickr account, and now I can post more pictures like this one:


Thank you, thank you Greenthumb . You've made me one very happy Mamaramma.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Bird is One!

Whew! What a long weekend. I'm here to report that the birthday party was a success, mostly gauged by the fact that Maya took a nice long nap and woke up 15 minutes before the guests were to arrive. Then she looked like this:

Birthday Girl

We realized that her future was probably going to be very bright, and that she might want to wear some shades.

Cool Cat - Meow!

Once that was accomplished, we let the masses in, we ate sandwiches and dips especially prepared for this day of birth, we opened gifts, we killed a cake:

The Great Cake Massacre

(That part was sad. What did that cake ever do to anyone except be delicious? Ah well. It was a sacrifice to the gods of birth.)
Then we went outside and played made up games with a bouncy ball and a 6 year old on a busy street. The 6 year old in question is my neice, and I don't know how many times I heard, "[6 Year Old] DO NOT GO IN THE STREET! " She went home in one piece, I am happy to report.


All in all, it was a great party. The only sad part (besides the death of the cake that we all maliciously rejoiced over) was that Maya still has a problem sitting on her great grandmas' laps. And that makes them sad. And that makes me sad. We'll have to get them together more often.

Now I must check in with all of you lovely people. How were your weekends?

The Bird is One!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Checking in

Hello friends. Sorry I've been out of the blogging loop - I was visiting home for a couple of days and I thought I'd have internet access there, but did not... yadda yadda yadda. I'm back now, and madly sprucing the apartment up for Maya's birthday party tomorrow where there will be 4 grandparents and 3 great grandparents in attendance: all, in my paranoid view, judging my merits as a housekeeper.
BUT - I wanted to let you in on the news that Will and I both were accepted to Teach for America! This means that we'll be packing up our apartment immediately, and after working in Montana for the month of June (to answer your question Homesteader ), we'll be training and then moving to some new town or city for the next two years. Crazy times. I'll fill you in when they tell us where they're sending us. For now, I must find the dust in every nook and cranny of this place and destroy it!

Checking in

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Clothe This Baby!


It's time to splurge a little. Our Maya Bird's birthday is next Sunday and the party is on Saturday. The girl needs a birthday dress. And some balloons . My questions to you, blogger friends, is how much money does one spend on a birthday dress for first birthday? I'm very cool with going to the secondhand stores in town and seeing what they've got to offer, but sometimes the selection is not so good. The devil may pull me into one of these baby boutiques and dangle some beautiful fine woven fabrics in front of me. We all know I've given into temptation before... of the cake batter persuasion. In this case, I'd be sinning for my child - an ethical quandry! My question is: how much is too much? Keep in mind that summer is approaching, and whatever I get, I expect her to wear EVERY OTHER DAY this summer until it falls off her body.

Clothe This Baby!

Friday, April 08, 2005

At least I had a Lean Cuisine for dinner!

I'm pathetic. Just because we've had two beautiful days of sun and fun, and then the weather changed all of a sudden to (comparitively) bitter, biting cold is no excuse to act like it's time to get all mopey and depressed, and mix up some cake batter just so you can eat half of it raw with a spatula. There's no reason to do that.

But I did.

And it was delicious.

Now I feel uggghhh though. I'm not a waster, either. I baked the other half in a lovely round pan, and iced it with the half container of icing that I'd been spooning licks out of all week.

And then I had some for breakfast.

I'm here to tell you that my baby girl had grapes, spinach, and cheese for dinner last night. She will hopefully develop better eating habits than I have taken on. It reminds me of when I was 7 or 8 and used to sneak downstairs after everyone had gone to bed so that I could eat spoonfuls of margarine out of the Parkay tub.Or when my friend's family took me on a wonderful road trip across the country through the southwest, to California, through the mountains, and back to Illinois again. My parents made me promise to keep a journal so I'd remember all the new things I was seeing. When they read it, it was all about what I ate at each meal, with nary a mention of Mount Rushmore, or the Napa Valley, or Santa Fe. I did, however, remember to mention that my friend Mary and I got McRibs, and you can't always get a McRib every day of the year. Why was I so crazy???

I'm going to leave you now to do some guilt-driven sit ups and the like. Unfortunately, I have to pass by that cake on my way out of the computer room. Oh, you siren, sing to me some more!

I'll leave you with some pictures of my sunny, happy, girl. She's almost a year now!

So much fun, she's gonna throw up!

At least I had a Lean Cuisine for dinner!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Save "Save Mouse"!

Does anyone know what has happened to our little friend, Mouse? I think for a couple of weeks now, his website has been highly dysfunctional. Maybe he escaped and is lounging in some doggie paradise eating piles of Mounds bars... or maybe not. If anyone has any insight on this matter, please let me know!

Save "Save Mouse"!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A Couple of Months Off - It's What They Would Deserve

We're still waiting to hear about our Teach for America acceptance status. They send out yea/nay's on April 14 and until then it's just a waiting game. If one or both of us gets in, we'll be moving somewhere as soon as June so we'll have to flash into packing action - which should be a joy with an almost one year old - but who said I never liked adventure?
I have reason to believe that Will is more likely to get accepted than me. He's kind of a superstar interviewer in my opinion, and I was there for part of his group interview process, so I saw how well he did. I, on the other hand, was awkward, awkward, awkward. Some examples:

1. In our sample teaching lesson, I decided to teach how to count to simple music. I got the room clapping in time, and then proceeded to forget how to sing "Happy Birthday". It came out of my mouth like a cassette tape was fast forwarding. Who here has ever forgotten to sing Happy Birthday????

2. In my personal interview, my interviewer asked "You've heard how emotionally and physically challenging Teach for America can be. Under what circumstances do you think you might quit?"
I knew that she wanted to hear that nothing would make me quit. That I was a determined, motivated, all systems go under any kind of weather type of gal. But something in me couldn't give a blanket answer like that, so I said,
"Well, death.... Not mine, but if someone really close to me were to die, I might have to quit... (All the while I'm thinking, "Wha??? What are you saying? Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" But she kept writing, so I felt I had to go on...) I mean. I'm not going to quit because the students behave worse than I expected, or the job is harder than I expected... (She's still writing, what does she want???) but if my husband or my baby were to die, I might have to quit ( GOD - I'm so morbid! she's still writing! This sounds so bad!)...
Or maybe I'd just take a couple of months off."

I had to add this Bozeman Police Report from TODAY, people, TODAY:

"A drunken man on North 17th Avenue was "acting like the exorcist" Monday. He was turned over to a friend."

Only in Bozeman

A Couple of Months Off - It's What They Would Deserve

Monday, April 04, 2005

Mamaramma's Confessions Part I

I have a confession to make. I know that I haven't been updating as much as I used to. I know that I haven't been visiting all of you lovely bloggers' sites as much as I used to, and it's all because of a dark mistress that has come into our lives: cable television. OK - that's not the only reason, but it's a BIG 'UN. It all happened a week ago when we were craving some "live" Deadwood on HBO. It's just so easy. All you have to do is call the RCN number on your screen, and if you're already hooked up to basic cable, as we were, then as soon as you say, "Sign me up." the TV shows all of these wonderful, wonderful shows. From PoweRGirls to Making the Band to Best Week Ever, I can't get enough.
Also, it was my mom's birthday and she and my dad were in town this weekend, plus it's been a lot nicer outside so we've gotten a lot of good stroller time in lately. I know: excuses, excuses, right?
Trivia for you Deadwood'ers: Did you catch that the guy playing Francis Wolcott, George Hearst's gold scout, is the same guy from last season who killed Wild Bill? He's also Mr. Edwards in the Little House remake on ABC, so he's become the new Mr. Western Period Drama. Also, Maddie, the new Madam working with Joanie is the crazy French lady from Lost. These people are getting a lot of work!
To prove to you that my life has not been all television or computer screens, here's a pic from a few days ago:

Beach Combers

Mamaramma's Confessions Part I

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