Monday, June 30, 2008

Three killed in spaghetti dinner stampede...

or, my dinner at the Residence Inn this evening.

Apparently the Residence Inn likes to create a homey atmosphere. I guess since some of it's patrons are long-term guests (like the Amish people we see in the elevator daily or the old washed up rock-star guy who was unloading an 18-wheeler into the elevator the other day), they want to foster a sense of community--a kind of Armistead Maupin-esque Tales of the City: The Residence Inn Years.

Along side our door is a calendar with a mixture of local activities and hotel sponsored social events; tonight's community-building activity was a free spaghetti dinner in the lobby/dining area.

I've only ever been down there for the complimentary breakfasts, which have always been civil and laid-back in nature. No one is hovering possessively over the coffee urns or elbowing someone out of the way to get a spoonful of scrambled egg. So I was wholly unprepared for the near melee that broke out tonight over some overdone spaghetti noodles and watery pasta sauce.

The only reason Husband, Ethan and I even bothered with the hotel orchestrated dining experience is because Ethan can no longer be trusted not to act out in restaurants in such a way as to cause managers to ask us kindly to never, ever return. Why they give kids crayons to play with at restaurants is beyond me. All they do is eat them. And when they're riding high on that wax-induced buzz, the crayons become projectiles, missiles aimed at a bowl of chili the next table over. We are so popular.

We figured since we're already paying this place for a week (at the least) of living large in our suite, they could just tolerate his royal obnoxiousness and spare us the horror of having to take him out in public. Mind you, this is after an hour of "We don't hit mommy!" and subsequent time outs, all which elicited hysterical tears and profuse apologies, followed by more hitting mommy.

Because he is so wonderful, Husband took over the care of the beast as soon as he came home and down to the lobby we went. Had I known what mayhem was about to occur, I'd have thought twice about subjecting my child to such a scene; I mean, we do change the station whenever anything remotely violent or overly "action-y" is on the TV, why would I allow it to happen right in front of us?

The problem? The vats of limp, water-logged spaghetti noodles and equally runny tomato sauce were all but empty. Only four or five end pieces of garlic bread were left and one measly oatmeal raisin cookie languished on the dessert plate. While a good number of people sat at their tables with heaps of spaghetti and actual meatballs, not to mention a veritable pile of cookies awaiting their fate at the hands of these grubby hoarders, the rest of the diners waited impatiently for the vats to be refilled. They were not pleased.

Please bear in mind that the salad bowls--chuck a' block full. So too, the chicken noodle soup. But no. People, tapping fingers on empty bone china plates, patting their feet anxiously against the floor and fidgeting from one foot to the next, were waiting for spaghetti and meatballs! The little calendars by all of our doors said "spaghetti and meatballs" damn it, not "browning iceburg salad and chicken noodle soup"!!

Husband and I had procured a bit of the remaining spaghetti for Ethan and managed to scrape up a bit of what was left for ourselves. We watched the crowd of hungry Residence Inn residence grow increasingly restless. Every time the kitchen door hinges squeaked open, people at their tables lurched forward in a walk-run to be sure they didn't miss that first plate of steamy overdone goodness as it was brought to the sterno trays. Those who had hoarded piles of food during the last wave watched in smug gluttonous confidence as the hungry masses faded away in hungry anticipation. People were sighing heavily and blowing hair off of their forehead. Arms were crossed angrily. It was insane.

There was one guy working the whole show. I won't lie; there were moments I feared for his safety. You know there was one woman back there stirring spaghetti in a massive pot of boiling water, furiously popping open jars of generic spaghetti sauce and ripping open bags of Costco brand frozen meatballs as fast as she could. And then this poor bum had to go out, work his way through the crowd to get the empty tray so he could return it for a full one--all without being pummelled by the increasingly crazed crowd.

At one point, I swear I heard him say, "Can I please get through?! Please," as he came through with a new batch of spaghetti. I kid you not that they swarmed him from the moment the kitchen door squeaked. And once he extracted himself from the situation, they descended on the tray like flies on...well, you know what flies love. Gradually they formed a line, but only in the most "fine, whatever. so you were here first. pppfffft," grudging way, you'd have thought it was free diamond day at Tiffany's.

I understood where the hoarding came from after that. Watching these previously deprived diners select their meatballs lovingly from the vat of sauce, I marveled at how they walked away from the serving area to their tables with 5, 6 or 7 meatballs heaped on their plates. Not to mention the piles of cookies chosen from the replenished dessert plate. Husband went back up to the trays after the initial rush of diners subsided to find only the sparest of choices left.

Anyone who showed up after three or four minutes of that rush were left to wonder where the hell the food went, why everyone seated had mountains of food on their plate and thus, the whole thing started over again.

I think we'll go to California Pizza Kitchen tomorrow.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

And now for something completely different...

from my whining and stressing about my life.

How about some Ethan pictures from this month to remind us what this blog is supposed to be about (you mean my angst isn't our top priority here?! whatever).

The Kiss--I know I already posted this, but it's my blog and if I want to post it again, I will.

Ethan sporting the latest in oversized prison wear. It's actually Husband's polo shirt, but wow. Please also note how the polo clashes with the eleventy billion toys strewn about the living and dining rooms.

Ethan contemplating the wonder that is the plastic CVS boat at the beach in South Carolina.

Should I listen to my tunes or take this important call? All he needs is a latte, and he's Husband.

The last Mr. Skip performance we attended; Ethan mans up one last "high five" for Mr. Skip. *sniff sniff*

The last playgroup *portrait*. Not sure how it ended up looking like a bad shot from Sears. I think the flash reflected off of the blue wall giving it that ethereal backdrop look. Either way, these are the cuties Ethan's left behind. Fat chance of finding such charm, beauty and pretzel Goldfish chowing abilities out here.

Speaking of out here--Ethan in our hotel room. Bending it like...Beckham in drag?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

First Impressions...

Or, "Why is there a Colon Hydrotherapy Salon on every corner?"

So far, I guess I can't complain. The weather has been blissfully beautiful--mid 80's and not a trace of humidity. Ethan fell asleep last night before 7pm and slept until almost 7am, and I did almost as well, for the first time in 90 days. These are basic things that tend to make one feel like they can cope, no matter where they are (within reason, I guess)--nice weather and a decent night's sleep.

The other thing assuaging my anxiety is the fact that, well, there are a lot of the trappings of "home" here, at least in the way of retail therapy. In the past 24 hours I've been to Target (twice. shut up. It's an illness, people), Old Navy, Macy's, and California Pizza Kitchen. Amazingly enough, we did avoid Starbucks today in favor of trying out the Coffee Beanery, an establishment that, locally, is almost as sickeningly ubiquitous as Starbucks. But really, it's just a coffee shop dreaming of being Starbuck, same as Caribou Coffee; you've seen one, you've seen them all.

It's hard to feel like a stranger in a strange land when you can walk into a Target you've never been to, 3000 miles away from the Targets you've frequented for the past eight years and, after a few seconds of getting your bearings, know where everything is located from the toys to the dish soap. I saw a bag in Virginia a few days ago and told myself that if I found it out in LA, I could buy it. I found it. It's mine. How's that for feeling at home?

Speaking of feeling at home, our child has fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with our house. Probably because it's empty and echo-y and he can run around it now without bumping into anything except a cat desperately trying to avoid him. Oh, and while Husband was living there a few weeks ago (with nothing but a few towels and an air mattress), he happened to buy a package of popcicles which currently remain the only form of sustenance in the house (with the exception of cat food). So now when we pull up to the house, Ethan bellows from the backseat, "Bicycle!! Bicycle!!" This is how he says, "popcicle". Take a minute to imagine how fun it was for us to try to figure out what the hell he was talking about when he first started saying that. "What do you mean, bicycle??!! We don't have bicycles!! You dont' know what a bicycle is!!! What are you talking about, for the love of God!!!"

Anyway, with all that space to roam and a freezer full of bicycles, Ethan thinks our new house is heaven on earth. This is lovely while we're there or on our way there. It is, however, not so lovely when we are trying to leave the house or when we dare to mention the hotel. "NO hotel! NO hotel!" he insists, increasingly weepy, from the back seat. Um. Sorry, kiddo. That's where they've got the beds. And our suitcases of stuff. So hotel it is, my love.

So far we've basically only shuttled back and forth between Studio City and Burbank and I"m convinced that everyone within these two towns must have perfect fingernails and immaculate colons. And they work in film production in some way, shape or form. And they eat almost exclusively Mexican food and donuts (perhaps hence the need for the colonic cleanings?). The streets from our hotel to Studio City are lined with nothing but (okay, I'm exaggerating, but not by much) nail salons, donut shops (from the airplane yesterday I actually saw us flying over a giant donut atop a donut shop), Mexican eateries, video production companies and "colon hydrotherapy salons". One salon front sign even claims "private, gentle cleansings". Um. I think when the issue at hand is a hose up one's butt, the word "gentle" has NO place in the description. I know they say you can lose up to five pounds from one cleansing alone, but you know what? I think I'll just try to run those pounds off. Running is far less frightening to my ass.

That's about it from me tonight; at this time last night I was drooling on my hotel couch and had to haul my butt (un-high-colonic'd, thank you very much) to my hotel bed. This evening, I feel far more prepared to see 9pm PST. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, June 27, 2008

So wait, "moving to LA" means I actually have to...move to LA?

I'm not entirely sure how it came as a surprise to me this morning at 5am, when I woke up at the Holiday Inn at Dulles Airport and it hit me...."holy shit, I am moving to Los Angeles today. What the hell is that about??!!"

Don't ask me how three months of discussions and planning, and a week of big burly packing men, followed by big burly moving men traipsing through our house didn't cement this idea into my brain.

And obviously, on some level it did; there were fabulous "going away" dinners and tear-soaked hugs with loved ones, and tons of frantic "oh my god, life is going to be so different in 83, 60, 37, 26, 10, etc days..." running through my brain randomly throughout the past 90 days since we made this decision. I have google-searched moms groups in Studio City, although I am loathe to join an organized group of already-know-each-other moms. I have done research on what types of plants grow in Southern California as I day dream about actually being able to keep a potted plant alive longer than a hot second. I took the cats to the vet's for extensive vaccinations and physical exams to make them "air worthy". We've had a contractor ripping various parts of our house to shreds over the past three weeks, preparing it to be good enough to rent in this market.

Clearly I've been preparing myself for this move. Right??

Then why did I wake up this morning and feel like Husband had just broken the news to me?

As I was guiltily trying to trick my cat's into the bathroom so they'd be in an enclosed area from which they couldn't escape, thereby making it possible for me to, A.) shove 1/2 a benadryl down their gullets (not successful) and then, B.) cram them into their teeny tiny carriers (successful), I almost didn't remember why I was doing this crazy thing. I thought...."why are we taking the cats with us on vacation?! This is a lot of work just to take them with us for a....oh. shit. "

Thank goodness our flight and the preparations leading up to it (which is a whole other blog entry in and of itself) took place at the crack of dawn. I'm not at my emotional peak that early; it's hard to muster a feeling about much of anything before 10am for me. This was a blessing today, as I pretty much went through the motions of carrying cats, toddler and diaper bag through the terminal, and stepping onto the plane that would take me away from the life I've loved for the past eight years. I managed a few tears as the plane's front wheels left the ground (but I usually do that anyway, what with the anxiety of flying I have since watching the first episode of LOST).

I guess there are two sides of understanding something like a major life change; the rational part that can make lists of preparation and schedule appointments that get things done to make said changes possible. That's the side that organizes each room for the packers and makes sure the cat's get their shots. That's the side that puts dinners with friends on the calendar. But then there's the emotional side, who might show up here and there for a brief moment during all that rational stuff. That side cries while standing outside of restaurants after the last dinner with people she loves. That side has a vague sense that something huge is around the corner.

But that side doesn't really "get it" until faced with the actual moment. This morning, I finally "got it". I think. I dont' live where I used to live. My house is empty. I won't be taking Ethan to play group next Thursday. Okay. I get it.

But even still, I'm fairly certain that in a few days' time, I'll be absent-mindedly asking Husband what time our return flight is. Emotional side is so not going to like the answer to that question...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Spoon Inside"

So, one of the perks of living in this hotel is that the gift shop sells Hagen Daz ice cream. This, when one is in full-on stress out mode, is a life-saver, an OTC anti-anxiety, if you will. A no prescription required anti-anxiety drug (take that, voice of reason therapist!) So of course, I had to partake last night after leaving dinner at Karen's house for the "last time". It's been a week of "lasts" because I'm a drama queen and because my "sentimentality" engine is running on all cylinders these days.

As Husband is getting Ethan ready for bed, I decide to head down to the lobby for the ice cream. As crappy luck would have it, I share the elevator with a bevy of 105-lb teenage girls, clad in bikinis and sarongs. Normally this would send racing back to my room in a fit of chubby-girl self loathing, but not this time. It's not food, people; it's medication. At least for the next few days.

I walk into the gift shop and over to the little freezer which is humming away happily in the corner, keeping my chocolate flavored not-Xanax cold for me. That's what I love about Hagen Daz; there's no brain-hobbling decision like what flavor to get; I love Ben & Jerry's but they have about a gazillion flavors and each one is more convoluted and tempting than the last. I don't know if I want Phish Food or Chubby Hubby or Half Baked. It's just too much. With Hagen Daz, you've basically got your chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Maybe something like a Dulce de Leche or something like that, but more often than not, it's pretty basic. Hello, Chocolate.

One problem with buying a pint of Hagen Daz at the hotel gift shop is that I am eating utensil-challenged. The only complimentary utensil in our hotel room is a plastic stirrer for the "coffee" beverages they let you brew in your own if. And that's clearly not going to work on a pint of hard-as-rock chocolate ice cream.

I am not yet *quite* desperate enough to just mash my face into the cold creamy chocolatey goodness (give me a few more days), so as I'm pulling out my cash to pay for the $6 pint of ice cream, I ask the nice lady behind the counter "Where could I get a spoon to eat this with?"

Her response? "It's inside". Um. So I ask again. "There's a spoon inside the pint of ice cream?" She nods vigorously, "Yes. Yes. Spoon inside."

So, clearly I'm thinking either we have a serious language barrier issue and "spoon" really means "chocolate" in Eritrean, or I have stumbled upon a special, hotel gift shop, spoon-included edition of Hagen Daz. I envision prying off the lid and finding a cute mini-spoon lodged in the top of the ice cream--a completely self-sufficient tummy full of heaven in the making.

Apparently "spoon" means "chocolate" in Eritrean. Because the only thing that was inside my chocolate ice cream, was, care to guess? Chocolate ice cream. Sigh. So now I have to go back downstairs to the fancy steak restaurant and say, "Excuse me. I just purchased food not from your establishment. Can I have a spoon, please?" And I'm sure they're going to love that.

I leave Husband dealing with an overly tired toddler who is fully aware that there is ice cream in the room that I have no intention of sharing with him (evil mommy). The door closes behind me to the sound of "I-keem! I-keem!" and I take off for the aforementioned fancy restaurant.

Fortunately it is almost 10pm (hence the over tired toddler, but that's a whole other blog entry), so the business at Fancy Pants Steakhouse has quieted down and there's no one other than the hostess there to hear me meekly request a spoon so I can go eat my Hagen Daz in peace (this ice cream is turning out to be more trouble than it's worth---how can that be???!!!).

She skulks away knowing she's about to put forth effort, however miniscule, that will garner her absolutely no monetary reward, and reappears a light year later with a little plastic-wrapped set of plastic utensils. I bolt back to the elevator and with all 12 'bings' of the floors going by I say two silent little prayers to the universe. "Please don't let it be all melted" and "Please let the kid be asleep so I don't have to share it." Because I'm just that good of a person.

Do I have to tell you that lying in my bed, sliding my little plastic spoon around the outer edges of that melty little pint of chocolate ice cream was the most peaceful and satisfying feeling of the entire day? I thought not.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The one in which I recount the last traces of my sanity slipping away....

So, I'm living in a hotel. That's for starters...

The cat's mouth? At some point I'm hoping she'll let me get a peak in there at what had better be her mouthful of gold crowns. I expect a serious grill on this kitty considering that paying for her "dental procedure" got us enough points on our American Express to fly us somewhere exotic. My cat's got one expensive mouth.

Also? I spent 9 hours in the car with Ethan on Thursday last week. Followed by two rain soaked, and therefore activity-challenged, days in South Carolina with my parents, and then another 9 hours in the car with not only Ethan, but also my father (who all but turned right around and drove my car back down to South Carolina so that my parents can drive my car across country). All to return home fifteen hours before the packers were scheduled to arrive. To a house full of dirty laundry and confusion.

And no wine.

Sense my stress level, please.

On Monday morning, with construction workers taking a sledge hammer to my bathroom floor and cats running around, belly to the floor, in search of a hiding place, the packers knocked on our front door. Husband, Ethan and the contractor were at Home Depot picking out shiny pretty things for our new bathroom and I was in desperate need of a paper bag to breathe into.

Which reminds me of my therapist and how she said she didn't think I needed to be medicated because everything I am feeling is completely normal and within the range of acceptable anxiety given the circumstances. Whatever, voice of reason! I want some drugs!! I know she's right. I know it. Even though I am a strong believer in therapy and taking medication when truly warranted, I don't really want to numb my life's experiences just because they aren't 100% pleasurable 100% of the time. Really. But when the sledge hammer upstairs is making the recessed lighting in your newly renovated kitchen vibrate and there are three big men in your living room expecting you to boss them around, the pressure's a bit much. A little Xanax would really have come in handy.

Fortunately Husband was my Xanax in human form and returned shortly, handing me the child and relieving me of my "Um, I don't know; just pack everything," duties and I scurried from the house in much the same fashion as the cat's hand bolted for the basement--without looking where I was going and letting instinct take me away from the loud noises and scary men.

Since then, I've only been to the house once or twice, to drop Husband off or to pick him up and to spend a few moments with the kitties who are living in the basement until tomorrow morning when we bring them to the hotel with us. I can't quite bring myself to look around the house, as it is such a shell of it's former self. Just like I can't look at an open-casket funeral, I have a hard time with empty houses--the overwhelming "devoid of life" feeling hurts, especially if it was a life I was attached to (or in the case of the empty house, MY life). So I stay outside and keep Ethan in his car seat.

The one time I did bring Ethan to the house, we spent most of our time fielding the panicky "Where's the toys??" question that broke our hearts into eleventy billion pieces. "Going to California!" did not seem to be a favorable answer, so we've decided to keep E away from the house now.

I am currently sitting in my darkened hotel room while Ethan naps next to me, wondering how I'm going to fit play-group, a follow-up visit to the vet's, checking out of one hotel and into another near the airport, a trip to the dayspa, and dinner w/ the inlaws and some of our best friends into one day. I'm not sure it's possible, so I guess it'll be my eyebrows that pay the price in that scenario, because nothing else can give. At this point, I am almost looking forward to the five and half hours on the plane because then, no one can ask me to do anything or say goodbye to anyone else. I can just be.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oh, It's Not All About Me???

Who knew?

We've spent the last week trying to prepare ourselves for the circus that is preparing pets to move across the country with us. I have had two cats for as long as I can remember. I adopted Abby from an old farm in Lee, New Hampshire during my senior year of undergrad, and I rescued Penny from the Manchester, New Hampshire Humane Society my first year out of graduate school. So, basically, they're old as dirt as far as cats go. Being somewhat nomadic in nature myself, I have lived in....fourteen apartments or homes since my senior year of college. That means poor Abby has been shlepped to fourteen different homes and Penny is close behind, at eleven. When Husband and I moved into this house just a few months shy of our wedding, I made a silent promise to the kitties that this would be their last move and they could live out their cranky old lady-kitty days in peace.

Which makes me a BIG FAT LIAR.

Because now, in their twilight years, I am not only making them move again, but it will be the most traumatic move ever. They were truly not thrilled by the 8-hour drive they had to take eight years ago in the back of my Honda Civic, crammed between and air conditioner and a TV. I cannot wait to see how they're going to LOVE being crammed into tiny cat carriers and shoved under the seat in an airplane. That should be a wicked good time for them, right?

And it's not just the plane ride. It's a myriad of cat-friendly fun leading up to and following the actual aviation adventure as well.

The packers and movers are coming on Monday and Tuesday of next week. We don't leave until Friday, therefore the human-types in the family will be staying at a hotel. The cats? They'll be biding their time in a big empty house. Think that'll freak them out? I'm going to go with "hell, yes!" on that one. They know what moving is--they're far too well acquainted with boxes and bubble-wrap. That alone is going to give them nightmares and I'm likely to find little puddles of pee about the house. What they don't know is being left behind. I'll be coming back to feed them during those few days, obviously, but that's probably it. Poor girls are going to wonder...."hey, where did everyone go?!" That should be awesome for them.

Then as if that weren't enough, when we get off the plane (assuming they survive that thrill ride intact), they get to go live in our new house....alone. While we wait for our lives to catch up to us in big moving vans, the human-types will again be set up in relative luxury at a hotel. The cats? Not so much.

Right now? Penny is at the vet's. Getting her teeth cleaned. Last week when I took them to the vets to get their shots and exams to make sure they were "air worthy", the vet let me know Penny's mouth was a hot mess and she needed a good cleaning. Now, what self-respecting cat owner would take her kitty to the land of the beautiful people (and thereby beautiful pets) without making sure her teeth were at their shiniest and most fabulous? Considering her age, a few extractions are most likely in the cards for her. I can't wait for all the "purr...purr...thank you for throwing a surgical procedure into the mix right now. Purr...purr."

I'd be subjecting Abby to the same procedure, but the vet detected a heart murmur at her last exam, so she has to have a full cardiac work-up prior to having her teeth cleaned (I'm thinking that plane ride should be super good for her heart, right?). So my first order of business upon getting to LA (aside from dropping my cats off in an empty house) will be to find a feline cardiologist. Seriously.

Let's see...lying, abandoning, torturing...what a good kitty mommy I am. I'm grateful cats' brains are the size of cheerios because if they truly had the capability of existential musings, they'd need serious therapy.

Monday, June 09, 2008

In Most Loving Memory...

Last summer, I posted asking for prayers for my cousin's little daughter, Lindsay, who had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. I am so sorry to have to say that Miss Lindsay lost her battle this morning, and she will be so very missed by all of us who loved her. Please send your thoughts and prayers, if you are so inclined, to her parents, younger siblings and whole family as we try to get through this unspeakably painful time.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Oh, Happy Day!

Finally, Ethan has stopped kissing pretty girls long enough to master the "tr" sound, so now he can actually say the word "truck".

While this doesn't seem like a major milestone, along the lines of first tooth or first steps, it is MONUMENTAL when you consider what word he was saying, nay SHOUTING, in lieu of "truck" whenever the situation called for such an outburst. You might recall his word for "truck" sounded horrifyingly like a word used to name male genitalia.

You'd be amazed at how often a child has the need to shout the word "truck!!!" (keep in mind, if it was my son, prior to today, he would be shouting "cock!!")--on the street, when a "cock" drives by; when the siren of the "firecock" is wailing down the street; in the toy section of Target, where there are "big cocks! big cocks!" And the list goes on.

I'd keep coming up with examples, but reliving it all is pretty traumatic, as you can imagine. We endured several months of either dirty looks or snickering, and our constant need to apologize self-deprecatingly to the parents of toddlers with virgin ears anywhere within a 5 mile radius of our child.

So it was obviously a huge relief today when I heard Ethan say, loud and clear, in the aisle formerly called the "cock aisle" of Target, "TRUCK!" Sweet Jesus, I think I might have shed a tear!

We can go out in public again without fear of people thinking our child has Tourettes. It is a happy day in the Land o' E, my friends.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Lock Up Your Daughters...

I might have mentioned my son's penchant for the smooching, no? Behold.

Well, hello, Miss Lily. Would you care to share my bowl of Trader Joe's snap peas with me?

Snap peas are apparently an aphrodisiac among the 2 year old set...who knew??

Please check out the Hugh Hefner-like smugness. Seriously? I am in so much trouble with this one.

Lily's mother and I? Speechless. All we could do was giggle like little girls and snap pictures of our children making out. Lily's father? Probably not giggling like a little girl.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Yes, that's right. I'm teaching my son to cheat. on tests.

This Friday we are heading to the pediatrician's office for a "final" weight check test before heading off to the left coast, and the doctor said she really wants to see him putting on the pounds. No pressure, though...

This means that Ethan is living on a steady diet of butter, ice cream, chocolate milk and assorted other fat-based foods.

He's on his 3rd cookie of the day and I've no intention of letting up. Please keep in mind that he'd still rather eat his body weight in blue berries and their 10-15 calories per million. So when I say I'm feeding him a steady supply of cookies, don't be alarmed. He's also eating veggies and protein.

Fortunately his appetite seems to have picked up, as I mentioned in the last post. Husband and I have sat in stunned awe at the dinner table (read: coffee table) while Ethan puts back 2-3 chicken tenders, a dozen potato wedges (smothered in ketchup, apparently the elixir of the toddler gods) and a bowl of "broci" and "flowers" and then asks for more.

So we have high hopes that he'd be gaining weight, even based on a healthy diet based on the food pyramid (whatever it might be these days). But that doesn't stop me from fattening him up with the treats, just to be sure.