my two girls and the five senses

It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in San Diego Momma’s PROMTuesday, so since I am once again, in bed, in the dark, lying next to my sick baby girl, I will take a few minutes (not more than 10…that is the rule) to write about today’s topic:

Write a character sketch of someone you love (child, partner, pet, mentor, etc.). Detail this person, let us see him or her through your description. Maybe you want to “show” your loved one through action and movement, or perhaps you are viewing him or her in repose. Either way, get down to brass tacks and give us the one you love through your writing.

Lily & Lexi — my dears, my dolls, my doves, my delights , my dy-no-mites —

The color of sunshine

Music to my ears

Soft to the touch, exquisite, finer than china

The smell of rain: pure, clean, fresh, beautiful, joyful




A letter to my daughters #2

My dearest Lexi,

As I type this letter, in my room, in the dark, you lay next to me, sleeping, fitfully.  Your writhing and moaning makes me want to reach into your perfect little body and remove whatever demonic aching you feel.  And I wonder, is it the wretched ear infection making another guest appearance?  Or maybe another budding tooth is callously cutting your pink soft gums? Or worse yet, is it something I fed you today, wreaking havoc with your intestines?  Your skin is clammy and I want to text Tia Mariana with your symptoms (bff Mariana, the doctor) but my rational side is stopping me, since it is 1:00am her time and most likely it is nothing major.   Or if it is something major, it is highly doubtful she’d be able to diagnose it through a text.   So instead, I have brought you to bed with me, against ALL advice from EVERY other living human being, including doctors and most parents I know, because 1) I don’t want you to wake your sweet sister Lily, who just finally fell asleep, and to whom I owe an apology, see below, and 2) Because all I want to do is hug the hurt away.   After an hour of tossing, turning and kicking out your cute little soon-to-be soccer legs, I again went against every piece of advice and let you nurse from an almost completely dry well, as it was the only way I could think to give you comfort…Selma Hayek style.  And guess what…it worked.  Now you are sleeping soundly, with angels. And I’ll stand guard, all night, if I have to, to keep the angels in and the icky, mean, owie monsters out.


And to my sweet, tenacious Lily Grace,
I am so proud of you for working on going pee pee in the potty this week.  I think our chart with the ducky stickers (the only ones I could find) and the lollipop prizes are working.
I must apologize to you, however.  You are getting a raw deal lately, having to share a room with your baby sister.  On one hand, I am quite glad you’re in the same room, as I think it will foster a special closeness between you two later in life.  But on the other hand, on night’s like tonight, it is not an ideal situation.  I was so concerned with keeping Lexi asleep in her crib that I got mad at you for making too much noise, when really all you were doing was being a kid.  You were talking to your dollies, which I think is just precious, and I overreacted.  I told you I loved you before you fell asleep but there was an invisible fog of mommy’s angst still looming above the crib.  Hopefully, your naivete blocked it out.


I love you both, my little lulus.

Proud Mama Mary

Today, I’m a Proud Mama. I’m also a Proud Mary, but that’s a totally different post.

Lexi is finally crawling. She’s been commando crawling for a few weeks but this past Friday, on our weekly jaunt to LEGOLAND, she crawled for the very first time. And Mama was able to capture the moment on video.

And Lily, my 2.5 year old, is becoming wise beyond her years. She’s adding more fun phrases to her repertoire by the minute. Some of my favorites:

Oh for sake! Apparently I whisper the myriad word(s) that go between for and sake.  Good for me.

If the fuck is stuck then take me down. This is a line from the Fireman show at LEGOLAND, however the line is “If the TRUCK is stuck…” she has a fhing for substituting F’s for T’s.

I’m gonna freak out.  This time the “f” is in the right place and is in reference to any number of things from getting a lollipop at Frader Joes to seeing Zoe on this morning’s Sesame Street episode.

And my favorite…
Mom, can you beat me? I hope the lady next to me in the parking lot of REI didn’t hear that one. What she means is, can you race me? But she say’s beat because every time we race I say I’m going to beat you. Do you think that will hold up in a court of law?


And of course I’m proud of my creative, loving, kick a** husband who gave me the best Valentine’s Day gift ever. I’m still on a high from the video. I’m secretly hoping it will become a YouTube sensation so the world can see what a f’ing genius he is. Wanna see it one more time?  I do…

I’m also proud of myself for going to Target last week and exiting the store having spent less than $100.00. Being lean in the pocket book is probably the only place I’ve been lean lately, but hey…I can only handle one resolution at a time.

I’m off to set my dvr for the Academy Awards. This is usually one of my favorite nights of the year — I get dressed up, pop champagne and bust out the wedding china — but this year I’m a little apathetic because 1) Tropic Thunder is the only movie I’ve seen in eons and 2) I really don’t get the Hugh Jackman thing. Maybe tonight will change my mind.

A Love Letter

A few months ago, one of my fave fellow bloggers, Mrs. G at Derfwad Manor, posed the question…what is the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to you?

Here is my answer…

My Valentine’s Day Love Letter from my husband.  Check it out…

a recess in memory

Today on our morning walk, the girls and I passed by the neighborhood grade school. Typically the playground is empty when we walk passed, however today we hit it just in time for recess.  Oh recess…what a jubilant word.  I said “Look at all the kids, Lily.  They are getting out for recess.  They get to play on the playground.”  I paused and waited for the inevitable “why?” but it never came.  I looked down at her; she was staring out over the vast black pavement scattered with tether ball poles and basketball nets, completely mesmerized.  The kids filed out of the school doors, some single file, some in twosies, twosies and then others in big groups of laughter, energy and wonder.  Boys were pushing, girls gigglings, loners walking with their heads down and leaders rallying their troops for a big game of kickball or foursquare.  I began to move on up the hill but Lily yelled, “Wait mommy, I want to look at the kids.”  So I stopped, turned the stroller so she could have a good view and for a few minutes we watched the school yard spectacle.   I too became mesmerized.  I stood frozen somewhere between flash backs and fast forwards.

Flash backs of my grade school days, as one of the few tall girls along with Diane, Leslie and Stephanie, who dominated the tetherball field but couldn’t do a pull up to save my life.  Recess for me was a toss up between anxiety and pure joyful fun, depending on what games were being played, which bullies were around (I’m stil afraid of Heather Grund) , and where I stood that day with the other friends in my circle.  Finicky, fickle, pre-pubescent girls can be BE-YOTCHES to each other. I’ll be the first to admit, I was a bossy, bratty, beyotch at times (Was?  Who am I kidding, that pretty much still sums me up).  But I also had my fair share of being the tortured tormentee who played marbles by herself or just sat on the fence, and went home that night thinking life could not possible get any worse. Irregardless, I have only the fondest memories of those lower school days…

  • Dancing the complete Thriller choreography after school with all my girls, while the cute boys played kickball and pretended not to watch.
  • Pickle – not the briney cucumber but the brutal game played with a tennis ball – with the boys.
  • Sneaking into the cafeteria to steal the kindergartner’s graham crack snacks, always accompanied by at least one cute boy, one of whom was named Graham, which was always a good laugh.
  • Sneaking to some back hillside to eat sour lemon grass and talk about french kissing (talk being the operative word – at least for me – maybe there were others that got busy back there?) We maybe even played truth or dare, but as far as I can remember there was more talking about getting frisky than actual friskiness.
  • Falling off the slide in first grade, peeing my pants and breaking my arm. Then getting all the cute boys to sign my cast, take my spelling tests and carry my books for me.
  • Rainy day recesses, inside the auditorium, eating popcorn and watching “Escape From Witch Mountain.” Hoping a cute boy would sit next to me.

Hhmmm, is there a recurring theme to my memories?

Fast Forward in time to a few years from now when my own girls will be either enjoying or eschewing recess.  What kind of girls will they be?  Active, quiet, bossy, shy?  Boy-crazy, nerdy?  I am a little fearful of my own comeuppance…I am also fearful of the rate in which kids grow up these days and how savvy they are becoming, both socially and technologically. My hope is that they are well-adjusted, kind kids that know how to treat other people and don’t fall apart if others don’t know how to treat them.  I’m pretty sure my foot in the face disciplinary action is helping achieve that end.

All of these memories are being compounded by the fact that I have been able to re-connect with a ton of my grade school pals through Facebook.  If any of you are reading this, please keep your comments to yourself about my “bossiness”, but please share with me your memories about recess and the playground.  Especially any of you cute boys…Sean(s)?

be mine


Though Valentine’s Day is typically a holiday reserved for lovers, over the years, many of my most precious Valentine’s Day cards did not come from, as you might think, a significant other.  Rather, they came from the other man in my life, my dad.  For as long as I can remember, he sent hand-selected greeting cards to my sisters and me, each and every Valentine’s Day.  I always looked forward to finding the frosty or hot pink Hallmark envelope in my mailbox, addressed to Ms. Mary Burt, with his chicken scratch attorney writing, and the words  “Do not open til Feb 14th.”  Despite his intimidating and sometimes overbearing demeanor, he was also a very sensitive and thoughtful man, with a soft spot for the women in his life, of which there were plenty.  He had three daughters from a previous marriage, Marci (who has since passed away), Jenny, and Diana, a step daughter Laurie, a foster daughter Karin and me.  So in addition to showering my mom with a card, flowers, candy and a little bling, bling, he would also send a card to all his daughters to let us know he was thinking about us.  I think he also wanted to make sure we received something in case we were either a) single or b) dating a loser who didn’t think to buy a card.

Valentine’s Day 2001 came only 12 days after my dad was diagnosed with terminal, inoperable cancer and given only a few months to live.  He was much too weak to go out and purchase cards, but I couldn’t bare the thought of not having at least one more card.  So, on February 10th, I headed to Rite Aid and picked out seven Valentine’s Day card; one for each of his ladies.  I thought it would be a nice surprise for all my sisters and my mom who were all certainly thinking the same thing; that we had seen the last of our special cards from Dad.

Later that night I brought the bag of cards into his den and laid them on his desk, next to the back scratcher and the mug of pencils that said “You take it, you return it.” He smiled. The moment was both magical and awkward; there was an elephant in the room…the unspoken reason behind my purchasing the cards. But nevertheless, he was touched and I think very glad to have the opportunity to wish his lovely ladies one last Valentine’s Day sentiment.

And although I had purchased the cards myself, I still felt that flutter of excitement to see mine arrive in the mailbox on February 14th.  I couldn’t wait to open it and read his message.  It was not the card itself that I looked forward to every year, it was the handwritten message inside that I couldn’t wait to read.  He always took the time to write a unique, personalized, heartfelt note inside.  I never once received a card from my father that did not have a handwritten note in addition to the pre-printed message.  He was “old-fashioned” that way.  And sentimental.

Until recently I had forgotten about that “last” card.  But the other day, as I was going through my old scrapbooks I came across the card.  My heart stopped.  I flashed back to the day I stood in the Rite Aid card aisle, trying to pick “just the right card” for each of my siblings and my mom.  I had hand selected each one with thought and care, just as he would have.  Now, I sat looking down at the card. I opened it slowly, deliberately.


“Dearest Mary – You have been so loving and thoughtful and helping and just plain wonderful during this period which I know has been hard on you.  I couldn’t have made it through so well without you – you are a wonder and a treasure.  You are such a wonderful person. I’m so proud to be your father.  I cherish you.

Love, Dad

I cherish this card.


Happy Valentine’s Day, Dad! I heart you.

sugar, sugar, oh honey, honey

At 9:30pm this evening, my toddler, Lily, was still awake in her crib, tapping her feet on the rails, singing “Why do you build me up, Buttercup baby, just to let me down…”


Yes, that is Corvette Diner with oldies tunes blaring in the background.

Yes, that is a strawberry milkshake with whip cream and sprinkles.

And yes, that is “talk to the hand, mom. I’m going to finish this thing with one gigantic sip.”