Friday, June 26, 2015


Well, this blog appears to have been taken over by malware.  Changing the password didn't help, so as soon as I can get my content backed up, I'll have to shut it down.  I started this blog ten years ago as a place to host illustrations that I could post to a community called Illustration Friday.  A couple years later, my son was born, and of course the blog morphed into a place where I could park my mommy thoughts and share funny stories about my kiddo.

It's a short but boring story where the name elegraph came from - it was born from the need to come up with a domain name.  But over the past decade it's become a big part of my online identity.  My new blog will also be elegraph, but I'm just bummed that I can't continue with this one.  I'm not big on change.

Come see me at elegraph dot wordpress dot com if you're so inclined.


Monday, August 01, 2011

ruthless carnivores need love, too

Have you seen this video of a shark gobbling a seal? (credit: Discovery Channel, Planet Earth) My son had a very interesting reaction to seeing an encore of footage on the Today Show yesterday. Sitting beside me on the sofa, he got very quiet, tears welling up in his eyes, and he said in the saddest, sweetest voice I have ever, ever heard:

"I think that shark just needs a little love." [insert sound of my heart cracking in half]

(I mean, never mind that poor, defenseless seal! Give that great white some love, already!!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


LO just celebrated his fourth birthday Tuesday. *sniff*

A little bittersweet for me, knowing that as my one and only, going forward, four feels like his last year of "baby-ness" - I need to soak in this last year - every "r" pronounced like "w", the roundness of his cheeks... I have never really shed tears over a birthday before, but I found myself getting a wee bit verklempt the morning of his birthday as this cliche thought rang in my head: My baby is growing up!

We started the morning with a bowl of special birthday oatmeal (i.e., the way we usually prepare it BUT with sprinkles!), a small present, and then his swim lesson (he started class last week)... I heard his instructor randomly ask how old he was (not knowing it was his birthday), and he said grandly, "I'm four years old!" And of course it didn't get due response from her since she had no idea that he turned four just today. Same thing happened at IHOP, where I took him for his birthday lunch (requested meal? "Pancakes and bacon!")... his showing the waitress his shirt with the 4 on it and saying, "I have turned 4!" got little more than an "Oh, yeah?" from waitress, since of course he never said, "It's my birthday!" But he didn't seem to mind much. :-) It was pretty low-key today, with a few more presents throughout the day and time making chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and playing with presents. It feels more like a birthday week since he started opening presents Sunday before Daddy left for his business trip. This Friday he and I will catch Winnie the Pooh at the theater, then Saturday will be spent at an interactive museum, and Sunday we'll celebrate his birthday with family.

I don't know if it's age creeping up on me or if this past year has just gone by in a blur... or maybe it's the fact that it's late, but I can't get my thoughts straight! So here's my stream-of-consciousness ramble about the past birthday year (little-known fact: I once aspired to be a writer. Glad I didn't - I suck at this!!):

LO started his first year of preschool last fall. Initially it was pretty rough for him, so he was transferred to a smaller class with other kids who were having trouble adjusting, and he flourished in many ways, though because of the broad age range in this class he wasn't challenged as much as I had hoped. But his teacher was a kind, caring person and it was good exposure to social situations with other children as well as taking direction from other adults.

I can say with confidence that LO is completely potty-trained as of last fall. He also is much more confident going in public restrooms and has recently begun (mild TMI alert) standing up to pee, which is a HUGE deal for Mommy, especially when we go out with Daddy, because urinals are a wonderful thing (or not - ew - but they're awfully convenient).

This spring, his speech has changed a lot! No more "bewy" for "belly" or "mudzer" for "mother". His "r's" still lean toward the "w" sound. He went from using his entire arm to write (moving it at the shoulder) and holding his crayon like a pointer to correct grasp and resting his forearm on the table. He loves to write and often misspells things phonetically, and we still have to remind him that letters have to be placed on the page in a certain order and from left to right. He is beginning to read more and more, but he doesn't like to be "quizzed" - he's much more forthcoming with it if it feels like self-discovery but is slowly beginning to have fun with it when we ask him what something says. Also, he's finally making peace with the fact that his name isn't spelled phonetically!

Among other firsts that I'm sure I'm forgetting (ugh), this past year he had his first (and hopefully last, at least for a while!) trip to the ER (for a pretty severe cough), first movie theater (Kung Fu Panda 2) experience, first time in the pool without mommy and without a life preserver (swim lessons). He loves to draw and makes elaborate pictures, most oftentimes Thomas- or Cars-related, but sometimes animals and people, and he will draw things from different perspectives (overhead, side, front). He's quite good at making block letters too! His current "cool" thing is to draw thought bubbles over someone's head. :-) (One day when I'm not feeling too terribly lazy, I'll dedicate a post to his artwork!). He likes to pepper his conversations with "Well...", "of course", "and I was, like...". He says things like "it's too medium-sized" and if something has 3 or more colors, it is "multi-colored". He thinks it's hysterical to talk about poop and other gross things. He likes to say he is grown and to say that his head is as big as Daddy's (maybe) or Mommy's (not a chance, kid!). He still very much loves Thomas the Tank Engine and Cars (Cars 2 was a BIG hit with him!) and also really enjoys Veggie Tales (most oft-requested: "Dave and the Giant Pickle"). When we get fresh veggies from my parents' garden, he wants to play with them. :-)

Since the spring, he has been going to OT and PT for sensory integration therapy, to work on his proprioceptive sensory issues, and we're seeing some good progress - mainly OT-related; sometimes he just doesn't feel as motivated to work on the PT stuff, so we are working on that. I cannot wait until the hot breath of summer lets up so that we can spend more time outside!

One thing that hasn't changed: he still makes taking his picture feel like herding cats! Here are some of my attempts at getting a 4-year pic - the "cutting of the eyes + cheesy grin", the "I can't stop laughing hysterically at your repeated pleas to get me to stop laughing", and finally, the "Really now, get this camera out of my face, yes?"

He doesn't mind pretending to be a horse or a puppy or some sort of animal, but ask him to pretend to be *somebody* and he's not quite sure what to do with himself. The other day, I told him I was going to pretend to be a princess, and he was quite unsettled by that. He said, "How about you just be Mommy, and I'll just pretend to be myself? I'll just be your little boy."

Forever and ever, little one.

Friday, June 24, 2011

i guess it's better than saying "butt"...

(After a swim at my parents' house)

LO: [squirms in swim trunks]

Mema: Do you need help adjusting your trunks?

LO: Yeah... I think they got shoved up all the way into my large intestine!

Friday, April 01, 2011

(nothing important, just thought this was pretty)

Max&Chloe pave angel wing pendant necklace

Hey! Let's pretend for a second that I write for a style blog, shall we? I'm not really a necklace person since ornate necklines don't really go with plastic 'flops or Chuck Taylors, but I just saw this via The Look 4 Less and think it's super-cute. The one above is CZ, and there is also a diamond version too, but I actually like this one better because it looks more like a wing. Not to mention, it's way cheaper than the diamond version.

And really, I'd probably wear this with 'flops anyway.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

"hi," she says sheepishly...

Hello! 2011 is upon us, and I let that and the entire month of January slide by with not so much as a whimper on the blog. But don't let that fool you! A lot has happened since my last post - a lovely Christmas with my side of the family (holidays are usually spent this way since most of my in-laws reside out-of-state), followed by trip to Florida on St. Pete Beach, where we rang in the new year (sleeping)... then mid-month we quietly celebrated the first day of the last year of my 30s, but not before my poor little boy came down with a bout of whatever nasty virus is running around this winter, which despite our best efforts (lots of doses of Airborne!) C and I also got to lesser degrees. Last January, C began a new postion in his company, being transferred from a subsidiary to the main company. This year, he has begun a new position within the same company - a great opportunity, but it will be quite challenging and has already required a bit of travel.

Oh, and of course I can't forget to mention the snow... the 2011 blizzard that has kept me and LO holed up in the house for the most part. Luckily, our respective illnesses had pretty much dissipated, so our little fam was able to enjoy a couple of days of fantastically unseasonable weather - 70-plus degrees the last Friday / Saturday in January! I had told myself in preparation for the impending blizzard that this wonderfully spring-like interlude would be enough to recharge my batteries. I had no idea how bad it was going to get.

A mere three days later, we had drifts in our back yard that got up to almost 2 feet (snow that built up in front of the back porch but not on it), and that isn't even the snow that crept up against the north side of our house - I didn't even bother to measure that. The predicted 9-12 inches was in fact almost 20, at least what I could measure. Our schools have been closed since last Tuesday. And unlike cities that are prepared to deal with longer, more brutal winters every year, this kind of snowfall is an anomaly here. No one comes to plow our neighborhood streets. Postal service comes to a halt. Stores get completely depleted of bread, milk, and eggs (and Cheez Its! :-/) in anticipation for most of the city to shut down. And let me tell you, not in my 9.5 years of working there did my former employer ever shut its doors due to inclement weather - and they stayed closed for two days last week! With C gone most of last week on business, I didn't dare venture out in my snow-averse car with no 4WD and sorely wished C's SUV weren't sitting in airport parking (and really, where would we have gone anyway... practically everything in our little city was closed). But it is what it is! And what it is to LO is snow ice cream. :-) He wanted it (again) yesterday, but by then I didn't trust the snow that was left on the ground (after all, I watched a bunny the size of two Christmas hams leave a "present" in our back yard yesterday) and assured him that (unfortunately) we would experience another snow tomorrow (5-8 inches were projected). And this morning the small patches of ground that had just begun to peek out from underneath the melting snow are once again covered. This morning he whined because I wouldn't make him snow ice cream for "breffisk". Currently, there is a glass bowl nestled in the snow catching snowfall for ice cream this afternoon, if he can bear to wait that long!! The phrase "fresh condensed milk" has now taken place in his vocabulary, which makes me smile since sweetened canned milk is, like, the total opposite of fresh. All in all, God has been so good to keep us safe and warm. I can't complain one bit (even though I have! It's the cabin fever talking!!).

Unfortunately, my birthday present (laptop) is not cooperating with me re: downloading pictures, so this post will just be a long, wordy one. I promise my next post will be shorter and have photo or two. And though I have already shared this on Facebook, I'll post it for my family who enjoys reading the occasional "LO-isms":

Each night, LO gets three bedtime stories. On a regular evening, I read two and C reads one. Last night, C was at martial arts practice and wouldn't get home until after LO was in bed. I always read three when C is gone in the evening, but LO always reminds me nonetheless.

LO: You read three books tonight.

Me: When I'm not here, how many does Daddy read?

LO: One.

Me: But why?

LO: Because mens read one book, and old ladies read two.

(Flattery will get you everywhere.)

PS: Happy birthday to my sweet niece, who turns 8 years old today. She is my family's sole February birthday. :-) January was a big birthday month for other lovely members of our family too: C's grandmother, two nieces (one celebrated the big oh-five an, the other celebrated her sweet sixteenth!), and my dad. :-)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

snl short: stumblin' (feat. andy samberg, paul rudd, paul mccartney)

This made me laugh out loud each time I watched it. :-) Andy Samberg is completely nuts, and this has to be my favorite since the short with Ellen Page. PS, Am I the only one who thinks Paul Rudd has an unusually big head? I suppose I am sensitive to these things since I myself have an oversized cranium. 'Tis the brains, I guess. ;-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

the voice of reason


Me: Do you want some more carrots?

LO: Yes! More carrots and more fishsticks.

Me: Well, there are no more fishsticks...

LO: Mommy, cook some!!!

Me: They take a long time to cook... I can make you some chicken nuggets [in the microwave]. Would you like some chicken nuggets?

LO: Well, chicken nuggets take a long time to cook too. [pause] So I think you should give me a cookie. And two M&Ms.

Monday, December 06, 2010

ugly desserts and school lunch confessions

So a couple of weeks ago, I decided that I needed to do the mommy thing and make some homemade goodies for LO's preschool class for Thanksgiving. What possessed me to try out a new recipe I can't explain, but I did. And I'm pretty much so scarred by the outcome that I probably won't try this recipe again!

***Semi-related long nostalgia moment sidebar alert***: When I was a little girl, probably about second grade or so, my mom started packing our school lunches - a sandwich, a "fun size" bag of chips, a drink, and maybe a mini candy bar or Little Debbie snackcake. Specifically, I remember the peanut butter sandwiches - sometimes PB&J, and sometimes peanut butter and syrup. Now, I don't know if this was a concoction exclusive to rural kids or if it was something that other Okies enjoyed, but I know my hubby sure thinks it's odd... and to this day I get an occasional craving for PB&S - not in a sandwich, but just kind of stirred up in a little bowl - except I have switched out the Griffin Waffle Syrup for pure maple. Anyway.

The point is, my mom used to make these sandwiches on white bread - peanut butter on one side, and jelly on the other. The PB&S was made by mixing the two namesake ingredients and slathering it onto the bread.

I guess my mom used a lot of syrup! By the time I would open my lunch bag, the syrup or jelly had completely soaked through the bread. I was horrified! This went on for quite some time. At some point, for reasons even I cannot explain, I got the brilliant idea of bringing the uneatened sandwich home and hiding it in the piano bench. What a genius scheme! I'm pretty sure I thought that those sandwiches would either be sucked into some Chronicles of Narnia-like secret portal or I completely overestimated the bench's capacity for sandwiches, because for some reason, this plan made complete sense to me. (As opposed to tossing the sandwiches in the cafeteria trash can.)

I'm not sure how long I did this - obviously not very long... since, you know, it was a piano bench (that was also already partially filled with sheet music and piano lesson books) and not a fifty-five-gallon drum - but one day I did the drill... sneaked back into my bedroom and lifted up that bench lid... and there were no more sandwiches in there. After an "Oh, crap!" epiphany, I whipped around to see my mom standing in the doorway with her arms crossed. There was a brief moment of silence, and then she spoke. "What do you think I ought to do?"

I burst into the most convincing fake crying jag I could muster. "I don't know. Spank me?"

I didn't get spanked that day, but I remember she gave me a speech that entailed something about the risk of ants in the house and whatnot. Clemency! I suppose that's the net result of having done something so mind-boggling that your parents are too amused flabbergasted to punish you.

So, did my PB&J sandwiches get better? I honestly can't remember. But that experience has completely shaped the way I make LO's sandwiches for school. Seriously. PB on both pieces of bread, jelly in the middle. Problem solved! /end Memory Lane detour

OK, so the point is that if I cared so much about how LO would deal with sub-par lunches, how on earth could I have possibly felt OK with sending these to school with him:

These look nothing short of mini-BARF PIES. The color! The white specks! The lumpy appearance! The "rustic-looking" crusts! My only saving grace is that at this age, kids aren't trying to impress anyone with aesthetics. I have a few more years yet before I'm dealing with that. The taste, though? Only decent.

In theory, these are precious. (Check out Bakerella's recipe and photos.) They're supposed to look like itty-bitty pumpkin pies!! I think my problem was, I didn't let the cream cheese soften enough; I should've creamed the cream cheese and sugar together first; because I didn't do the first two things, I over-beat the filling, which caused the eggs to stiffen (boo!) but did nothing to get rid of the white cream-cheese specks. But anyway. Barf pies.

Frankly, I don't know how to do a clever wrap-up to this post, so we'll just leave it at that.

Barf pies. Perhaps next year I'll make these for Halloween.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

texas weekend recap

Hi, all - hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I enjoyed my fill of a little turkey and a lot of starches. :-) Sorry I've not been so bloggy lately - we've been busy, sick, and have had computer issues in the past few weeks! There's so much I'd like to share that I will have to break it up into multiple posts. (Also, lesson learned: Do not type your blog post in a Word document and expect to be able to cut and paste it into your blog. UGH!!)

A couple of weeks ago we drove to Denton, Texas, so that C could attend the 10th Annual Iaido Embukai (iaido = a Japanese sword art; embu = demonstration; kai = group), and while he was participating in that, LO and I could meet up with some friends who live not too far from the area. We left an hour later than we'd planned, it rained heavily almost the entire drive there, I pulled my usual stunt of packing things we didn't need (e.g., fifty tubes of lipstick) and forgetting things we did need (e.g., LO's toothbrush and toothpaste, my contact lenses),and LO got uncharacteristically homesick... but we still had a great time!

We drove down on a Friday. The next day, LO and I met up with three friends (with their kids) I have known since our elementary school days in the blink-and-you'll-miss-it town of Collinsville, Oklahoma - one of them I've continued to keep in touch with over the years, the other two I have Facebook to thank for reconnecting us! Mish suggested we meet at a kid-friendly place called Going Bonkers. I'd never been before, and the website looked nice - a place where we could all chat while our kids played safely. People, a warning: NEVER go to this place on a Saturday, ever. DO NOT be fooled by the photos on their website. On a Saturday, it is fifty times more crowded and overwhelming than those photos lead you to believe! Seriously, when we walked in, this place smacked me in the face with the dizzying heat of wall-to-wall people - those who know me well know that being stuck in hot, crowded places is my FAVORITE, ugh. That, and trying to keep up with a three-year-old in the padded, netted, rat-maze insanity they call an indoor playground had me really wishing I had sprayed myself head-to-toe with Secret. BUT, despite the craziness, it was so awesome to see everyone, and I hope to do it again in the not-too-distant future at a venue that won't have me ripping my hair out.

The following day, I got to meet up with Chalna! She and I got to know each other through an online moms' group whose common bond is our July 2007 due dates - which means that we were all going through similar things with our pregnancies - and subsequently, our kids - at the same time... I think that really made more of a difference than any other demographic in common could have. There are a small handful of ladies in the group that I clicked with, and even fewer who I can honestly say have helped keep me sane - Chalna is definitely one of them! We had attempted to get four of us from the group together in the Dallas area for a get-together this fall, but unfortunately with busy schedules, we couldn't make it happen. Luckily, Chalna and her family were still able to meet up with LO and me for a couple of hours on Sunday before we headed home, and of course she was just as lovely in person as I'd anticipated. And I was so excited to finally meet her sweet boy Colin! It took a few minutes of warming up to each other, but soon Colin and LO were having a great time together. For days afterward, LO was still telling me one of Colin's jokes. And, may I just express my gratitude over Chalna and her husband not even batting an eye when at lunchtime LO decided to fill his mouth full of milk and then let it run out all over his shirt (a little reminiscent of my meetup with another great mom from the group, April this past summer, when LO decided to grab a handful of food - I should mention that the food in question was QUESO). My only complaint is that the afternoon ended too quickly. Another meetup is surely in our future. :-) (And by the way, Chalna, LO totally asked just a few days ago if he could have one of those cookies that "Aleisha" made (Oops - he met so many people that weekend and was getting the names all mixed up - but clarified himself by explaining that he was talking about "Colin's mommy". ;-))

The boys sharing laughs over a couple of sopapillas

Lastly, I should mention that if it weren't for our Garmin GPS, I don't think I could've braved driving around that little patch of north Texas to meet up with my friends without my hubby! I feel like Garmin made that GPS just for me! Yay for the Garmin - you changed my life, ha!!