Seven Years Old!

On April 29th, 2010, Jeff created a video to celebrate Meredith’s seventh birthday.

Today we’re celebrating Harper’s seventh birthday.

We’re also celebrating Harper Lee’s 86th birthday. (Unfortunately, we have no video footage of her jumping rope or riding a bike.)

((If you’re itching to once again see the photo of Harper being pulled from my innards, head on over here!))


Harper is seven! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Seven. It seems old, because it’s the first age with two syllables.

Saturday is Harper’s seventh birthday. Sunday is Meredith’s ninth birthday.

Because I can’t deal with having too many things going on at once, I decided to let Harper have her friend party this past weekend. This coming weekend will be the family party. Next weekend will be Meredith’s party. (Who am I kidding?! Every DAY is a stinking party at our house! Not really!)

I told Harper she could invite three friends over, and that we would decide what to do based on how many friends will be joining us. She told me that since it’s her first sleepover at our house, she would rather have one friend over, and do a bigger party with more friends some other time. (She’s just like me. Easily overwhelmed. This evening I’m running a meeting at a restaurant and six people will be there and all  of my work is done, yet I’m already thinking things like, “What if it’s loud?” and “What if I fall down and/or do that crying thing with my voice?” I know. At least I KNOW that I’m ridiculous. BUT, would it be better to NOT know, and just be ridiculous? I KNOW I shouldn’t eat an entire pecan pie. NOT knowing that I shouldn’t would be a lifestyle game changer. Where was I?)

Harper chose a friend. We picked that friend up on Saturday afternoon and headed straight to one of those places where you pay entirely too much money to paint ceramics. (My mom used to run a ceramics shop out of our basement when I was a kid. When I told her that I paid $21 to paint a mug for myself, she gasped. “That shouldn’t have cost more than six dollars.” She then said something about how Coco painted a set of mugs for Ice once and how he responded with “I love ’em all. I love ’em crazily!”) After the ceramics, we came home and ate pizza. When the pizza was finished, we jumped into the car and headed out to The Melting Pot to dip strawberries and marshmallows and cheesecake and brownies and bananas and more into two big pots of chocolate. (One of which was set on FIRE!)

Okay. I’m about to turn into a Pinterest mom. Buckle up.

On the way home from The Melting Pot, we stopped by a craft store to buy plain t-shirts, iron-on rhinestones, and medicine droppers.

Two hours later, we had Sharpie tie-dyed t-shirts!

Sharpie Tie Dye!

I ironed the rhinestones onto Harp’s friend’s t-shirt yesterday morning. The finished shirt looks like this:

Tie Dye with Skull!

When the shirts were done, the girls were getting tired. SO, we decided to make fairy jars! I took a few glow sticks and cut off the tips. I then shook the sticks into the jars, and found that nothing was coming out. SO, I cut off the tips from the other side of the sticks. The glowing goop splattered out onto my Ben Folds Choking Lady t-shirt, which made me flip out on the inside. When I shook the sticks into the jars, the stuff STILL wouldn’t come out. SO, I put my mouth around the glow sticks and blew the goop into the spice jars. (I was still tasting the glowing goop at three in the morning, and that’s when I started wondering if it was toxic. And then I started comparing UPS shipping times with planning a funeral, because I had ordered a pretty awesome dress earlier in the evening, and if at all possible, I want that dress to be my visitation dress if the glow sticks are going to be my ticket out.)

Luckily, the phrase “met her demise after blowing glow sticks into fairy jars” probably won’t appear on my obituary. (I just read an article about metastasis, by the way. This may or may not have something to do with time-released glow stick poison and my fear of glowing from within.)

Fairy Lights!

Fairy Jars! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Special Pudding Moments

I went to the pool yesterday.

I went to the POOL yesterday.

When I walked out of my bedroom wearing my swimsuit, Harper said, “Mommy! You look so PRETTY!”

She then busted out laughing and said, “I’m just kidding.”

Last night, after I had washed my face and pajamafied myself, she looked at me and said, “Oh! I like those purple circles under your eyes!”


This morning on the way home from church we tuned in to Radio Disney.

Jeff: Oh! Harper! It’s the song!

Me: What?

Jeff: Harper and I disagree about this song.

Me: Why?

Jeff: Because I’m not too crazy about her listening to a song about a stumble bum. Listen. “TONIGHT I’M A STUMBLE BUM!!!”

Harper: No! She’s UNSTOPPABLE.

Meredith: No! She’s a SOCCER BALL.


Me: I remember the night *I* was a stumble bum. I had no IDEA how strong Southern Comfort is! Thank God for my friend Caryn. She took me home that night.

Meredith: What?

Me: I was feeling unstoppable.

Harper: Yes. See? UNSTOPPABLE.

Did I mention that I went to the pool yesterday?! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Love that’s only slightly soiled. Love for Sale.

Scene: I’m in the shower. The girls are on their own with the puppy. The cats are downstairs plotting.

Meredith: Mommy! MOMMY!!!

Me: What? WHAT?!

Meredith: Scout just pooped on her piddle pad and it looks like popcorn!

Me: Okay! I’ll take care of it when I get out!

Meredith: You don’t understand! I think she’s trying to tell us that she wants to go to the movies!!!

It’s Migraine Week at Fluid Pudding! I’ve been able to keep it at bay for the past two days, and as I rest and take pills, the girls have been downstairs planning a garage sale. They’ve created a To Donate stack and a To Sell stack. If you want to buy our plastic baby slide you have to pay Harper eighty dollars, although it’s probably not worth more than three.

Harper: We have to charge a lot of money so people know just how important this stuff IS to us.

Me: If it’s that important, maybe we shouldn’t sell it!

Meredith: But we need money. Mommy, you should think about selling some of your jewelry—like those earrings you were wearing yesterday.

I’ll keep you updated on our garage sale. If all goes according to the girls’ plan, we’ll be selling all of our valuables for lots and lots of money. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Death and Shawls to the Age 16, Spalding Gray!

Last night, as I tucked her into bed, Harper said, “I don’t want you to die before I’m 16.”

Me: I’m with you. The good news? I probably won’t!

Harper: Will you die before I’m 40?

Me: I certainly hope not!

Harper: I don’t want you to die.

She then began to cry. And cry. And my heart broke, and so on. When Harper is 16, I’ll be 51. When she’s 40, I’ll be 75.


Meredith still cries about our cat that died three years ago, and I really have no idea where I’m going with this. (I’m working on very little sleep, and to keep up with my One Raw Meal Each Day! plan, I just ate 30 almonds. Because that’s all I’ve got over here. Nuts. Where is the Asparagus and Tomato Delivery Truck when I need it?!)

Let’s change the subject! I have less than two weeks to finish my Taygete shawl, and I think it’s going to happen! This is a huge deal! (It’s not really a huge deal.)


When it’s washed and blocked and gifted, I’m going to work on some things that have been in the works for entirely too long (Asparagus and Tomato Delivery Truck!), and then I may just make one of these. With this!

Oh! Just so you know, we pulled Scout out of Eileen’s obedience class, and have enrolled her in a different class that begins in June. Here’s hoping the crazies stay home on Wednesday evenings!
Please come over and comment! You could win a $100 Visa gift card! Now get over here and watch my kids brush their teeth! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Our tooth fairy brings Swedish Fish and a dollar.

Jeff has been in San Francisco this week, which means I’m currently parenting at a level of eight point five. (I normally hover at around five or six.) Eight point five means I often come down on the girls for not clearing their breakfast dishes, I clean the litter box every other day, and I’m prone to say things like “White Castle? Well, OKAY then!”

These Are The Things Jeff Missed This Week:

I melted down at the beginning of the week with that whole Mistake I Made and the aftershock stupidity waves and inadequacy quakes. (Jeff is not sorry that he missed this event.)

Harper took an important test and did really well, and she’s SUPER proud of herself. (We celebrated with White Castle, because I tend to reward achievement with POISON!)

Meredith performed in a reader’s theater production, and it was amazing to see how Capable and Talented seven and eight year olds can be. Afterward, she tried egg drop soup for the first time and loved it! (I have stuffed myself with crab rangoon twice in the past week. Jennifer Hudson is NOT happy with me right now.)

I received the most awesome early birthday present ever from my friend Lisa M. Look at what I’m wearing on my finger.

Shy Siren Ring!

It’s a Shy Siren ring and it’s my favorite color, and it looks like a pumpkin, and although I’m not one who squeals, I actually squealed when I opened the box. Thanks again, Lisa. I do believe this is the happiest piece of jewelry I’ve ever worn.

Harper’s been walking around with a knee-buckling loose tooth for the past several days. Unlike Meredith, who was always able to simply reach into her mouth and yank out her teeth, Harper, like me, would much rather someone remove the tooth for her as she sleeps. I gave it a try a few nights back, but honestly? My shuddering and dancing and vomiting prevented me from getting a good grip. When she told me that the school nurse occasionally pulls teeth, I joked around that she may not return to my home until she visits Nurse Carol. Let me just say this: Thank God for Teachers. Yesterday afternoon, Harper’s kindergarten teacher sent her down to the nurse’s office, where the nurse reached in, removed the tooth, and placed it in a tiny treasure box, thereby eliminating my perceived need for Xanax and/or Select 55. When I asked Harper if I could take a photo of her to commemorate the loss of her first tooth, she opted for a video so she could reenact The Moment and the happiness that followed.

Jeff will be back in approximately six hours. I have chosen to celebrate his return with falafel.
Time is running out, and I want you to win this one!
The Puddings are eating vegetables and giving away a $100 Visa Gift Card! Leave a comment for your chance to win! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I show my innards every April 28th! Tradition, Tevya!

Ah, here we are again—looking at my insides!

I’m here to remind you that six years ago today, this happened:

First Glimpse of Harper

I’m pleased to report that my scarring (both emotional and physical! Whee!) is minimal, and my souvenir is now a beautiful six-year-old named Harper Rose.


Harper is intelligent, considerate, and creative. AND, if you look closely, you’ll notice that she enjoys giving off that Subtle Rock Star vibe.


Every year we let Harper decide where to have dinner on her birthday. This evening we’ll be dining Beastie Boys style at White Castle.

Happy Birthday, Harper Rose! (And happy birthday to you, too, Harper Lee!)
I want a Fluid Pudding Regular to win this one!
The Puddings are eating vegetables and giving away a $100 Visa Gift Card! Leave a comment for your chance to win! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Warning: I’m about to Mommyblog it out over here!

A few months back, it was brought to our attention that the school district’s literary magazine was accepting submissions, and that this year’s theme was Discovery. I talked to Harper, and she decided that she would love to write a poem. Because her class had recently written a few sensory poems, that style was fresh in her head.

Harper: Discovery smells like pizza.

Me: What kind of pizza?

Harper: Sausage pizza!

Me: Yes! I like that it’s sausage. Where do you get Discovery Sausage Pizza?

Harper: Disney World!

Me: Is there anything else you want to add about the pizza so everyone can picture it in their head?

Harper: It’s JUICY!

We continued back and forth until the poem was written and submitted. I’m pleased to report that Harper’s Discovery Poem was selected for inclusion in the magazine, and she was able to read it at last night’s reception.

As she was getting ready for bed, I asked her how it feels to be a published writer at age five. She answered, “Well, I’m not so sure I want to be famous, but I like that we went to Dairy Queen to celebrate.”
I want a Fluid Pudding Regular to win this one!
The Puddings are eating vegetables and giving away a $100 Visa Gift Card! Leave a comment for your chance to win! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Our groundhogs saw their shadows. I’m sorry, St. Louis.

Our groundhogs saw their shadows. Sorry, St. Louis.

Meredith: Mommy, do you know what Hypohogia is?

Me: I’ve never heard of it!

Meredith: Hypohogia is a rare made up condition where a groundhog throws up and coughs so hard that its teeth fall out. I saw it on the news. With this condition, groundhogs sneeze so hard that they fall to the ground. Seriously.

Harper: I’m making this up, but I saw on the news that a groundhog with Hypohogia once sneezed so hard that his house shook!

Meredith: And once? A groundhog threw up and coughed at the same time and actually caught hypoDOGia, which made the groundhog act like a dog for the rest of its life.

Harper: For real?

Meredith: Yes.

Harper: For real for real?!

Meredith: No. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Harper’s not a chicken, but I am. Because you are what you eat. (Insert sobs here.)

This post has nothing to do with feminine protection! With that said, I feel the need to thank all of you who commented or sent e-mails regarding my tampon post. I have some very funny people stopping by Fluid Pudding. We should all have lunch sometime. Actually, let’s do it in Australia so I can kill all sorts of (figurative) birds with one stone. (Here’s a bird: My life list now holds the following item: Prepare fish tacos for Isabella Golightly in Australia, as they do not have chipotles in adobo sauce in Australia. Are you doing the life list thing? I want to learn how to make paper dolls, too.)

Three days ago, Harper told me that she wanted to get her ears pierced. I asked if she wanted a few weeks to think about it, or if she wanted to go after school on Monday. With Jeff in New Orleans and the girls and I constantly on the lookout for diversions (we almost bought a baby monkey over the weekend!), we went after school on Monday.

Long story short: She sat in the piercing chair and chose her starter earrings, they pierced the first ear, she cried and cried, I fought back the urge to vomit and gave her the option of doing the second ear later, she put on her Stalwart hat and decided to go through with the entire process in one sitting, and there you go. I now have a very brave five year old with blue daisy earrings.


There’s simply no way to tie this to that, so I’ll just tell you this: I went back to Weight Watchers last week. I first joined back in 2003 when I had something like 35 pounds to lose after giving birth to my ten pound Meredith. (I believe it took about six months to lose those 35 pounds.) I’ve joined and quit more times than I care to admit, but Jennifer Hudson! Singing Nina Simone! It’s a new dawn! A new day! A new life! Argh! I couldn’t NOT go back! Anyway, I went to an actual meeting this afternoon and I had lost 2.6 pounds, meaning I’m within two pounds of my goal weight, meaning my lifetime membership is back on track, meaning I don’t have to pay.

All of this to say: I’m liking the new program. I’m a vegetarian who tries to eat as many unprocessed foods as possible, and this plan seems to be very well-suited to that lifestyle. Yes, I can’t go to Gokul every day, but I *can* go once or twice a week if I feel a hankering. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. If you have major criticism, please make sure you know what you’re talking about before you start talking. (I have a lot of pet peeves. One of them is the tiny splotch of yogurt that always seems to pop out onto my hand when I’m peeling off the foil lid. Another is when someone spins their uninformed head around and pukes out things like, “That damned Weight Watchers diet is cuhrazy bad for you!” without really knowing the first thing about it. First off? It’s not a diet. Secondly? I’m eating fruit and soup and oatmeal and Indian food and bean burritos and sushi. I’m very happy and not at all hungry.)

Last week I told Jeff that I believe it’s time for us to install a punching bag in the basement. I’m the most non-confrontational person you’ll ever meet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to punch a bag.

I believe I’m still feeling a bit of anxiety over my inability to draw a proper picture of a chicken. Here. Let me just tell you: After being a strict vegetarian for seven months, I unknowingly cooked my vegetables and tofu in chicken broth last weekend at The Melting Pot, and I’m STILL bothered by it. I feel like I’ve gone backward—like I have to take my two hundred twenty something days of being meat free back to zero. Ugh. AND, I would blame our server who knew I was vegetarian and didn’t tell us that our chosen cooking method had a chicken broth base, but really. It’s not her responsibility to babysit my lifestyle. I should have asked more questions. So disappointing. AND, I was physically ill for nearly three days after eating, and I have no way of knowing if it was the chicken broth that made me sick, or if the whole episode was psychosomatic. I don’t want to talk about it. I miss Keith Olbermann.

Seriously. Let’s go to Australia together. I promise to not yammer. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>