ACW Episode 136! Finally!


Click on the pic to see it full-sized!

Finally! I have finished this webcomic! This is what I get for drawing a whole slew of new characters in the webcomic. Thankfully, this is the last of this series, so for now I can go back to drawing the more familiar for a while.

And now I’m going to be lazy for the rest of the day. So enjoy! I should have a new Bitchcraft cartoon up on Friday 🙂

ACW Episode 135! The Witching Hour

The Adventures of Cynical Woman!

Click on the image above to see it full-size!

This conversation actually happened, and I had to leave the table afterward because I had to laugh so badly. Princess is nearly 11 and Pixie is 7. There’s at least 10 years between my oldest daughter and my young nephews. (Incidentally, my oldest nephew, Jaleo, is graduating from college this year. Apparently Maddens only breed about every 10 years.) So for years, when the Hubster and I would come to visit the family, all the younger, child-free couples would head out to the bar in the evenings while we stayed in with two screaming kids. It was like clockwork. Five minutes after all the aunts and uncles headed out the door, my kids started howling and shrieking. I honestly think if my brothers- and sisters-in-law had ever stayed in with us during one of those evenings, the next round of Madden babies would NEVER have happened.

In all seriousness though, I understand and identify with what my sisters-in-law are going through. I’ve been there. It’s exhausting traveling with very young kids, trying to get them to sleep, getting through family gatherings and holidays with them. Hell, parenting little ones is exhausting under any circumstances. The only other time I can recall being so tired was when I was stationed at Fort Bragg for Camp All-American. For 6 weeks, I got less than 4 hours of sleep a night, spent all day on my feet marching, running, fighting, performing tactical maneuvers, carrying a 60+ pound ruck sack wherever I went…

Actually, Fort Bragg was a lot like being a new parent!

ACW Episode 234 – Whatsa Matta With You?!


Click on the pic to see it in all its full-sized glory!

I’m late with this one. This is what happens when the kids are home 3 days straight due to snow, and then the next week one kid is home 3 days straight due to strep throat, and then I have a weekend of all Girl Scouts work right after that. I’m lucky I got anything done in the last 2 weeks.

And yes, Bitchcraft is late too. I’ll have a strip for that ready by Friday.

Girl Scout cookie booth sales start in a couple weeks for us, and I may switch to single panel comics for a few weeks while we get through that. This is usually the busiest time of year for me, so to make sure I meet the my deadlines for both comics, it may behoove me to simplify things a bit by going single panel until we get through March. We’ll see how that goes.

Anyhoo, about the comic above… Pat and Chris are new dads, and they’re both enjoying their status as suck. Their sons are wonderful. I love them both. But I also love finally seeing someone else in our family learning how to deal with having kids, because for a looooooooooong time, the Hubster and I were the only ones who had small children. Jaleo, my nephew getting ready to graduate from college, was the only kid in the family for 10 years, until we had Princess and Pixie, and I’m sure his parents, Elena and Paco, had their hands full as well, and Hubster and I didn’t fully appreciate all they had to deal with.

So it’s sort of like the circle of life. One couple suffers with small gets, then gets to sit back and laugh and point while someone else goes through the same agony. That’s how the world works 🙂

But I love my family, all of them. And they are wonderful, WONDERFUL people.

ACW Episode 241 – Evenrood!

Cynical Woman!

Click on the image above to see the full-sized webcomic!

Evenrood is my youngest nephew. His mother, Heather, is married to one of Hubster’s brothers. Evenrood is A-DOR-A-BLE!! Seriously, cute cute cute cute CUTIE-PIE!! And whenever we go to visit his family, I get as much snoogling with him as I can. And I might even be willing to change his diaper. Maybe.

Anyway, about the previous post. I was hard at work on the webcomic. I had spent the afternoon upgrading from Manga Studio 5 to Manga Studio EX5 (and I am so glad I did that! MS5 is great, but the upgrade is even better!). I was just sitting down to do the inks for today’s webcomic when Pixie came in and asked me if I would play a game with her. And in all honesty, how could I say no to her? But I told Pixie I had to have something to put up on the website today, so I asked her for the drawing she had done earlier in the day and we took a photo of that and she dictated a letter to me and that’s what we posted for today.

Then we went to her room and she showed me the “cash register” she had made out of a Slim Jims box (which for some reason was stuffed with Lego characters) and then she handed me a card with a “Despicable Me” Minion on it as said that was my credit card and I could buy whatever was in her bedroom. So I gave her the card and said I wanted a kiss from her. And she laughed and ran my card through the Slim Jim cash register, handed me some change made out of bits of cardboard and foam circles, and gave me a big ol’ kiss. And then it was her turn to use the credit card and she told me she was buying 800 kisses from me!

And we went back and forth like that for a while. Eventually Princess joined us and we all played cash register until I discovered that one of our toilets was overflowing. That’s when we switched to a game called “Oh crap! Grab a mop! Go get your father! Tell him to bring the snake!” That’s a really fun game, let me tell you, and the whole family joined in on that until it was bedtime.

So I finished the webcomic this evening, and here it is and now you know the whole story behind Pixie’s drawing. The End.

Walking Down Memory Lane

It seems like I can’t get much done these days. Everything and everyone is conspiring to foul up my work schedule. From never-ending vacations in Hell to federal holidays and a husband who seriously needs to get out from under my feet, my schedule is in the crapper. The biggest problem I have right now is getting up early enough to get a jump on the day. I try to get up before 5 AM (yes, that’s right; the crazy lady likes to get up before the butt-crack of dawn) in hopes of getting in some physical therapy for my knees, getting the laundry started, and doing a little work, but I’ve been having a hard time of it. The biggest problem I have of course is getting to sleep early enough to get up at that (ungodly) hour of the morning. But this weekend I made a concerted effort to get to bed by 9 PM every night.

And things still got fouled up.

Ah. Remember those nights early in Sam’s life, when she was just a wee baby, and she’d waking up crying every two hours to nurse? Remember that? Remember how exhausting that was? But those days are long gone, right? Sam’s 15 months old now, and sleeping through the night, right? Right?

Hell no. The little twerp has woken up around midnight each night since Saturday, screaming her noggin off. I let her scream for a bit at first, hoping she would quiet down and fall back to sleep. Babies are supposed to soothe themselves to sleep. But she didn’t do that. Instead, she got really pissed off that no one was running in to get her and she screamed even louder.

It was really bad Sunday night. She woke up at midnight and screamed until 3 AM. So much for getting up before 5 AM. Then last night, she nursed herself to sleep, only to wake up the moment I put her down in the crib. Screaming ensued. Michael had to go in and sit with her for an hour. She finally nodded off and woke up around 4 AM to pick up where she’d left off. Well, at least I did get up early this morning.

All this late night waking and screaming really reminded me of how hard it is to take care of a baby that doesn’t sleep through the night. I would have to be crazy to have another child (as if the whole “get up before 5 AM” thing left any doubt on that subject).

Then Michael pulled down the boxes of old baby clothes for me to sort through yesterday morning and I discovered that crazy is exactly what I am.

Yep, going through all those tiny little outfits, trying to find old dresses of Cassie’s that might fit Sam, really made me want to have another baby. In fact it made me long to have another baby. I got so teary eyed picky through old bibs and mismatched socks, sorting the newborn onesies from the 6-month clothes, stashing Sam’s outgrown outfits into old cardboard boxes to make room for Cassie’s old cold-weather gear. There was one particular line of outfits that really killed me. There was a time between Cassie’s first and third year when she was my little angel. She went everywhere with me and did everything. We were best buddies, and it was just the two of us. Cassie was so sweet and loving then, and unquestionably my little girl. Now she’s four and she’s a handful. Still my girl, but more of a tantrum-throwing devil child than the little angel she was when she wore those cute little outfits. It just made me want to cry, pulling those shirts and pants out of their boxes and seeing them again after all this time. Sam is already sprouting devil horns. She still loves me, but she’s got a defiant streak in her that will not quit. I feel like she’s my little girl only because I’m still the mommy with the magic, milk-producing boobies. Will she ever love me for anything more? I wonder.

Sam’s cuddle bug phase came and went much earlier than Cassie’s. While Cassie started out as a red-faced, screaming, colicky demon-spawn, Sam was the quiet, cuddly angle baby that clung to me and stared at me with adoring blue eyes from the moment she was born. I miss that unconditional love. I miss being able to kiss my child without getting smacked in the head. “No, Mama!” she says every time I go for a smooch. She’s too big to cuddle now, too busy to be my lovey girl.

So I want a third baby, just so I can have that cuddle time again. Yeah, I know. It means wearing maternity clothes again, and getting all swollen and round. It means my knees will be shot to hell by hormones and loose ligaments, and may never work properly. Or it means that Michael and I will pay big bucks to adopt, in which case we will not be bringing home an infant but an older child who hopefully needs to have some cuddle time with a mom who wants to give unconditional love as much as she wants to receive it. Either way, I want that third kid. Will I have it though? Give me a few years and we’ll see. I need to walk down Memory Lane a few more times before I finally make up my mind.

How To Make Blue Poopie

For this recipe, you will need:

One (1) baby
One (1) pint of blueberries
One (1) high chair (optional, but recommended unless you like cleaning mashed blueberries off your carpet and furniture)


Feed one (1) pint of blueberries to one (1) baby. Wait 12-36 hours. Change baby’s diaper. Contents of diaper should be grayish navy blue, with small round pieces in it that look suspiciously like whole blueberries.

And that’s it. Voila! You’re done!

Happy Birthday Samantha Ann!

Okay, so her birthday was actually Saturday, but we’ve sort of had a weekend-long celebration from which I am still recovering, and which I will now relate the details of here.

Rather than throw a big party like we did for Cassie’s first birthday, we opted for something different. Not because Sam is the second child and we’re slacking off, but mainly because 1) we have a diarrheic cat in the house that would give all new meaning to the term party-pooper, and 2) the usual suspects- er, party guests, were not in town this weekend. Both sets of grandparents were unable to attend this weekend’s celebrations, so Michael and I decided to keep things strictly between the four of us. Besides, we do not have $150 to rent a cat-poop free facility to hold a big bash.

Happily enough, there were plenty of activities to choose from this weekend to help celebrate Sam’s big day. In Hampton, thousands of people turned out for the annual Blackbeard Pirate Festival, while in Newport News one of the local Greek Orthodox churches held its Greek Fest. The plan was to hit the pirate fest first, as early as possible, then spend the late afternoon enjoying Greek food and music. We had to adjust the schedule when Sam fell asleep about 15 minutes before we were set to head out. She took a two hour nap which threw all our plans out of whack, but Michael said if the birthday girl wants to sleep, hey, it’s her day.

Cassie and I passed the time by baking a birthday cake from scratch. We even made the butter cream frosting! Once Sam woke up, we headed out for downtown Hampton to enjoy all sorts of pirate-y activities, only to be overwhelmed by a large assortment of inflatable kiddy attractions. You know the kind – big bloated canvas contraptions hooked up to an air-blower that the kids crawl into and then bounce around in until they’re ready to puke. Cassie loves these and she had to try out every one of them at the festival. Sam, of course, is still too little for such things, so we walked around a bit and looked at pirates while Michael watched Cassie leap about in puffed-up cage dubbed “The Moon Walk” (I swear, it looks like a professional wrestler’s nightmare and an orthopedist’s dream).

After a fifteen-minute tour of pirates and boats, Sam and I returned in time to see Cassie disappear into the mouth of a gargantuan caterpillar. Now as much as I dislike the Moon Walk, I hate the caterpillar even more. With the caterpillar, kids go in the mouth and get pooped out the other end. At least that’s the theory. The reality is that kids go in the mouth and run amok inside the stomach area, forgetting entirely that the rest of the family is outside waiting for them to come out. There are no windows in the caterpillar’s stomach area, so you can’t spot your kid inside, tap at the clear plastic and gesticulate wildly that it’s time to go. No, you’ve got to stand and wait at the ass-end of this thing and hope that eventually your child will tire of bouncing around inside a smelly, inflated bug and come out on their own. It’s either that or else you’ve got to pry open said caterpillar’s backside, stick your head in and scream until your child finally gets the idea that hey, Mom and Dad might want to move on. Fortunately, Michael did not take pictures of me with my head stuck up a caterpillar’s ass, though he had plenty of opportunity to do so.

After the inflatable caterpillar, there was the inflatable pirate ship. At least that one wasn’t completely enclosed and we could get Cassie out of it without too much yelling. We did have to drag her kicking and screaming to the docks to see the pirate ships and displays. Sam all the while just fussed in her stroller. I bought her fries to keep her happy. I never bought Cassie fries when she was little. In fact, I don’t think Cassie even so much as tasted a fry until Sam started eating them. Maybe I have slacked off with child number two. Or maybe I’ve just relaxed a bit. Yeah, we’ll go with the latter I think.

So we ate fries and looked at boats and pirates and then Cass decided she wanted to go play in the sandpit where kids could dig for buried treasure (who’s birthday was it again?). This would have been okay except that there was a puppet show in progress directly across the square from the sandpit and Cassie was too distracted by the puppets to do much digging so she wasn’t finding anything. After about ten minutes of watching Cassie stare vacantly at the puppet show while standing in sand up to her ankles (she flat out refused to leave the sandpit to watch it up close) I decided it was time to head out. Naturally Cassie howled as we dragged her off. In fact, she howled so much that I decided to give her another crack at digging for treasure – they were getting ready to re-seed the sand with loot when we left – and we took her back… only to watch as she stared vacantly at the puppets again while everyone else dug for treasure. I decided to let Michael take over at that point and I wandered off to nurse the birthday girl.

Michael the Ever-Patient Dad managed to coax Cassie into a little digging, so she eventually found two strands of beads and a cheap plastic pirate, and then even he was worn out with “treasure” hunting. So once again we dragged a screaming Cassie back to the car and headed off for Greek Fest.

Because we hit the Greek Fest late, we decided to go straight for the food lines. The Newport News Greek Fest has the best food and we all ate enough to choke a horse. At least three of us did. Cassie somehow manages to subsist on air and two-percent milk. I fed Sam, the baby with a hollow leg, some of my meal and then most of Cassie’s meal and then some of Michael’s meal until ol’ chubby cheeks decided flinging food was more fun than eating it. Then I took Cassie over to yet another display of inflatable kiddy attractions while Michael took Sam to buy Greek pastries and deserts. Two giant slide rides and a couple of moon-walks later, we coaxed Cassie back to the parking lot with promises of sweets, only to discover that we were completely blocked in.

We had made the mistake of parking in an unattended, unmarked lot and some fool had decided to park his big-ass truck smack in the middle of the only route in or out of the back half of the lot. So Michael headed back to the festival to see if someone could make an announcement about the truck blocking people in while I waited in our car with two very cranky kids. I lucked out and the people parked in front of us showed up five minutes later to leave, so I pulled through and spent the next five minutes warning folks off from the parking lot. I pissed off one guy when I pointed out that he had just triple-parked his vehicle and sandwiched another car in between his SUV and someone else’s van. Too bad. At least I was polite enough to let this idiot know he might want to move his car before someone else moved it for him.

Actually, he wasn’t the only idiot I ran into during our whirlwind birthday tour. At the inflatable caterpillar, I saw a woman pull out a toy gun and fire it at one of the plastic windows near the tail end. I had a heart attack when I caught sight of this out of the corner of my eye. At first look, all I could see was someone pointing a gun at an attraction full of kids, and my kid was in there. It took me two seconds to realize that she what she was pointing was a pirate-style pop-gun, but in those two seconds I almost leapt onto that woman and snapped her fool neck. Fortunately for her, I managed to restrain myself, but I did tell her in no uncertain terms that she needed to stop pointing a gun, even a toy gun, at the kids inside, otherwise someone might report her to the police. Did I over-react? Maybe, but see how you feel when you glimpse someone pointing what might be a deadly weapon in your kid’s direction. It’ll stop your heart, that’s for sure.

Anyway, after pirates and Greeks and stupid people, we made our final stop on Sam’s birthday tour – Rick and Cindy’s home. Cindy and I met when I was twelve and we’ve been best friends ever since. Cindy was pregnant with her daughter Izzie while I was pregnant with Sam, and the two girls were born ten days apart (Izzie is the elder baby). We arrived at Chateau Rindy with Greek deserts and greasy kids and spent the evening chatting, pulling the kids out of trouble, eating, pulling the kids out of even more trouble, watching TV, yelling at the kids to PLEASE STAY OUT OF TROUBLE SO WE CAN ENJOY A LITTLE ADULT CONVERSATION WITHOUT CONSTANTLY CHASING AFTER YOU, etc. Cassie watched three full episodes of live-action Sailor Moon. It was all in Japanese, with English sub-titles which Cassie can’t read yet, but she understood enough to know that for Halloween she wants to be a cat princess soldier girl with really long hair and a necklace. Wait till I explain that one to the great costume maker, a.k.a. Grandmama.

While Cassie drooled over a Japanese kids’ show (okay, I liked it too, even with the ridiculous costumes and ludicrous fight scenes), Sam just drooled. She drooled on Izzie’s toys, and on Rick and Cindy’s papers, and on Rick and Cindy’s cats. We had a little excitement when we put both babies in the play yard. Sam started to howl and I thought for sure we were going to have a little baby cage-match, with Izzie and Sam fighting it out for the best toys, but then I realized that Sam wanted Mommy, not toys. Actually, what Sam wanted was boobies, so we finally packed up and headed home.

Cassie was out cold when we pulled into our driveway. Sam woke up long enough to nurse then passed out again. Both kids slept through until about 6:30 AM this morning, and then we got up for our usual routine. While Michael was at church, I let Cassie decorate Sam’s birthday cake. She poured on every bottle of juju beads, candy glitter and sprinkles that we had. There is so much sugar on the top of that cake that you can stick your finger into it up to the second joint and still not touch the butter cream frosting. Made for lots of fun when we blew out the candle. Sprinkles and glitter went flying everywhere.

We opened Sam’s presents after lunch. She got lots of new outfits for the summer, plenty of books (Yertle the Turtle is sure to be a hit if I can get Sam to sit still long enough to read it), a set if piggy finger puppets, a cow with a giant computer chip in its butt that allows it to interact with an accompanying DVD, and two Little People play sets. Michael and I got Sam the Little People bi-lingual super-market and the Little People airplane. Fisher Price had a buy-one-get-one-free deal, and you can tell which set we got for free. There was practically no packaging on the super-market, whereas the airplane was secured with enough wire to set up a trans-Atlantic telegraph line. But the super-market is way cool, with a cart and lots of little items for sale and a refrigerated section and a talking cash register. Makes me want to run right out to our local Food Lion for a little grocery adventure.

The plane is pretty cool too, with a female pilot (how very PC) and a couple of touristas in Hawaiian shirts. If you press down on the pilot, the plane sings about how all the passengers go up and down as they ride on the plane, and when you roll it across the floor, the people really do go up and down. The last time I saw people bounce around like that on a plane, I was watching the very first episode of Lost. Perhaps I’ll call one Little Person Kate and name the other one Jack. Or should I go with Sawyer instead? Hmm…

Anyway, Sam loved the bows and the wrapping paper and Cassie loved playing with the toys. Our big girl got a few gifts as well from her grandparents and great aunt – books, clothes, and a plastic novelty cup with a light up ice cube. After gifts, we did cake. Sam, who will eat just about anything, decided she would rather fling cake than eat it, so most of her slice ended up on the carpet. Just enough ended up in her hair and clothes that I had to give her a second bath, after which I tried to put her down for another nap. But our new big girl was having none of that! So she ended up downstairs with Michael and Cassie while I snuck off to do some work. Dinner was a quiet affair, aside from a repeat performance of food flinging from Sam, followed by bath number three (perhaps I should just install a hose in the dining room?), and then a final nursing before bed.

I truly love those last moments of the evening, when Sam is just a limp bundle of sweet cuddly baby-doll in my arms. Her little head droops over my arm, exposing the neck I can otherwise never find beneath all those extra chins she has. And there’s always just a little breast milk drooling out of the corner of her mouth. She’s so relaxed and content, so warm and sweet. She was like that tonight when I put her in her crib. Then as I leaned over to kiss her good night, she startled and popped her head up, smashing me in the mouth with that rock-hard cranium of her. I’m not sure which one of us howled the loudest as I staggered from her room. Sam’s probably okay, but I think I swallowed one of my front teeth.

So that was Sam’s birthday weekend – two days of pirates, Greeks, idiots, presents, cake and minor injuries. What a way to celebrate my baby’s first year.


In honor of the big day, I’ve uploaded some photos to share. Yeah, I know, this is a first!

Okay Izzie. You go that way, I’ll head over the couch, and we’ll see if we can defeat these tyranical fascist adults and steal their sodas.

Are these for me? You shouldn’t have. Let’s open them right now!

Cassie: How do you like it Sam? I decorated it myself!

Sam: Really? I thought Martha Stewart did it!

And here’s a close up of the cake…

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The Difference Between One Child And Two

I definitely do things differently now that I’ve got two kids to worry about. Here are a few examples.

Breakfast – Cassie got fed oh so carefully. She ate only baby food, jars and jars of fruit, rice cereal, oatmeal. It was all carefully prepared for her tender little digestive tract. These days with Sam, I just cut up some fresh fruit and toss it on her tray. I used to feed Cassie with a spoon from her own bowl. I don’t do that with Sam. She and I share the same spoon, which is probably why she and I are sharing the same cold. Sam, or Spoonie Baloonie as I like to call her, has a nasty tendency to grab the spoon from me and fling it across the room. This is also the reason why I don’t bother feeding her baby food anymore.

Clothing – Cassie had 50 million little frilly pink outfits, all purchased by Grandmama. Sam has a handful of little shorts outfit (again, all from grandma because I’m too busy to shop for kids clothing). She wears them occasionally. Most of time, Sam runs around naked except for her diaper. I think she likes it better that way. I know it’s a lot less work for me.

Nursing – I recorded every breast-feeding I did with Cassandra up until she was about a year old. With Sam, I lasted until she was about six months old. I just didn’t have time to write down which side, how long she nursed, and what time of day she did it. I know when she’s nursing, trust me. She bites every time she latches on.

Illnesses – I used to worry every time Cassandra had a sniffle. She spent so much time with the thermometer up her butt, I think she thought it was an extra appendage that I let her wear on special occasions. I called the doctor every time her temperature rose above a hundred. I don’t do any of that with Sam. I don’t even take the temperature is she’s got a sniffly snotty running nose. I just keep her away from other kids as much as I can so we don’t spread the creeping crud. I definitely do not take her temperature that often, and I certainly don’t call the doctor every time she has a cold. If I did, I would have to pay my pediatrician rent, because we’d be living in her waiting room.

Cleaning – I sanitized everything around Cassandra. We had a special bottle steamer to clean her bottles and sippy cups. I would wash them by hand and then run them through the microwave with this stupid little steamer. Not with Sam. The bottles get run through the dishwasher. I ain’t doing anything by hand. I don’t have time. I also don’t bother sanitizing a lot of her stuff, because guess what? Her sister is going to bring home every germ known to mankind from her preschool. What can I say? It’ll toughen Sam up, if it doesn’t kill her.

Bathing – Cassie took baths in this little baby bathtub, up until she was about 13 months and she was finally too big to fit into it. Sam’s been bathing in the regular bathtub for about the past three or four months. She just got too squirmy to sit safely in the baby tub. She kept trying to crawl out of it, which wasn’t too safe since I kept the tub on the bathroom counter. She seems to like the bigger tub though and I don’t mind it either. I can sit in the bathroom and read or doodle while she splashes around water for a few minutes. Hey, it’s one way of getting a little bit of time.

Schedules – I used to worry about keeping Cass on a schedule. I had everything planned, from her naps to spending half an hour outside every day. I don’t worry so much about Sam. Frankly, it’s exhausting trying to run a schedule around a child’s needs. I’m not nearly as strict about Sam’s schedule as I was with Cassie’s, which is kind of funny because naptime is about the only time I get to work. But I’ve made myself more flexible in terms of how I do work. For instance, using the digital voice recorder to record blog entries and story ideas. Also being able to sit at the laptop and type while nursing has been a big help. I’ve found lots of little ways to squeeze in work.

There are other differences I’ve noticed, too. I guess I just don’t worry as much with Sam as I did with Cassandra. Not because I’ve gotten lazy but because I simply learned it’s much more fun to relax and enjoy what’s going on. So Sam sits in the grass in the grass while I practice karate and she ends up eating two handfuls of the lawn. It’s not going to kill her, and if I find half a bug in her mouth instead of no bug I’m not going to worry about that either. Hey, it’s protein. Just as long as she doesn’t get into any cat diarrhea, I’ll be happy.

Okay, maybe I do have something to worry about after all.

Buddha Babies And Baptisms

Well, last night was the big night. Samantha Ann was baptized in the Catholic Church. Michael is Catholic, I’m Buddhist, so I’m fairly ambivalent about this. It was something he wanted done, so I said okay. Of course, you know who ended up making all the arrangements to make sure this happened, don’t you?

Both sets of grandparents came down for the occasion, as did my sister Carolyn. She’s the godmother, my dad is the godfather. The eight of us (nine including Sam) took up most of a pew at the church. There was another family sitting in the row before us also having their baby baptized. Father Hannah was very nice about going over everything with all of us, although he almost baptized Sam as Matthew and Matthew as Sam. That would have been funny, but probably only to me. The other baby, Matthew, was just nine weeks old and two months premature. He was the tiniest thing. Father Hannah just sprinkled him with water from the font. Sam, however, is going on eleven months and is a huge healthy chunk of baby (she looks like a miniature King Kong, really). So she got the full dunking treatment. That meant I had to take off her diaper when we got up to the font, before handing her to Father Hannah. Then he held her up, backside toward the congregation, before putting her in the water. There was a lot of giggling over Sam’s dimply little butt cheeks, and I can safely say she is now the only member of the family to ever moon an entire church congregation. She seems quite proud of that.

In any event, she’s been baptized. We went to dinner at Johnny Carrino’s afterwards, where Sam spent over an hour stuffing pasta and bread into her gullet. I swear, I’ve never seen a baby eat as voraciously as Sam does. She’s skinnied up lately, and I think she’s deliberately trying to put the weight back on. Makes me think she’ll turn out to be Buddhist like me in spite of the baptism. She wants her round little Buddha belly back, to go with her round little Buddha nature. Ohm.