• Childhood Dreams

    Toni: “Munch did you have a good sleep?”

    Munch: “Yes!”

    Toni: “What did you dream about?”

    Munch: “That you Mamma were a little girl, and I was carrying you with me everywhere!”


    June 7, 2013 • 2 years old, baby brain, Musings • Views: 2448

  • Finding Independence Across The Field of Dreams

    Have you ever gone to visit a place you used to go as a kid, and rather than being the huge expansive place it was in your memory, it is actually the size of a bathroom.  When you are little, your perception of the world is drastically skewed because you yourself are so tiny.  I remember going to my grandmother’s as a child and thinking that I would walk miles into the woods to find the secret cabin where I would spend my afternoons.  I went back in my 20’s and realized you could see the damn cabin from the kitchen window.  I guess I wasn’t that neglected after all.

    So I figure from The Munch’s perspective, my mom’s house (which is right next door to mine but through a field) is like 8-light years away.  I would assume that for The Munch to traverse that distance by herself would be unimaginable.  Yet one afternoon I looked out the window and I saw her walking up the hill by herself.

    Munch: “Mamma, I need Gum Baby’s highchair.”

    Toni: “Munch, did you leave Manna’s house all by yourself?  You have to tell someone when you are leaving so they can watch you and make sure you are safe.”

    Munch: “But I need Gum Baby’s highchair.”

    Although that sounds like a really legitimate reason to run from my mom’s house like a wild banshee, I do think it is remarkable that The Munch went on her first solo adventure.  She is finding her independence and realizing that she is the master of her own domain.  The world is no longer a place she waits to come for her, but now The Munch is entering the world with her own intentions and volition.


    June 4, 2013 • 2 years old, Adventures, baby brain, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 2353

  • How To Like Your Family Even When You Don’t

    The love you feel for your family is different than the love you feel for those you don’t share DNA with.  It is almost as if the love is choiceless.  Despite everything, you have to love them in this primal desperate way.  You know them on a cellular level, and even if their personalities are slightly repugnant, there is still a connection.  We are bonded to those we share blood with.

    The parent-child relationship is probably the most complex because there are so many strings attached.  The child needs the parent to keep them alive/safe, and the parent then feels some sense of ownership over their kid.  As the child ages into an adult, sometimes these dynamics are so deeply embedded into the relationship that it is difficult to respect each other.  It can be hard to find the friendship when there has been this distinct role of the superior and the subordinate.  The child who is always seeking approval from their parent, or the parent who is never satisfied with their child is one of many power struggles that can infect the love.

    That is why having things in common with your family can bring you together despite the complexity of past resentments or failed expectations.  No relationship is every perfect, but the more you share, the more time you will want to spend together.  If you have similar interests, then that are always activities you can together to reinforce the attachment.

    Since The Munch is only 2, I can’t exactly say that we like to do the same things.  I mean, playing in the sandbox and ordering people around is great, but when that person who is being ordered around is me – it kind of loses its charm.  We don’t always see eye to eye on what we want to do with our day, and I feel like I do a lot of the compromising.  I mean, reading Pippi Longstockings 19 times is not exactly what I call the best afternoon of my life, but I will do it for The Munch because I know its good for her brain… and I want her to be the smartest kid ever so I look good.

    One thing we do have in common is dance.  We go into my barn where I do my dances, and The Munch does hers.  Usually we do our own things, but  today  The Munch decided she would make up some moves for me to perform.

    Munch:  “Lift your left toe and put it over here on the window, then over the spider… twirl around 3 times – then fall on the floor. But don’t hurt yourself.  But hit your head and cry.  Then get up and jump like a frog like this.  Then go back and forth. Run to the mirror.  Shake your bum 20 times like this, then lift your right leg all the way to the ceiling.  Move your arms up and down, run over here, then fall down again. But this time, hurt yourself.”

    And I would do exactly as she articulated because that was some pretty imaginative choreography.

    “5,6,7,8 and walk 2,3,4…”


  • You Spin Me Right Round Baby, Right Round

    When the Whirling Dervishes come to town you are going to see that shit.  At least I am.  I think it is interesting to witness the practice of connecting to the oneness of all things and the eternal godliness of the universe.  Devotion through meditative gestures and excessive efforts seems like a path towards something.  The mystical journey of truth is not going to be found on my Facebook feed that is for sure.  Even though one seems slightly more entertaining than the other – perpetual bliss and enlightenment vs. a funny video with Jimmy Fallon lip-synching.  Tough call.

    Of course I brought The Munch with me, because if I am going to transcend space and time, so should she.  We got to the front desk and I handed the woman a check as my mandatory donation for the event.

    Lady: “Is that what your are planning on using for your signature?”

    Toni: “Excuse me?”

    Lady: “That’s the signature you are actually using for this check?”

    Toni: “Ummm yup.  That’s my signature.  I guess I should have been a doctor?”

    Lady: “Or paid more attention in school.”

    Things were off to a great start.  I wasn’t exactly sure of the scene upstairs, but I realized pretty quick when greeted with a bunch of “shhhhhhhh’s” that my friend Miriam and I had been talking too loud on our way up.  Everyone was seated in a circle around an empty space and we found our way next to my friend Sarah.

    The Munch was the only child in a five-mile radius and all I could do was pray that she behaved herself.  You don’t want to be that person that everyone resents because they brought their kid.  But at the same time, I think kids should be more integrated into adult situations.  If they are always excluded from things that aren’t specifically kid-friendly then how will they ever know your interests?  If I didn’t bring The Munch with me to things I liked then she would assume I actually think going down a 3 foot slide is exciting.

    The room was very quiet, then the music started to play.  It was subtle, and understated. A flute flittered in the background and The Munch let out this really loud noise/yawn/release that almost perfectly mimicked the pitch of the instrument – just 8 volume decimals louder.

    The Whirling Dervishes came in and started… you guessed it… whirling.  Just going around and around and around themselves in circles.  A man who worked at the museum came over because he was concerned The Munch was sitting on my lap.

    Man: “Does she need her own chair?”

    Toni: “No she is fine. Thank you.”

    Man: “Are you sure?”

    Toni: “Yes thank you.”

    The man then walked back to where he was standing, and The Munch decided I was wrong.

    Munch: “Mamma, I need my own chair.”

    Toni: “No Munch you are fine.”

    Munch: “No I need my own chair.”

    Toni: “Munch you are good.  Just sit on my lap.”

    Munch: “I am going to go ask that man for a chair.”

    She then slithered off my lap to ask the man for a chair. Now the Munch is wise enough to know to whisper at events like these, but the man she was talking to was old, and kind of deaf.  He couldn’t hear what she was saying.  She kept whispering “I need a chair” and he kept pointing to his ear.  She would then whisper “ear” because she assumed he was testing her knowledge of body parts, and things got all confusing.

    So I got her a chair and showed her that she could sit on it and stop harassing that man.  As the Whirling Dervishes spun around and around and around, Munch started fidgeting on her precious chair.

    Munch: “Mamma… I am stuck.”

    She had some how wedged herself into that gap between the seat of the chair and the back of the chair.  Either way I tried to pull her out seemed geometrically impossible.  It was like extracting a flat screen TV out of a bagel.

    Toni: “Jesus Munch.  Which way did you go in? Head first or feet first?”

    Munch: “Umm, my bum.”

    I barely managed to stuff her butt back through the tight space and she was free.  Then The Munch just started walking over to the man who worked at the museum to show him how she could twirl, what the inside of her mouth looked like, her new party shoes and would then remove the shoulder straps of her dress seductively while he desperately tried to pursued her to pull them back up.

    Munch then got hungry, and thank goddess Miriam had a Lara bar.  Of course she had to pee at one point, and then almost insisted that I “talk loud” because her baby needed to “wake up and not be so lazy.”  When the Dervishes stoped whirling the room was silent expect for a loud whisper saying “I don’t want to go Mamma.  I want to stay here.”

    I wasn’t sure if she was a welcome addition to the event, or some old hippies were going to stone me.  But luckily when people started talking they said how well behaved she was, and the man who worked at the museum called her delightful.  It’s a good think old people don’t see or hear that great.



  • Can I buy my Happiness online?

    When I was a young child life was much different.  If I wanted something, I actually had to go to store and find it.  Doesn’t that sound wild? Almost as extreme as having to walk 9-miles to school, in the snow, with the wind blowing in my face both directions while wearing shoes made of Kleenex boxes.

    There was no online shopping in the 80’s.  So as a 5-years old when I really wanted Teddy Ruxpin for Christmas, my parents had to drive around for hours searching for him.  After a whole day of their lives was spent frantically going in and out of Toys R Us’ they finally found my precious talking bear- only to find out that the reason I had wanted him was to see how he worked, and then didn’t give a flying fuck about him anymore.

    Okay, that was a dick move on my part.  But it wasn’t totally my fault.  Teddy Ruxpin looked so seductive in the commercials.  Like he was the Charmin bear come to life.  Once I realized you just stuck a tape in his ass so he could tell you some asinine story, the novelty quickly wore off.  But don’t blame me alone.  Blame the marketers! The ad guys! I was not a spoiled little shit!

    The Munch lives a pretty sheltered life, I am willing to admit that, but one day I mentioned the concept of buying something online for her.  She really wanted foot pajamas like her cousin Calvin, but Target didn’t have any.  So I explained I would get the jammas on the computer while she was sleeping. This was a strange concept for The Munch to understand, but once they came in the mail she was pumped.

    My issue with online shopping is that there is no effort involved.  I mean besides flapping your fingers around on a keyboard.  This breeds a disconnect between the thing you think you want, and what you are actually are buying.  The idea of material objects is irrationally seductive. Hey computer, I WANT ALL THOSE LEGGINGS!

    But when you are actually shopping and holding something in your hand, you have to identify with it more than if it were just on a screen.  Of course there are extreme cases of shopaholics where the act of spending and acquiring goods is a rush, but even if you have a semi-normal relationship to consumerism, it can still be corrupted in the ethereal world of the Internet. Not only do I want all those wrap-around dresses, but I WANT THEM TODAY!

    I didn’t realize that this concept had been so deeply imprinted into The Munch’s psyche until she was visiting with my mom this weekend.  She saw a doll catalogue that my mom (who The Munch calls Manna) had lying around.  Why my mom has doll catalogues floating around her house is yet to be determined, but once The Munch found it she was flooded with things that she desperately desired.

    Munch: “Manna, I want this doll right here.”

    Manna: “Well, there is no store to get that doll right now.”

    Munch: “You can get it on the computer.”

    Manna: “Oh I can?”

    Munch: “Yes go on the computer and you can pay for it.”

    Manna: “Okay.”

    Munch: “I wanna see.  I wanna see too!”

    Manna: “Alright well sit next to me.”

    Munch: “I want that baby too!”

    Manna: “Munch, you already have that baby.”

    Munch: “NO I DON’T!”

    Manna: “Yes you do, that is the same as Water Baby, just with a different outfit on.”


    Manna: “Pretty sure I know my babies and that is the same as the one you have.”

    Munch: “Can I get that baby then?”

    Manna: “Okay but for your birthday.”

    Munch: “Can I get the stroller too?”

    Manna: “The running stroller?”

    Munch: “YES!!”

    Manna: “Okay.  Done.  The baby and the running stroller on their way.”

    Munch: “But I want to have them now.”

    Manna: “You can’t have them now they are coming in the mail.”

    Munch: “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I WANT TO HAVE THEM NOW!!!!!!!!”

    The proceeded to fight about The Munch wanting her toys now and my mom saying she had to wait.  So my mom calls me on the phone to fill me in..

    Manna: “Your daughter is absolutely insane did you know that?”

    Toni: “I did.  But why now?”

    Manna: “Well she made me order some things for her online, and she was angry that they weren’t here right away.  So then she used my phone to have a pretend conversation with you and said ‘Mamma, get me my fucking stroller now!’”

    Toni: “Maybe the new family rule should be no more online shopping.”

    Manna: “Maybe you should stop swearing around her too.”

    Toni: “Maybe I fucking should.”



  • Sharing means let me have all of it

    The Munch is kind of selfish.  That or she has a major interest in candy.  Hard to tell which is the real motivation in this story.

    There were three lollipops.  At first The Munch was actually quite generous and wanted to share them with me and my friend Gita.  We each had one, and were eating them at our own pace- hers being the fastest.  She soon realized that her lollipop was smaller than mine.

    Munch: “Mamma, lets trade.”

    Toni: “Hmmmm okay…. Not sure if this is exactly what you would call a fair trade. But I love you so….”

    Soon after our “trade” The Munch and I had both finished our lollipops, but Gita still had hers.

    Munch: “Auntie Gita lets trade.”

    Gita: “Munch, your lollipop is finished.  So we can’t really trade.  But I can share mine with you.”

    Munch: “Okay lets share.  But it’s my turn now.”

    Gita let Munch have a turn, then Gita took a turn, then Munch and eventually Gita and I forgot about the lollipop and started having a conversation.

    Gita: “Did you read that article I sent you?”

    Munch: “Mamma, look, look, look, watch me.”

    Toni: “Wait, what did you say?”

    Munch: “Mamma, did you see me jump so high?”

    Gita: “The one about the artist who….

    Munch: “Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, do you like spiders?”

    Toni: “What? Which article?”

    Munch: “Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, I need a new pair of tights, can you go get me some?”

    Gita: “You know the one….”

    Munch: “Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, my shoes are falling off can you fix them?”

    Toni: “Wait what?? Munch I am trying to talk to Auntie Gita you need to give me a moment.”

    Munch: “Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, look I took off my shoes and tights to jump.”

    When The Munch finally went into the other room, I wasn’t questioning what she was doing.  Suddenly everything was quiet and I could talk for a moment.  It was a luxury to have 10 minutes of uninterrupted conversation.

    She then came back with the lollipop stick, sans lollipop.

    Toni: “Hey! What were you were doing in there?”

    Munch: “I ate the lollipop all up!”

    Gita: “Munch, I thought we were sharing the lollipop?”

    Munch: “Yeah…. Not any more.”


  • Live Good Raffle Contest


    To enter: FOLLOW @LiveGoodinc and @ToniBolognamind on Twitter and tweet us pictures of you and your baby that shows us how you Live Good while being eco conscious. Take photos holding a sign, a card or write in the sand, “Live Good Baby”.

    Stage your photos in the park, at the zoo, by the pool, with the family pet, at sunset, eating healthy or just catching some zzz’s. Multiple entries are encouraged, so get creative and submit a new picture daily.

    At the end of the month we will choose our favorite picture and the winner will receive a Live Good baby pillow of their choice from

    To submit pictures, tweet @LiveGoodinc and @ToniBolognamind with #KidsLiveGood

    Please limit to one entry per day.

    The winner will be announced via Twitter and we reserve the rights to all pictures submitted for promotional purposes.





    May 9, 2013 • baby gear • Views: 2601

  • Sometimes Being Eco is Annoying

    I really don’t want to live in a trashcan of a world, but being eco can be annoying.  To exclusively support organic fair trade local products that you also happened to grow in your back yard, had harvested by virgins, and processed by leprechauns is a fucking challenge.  The other day I thought I would buy some organic cotton t-shirts for The Munch, and one shirt was $40?! When I saw the price I threw up in my hand and then had to eat it because my dinner was from the organic store and my tofu kale wheat-free sandwich was not cheap.

    I know the responsibility is on me to be the change I want to see in the world, but I already changed my underwear today -isn’t that enough?  It is a lot of pressure for me to always make the right decision when there is so much crappy crap out there that is way crappy, but easier to get.  My main question is, why is there so much temptation to poison ourselves with toxic shit?  We have so much access to such a vast variety of products, but the majority of them are actually semi dangerous.  Major corporations are exposing us to some sort of poison, subjecting employees to horrific working conditions, and sometimes secretly feeding people rats they think is lamb.

    So there is plenty of incentive to be conscious consumer.  In fact I consider myself to be a PROsumer with all the positive shit I buy.  Get it? PROsumer rather than CONsumer? Am I lyrical genius or what?  But sometimes I want to be just like ahhh fuck it! I mean I got The Munch this hippy sunscreen because I read that sunscreen, although may protect you from getting skin cancer from the sun, actually just gives you another kind of cancer.  So I slapped the eco stuff on her, and it worked in the sense that she didn’t get burned, but it wouldn’t absorb into her skin.  She was walking around looking like Casper the Ghost the entire day.  I mean that is fine for a kid and all, but there is no way as a self-respecting woman, I can go out in public like a member of the Adams Family.

    Of course when we are talking about green products, food is the one I am most committed to.  But sometimes I get sick of being healthy.  Over the summer I am part of CSA (community supported agriculture) and get all my organic vegetables delivered to me.  They are grown in the most fertile soil and picked by a bearded farming angel.  Yet by time September rolls around all I want is to eat cheeseburgers and doughnuts.  I get so sick of vegetables I want to throw them against the wall, and then waterboard them.

    I know I should probably find a balance and feel peace knowing I am doing what I can and all that…. But what the fuck world?  Why can’t eco shit just be the only shit we can buy so I wouldn’t have to compare it to the other shit?

    (Here I am…. saving a spider and bringing her outside so I don’t murder her…. because I am environmentally responsible!)



  • I Want To Be With you… and Eat You

    It is nice to be sought after.  To have someone express there desire to be around you.  The idea that a person desperately wants to spend time with you is flattering.  A nice little boost to the ego.  But when that being happens to be sort of crazy because their brain is only semi-formed, things can get a little intense.  Especially when they are really possessive and quasi-canibalistic.

    Lately The Munch has been particularly demanding of my attention.  She wants to engage with me every chance she gets, and is much more interested in interacting with me than playing by herself.  I figure like all things, this is a phase, and I should go with the flow.  She is mostly fun to be around, even though she tells the same story about her baby doll going poops in her diapi and wanting lollipop ice cream.

    But it can also be overwhelming being the center of someone’s universe, especially because The Munch is in a constant state of stimulus.  Sometimes I want to be like “kid, get off my nuts,” but that confuses her because I wasn’t eating any.

    Yet as exhausting as it can be, she does make me laugh.

    The comedy began this morning when The Munch wanted me to do her hair.

    Munch: “Mamma, can you braid my hair like Pippi Longstockings?”

    Toni: “Sure!  Wait Munch you have to keep your head still?”

    Munch: “Hahahahahahahah”

    Toni: “Munch you have to stop shaking your head if you want me to braid your hair.”

    Munch: “Okay.”

    Toni: “Alright…. (I would start for one second, and then she would start shaking her head again). Munch! You have to stop wiggling your head around!”

    Munch: “Hahahahahahahahahahaha.  Okay.”

    Toni: “Let me try again… Ahhhhhhhh!”

    Again, two seconds of me trying to braid her hair, and then her wiggling her head back and forth like Stevie Wonder in the groove. She did this for 25 min.  I know I was encouraging her because it was making me laugh… but it was just so ridiculous.  I don’t know why I kept trying. Probably because I thought she would look really cute.

    Then she decided she wanted to play a game with me.

    Munch: “Mamma, can you do me a favor?”

    Toni: “Sure.”

    Munch: “Can you play hide and seek with me?”

    Toni: “Okay.  I will count to twenty and you hide.”

    Munch: “Okay!!”

    Alright, so I would count to twenty, look up, and The Munch would be standing next to a tree looking right at me.  I could completely see her.

    Toni: “Munch! I can see you! You have to hide.”

    I would count again, and the same thing would happen.

    Toni: “Munch listen to me.  You have to hide so I can’t see you and I have to look for you. So if you can see me, pretty sure I can see you too okay?”

    Munch: “Okay”

    I counted to twenty, looked up, and there she was standing next to the same tree – but with her back to me.  I decided that was a good enough try, and indulged her and pretended I was looking for her.

    Toni: “Hmmmm is Munch behind the bushes?”

    Munch: “No Mamma! I am over here! Next to the tree!”

    Then we go over to her cousin’s house to play.  We are all roughhousing, pretending to be monsters and lions, and I am tickling them both.  At one point I was paying too much attention to her cousin and The Munch bit me.  It was right when we were about to leave, so I decided to talk to her about it when I was brining her to the car.

    Toni: “Munch, while we were playing, I felt you bite me.  Did you bite me?”

    Munch: “No?”

    Toni: “Munch I felt you bite me.  It was not nice.  Was it an accident?”

    Munch: “No.”

    Toni: “That makes Mamma very angry.  Were you jealous that I was paying attention too Calvin? Because I think you bit me on purpose.  Did you?”

    Munch: “Yes?”

    Toni: “So why did you bite me?”

    Munch: “Because I wanted to eat you.”

    Ahhhhhh I guess love is loving someone so much that you want to consume them entirely and eat them.  Kind of makes sense.