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Man of the House: Guest Post by Brother Bear

25 Oct

Whine: I don’t mean to brag, but I’m actually pretty good at this “whine” thing. I whine for milk, I whine for clean diapers, I whine when Mommy takes her undivided attention off me to check on whatever she’s burning cooking.  Mommy says I sound like this when I whine, so she calls me Wookiee. Isn’t she mean?

Cheese: She pretty much gives me whatever I want.  So I don’t really care what she calls me, as long as she keeps the food and snuggles coming.

Mommy is pretty busy these days. What with Big Sis constantly trying to remodel the house and Lil’ Sis working on her sly ninja skills, she barely has time to brush her teeth, let alone string together coherent sentences for the entertainment of the people. So I figured I’d step in today and give the lady a break. Mostly to make up for the fact that I may or may not have boycotted naptime last week and I’m afraid she might decide to let me ‘cry it out’ if I don’t pitch in.

I’ve been keeping busy since I last wrote. I’m still pretty much bald. I can’t sit up or scoot, but I look real cute rolling to hither and yon. I love to grab the diapers Mommy takes off me and try to stick them in my mouth. I’m really good at working hard in my baby office–I get a lot of important stuff done. Need me to push that light- up thingy? No problem. How about grabbing that other doo-dad? I’ll get it done by 5. I’m the picture of baby efficiency.

I’ve grown two teeth and I’m not afraid to use them. On baby food? No, that stuff is nasty. I like to bite stuff. And Mommy. Speaking of baby food, though, who eats that stuff?? Seriously. I admit, I was curious the first few times they gave me the cereal. But upon further review, zpfttttffffffffffffff [insert raspberry noise and violent spewage]. No way, Jose.

The world still seems to pretty much revolve around me, that much hasn’t changed since last time I wrote.  Mommy and I are pretty inseperable–I even get to go to work with her. I help her ‘type’ and ‘file’ and ‘take calls’. She’s pretty lucky to have me around. My sisters still operate by the 6 millimeter rule, which is that if I am around, at least one of them is within six millimeters of my face. But now that I am getting all grown up, I get to do more stuff with them than my last update.

My dad is pretty cool. I like to ride around in his (very manly) baby carrier and do man stuff. Like cook hotdogs on the grill. And clean the garage. He and I watch LOTS of sports together, but he gets a little scary and loud when the blue guys with the stars on their hats actually catch the ball. Then I get a little loud, too, but not in the same way. Ok, I admit it, I cry like a baby. But hey, I am a baby.

I really like Big Sis. She always gives me her blankie and her teddy bear, which is especially good for chewing with my awesome little teeth and is almost as awesomely gross as chewing a diaper because who knows where that blankie has been. Big Sis likes to drag me by my onesie onto her lap. Then she gets in trouble and has to go to timeout. But that doesn’t stop her from doing it the next time Mommy’s back is turned. Although today at the post office she stuck a postage label on me and told the clerk I was a package that needed mailing, so perhaps there’s some latent hostility in there.

I’m not quite sure about Lil’ Sis. She really seems to like me, although I think she’s trying to toughen me up. Seeing as how she gave me my first bloody nose. Mommy was reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaallllllllyyyyyyyy mad. But I think mostly because she got blood on her shirt.

Now I have street cred for the nursery.

But Lil’ Sis also gave me my first bite of cake, so I think that pretty much makes it even. And surprisingly, Mommy was reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaallllllllyyyyyyyy mad about that, too. But probably just because I didn’t spit the cake in Lil’ Sis’ face like I do strained peas.

And then there’s Mommy. I grin like nobody’s business when I see her. I just can’t help it. She’s my favorite. My favorite person to bite, to spit my sweet potatoes on, to wipe my snotty nose on. My favorite person to make kissy mouth at (or maybe it’s hungry mouth, I get confused), to try to escape from when it’s time to change clothes and to say “da!” to when we’re up at 5 am . She calls me “Aaron Earl(y) Bird”.

My Favorite Mommy

Also, this weekend was my Mommy’s  BLOGIVERSARY. So she decided to dust off her blog after a month of non-writing to celebrate two years of sharing the wealth of insanity with all of you.

As her BLOGIVERSAY gift to you, she wants me to hit some of the highlights of the last two years and to thank you for making the memories with us through your reading and your comments.

Remember that time Big Sis was potty training? Or the time Lil’ Sis locked us out? Or the time that Mommy got a root canal the week before I was born? Also, here is last year’s BLOGIVERSARY post. And one about procrastination (since it’s Monday and all) and ear infections (since it is sicky sick season).

I hope you enjoy strolling down Memory Lane, even if it is strewn with dirty laundry and amoxicillin. Here’s to another year of ‘good times’.

PS Mommy says to come back later this week for what she says is incontrovertible (isn’t that a kind of car?) evidence that my sisters are the most destructive little girls on the planet. And she says she’s got pictures to prove it.

Car Storys: Guest Post by Wren

15 Jun

Whine: I am completely intimidated to write on Sarah’s blog.

Cheese:  I am smiling to myself knowing that the word Storys in the title is driving some of you crazy while simultaneously answering some of your questions about how to write the plural of our last name.

Part of life in the Story household is time in the car.  Driving to see family, to conferences, to see family, to churches, to weddings, to see family, etc. In our world a 3 hour drive is a piece of cake, but you do have to gear up for the 14 hour one to Texas.  But the girls have gotten to be good travelers, and we make it.  When Daphne was a baby, if she really got her wail going, we popped in Janis Joplin, and she stopped.  We figured she appreciated someone else doing the work of expressing her feelings, so she could settle down.

But my two funny stories didn’t happen on long trips. They were in-the-car-around-town moments.  Moments that made me glad I was actually listening instead of what I usually do, which is to just try to tune out the arguments.  And they’re not my favorites because they were sweet moments…really, it’s just because they still make me laugh when I think about them.

So here they are…one for each…because they would complain if the other got attention and they didn’t.  (Daphne actually once asked for a spanking because her friend got one, so she wanted one too.  Ummm…no, not this time, honey.)

We were driving home from a friend’s house, and I heard Alice, who was 2 at the time, say, “Knock ya over…” to Daphne, who was 4.  I almost pulled over the car, thoughts of “You may not talk to your sister that way.  You may not touch her ever…” flowing through my head.  But, by the grace of God, what came out of my mouth, relatively calmly even, was “What are y’all talking about?” “Mommy, I said she’s November and I’m Knockyaover.” “You’re what?” “Knockyaover.” “October?” “Yeah. Knoc-to-ver.”  I was quite relieved that I hadn’t yelled at her. She was right. Daphne’s birthday is in November, and hers is in October. So then I had a desperate urge to teach her to pronounce it correctly, lest she overly relate herself to knocking people over. Because she would probably think that was really fun.

The next story is from a couple months ago. Daphne is now 5 ½, and Alice is 3 ½. The girls had played long and hard at the park, and we were on the way home. Because I’m a great mom, I was recommending ice cream and a movie when we got there.  But they had watched Barbie movies every day that week already. (Did I just admit that I let my kids watch a movie a day? Ignore that, and let’s go back to the story.)(And don’t judge about the B word. Barbie ballet movies are actually very sweet and little girl appropriate!)  So I said, “Y’all can pick out any movie…just not a Barbie one today.” (We needed to mix in some Disney or Leap Frog.  I mean, I want my kids to be well-rounded.)  But right as I was saying “not a Barbie movie,” Daphne was thrilled about picking and said, “Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses!” “No Daphne, not a Barbie movie today.  You still get to watch a movie, but you have to pick something else.”  And then I heard, in a whisper from the back seat, “You ruined my life.” And then, “I mean, I’m really angry.”  I started laughing.  I couldn’t help it.  Really?  She’s 5, not 15! “What did you say Daphne?”  “That makes me angry.”  I thought about pushing it—what did you say before that?—but the truth is, I was proud of her for catching herself already, and I didn’t want to make her say it out loud again in case out loud twice in the same minute would make a phrase stick in her 5-year-old vocabulary.

I guess I always knew the teenage years would be full of angst and me “ruining” lives, but I wasn’t prepared for it already! Maybe it was good practice.  I’ll probably wonder if there’s something I just don’t understand when she’s a teenager. But this time was easy — I knew that I wasn’t actually ruining her life — children have been known to survive Barbie withdrawal!  Phew!  Made it through that one.  Who knew I’d get it out of the way so early?  It hasn’t come up again since. But the memory always makes me laugh.  Maybe if I tell her about it when she’s 14, it’ll help her see how unreasonable she can be.  No?  Hmmm….I guess I’ll just have to treasure it to myself then.  And tell all of you.

P.S.  Shout out to Sarah.  How do you do it?  So many clever blog posts, three kiddos, amazing cakes, keeping up with everybody…You’re amazing.

P.P.S. [Sarah speaking] Thanks to Wren for stepping in for me during a very hectic time and for taking that cash I sent her to say nice stuff about me. Also, if you are a child of the 80s and you didn’t click the link up there, you should. Trust me.

Wren (aka Karen, aka Sarah’s sister) lives with her two little wordsmiths and their flip-flop enthusiast of a father in sunny Tallahassee. When she’s not pulling her children off of the unusually high places they’ve climbed, she likes to perfect her Tomahawk Chop and obsess over coordinating outfits for the perfect family picture.

Oh, Canada: Guest Post by Rachelle

19 May

Whine: How may Canadians does it take to clear an overpriced package of diapers through customs? Too many.

Cheese: Somehow Lizzie Rabbit (my two-year old) understood just how imperative it was that she use the potty chair this week.

So I’m just back from Canada, eh.

I followed my loving husband (aka Go Daddy, due to his uncanny resemblance to the Energizer Bunny) here on a business trip.  It all went surprisingly well. At first.  The girls and I spent a relaxing day at the park and the art museum, followed by naps just before Go Daddy arrived back at the hotel after a long day of meetings. (He’s partly responsible for that ominous sounding “One World Alliance.”)

Once Go Daddy finished with his business making alliances with the world, he was itching to get out and do something (hence his name). So we gathered our two little darlings (two years old and 3 months old) and headed to the aquarium.  We took a cab there no problem. Unfortunately, after a loooooong day of smudging up the glass trying to get to the fishies, we discovered, much to our dismay, it was not quite so easy to get one back to the hotel.

So we walked back. Four miles. During nap time. It was all I could do not to join in the yelling and screaming that was coming from the exhausted kiddos. We finally arrived back only to have Go Daddy decide that we should take a water taxi to the nearby island for dinner.  After a surprisingly pleasant dinner, we got home around 11pm. Pacific time, my friends.  I only tell you this to let you know how tired we were before things got really ugly.

The next day we went through customs to our standby flight, taking care to mark our bags properly, crossing our t’s and dotting our i’s. Well, two cancelled flights later we were still in Canada and the bags were on their way home — wait for it — with the diapers. We went back through customs to another hotel and began to seriously dig into our resources.  “Lizzie Rabbit you must only use the potty from here on out”  “Tiny Tura,  no pooping, okay?”  We all ended up in various states of nudity because that’s all we had left.  But, you know, it’s Canada, so it was alright, right?

Once we handwashed a few items and made it to the airport I had to walk aboot a kilometer to the domestic terminal to the only pharmacy in the whole airport, only to find out it was closed on Sundays. Then I found a 7-11 nearby sure they would have diapers becaise I saw them there when I was desperately searching for wipes earlier in the week.  By the way, homemade wipes are awful, or at least I am not very good at it.  Well, irony of ironies, this 7-11 had lots of wipes, but no diapers. Of course.

I finally prayed, literally, for a miracle.  I randomly stopped in a magazine stand to cheer myself up with something trashy to read (there’s no therapy quite like that of Star! Magazine), and low and behold- diapers!   “Yay!”  I actually yelled that, out loud, and the cashier said “Congratulations, that’s our last pack.”  We finally did make it on the plane, but we had a very hard time trying to explain to the customs officials why we had no luggage and only a bag of diapers to our name.

Rachelle is married to Go Daddy (who is Mr. Dad’s “little” brother) and a very full-time mother to two little darlings. She spends her “free time” rearranging the eye shadows in her Caboodle and would love to work as a frappuccino tester for Starbucks when she grows up.

My Monday by the Numbers: Guest Post by Michelle

5 Apr

Whine: I am usually the idea girl….but I was running on empty trying to come up with something clever and snarky to post over here.  So I had to steal from my old archives. This little piece is something from when I was on maternity leave with my youngest.
Cheese: I am getting more sleep these days…and occasionally even a few more things done. And that little sweet thing that was so much work as a little baby lump is now running around, climbing on counters and continually finding new ways  to ward off any productivity.

my monday by the numbers:

5:45am alarm goes off, if by alarm you mean screaming baby
7:12am time we actually get out of bed

7 – games of solitare
2 – games of solitare won
5 – number of diapers changed before lunch
2 – hours of bad daytime tv (bonnie hunt and crossing jordan)
3 – times that I thought maybe I should be doing something a little more productive than watching tv
3 – times that I convinced myself how comfy the couch was and that maybe being productive was highly overrated
8 – phone calls trying to sell me something
3 – number of times I was almost asleep only to be interupted by a phone call trying to sell me something
50 – percentage of my day spent with a child attached (literally)
4 – number of times I was spit up on enough to warrant changing shirts
o – times I actually changed shirts
2 – times that Tess smiled at me

3:36pm i put on clothes other than my pjs

2 – possibly the number of days since I last washed my hair
6 – level of bejeweled I made it to before Tess’s crying insisted on prematurely ending the game
63 – pages read (david sedaris rocks!)
8 – number of loads of laundry waiting to be done
1/2 –  number of loads actually done (only half because it sat wet in the washer for 2 days before I finally transferred it to the dryer.) 
3 – recipes I looked up online to make for dinner
13 –  dollars I spent on dinner order at Taco Casa

5:36pm dad pulls up in the driveway
5:37pm i make my quick escape for a few minutes of sanity and a latte


Michelle is a high school teacher. But since she teaches science and not literature, she feels no compunction to conform to societal conceptions of punctuation and grammar. But don’t let that keep you from reading her blog, which is equal parts hilarious and insightful, even if she doesn’t like commas.

Charlie Bit My Finger: Guest Post by Andrew

1 Apr

Whine:  I haven’t blogged in a really long time – and I’m suffering from performance anxiety.

Cheese: At least I’m not mother to a hungry newborn where I’m forced to take a blogging sabbatical due to a sore body, irrational crying and sleepless nights.  With that being said, inspiration can often strike in the middle of the night.

Hi, I’m Andrew Clogg… and my name rhymes with blog. I imagine my daughter will grow up hearing cyber jokes instead of plumbing jokes like I did.  I’m Sarah’s brother-in-law, and in addition to being a guest blogger, I serve as her part-time technical support guy (though she really doesn’t need my help). I am father to Avery (aka “Aves’ the Brave”) and Charlie (aka “Char Char”) and a beautiful wife who I won’t mention (because we once had an internet stalker – no kidding).

I am also the first male ever (besides Brother Bear) to post on Whine and Cheese… so don’t expect any acronymical anecdotes referencing OBGYN’s or PMS. I wanted to take this time to encourage all of you aspiring bloggers and internet junkies to continue following your passions. Your time will come – even if it’s not what, or when you expect.  I’m living proof of this.

About a month ago, a production company in California found my youtube clip titled “dog disaster” which profiled my dog’s “while-you-were-out” escapades, involving a large living room plant and my study bible.  They asked if they could use it in an upcoming mini-series for Animal Planet about dogs who behave badly.  Yes, it’s not exactly “good press” and no, I didn’t make a killing ($50) – but it was my first lucky break!

Shortly after, I was contacted by the Science Museum of Minnesota to use a different clip of my daughter, “Avery talking to Mommy”. The video footage will be featured in an upcoming exhibit on childhood speech development (…If you knew Avery, she couldn’t be more perfect for the role!). It’s not as though these clips have a TON of hits -only a few hundred – and yet, they were still FOUND; even though they were a couple years old.

As a proud daddy and dog owner I’m thrilled that there are others out there who find MY day-to-day moments worth commemorating.  Whether it’s a spontaneous video, or witty blog post – I think we ALL have equally memorable moments that are worth sharing.

So, keep blogging, tweeting, and youtubing,  friends! You never know when your story will become the next internet sensation!


Andrew (aka Uncle Andrew) sells trash cans for a living. Really big trash cans. Ok, they’re actually dumpsters. In his spare time he likes starting “discussions” about taboo political topics, teaching his dog funny tricks and playing every board game Germany has ever produced.


Meet the Parents: Guest Post by Brother Bear

30 Mar

Whine: Mommy is always disrupting my eating and sleeping routine for inane things like changing my diaper (what? it could totally hold more) or sneaking little kisses. Doesn’t she understand that a man needs his rest?

Cheese: Revenge. Is. Sweet. Honestly, I’ve never seen That Mommy Lady move as quickly as she did when she realized she’d left my hind parts uncovered and that I wasn’t finished filling my diaper. When all was said and done, I wasn’t the only one who needed a change.

I look pretty pleased with myself, don't I?

As you guessed, I’m the new guy around here. I go by so many nicknames that I’m not sure if my real name is Lahdee, Aaron, El Rojo Grande or Stinkypants. But my newly soiled baby blanket has Aaron embroidered on it, so I’m gonna go with Aaron. But you can call me Brother Bear.

Today is my one-week birthday, so forgive me if my entry is short. I just wanted to give you a babies-eye view of this place I now call home. It sure is different than my old home–lot’s roomier, but the service could be quicker. I mean, inside I never had to wait on a meal, I just sucked it down through nature’s original curly straw. Now I might have to cry for five whole minutes before That Mommy Lady gets around to feeding me. The outrage.

But other than that, I think I like it ok. I’ve got two older sisters, Big and Lil’ Sis, and as far as I can tell they serve two purposes around here. One is to sit at my feet and gaze adoringly as they offer me toys and blankets and teddy bears and play This Little Piggy with my toes that Mommy never manages to get socks onto. The other seems — as I overheard Daddy say — to be “like a tag-team of little accidents.” I see the look on Mommy’s face when Lil’ Sis is trying to drink my bathwater and I can tell I have much to learn from them.

Lil' Sis and I meeting for the first time.

She's just that into me, isn't she?

Mr. Dad seems like a cool guy. And handsome, too. Which is a good thing ’cause everyone says we look just alike, from the extraordinarily long legs to the fuzzy red hair covering my body (I kinda look like a peach). My auntie said it’s weird to hold me because it’s like holding her brother. (That would be weird.) But Mr. Dad and I get along great. Although he teases me that I’ll never be able to eat in public because I make such rude piggy-like noises. But he usually doesn’t pester me too much with insignificant details like diaper changes and whatnot, so we just mostly chill and watch sports together to give Mommy a break from my voracious appetite.

The indoctrination begins. . .

And last, but not least, is Mommy. She’s a sentimental one, which is why I had to write my introductory post, we wouldn’t want her blubbering all over the place about what a precious gift I am, blah, blah, blah. I may give her a hard time, but man that lady is my sun, moon and stars. Or more aptly, my breakfast, lunch and dinner. And second breakfast, second lunch, second dinner, and midnight snack. And although I may not be so crazy about all those kisses she tries to sneak, I try to throw her a bone every once and while and let her snuggle me to sleep. After all, I’m not completely heartless.

She looks pretty happy to see me. Probably because I weighed 9 1/2 pounds.

Well, that’s about all I’ve got for now. It’s been far too long since my last meal and all this exertion has made me extra hungry. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who sent prayers, well-wishes and congratulations our way this week. I want to send a special and personal thanks to the people who keep dropping baked goods off on our doorstep — I have a vested interest in Mommy staying both plump and pleasant — so keep ’em coming!

Brother Bear (aka Baby Aaron) is the resident baby at A Little Whine and Cheese. In his spare time he enjoys eating, sleeping and keeping up with his fan club. He is currently president of the Support Group for Newborns Who Look Like Third Graders.


Guest Post: Jingles by Mitsi

22 Mar

Whine: I figured as the first guest blogger during Sarah’s “maternity leave” that there’d already be a baby around that I could talk about. I should’ve known better.

Cheese: He’ll be here within the week!  Yay Sarah!

My name is Mitsi and I’ve been friends with Sarah for 8 or 9 years now.  In that time, she’s made several people and has commissioned my “talents” [if they can really be called that] as an amateur jingle writer to make up songs about having babies for her entertainment.  Yes, really. 

Now, I don’t believe I have a skill on par with the “Stanley Steemer” people, it’s more of a Weird-Al-take-perfectly-lovely-songs-and-manipulate-them-for-the-amusement-of-self-and-others gig that I’ve got going here.  However, on more than one occasion, I’ve answered the phone to have Sarah or my good friend Jenny request that I croon out one of these beauties, often on speakerphone, and frequently to people who are complete strangers to me (including OB/GYNs and random assorted others).

So here for your reading pleasure, is a list of the current tracks on the Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum, and Trying to Conceive collection (the album needs a catchier title, I know).  I don’t know how these will translate without musical backup, so you may have to use your imagination.

Track 1: Mammaries

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Barbara Streisand’s The Way We Were.

Notes: I came up with this in 8th grade. I was an odd child.


Track 2: Bertha the Birthin’ Uterus

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Entirely original tune and lyrics.

Notes: Comissioned by Sarah in honor of the birth of Big Sis.


Track 3: Epidural

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: The Eagle’s Desperado

Notes: The jewel in the crown. Also penned for Big Sis.


Track 4: Circumcision

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Foreigner’s Double Vision

Notes: Written for the birth of my best friend’s son.


Track 5: Onward Luteinizing Hormone

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Onward Christian Soldiers

Notes: For anyone who’s ever peed on an ovulation predictor.


Track 6: The Signs of Early Pregnancy

Original Song it Completely Desecrates: Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence

Notes: The most recent addition. A tribute to my own heartburn.


In honor of the impending arrival of Little Brother, here’s the full-on version of “Epidural”


You help to deaden my senses.
When my uterus tenses,
You’re there for me.
I may be contracting,
But with your help I’ll get through it.
I know I can do it
When you’re in my spine.


Master Mitsi (she insists we call her that  until she’s Dr. Mitsi) is a Ph D student who writes jingles and names other people’s babies in her spare time. Currently a dog mom to two little rascals (Murphy and Stanley), she hopes to increase her brood with some human offspring in the near future and put her Baby Compilation CD to good use.