Everything you've ever wanted to know. Ever.

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It’s time to get fancy. I’m two now, and my expectations are growing. I can speak in full sentences now, people! 

Now, I love our little house. It’s charming, really. And mom is enamored with the fact it has a shed out back, an attic, and a linen closet (clearly she never raised her expectations). But I’ve got my eyes on a new residence. Something a little more…regal. 

So I talked to Dad about it this morning, and I know we’ll have to pinch some pennies to get there, but behold, my dream house:

Pretty spectacular, huh? I assume nightly fireworks are part of the package. And I’ll want the water in the moat chlorinated so we can use it as a lazy river, obviously. 

I’ve also been thinking a lot about my dining choices. While I’m fine with the same old strawberries, chicken nuggets, pasta routine, I think Lyla’s “Tinkerbell popsicle soup” that she reviewed at French Laundry is a better fit for my palate. There aren’t enough toddlers reviewing the world’s top restaurants really. Lyla, make it a table for two! 

Hi, warm weather. It’s me, Maddie. I missed you and am glad to see you’ve returned. I was beginning to think you weren’t real! I’m two so I know there are imaginary friends, but I have no idea how deep this “imaginary” thing goes.

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I can’t read. Of course I can’t. I’m not even 2. If I could, I’d be on Ellen as the novelty act who closes the show after the famous people are done promoting their movies and pretending to be down to earth. 

But Mom’s 32-years-old. She should know how to read! But yesterday, she signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon for the Alzheimer’s Association. It’s a great cause and something my great grandfather suffered from for 10 years. However, Mom didn’t check out the fine print and only later saw that she was on the hook for raising $1,500. She insists it said “suggested goal” on the registration form. A likely story.

If any of you Maddie Uncensored fans want to help my poor, unobservant mother hit her goal (because why should a worthy charity suffer from her mistakes), you can donate here: http://act.alz.org/goto/katiedenis. 

Of course, given my concern over Mom’s reading comprehension skills, I might be taking up a collection to donate here: 

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She reads to me every night, but now I question the authenticity of what she’s saying. Does Olivia really save the circus, or is Mom just making up words to go along with the pictures? Do I really have brains in my head and feet in my shoes? Does she even love me to the moon and back? Am I supposed to say goodnight to the moon or not? 

My world is shattered. My only consolation is that she’ll have 26.2 miles to think about her reading skills. 

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As I’m writing this, it’s only 8:31 a.m. on Halloween, but let’s go to the scoreboard, shall we?

Tricks: 1
Treats: 0

My amateur hour mother thought that procrastination was a fantastic way to approach Halloween costumes in one of the largest metro areas in the country. Spoiler alert: she was wrong.

When she finally sauntered into Target (admittedly the fourth store she tried) at 9:00 pm two days before the big day, she was shocked to find ONE costume option in my size. A bumblebee.

I made it very clear I wanted to go as the Bride of the E-Trade Baby or Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet, but she ignored my wishes and produced a black and yellow (Steelers colors, ugh) polyester nightmare.

Did she really think I’d just let her off the hook? Please. That costume was a poltergeist and I had to perform an exorcism. ‘Twas a battle fiercely fought, but at the end, I left the house in a sweatshirt and leggings. Not quite Elizabeth Taylor but at least made of natural fibers.

I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been too busy GROWING. 

I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been too busy GROWING. 

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I don’t watch TV. I don’t mean that in the way that some people say, “I don’t watch television,” and then wear it like a badge of honor and talk about nothing else. (Sidebar with the non-TV watchers who can’t stop talking about how you don’t watch TV: Please start. You’re haughtiness is killing us.) What I mean is that I haven’t started caring about moving pictures on a screen.

Despite my TV-less universe, Mom has already banned me from watching something called Hannah Montana. The premise of the show is that an average girl leads a double life as a rockstar and hides her true identity from the public. Looking at the side-by-side, the intelligence of the public should be called into question. 

Anyway, the erstwhile Hannah Montana behaved very badly at the VMAs last night, something I’m aware of because it was blowing up my Twitter feed. It was the celebrity news equivalent of George Clooney getting engaged. 

Realizing that it would be difficult to block the Disney Channel for all time, Mom said she was going to get box sets of some shows she thinks are wholesome and she watched growing up. Her memory must be failing her in her old age, because these shows deal with some pretty heady stuff. 

Drug Addiction (and hair product addiction):

Eating Disorders:

Alcoholism:

Do you remember when Tom Hanks played Alex P. Keaton’s alcoholic uncle? I don’t, because it was almost three decades ago, but shouldn’t Mom do some research? She was at least alive. 

No show is safe, Mom. After all, the internet exists and I’m not going to watch anything that wasn’t filmed in HD anyway. Perhaps as an alternative you could consider raising me so that I know right from wrong. It’s one option. (Looking at you Billy Ray!)

If I keep up at the rate I’ve been learning new things lately, I’m going to give Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and all those kids from Baby Geniuses a run for their money. My latest discovery: opening doors. 

You went to get the mail? Let me follow you out to help.
In the closet o’ dangerous things? Yeah, I’m going to walk right in and play with the dog’s water and maybe a can of Raid. 
Oh, you’re in the bathroom? I’ll let myself in and hand you some toilet paper.

This advancement should send fear through the hearts of Mom and Dad, so to make them feel less alone, I wanted to share the video of some people who had a similar experience. 

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WARNING: This post is a stream-of-consciousness maelstrom. 

For those of you who haven’t been to our apartment, we live in a two-bedroom loft space. It’s probably one of the worst 10 ideas my parents have ever had—and that’s saying something. This place has floating walls that don’t go all the way to the ceiling (that includes the bathrooms, folks) and no doors, just openings to the bedrooms. This is hard to visualize, so here’s a picture that should help—this isn’t our exact place, just one from our building I found trolling Google:

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It’s not like the developer forgot to finish or anything. It’s actually a very cool green building with all sorts of neat things like recycled glass tile and reclaimed wood floors. It would all be very on-trend for 20-somethings or hip empty-nesters. But my parents don’t fit that mold. They’re lame now, and it’s better that they just accept it.

Because of our unconventional living arrangement, I can hear everything that happens in our apartment. I should also mention I can hear everything in the one above and below us too. Special shout-out to the downstairs neighbor for the 6 a.m. Rihanna “S&M” wakeup call this morning—it was in no way inappropriate for a 16-month-old.

Speaking of inappropriate*, I’ve heard all of the last two seasons of True Blood, and I’d like to address Sunday’s finale. Now, I wasn’t alive for the first years of the series, but I have to say, what I heard last year left me doubting if I’d be back again. But because I have no power over the remote, I returned to Bon Temps and its wacky fairies and vampires. For the haters out there, this season was totally better. But what I’m really excited for is how they set up next season. Sure, they’re cribbing a little too much from Walking Dead, but the show is back to pure good and evil, out in the open. If they bring back Eric and guarantee more Lafayette sass, I’m all in next year.

Of course, my parents will probably come to their senses and move to a more logical home, and then I’ll be SOL. I suppose in 17 years, I’ll be able to buy the DVDs—or whatever the future version of a DVD is. Probably a hologram performance in my living room. 

*My editor would like me to note that we do not endorse anyone under the age of 204 months watching True Blood. It is for grown ups. When babies and vampires mix, bad things happen. 

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If you’re one of my seven readers, you may have noticed I’ve been really inconsistent with the posts lately. The life of a 15-month-old is busy. I’m walking, talking (okay, five or six words), and generally rocking out this summer. 

The highlight of my summer so far was a trip we took in July to see the great American west. There were some nervous moments. After we visited four cities and at one point got off the highway and took a dirt road because of police activity, I started to wonder if Mom and Dad were really on the lam. Fortunately, there are no warrants out  for their arrest and we are now safely back home. 

Join me for a walk down memory lane. (What? When you’re 15 months old, memory lane doesn’t require much time to pass.)

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Family photo! Don’t we look like an intrepid bunch of wilderness explorers? It’s all so very Colorado. 

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I’m clearly very outdoorsy and happy about it (since my outfit matches). 

Hanging with Dad at 11,000 feet at Loveland Pass.

My first pizza was awesome. And I’m not too proud to admit I may have gone face down in it, requiring a wardrobe change at the table. You know you love it, Breckenridge. 

Coffee break with Dad. Mine was decaf.

Taking Vail by storm.

Of course I can read a menu. (By the way, there is some killer people watching going on behind me. This is what happens when you stop at a Denny’s in the middle of Utah. I should just be grateful I left the state without becoming a sister wife.)

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Kris and Bethany’s wedding in Zion National Park proves we all clean up pretty well! And you and I both know I am a phenomenal dancer. 

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Mom is from Cincinnati, and it seems like the more time she spends living in DC, the more her Queen City pride comes out. I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder. Anyway, she wanted to post some photos of Over-the-Rhine and I told her that this publication would accept her submission. She’s lucky she knows people. 

For your background, gentle readers: In 2001, Over-the-Rhine was the epicenter of Cincinnati’s race riots. Today, a combination of private investment and smart governance has developed a neighborhood full of life, color, and enthusiasm. It took guts for some of the businesses to locate in OTR early on, but it’s paying off in spades and has helped transform a historical neighborhood back into a gem.

If you’re in Cincinnati, check it out. It’s the best kind of renaissance story and it even makes me a little proud my mom’s from the Queen City.

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