23 December 2006

Happy New Y

Today in history ...

in 1888, Vincent van Gogh cut off his left ear.

Soooo, partly in honor of my husband, who is a big fan of van Gogh, and partly because I was bored, I have compiled a list of some items you could buy for van Gogh lovers as last-minute Christmas gifts:

The Unemployed Philosopher's Guild carries several items. There is the van Gogh doll with detachable magnetic ear

the coffee mug (the ear disappears when the mug is hot):

and then, my personal favorite, the pill box. It says Crazy Things Happen If You Forget to Take Your Meds!
Shakespeare's Den offers the van Gogh action figure. He comes with 2 interchangable heads--one prior to Dec. 23, 1888, and one after:

Or how about a charm? (I found these on ebay.) Very tasteful, don't you think?
Not so tasteful is this t-shirt from threadless:

This shirt from sendatee.net is a little better. It says Ear today, gone tomorrow:

And last, but not least, you could always send them this chocolate ear from favors to treasure:

20 December 2006

christmas cookies

Amy, Christina and I got together to decorate Christmas cookies today. We had so much fun--and the kids did, too, of course. Christina had a nice lunch spread for us and tons of cookie dough for the children to cut out and then decorate with icing and sprinkles. Hey! That reminds me! I left my cookie cutters over there! Sigh. Oh, well. With 2 babies and a diaper bag and all of the various stuffed Elmos and sippy cups, it would be a miracle if I didn't leave a trail of babystuff behind me everywhere I go! I do think sometimes the Lion is a little like Hansel, leaving his own trail of Cheerios in his wake. Jonathan and I find them everywhere! I was in the laundry room the other day, tossing clothes into the dryer and I crushed one under my foot. It scared the crap out of me! Who knew a Cheerio crunching underfoot could be so loud?

Anyway, we really had such a great time today. And Christina had a little goody bag of cookies for each child and a Santa Claus sippy cup for each of them to bring home. So sweet.

Bluebird is very excited about Santa Claus. We ask her, "Who's coming?" And she says "Santa Claus is coming!" Then we ask, "What does Santa do?" and she tells us he "puts presents under the tree!" I don't know if she realizes what a present is, so Christmas morning will be exciting indeed.

Seriously, though, she must think Santa is so incompetent! Every special we've watched--Dora, Mickey Mouse, Handy Manny, you name it, we've seen them all--Santa always needs these other guys to come and help him out. Either his sleigh has broken down or he's gotten lost or left his presents behind... he always needs someone to come and save the day.

19 December 2006


I am becoming obsessed.

It's funny to me that I have never been to England. And I love all things English. Jonathan and I watched a program on London the other day, and there was (of course) a section on the Tower. I think I was literally drooling. I asked Jonathan, how many Americans can name all the wives of Henry 8th, in order, and tell their fate? Me! Me! Pick me!

Catherine of Aragon, mother of Mary 1, divorced

Anne Boleyn, mother of Elizabeth 1, beheaded
Jane Seymour, died after birth of her son, Edward
Anne of Cleves, divorced almost instantly
Katherine Howard, beheaded
Catherine Parr, outlived Henry, married Thomas Seymour and died in childbirth

I am a complete and utter geek.

I cannot wait to walk in the Tower, to step where Anne Boleyn stepped. Incredible!

Jonathan's best friend, Andy, emailed us yesterday. He wanted to know if we wanted him to take us to a football match--or maybe to a horse race--while we are visiting. Our answer? Yes! And, yes!

I have so many places I want to see. So many, many things I want to do... Most of my favorite authors are English--Agatha Christie, P.D. James, Ngaio Marsh, Mary Stewart... I want to visit as many bookstores as I can find and look for old hardbacks of their books. I was lying in bed the other night, telling Jonathan this and he got very quiet. Then he sighed. "I wasn't going to tell you this, but the London Book Fair will be taking place while we are there."


We got our tickets in the mail. We fly out on April 6th (our five year anniversary) to Amsterdam, then on to the big E. We are going to stay with Andy and his girlfriend, Teresa, for four days at their home in Lincoln. Their baby girl, Gabriella Eliza, is going to be christened on April 8 and Jonathan is her godfather. Then Andy is taking us into London, where Jonathan and I will spend the remainder of our trip.

I am trying to talk him into going to see "The Mousetrap" while we are there. It is the longest running show in theatre history. And it's Agatha Christie. Did I mention I love her?

I can't wait!
I can't wait!
I can't wait!

12 December 2006

11 December 2006

cultural differences

In four months, I will be in London. I am so excited! I think I have always wanted to be English. My friends, the DWAFS, know what I mean by this.

I have never been to England. But I know I will love it. I have only been to Rome and to Stuttgart, Germany. Well, wait, we had a stop-over in Heathrow on the way home, which was all I saw of England. And then, something so traumatic happened to me at Heathrow. I can't believe I am actually going to tell this humiliating story here, but what the hell, why not, right? And let me apologize, in advance, if you happen to be German. All you German women out there, please don't be offended by this stupid story.

Okay, here goes:

Jonathan took me to Rome for our honeymoon in the fall of 2002. Like I said, I had never been anywhere before. Wow. Anyway, I knew I was in trouble before we had even gotten on the plane. We were getting our boarding passes, and there I am, in my usual jeans and black Converse. Jonathan was telling the woman at the desk that this was my first trip to Europe. She was sighing and saying how wonderful it is, how I would just love it there, blahblah and that you can always spot the Americans because they are the only people over there wearing sneakers. Ha ha, so funny, right?

I felt very conspicuous in Rome. Not only is Jonathan a giant compared to the men over there, not only am I as white as one of the marble statues, but I was wearing Converse. And jeans. And I hadn't packed a blowdryer, so my flat hair was in a ponytail the entire time.

If you've never been to Rome, this is what the women look like there:

Seriously. All of them. They are all dark and gorgeous with big bouncy hair and huge sunglasses and they wear little stiletto heels everywhere. On the cobblestone even. So I felt very out of place.

Any way. Then we go to Stuttgart for a few days to visit Jonathan's Onkle Herbert and Tante Inge. And it was crazy how different the women looked! In Germany, they all looked pretty much like this:

Anyway, very different from the Italian women, shall we say?

Soooo, on the way home, we had this stop-over in Heathrow and I was so excited. We get off the plane and it is freezing cold so I put on my big black coat and my scarf and I immediately head for the Starbucks kiosk to order some coffee. When my order was ready, (God, this is so awful) the barista leans over and hands me my Mocha and says, very loudly, like he thinks I am hard of hearing, "Guten tag!" I could have died! He thought I was German!

So I am determined, the next time I am in England I am going to look like one of those Roman women. I will be thinner and I will leave my sneakers at home. And I will bring my blow-dryer. Although, I will probably not use it, because I am lazy, but Jonathan told me Saturday that my ponytail suits me, so there.

06 December 2006

the London diet

My friend, Kurt, was trying to get me to buy some chocolate yesterday in Borders.

I told him I was on a diet.

My friend, Kris, said, "Oh, yeah, that's right. She's on the London diet."

Kurt: "The London Diet? What's that?"

Kris: "Oh, you know, it's where you just eat scones and drink a lot of tea."

05 December 2006

goodbye, girl

Jonathan and I buried Maggie today in the back yard. We buried her with some old towels and her food bowl and her water bowl and her brush and her leash and some treats and 2 hot dogs.

She was a good dog. She lived with us for four lovely years. She was Jonathan's dog, really. We never even knew how old she really was. Four years ago she was wandering around our old neighborhood for days until Jonathan lured her into our yard by grilling some bratwurst for her. She wouldn't come near anyone else. She growled at me at first if I got too close. I was afraid of her. Which is silly in retrospect. Maggie was the gentlest, timidest dog I have ever known. But she looked a little frightening, I guess. She was fat and shaggy and black. Part Newfoundland, so you can imagine... We brought her to Petsmart to be shaved last summer after our clippers broke in her thick fur and people saw her heading in to the grooming area and just laughed. She was just one giant furball.

She looked kind of like a black bear, and was roughly the same size, too. I remember Lesley's little boy, Patrick, pointing out our window at Maggie, asking, "Mommy, what is that?" and Lesley saying, "I think it's a dog."

She had been really slow, much slower than she even usually was. And when we brought her to the mountains last weekend, she wasn't able to walk more than a few steps so we left her in the van. I think she just liked being with us.

She hadn't touched her food all week. And then yesterday, when I got up in the morning, she was gone. And I had a very bad feeling, like maybe she had wandered off into the woods to die. I called Jonathan and asked him if he had seen her when he left for work. He said he had, and that she had probably just gone down to the stream for some water. But I didn't think so. She wouldn't be gone that long.

So, all day I kept scanning the woods. It's amazing how many black shapes there are out there that look like a big, black dog if you stare hard enough. Finally, both babies were asleep and I went outside to look for her.

It was bitter cold. I even wound my scarf around my face, it was so cold. I kept praying, Please, God, let me find her before Jonathan gets home. Like I said, she was his dog, really. And I knew that would be very, very hard for him to handle. I had no idea how I could possibly move such a large animal, but I figured, I'd deal with that when I found her. Maybe I could just cover her with a blanket or something, make her look more peaceful.

I found her and it was horrible. She was in the stream. She was still alive. I think she had gone to the stream, just like Jonathan said and had fallen and been lying in the freezing water all day.

I have no idea how, but I managed to pull her massive body partway out of the water. I simply could not lift her the rest of the way, and there was still a good one hundred feet of woods with deep trenches between us and the house. So I did a very awful thing.

I left her there.

All alone in the water.

And I ran as fast as I could to the house. I didn't know what to do. ohmyGodohmyGodohmyGod was racing through my head. I called an Animal Hospital and they suggested I call Animal Control. I called Animal Control and then I called Jonathan. He was pulling into our neighborhood when I called him, so I called Animal Control back and told them not to come. Then I called my mom to see if she could leave work to come and babysit for us so we could both take Maggie to the vet together. I knew it was going to be a very sad vet visit and I didn't want Jonathan to have to take Maggie all by himself. My mother, angel that she is, came over right away while Jonathan pulled Maggie out of the water. He kept saying, "I can't believe you got her out of the water." She was just so heavy.

We put her in the back seat and covered her with dry towels and brought her to the vet. And put her to sleep. It took them for ever to find a vein because she had been in the freezing water for so long that her veins were constricted. But after about a half hour, they found one. They started to administer the medicine, and Maggie lifted her massive head and looked down at the syringe. She seemed so very, very weary. Then she put her head back down and looked at Jonathan and then she sighed and was gone. It was so quick. And so peaceful.

We still can't believe she is gone. We are both so tired. I hate this kind of emotional exhaustion. I'd much rather be physically tired. My head hurts, my eyes feel swollen. They sting. I am just so sad. But I am very proud of my Jonathan. He was very brave. He keeps thanking me for somehow pulling Maggie out of the water--he keeps saying, Seeing her lying in the water would have haunted me forever. Yeah. Tell me about it.

04 December 2006

ideology at 4 am

The Lion woke up at 4 this morning. I guess I really can't complain, because this is the first time he has woken in the night since he was about 4 months old. It's so fascinating to me how these little babies are born and they immediately possess personalities that are so distinctly their own. And how ridiculously unfair that I was blessed with these 2 amazing sleepers and my poor friend, Amy, was given not one but two babies who barely sleep at all. Sitting there in Lion's room with him in the halfdark I really thought about Amy a lot, wondering how on earth she is surviving. I mean, she is breastfeeding still, too, so downing endless cups of coffee to get through the day is not a possibility. And on top of not getting any sleep, her little girl, Maggie, is in preschool now so Amy is constantly getting sick. Amy, I am thinking of you. You are truly a Wonder Woman.

It was really very sweet, sitting there with the Lion, holding him in my arms, listening to his "Curious George" soundtrack. I can remember sitting in that same big armchair with Blue, who was never a very cuddly baby. She would be squirming around, standing on my lap, pulling my hair or beating on the back of the chair with her little hands while I tried desperately to savor the moment. My little boy, on the other hand, is very content just lying in my arms. It never ceases to amaze Jonathan and I how mellow the Lion is--how he can just lay there. Jonathan asks me all the time, "Do you think something is wrong with him?" But I remember he used to ask that about Blue, too, as she tried desperately to wriggle out of his arms.

The "Curious George" soundtrack is Lion's lullabye CD. Jonathan bought it for him when he was just home from the hospital and for the rest of my life, whenever I hear Jack Johnson sing I will think of my son. As we sat there this morning in the chair, listening to the music I wondered if the familiar songs reminded the Lion of me. And then I got to thinking, Who/what am I to Lion? (You can get very philosophical at 4 in the morning.) To Blue, I am Mommy. I am more mellow, much less playful than Daddy, but I also shout less, too. Mommy is the one she runs to when she is hurt, Daddy is the one who comforts her when she is scared. Our roles are pretty clearly defined. But who am I to Lion?

Am I the familiar sound of the "Curious George" soundtrack? Am I a bottle? Am I dark hair to tug on? Am I coffee breath? Am I a clean diaper? Am I his whole world?

Jonathan tells me all the time how much the Lion loves me. And I know it is true. He is my boy. I am the one with him for most of the day. I am the one who sees that his immediate needs are met. Which is not to say that Jonathan doesn't. He is much more involved than most fathers. But he has a dayjob. And by calling the Lion my boy, I am not claiming all of his affection. He loves Jonathan too. He calls him dada and he has a special, huge smile that uses every part of his fat little face that only appears when he sees Jonathan. And he loves Blue. He can't seem to sit still when he sees her. And he follows her around the house on his hands and knees like a little puppy.

But I am something different, something more. I don't know how to put it into words. To him, and to Blue when she was littler, I am the world. I am sort of an extension of Lion, in his mind. He knows who we all are, and he even has a name for Jonathan. But I remember it took Blue for ever to finally call me mama. And I don't think it is a linguistic thing. She was already saying much more complex words, like balloon and good girl. I think, and I don't mean to sound conceited at all, but I think it is just that Blue didn't see why I needed a name, because I was Everything.

03 December 2006

size matters

I am determined to lose 35 pounds by April 1st. No foolin'. Jonathan and I are going to London then and I want to look fabulous.*

Wish me luck.
I don't know what has happened to me. When Jonathan and I met, I was very thin. I had been skinny my whole life. I think it was after my brief first pregnancy that my metabolism just came to a screeching, frightening halt. I've had my thyroid tested, and unfortunately there is absolutely nothing wrong with it that I can blame my excess weight on. It is just all the junkfood and couchwarming that is conspiring against me, I guess.

It sucks, too, because when I was so thin, it was not at all in vogue. Not like now. I guess I am destined to be out of fashion! This was before anyone had even heard of Kate Moss. I was called every stupid nickname in the book in high school: Olive Oyl, Twiggy, Toothpicks, Spaghetti Legs, Chicken Legs ... there were lots of derogatory names about my legs. I remember looking at all of the normal-looking cheerleader types in my high school who were so popular and confident and thinking, Oh, well, I will be skinny at our reunion and you probably won't, so there! But that didn't happen. What happened was they all looked pretty much the same. Damn.

But I keep thinking, at least I was thin once. So I know I can get there again, right? Have I mentioned this theory before on this blog??? Sooooo my goals:

1. to eat less
2. to exercise when possible
3. to pray for a miracle

*I don't just want to look better for our trip, either, but I want to be healthier and set a good example for Lion and Blue. That is something I really need to work on. I think I am a pretty good mom, all things considered. They are relatively clean and well-fed and I read to them and all. And if I do yell at them I apologize to them afterwards. And I think I don't tend to freak out over the silly, little kid things that they do from time to time (for example, when Blue flings poo around her room like she did Friday night). But I need to feel better in my own skin, so that Blue doesn't grow up hearing me denying compliments or putting myself down all the time.

30 November 2006


Popular Wiggles Singer Quits Due to Health Woes

Popular Wiggles Singer Quits Due to Health Woes

Greg Wiggle is retiring due to a chronic health condition. Nooooooo! Not only is Greg the lead singer of the Wiggles, but he is also my own personal favorite Wiggle.

At least his illness is not life-threatening. The guy is only 34. And he is a father.

Professor Singalottasonga will be the new yellow Wiggle. He is a very good singer as well. Jonathan and I saw him perform in August when Greg had to bow out due to health. But. He is no Greg Wiggle, I'm sorry to say. I can't help thinking he shouldn't wear yellow. They should make him some other color completely. How about an orange Wiggle?

I wonder how this will impact kids. Like my own Blue who still would rather watch the Wiggles over any other show. Hmmm... Should be interesting...

Anyway, good luck, Greg Page. You will be very, very missed...

22 November 2006

Thankful for

Tomorrow is Jonathan's birthday. It seems appropriate to me that his birthday falls on Thanksgiving. I am so thankful that I found him. That he picked me. That we have this amazing life together. I definitely do not take him or our life for granted. Ever.

What a wonderful year this has been. It seems like every year is better than the one before. I can't wait to see what this year has in store for us!

So, Happy Birthday, Honey, I love you, and I hope you like this little slideshow I put together for you:

The Perfect Father

21 November 2006

say what?!

As Jonathan was ducking out the door this morning to go to the office, Blue yelled,

"Bye, Daddy! Don't fart!"

19 November 2006

my blog blue

I have entered a blue phase. Maybe my manly husband has finally rubbed off on me or something. Jeez, how dirty did that sound? Anyway, I decided to redo my blog. No more pink. Pink is sooo yesterday.

I even renamed it. The whole "News from a Broad" thing made me feel like I was ripping off the really clever feminist world news column in "Bust" magazine. Plus, my blog isn't exactly news, nor am I abroad.

18 November 2006

Shenandoah National Park

We went up Skyline Drive today with the babies. It was very cold, but they were both such good sports! What a beautiful, crisp Autumn day. Blue was very excited to see 7 "deers." We watched them eating by the side of the road. According to Blue they were eating dirt.

She called Jonathan "Hon" this morning like I do. Maybe I can teach her to call him Daddy the Hun. That would be cute.


Andrea visited this week. It was so wonderful to have her here. And she was very much all mine this week, because she was not teaching (except for one Pilates class) while she was here this time. It reminded me a little of our old high school days--just munching on potato chips and watching movies and talking about boys. Except now we were watching Disney movies with my children instead of "Grease" and instead of staying up all night we would sensibly decide to go to bed after taking our various medications and supplements.

It is crazy to me how different our lives are! And what an amazing friend she is to me--to listen to my mundane lifestories and not to yawn, but to actually seem interested in my stay-at-home lifestyle.

She lives out of her very hip little blue suitcase most of the time. When she's not on a plane or bouncing from Paris hotel to flat in London, she is nesting in her tiny scrap of an apartment in Brooklyn, sipping coffee and catching up on her emails on her Mac. She has a Mac, for God's sake. I would have never considered getting a Mac! In my defense, who in Virginia buys a Mac? But having seen it, I covet it. It's this little sleek white notebook and it really does seem to make much more sense than our PC.

I covet so much about her life. Not just the traveling and how damn taut her body is, but her adorable non-HairCuttery haircut, her pretty bangly earrings, her gorgeous sweaters. I find myself analyzing her style while she is talking, soaking it in, hoping some will wear off on me. I know I am a Mom, but I hate that I look like one! Even when I leave the babies with Jonathan for the afternoon and escape to Target to wander around and touch the pretty, pretty bath towels I'll still bet people look at me and think, "There goes a Mom." My jeans are always stained. My hair is always in a ponytail because I can never be bothered to brush it let alone wash it. And I always wear sneakers.

Anyway, here is a picture of Andrea with little Lion. It's not as clear as the ones she took this week (with her sleek little camera) that I posted earlier.

15 November 2006

12 November 2006

from the Onion

What Will We Eventually Get Around To Bringing In From The Car?

1. Bag of cat litter
2. Birth-control pills
3. 437 Wendy's Big Bacon Classic Wrappers
4. Grandma's ashes
5. Chinese ambassador
6. Yaz Upstairs At Eric's cassette
7. Mangled deer carcass

11 November 2006

10 November 2006

Tonight in Borders

Jonathan and I were talking while Blue waved a little board book at us and pointed to one of the pages.

"What the heck izzatttt?"

09 November 2006

His name was Rob.

His name was Rob. He was 28 years old. He passed away Friday in the arms of his soulmate, Jonathan's cousin, Jill.

He was Jill's best friend. They had been friends or more since childhood. Theirs was like a relationship in a movie on the Hallmark channel. Almost too close to be believed. They had just gotten back together for good last year, after a few years of trying life out as Just Friends and deciding they definitely wanted/needed to be together. And then the cancer came back. It just doesn't make any sense to me. These were two people who were simply meant to be together.

They were together in the end. Jill took care of him. Now she is so sad, and so utterly alone. I hate feeling so helpless, wishing there was anything, anything I could do for her and her parents.

It's tempting to feel frustrated because they wasted any of their precious time being apart. But even that separation was meant to be, I guess. Jill has a little girl, Gracie, who was Rob's god-daughter and real daughter in every sense but the biological one. And you have to wonder, if Jill and Rob had stayed together all along, she might not have little Gracie, who is Jill's biggest motivation now to drag herself out of bed in the morning.

His funeral was the saddest one I have ever attended. Jonathan and I were saying it is the first time in our lives that someone our age lost their partner. We have both lost grandparents and relatives, but this was someone so young, and so very, very loved. My heart just aches for Jill. To be so young and to lose this one person you just assumed would always be there. I try to wrap my mind around it, the idea of losing your other half, and I feel cold and clammy and a little nauseous.

All I can do is love my husband like crazy and pray very hard and very, very often for Jill and her family and Rob's family, and little Gracie.

08 November 2006

We Did It!!!!!

i loves me some Nancy P

I am in such shock and I am so excited! I had refused to let myself hope that this could actually happen!

What a beautiful, beautiful day...

The crazy thing is, Jonathan and I almost didn't vote yesterday. I know, I know. And we always vote--even in the Primary. The thing is, we were in New Jersey for a funeral yesterday (I'll talk more about that later) and we didn't know if we would make it back in time to vote. I told Jonathan it was up to him--that our 2 votes wouldn't make that much difference in the long run. Which is an awful way to talk, I know, but living in a red state, I'm used to my votes not counting. And it was very important that we be at the funeral.

And how crazy is it that the results now hinge on Virginia?! Jonathan keeps saying, "Imagine how pissed we would be at ourselves right now if we hadn't voted?"

The whole thing is so ridiculous--a recount? Like that will make such a complete difference. Has it always been this way? Have there always been incumbents who refuse to concede until the cows come home? Jonathan was saying it is all just to buy some time, so that we don't have such an awesomely overwhelming day--gaining control of everything at once and waving good-bye to Rumsfeld. This way, the Republicans can drag it out for a while and by the time Allen concedes, it will be kind of anticlimactic.

02 November 2006

This is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

William Carlos Williams

01 November 2006

30 October 2006


Jonathan and I did not win the Best Costume Award at Roxanna and Tim's Halloween party! It was a close call but my father and stepmother beat us. They came as Shrek and Fiona and I have to admit their costumes were pretty amazing. As soon as they walked in, I realized we had some serious competition.

Jonathan was Dog the Bounty Hunter and I was his wife, Beth:

I love that Jonathan is such a fan of Dog. He wasn't even sure if he wanted to dress as Dog at first, because he said he felt like that would be making fun of him! I assured him imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I think he really just wanted to wear a mullet. He put it on the night we bought it and strutted around singing the Dog theme song. Bluebird just stared at him and kept saying, "Daddy wearing hair."

This is my 100th post on this blog! I have decided I am going to start another list--of the 100 things I most adore about my husband. I know, gag, right? But I am so in love with him. So maybe reason number 1 should be that he is such a sensitive soul, he was afraid that dressing up as Dog would be making fun of him. Duane "the Dog" Chapman, meet your biggest, most sincere fan:

27 October 2006


Just so nobody reads my last post and sends a social worker to my house, I was joking in my last post about being a dangerously negligent mother. I am an extremely paranoid, protective mother. Yes, it is true the Lion has fallen off of the couch, but he is perfectly fine and I no longer put him on the couch ever. Pinky swear.

I never, ever leave my babies unattended in the bathtub, Lion has no blankets in his crib, our windows are always locked, there are outlet covers on all of our electric sockets, we have a lock on the basement door that is always latched, we do not use walkers, our car seats were properly installed at the fire station, we always cut up grapes and hot dogs before letting Blue eat them, we have a baby gate bolted to the walls at the top of the stairs, Jonathan and I both took an infant CPR class, and I call the pediatrician at the first sign of fever.

So there.


I can't wait until this party tomorrow night! Jonathan is going to have the most fabulous contest there, I just know it, so I hope the prize is a good one! As for my costume, I am not going as his sidekick this year. I am going to dress as a Brownie this year. I am determined to look hot at least once a year.

Speaking of looking hot, I found this website, MyHeritage.com, and it is such an ego boost. Check it out! You upload your picture and then it gives you a list of all the celebrities you resemble. Apparently I am hot. Who knew? It kept telling me I resemble Katherine Heigl and Angelina Jolie.

Damn. I should be a model or something, right?!?! Why didn't anyone tell me I was so freakin' hot?! So definitely, definitely check that website out!

On a scary note, the Lion tried to climb up the stairs today! I left him prowling around the living room this morning while I got Blue dressed upstairs. I heard Lion growling and grunting down here so I knew he was okay--not choking on anything or trapped underneath anything. When I started to come back down with Blue, he was up on the third step!

I am the most dangerously negligent mother in the world!

Last week, the Lion fell off the couch. Jonathan and I were ten feet away, in the kitchen and we heard a thump and then Lion started crying. We raced over to get him and Jonathan was appalled when I blurted out: "Damn! That is the third time he has done that! He could get hurt!"

24 October 2006

100 things

I've seen these old lists on other blogs and I got list envy.

So here's my list of 100 Things About Me:

1. I love lists. Duh.
2. I have one son and one daughter.
3. I had a miscarriage in 1999.
4. I collect books.
5. I am addicted to coffee.
6. Especially the instant cappuccino at Wawa.
7. I am near-sighted and far-sighted, so I wear bifocals.
8. I pull out my eyelashes when I am stressed.
9. I have a very loud laugh.
10. I love to alphabetize.
11. I hate to make my bed.
12. I am stockpiling canned goods in case of bird flu or bombs or whatever...
13. My husband is my best friend.
14. I bite my nails.
15. I love chips and dip. Any kind of party food, really.
16. I am excessively fond of commas, dashes, basically all punctuation.
17. I don't approve of re-makes or cover songs.
18. I know more about Greek mythology than I do about Christianity.
19. I am hopelessly ignorant about geography.
20. I have to get popcorn with butter when I go to the movies.
21. I am a liberal.
22. I used to smoke.
23. I don't like sushi.
24. I hate talking on the telephone.
25. I can spend hours searching for that perfect card in Hallmark.
26. I am a terrible swimmer.
27. I am a terrible dancer.
28. But I sing pretty well.
29. I love the singer/songwriters of the 1970s.
30. I need to lose about 20 pounds.
31. I hate to exercise.
32. I prefer marshmallows that are burnt instead of toasted.
33. I am very pale--I always have to buy the foundations with names like Cameo or True Ivory.
34. I do not like scary movies.
35. They give me nightmares.
36. I love to take bubble baths.
37. I love watching the Oscars.
38. I do not like football.
39. I was raised Catholic.
40. But I am not Catholic now.
41. When I was a girl, I was obsessed with Helen Keller.
42. I dressed like Helen's Teacher, Annie Sullivan, for a Girl Scouts "Women in History" Day at the Spotsylvania Mall when I was in elementary school.
43. There was a picture of it in the local paper!
44. I love to dress up in costumes.
45. I gesture a lot when I talk.
46. I am very impatient.
47. I don't like to wear shoes.
48. The ocean scares me a little.
49. I laugh a lot.
50. There are 2 paintings of me in the book Firebrands: The Heroines of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

51. I am always spilling food on my clothes.
52. I am right handed.
53. Jonathan took me to Rome on our honeymoon.
54. I want to live there.
55. I learn languages pretty easily.
56. I was a band geek in high school.
57. I played the sax.
58. My favorite color is pink.
59. My perfume of choice is "Romance" by Ralph Lauren.
60. I love Thai food.
61. I have a very good memory.
62. I think it is because I love to do puzzles.
63. Crossword puzzles, logic puzzles, sudoku... I am a big nerd.
64. I love to work in the yard.
65. I am terrified of spiders.
66. And I hate mosquitos.
67. I crack my knuckles.
68. I can't whistle.
69. I have never liked my name.
70. I hate when people assume I'm into Irish stuff because my name is Erin.
71. I hate that men spell their name E-R-I-N. Men should be Aaron, women should be Erin.
72. I love names.
73. I used to write stories all the time as a kid, but every time I had named all the characters and described what they all looked like, I lost interest and started a new story.
74. I keep a journal, but I haven't written in it in a long time.
75. I am not a huge fan of chocolate.
76. I prefer vanilla, to tell the truth.
77. I hate man-bashing.
78. I adore my husband.
79. I can't imagine living without him.
80. I think I am a good mother.
81. I was always able to talk to my mom and dad about anything.
82. I like to cook.
83. But I am not as good a cook as my husband!
84. I really should call my friends more.
85. I have been blessed with incredible friends.
86. And family.
87. I have a wonderful stepmother.
88. Sometimes I just look at my children and I start to cry.
89. I have never been cool.
90. I tend to over-react.
91. Luckily, I have a very understanding husband!
92. I love creepy shows like "The New Detectives."
93. Even though they scare the hell out of me.
94. I am running out of Things...
95. I am very shy about meeting new people.
96. I had a happy childhood.
97. It scares me, how quickly time passes.
98. I love Fall.
99. Even after all this time, I still can't believe he wanted to marry me!
100. I am very happy with my life right now.

God, I can't believe I did it! That was hard. And I usually like lists! But enough about me...

22 October 2006

More Milestones

I feel like I should be earning merit badges for some of these major milestones. I have survived Blue's colic, Blue's first wasp sting, Blue falling down the stairs head-first, Lion's colic, Blue's first splinter, and now, the latest, my first nasal extraction.

Blue shoved a loooong strand of tinsel up her nose. I know it's not Christmas. Little girl's toys sometimes have tinsel on them--little tiaras, little magic wands, God only knows where this particular strand came from, but it wound up crammed up inside my daughter's nostril.

I never realised how very useful tweezers are until this past year. Tweezers. They're not just for plucking eyebrows.

And now for another, much more significant first: tonight is the first night Blue is sleeping in a real Big Girl Bed. We decided to ditch the crib mattress-on-the-floor she had been sleeping on because, well, she wasn't. Sleeping on it, that is. For some reason, she was sleeping on the floor right beside the mattress instead. It was a little pathetic. So I'm wondering if being on a much more substantial twin-sized mattress on top of a box spring with a plushy comforter will entice her a little more. We'll see. She's still running around up there (it's 11:30) so we'll see where she chooses to pass out tonight.

18 October 2006

love without love

I love you, because in my thousand and one nights of dreams,
I never once dreamed of you.
I looked down the paths that traveled from afar,
but it was never you I expected.
Suddenly I've felt you flying through my soul
in quick, lofty flight,
and how beautiful you seem way up there, far
from my always idiot heart!
Love me that way, flying over everything,
And like the bird on its branches, land in my arms
only to rest
then fly off again.
Be not like the romantic ones, who, in love, set me on fire.
When you climb up my mansion,
enter so lightly, that as you enter
the dog of my heart will not bark.

Luis Llorens Torres

Creepy crawly

The Lion is crawling now. He started on Saturday. Mom said, "I'll bet he's really fast!"

He isn't.

He is gaining a little speed, but he is still very jerky. It's a little like all those creepy movies, like "The Grudge" or "Gothika" where the ghosts move all jerky and digitalized. But he is getting a little better coordinated every day. He gets really mad if I go into the kitchen and leave him in the living room, even though we can see each other. He will growl and yell and follow me--like an angry puppy.

It's a little disconcerting that he doesn't stay where you put him anymore. I will set him down by the couch and dash into the kitchen for a second, and when I turn around, he is over by the TV. I keep forgetting he is mobile now. The other day, he was almost all the way under the couch when I came back into the room. All I could see was his big ol' Charlie Brown head sticking out from under the couch and one fat little arm waving around and he was so mad!

I am getting so excited about Halloween! The Lion is going to be a monkey and Blue is going to be Elmo, of course. I have no idea what Jonathan and I are going to be--we are going to a Halloween party at my step-sister's house that Saturday. There is a costume contest and I really want to win, but I just realized time is running out for us to come up with something...

Poor Jonathan. All of my ideas so far have been inspired by my wanting to see him dressed up and looking completely ridiculous. He is such a tall, scowly-looking guy, that I love seeing him look absolutely silly. The best was the year we went as Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love--and he was Courtney.

He was such a hit everywhere we went, even though Olivia's friends, the Gays, said that Jonathan was the ugliest woman they had ever seen. I asked him if we could go as Paris and Nicole. Since he is so tall, I thought he would make an awesome Paris Hilton. But he said, "Can I not go in drag this year?" Sigh. Back to the drawing board. If anyone has any suggestions, please, I am open to anything.

13 October 2006

for Mom

because you requested a better picture of the Lion

The Morning After

Blue looked like a bad-ass rock star this morning. Her room was trashed... toys and books had been thrown everywhere! Then she came staggering to the door:with her jammies unzipped all the way down and gaping open like some hideous catsuit Freddie Mercury might wear!

Alright, alright, for those of you who don't get that joke, here's a little snapshot of the late great Freddie Mercury.

And now for a little funny story... I bought my niece, Emily, a fish this summer. She decided to name him Freddy. Apparently, my whole family are latent Queen fans because every time she told one of us her fish's name, we said, "Freddy? Like Freddie Mercury?" And Emily would say, "No. Like Freddy the fish."

11 October 2006

Little Lion Man

I can't believe the Lion is almost 8 months old! He has grown so quickly. I feel like time is passing much faster than when Blue was a baby. Probably because I am so much busier this time! When Blue was little I would read while she was napping... Sigh. Now if I can ever manage to get them to synchronize their naps, I always have something to do and I never ever get to sit down with a book. Or take a bubble bath. I still have tons of bubble bath that Jonathan gave me for Christmas, unopened and collecting dust on the edge of my tub.

But, anyway, about Lion. He is such a doll. He really is the happiest baby. Blue was always so serious.  Lion is almost always smiling and laughing. I could never get Blue to laugh when she was this little. Jonathan could, but he had to tickle her a lot. That made me so jealous! I would tickle her and tickle her and make all sorts of faces--and nothing. Lion will laugh if you so much as smile at him.

He is still not crawling yet. But he just got a second tooth yesterday! The crawling thing doesn't bother me, but I notice Jonathan trying to help the Lion along whenever he gets the chance. I guess it's strange to him because Blue is the only other baby we know much about, and she was crawling at 6 months. But I keep telling him all babies are different. And I notice that I am different this time around, too. With Blue, I was always so eager to see her at the next stage--to see her crawl, to hear her talk, to watch her take her first steps... And I am eager for those milestones with the Lion, too, but this time around I know how fast it all goes by, and I am trying to savor his babyhood as much as I can. So I don't mind if he doesn't crawl for a while yet. For now I just love holding him in my arms.

10 October 2006

Tired and Busy

My poor hands. My poor, poor hands.

I have been so busy lately. We have been clearing out our yard--on nice days. We have put down topsoil, grass seed, mulch and peat moss. We've planted 2 crabapple trees, 10 azaleas, 7 rose bushes and 4 holly trees. Man, we have a humongous yard...

On crummy days I have been busy indoors. Jonathan and I built built-in bookcases in the office, and so we have been busy spackling and sanding and washing and priming them. They look awesome and I cannot, cannot wait to finally unbox my books. I have also been refinishing Lion's dresser and night-stand. And the guest room night-stand and dresser.

The scary news is that Jonathan's grandparents are coming to visit next Tuesday (that's in 7 days) and so now I am racing like a madwoman to finish all of these projects so the house will look beautiful when they arrive.

01 October 2006

"Mmm, cimmanin"

I am so so excited that McSteamy is back on "Grey's Anatomy" I cannot even begin to tell you... I think I am a little obsessed with this show. I accidentally called Bobby Flay "Bobby McFlay" when I was talking to Jonathan the other morning...

Of course, I watched the show with my friend, Olivia, and I had a few beers. And I got hammered. And I got sick. Damn. Because some idiot had the brilliant idea that I should eat this chocolate Olivia brought. At 1 am. Gourmet chocolate, let me add. Gourmet chocolate with cayenne pepper and cinnamon. On any other occasion I'm sure I really would have enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it Thursday night. Then I threw up an hour later. Blech. I am such an idiot. This, friends, is why I rarely drink.

27 September 2006


DWAFS met on Sunday night at Kris' house to watch "Anne of Green Gables." Kris has the coolest place! I am always (as Olivia puts it) casing her joint while I am there. I can't help it. Whenever I begin to think I am creative or original, I go over to Kris' house, or Barbra's house, and I realize I am not creative or original: I am a wannabe. Sigh.

Kris has the coolest toothpick holder ever. I am in love with it. This is it:

Anyway, while I was searching online for that toothpick holder, I found some more websites that I really like, so I put their links on here. Lots of really neat stuff that I cannot afford...

23 September 2006

A Book Meme That Died And Has Returned

1. One book that changed your life.
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 was the first book I remember falling completely, deliriously in love with.

2. One book you have read more than once.
I tend to read most books more than once. The one I have probably read the most times would have to be Persuasion. Especially Captain Wentworth's letter to Anne. "You pierce my soul." God, that just kills me. Every, every time I read it. I lovelovelove Captain Wentworth!!!! He rocks.

3. One book you would want with you on a deserted island.
Probably the Boy Scout handbook!

4. One book that made you cry.
The Diary of Anne Frank

5. One book that made you laugh.
High Fidelity

6. One book you wish hadn't been written.
That is a hard question. I can't think of one right now.

7. One book you are currently reading.
Sigh. Does Goodnight, Moon count? I should change my answer to number 2. I have read Goodnight, Moon more than any other book. Ever.

8. One book you have been meaning to read.
The Time Traveler's Wife

21 September 2006

Looking at My Daughter's Baby Picture

You smile at my folly,
How once I thought
It was I who had to give birth to you.
When all along it was you
holding me tenderly
in the palm of your hand,
Descending earthward,
Delivering me to life.

Julia Indichova


I realize I haven't written anything here in a while. I could say it is hard to find the time to write, but there is plenty of time for watching "Grey's Anatomy" episodes and doing endless dishes and sudoku.

But I haven't read a book since the Lion was born. And I rarely write anything anymore.

It's not that my life isn't inspiring. But as cute as my 2 little muses are, I don't want my blog to just be musings about my so adorable, so advanced children... There must be more to my life than being a mommy. Right? I am Me first, Jonathan's loving wife second, and then I am Mommy. Right? Right?!?!

11 September 2006


Well, we are home. And we all survived.

First we drove down to Myrtle Beach to spend a week in a gorgeous cottage with my dad and my step-mother, Judi. My niece, step-brother and step-sisters, etc. etc. were also there. There was like 25 of us. Everyone was there. Basically, if you weren't there, you are a big loser. Anyway, we had such a fantastic time! The ride down was a little long, and the Lion looked a little like a body-builder in his American flag swim trunks (they were the only ones I could find that were small enough!) but the kids behaved beautifully. Well, there was the incident with the poop in the bathtub, but no one knew about that. Until now.

Jonathan and I had such a fantastic time really getting to know my step-sister, Roxanna's husband, Tim. We spent a lot of time playing boardgames with them and drinking Coronas. And the babies just loved hanging out with Granny Judi and Papa Jon--who Blue calls "Poppy Judi" collectively. The resort had a Lazy River, which I could have spent all day in, but we could just manage to lug all of our crap down there, float for a couple laps, and then pack everything back up again to return to the cottage for somebody's nap! I kept reminding Jonathan, "This is the hardest it will ever be. Every vacation after this will get slightly easier every year." I told my Dad this theory and he just nodded and said, "Mmm-hmm," in a suspicious manner, but I choose to cling to this theory of mine. For my own sanity, you understand, so any nay-saying comments will be deleted. You have been warned.

Blue loved the ocean. She just marched out into the water holding Jonathan's hand. I was very proud of her!
After our week in lovely Myrtle Beach, we packed up the van again and drove up to Ocean City to spend a week with Jonathan's parents in their condo. We had another excellent time, but I think Blue was getting a little homesick. She was acting very two. Luckily, Jonathan's mom and dad are practically saints and they didn't strangle her while they were babysitting for Jonathan and me. There was lots of Blue falling down, Blue throwing things, Blue crying. Everything was "No!"

"Are you having fun, Bluebird?"
"I love you, Bluebird."

This picture of the four of us on the boardwalk sums it up:Look at my boy, Lion. What a happy little guy.

That night on the boardwalk with Jonathan's parents was so wonderful. It was like a Hallmark commercial. Like a Christmas Hallmark commercial. There was pizza, and the Lion was an angel in the restaurant, there was a big (stuffed) shark for Blue to look at, a Pirate ship for her to climb on, and the best part--Blue rode on her first rides! I was so proud of her! First we went on the carousel. Blue rode a horse, with Jonathan "spotting" her, and I rode a pig with Lion. (The pig just happened to be the animal nearest to Blue's horse.)

Then Blue and Jonathan went on the tea-cups! And she rode a ride all by herself! I am so super-proud of her, you have no idea, because I do not ride rides, and I have been praying that Blue is more daring than I am. So on the way home from the boardwalk, I asked Blue,

"Did you have fun on the boardwalk?"
"Did you go on rides?"
long pause
"Did you go on rides?"
Then her whole face lit up. "Mommy ride pig!"

I guess it was a memorable sight. I hope the child isn't scarred for life. Nobody should have to see that.