31 March 2007

30 March 2007

a week from tonight...


Today Jonathan and I enrolled Blue in a preschool!

It is at the local Catholic church, and we all went by today to check it out and observe a current class of three year olds. I got so weepy. I am pathetic. But I couldn't help it. The kids were so cute and the room was so cheerful with great big murals on the walls and all the little crafts on the bulletin boards and the tiny little chairs around the tiny little tables...

Blue marched right into the classroom and said "hi" to the kids. She is such a riot.


This morning when I put her to bed after the Battle of the Toast, Jonathan and I took the toys out of her room. Not in a crazed, mean way or anything. But we had been mulling over the idea for a while. She tends to just play in her room for hours when she is supposed to be sleeping. We were thinking all the toys are just way too much of a distraction. So today, we decided, especially if she was being sent to her room for not touching her breakfast, it would defeat the purpose if in her little head, she was just going up to her room to play for a while! And, it seems to be working. She went right to sleep this morning and also tonight.

Any way. So Blue walks into the room and says "hi" to the other kids and I introduce her to the director of the preschool who was giving us the tour.

Blue says, "Hi!"
Director: "Hi, Blue!"
Blue: "Mommy and Daddy took my toys away."
Luckily, the director misunderstood. "Mommy and Daddy made you leave your toys in the car?"
Mommy and Daddy, in unison: "Yes! Yes, we made her leave her toys in the car." and "Blue! Did you see this little kitchen! How fun!"


Blue and the director were playing with some little dollhouse people while Jonathan and I looked around:

Blue: "Where's the Baby Jesus?"  Jonathan and I looked at each other. Awesome! We're not Heathens!

Director: "Alright, Mommy and Daddy, did you two coach her on that?"

I laughed and explained that Blue has a Fisher Price Nativity set.

The awesomeness of her Baby Jesus comment was instantly negated when I asked Blue to help me put away the dolls two seconds later and she said, "No!" and hit me.

I was mortified. I assured the director that Blue would not hit the other children, that she really only hit me. And that was only occasionally.  (I wasn't about to tell her about the Lion, or poor Sam Davenport for that matter!)

And then the director said the coolest thing. A thing I desperately needed to hear today. "She misbehaves with you because she knows it's okay. You're Mommy. She knows you'll love her no matter what she does."

Which made me get all weepy again.

Anyway, the important thing is, even after seeing Blue smack me around, she is still allowed to attend the school! So she will start this fall.

I think this school is wonderful. The teachers seem very nice. They have a beautiful, very secure playground. The children are taught a French word every day by one of the nuns. (Which will be wonderful. And a nice addition to the Spanish she is learning from watching Dora and Sesame Street.) They go on little field trips, like to the pumpkin patch for Halloween and they have a Mother's Day function and a "Donuts with Dad" for Father's Day.

Blue seems very excited. She loved the playground. And I can't wait for her to get to really spend time with children her own age. I think she picks on the poor Lion mostly because she is so little and doesn't know any better, but also because she is bored hanging out with just Lion and me all the time. I also think it will be nice for Lion to have me to himself 3 times a week.

Bluee and I went shopping this evening, and as we were walking out the door she asked if we were going to preschool. I said, "Not yet, honey. You'll go to preschool after your birthday." So in the car, she asked if today was her birthday.

I cannot believe my girl is almost old enough for preschool! I cannot believe she hit me right in front of the director!


As I was dragging dinner
kicking and screaming
from cans and plastic packages,
three-year-old Claire was dragging the magnet tin
from the back of the pots-and-pans cabinet.
Together we spelled CLAIRE on the refrigerator —
bold, bright.
Red, yellow, green, purple against white.

I went back to the problem of dinner,
Didn’t notice until late that night
that somehow CLAIRE
had become MID CLAIRE.
Random letters she had plucked out and stuck on?
Or some kind of message
from her three-foot-tall self?
Take note — Claire’s not through here,
forget about tidying up,
putting magnets back in tins,
tins back in cabinets.

In the midst of Claire,
dinners are cobbled,
beds are made with lumps,
questions are asked and asked and asked,
the same questions,
the same ones,
the same.

Every day insisting she’s trading places
with her one-year-old sister —
“I’m your baby who crawls. Will you tell Daddy that?”
Every day thirty or forty times.

It’s how I live now:
The doorbell rings —
Oops, sorry, you’ve caught me mid-Claire,
my hair in a towel,
dishes in the sink,
newspapers unrecycled.

Maybe it’s that I live now,
down in the dirtpiles of raw emotion
I had choked down for so long
swallowing my rising gorge
lest the mess kill me.
Now I catch other people’s vomit in towels or my shirt,
gather collapsed crying forms from floors when I’d really rather join them.

“Claire is ready for the world,”
said a mother we met at the park
in the beautiful confident cadence
I've always envied in African-American women.
Claire, not yet walking then,
was trying trying
to climb a ladder
taller than me.

From her arrival
I’ve woken up mid-Claire.
Never a baby to mew or babble in her crib,
she graveled awake
from silent and sleeping
to all rasping, scratching cry from the throat
as if her first breath were an exhale.
Now still all exhale
talking all the while
every breath an engine for speech.
Every breath.

I struggle to not hyperventilate.
I don’t want to die mid-Claire,
Don’t want to be cut down in the prime of Claire,
Couldn’t bear
to miss a beat
of spoken air.

Donna Levine Gershon

it all started with a piece of french toast

Parenting is hard. It is, as they say, not for wimps.

I had a horrible morning with Blue. She would not eat even a bite of her french toast. That I made for her. That she usually loves. Not a single bite. So after 2 time-outs and much me screaming like some psychopath, I sent her to bed. And now it is very quiet up there, so I think she may just be very tired and possibly napping already.

After I sent her to bed I went into my room and cried my eyes out to Jonathan. What is the matter with me? How can I lose control--so utterly--over toast? I don't want Blue to be afraid of me. I don't want to be some crazy Mommy Dearest.

And he said all the wonderful things he should say: that I am fine. That it's normal to lose it sometimes. That he even heard Kathy Davenport of all people screech at little Sam the other day (which I have trouble picturing, but very reassuring nonetheless). That maybe children should be a little afraid of their parents. It's a good thing--then they might actually listen to you.

And I know all of this. I do. It's just... I hate losing control like that.

Especially over food. How many articles have I read and how many times have I told myself or Jonathan or anyone within speaking distance, "I will not make food an issue. Look at all the eating disorders out there. Look at Nicole Ritchie for God's sake! Where'd she go? ...blah blah blah... The minute you freak out and turn it into a battle for control, it's over. ...blah blah blah... Kids want control over something, and this is an area where they can have it. Just leave a kid alone and they will eat." Then what happened? Then I have Blue who is so tall for her age and so skinny and what do I do? I turn food into an issue.

It is so hard. I want to be Mommy. Nice, comforting Mommy. Not Mommy who goes all crazy and screechy over a piece of toast... I'm not saying I'm going to be one of those moms on "Nanny 911" who cannot discipline their children at all because they want their children to like them. I mean, I am stronger than that. And I know that rules are important. That little children actually need them, need consistency and ritual in their daily lives. I get that. It's just hard. How do you choose these rules? And how important are they? Does not eating breakfast really merit 2 time-outs and being sent to bed? What if it's my Blue not eating breakfast? My Blue smirking at me when I threaten time-out if she doesn't at least take a single bite?

I will stop being so judgmental of those poor women on "Nanny 911." I will. I will be more supportive of all moms in general from now on. Because it is hard. Haaaard.

One day, maybe my Blue will be a mother. And she will call me all upset like I called my mom this morning. And I will tell her, "It's going to be okay. Little Whatsit will be fine. Look how great you turned out (because she will turn out great, with or despite my help), and I was a mess. I even went psycho once over a piece of french toast!"

28 March 2007


Little Lion Man has spoken. A real word:


That kid is so self-absorbed! All he ever talks about is himself...

things i love - #19

this movie

trippy music

I switched out all of the CDs in the car so that they are all English. To get us psyched for our impending trip. As if we need to be any more psyched!

It just hit me that we will be in that car in just 8 days, listening to that music and I CAN HARDLY WAIT!!!!!!!

Some of the CDs are: lots of Blur, lots of Oasis, Pulp, the Beatles, Jamiroqui, Eric Clapton, Squeeze, Travis, Queen, Elton John, Badfinger, the Trainspotting soundtrack, the Sliding Doors soundtrack, Robbie Williams, Elvis Costello, etc. (Haha--can you tell those last 3 are my CDs?) So I have been listening to Sliding Doors a lot lately as I drive around. And watching the movie. And Love Actually. And Bridget Jones. Have I mentioned I CAN HARDLY WAIT!!!!!!

27 March 2007

crown jewels

Jonathan buys me one little piece of jewelry every time we travel somewhere. Which has only been a handful of places, but once we live in Europe, I am going to need a nice big jewelry box! Nothing crazy expensive, thank God, or it would be quite a greedy little hobby. But he got me a sweet little Venetian glass bracelet in the Piazza Navona in Rome and a turquoise pendant in Nassau when we were on the cruise. Hmmm. I just realized he owes me a trinket from Germany. Guess we need to return there someday, honey, so you can take care of that.

I think I already know what I want to find for my memento on this trip. I have a charm bracelet and I saw this charm online:

It is the Tower of London and it opens up to reveal some poor little person kneeling on the chopping block. How adorable is that?

nine days...

I cannot believe this trip is coming up so soon! I am so excited. I am staying excited and focusing on the excitement to avoid thinking about leaving the babies behind. I mean, I think about it--how could I not?-- but it is a fleeting thought. It is like touching something very, very hot. My brain goes there, and the pain is very intense, almost physical, and I quickly and intentionally think of something else. If I don't distract my brain almost immediately, I will start to cry. It's that sort of heat in your chest and that pressure. You know. And the whimpering like a puppy. If not actually out loud, at least loudly in your mind.

I told my mom, "I hope I am excited and holding hands with Jonathan on the plane and looking ahead to the trip, and not bawling my eyes out over the babies." She said, "It's okay if you cry." But I don't want to start the trip on a sad, slobbery note. Maybe I will let myself cry in the car on the way to the airport and then once we are at the airport, turn off the hose and focus on London. That sounds good. That will be my plan.

I wonder if I will be more excited on the plane on the way to England or on the way home to my children?

And that is all I can say about that now or I will cry.

26 March 2007

things i love - #18

my dad
happy birthday!

23 March 2007


True story.

I was in Wal-mart, searching in vain for a few things I needed to finish up some projects I'm working on--caulking the kitchen countertop, hanging large picture frames, cleaning the bathroom grout, patching a hole in the drywall... You get the idea.

This guy who works at Wal-mart finally took pity on me and said, "Can I help you find something, ma'am?"

I smile at him. "Yes, thank you!" I consult my list, then I say, "I need some black caulk."

things i love - #17

crock pot bread pudding

Crock Pot Bread Pudding

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups bread cubes or soft torn bread
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 banana, sliced, optional


Combine all ingredients, gently stirring until bread crumbs or cubes are thoroughly moistened. Place mixture in a greased slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve hot or cold. Enjoy! Bread pudding recipe shared by Ness

So I made this last night because my friends and fellow DWAFS, Olivia and Katherine, came over to watch Grey's Anatomy and ohmyGoddddd was it yummy. You simply must put the banana in--because with the raisins, it tastes like a mix between banana bread and bread pudding and pure bliss. Divine, I tell you, diviiiiine. And if you are a mommy like me, you probably already have all of the ingredients on hand already, including the raisins and banana. I highly, highly recommend trying this out. One thing I noticed though is that my crock pot is super powerful or something, because I did not need to cook it that long or on high heat.

22 March 2007

things i love - #16

It arrived today!

my girl, playing

my girl, swinging

poll results

Well, despite a few of you assuring me that it could look kinda cool and to go for it, I think I will hold off on the black nails. For now. It's just that they are such a statement. Like a tattoo. You are either a girl who has a tattoo, or a girl who would never get a tattoo. You either wear black nailpolish or you would never wear black nailpolish. And I don't think I am the type. Plus, I don't know... not for this trip. I don't want Teresa to look at my hands and think, "Oh, she's the sort of girl who wears black nail polish; I could never be friends with her" when it's just me trying to look cool on my vacation, you know?

Which is hilarious, because I used to have my lip pierced. And wear combat boots. Good times...

Anyway, thank you all so much for responding. I feel so loved. (Even though I begged you to reply--but, whatever.) And I just love that my cousin Bill responded. I'm sure my mom is thrilled, too. Bill is my ... I don't even know... His father and my grandfather's father were brothers. So he is my grandfather's first cousin, and then what? Can anyone break it down for me????

Here's a little chart, if that helps:

my great-grandfather ---------------- Bill's father
my grandfather (Pop) ---------------- Bill
my mother

21 March 2007

reader poll

I have a style dilemma. I know I said I was cured. But. Whatever.

I need to know before I blow $3.00. Black fingernails? Cool or not? Here's a picture from the web (that's not my hand, I swear!) to help you decide:

I am seeing reputable cosmetic brands selling various shades of black nailpolish and I have secretly always wanted to try this look. Seriously. Is it too trendy? Or just stupid on someone over the age of 14?

Please, I need advice from my loyal fanbase! (Haha, all four of you!) Tell me, yes or no?

style baggage

Here's the story.

I fell in love again on Saturday. With a handbag.

My newest issue of Bust arrived, and it was such the appropriate issue this time, because it was the International Issue--full of cool travel tips and fashions and a whole page of awesomely cool handbags/carry-on bags.

I fell in love, head over heels, with one of the bags.

But. Here's the conflict. (Every good story has conflict.)

I am a little unsure of my style. I tend toward things that are a little... I don't know... unusual. Which you would never know, because I wear jeans and a tee-shirt almost every day. I play it safe. Curb my instinct. But I gravitate toward things that are a little goofy.

And there was an amazing interview, coincidentally, in this issue of Bust, with the absolutely fabulous (I know, I know, I'm hilarious) Jennifer Saunders. Who summed up my style indecision pretty succinctly. Apparently, I am not alone.

Question: Do you find "status anxiety" to be rampant today?

Jennifer Saunders: I think it is. What I love is people's little worlds that mean nothing to anyone else, but within that world it's so fucking important... There was a time when fashion wasn't such a common currency; now people know these names; they know everything. I think people do get very carried away with it, and it can so totally fuck up your life with anxiety. I'm sure we all have it to a small extent. You know everyone slightly questions their choice of most things now. Why am I buying that car? What will people think of me if I'm driving that? So people often just choose something really neutral. There are a lot of neutral things in people's lives now, because they don't want the anxiety of having looked like they made a specific choice.

I love it! So I am normal. Good to know. Thank you, thank you, Jennifer Saunders, for everything.

I love her. She is hilarious. She is beautiful. She is married to the wonderful Adrian Edmondson

who played Vyvyan on The Young Ones, and she is very insightful. And she said her favourite musicians are Joni Mitchell and Elvis Costello--two of my favorite musicians. Sigh. Now I know I have very good taste. Thank you, Jennifer Saunders. You cured me. You rock.

So, anyway. This bag. I couldn't find a picture of it online to post here, so I will describe: it is a smallish, lunchbox-shaped white canvas bag with black handles and trim and a large, snarling black and white tiger face silk screened on it.

I showed it immediately to Jonathan. And held my breath. You see, Jonathan has impeccable taste. (Obviously, har-de-har) Seriously. He has great taste. He was into the whole sleek and modern thing before it was cool to be into sleek and modern.

And, let me tell you, I was shocked that he also really thought this bag was cool. I love a cool bag, people!

So on Sunday, I ran to the computer and looked up the website for the bag, poisondagger.com, and my bag wasn't listed. What the... ? So I figured maybe this bag was new and the company would now rush to get it onto their website since Bust had featured it in their brand-new International Issue.

So I checked again on Monday. No cool tiger face bag anywhere. I was crushed. So I searched the web for a similarly cool bag. And found that once you have fallen in love with a very specific something, nothing else can even come close. And every other bag I even looked twice at made me wonder, what would Jonathan think? WWJT? Will I look like some lame 30-something who is trying to look cool by carrying a bag that she thinks will make her look young and hip?

So that night, I was all bummed and I told Jonathan that the cool tiger bag (which would have been so perfect to carry around London) was simply not to be.

And this is the best part of the story.

My wonderfulamazingthoughtful husband is getting this bag for me! For me! This tiger bag will be mine... All mine!

He went online on Saturday (a whole day before I did) and couldn't find the bag on the website either. So he emailed the company. They told him the bag had already completely sold out. Already! This is how freakin' cool this bag is, folks! But they had one bag left. And so, because my Jonathan is a determined young man, they are sending me this bag in the mail and I should receive it this week--in time for me to carry it around London!!!!!!!


Does anyone have a husband like mine? The answer, sadly, is no. Uh-uh. Sorry, ladies. Mine mine mine.


Postscript: I showed the picture of the bag to my mother Monday night. She said, "Ooh! I love it! It reminds me of The Lion King. I hope you can carry it on the plane, though, people might think you're a terrorist."

God, my mother is priceless.

20 March 2007

things i love - #15

Jonathan's banana pancakes

19 March 2007

St. Paddy's Day Brawl

My Blue is a bully. There's no other word for it. She's mean. She hits the Lion, she throws toys at him, she pushes him down. She takes toys away from him and hides them. Sigh. I know, I know, she's two. But she's also a thug.

We had Roxanna and Tim over for St. Patrick's Day dinner and we also invited our really, supernice neighbors over. They are like neighbors from some bygone era, really. They are always asking us over for dinner, sending over little containers or cake and brownies, sharing recipes with us... Who are these wonderful people?! To top it off, their last name is Davenport. I love it. Just hearing myself say, "The Davenports came to dinner Saturday" makes me feel like I'm starring on an episode of Ozzie and Harriet.

Anyway. The point is, the Davenports have three adorable little kids who of course look like they just walked out of a Norman Rockwell painting. And they are so polite and sweet and you can see where this is going, can't you? We (the grown-ups) were sitting around the table, eating bread pudding and playing the Newlywed Game, when we heard this horrible, hollow clunk followed by the sound of their little toddler, Sam, screaming his head off. Blue was nowhere to be found, and Sam had a gorgeous bruise in the center of his adorable forehead. Blue, (who I located hiding on the stairs with her face buried in her hands) we learned, had thrown her teapot at Sam. Lovely. I was mortified. Apparently, she has decided that terrorizing her baby brother isn't enough for her, so she is going to be the Neighborhood Bully.

The Davenports were very nice and understanding about everything (of course) but I was so embarrassed. And then they left shortly after that because poor little Sam was just so miserable.

The problem I am facing is, how do I discipline Blue after something like that happens? I mean, I don't want to look like one of those awful parents who just shrug it off--when my child has obviously been very naughty. On the other hand, I don't want to seem like some scary Mommy Dearest type either, because she is only two, and I could tell she didn't mean to hurt Sam and was actually pretty freaked out by the whole thing... So I scolded her very firmly and made her go over to poor little Sam and apologize. And I got a cold pack for his humongous goose-egg. And I apologized profusely. But once the Davenports left I asked Tim and Roxanna and Jonathan, Was that harsh enough? Should she have been put into time-out? I probably should have put her in time-out. But she looked so freaked out--and she had already pretty much put herself in time-out anyway on the stairs...

And then Roxanna, dear Roxanna, said: "Erin, I wouldn't worry about it. They have three kids; stuff like this must happen all the time."

On another note: the Lion has taken his first, very tentative steps--which I am thrilled about and relieved by since I was positive he would start walking while Jonathan and I were in London. He also bit my leg the other day. Hard. So I have a hideous bruise. Which makes me wonder if I will have a biter on my hands now in addition to the neighborhood bully.

13 March 2007

wild child


The following conversation takes place at 6 Am, while simultaneously making my coffee and getting the Lion his breakfast:

E: I had the most horrible dream last night.
J: Me, too!
E: What was it?
J: You first, I'm eating.
me: Okay. Well, I dreamed I was doing laundry and I found this hair clip in the pocket of your jeans that wasn't mine or Blue's. You were cheating on me! With [random girl from his office]. Oh, and Lion was vomiting profusely. What was your dream?"

J: I dreamed that Andy and I were plotting to get revenge on someone. But the plan went wrong and we were like 'Abort! Abort!' But Andy just went nuts. He killed this random old couple. Then he strangled Anna Nicole Smith. Then he blew up this beautiful house. I watched it on tv, it was like (makes loud exploding noise and gestures with his hands) So we were afraid we would get caught and were hiding out underground. And all because we wanted to kill someone's dog..."


E: This? This is a horrible dream? It sounds like a goofy dream to me.
J: It was scary. I could have gone to prison. And it wasn't even my fault--it was Andy.


E: Did you say Andy killed Anna Nicole Smith?
J: Yeah. He strangled her. Then he stuck his thumbs into her eyes all the way through to her skull.

11 March 2007

punk rock, kick-ass ... mom

Oh, I almost forgot! I had my hair cut again yesterday. I know I just had it cut, but that was really just a chop to take the length off, this time I had it styled. I don't have a picture of myself with it yet, but it's like Meg Ryan's haircut in this picture:

What I love about this style is the hairstylist told me, "You can't screw this up; the messier your hair is the better." Perfect.

I just can't decide if I really, really love it or not. I can't decide if I look kick-ass and a little like a rock star, or if I now have a typical mom hairdo. It's a fine line. You wouldn't think it is, but it is.


It was such a gorgeous day here yesterday. Jonathan and I managed to get the babies (I guess I should start saying "toddlers") to sleep at the same time, so we went outside and did a bunch of yardwork. It was so much fun! We have a gorgeous lot. It backs up to the Fredericksburg Battlefield parkland, so behind and beside our lot is this beautiful, wild woods full of oak trees and dogwoods and hollies.

Cutting across the back corner of our property is a creek, called Deep Run, that is on the old battlefield maps. Where it meanders through our property is so beautiful--it cuts deeply through the ground, and the area around it is all shady and mossy, like a glade.

After we moved in, Jonathan found an old horsehoe sticking out of the ground by the creek. It is very old and rusty and there were still a couple of bent nails sticking out of it. We assume it's from the Civil War because this land has been uninhabited until we built our house here. So Jonathan hung it over our front door for luck. And every time I look up at it, I think about some soldier's horse pausing for a sip from our creek 150 years ago and losing its shoe in the mud.

So we were clearing out our path to the creek yesterday, making it wider.

The path cuts right across a Civil War trench that crosses our yard, so it's so cool: you go down and then up and then around a few bends and then--the little glade. Very pretty. At the entrance to the path, Jonathan planted a bunch of plants I bought this week. Two cherry trees and 11 azaleas. I love cherry trees. They are so beautiful--like lace.

As we were outside raking together we were both thinking about how hard it will be to leave this yard. And how we wonder if we will regret it; if we will ever live on land so gorgeous. Then we looked around at the size of our yard. At the massive amounts of leaves still all over the friggin' place and the tiny area we had spent all afternoon clearing and we thought, hmm, maybe a smaller yard wouldn't be so bad. . And, as Jonathan reminded me, summer days in England are as cool as spring days in Virginia. What? No more 100 degree, muggy, humid, mosquito-filled days? How would we ever stand it?!

09 March 2007

weighing in

I am starting a mental list of things I will miss if/when we move to England. Here's what I have thought of so far:

  • talking to my Mom on the phone every morning
  • looking around my kitchen during one of the kids' birthday parties and seeing my mom, my dad and stepmother, Jonathan's parents, my brothers and sisters-in-law, Jonathan's sister and brother-in-law, my step-sister and her husband, and my niece and nephew all together in one room eating cake
  • being just a few hours away from my grandparents
  • this gorgeous house and yard
  • getting together with the DWAFs each month
  • being able to meet up with my friends from elementary school every few months to watch our children play together
  • Wawa coffee (at least there are plenty of Starbucks there)
  • Target
  • goldfish crackers
  • the amazing biscuits at KFC
  • Mexican food (I hear it's crap over there)

actually, you can scratch that last one. The kind of Mexican food I like is pretty much crap. I'm sure a true Mexican would shudder at the bean burritos I make for lunch with Taco Bell taco sauce!

Things I am looking forward to:

  • hearing delicious English accents everywhere
  • being able to travel more
  • Boxing Day
  • really good chocolate
  • access to great Indian food
  • also, access to more foreign films
  • all of the strange potato chip flavours!
  • spelling words like flavour with that extra "u"
  • BBC
  • exposure to more international news (anything other than Anna Nicole Smith)
  • the cooler weather
  • no mosquitos
  • being able to watch soccer on tv (without paying for premium channels)

Things I am very happy to hear I will not be leaving behind:

  • gardening
  • Grey's Anatomy (although I'll be paying for premium channels...)
  • the Oscars (although I will be watching them late at night and without the DWAFS
  • the beach
  • Borders
  • Thanksgiving (I can cook up a turkey and some mashed potatoes wherever we are, right?)

08 March 2007

A Poem Written in Ezra's Sleep

for my son

Tonight poems are specters —
they move around me, unwritten.
There is one in a postcard of a flying fish,
one in my great grandmother’s Christmas angel
hanged like a horsethief in the corner.
There is one in the light shattered
through the lampshade like a carcrash windshield.
There is one in the buzz
of the refrigerator as it cools the milk.

But I choose you, tonight, here,

tangled in the flannel sheets, your head
tipped over the edge of the bed,
a pillow in a daisied case flattened
uselessly between your knees. The soles
of your socks are filthy. There is a scribble
of a robot left on your palm, and another
crawling up your thigh. In the morning,
I will pour the Cheerios, make you
eat three, then two, then one
more spoonful. In the morning you’ll bite
when I brush your tiny teeth.
Tonight you snore.

No poem needs writing as much as yours

tonight. I want nothing
other than to watch over you, my sleeping
child. Perhaps if I look long enough,
I will see your dreams. In just a moment,
I’ll see you mount a flying fish,
and battle the horsethieves and angels.
Or perhaps your dreams will be quiet:
your mother reading you a poem
or going to pour you a glass of milk, her face
leaning into the light of the refrigerator.

Elizabeth Faith Aamot

for Me

These are the high heeled wedges I bought for London, Me. I hope you approve! I also hope they aren't too trendy, since I will probably be wearing them for years to come--not being big on shoe-shopping.

twenty eight days

I am so excited about our trip. Did I tell you how this trip came about? For our anniversary last year, Jonathan and I were so broke and so we said no presents. So he gave me a card and inside was this little map of Europe. There was a little heart sticker attached to the bottom with a note that read: Next year, for our fifth, we'll go wherever your little heart desires. And I got to put the little heart sticker on the map wherever I wanted to go.

In the words of Salt N Pepa:

what a man, what a man, what a man,
what a mighty good man

Anyway, I picked London. London... I need to see it. And we are flying over on our anniversary. I cannot believe it has been five years.

And I think I'm almost ready for the trip. I've got a cute new coat, some cute and comfortable shoes, a fabulous outfit to wear to Gabriella's christening. (I'm so corny, I bought a tweed skirt. But it is a gorgeous tweed, okay?) And I think we've gotten Andy, Teresa and Gabriella some really fun gifts.

I can't wait to meet Gabriella. It was so crazy, finally meeting Teresa in the summer of 2005. I was so nervous that she would be this wild and crazy Brit with a wicked sense of humor, fabulous clothes and be able to drink all kinds of strong, trendy cocktails. And I felt so frumpy, being newly pregnant and tired and nauseous and already all puffy and bloated-looking. And when they arrived, they told us that Teresa had just discovered she was pregnant, too! And she was nice. So nice. And yes, the wicked sense of humor was there, and the nice clothes, but she and I hung around a lot in sweat pants and ate a lot of little anti-nausea candies and went to bed early each night. And it was great. I was so relieved that I really liked her. And not just because I wanted to like her. But because she was someone I could see fitting very neatly into my circle of friends. We kept saying how sad it was that we didn't live near each other. Because Jonathan and Andy are so much alike, and are such great friends, and it is very rare, I think, to find another couple where you genuinely like both of them.

my little stripper

Blue is obsessed with trying to take her clothes off. The other day she got very angry about something and she yelled,
"I a bad girl!"
and then, in some weird, New Jersey/Italian accent:
"I take-a my shirt off!"

Today, we were in line at (where else?) Wal-Mart and she started talking to the woman in line ahead of us. The lady turned around and asked, "Are you talking to me, sweetie?"

Blue said to her, "Yeah. Take your shirt off!"

new shoes

I am a girly girl. Just wanted to make that very clear before I admit 2 things:

1. I never brush my hair.

It's true. I wash it and condition it and then, I'm outta there. No time for brushing. I am far too busy and important.

2. My husband has more pairs of shoes than I do.

I have two. These:
and these:

that I wear on special occasions.

The problem is I can never find shoes that fit. My feet are sort of triangular-shaped. They are wide across the toes and then very narrow at the heel. So it is a real problem finding shoes that are comfortable and I get lots of foot cramps, blahblahblah.

I think I used to have more shoes than Jonathan, but my feet got bigger when I was pregnant and they never went back to their original size. I had heard of this happening, but I didn't really believe it. Why should your feet get longer when you're pregnant? Makes no sense. Makes no sense, but I am living proof. I now have size nines where my size sevens used to be.

Anyway, I went shopping for shoes tonight. I need something more comfortable than my beat-up old Converse to wear in London. Plus, I refuse to be mistaken for some clunky German woman again. I am going to look very posh on this vacation. I am even packing a comb.

So after several hours of wandering around DSW and cussing under my breath about my stupid Hobbit feet, I found some awesome, awesome shoes. I may give up my old Converse forever. These shoes are so freakin' comfortable:
I am so excited! I wore them all through the store, and I told all the other women shopping in there how comfortable they are. It feels like they are hugging my poor, weird feet. I wore them home. I am wearing them now. I may sleep in them.

I was on such a high, I even bought a second pair of shoes. And they have high heels. Which Jonathan (being 6'4") is thrilled about.

So, watch out, London, here I come!

07 March 2007

another book meme

Thanks to Me for the following book meme:

* Look at the list of books below.
* Type "READ" beside the ones you've read.
* Type "WANT TO" beside the ones you'd like to read.
* Leave blank the ones that you aren't interested in.
* Type "AGAIN AND AGAIN" beside the ones you could read again and again.
* "Tried" for those books that you've tried to read...again and again. (This one
Rob put in!)
* "??" For those books you haven't heard of (This one, Paperback put in!)
* "Saw it" For those books you shamelessly watched the movie of instead (This one, I put in)

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) Read
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) Again and Again
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) Again and Again
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell) Read
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) Read
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien) Read
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien) Read
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) Again and Again
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon) Read
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) ??
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) Read
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling) Read
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving) Want to
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) Tried
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling) Again and Again
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald) ??
18. The Stand (Stephen King) Read
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling) Again and Again
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) Read
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien) Want to
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) Read
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) Again and Again
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold) Read
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel) Again and Again
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) Read
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) Read
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck) Want to
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley) Want to
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) Tried
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay) ??
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant) Again and Again
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel) Read
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) Want to
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible Read
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy) Want to
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) Want to
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) Want to
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver) Want to
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens) Again and Again
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens) Read
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) Again and Again
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence) ??
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling) Read
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough) Saw it
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) Want to
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger) Read
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) Read
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy) Want to
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice) Saw it
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis) ??
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) Tried
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) Again and Again
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) Read
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding) Read
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez) Want to
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje) Read
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) Read
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay) ??
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith) Want to
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence) ??
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) Again and Again
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley) ??
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck) Read
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier) Saw it
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen) Again and Again
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields) Read
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago) Want to
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje) ??
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding) Read
93. The Good Earth(Pearl S. Buck) Want to
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum) Saw it
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton) Saw it
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

05 March 2007


It is really starting to sink in now that Jonathan and I will be going away. I was tucking Blue into bed tonight and she was just lying there in the halfdark staring at me. I was playing with her hair and we had just finished Goodnight Moon. I said, "goodnight, baby girl," and she said, "Mommy, don't go yet."

Yet is her latest habit. "I not sleepy yet." "No changin' my diaper yet." You get the picture. But for me, it was as if she knew I am going to leave her for almost two weeks and she was asking me not to go. Yet.

I'm not as worried about leaving Lion. Which is kind of funny since he is in a very clingy phase right now. If I even try to sneak into the bathroom, he will wind up right outside, crying and banging on the door. But I think if I can just manage to leave while he is sleeping, he will be fine. Jonathan and I went to Ocean City for 3 days when Blue was almost a year old and she was fine. We came back and it was as if she hadn't even noticed our absence. I know that this separation will be much longer, but I think he will be fine. He will be with his Grammy. And Blue will be here. Most of the time, he loves Blue.

It is Blue I am worried about. I know in the grand scheme of things, it is only 2 weeks. But to such a little girl, 2 weeks is a very long time. And she is older than the Lion, and she will definitely notice that Mommy is not around. We go downstairs together in the morning and if it is one of the days Jonathan is not working from home she's all, "Where's Daddy? Daddy workin'? Daddy at the store?" She looks for him in his office. She looks for him out the back window. It's sort of sad, actually. So she will definitely notice that we are both gone.

I know they will both have fun. They love Jonathan's mom and dad, and I know they will be very well-fed and clean and that they will probably get much more attention than when it's just me here with them. I know this. But I also know that Blue will miss me and wonder where I am and I just hope that she knows I will come back.

I have started trying to explain to her that Mommy and Daddy are going away for a few days and that Grammy will be here, but you never know how much she is getting. I'll tell her my mom is coming over for dinner and then when I ask her 5 minutes later who's coming she'll get all excited and tell me Santa Claus is coming. So it's difficult.

whose line is it anyway

This was from the first episode of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" that I ever saw, and I have always remembered how funny I thought this segment was...

04 March 2007

from the onion

The Onion

Virulent Strain Of Soy Flu Traced To Single Tofurkey

SAN FRANCISCO—A virulent strain of soy flu has been traced to a single tofurkey at a Bay Area food-processing factory.

at 2 am

I decided it was time to finally go to bed. Jonathan had long since fallen asleep on the couch, watching TV, and I didn't want to wake him up. Finally, I crept quietly over to him and placed my hand on his cheek.

And of course, I shocked him right on the face.

01 March 2007


He speaks, but to himself, being aware how it is with her)
Think not I have not heard.
Well-fanged the double word
And well-directed flew.

I felt it. Down my side
Innocent as oil I see the ugly venom slide:
Poison enough to stiffen us both, and all our friends;
But I am not pierced, so there the mischief ends.

There is more to be said: I see it coiling;
The impact will be pain.
Yet coil; yet strike again.
You cannot riddle the stout mail I wove
Long since, of wit and love.

As for my answer . . . stupid in the sun
He lies, his fangs drawn:
I will not war with you.

You know how wild you are. You are willing to be turned
To other matters; you would be grateful, even.
You watch me shyly. I (for I have learned
More things than one in our few years together)
Chafe at the churlish wind, the unseasonable weather.

"Unseasonable?" you cry, with harsher scorn
Than the theme warrants; "Every year it is the same!
'Unseasonable!' they whine, these stupid peasants!—and never
since they were born
Have they known a spring less wintry! Lord, the shame,
The crying shame of seeing a man no wiser than the beasts he
His skull as empty as a shell!"

("Go to. You are unwell.")

Such is my thought, but such are not my words.

"What is the name," I ask, "of those big birds
With yellow breast and low and heavy flight,
That make such mournful whistling?"

You answer primly, not a little cheered.
"Some people shoot them." Suddenly your eyes are wet
And your chin trembles. On my breast you lean,
And sob most pitifullly for all the lovely things that are not and
have been.

"How silly I am!—and I know how silly I am!"
You say; "You are very patient. You are very kind.
I shall be better soon. Just Heaven consign and damn
To tedious Hell this body with its muddy feet in my mind!"

Edna St. Vincent Millay