29 March 2008


My BFF, Andrea, is in town. We're going up to DC tonight to see her perform and to bring her and her boyfriend, Danny, home with us. I cannot, cannot wait to see her!

It was so loud in our house this morning -- barking Mabel, laughing screeching Blue, whiny Lion, Disney channel on tv -- Jonathan and I just looked at each other. Andrea and Danny have no idea what they are in for tomorrow morning!

26 March 2008

happy birthday, Dad!


It's just Mabel and me right now. It's nice. We get up together in the mornings around 7:30. She pees, I pee, I have some coffee, she licks my feet. It's our routine. I like it.

She follows me wherever I go. Her nails click on the floor behind me and it reminds me of the guys banging coconuts in The Holy Grail. I have my own soundtrack. Makes me wonder. One of the names I considered for her was Ruth. "Whither thou goest, I will go" and all that. It would have suited her. But from the moment I saw her little squished puppy face, I knew she was Mabel.

I like this part of the day. Before the kids are up. It is peaceful. Makes me think, I can handle this day. Bring it on. I'm sipping my coffee, mentally making the change from plain old me to Mommy. Seriously. Because being a Mommy is like being a superhero. It's your alter-ego. Some women can get a little too caught up in it. Forget there was a Peter Parker before there was a Spiderman, if you know what I mean. And that is just so sad.

I had one of the most crazy, wonderful, drunk with happiness moments with the Lion last night. A moment where I thought, this is what being a Mommy means. I woke up at 2 am because he was crying. Not a quiet, half-awake, Mommy can ignore this and let him fall back asleep cry, but a full-blown, screaming in horror, "Mommy!" cry. Like he had had a nightmare or something. My feet hit the floor running. I could almost hear Jonathan's voice, in my head saying, "Man! It's so weird to see you running!"

Lion was lying on his little mattress, bawling his eyes out. The moment he saw me, things seemed so much better in his world, which made me really feel like a superhero. I wiped his cheeks, tucked him into bed all over again and whispered, "It's okay, Mommy's here" a few times.

Here it comes. The moment that melted my heart. The moment I took a photograph of and then slipped the picture into the pocket of my heart:

The Lion was lying on his stomach with his head on his Wiggles pillow. He reached under his blanket and fished around, without moving his head or opening his eyes. He brought his chubby fist up to his face (still without opening his eyes) and sighed. He was holding an empty Jack-Jack PEZ dispenser.

24 March 2008


We had a very nice Easter. On Saturday night we dyed our eggs. This was the first year I think we have done this with the kids. Last year, Jonathan and I were in London so Blue and the Lion celebrated Easter with our family, and the year before that Blue was only about 20 months old and the Lion was just born so I don't even know if we dyed eggs at all.

They had fun. Blue decorated the dried eggs with tons of little stickers and we laughed watching Lion dump the eggs into the dye, splashing the table and possibly smashing the egg in the process. It was very surreal.

Then Jonathan put out a carrot for the Easter bunny and the kids went to bed. Blue told Jonathan she was going to watch out her window for the Easter bunny.

In the morning, there were two baskets on the table beside what was left of the carrot we left out. Blue was very excited to see that the Easter bunny had eaten the carrot, but I think she was surprised that he hadn't eaten the entire carrot. I told her he would get too full if he ate a whole carrot at every house and she seemed to agree with me.

The kids loved their baskets. But I think the things they loved the most were their new toothbrushes and toothpaste.  Lion spent all morning pretending to put toothpaste on his toothbrush and then brushing his teeth. I love how he brushes his teeth because he shakes both arms back and forth, not just the one holding the toothbrush. He does this when he colors too. It's super cute.

All in all, I think the Easter bunny did a most excellent job of selecting presents for them. I applaud the Easter bunny's fine judgment and gifting abilities. It was strange, watching the kids go through their baskets. I thought about all the years to come with those baskets. I imagine Blue getting pretty little earrings and maybe some perfume one Easter. I imagine Jonathan and I reminiscing about this year, the first Easter we really dyed eggs as a family and how very little the kids were.

I know I say this all the time, but they really are growing up so fast! Lion can even say Blue now very correctly. What happened to the days when they called each other Boo and Wion?

23 March 2008

reading again

The best thing about joining a book group is that I am making time to read again. Time I don't really have to spare, so my house is a total disaster right now, but I just read a really great book, so who cares, right? It was The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier. Wow. I give it 2 thumbs up.

Here's the plot synopsis from the back cover:

Meet Ella Turner and Isabelle du Moulin - two women born centuries apart, yet tied together by a haunting family legacy. When Ella and her husband move to a small town in France, Ella hopes to brush up on her French, qualify to practice as a midwife, and start working on a family of her own. Village life turns out to be less idyllic than she expected, however, and a strange series of events propels her on a quest to uncover her family's French ancestry. As the novel unfolds - alternating between Ella's story and that of Isabelle du Moulin four hundred years earlier - a common thread emerges that pulls the lives of the two women together in a most mysterious way. Part detective story, part historical fiction, The Virgin Blue is a novel of passion and intrigue that compels readers to the very last page.

I really enjoyed this. It was Chevalier's first novel and definitely not as good as Girl with a Pearl Earring, but I like her simple writing style. She reminds me a little of Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat. Very beautiful and evocative.

If you enjoy a quick, easy read that is still beautiful, here are a few books I recommend:

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama

Birds of America (short stories) by Lorrie Moore

The Lone Pilgrim (short stories) by Laurie Colwin

21 March 2008

hopefully worth the wait

At long last, I have started a bedroom for Olivia. (Reverse psychology is the bomb, Olivia!)

I want it to be very relaxing and pretty because she works so hard on her feet all day, caring for other people (she is a masseuse) and I want a space where she can relax and feel pampered.

The walls would be a very muted soft blue-grey. Like the color of a foggy sky. The floor would be hardwood. This huge rug would cover most of the floor, so the room would not be cold or echoey:

These striped silk drapes would cover the windows. There would be a filmy undercurtain to let in the sunlight during the day, but these could be closed to darken the room to take long restorative naps:
These capiz chandeliers are a little common, but I think they're pretty:
This rattan headboard adds some natural texture:

Flanked by two sparkly little tables:
With these fun rock lamps on top:
The bedding would be a plain, ubersoft light blue quilt:
With lots of white bedpillows and this pretty champagne-colored throw pillow:

A nice heavy dresser to add some weight to the space:

With some little mirrored lamps on it, to pick up the finish on the bedside tables:

and this robin's egg vase stuffed with white tulips:
And a gorgeous, cushy chaise lounge, with a soft throw blanket and a large basket (full of paperback novels and fashion magazines) on the floor beside it:
But you have to watch out because Pickles and Frences like to lay there, too!

20 March 2008

a kitchen for Adrienne

I have been picking out elements for a dream kitchen for Adrienne. (I know, Olivia. I know.)

I want it to be a great kitchen to really cook in. To get your hands dirty and maybe a daub of flour on your cheek. Lots of modern amenities with vintage cherry red cuteness thrown in.

Here is what I have so far:
I love this nice big sign for the wall:
I think I would do the walls a crisp white. Or I also like the idea of a pink. Hmmm. Might be a little more me than Adrienne. Not that I own the rights to the color pink or anything. But maybe a robin's egg blue or a soft green to complement the living room I designed for her. I'd let her choose the color. 'Cause that's the kind of designer I am, people!

Anyway, here are the fantastic lights to hang over a nice large butcher block island:
I would have white cabinets and this red tile backsplash with black grout. Looks like little cherries:
Little plain white cafe curtains:
I'm diggin' these chairs. Haven't finished the room yet, though, so these may be too much red. Pottery barn has some cool chairs that are very similar, but they're steel. It really depends what kind of table I choose. But. I am digging these chairs:
And there I ran out of steam. No floor. No table. No appliances. Not really much of a workable kitchen! But a starting point.

Old Vagina Book Club

We had our very first meeting tonight! I think it went very well. Cindy did an excellent job keeping us on point, because we really kept trying to deviate from discussing the book. Which was very good. And worthy of discussion.

But as Olivia joked, most of us don't get out much. Hence the name, the Old Vagina Book Club.

And because it is only 9:45 and I can barely keep my eyes open.

19 March 2008

prayers, please

There is a blog I found a few days ago, to the moon, written by an amazing girl named Alison, who is a cancer survivor. Please pray for her, people.

Read her blog (there's a link over there on the right) leave her a little note to say "hi" and pray for her.

Because she rocks. Because she is so young. Because she loves her husband so much. Because cancer sucks.

Alison, if you look this way, these are for you:


This has been a rough week at the Young house. Jonathan has the flu. Bad. If you are keeping score, you may have realized that on any given day, at least one member of this family has been sick since Thanksgiving. Sucks to be us alright.

Jonathan is really, really sick though. He has had a high fever since Sunday. He finally broke down and said he will go to the doctor tomorrow. I don't think Jonny believes in doctors, but that is fodder for a different post.

At least he has a job he can do at home. He has been typing every day, so at least he can stay indoors and not wear a suit.

Today I was seriously losing my shit, though. It's been a long week. With Jonny being so ill I have been caring for the kids and Mabel. And I waver between bursts of manic energy where I run around doing laundry and cleaning the bathrooms because I am so sure I will be sick next and I don't want the house to be a complete mess if/when I cannot drag my ass out of bed. In between these moments of busyness, I try to rest so I don't get sick next. So I am alternately trying to prepare for my impending flu and trying to prevent it.

So this morning, after another night (not) sleeping on the couch downstairs so I can take Mabel out in the night without disturbing Jonathan I was a complete bitch. (I strongly dislike that word but in this case, it is an apt description of me this morning.)

I had a headache and all the coffee in the world would not have put a spring in my step. Mabel had gotten up for good at 5 and I was very tired and crabby. I kept grinding my teeth and snapping at the kids and then apologizing to them for snapping at them...

So Jonny told me to get out of Dodge. And I did, feeling so guilty that I was leaving a sick man in charge of a toddler, a preschooler and a puppy. But I had the best day ever. I walked around downtown all by myself and then I went to Pier1 and Borders and Target. I had lunch at Chipotle where I realized several things:

1. I love Chipotle (I already knew this, but I think I had forgotten it)
2. I am a pig
3. I sat at the counter in the window, thinking if I couldn't see any of the other customers, they couldn't see me polish off an entire Chipotle veggie burrito in one sitting
4. I have the best husband ever
5. Chipotle plays some kickass music
6. I miss Leila

That last one may seem a little random, but Leila makes the best lime/cilantro rice. It really is just as good as Chipotle. Sigh. Stupid war in Iraq. Borrowing my sister-in-law without my permission and taking away my source of free advice and lime/cilantro rice.

17 March 2008

16 March 2008

looks like my girl

I really want to buy this little print by belle and boo from etsy:

I think she looks like my Blue, holding her favorite stuffed animal, Nicholas.

Blue adores Nicholas. She (because Nicholas is a girl) was a present from her godfather, Dustin. She named Nicholas after the bunny in I Am a Bunny. Nicholas has been to show and tell at Blue's preschool twice.

worst movie ever

Olivia brought over Knocked Up last night. She had had a very sad day so we wanted to chill out and watch a ridiculously silly movie. This movie was just ... ridiculous? It was obviously written by a guy because the whole time I was not laughing and I was thinking, Girls don't say things like that! The crappiest moment of the movie (and there were plenty of crappy moments) would have to be some guy plopping down in a hospital wheelchair and making fun of Stephen Hawkings.

But Katherine Heigl is very pretty.

15 March 2008

dang it!

I have a farmer tan.

14 March 2008

on my doggy, digging, decorating and dancers

I have to report that Mabel is fitting in to our family perfectly. She is such a perfect little puppy! She sleeps for like 20 hours of the day, I swear! And when she is awake, sometimes she is a bit of a spaz, trying to bite our pantlegs and rolling around on her back a lot. But since she sleeps so much and even sleeps almost through the night (she only goes out once a night to pee) I cannot complain. It's crazy to me that she will just get more mellow as she gets older!

The weather has been beautiful here. Jonny bought a hammock this week so he is outside right now, napping in the sun. I have been grubbing in the dirt today. The side of our yard along our driveway is just a horrible place. There are more rocks than dirt. No grass. It is very ugly. It looks like a quarry. And it slopes down so steeply from the driveway that any soil gets washed away. We don't know what to do there. I mean, we have plenty of ideas of things we could do there, but they all cost a lot of money. So in the meantime, I was out there today raking up the larger rocks and after a few hours, made a teeny tiny dent in the rocks. Sigh.

It was a bit chaotic in our yard this morning. I babysit Sam Davenport on Friday mornings. So Blue, the Lion and Sam were all playing (loudly) on the swingset while Mabel chased them around and played in the grass.

The kids are doing really great with Mabel. Lion seems a little bit afraid of her when she nips at his feet, but we are trying to teach him to stand still and call for us when she does that or she will chase him around. It's a slow process.

I found another blog that I love. It's about a woman who also has a dog named Mabel! It's called Mabel's House. Her house is so cute, I just want to go visit her and curl up on her chair

and read a book and look around at all of her pretty, pretty things.

I'm thinking Mabel must be a common pet name, because there is yet another blogger I have a crush on, Nicole from Making it Lovely, and she has a cat named Mabel. Either Mabel is a popular pet name or this is just proof that if I did ever get to meet these girls we would totally be bffs.

And speaking of bffs, my very own bff, Andrea, is coming to visit in a couple weeks! So I am super excited. And redoing the guest room for her.

Which Jonny is not too thrilled about but as long as he doesn't have to lift a paintbrush he usually doesn't mind what I do. Now if I could just figure out how to hang curtains by myself he would be very happy. I am forever asking him to switch out curtain rods and it is quite a tedious project. From the looks of it.

This is Andrea's headshot from the Merce Cunningham site. Isn't she pretty? She is coming to visit after the company performs in DC. So if you are in DC the last weekend of March, you should check them out!

06 March 2008

testing testing

So I finally broke down and went to the doctor yesterday, after Jonathan practically drove me there himself. He kicked me out of bed Tuesday night at 4 in the morning because I was snoring so effing loud I kept him up all night. Turns out I have a sinus infection. Nice.

But the freaky thing is, I had some blood work done last month just because. And it turns out I have very high cholesterol. Which disturbs me on many levels. One. Because I had my cholesterol checked when I was in college and it was really high then but the doctor told me it was most likely due to the "college diet" of fast food and not to worry about it. So I am thoroughly pissed with myself for not bothering to have it rechecked in the past 15 years. Two. I don't think I eat foods that are high in cholesterol. I don't eat a lot of animal products, as I have already admitted on this blog, and I don't tend to eat a lot of fast food. Three. WTF? Four. If I cannot bring my cholesterol down in three months by changing my diet and (sigh) exercising, I will have to go on medication.

So that's that. If I sound very calm, do not be fooled. If you know me at all, though, you know I am not calm! I am quite a hypochondriac and now I have proof that, yes, something is mos' def wrong with me. Great.

The Lion is feeling a lot better. He is much more cheerful again, although he still has his leonine violent moodswings that end with him on the floor kicking and screaming. He can walk down the garage steps now if he is holding my hand in a deathgrip. It makes me so excited for him and so horribly depressed that he is growing up so fast. He still likes to be carried around just as much as he likes walking, though. Which is fine with me. Even if I am running around, trying to get all three of us out the door on time and juggling my hot coffee, purse, sunglasses and keys, Blue's backpack, a sippy cup of water and three jackets of varying sizes, I cannot refuse him when he reaches his fat little arms up to me and asks, "Can I hold you?" He always says it like that and I love it so much that I cannot bear to correct him.

Blue had "Donuts with Dad" at preschool this week. And Jonathan had a meeting, of course, so he had to bow out. I didn't think I should go in his place since I am still a snotty mess and more obviously, not a father figure, so my dad was the hero of the day. He came to her preschool and got the grand tour and was introduced to her teachers and to Sister. I called him later to see if he had a good time (and to thank him again for going) and he reported that he had a most excellent time. The kids serenaded the dads and he ate a donut and went home with a little picture of Blue for his fridge and a tie she painted. Thanks, Dad!

Tomorrow we are dropping the kids off at Jonathan's parents and driving down to Charlotte, NC, to spend the night with his sister, Mary and her husband, Trevor. First thing in the morning we are going to go pick up our new puppy and I am so excited! Most of the time. Some of the time I am wondering if Jonny and I are crazy.

I bought this CD yesterday to listen to in the car on our trip:

Can you believe it?

In 2 days, I will be holding my very own puppy!

04 March 2008

a few reviews for you

I am taking a break from wandering around feeling miserable, coughing and blowing my nose indiscriminately to actually blog. And not just more fantasy room decorating but an actual post.

First review. I went to see The Other Boleyn Girl Saturday night with Katherine, Barbra, Diana and Sam. I was not sure if I would like the movie at all. I read the book forever ago and really enjoyed it. If you haven't read it, read it. For God's sake.

I am a bit of a fanatic about Henry and his wives so I wasn't sure I would like this movie. I thought the casting of Natalie Portman as the bewitching Anne Boleyn was brilliant. And that Scarlett Johannson was a perfect choice for Mary Boleyn as she is described in the novel. But the previews seemed to hint that the movie was not going to follow the novel very faithfully. That there was an excessive amount of rivalry and jealousy between the sisters that I didn't find in the book.

I am surprised how much I enjoyed this movie. It did veer from the book quite a bit, but the book itself is a fictitious account so the discrepancies didn't bother me as much as I thought they would. All in all, I thought it was a pretty neat interpretation of the story of Henry and Anne. Just like the book is a neat interpretation. They just happen to be different interpretations. And I felt like the parts of the story that veered from historical truth (like the character of Mrs. Boleyn being such a feminist) helped set the scene for the average viewer who may be unfamiliar with the whole story as well as with the general period in history.

The fact that my new favorite actor, who looks spookily exactly like my dear Jonny played George Boleyn made the movie that much better. I think he is an actor to watch, people. I think he is going to be big. B. I. G. Memorize this face, people:

I'm just sayin.'

Second review.
Jonny and I rented this from Netflix and I finally watched it. Only like eight years after it came out. Man, I loved this movie! Awesome. We are renting Ocean's 12 next but I don't see how it could come close to the awesomeness that is Ocean's 11.

Third and final review.

I just read The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox for the new bookgroup that Cindy is starting this month. And when I say I just read it, I mean I bought the book today and read it all afternoon while the kids napped. It was amazing. I couldn't put it down. I don't know when I have enjoyed a new author so much. I can't wait to discuss it at book group. If you have not read it yet, read it. And join our new book group and come talk about it with me. Seriously. Good. Book.