Friday, November 30, 2007

a long november.

When Claire does something she's especially proud of she shouts, "Ididit!" Sometimes she also adds a little "ta-da!" as a verbal flourish. I love watching her, but you already know that.

This month has been a blur. Baking. Hosting my first Thanksgiving (note to self: 1 turkey is enough, fool). Cutting felt leaves. The Weepies on repeat. Playdates that I loved. Ones the girl loved too. A trip to the movies with girlfriends. Sick kiddo. Sick Dada. New chooz. Rain. A million stories read in my lap. New signs. New words. Trying. The girl keeps growing, growing, growing. I find new things to appreciate in the Dada. I find new strength in myself. A million written words and bunch of photos. Sketchy editing at best. I don't like posting every day. To quote myself from the other night, "I am so sick of me." So, friends, a little break is in store, but don't worry, I'll be back soon. I promise.

Ididit. And Ta-da.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

thursday thrift: new chooz

Will I ever learn? $3.74 impulse flats from Target. That's less than a latte.

Tomorrow the girl will spend a few quality hours returning my new chooz to my feet. Her obsession has only grown. If I take mine off she quickly returns them to me shouting, "mama chooz!" This both cute and annoying. Some days, she insists on wearing chooz during her nap. Sometimes she spends a sad amount of time trying to cram her 5 wide into a cute but tiny size 4 mary jane. Most mornings, she asks for "dada...baba...monk...chooz." In that order. She's got her priorities.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

buy this bib

You don't always want your kid to be naked. I mean, it's cute and everything, but where we live it is a soggy, cold mess right now and stripping her down for meals feels a little inhumane. Also, public nude dining isn't really our thing. I had been searching around for a bib that would do its job and stay on her body the entire meal.

A friend recently introduced me to this this baby. I want to marry this bib. It's sturdy and washable. The latch on the back stays put. I wasn't sure about the wee small pocket in front, but the pocket is Claire's favorite feature. She'll drop a bean or an olive in there and suddenly has a reason to shout, "uh-oh!" and reach in for the lost item. Hours of fun, people. Best of all, the bib is considerably cheaper than the therapy she'd need to get over the humiliation of public nude dining.
Buy the bib, chumps. Buy it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert says, "Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it's what you want before you commit."

Or, if you're me, it's like waking up in the morning with a tattoo on your face that becomes your most favorite, treasured thing.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Dear Claire,
I love 19 months. Love. I know a lot of people love a cuddly newborn, but I'll take you at 19 months any day. You have opinions. You say "de-doo" (thank you) when you give us things, like you're trying to teach the giants some manners. You do the sign for cookie when we pull into the church parking lot. You make me laugh. And tonight when I was getting you a final drink before bed, you pulled my face to yours with your chubby hands for another kiss and hug. Sometimes there's so much sweetness, and my heart is so full I can't quite believe that this is my life.

It's not always belly laughs and chubby hands on my face. There are fits of crying and toddler drama. There are peeing on the kitchen floor days. There are days when I feel like all I'm saying is nononononono. Still, I can't imagine me without you. And I wouldn't want to try.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

etsy find.

A few weeks ago, I ordered a little treat for myself from Erin Rae's etsy shop. The circle with three sprouts is perfect for our little family right now. Who knows? Maybe I'll have to order another necklace in a year or so.

Friday, November 23, 2007

the desperation post: bedside table

Two size 9 bamboo knitting needles (I haven't knitted in 2 years)
One roll of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Yarn (olive green)
October issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray (front cover partially removed)
November/December issue of Blueprint magazine (the one with the hideous pink Christmas tree on the cover, intact).
Medium-sized notebook of lists, mostly irrelevant
Two black sharpies (one thick, one thin)
Purple MOPS fresh air pen (holla!)
Burt's Bee's Coconut foot creme 4.34 oz tube
Microwavable rice bag for the cramps
Unread Weight Watchers information
Last dregs of Nut Body butter
Comfort Care ultra moisturizing lotion, from some hotel
Tiny red notebook, unused except for the first page

I apologize for this post. It has been a day.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Grateful for the little girl hyped up on sugar and screaming like a wild woman in the next room. Incredibly grateful. Always.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

the homework post.

Some friends are hosting a coffee party at a venue that I must visit. The golden ticket to this event is my answers to the following questions. I'm terrible at these things, but I'll do my best to play along:

What is your motto?
I tried to think of something funny or deeply spiritual, but I have to agree with Priscilla. I don't really have a motto. See, already lame. The cool kids are so not going to let me in.

What superhuman power would you most want to have?
I would enjoy doing what he does.

What makes you laugh?

Claire's dance moves. Nate's singing.

Cats or dogs?
Our dog Monkey.

Would you rather be a little smarter or sexier?

What's the one thing you'll never understand?
Anything remotely math-y or science-y.

My life would be simpler if?
I hadn't signed up for NaBloPoMo.

The big decision I'm currently wrestling with is...

Whether we're ready to make theoretical second child a reality.

Monday, November 19, 2007

all better.

The Dada reports that he is feeling 88%. Claire's behavior would indicate that she is back to normal. There has been dancing, requests to bake cookies, and a returned sparkle. As much as I liked the cuddling, I'm thankful she's back to normal.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

from these trenches.

Sometimes there's just nothing cute or funny to report. Sometimes 2/3 of the family is sick and you find yourself envying them because sleep sounds nice. Miss Independent becomes a cuddler, who sounds like she has a pack-a-day habit. And The Dadaship looks like he's seconds from sinking. You just hang on. Thankful that it won't last forever. Thankful that there's been no puking (thank you, Sweet Jesus). Thankful that you're well enough to make them soup and jello and that your patients are down for the night (I can dream) just as your patience expires.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

because pilgrim hats are only cute when you're five.

This week I cut a bunch of leaves out to decorate for our Thanksgiving table. I can't quite cope with cornucopias and turkeys, but this site had a bunch of fall decorating suggestions that I loved. Enjoy.

Friday, November 16, 2007

china. china. far away.

Did you know that I lived in China for a year? Did you know that when people talk about things Hecho in China, I picture wrinkled women and a certain little boy without a stitch of clothing? I think about the air, thick with pollution in our city. I think of the layer of dirt that covered everything. I think of the squatties. I think of the river of raw sewage that fertilized a local garden. China was loud and complicated and unbelievably sweet. I don't usually get political in this blog. It's not my style. Lately, though, I have become concerned with the stuff that I see on the news. It's a strange world we live in, where we have become dependent on what would qualify as slave labor in our own country to produce the things that we "need." The year I lived in China, I made just under $300 a month. That wage made me the Donald Trump of the university I worked at. Thankfully, I had better hair. I urge you to take a look at where the things you're buying for your kids are coming from. Not just because of potential dangers to our own kids, but because depending on the third world to produce crappy plastic things for the first world is a bad idea.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

mr. incredible.

Claire loves the book Each Peach Pear Plum. We read it nearly every day. Each time we get to "Robin Hood in his den, I spy the bears again,"

She shouts, "Dada!" Then she points to Robin Hood with his red goatee and green tights. And then I laugh.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

worth repeating.

I posted this quote from The Mother's Almanac, last spring, which for me, puts into words why I blog.

“You need to accomplish a little bit every day-something that can’t be undone by another wash, another meal, another day of dust. A day in which nothing new is learned or nothing permanent is done is a day wasted as far as your psyche is concerned, for none of us ever stops growing.”

It also explains why I am spending today off of the computer and organizing my chaotic basement. Pictures to follow.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


If you can get over looking like a dork, infant sign language will rock your world. I know for sure that Claire LOVES all animals. I know when she's tired. When she's hungry. And when she wants a cookie. (Hint: almost always). At this stage of the game, she's hungry for words, and also cookies. Simple communication means fewer tantrums. Fewer tantrums mean more time with your child wherein you're not fantasizing about abandoning your child. Everyone wins.

Monday, November 12, 2007

why i named claire elisabeth.

Becca, I too love names. Nate and I were talking about possible names for theoretical second child. I'm not even sure we're ready to have a second child, but we like to talk names.
Here's a partial sampling from Nate's boy list:


Just to reiterate: still not pregnant. Just talking names with The Dada. It's possible he thinks we're in the market for a new puppy.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Claire seems to really dig the tunnel I picked up for her at Ikea this week.Apparently, she's not the only one.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

no estoy embarazado

There seemed to be a tiny bit of confusion after yesterday's post. Yesterday I wrote a letter to myself dated November 2005. That fall, I was pregnant. This fall, not pregnant. So that we're all clear and my mother doesn't have a heart attack....Definitely not pregnant.

Also, I'm not allowed to use the word "trying," because some husbands find that word offensive. I do, however, have a new haircut and a wee, small pimple on my lower lip.

Friday, November 09, 2007


A note to myself, November 2005

"You can't know this right now but soon enough things will change. In a few short weeks, you will look up and see her bouncing around on the TV screen. There will be five tiny fingers flared out, jazz-hand style, waving, telling you what you already know, I’m here. Even through the grainy screen, she will be pretty. After months of nausea and uncertainty, you will be taken by her in that instant. You will never be the same. She will stop being the cause of nausea. That is the day that you will become her mama."
Also, you may want to lay off the macaroni and cheese. Our butt will thank you.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

thursday thrift: pizza dough

Lest you let your imaginations run wild and start thinking of me as a Martha, I give you a wonderful, thrifty tip for making pizzas at home. Pre-made pizza dough from your grocer's refrigerator. Ours is from Winco. 98 cents makes enough dough for a good size pie (or if you're feeling fancy, flip it over and you've got a calzone). If you're making it with Claire, you're going to need extra toppings. Full disclosure: if you're eating it at our house, your chicken could come pre-tasted by one curious little mouth.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

so i don't forget.

I wish I could capture the rollercoaster of today. The fun of rolling out dough with you. The chaos of trying to explain that pizza toppings go on the pizza, not in your mouth. That fistfuls of olives aren't ladylike. I wish I could capture the terror of watching you dump an entire cup of hot coffee on your tiny feet. Of listening to you cry. Of holding you while you made the "pain" sign over and over and over. In the end, there are pictures. A tummy full of pizza dough and no visible scars. Not bad, ladies. Not bad at all.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

new friend.

I am a hider. Even though I live in my hometown, almost all of my friends are people I met in my 20's. I didn't hate high school. I wasn't bullied. Yet, I'm a hider. I'm not sure why I hide.

Unfortunately, this town is small and my face hasn't changed much. This can be a problem for a hider. Lucky for me, I am experienced at hiding. I could teach an upper-division course on hiding from people in your hometown. It is an art. It is a skill.

One of my closest friends from high school recently made the move back to our hometown. And she brought a tiny friend for Claire. I am so excited about this move, that I may come out of hiding. There is something to be said about people who knew you before you were who you became. Who knew you when you had a crush on that stupid boy. Who forgave you when you whacked off her lovely curls. Look out, Class of '95, if you see me in the grocery store, I might ask you how you've been.

Monday, November 05, 2007

a is for awesome!

Stripping down in the gym locker room and discovering that instead of your usual black Speedo, you brought the top half of your maternity tankini.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

nick nolte: a definition.

It wasn't always easy for us to read what Claire was trying to tell us. There were weeks of sleep training, hard painful weeks when we were getting the hang of her subtle cues. Rubbing eyes generally meant I was too late and naptime was going to be a battle. Claire at 18 months is a master communicator. At bedtime, she grabs Teddy and a book. Then she climbs up on our laps for a cuddle and a story. Her hair goes wild and when she's extremely tired, she pulls a throw pillow off of the couch and curls up on the floor, indicating, "Mama, I'm ready for bed." In our house, the state of exhaustion beyond tired is known as Nick Nolte tired. Thankfully, Nick Nolte only shows up when her routine gets out of whack. Like when our clocks change in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. Then she staggers around the house like a tiny, tired drunk.

Friday, November 02, 2007

at tom's request.

Do you think this guy would have liked my pink pastel self? I'm not sure. Here he is folks, Nate of '87 (or '88?) with his pet mouse, Elvis.
You can look, ladies, but he's all mine.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

thursday thrift: pop pop vacuum of death.

In honor of NaBloPoMo and the fact that I can't think of something new to write about every day without some help, I'll be introducing some new, exciting features to the blawg. I can't guarantee that these features will remain after December 1, but that's not really point. The point is survival, friends.

Without further ado, I give you Thursday Thrift, a little segment wherein I describe a favorite bargain find. I love thrift shopping, and thrift stores are overflowing with all kinds of wonderful treasures for the girl. Today's item is the poppop vacuum of death. With this toy, the child gets to spend hours pretending to vacuum. You know, for fun. Despite being decades old, the thing is ridiculously loud and only appealing to the girl when the giants are trying to have a conversation. The price of this little gem: $3.

What's the worst toy at your house? I may want to talk about a trade.