Wednesday, September 26, 2007

i see london. i see france.

I just bought Claire some training pants.

I realize that this might be a little early. But I have been a mom long enough to know that all kids are different and mine seems fascinated with all things potty. She tugs at my leg (and at her diaper) when she wants a change. She sits on the potty next to me every time I go. The final straw was when she couldn't get my attention last night while I was making dinner. She sat down on the kitchen floor, ripped her dirty diaper off and made a naked run for the changing table.

I reserve the right to postpone this little endeavor at any time if it appears to just be way too much for either of us.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Dear Claire,
Today you turned 17 months old. I have been distracted. Your dad and I have been facing some hard business things and my response is typical mama. I want to fix things. Things that are bigger than I can fix. The answer continues to be "wait." Somehow, I had this idea in my head that most of the waiting in life is over by the time you hit adulthood. Silly mama. Waiting is lifelong. In your way, you have been teaching me that, girlie. You are completely in the moment. You spend entire days aerobically running. You are easily distracted. You add words to your vocabulary every day. You are not the same person you were a month ago. Best of all, you toddle up and give us hugs and kisses, even when we've done nothing to warrant your affection.

Despite my frustration at customers who "forget" to pay for their purchases, there has been tremendous joy over the last month. Teaching you the sign for banana. Watching you communicate in ways you couldn't have a month ago. You are becoming a little girl right before my eyes. A year ago, you were still fuzzy around the edges.
And now, you are an animal. You crawl up under your toy cars to fix them. You want to get your own sippy cup. You have friends. You still wave, but now you say hi. Now you dance. Now you blow kisses. I wouldn't change a thing.
Love, Mama

Thursday, September 20, 2007

international help desk.

It is helpful to have at least one friend who knows her way around a website. Last night after another awesome day at Chez Iderdider, I emailed a college friend, who at the moment is living the dream in the UK, with my website problems. Hayes was able to save the day with directions that even this frazzled mommy could understand. In her honor, we will load our groceries into the boot of the mini, try to work the word loo into our daily vocabulary and daydream of Clive Owen as much as possible.

At last, Claire raises a sock, triumphantly. Take that, blogger!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

where is the love?

I seem to be experiencing some technical difficulties. Let's try a little game in 2 steps.
Step 1: Refresh your screen.
Step 2: Everyone who can see Nate's fists at the top of your screen raise your hands. It should look something like this:
Those fists seemed a lot funnier a few days ago before they didn't want to stay at the top of my screen and they started interrupting my naptime.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

kitchen aide.

We finally made the big bloggy move. Welcome. To celebrate, I thought I would share with you a little taste of bananay heaven. In our house this is known as Ridiculously Good Banana Bread. Nate requests it for his birthday treat every year. Claire has recently started helping. Turning the mixer on full-blast makes her day. Here's the recipe:
Preheat oven to 300.
Grease 4 pans and dust with cinnamon sugar
Cream together:
3/4 c. butter
3 c. sugar
3 eggs
6 old bananas
16 oz sour cream
2 t. vanilla
2 t. cinnamon
one good shake cardamom
Mix in:
1/2 t. salt, 3 t. soda, 4 1/2 c. flour
Stare in amazement at the mixer.
Divide into four pans and bake for 1 hour.
Sometimes at this point I add a crumb topping* which is equal parts flour, melted butter and brown sugar. At this point, I should also stop calling this a bread, because come on, it's a giant fatty cake.

Eat. Share with friends.

*Nate calls the crumb topping crusty goodness. Because that is exactly what it is.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

diagnosis: toddler.

You were loading the dishwasher? Sorry about that, I'm going to need to close it...immediately. I need Cherrios. I need Cherrios. I need CHERRIOS. I'll do the sign for please, but I'm not looking you in the eye, lady. I have my pride. Must have sippy cup. I can fill it myself. I'm a big girl. Time to run. Time to dance. Time to play. Cuddle me. Rock me. Let me down.

I once joked that I suspected Claire's behaviors would warrant a diagnosis of pica. What's today? ADD? OCD? My treatment plan includes: an early nap for the girl. And for me: copious caffeine consumption.

So glad I took all of those social work classes.

Monday, September 10, 2007


That's not my Jetta.

This weekend we borrowed a mini-van from a generous friend with a used car lot.
Here are the highlights:
* Adjustable cup holders that hold more than a kid's size drink. I was a drive-thru iced latte machine this weekend.
* Glorious, glorious trunk space.
* Folding seats that make excellent changing tables.

And the lowlights:
* The funky smell every time we turned on the AC.
* Having to drive all weekend because someone doesn't think he's van material.

Friday, September 07, 2007

silver belles

Most days, I wear one of two pairs of identical jeans and a t-shirt crusted with cookie or miscellaneous baby goo. It's a glamorous look. I like clothing, but when I'm tempted, it's usually to purchase some miniature item for the girl. On occasion I have been tempted into spending grocery money on ill-crafted shoes that are guaranteed to give me blisters and take up space in my closet. My latest regrettable shoe purchase was made just last night. I found these little lovelies at Target and was sold. So cute! So sparkly! So painful!

Friends, you are looking at two miserable feet.

They are darn cute, and if I had taken more than 10 seconds to try them on, I would have found that these silver sparkly ballet flats didn't fit. I wore them today while Claire played at the park (ouch!). I wore them to storytime (wanting both my mommy and my flip flops). I wore them to the store (at this point I sort of tucked the heal of the shoe under my actual heal and hobbled to the check out. Again, quite a glamorous look).

I have a feeling that these shoes will fit right in with tutus and tiaras and princess frocks when the girl moves on from purses full of Legos and wants to dress up all the way. Until then, I will tuck them away with my other sparkly impulse buys. Perhaps Nina Garcia could have saved me from today's pain.

This is part of PBN's Little Black Book of Style Blog Blast. You can join in until midnight tonight.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

on provision.

Thanks, internet for the love. Our roof is reattached and looking like it has been there all along. Not surprisingly, last night we sold our high roof camper for just above what we needed to pay the roofers. There have been more moments than I can recall when we have sold some big ticket item right in time to pay for a need. Our honeymoon was financed by the sale of a baywindow bus and recently, a wee small house somehow fetched $5,000 above asking price.

I never wanted to be self-employed. I wanted security. I wanted dental insurance. In my life with Nate, I have experienced the richness of provision. Of moments like the one when a friend showed up on our doorstep with a washing machine just hours after ours spun its last load. Not to sound overly spiritual, but we have been blessed.

You can't see her hand, but in this photo, Claire has perfected the sign for "please." She fervently rubs her little chest whenever she wants or needs something. I doubt she understands what this means. She just knows "rub chest, get Teddy Graham." It's simple. She trusts that we will respond. And we do. We delight in her asking.

Even before I ask, provision is there. Even if I don't ask nicely, He cares. Kind of takes your breath away.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

goin' topless.

The roof is officially off of our house. I'm trying to remain calm. Trying to maintain our normal routine. Normal, except roofless. Normal, except that there are 6 guys pounding nails above my tiny girl's bedroom while she pretends to nap. Normal, except that we're out of Diet Coke and it's impossible to remain alert after 3 PM without a slow drip of Diet Coke.

I called Nate this afternoon to tell him I was taking the girl for a drive to try and give her a chance to nap without the soothing sounds of hard work and commands in Spanish. He suggested visiting a friend. My closest friends are the ones without kids.

Making friends as a mommy has made junior high look easy. I am as pimply and unsure as they come and my jeans are all wrong. I miss the ease that comes with plenty of time to listen. You can tell a mommy friend all about your labor, your boobs, your pregnancy weight gain all in the first five minutes, but knowing what she loves besides her family can be a tricky.
Loving Claire is the biggest thing I do right now, but I was a teacher once. I also love thai food. I took a bunch of years of dancing lessons and tap was my favorite. Oh, and my house is currently missing a roof. What about you?