Tag Archives: Memories

Scrapbook: Little Icicles

23 Jan

I raise the blinds as I do every morning when I notice the entire yard is hung with crystals. Every branch, leaf, and blade of grass is coated in sparkly points of light. A hard freeze isn’t uncommon. But enough moisture for icicles is.

I pull on a sweater, scarf and coat and knot my tangled hair on top of my head. I pull rain boots on my feet that stop halfway up my pajama pants. My neighbors have seen me in pajama pants before. I decide not to worry about it. I grab my camera and shut the screen door so Isobel can see see and hear me. Absorbed in her game of tea all morning, I figured she wouldn’t miss me, but as soon as I step into the flower bed she starts to whine.

“Do you want to come outside with Mommy?”

More whining. A nod yes.

“It’s really cold. Are you sure?”

“I want to go outside with Mommy.”

I hurry back in. Already the morning is warming up. I have only a few minutes before the frozen diamonds melt and turn the ground to mud. Isobel is still in her pajamas, too, but I throw on some rain boots, a sweater and a coat before grabbing her hand to lead her outside.

“My pink purse!” she cries. We can’t forget that.

We step outside and I show her the icicles. The frozen grass crunches under our feet. We explore the flower bed and find unexpected bit of ice that sparkle like shards of glass scattered over the ground.

“The plants are coated with ice. Ice is what happens to water when it gets very cold. Water is ice and ice is water.”

“It’s pretty, mommy!”

“We have to enjoy it now because it won’t last.” I look at Isobel’s hand with her perfect, miniature nails, caressing a branch. I notice her expression, full of concentration. Her tiny body, engulfed by the jacket, little fist clutching her pink purse.

“We have to enjoy it. Because it won’t last.”

Follow Friday: Christmas Past

23 Dec

Today’s post features photos from Christmas past. Enjoy!

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

NicLewis RT @nprnews: After 25 Years In Woman’s Stomach, A Pen Still Writes // It wrote, “Get me out of here!”

Pinboard Ask yourself this: is there any JRR Tolkien place name that does not sound like the name of a mood stabilizer or antifungal cream?

kwmurphy I can never spell the word “hemorrhoids” right on the first try. You’d think I could, as it comes up so often in my line of work.

danforthfrance Already can’t stop saying “Bagginses. What is a Bagginses, Precious?” Welp, be glad you don’t know me in real life. It’ll be a year of this.


inversejaik Thanks to the replicator, the crew learns the true meaning of Christmas. Crusher is perplexed when Worf’s heart grows three sizes. #TNG_S8

inversejaik Geordi and Data put warp plasma in Barclay’s coffee, with horrifying results. Worf’s son Alexander wonders why he even bothers. #TNG_S8

inversejaik Worf learns that the Klingon way of mathematics takes too long. On a dare, Lwaxana Troi marries Barclay. #TNG_S8

inversejaik When the ship falls through a spacetime anomaly, Picard is trapped in a turbolift with himself. Worf is enraged by the game of golf. #TNG_S8

inversejaik Riker & Worf use the holodeck to research the 21st-cen. ideal of being “bros.” Troi goes on and on about her most recent makeover. #TNG_S8

MrWordsWorth It must be tough for people on The Real World to actually have to return to the real world.

ScrewyDecimal This anxious, nauseated, “how will I pay my credit card bill next month” feeling can only mean one thing: I’ve finished Christmas shopping!

Angel__Bee Allie really doesn’t appreciate my Eddie Vedder impression as much as she should.

steenyweeny gonna put my religion as ‘grumpy as hell’ on this HR form.


Zaius13 They finally released Schindler’s List on blu-ray with tons of bonus features, including over an hour of hilarious bloopers!

NASeason I appear to have reserved an awfully large portion of brain space for 80’s lyrics.

BugginWord “Honey, do we have a protractor?” – Not what I was expecting.


theRratedBull I think my half-ass effort isn’t working because I’m still a top-performer at work. I think what we need here is a quarter-ass effort.

Patheticist I feel guilty that I’ve spent more on myself than the rest of my entire family combined. I’m teaching them a Christmas lesson, probably.

willgoldstein “Don’t let the dog lick you, she’s been eating her own poop again.” #thingsIhavetosaytoooften

sarahmcdallen Me: We have a chance of snowy owls this winter! Kim (baffled): They can predict those “birds falling out of the sky events” now?

finslippy I now have seven pounds of pulled pork. Just in time for Hanukkah!

danforthfrance My cat purrs like the Enterprise-D warp core. No YOU’RE never getting laid again!

notperfect Before you think that my shopping hesitance is partly financial savvy: I once paid a massage therapist to listen to my sacrum.

InfiniteChicken I just gave @KimKardashian +K in Chlamydia!

onenjen So, now that my son is potty trained, I’m gonna be wiping pee off the toilet seat for the next, what, 15 years?


Patheticist You can accurately guess a person’s age by length of their voicemail message.

jenstatsky When I was a kid, I honestly thought that using Quicken was a major part of adulthood.

sarahbellum Today was amazeballs, only without the amaze part.

juan_incognito Most of the time when I appear to be in deep thought, I’m just thinking about what I’m going to build with my Legos when I get home.

notthatkendall An awkward thing is trying to figure out how you will explain to a spambot that you don’t eat McDonalds.

goodinthestacks James Franco can get professors fired for giving him bad grades? That dude really can do it all.

joeinverarity You all moonwalked into my heart.

shinyinfo If I were a millionaire I’d take the train places ALL THE TIME. Across the country, several times a year. I’d waste my money SO HARD!

thejohnblog Rick Perry issued a press release extending his condolences to the family of Lil Kim.

sgnp Bras are pretty amazing. They’re MADE to have boobs shoved in ’em! #HouseCleaningThoughts

Smethanie LOL Hot Pockets for including conventional oven cooking instructions!

macleanbrendan If we’ve learned anything from Kim Jong-Il’s death it’s that people are very good at quoting Team America.

abobrow This has been a shit year for my fantasy dictator team.

NASeason So, at what age do I have to stop dressing my kid in one piece pajamas? Twelve?

shariv67 Huz: What do you want for xmas? Me: A Mercedes? Huz: Try again. Me: Foot rubs for a year? Huz: What model Mercedes?

80sMomKara My 8 year old: “On Christmas, why don’t we go to that midnight madness thing over at that church in Biloxi?” Me: “You mean midnight MASS?”

Soulsmithy Scary poops are the price we pay for holiday potlucks.

theSethsquatch The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But only if you enter through his ass.

NicLewis 8-track players in attics transform back into their disco-robot forms for the long trip back to planet Funk. #ChristmasMiracle

owlparliament Charles Bukowski reanimates and comes over; is ornery but also a surprising good pastry chef. #ChristmasMiracle

ryankresse People take nitrates for heart problems. Bacon has nitrates. Therefore, bacon cures heart problems. #logic

mocoddle If I were to get some sort of voice-control typing software, all my tweets would be profanity and chupacabras.

michael_J_m00n When I jingle, I jingle all the way.

paulverhoeven Just tried to Shazam a fire alarm at a Westfield.

ruthakers You can tell a lot about a girl by how many hand movements it takes her to describe her prom dress.

allisonthemeep Um, Christmas is in one week. Holy shit. I mean, Oh, holy shit. The stars are brightly shining.

J__Swift Okay, Twitter is distracting me from my new boyfriend: video games. We’re gonna go make love now.

TheRedQueen My toddler just shushed me. Apparently I was making too much noise while he was trying to watch his stories.

geekandahalf Pretty sure I meant “bitches”, autocorrect, but good lookin’ out.

J__Swift I think I’ll buy something to cheer myself up. This gun oughta do it.

apodixis Geese always sound like they’re laughing at me. I wonder if they know how good they taste.

alwysabridesmd I see there is a jammie snuggie thing called “Forever Lazy.” pretty sure that would be the phrase I’d choose for knuckle tattoos. #4EVAlazy

dspiral I really should have stretched before wrapping those gifts. #gettingold

benmarvin My new years resolution is to count how many times I poop in 2012.

lemoneyes Waking up early makes it harder for me to stay up late. Too little sleep is what makes that seem like an insight.

danforthfrance Strange that no one in the Nativity stood with their back to the camera.

Toaster_Pastry Daughter brought home a small vial of pure concentrated weapons-grade glitter.

rstevens In the Marvel Universe, a “Daily Bugle” is also a sex act.

mikeleffingwell It sucks when you try to join a gang in a new city and find out none of your street creds transferred.

Lilacmess We got our xmas stockings from my MIL today and proceeded to open all of it. We have completely failed as adults. I blame husband

kellyoxford “I love her period.” – missing comma, game changer

mikeleffingwell ONE DAY after I cancel my “Whoopi Goldberg fart” Google alert and look what happens.

schmutzie I’ve now expanded my diet from peanut butter sandwiches & Little Debbie Nutty Bars to include peanut butter cookies. Diversity is key.

TheNextMartha I’m really hoping to pass this plague onto someone who deserves it.

jenstatsky “Here lies Jen Statsky. She is survived by fourteen hundred half-full punch cards from various coffee shops.”

Angel__Bee Oh good, Allie’s behind the Christmas tree grunting. This will end well.

badbanana The next Mission Impossible movie should be two hours of Tom Cruise trying not to jump onto a couch after drinking seven Red Bulls.

onenjen In my son’s world, the garbage man is on par with Ryan Gosling. “Like, OMG. He WAVED at me!”

johnmoe Question about those Progressive commercials: why are people who are dead and in heaven concerned about car insurance?

JRehling Before you decide you’re the world’s worst cook, I just burned a banana to ashes while peeling it.

Kitty_Crawford I am pregnant. The father is satay chicken curry.

morninggloria GOP debate would be much more tolerable if a merry prankster had queued up the Little Rascals theme to play as the candidates took the stage

ProfessorSnack I spend a lot more of my time than I used to searching for beverages I’ve set down.

LaurenBans How is the tagline for the McRib not “Ribbed For Your Pleasure?” How?

corrinrenee Blankets should have pockets for your feet. #bedtimethoughts

markleggett Send me a DM if you want to swing by my house tonight and get totally fucked-up on vegetarian pizza.

MaybeNotSteve I’m so hungry I asked a horse to the prom and she said YES!!!

adiopink Re: woman who gestured at my dad & asked what my husband does. My sister says I should’ve replied: “He sleeps with my mom.”

meganmonique “The Kinect gives me more opportunities to use my jazz hands!” – The Mister

sucittaM Even if none of the Republican candidates become president, they all still have promising careers as actors in Kay Jewelers commercials.

Caissie Every time I look at Ron Paul my mouth starts watering for a Werther’s Original! #TweetThePress

PolyesterPony My xbox no longer listens when I say pause. We’ve grown so far apart.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

Scrapbook: Goodbye Summer

25 Sep

Giveaway: Vintage Terrarium Book

14 Jul

When I was a little girl I used to love visiting my Papa and Nana’s house. We went there often but it seemed to have an ever-changing array of interesting things to look at. Their house was modest and quite small but when my dad was in grade school they built a large living and dining room addition. It housed the baby grand piano, lots of Depression-era glass, and an old TV that the cousins and I would gather around to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles every day after school. Under the piano, near a large, light-filled plate glass window stood this jar filled with the most amazing terrarium.

Only later in life did I find out these containers were called carboys and were intended for homebrewing, not terrariums. When the time came to move my grandparents out of their house, I took the long-defunct terrarium container home and hoped to fill it with plants and rocks and a tiny ecosystem someday.

I also inherited their vintage terrarium guide that my grandparents used to make the terrarium that so fascinated me as a child:

Recently, longtime flickr pal Mia sent me another awesome vintage terrarium guide she found at a book sale:

And now, Little Big readers, I have some good news: I found an extra copy of Terrariums & Miniature Gardens while thrifting and I’m going to give it away to one of you! To enter this giveaway, simply leave one comment below.

You can earn an extra entry on twitter if you tweet about this giveaway, but if you do, be sure to leave a second comment with a link to your tweet. Additional comments will be deleted.

This giveaway is open to all readers, not just those in the United States. In addition to the book, I’ll also send along some fun miniature items to stick inside your terrarium and give it personality. I’ll announce the winner next Thursday.

Good luck!

Things That Have Happened Since I Quit My Job

5 Jul

* I have a bruise and a bump on my nose from being hit in the face with a large, plastic barn. Don’t lay too close to your child if they are prone to barn-related freak outs.

* Isobel has decided that Pikachu is her baby. Every so often she’ll tattle on him and tell me “Pickachu’s not sharing.”

* She has been sticking her hamster (named “baby bunny”) down her shirt and telling me, “the baby’s in the belly.”

* While playing with her plastic zoo animals, she asked herself, “What noise does a hippo make?” without skipping a beat she answered, “OINK!”

* I drink a lot of EmergenC in my house to prevent dehydration. When you have a condition like Crohn’s disease, hydration becomes very important, so her whole life she’s watched me down gallons of the pink stuff. One time she asked me for a sip, and when asked if it was good she said, “…it’s PINK!” Good enough for her, I guess! She also has watched me drink cup after cup of coffee, so now when she hands me packets of EmergenC she sometimes calls them, “pink coffee.”

* Isobel would happily watch Babies on an infinite loop if I let her. She prefers it even to The Osos.

* I was able to convince Isobel that a whole wheat bagel spread with vegetable cream cheese was a doughnut. She loved it.

* I spend an inordinate amount of time every day wrapping Isobel up in a blanket while she pretends to be a baby. To make matters even more ridiculous, she hated being swaddled when she was an infant.

* Every day she asks me if she can wear her pink “simmin’ scoot.”

* We go outside on Mondays specifically to watch the garbage trucks do their rounds, and we’ve noticed a few other kids do so, too. Our sanitation workers are rockstars on our street, and they know it.

* Isobel tends to refer to things that are hers as “my Isobel’s.” As in, “This is my Isobel’s sock!” However, I asked her if she wanted to go play with Baby Kingston one day and she responded with a hearty  “I LOVE MY BABY KINGSTON!”

* We’ve been dutifully watering our new lawn and Isobel likes to hold on to the hand sprayer. To get her enthusiastic about the chore I taught her how to find the ‘baby rainbow’ in the sprinkler mist. Now when she holds the hose she shouts, “I see the baby rainbow, Mama!”

* Once while playing at the park a scary-looking duck wandered into the toddler play area. I don’t really know how to fully describe the horror of this duck. Most ducks are beautiful creatures but this one had a face like a turkey vulture. All the other kids, and I mean even the fifteen year olds, backed away from this duck as it strutted into the play area, obviously used to the power of being feared. Isobel, however, walked right up to it and said, “HEEEEY, CHICKEN!”  It backed off immediately.

* We made Sunday’s delicious Chicken Puffs the other night and they blew Isobel’s mind. Also, she calls them “Chicken Pups.”

* She is trying to dress herself more often these days, which usually results in her wearing no shirt and two pairs of shorts at the same time.

* I’ve noticed she dips her bacon into barbecue sauce if given the opportunity. She might actually be a genius.

* We were playing in her room one afternoon when she motioned to the changing table. “This is for the buns,” she said, matter-of-factly.

* At breakfast one day she requested a strawberry and a banana. She started playing with them and I heard her say, “No fighting, strawberry and banana!”

* Listening to her read “Blue Hat, Green Hat” to herself damn near killed me.

Asparagus Shiitake Risotto

9 Jun

Recently I made some exceptionally delicious asparagus risotto after reading about E making it. It was creamy and unctuous, but the perky hit of the lemon kept it from being too rich. The asparagus was perfect and gave the whole dish the herbal hit that made me want to eat whole bowlfuls of it at a sitting. It wasn’t side dish risotto. It was main dish risotto.

I’ve been looking for more dishes that feature asparagus since its still in season, and while at the store I noticed some reasonably-priced sliced shiitake mushrooms. Now, shiitake mushrooms might be one of my favorite foods ever, but I usually only buy them dried. It’s much more economical that way (until I grow them myself), but since they were on sale I splurged and brought a container home. I’d seen mention of asparagus shiitake risotto before, so I pulled up a recipe and got to work. I made some changes as I always do.

I also decided the one photo of me wearing my onion goggles wasn’t enough, so here’s another. I’m making duckface because that’s the only way these goggles can get any sexier.

Again, I had me some medicinal wine.

And here’s a tip for amateur food photographers: don’t have access to even a cheap, DIY lightbox? (Let’s face it, if I left mine up the kid or the cats would destroy it.) A brightly lit clean white sink works well, especially if you can edit out any scratches or water droplets in post.

I had extremely high hopes for this risotto. Back when Anthony and I lived in a one bedroom apartment with a kitchen the size of a coach airline seat and a counter barely deep enough to rest a blender on, I used to cook constantly. Before I developed crohn’s I spent whole days cooking. One of the best things I ever made was a wild mushroom risotto, and the memory of that meal is indelibly burned into my palette. I’ve been aching to recreate the amazing flavor of that meal, and since this dish used shiitake I felt sure I’d taste the echos of it in the bowl.

I hate to say this recipe disappoints, but it does.  Asparagus and shiitake are two of my favorite things, and they taste wonderfully together, but, I couldn’t help but compare it to the asparagus risotto and the wild mushroom risotto of the past. The asparagus in this dish just wasn’t as good as the asparagus in the other, and same for the mushrooms.

It looked beautiful, and I don’t deny it was absolutely delicious. It just didn’t compete with the memory of the other two dishes. I kept expecting to taste that bright hit of the lemon, or that deep flavor of the dried shiitake.

Anthony and Isobel loved it, however, and although I made a ton it only lasted into the next day. It made me realize, however, that I’m going to have to try a bit harder to recreate the wild mushroom risotto I made a few years ago.

Anthony has been making this salad a lot lately, inspired by one we get at our favorite Greek place, and fortunately, it was even better than I remembered it.

Guest Post: Saturday Mornings

16 May


I’m gearing up for a busy week: textbook collection. I need collection 5 textbooks from 1600 students and I’m never given enough time or manpower to do it. And no one is willing to follow instructions. The end of the year is simply a clusterfuck for the library and I’m so looking forward to never doing this again. Ever. Since this is such a hectic time for me, I’ve asked a few talented friends to step in and help with posting. First up is Bridget Callahan, a writer who lives in Cleveland who sells her amazing photography on Etsy. All of the photos from today’s post are from the now demolished Madison School in Youngstown Ohio.

Saturday Mornings

Dad used to take us to the library downtown on Saturday mornings. He would somehow find parking right next to the building, or behind it. Maybe there used to be more parking back then, maybe there was no one downtown ever on the weekends. These days, I can’t park anywhere near it, might as well just take the bus cause I’ll end up paying for a parking garage 5 blocks away. But he used to do it, and now maybe I understand why it seemed he was always getting parking tickets.

The downtown library in Cleveland, what’s known now as the old building since they built the “new” building over a decade ago, is a massive stone place in that great tradition of stone ledges, WPA murals, and brass chandeliers. It was always “the” library to me, because the local branches in comparison were so tiny and modern and lame. To get to the children’s room, I had to do several very important things. First I had to walk past the huge round intimidating reference room, which had be where allClevelandlegislature was decided, because of the rows of reference books and dark wood desks. Then it was up the wide slippery marble staircase, which was a pain in the ass to go up because my tiny legs had to do it two steps at a time. But it was much more fun to run down, hand securely sliding down the banister as thick as my waist. Up past the giant rotating globe, painted in muted blue and greens, and then past the Special Collections room. Special Collections was a mystery to me, since it seemed to always be gated, a tempting doorway into places where I knew they must keep the very important old books, the kind of books that would teach me about how 16th century witches were burned and blueprints to the very first original star machines. When I was older, I finally went into that room, and it was basically where they kept their chess piece collection and some tiny books you could only read with a magnifying glass. I would have been more impressed if I had ever gotten in as a child. As an adult, I just wanted to go there with dates and make out.



Next was the walk down the hallway, past reading rooms and large glass windows with exhibits I never stopped to read. Sometimes I would go into another room first and choose an adult book for myself to take with me to read at the small tables in the children’s room, a place that was just what you would expect, miniature furniture and bright colors. I was well beyond reading the insipid hardcover crap they tried to push on small minds. I knew the difference between pulp and quality. For instance, The Hungry Caterpillar and Hay for My Little Ox, that was art. I never felt ashamed reading those. Richard Scarey was always always acceptable, because it was original. Where’s Waldo was boring and mundane, and I patently hated anything featuring little witches or animals that talked to people. Animals could talk to themselves, or they could be silent partners for humans, but to have children talking to animals was tacky. I was very particular about illustrations, and turned my nose up at things that resembled generic tv cartoons. For actual reading, I preferred Roald Dahl and Daniel Pinkwater books, the John Bellair mysteries with the Edward Gorey illustrations. When I ran out of those, I loved to bring an adult book in there, even if it was boring and hard to read, because I felt so grown up and superior concentrating on it while the other children were “playing” around. In other words, I was an insufferable snot, even as a child. That’s what happens when you’re a dorky fat child who read Tom Wolfe off her parents’ bookshelves before she even understood what adolescence really was. My poor sister read Madame Bovary ten million times before she hit 7th grade. One time, Carrie tried to pick grass from the lawn, roll it into construction paper, and smoke it, because she had read about “smoking grass”. We were “that” family.


But that was the great part about the Big Library, there were no nuns or stern faced middle aged women telling us books were too old for us, like they did to us repeatedly at school and the local branches. In the Big Library, they just wanted you to not run, stay quiet, and not touch the exhibits. Dad would go off to get his history books and Michael Crichton novels, and we would sit quietly at the tiny tables, waiting for him and trying to decide what would be our allotted three books for the week. When everything was picked out and decided, we would go downstairs to the intimidating check out line (intimidating because I consistently lost my library card at least twice a summer),  and Dad would pay his fines and then we would go. There were always fines, there were always parking tickets, and there were always the same the paintings and statues and oh that globe. Right by the checkout desk were the staircases that went downstairs. I was never allowed downstairs, I think they were closed to the public before the new library building was built next door, and while waiting for him in line, I would stand at the very top of the stairs and look down into the mysterious bottom hallways and wonder. The library was treasure place, I was sure of it, just like I knew there were extra special dinosaur bones in the back rooms of the Natural History Museum, and diamond crowns in the dusty corners of the Art Museum. Little 9 yr old me was equally certain that if I could just sneak down those back stairs, I would find old things and rare things and I would somehow be labeled an adventurer and grow up to fame and fortune, because every great character I read about was a risk taker and didn’t let stupid things like security guards stop them.


20 Apr

* The routine arrangment in our household is this: Anthony makes the bottle, or pacha, and I feed it to her. This is still an essential part of our bedtime routine. Isobel will ask for a pacha, and, for my part, I will say, “Honey, can you make a pacha?” to Anthony while I settle in with the (non)baby. Isobel has decided to cut out the middle man, and when it’s time for bed she’ll earnestly say to Anthony, “Honey? The pacha?”

* Getting her to take naps is getting to be more and more of a challenge. Anthony and I don’t have as many problems getting her to sleep as the grandparents do. I guess she realizes she won’t get away with it when Mom and Dad are around. She’ll lie down for my mom only to pop back up seconds later, shouting, “Oh no! Isobel’s AWAKE!”

* One of the apps on my phone was acting up, and it was an game that Isobel loved to play. It kept crashing and freezing. After the fifth time, Isobel handed me the phone, saying, “Uh, oh!” When I told her that the phone was broken she grabbed my hand and said, “Come on, Mama, let’s fix it!”

* Isobel tries to call our friends’ baby by his name, “Kingston,” but more often it comes out sounding like, “Chicken.”

* When Isobel wants to watch TV she looks at us and says, “Oh no! Where’s ‘mote?” It took us a few tries to figure out she was looking for the remote. When it is time for TV and we pull it out, she pets it and says, “Good boy!”

* Isobel has learned to fake cry, but most often when she’s trying to get her way she’ll bellow, “I sad! I CRYING!”

* Anthony was drinking chocolate milk the other day and Isobel asked for a sip. She had never had it, of course. She finished her first sip and shouted “MMMMM! ICE CREAM!”

* Isobel has always been very protective of our family. We have had to work on her manners because when we go to a restaurant and our waiter/waitress comes by she’d respond by shouting, “NO!” at them, because she didn’t want this intruder talking to us. We’ve explained to her, over and over again that the intruder is going to help us, that they are nice, and that they are going to be bringing us something to eat. We’ve also worked really hard on getting her to say, “No thank you,” when presented with something she does not want.

Now when the waitstaff aproach our table she’ll most likely prattle on in Martian-speak and broken English. She’ll tell them about Mama, Dada, and ask for water, “taytoes” (potatoes = fries), and chicken, even before they’ve gotten a word in edgewise. Usually when they stop by again to ask if we need anything she’ll immediately shout, “NO THANK YOU!”

* My Mom watches her about three days a week so she has considerable influence over Isobel’s development. She’s started mimicking my mother in ways that are uncanny. If she sees the cats doing something wrong, she’ll walk over, put her hands on her hips and say, “OH no. Jupey!” She sounds like a carbon copy of my mother. One time after Isobel did this Anthony turned to me and said, “Do you ever get the feeling your mom never really leaves our house?”

* Isobel’s default word for me is Mama, but lately she’s been branching out. She’ll call me Mama, Mom, Mommy and, most recently, Carrie Anne. Yes. She’s two and already calling me by my first name. What usually happens is she’ll start of like this, “MOM! MAMA! MOM! CARRIE ANNE!” when she really wants something, but the other day I was cradling her in my arms after just waking up from a nap and she patted me shoulder and said, “Mama.” More patting. “Carrie Anne.”

 * When we were trying to prepare Isobel for the concept of a birthday party we started listing all the people who would be there. People she loves, like Victoria, Jewel, Papa… “And Santa?!” she asked. “And CANDY?!”

Another Hard-Hitting Interview

27 Dec

I hope everyone had a great weekend, whether they celebrated the holidays or not. I’m hoping at the very least the year slows its hectic pace now that Christmas has passed and everyone can enjoy a little peace before the new year.

I have another interview for you by Mrs. December, Gen with a G.  Gen’s talents at interviewing aren’t limited to 4 year-olds, I can assure you. She’s like the Barbara Walters of Calendar Girls. We interviewed each other before assigning topics for the blog-trade and I’m posting the first half of this interview today. It turns out we both share a love of Starbuck, the smokin’ hot pilot from BSG. The one with authority issues. Gee, it’s no wonder we get along.

What is the earliest vivid memory that you have?

I remember the lamp shade. The light filtered through in a particular way, marking the wall with a tiny hexagonal pattern. Like me, it was from the seventies. My aunt had taken my two cousins and me over to the Thorburns’ house to play and eat dinner. I was in the highchair. My sister was not born yet.

I was given milk in a sippy cup. I hate drinking milk. Always have. Hate it.

I tried to tell my aunt: DO. NOT. WANT. This was before I could speak, so she didn’t understand. Or maybe she did, but didn’t care. I just remember the frustration of feeling like I was not understood. I realized I was going to have to communicate this concept in another way, so I knocked the cup to the ground. The lid popped off and it spilled everywhere. My aunt said, “Bad girl! No, no, no! Bad girl!”

She bent over to the floor, wiping and muttering.


I think that you probably watched Battlestar Galactica based on a few of your tweets (which only makes me adore you more).  If you have watched BSG, which character was the most sexy, and why?  And most importantly, would you have sex with a cylon?

We’re barely halfway through the first season but I adore it. The men in the series so far are:

1. Drunken John McCain

2. Jaime Escalante

3. Evil Dr. Julian Bashir.

4. Lee (cute, but not my type)

5. & 6. the two guys Boomer is screwing. (Helo’s actually kind of hot.)

7. Pointdexter, Assistant to the President

I can’t say I really want to jump any of their bones. Although according to Wiki this guy appears in the second season and I reserve the right to change my mind. He looks kind of hot in that photo but a personality can ruin that, so he’s just a maybe. For the time being I shall call him Sargent Bicep.

8. Sargent Bicep (possibly?)

All the girls, however, are patently do-able, excepting Madame President. I would refrain from screwing her out of respect for our great nation. Starbuck, of course, is the best, and I’d be a fool to turn her down. I want to do Starbuck, but I also want to BE Starbuck.

If my husband were a cylon, I’d still totally do him. The only thing that would change is when he tells me he’s too tired to rub my feet I’d say LIAR! YOU’RE A ROBOT! NOW MAKE WITH THE FOOT RUBS OR NO CYLON SEXYSEX!

Cousin Time

1 Nov

Isobel loves playing with her cousin Victoria.

Isobel especially loves playing piano on my Nana’s piano with Victoria.

We have to remind them to be gentle. Often.

Isobel is very musical. This however, was just a whole bunch of noise.

Victoria was trying to teach Isobel the “proper” way to use the keyboard.

She was a good teacher. Unfortunately Isobel prefers her method.