Tag Archives: Motherhood

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.”

Scrapbook: Weekend

22 Jan

Fifty Thrifty Fun Things: Color on the Table

20 Jan

It sounds like a strange thing to say, but one of the best compliments I’ve ever received was from Anthony and it was about the thrifty and creative ways I’ve found to cheaply entertain Isobel. And it’s true: I pride myself on my ability to entertain her for minutes on end (precious, precious minutes!!–that sometimes add up to hours!) so I can do the dishes, drink a cup of coffee, or take a blissful dump in peace.

Many of you reading at home are parents, or perhaps spend some portion of your time with a young child. I’m willing to bet that readers here probably don’t have endless supplies of cash to spend entertaining your little ones, so this year I’m going to share at least 50 simple, accessible, and–most importantly–cheap ways to entertain your kids. Some of these ideas might give you a few blessed hours to yourself, and some of these activities you can revisit over and over again. If you’d like to share your best ideas for thriftily entertaining kids, I’d love to hear them.

50 thrifty idea, number one: cover your table with butcher paper, hand your kid a bucket of crayons and maybe some stickers and let them have at it.

The paper we used is actually packing material that came inside a package my mother ordered at Christmastime. She knows I collect paper like this to use for shipping items from my Etsy shop. That’s why it’s so crinkled. This time I spread  it on the table for Isobel to use instead of adding it to my shipping cupboard. It might end up there eventually, though.

The paper itself is like a very thin paper lunch sack. I like the way crayon and stickers look against the tan brown color. They really pop. I like it better than white paper, but it’d do just as good a job.

This activity bought me an hour. It probably would have given me longer but we had errands to run so I had to stop her.

When it was time to clean up I just rolled the paper up. It still has plenty of life left in it. I can rotate the side if she wants a clean slate to color on, or I can make it new buy letting her put stickers or water colors over the used areas. I just introduced her to the magic of stamps, so I’m sure this will be covered in ink pad markings and fingerprints before too long.

This is also great to save and pull out when she gets into Epic Coloring Mode. She can get so enthusiastic about coloring that she ends up going off the paper with her artistic zeal and then I have to scrub crayon off the table for the fifteenth billion time. She can color on top of this paper and I don’t have to tell her to slow her coloring roll.

Since the paper was repurposed and we already owned the crayons, this activity was free.

My sanity and a happy toddler? Priceless.

Scrapbook: Christmas Highlights

1 Jan

I’m not going to make you guys suffer through another long Christmas post (like I did last year). I’m sure your’ readers are chalk full of them, anyway. If you want the whole Christmas story, feel free to go here. These photos are just the highlights of our holiday celebration, made unfortunately short by the sharing of a family cold virus. Merry Christmas to all of us! Peace and joy to the world! Now let’s all huddle under a nest of blankets on the couch and play Mass Effect till our eyes fall out.

Follow Friday: Cousin Photos

30 Dec

Last summer my cousin gave me a green, Christmas-themed shirt her daughter Victoria had outgrown. “Save it for Christmas,” she said, “and we can take photos of the kids in their Christmas shirts.” I thought this was a great idea, so I folded it up and tucked it away in a safe place with enthusiasm. Fast forward six months later, and that shirt is nowhere to be found.

“Liz,” I had to say, “I’m sorry, but I think I’ve turned into my mother.”

The cousin photos are adorable even without matching shirts, though my cousin made a huge faux pas when she tried to take Isobel’s purse out of the picture. ONE DOES NOT MESS WITH THE PINK PURSE OR ONE WILL BE SORRY. Also, check out that sweet goat Baby’s Sam’s holding. I’m pretty proud of it, as I am proud of the last photo in this series. I think I’ve found my calling: Awkward Unposed Children’s Photos.

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.

hollyburnsAll the dates I’m writing in my new 2012 planner are for season premieres of TV shows.

mommywantsvodka I cannot seem to come up with any decent resolutions for the New Year, so instead I will resolve not to become Lil Wayne.

NicLewis I think I’m a reverse hipster. Whatever the musical group you’re talking about, I’ve probably never heard of it.

theRratedBull That caller I just transferred is so lucky! They get to hear “Endless Love” in its entirety without going to an 1980’s wedding.

justaboutagirl The mom of those Invisalign Teen girls CLEARLY has a favorite child.

SteveMartinToGo My holiday twitter hours: Open all day and night. Except Wodensday, of course. Too busy worshiping Woden. Don’t care about Thorsday.

JVdesigns @exlibris I envy not only that you met Anthony Bourdain, but that you have it on a list with goats.

LouisPeitzman Are there charities to raise money for celebs like Ashton Kutcher and Kelly Clarkson who can’t afford access to Google?

Y_U_NOOO TWITTER FRIENDS, Y U LIVE SO FAR AWAY? Y U NO LIVE NEXT DOOR?

milonguera I’m drinking sangria for dinner. Because an hour ago I ate 70 more pounds of Chex Mix.

wordlust Two things I need to say more often are “I’m sorry” and “Choo-choo!”

palinode My review of Mission Impossible IV is that I stayed home and watched Tree of Life.

LaurelKS I’ve missed #oversharewednesday for months and I invented it. Don’t feel bad if you forget.

RideOrDiePudge You guys who habitually change your avatars have given me a chilling sneak peak into living with Alzheimers.

TheMiaWarren Mystikal was a rapper who cared. He told you to shake your ass but he also told you to watch yourself.

jenstatsky I always say no to drugs. Mostly after I take a bunch of em and am like, “hey I’m gonna start talking to these drugs!”

PolyesterPony Picture Tintin as a gay man and you’ve got a pretty good idea what I look like without my beard.

lieberian FB didn’t seem that interested in my new Perry the Platypus T-shirt, but I know you’ll get me, Twitter.

MightyQuinn72 The kids have gone into an After Christmas Electronic Game trance where they don’t eat and growl when I approach them.

MightyQuinn72 The one positive about the kid’s video game frenzy is that I hear there is a shortage of Single Player Shooters in the job market.

sgnp White plastic sheeting over an entire hill is the closest thing to snow I’ve seen all year.

lafix By the looks of this Starbucks, a whole lot of lumberjacks are working on their novels.

joversusvolcano When I go to Hogwarts I’m going to get a wand made out Keith Richards’ femur and unicorn pubes.

paulverhoeven They should have called Close Encounters of the Third Kind POTATO MOUNTAIN.

JRehling  People may say I’m old-fashioned, but e’re the Moone werthe and halpthsome Fairies ag’in the heckerlocke Smythe of Aethyr luvv.

Nathan_Pensky Remember when you tried to use the force on your shoe? You were 19. Not a good year for you. LOSE A TURN. #GameOfLife

warmandpunchy take the path that takes you to college. ha ha idiot, all your money is gone forever now #GameOfLife

 Nathan_Pensky  Who’s that guy from jr high who said his dad knew Patrick Swayze? There’s an hour gone remembering right there. GO DOWN THE CHUTE #GameOfLife

Nathan_Pensky  Feel a weird pain. It’s obviously cancer. Obviously. Think about cancer for three hours while trying to work. GO BACK TWO SPACES #GameOfLife

LouisPeitzman  Watch your health insurance expire right before an illness. Draw from Community Chest. There is nothing there. #GameOfLife

rare_basement  Grandma gives you twenty bucks out of pity. Move ahead three spaces. Hooray! #GameOfLife

notthatkendall  I’m pretty sure you guys are repinning stuff just to fuck with me now.

ClevelandPoet  Manager: “How ya doing?” Me: “I’m doing.” Manager: “You’re doing? Yeah I’m doing too.” Me: “Hooray doing!” Manager: …. #HowJimiRolls

NotActuallyHero  I love when someone’s bio says they’re the official account for someone you’ve never heard of because I appreciate officialness

thecorbettkid  all toys that make sounds will have their batteries removed tonight.

Patheticist  Halfway through War Horse I asked the guy next to me to shoot me so I didn’t suffer any more.

Athenabee  You know what I like to happen when someone comes over? Athena to walk out with my bra on.

BridgetCallahan  It’s hard to explain to someone for the twentieth time why they are literally the worst person you have ever met, which is why I use lasers.

cryanathus  Accidentally punched the door frame while trying to slide across the floor in new socks.

derekblackmon   Just put my 7 yr old in Time Out for not showing me how to split the blue birds.

Greeblemonkey  Good news: Didn’t break my arm ice skating yesterday. Bad News: It is so sore I’m having trouble doing laundry. WAIT. GOOD NEWS ALL AROUND.

jen_talley  So I’m thinking about getting out of pajamas today. I know! I need to pace myself.

theneener And, with delayed comedic timing, my dog has let out an audible fart.

TheBloggess  I wonder if @DalaiLama follows no one bc he’s making a very deep statement or if he just doesn’t know how twitter works.

eliza_evans  Good night, Internet. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.

BillMc7  Tequila is like Instagram for your eyeballs.

thejennui  The Internet is made of cats.

FannyOvrTeacups If the cat gets any fatter, I’m going to buy him his own wardrobe of tiny woolen cardigans and change his name to Mr. Belvedere.

SpaghettiJesus  If this is a Downton Abbey marathon, I’ll believe in god, but only because it’s obviously a woman with good taste.

Toaster_Pastry  According to Klout I can gain 5 additional Twitter followers if I say the word “boob.” Oh, my boobs ache.

davepolak  “Three blind mice walk into a pub. But they are unaware of their surroundings, so to derive humour from it would be exploitative.”

slackmistress  In case any of you were feeling remotely attracted to me, my bra is filled with brownie crumbs.

ProfessorSnack  Remember my bus ride from DC to Indiana? This time I’m driving! With my family! Made boys go all day without peeing for conditioning.

tehawesome  Matt Damon plays an adventurous father who takes a big risk in the heartwarming comedy-drama We Bought a Zune.

ApocalypseHow  Show of hands: How many of you only remembered it’s Jesus’ birthday from Facebook?

shinyinfo  Mom: “You can check Google but it might be off today.” #Christmas

JohnFugelsang  Happy Birthday to a radical revolutionary who never defended torture, badmouthed gays, or asked a leper for a co-pay.

writingdirty I keep reading it as “Merry X-men”

colsonwhitehead  When the song was written, “bough” meant “corpse,” so you’re singing about decorating your house with the body parts of someone named Holly.

jillsmo  My tombstone will read: “even though she was Jewish, she was still killed by eggnog.”

thejennui  My cat has an inappropriate relationship with my new Snuggie.

steenyweeny  DIE HARD IS ON PRAISE SANTA

Smethanie  A toast to the easiest night of the year to get kids to bed! Cheers!

TheMostTender  The chunk of crab in my cousin’s hair is the least awkward thing going on at this family dinner.

Smethanie No, I’m not last-minute shopping. I’m in the toy aisle on Christmas Eve as part of my Zombie Apocalypse training.

iamfoxyroxie I have no idea what to get my dog for Christmas. #firstworldproblems

johnmoe  My non-American followers should know that the most popular gifts this year are still handguns, cowboy hats, and piles of deep fried things.

WordShore   Hurrah! The Asian corner shop is open tomorrow, so if you are local and haven’t got a present from me yet, you’ll be getting a yam.

Angel__Bee  You guys, I don’t want to jinx it but I’ve made it through the whole holiday season without having to hear that “Christmas Shoes” song

Greeblemonkey  GetGlue is the new Klout is the new Foursquare of annoying Twitter notifications.

shinyinfo  I’m just saying. If there is a siege, the library WILL. NOT. FALL. I have metal bookends I will throw like ninja stars if need be.

MaryHChrist  In the middle east. Pregnant. On a donkey. FML

mrshiggison  When I hear the kids coming up the stairs, I shove whatever I’m eating entirely into my mouth.

palinode I just let something me dismay.

TheRedQueen  Sometimes I wonder why I attempt anything beyond getting myself dressed and not drooling on everything.

badbanana  My New Year’s Resolution, like always, will be to avoid an elk herd attack. I have a good feeling 2012 will be the year.

ecareyo  While standing in line at the store, I whisper “There, there, you’ll be back here very soon” to the Christmas gift I’m about to buy for Mom

meganamram Every time a bell rings, an angel trained by Pavlov starts to drool.

AnnieLowrey  What is scarier: Toy-obsessed, super-judgmental, bearded trespasser, or winged lady who wants to trade dollar bills for teeth?

KagroX  Jingle Bells. They jingle all the way. It’s fun 2 ride in a sleigh w my friends. We dashing thru the snow. We dashing. #RebeccaBlackCarols

thegrumbles when i put my ear up to my coffee cup i can hear the ocean

chickenscottpie  Sorry, lady hitting on me in the fabric store, there’s a reason I’m a dude shopping in a fabric store.

KaseyAnderson Why would I dance like nobody’s watching? People need to see this shit.

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.

Snapshot

14 Dec

Here’s what I’m up to:

– I’m very late with this post! I’d like to blame it on the cold I’ve had for the last three days but as time wears on and I’m still feeling The Ick I’m wondering if it’s not a cold after all and if instead it’s related to my weird blood problem that almost certainly isn’t cancer. Let’s hope it’s just a cold or maybe my Crohn’s acting up. Either way I’m so happy I am home because calling out sick to work always made me feel horribly guilty and in the end I was taking care of the baby anyway. Since yesterday I really wasn’t feeling my day was much Care Bearier than usual.

– I decided that since I was on bed rest (couch rest, technically) I should make myself useful so I uploaded a ton of old photos to IG and flickr to clean them off my phone. When I say I a ton I mean a ton.

– Last weekend was my friends’ annual holiday party and we spent a large portion of the night drinking eggnog, eating homemade flautas and chocolate chip cookies and singing weird Christmas carols. Have you ever looked at some of the lyrics to your favorite carols? They are strange, and not just the ones that were written several hundred years ago. Jingle Bells seems to be about getting some and that made us realize there is a theme: hymns are about Jesus (makes sense) while secular Christmas songs, by and large, seemed to be about Doing It. So, not really different from regular music.

My phone is gaining sentience and it wants to cuddle.

– I found this dress while thrifting last week and I used it to transform Isobel into a Christmas Elf for the party. Anthony was sure the dress would never fit her just because it was labeled 12 months, but every woman knows that sizes are big fat liars. I held it up to her and it looked just about right and the material had plenty of stretch and give to it. It was a little short in the sleeves and she may never wear it again, I’ll take it.

This is still the preciousssssss.

– A month ago Isobel scratched her face and since then the wound hasn’t healed because she keeps picking at the scab when we’re not looking. At two years of age she’s already learned to savor the fruit of rebellion. Anthony and I have been dealing with this problem by putting ointment and one of those small circular spot bandages on it but she keeps ripping them off, too. We’ve become so desperate I’ve tossed around the idea of getting her one of those cones like you get for dogs to keep them from worrying their wound after surgery. Apparently they don’t make them for toddlers so I’m stuck trying to decide if she’s pug or Jack Russel Terrier-sized.

– My friend Justin probably thinks I’m a horrible mother for suggesting a neck cone. He’s in favor of hand cones.

– The Christmas season is upon us and I wanted to direct your attention toward some very awesome Etsy shops (besides mine, ahem ahem). My bestie makes awesome holiday cards, birthday invites, and baby announcements. She’s flexible and will work with you on custom designs. Her shop is The Red Star Designs. My twitter friend Kelly has just opened the most amazing shop featuring pins, bags and other crafts based on her illustrations. Her shop is Let’s Die Friends. For the post-apocalyptic, urban decay fan that has everything, send them a Postcard from the Wasteland via Sharp Shiny Claws. And even though I’m quite proud to have created the slogan “Novel Accessories” for my friend Lisa’s shop, Excessively Diverting, she’s thinking of changing it to “YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE MY BALLS.” You most certainly will! Like my bear ears? A friend of mine knits similar ones and sells them at her shop, Knit in Public. And last but not least, my friend Val has some adorable vintage items and kid clothes in her Etsy shop, Little Weird Hen.

– Last year I created a couple of gift guides for the holidays:

– Holiday cards are pouring in and I have yet to even print mine out. Cards from us may not happen until after the new year so if you haven’t received one from us it’s not because you aren’t awesome. It’s because I’m not awesome. And speaking of Christmas cards, my friend April sent me an email about sending holiday cards to our men and woman overseas, particularly one service member she’s friends with. Her note said,

I have a friend in the military and he’s currently serving in the Middle East and he’s away from his little daughter for the holidays for the first time… I keep hearing from everyone what a morale booster mail call is for our service members overseas and I thought it would just bring him a huge smile if he got a few extra holiday cards this season…from people he doesn’t even know…  So, as you’re finishing up your holiday cards, would you address one to Scott?  To send a card to an APO, you only need a regular first class stamp.  And I imagine a few extra cards this holiday season would make being away from his little one a little more tolerable.

Scott Lefton
Australian DET
Camp Alamo
APO AE 09320

For the price of a first class stamp and one of your extra holiday cards, you can make his holiday a little brighter. And to make yours a little brighter, here are our Christmas Card Outtakes from 2008.

Follow Friday – Owl Apron

2 Dec

Last weekend some friends and I visited a craft fair and I splurged at bit (thank you, Etsy shop!) and bought a lovely green cowl and this child-sized owl apron for Isobel. I’ve been looking for an apron for her for a long time, and Isobel loves it. She likes to wear it around the house while carrying her various treasures around in the front pouch. Here she is helping me clean the kitchen. Such a good helper!

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.

jeff_ratfamily Even though no music is playing I’m doing my Mighty Mighty Bosstones dance in front of everyone & I invite you to do the same.

preschoolgems “I’m thankful for science, and mommy and daddy.”

TNG_S8 Picard is trapped inside a sentient turbolift. A clip show highlights the most memorable “Picard is trapped on a turbolift” moments.

rachel_nk my family’s review of pumpkin spice seltzer: it tastes like a yankee candle.

ProfessorSnack It appears that a cock ring isn’t part of the turkey preparation.

thejohnblog This turkey is making me sleepy. Seriously, he keeps going on and on about his shortcuts when he commutes to work.

girlwithatail My neighbors are outside nailing a turkey to a cross. They’re new to this country.

julieklausner Smurves.

steenyweeny instead of praying before you eat yell FINISH HIM and i promise your food will taste better every single goddamn time.

NASeason Remember when 4am was the time you came home, and not the time your baby made you get up for the day? Me neither.

heliumcell Happy Thanksgiving to EVERYONE!!! WooHoo!!! Happiness! Camaraderie! Thanking!!! YELLING!!! #PILLS #CAPSLOCK

MrWordsWorth The Macy’s Parade is an hour of entertainment stretched out over three hours.

YourAuntDiane Hard to keep the dozens of turkeys hiding from the Turkey Holocaust in the attic quiet. And none are writing in the diary I gave them.

louisck Happy Thanksgiving to all my followers who aren’t murderers. I wonder how many murderers follow me. Aw happy Tday to them too.

theleanover It’s weird how UC Davis added a question to their application asking how allergic you are to capsaicin and riot batons.

helgagrace Was just taken by a strong urge to clean all the things in the kitchen, but I managed to snap out of it!

TNG_S8 A virus that accesses genetic memory transforms Troi into a primeval warrior. Technically, Wesley still lives with his mom.

tehawesome Just had to stop myself from shouting “Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothin’ to fuck with!” upon winning a free game in Lord of the Rings pinball.

steenyweeny does gravy ice cream cake count as dessert or an entree for this pot luck?

jess_mc You will have to pry this pie from my cold fat hands.

delrayser It’s like that Walking Dead scene of zombies devouring a horse, but replace the zombies w/Wal-Mart shoppers & the horse w/$2 waffle irons.

mommywantsvodka I wonder if Siri knows where my pants are.

BridgetCallahan Fact: On Black Friday 1997, thousands of people were murdered in their sleep by Tickle Me Elmo. #BlackFriday

batemanimation I’m at Starbucks this Black Friday. People are trampling each other to get an Everything With Cheese Bagel. Oh, the bagelity.

AntDeRosa Everybody relax, they’re putting together a Superdupercommittee

notthatkendall “If being married doesn’t mean I can make you watch Home Alone repeatedly then I don’t understand what we’re doing here”

Alena29 I just uploaded a photo on FB that shows what it look like when you’re carrying an actual baby and a food baby…at the same time.

tehawesome That first trip to the bathroom after Thanksgiving is like a religious experience. And by that I mean an exorcism.

pourmecoffee Got some incredibly cheap bundled mortgages at the Goldman Sachs doorbuster sale.

wordlust Mmm…turgluten.

tehawesome The secret behind my mom’s excellent Thanksgiving butter is that she adds just a hint of mashed potatoes.

MeganBoley Thankful for a growing family and elastic pants.

MrsFridayNext Twitter, if I said just how thankful I am for you, people who don’t use twitter would look at me REAL funny. They don’t understand our love.

FarrenSquare What is Cyber Monday? Guilt-free-cyber-sex Day, I assume.

johnmoe The Kiss Army seemed too heavy so I signed up for the Kiss National Guard. I like them one weekend a month.

himissjulie Under my breath, as I try to figure out how to staple a booklet for a child: “I have master’s degree…I have a master’s degree…!”

mat Poopin’

hereslizz When helping my girl play dress up I need to teach her the fine line between well accessorized and bag lady.

crunchyvtmommy I always look on the bright side but damnit I wanted to buy that creepy elf and terrorize my husband.

bebehblog We got our Christmas tree! Hunted & killed it ourselves, like good Americans.

SwEtMrciflCrap Me to FIL: “I got Uncle Joe a Fidora”
“Dora, who’s Dora?”
“No, a hat-I got Uncle Joe a hat.”
“He’s allergic to cats!”
Tonight should be fun.

stegasp I have yet another Thanksgiving dinner with family today. If anyone needs me I will have retreated to a dark corner of my brain.

badbanana You know it’s been a successful Thanksgiving weekend when your watch doesn’t fit anymore.

HeathRobots Either my belly button is bleeding, or I really let things get out of control with the cranberry sauce.

wordsinmymouth And just introduced my dad to honey badger. It was a magical father/daughter moment.

mylifeasadad Completing the Star Wars trilogy tonight with the kids. Trying to convince Des that Ewoks are not doggies.

MrWordsWorth This is the time of year when I start to question some of the endorsement deals Santa made.

timcarvell I wish Etsy were a physical store, just so I could see people punching each other on Black Friday over crocheted Ramones shirts for birds.

Angel__Bee “ran out of pants” is not a phrase I like to hear from Allie’s teachers upon picking her up from daycare.

ramisalame If Snoop Dogg told me his hobby was sculpting, I’d be like “Fo’ chisel?” and we’d high-five and laugh endlessly.

ecsuperhero My coworkers just acted appalled at me eating cookie dough straight from the tub. I thought they knew me.

InfiniteChicken I’m always getting the Wayans and the Mayans confused; which ones did the blood sacrifices?

theleanover I gave up on aphorisms; now I write affordisms. This one is only 10 cents if you act now.

EugeniaMorpho Most people are embarassed by the porn in their browser history. I am embarassed by google seaches like “lyrics Paula Abdul Rush Rush”.

InfiniteChicken @theleanover Lucky. I’ve only had sloppy, random sex in an art gallery bathroom. (Thomas Kinkade retrospective—hard to NOT get horny.)

FakePewResearch People talking to themselves on the bus this morning: 35% Have a phone; 62% Don’t have a phone; 3% Undecided.

SteveHuff A dude with a steam shovel for a hand is destroying my neighbor’s car. #CyborgMonday

cbnickras Googling “record store cat” yields a hit for “Records Store Cat Jobs” at simplyhired. Yes, I will take that job please.

muffpunch The phones are down at work. It’s a Cyber Monday miracle!

smileydooby Ever have one of those days where you think maybe those really WERE the droids you were looking for?

muffpunch Waiting for my boyfriend to log on to AIM for Cyber Monday.

stray Dear world: stop using the prefix “cyber” until we actually have Internet-enabled brain implants (a la “Ghost in the Shell”).

joeinverarity GET BABY JESUS OUT OF YOUR UNDERWEAR! — me, right now.

mikeleffingwell If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around… free tree!!!

louisvirtel Yes, I have weak gay limbs, but please don’t mock my Masculine Dystrophy.

wordlust I see Paris, I see France… Man, this LSD is top-notch.

johnmoe “Potatoes, I suppose.” #FirstDraftStateMottoes

MmeSurly Me: What sort of books are you gonna get at the library?
Henry: BOY books. Me: What are those about? Henry: Girls.

johnmoe I honestly didn’t expect Twitter to last this long. It’s like Kajagoogoo coming out with their 20th album and it’s actually pretty good.

MrWordsWorth Got out the boxes of Christmas decorations. There is no going back now.

theleanover Nude Gingrich. #NailedIt

chickenscottpie Homework from my piano teacher: “Get drunk tomorrow night and practice this.”

MassageByTed In light of the evidence, I’m forced to conclude that, at some point, my testicles were much, much larger than they are now.

jberthume I am more angry about my Doritos Double XP Call of Duty code having already been used than a grown man ought to be, I suppose.

Patheticist Sometimes I feel below average then I click on a trending topic and ALAKAZAM! I’m a comparative genius.

Patheticist Radio Shack is the most literal name of any store.

mikeleffingwell No one ever talks about what an asshole Toddler Jesus was.

slackmistress Can I call in fat to work? Asking for myself.

LovesOfLife Maybe, just maybe that 9pm coffee was a bad idea.

JRehling If you’re planning your Christmas shopping, I’d like some new golf clubs and total power over the dead.

paulverhoeven The movie ‘The Ring’ should be renamed ‘Renember that one time, when I hugged that corpse in a disused well for nothing?’.

MariaMelee My effing PMS is like something out of Neverending Story. ARTAAAAXXXXXXXXXX.

cryanathus It’s the best thing ever when your farts sound like you are unzipping a suitcase.

cryanathus My patronus is a honey badger.

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: New Umbrella

27 Oct

It rained for the first time a few weeks ago and Isobel couldn’t wait to grab her umbrella and play in it. The rain had slowed to a light drizzle by the time we got outside. The concept of being in the rain, but not actually getting wet, fascinated her.

Scrapbook: Bag Lady

21 Sep

Actually, this is how I load up our stroller at the Farmer's Market.

When you become a parent, one of the first things you learn (besides how to function on inhuman levels of sleep) is that everything  is a phase. That cute noise they make after they sneeze, that little expression they make when their eyes are open, the habits they have as infants all change as rapidly as they grow. One of my favorite things Isobel used to do before she really got talking was to say “Wow! Wow! Wow!” over and over and over. Anthony and I took it for granted, somehow assuming that she’d be saying “Wow!” adorably forever, but then one day, she stopped, and real words took their place. We’ve learned over and over that everything’s a phase, the good, the bad, the annoying, it’s all a stage of growth on their way to becoming toddlers, becoming children, becoming adults.

Isobel’s current hobbies include organizing things by type, color, and size (she’s going to make an excellent librarian, don’t you think?) and more recently, hoarding. I often see her struggling to push her overloaded stroller, filled with goodies and festooned with overflowing purses, down the hallway like some diminutive bag lady. It doesn’t help that she’s usually wearing an outfit she picked out herself and that she’s speaking in a near undecipherable toddler pidgin-language made up of Spanish, English and colloquialisms specific to our family. Lately when I walk down the hall and she’s a bit behind me she’ll yell, “Mama! Wait up!”

This is just the contents of the stroller seat.

Whenever we leave the house we inevitably engage in negotiation for how much stuff she can bring with her. Sometimes she gets away with two purses, but we usually narrow it down to one.

All of this stuff is important to her. She sees value in everything.

When we go outside she picks flowers, and later we’ll find petals she surreptitiously stuck into purses or her pockets, or at the bottom of her baby doll stroller seat. Usually by the time they are discovered they have withered into crunchy wads.

But this is just a phase. Someday this will all be junk to her, and I’ll be sad because I’ll know that childlike part of her that saw the potential in everything, including a crumpled receipt, will be gone. But by that time. there will be some wonderful new thing to take its place.

My SAHM Confessions

27 Jul

This is what my workspace looks like on any given day. He’s been doing this forever, and it’s kind of surprising my computer’s never exploded from the extra heat. Or the pressure.  Quite often Poppy likes to join us and annoyingly sit between my head and the computer monitor. Add to this the fact that Isobel is on my lap if I’m here and she’s awake (and sometimes even if she’s asleep–note below), and it makes for a full house.

Recently, I wrote about the SAHM gig and how it’s treating me. I wrote about our schedule and the logistics of staying at home, and I briefly touched on my deepening bond with Isobel. It’s been a few months now since I’ve left the library, and writing that post has made me think about how I’m different and the things I have learned.  I realized I have some confessions to make.

This is probably going to sound very obvious, but it wasn’t at all clear to me until I left my job and had some distance. You know what? I did not at all enjoy being a mother who worked outside the home. I loved my job and I loved working–until I had Isobel. Then my job just became another item to cross off on my list of unpleasant tasks. It became a never-ending chore.

There’s a lot of talk pitting moms who stay at home versus moms who have careers–parenting is fertile grounds for self-righteous one-upmanship– and as someone who has done both I can unequivocally tell you that there is little difference in my actual parenting. I was a fantastic working mother and I am still a fantastic stay at home mother. The vast difference between these two scenarios is that in this one I’m happy.

Staying at home doesn’t make me a good parent. I was a good parent before. I was a great parent, even. But I am an even better mother now because I’m happy.

I know incredible mothers who work outside the home because they have no choice, and I know some wonderful mothers who choose to work outside the home  for the same reason I chose to leave the library: happiness and personal fulfillment. I have no doubt that those working moms are just as capable, caring and wonderful as those who are able to stay at home. It was the right decision for me, but it isn’t right for everyone.

This new surge of happiness and well-being makes sense on a physical level. I try not to bore you guys by bringing this up repeatedly, but I have Crohn’s disease, and my health is rather delicate. Now that I’m home all day I can rest when I need to,  eat what I need to when I need to, and get sick if I need to. And that is okay! My new boss doesn’t care! Working at home has significantly relieved the stress on my body and my new routine agrees with it greatly. This alone has made a huge difference in my quality of life.

Aside from the realization that I really didn’t enjoy being a working mother, I’ve realized another thing about myself, too. One that’s almost embarrassing to share with you because it’s such a cliché: I have learned to savor the moment and to truly embrace my current limitations. As weird as it sounds, experiencing  PPD and all those struggles I went through really helped me realize this. I had internal levels of perfection that I would demand of myself, and I didn’t dare stray from those expectations.

Once I had Isobel and PPD kicked in, I had no choice but to let things go.  I found out it wasn’t the end of the world if I didn’t keep on top of the (non-diaper) laundry every day. Dirty dishes could sit in the sink and without blowing up. I could go weeks without vacuuming and the world still turned. Sure, all of this was a symptom of my illness, but I have come out of this experience a much mellower mama. I no longer strive for perfection–I strive for happiness.

So much of my former mindset was really counting on Things Being Perfect One Day. I’m no longer waiting till things are perfect. I’m letting go. And I’m realizing which things are worth holding on to.