Showing posts from February, 2008

Stunted literary existence

As was evidenced by my abysmal tally on the list of 100 greatest books, I am no literary genius. Even worse...I'm a girl and I like to read "girl books." Now, some books are classic and timeless and will be read in this house whether the children would choose them for themselves or not. But I have already been informed that the Little House on the Prairie books are "for girls" (with a couple of exceptions).

So...all this is a long-winded way to say that once I finish those books that I can easily think of, I'm going to need some help. It is with great hope, then, that I turn to you, dear internets, for assistance in finding quality chapter books for my soon-to-be six-year-old son. Here's what I've got so far...

The Magic School Bus chapter books
Mouse and the Motorcycle trilogy
Harry Potter (who knows...this may encourage ME to finish them for myself)
The Magic Tree House series
The Chronicles of Narnia
Encyclopedia Brown series
Horrible Harry series

We nee…

shhh...don't tell my boss


My thoughts are not my own

Thanks Julie!

Spring dreams

It's time to start planning the spring planting. My gardens suffered horribly last year and flowers were pretty much choked out by grass and weeds. As soon as the snow is outta here, I'm going to get to pulling out the unwelcome invaders. And I'm creating my planting plan of attack early with the help of various catalogs and notebooks. I know several of my perennials will have survived the neglect...but probably not all of them. Instead of trying to chart my gardens out based on what I THINK will make it, I'm going to start some seeds indoors for transplanting where the empty spaces show themselves. Plus, I have some seeds I can just broadcast on top of the loose soil to fill in the blanks.

Here are the seeds I just bought...we'll see what kind of flowers I get. I know dahlias and zinnias grow well around here because the fair show every year is filled with giant displays of them.

Now...onto the vegetable garden plans...

**Party with a Purpose!**

FROCK 'N ROLL® 2008:
Fundraiser to Benefit the MISS Foundation

FROCK 'N ROLL is the annual charity event that brings together the Phoenix, Arizona fashion and music industries.

WHEN: May 17, 2008
WHERE: Alice Cooper'sTown, the venue owned by its famous namesake.
101 E. Jackson Street, Phoenix, AZ. 85004
WHO: Champagne Tap
HOW: Tickets can be purchased for a $12 donation during the presale,
click this link and be SURE to open the menu and choose the MISS Foundation as YOUR charity:

Each FROCK 'N ROLL founder, band, model, designer chooses their own charity. Champagne Tap, one of the four bands to play at the event, will be playing to benefit the MISS Foundation.

FROCK 'N ROLL '08 will mark the fifth anniversary of this special event. As bands play live, models "rock the catwalk" in clothing designed by Arizona fashion designers, all in the name of charity.

Leslie Criger, Susan Di Staulo, Daynalyn Wain and R…

Clearing out all doubt

While cleaning out the desk drawer at home yesterday, I had the dreaded job of sorting through the old receipts and tossing those that are no longer necessary to keep for warranties or delivery insurance or whatnot. I happily threw out receipts from our baby shopping trips pre-Myles...the stroller, infant carrier, and swing...drop-ins and bottle clothes. Doubt that dated as far back as July and as recent as the beginning of November. Hope and fear and doubt all stored on little computer generated slips of paper.

I was tempted, for the briefest of moments, to keep them for what they mean to me now...on this side of the fear. But remembering what they meant back when I stuck them in the drawer, "just in case," I knew I had to throw them away. It's time to let go of whatever bad stuff I can so that there is room to fully embrace all the good stuff. So I threw them all away and immediately felt lighter...happier.

There is a part of me that doesn't want Myl…

For Julie

Thinking of you...


Coming undone

~Today I came to work wearing earrings in my right ear...none in my left. Nobody mentioned it but I noticed it when I used the telephone. I remember I put them in, was distracted giving Sam his Claritin, and then went merrily on my way completely forgetting the earrings for my left ear.

~I had my first court appearance since Myles was born this morning. I realized, sitting in the courtroom, that I'd forgotten to put breast pads in my bra. Luckily, I was able to distract myself with other things and made it through the proceedings without taking a milk shower inside my blouse.

~While the chicken salad croissant was good at lunch, there was a hair in my side salad. I must remember to bring my lunch to work.

~Girl Scout cookies are in!

~Eau de baby vomit...nice.

~A landfill wants to expand to my back we invested all that money in our home. I don't think they remember that I'm an attorney.

~Last night was a stellar night that highlighted my complete inability to d…

Get well sis

I have no idea if my sister even reads this thing anymore. But I feel compelled to wish her a speedy recovery here just in case she's still lurking about. She fell on the ice and shattered her wrist so badly it will require surgery...plates and screws. Thankfully, it is her right wrist and she is left handed (that is, if mom got the details of the story straight).

It's been hard getting to know my sister as an adult because she is like my dad (and my brother)...strong and independent...doesn't "need" anybody. If it were anybody else, I would feel badly that I can't go for a visit and help out around the house. But I know my sis would rather I stay away and not drive her nuts with my "hovering." So I'm keeping my distance and hoping that some yummy goodies will help her feel a tad bit better. Everybody loves chocolate right? Unless she's on a which case I say there is no better time than now to say, "forget the diet." I me…

Life on a farm

I've been here almost seven years, so I can't be considered a newbie to farm life. I should know better than to get too attached to any furball...but especially to outdoor cats. Outdoor cats come and go. They live a life that is unpredictable and often dangerous (they don't usually live too long because of it). I know this. So why am I so upset over that damn missing cat?

Bella was one of our first rescues. She came from the mean streets of Cleveland. Living outside the maintenance room of the Juvenile Court building, she made herself an unwelcome pest by sneaking into the building on more than one occasion. The Court Administrator was going to call animal control...and I just couldn't let that happen.

I remember riding up there with Steve, collecting her in a box, quarantining her in our apartment bathroom until she could see the vet, and learning that she was just plain crazy. It seemed like she had a short circuit in her brain. She WANTED to be a house cat and be love…



Miscellaneous thoughts

I feel bad for cashiers. At one time in history, their jobs were interesting. Maybe I've watched too much Little House on the Prairie or Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman, but I imagine a time when cashiers talked to people, took their shopping lists, filled parcels with requested goods, and sent them on their way with a, "Have a nice day."

Now? Now cashiers are surly automatons passing literally thousands of items over UPC scanners each day. The don't get to move except for their left arms sliding merchandise past the computer's eye...or their right arm occasionally punching keys into the computer that resembles an old-fashioned cash register (though almost nobody uses cash anymore).

I used to be a cashier. In Northeast Ohio. One of THE unfriendliest places in America, in my opinion. People would scowl...and they didn't have a problem yelling at you if you got their change wrong. I remember being so excited. This job was…

Valentine's Day 2008

No work.
Sam at Kindergarten.
Smiling baby.
Russell Crowe movie on the DVR.
Sleeping baby in my arms.
Homemade macaroni and cheese dinner at the new dining room table.
Snuggling on the new sectional sofa.

Good stuff. Far better than Valentine's have been the last couple of years. I'd wax poetic about it...but like I

Happy Valentine's Day


Catch me if you can

Amazing. Get a good night's sleep, wake up to actual sunshine and a delivery of new furniture, send Sam off to kindergarten, send Steve off to work, call and say I'm working from home...and I'm practically a new woman.

This is easier, in a lot of ways, than it was when Sam was a baby. I'm definitely more mature and better equipped to handle this stress and pressure. So there is a definite letdown when I have those moments where I seemingly can't handle it. Disappointment in myself, I guess you could say.

I commented on someone else's blog that losing a baby doesn't make you Mother would be nice if it did...but it doesn't. I mean, shouldn't we reap some sort of benefit from the crap hand we've been dealt? It only seems fair that burying two babies should have some sort of transformative power to turn me into SuperMom (with a capital S and a capital M). But no such luck. I get to struggle like everyone else...which seems unfair.

The thi…

Break it down

There are no more complete sentences. My days happen in one continuous stream of consciousness that baffles me by the end of the day. And sick days...forget about it...complete and total insanity.

Sick husband.
Whining five year old.
Screaming baby.
Feed baby.
Chicken noodle soup for the infirm.
Screaming baby.
Feed baby.
Whining five year old.
Screaming baby.
Feed baby.
Whining five year old.
Screaming baby.
Feed baby.
Screaming baby.
Whining five year old.
Feed baby.
Whining five year old.

I feel like my legs have been run off and my one big accomplishment today was making jello jigglers for my son's kindergarten valentine's party tomorrow. Well...that...and not killing anyone.

I have come to the conclusion that the great thing about being a stay at home mom is that you ARE a stay at home mom. You can give yourself fully to the tasks like making jello jigglers for your son's kindergarten valentine party. You …

Catching up...

For Mariam...

It's not as huge as the photo makes it seem. Just bad perspective on my part with the camera.

For Marjorie...
(will reveal a photo here as soon as it arrives...don't want to ruin the's a's pink)

For charity...

I'm hiding

The boys are all upstairs.

I can hear Myles screaming. The cute little newborn squeaks have given way to ear-piercing infant screeches.

I can hear Sam's mouth going a mile a minute. When he was two, we worried his speech was delayed. Now he is always talking.

I'm sitting here hoping that Steve's heavy footsteps don't come down the stairs toward me.

I just need a second to catch my breath.

Just a moment of quiet. Oh, ok...semi-quiet...there is really never true quiet with a five year old and a 12-week old in the house.

I'm not complaining. I know I don't have any right to complain.

I just need a moment.

Sam is here...gotta go...

I feel so grown up!

I'm getting a dining room table! It seats TEN!

So you say you want to see it? Why, of course. What kind of blogger do you think I am, anyway? (don't answer that)

THIS dining room table is mine (all MINE...(evil laughter)...

Isn't it beautiful?!?! No more eating on tv trays wherever there is an empty seat!

Speaking of empty seats...seating space is woefully inadequate in our living room. SO...we're getting a sectional sofa too! Our sad little cheap sofa has a broken back. And our recliners aren't really all that comfortable.

So we're getting a small version (only four pieces) of this (the goofy looking woman is not included)...

Of course, we will have to rearrange all the baby paraphernalia (cradle, swing, bouncy seat, etc.) to make room. But I'm so excited we'll have a place to snuggle and chill out.

The renovation is finally feeling like it's finished and now we can furnish and LIVE in all our new space. I LOVE it!

Meals TOGETHER at a TABLE! I'm gid…

*@$% Huggies

In the mail box...

Your toddler is 21 months old!

I will NEVER NEVER NEVER use Huggies. NEVER!

***This has been eating at me for a couple of days and I only now figured out what it is that bothers me so much about it. I mean, after almost three years of this I'm pretty used to the snail mail reminders from the big "baby companies." But this one bothers me because...well..."Your toddler is 21 months old!"...that's just an absurd note. 21 months old?!?! That's not a milestone month. It's not a month that's even really noteworthy in a child's developmental growth. Three, six, twelve, eighteen, twenty-four...these are months that typically "mean something." The twenty-first month?!?! Not really an important one. So I can't help but feel like its only purpose is to taunt me.***

***And just now, sitting here doing the math in my head (because I can't stop thinking about how much this bothers me), I realized that my toddler would only…

The big fake

There is a 12-year-old inside of me screaming to get out. I see peeks of her when I'm in the middle of the grocery store, laughing with my five-year-old at the pooping noises of his little brother. I can hear her rattling around in this fat old body when I'm cooking "glop" for dinner. My MOM cooked "glop" for did I get to be the one cooking it for my own family.

I'm old...but I'm not convinced I've earned my age. I've been through things...stuff...bad stuff and good stuff...

...but I still feel like I'm playing dress-up in someone else's clothes.

Most days I have this overwhelming sense that someone will figure out my secret...that I'm really just a kid playing grownup. I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm making it up as I go along. shopping...housekeeping...rules. Whatever strikes my fancy at any given moment.

So why not let my imagination run wild? Why not give my inner 12-yea…

Living in a time warp

Hey...they hadn't passed their expiration date yet. And you can't expect me to bake the Valentine's cookies until the Christmas ones are out of the fridge. That would just be wrong.

Mainstream grief

When Alex and Travis died, it was important to me to surround myself with mementos...proof of their existence. But what I found was that it was very difficult to find items that held meaning but weren't outrageously expensive. The "normal" mainstream stores didn't cater to my specific needs and I mainly had to order from specialized online stores.

Two short years later, I find this. It can be personalized for a boy or a girl (pink or blue). Simple. Sweet. Won't break the bank. From a "normal" store. Could it be that our voices are being heard? They have several memorial items available including flag cases and memorial plaques and prints.

I don't want to make too much of it, but it seems as though there is a spark of hope in these simple acknowledgments of the shared human experience of loss and grief. Now, if only they would put them in a category other than "decorative accessories..." I guess beggars can't be choosers though.

Different perspective

She said, "Oh, they're so tiny...I just love those little baby noises they make."

I sighed and said, "Yeah, it's so cute when I'm trying to figure out what the heck he wants."

She smiled (she has three kids) and said, "I guess it's different when you can just see them as babies without that filter of every little sound being a demand for something from you."

So I have slowed down quite a bit and have started to really pay attention to the little sounds...the little faces...the little moments.

Sometimes the little baby sounds and little baby movements need to be appreciated just for what they are instead of feeling stressed because a demand is being put upon me in a language I can't understand.

The cost of a screamfest is really a reward...a priceless snuggle against my cheek...the feeling of his little body relaxing against mine as he realizes his mama holds him safe.

As long as I remember this perspective I can keep smiling...even when I&…

What fun

From the guy who brought us PostSecret...a new blog...

Found Cameras and Orphan Pictures

Last year I found a photograph in the grass at the end of my driveway. It was yellow and cracked with age. There were two girls wearing clothes and hairstyles that reminded me of the late 70s. I was going to blog about it, but decided against it and threw the photo in the trash. Now I'm sorry I didn't run with the idea.

Miscellaneous thoughts

Apparently I'm still a beginner at this stuff. My big revelation for the week?

If the baby sleeps better in a car seat...let him sleep in a car seat!

(no, not ALL the time...but when you've tried everything else and you're ready to rip your hair out...)
Why does it seem like a lot of women have NO trouble blogging about their bodily functions, but when it comes to feelings they are so quiet?
Samuel has outgrown his snowpants...just in time for bathing suit season in the stores.

Anyone familiar with the return policies of L.L.Bean?
After threatening to leave my son at home on Thursday morning because he was dragging his feet so badly, the school dropoff routine will be modified so that Steve will be responsible for the little demon. Of course, I'll have to go to work an hour earlier since I don't have an excus…