Sunday, October 28, 2012


Mark thinks this "Frankenstorm" may be a load of crap... I get it -- those crazy alarmists out to scare the rest of us. Well, I like a little scare every now and then to keep life interesting and momentarily suspend me in a state of "what-ifs" and "holy craps." --That is, until our second hour without electricity and after I've gone into the kitchen for the third time and hit the light switch, snorted, and said, "Oh yeah."

So our conversation about the storm over the last few days has gone something like this (me, the storm enthusiast, and Mark, the logical loon):

Me: They're saying this storm could be big.
Mark: It'll probably be nothing.
Me: I don't know... The news is saying...
Mark: Alarmists.
Me: Did you see the projected path? I know it could change, but...
Mark: It's off the coast, may not even make landfall.
Me (2 days later): News says it shouldn't cause the same flooding as Irene, but we should prepare for possible power outages.
Mark: Let me see that...

Why do boys do this?! We're on an email list with our friends, and a female friend from Texas wrote the other day, "Will be thinking of you guys when the storm hits." A male friend replied: "It'll probably be nothing."

To me, this isn't a "Don't worry, everything will be ok" type of response.

I take it as a personal attack against my optimism -- which I admit is a little misplaced in hoping that a storm will wreak havoc in our lives. I don't want anyone to get hurt or have their home damaged -- but a little power outage may be an exciting challenge for a day or two. Just a change from the day to day routine. Something to speculate about around the water cooler.

And, yeah, I totally see how I create my own emotional Frankenstorm probably to add some excitement to my life some days... But that's another topic of emotional exploration that I don't want to explore right now.

My point is that boys are mean (or just need to be 100% logical/doubtful all the time)... therefore challenging my ability to read a map (with a single-direction storm flying at us). Or would much rather say "Wow, that was one hell of a storm..." instead of later admitting that they had an emotional reaction to something that turned out to be nothing.

-Which annoys me, and I don't know why. Maybe I need my emotions validated. Can he say, "I hope it'll just pass over us, but we should get some extra supplies." Or even better: "Holy crap balls!!! Let's head for the hills!" That sounds fun. And validating.

As much as I'm annoyed by this difference in our reactions, it has a good side too...

Yesterday I wanted to call one of the local B&Bs to see if they had a room we could use for Ellie's first birthday. Mark said, "I don't think they're open."

"Well, I just want to call and check," I replied. Mark: "They took the sign down months ago." Me: "Well, maybe they're not open for business but would still be willing to rent a room. You know the owner, maybe you can talk to her."

To Mark: sign down + door closed + no lights on = business closed.

To me: sign down -> try knocking -> try calling -> try new place ...

There's never an end to trying until I succeed (or get distracted by something else). There's always moving forward and life and hope. There's always a next step, other opportunities. We balance each other well this way.

And I love when his logic loses out and I can show him a world where anything is possible and God truly exists -- through us and our actions (and sometimes beyond that).

Anyhoo, in this situation... I'm starting to hope that he's right about Frankenstorm being a load of Frankencrap.

Regardless, we're all stocked up with extra water, diapers, and food! And a little bit of excitement from the lady who needs things to stay interesting around here.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Wait

I've been trying to get this shot (well, not this one) all summer! I think I may have missed my opportunity this season, but we'll see what next weekend brings.

I've watched this calf grow up as I passed this farm each day on my way to bring E to day care. She has a habit of wandering out of the barn and settling under the crooked tree just as the sun rises over the mountains, evaporating any foggy mists in its path. She soaks up the warmth, and the crooked tree glows in a massive halo above her. The reason the tree glows so much is because a colony of spiders have spent the night weaving intricate webs from branch to branch, each strand strung with beads of morning dew.

It's breathtaking -- warm, and magical. If I could only capture it with my camera. Each day that the shot was just perfect, I had E with me. I couldn't pull over and leave her in the car while I ventured out to get my photo. I'm adventurous enough to take her with me, but I knew to get just the right angle I'd have to walk alongside the busy highway in a spot that I wouldn't be very visible to oncoming traffic -- definitely not baby nor mommy safe.

I decided to wait. Each day that I passed that perfect photo, I took it in and gave it more thought -- what angle I would get, which lens I would use. I wondered if the iPhone would be sufficient if I could just capture that moment.

This Saturday morning I was finally alone on that road, and though it wasn't the perfect moment, I thought I would scope out the scene. This is the photo I took -- the lighting is right, the cow was there, but that's about it. I now know that I need my digital SLR, possibly my telephoto lens, and just the right moment. I need to get there before sunrise on a warm, fall morning and wait.

Before I had E, I wouldn't have waited. I would have gotten a hurried, okay shot and been just fine with it. Now I'm suddenly fine with waiting. In fact, it's more than fine. I'm enjoying waiting, enjoying wondering if I really need this photo, taking pleasure in planning my next visit to that dirt road.

I don't know what's changed. I suppose I don't have time to do the things I used to do. I'm forced to slow down and focus all my energy on some seemingly small tasks -- bathing a baby, making dinner, reading a bedtime story.

These are the important things. I know that now.

So, this photo is not my extraordinary shot, my breathtaking moment. This photo is my wait. And I might just love it more.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Today Was a Good Day

Today was a good day... Even though E got up at 3am and only took one (very) short nap, I felt motivated to get my butt out the door and over to my friend's house for her son's 1st birthday party.

We had planned to go to another friend's wood moving party today, but Mark was sick, and E is still sniffling a bit, though she seemed up to stopping by the birthday party which was closer to home.

This was one of our first long outings I've done on my own (if you don't count that trip to New York a few months back), and I think we did great! She was so well-behaved and loved socializing with everyone. This is when I'm so glad she has day care!

She fell asleep on the way home, and we had some fun family time tonight. Just an all-around good day (more pics on Instagram).

And now I'm excited to plan E's party in January! Thinking about undertaking the sprinkle cake... Hmm...

Weather in VT
Gorgeous, sunny, high 60s!
Birthday cake, laughing babies, campfire time, and good friends!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why Does Blue Have to Use Clues?

I've been putting Sesame Street on for E lately. Though I thought Blues Clues was her favorite show, it turns out that she thinks any show geared toward her is Blues Clues -- including Sesame Street. And thank God, because I can only watch Steve solve so many dog mysteries before I go crazy.

Also, I've found myself over-analyzing it. Like, if Blue can show Steve all these imaginary worlds and step into books, etc., why can't she show him exactly what she wants? Why does she have to place clues? Instead of a clue, couldn't she just put her paw print on what she wants? Like, a glass of lemonade -- instead of a glass, ice, and lemons?? Is this just a game to her?!

Well, it's a game I'm sick of playing. Sesame Street tackles the more important issues -- like the generation gap between a caveman father and his cave-son in this skit with Bert and Ernie. Bert (cavedad) keeps finding trash Ernie has left around the cave -- a piece of paper, a dinosaur juicebox. Each time he finds a piece of trash, Ernie is ordered to take it to the dump. Ernie just wants to bang on his drum all day.

Instead, he has to make several individual trips to the dump before (in this scene) wondering out loud how he can gather all of his trash into one container to make only one trip to the dump each day.

After Ernie's speech, Bert tilts his head to the side and says, exasperated, "Dreamer..."

Ernie then flips his drum upside down to use as a trash bin.

Watching this scene, I realized... I am Ernie, but I'm still making multiple trips (literally and figuratively) to the real/proverbial dump to remove the clutter from my house/brain -- taking the long way around, dreaming of ways to live more efficiently, more happily, more family-focused.

And, like Ernie, I am a "dreamer" -- proud of it! What I love most about this skit (beside the fact that it's pretty funny) is that Ernie took something fun, that he loved to do, flipped it and used it to make his life better. The answer was right in front of him, just upside down. It may be an unconventional solution, but that's why it works!

Next time Ellie says, "Up! Up!" for me to flip her upside down, maybe I'll take a peek too -- into an opposite world where boxes hang from the ceiling and drums become bins.

Quote of the Day
E on the swing: Woah.... woah!!!
Me: I've never heard you say that before! We need to do more exciting things!

Listening to
Jenny Jenkins, Lisa Loeb

Weather in VT
Beautiful! Sunny, warmer, and I took E to the park today and for a walk!

Get to the Choppah!!

Yesterday morning I overheard Mark talking to E in his best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice--

Ellie! Stop taking yo socks off!! It's cold outside! I can't protect you like this!

Yeah, I love him.

Monday, October 15, 2012

You Know What?

I love myself. Yep, that's right... I love myself.
I just realized that I'm professing my love for... me. (ahem)
And that's weird.
But, it's not, really... because who knows me better? Who knows all my weaknesses, all my imperfections, every single shortcoming better than me? No one. In fact, those who think that they've discovered new reasons to not like me -- they're wrong. There are plenty of old reasons to not like me: 1. I'm not a reliable friend: I don't always call, I don't make plans to get together, and I have a mix of good and bad moods that all run into each other. 2. After being totally calm and respectful and nice for months, I will occasionally tell someone to go screw themself. Yeah, that happened today. 3. Um, I don't dress well (if that's important to people), and lately I only shower every other day if my hair looks okay.
Ok, the list could go on... and people can decide to not like me for other reasons -- like Facebooking about my (incredibly amazing) daughter too much or for eating too many Pop Tarts, but I will not allow myself to be affected by those things -- because those things are all coming from a place of good intentions and not from my list of shortcomings.
And that list? Yeah, I'm working on it. So, if someone's going to judge me, I sure as hell hope they're working on their own list too.
Anyway, the point is, I just walked myself through a really embarassing moment from last week -- where all those shortcomings were present -- twisted, warped, and awkwardly shaped into a very strange situation in which I poured my soul out in a big, pukey mess to someone I don't know very well, which would usually result in a self-loathing pity party on a Monday morning.
And... I just realized that if I were to continue with this metaphor, I'd be eating my own puke. So, let's say that I poured my soul out like a songbird's melody, and I absorbed it back into myself, and I was 100% okay with it. In fact, I loved it. It was me. All of me -- and it was, dare I say it, beautiful.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Some Call It Parental Abuse. We Call It Bedtime.

So, 3 days ago E started refusing her pacifier. We think she figured out that it makes her fall asleep, and she'd rather stay up with us. She used to occasionally do that, but now she's quit, cold turkey! She won't go to sleep without it, so I've been on a mad hunt to find a transition object quickly... Bunny, bear, dog, blankie... Nothing has worked -- except passing out from exhaustion.

Tonight I think I found the perfect combination of factors: Radio on pretty loud (U2 was most successful -- Daddy's girl!), rocking fast in time to the music, her big toe stuck in my armpit, one hand holding onto my shirt collar, and the other around my neck, holding onto my ponytail. Success!

Quote of the Day
CW: Wow, your hair is huge today.
Me: I've been listening to 80s music.

Listening To
We Belong, Pat Benatar

Weather in VT
Sunny but cold! First snow yesterday!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happiness is...

Ottoman by Vampire weekend... "Today is for you." Yes, I think I'll take today. Just for me...
Last night I got about 4 hours of interrupted sleep. Mark tried to get up with E, and she screamed hysterically until I woke up and got her. Dada just wouldn't do -- I had to calm her down first.
Though I'm far from perfect, I am the mom who will sing all the songs from Blues Clues to my daughter at 2am to calm her down, and lay awake with her for hours (even while saying, "E, this is ridiculous!").
Mark and I wrote this song for her the first day we heard her heartbeat, a mix of all my anxieties about parenthood, and a few promises to her that I intend to keep!
Rain keeps a-fallin' on this dreary day
But I can't stop smilin' 'cause I met you
And sun keeps a-callin' me from far away
Promise of happy days with you
And I... will wait for you
And I will stay awake with you
And I will be right by your side
And I will start the day with you
And I will run away with you
I'll be yours, and you'll be mine
But rain keeps a-fallin' on this dreary day
And I'm fallin' more in love with you
And sun keeps a-callin' me from far away
Promise of happy days with you!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

50% of the Time It Works Every Time

It's just been a busy week so far, so no exciting things to share.

Well, that's not entirely true. I finally cleaned all the main rooms in our apartment and made them much more baby friendly! That was nice!

Today I was exhausted and not quite so productive, but I realized something: if I only have my life together 50% of the time, that's not so bad. I'm a "glass is half full" kinda girl, and this week that meant that at one point half the dishes in the sink were rinsed, half of my clothes were folded, and half of my dining room table was cleared.

And that's good enough for me right now!

Quote of the Day
The world feels heavy today...

Listening To
Early Mornin' Rain - Peter, Paul, and Mary!

Weather in VT
Cold and rainy...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Crockpot Love Poem

Today was just a regular day... Except that, I'm in love with my crock pot. I can't even begin to explain to you how much I love that thing. Tonight I made our favorite meal (meatloaf) in it (see the glorious pic on Instagram). So, tonight I think I'll express my crockpot love in a poem!!

When the house is cold, and my love is working late,
When my home is so dreary, I question my fate,
I lift up my chin and say, "You know what?!"
I think I'll make love to my dear, old crockpot!

It's not the kind of love making with tender caresses,
But one of peeling veggies and measurement guesses!
Then a broth starts to brew, and my worries I've forgot,
For I've poured them all into my dear, old crockpot!

In ten minutes flat, I've made something of a stew,
I've added my entire pantry, and some other things too:
I've filled it with love, fears, dreams, and sweet wishes,
And, if anything cooks long enough, it's delicious!

When my husband comes home, the house smells so sweet,
His eyes grow wide, his belly aches with defeat!
He asks me, "What did you make? Did it cost a lot?"
"Only five dollars, for I've used my crockpot!"

When it comes to cooking, I'm somewhat of a beginner,
But my crockpot and I can make a candlelit dinner!
Green beans, squash, chicken, melon of honeydew,
Just throw it in the crockpot, and call it a "stew."
Quote of the day
Me (before hanging up the phone): Wait...
Mark: What?
Me: I just... wanted you to know that I know that I'll never meet anyone in my life like you.
Mark: Aww, that's so sweet... you know, I feel the same way about you.
Me: You do?? But I feel like I'm just crazy half the time...
Mark: Well, that's what I mean! :-)

Listening to
Hey Jude, the Beatles

Weather in VT
Cold, rainy, overcast -- foliage!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Mind is Blown...

Almost every weekday for the last 5 years, I've driven by the same house on my way to work. You know the cliche Vermont Victorian with the perfect lawn, neatly trimmed hedges, plants hanging on the porch.

I always wondered who lived there, what they were like. I imagined (by the look of their all-American dream home) that they were conservative, self-made millionaires. They were Steve Martin and Diane Keaton in Father of the Bride, the loving father in his white cardigan playing basketball with his daughter in the driveway, Mom weeding the garden. Nice cars in the garage, porch swing, blooming flowers bursting out of every crevice of their perfect Victorian estate.

I never actually saw these people... They must have left work before I did and come home after I drove past in the evening. I never saw what kind of car they drove either or Super Dad mowing the lawn or playing with the kids in the driveway. I had to leave the daily happenings of their life up to my imagination.

Then today, out of the blue... a clue! Finally, a hint as to who these people really are! As I was approaching their house, I saw that (for the first time in 5 years), they had put something new on their porch. From down the street, I could tell that it was a porch flag. It looked like Super Dad had spent hours constructing the flag pole with an architect's eye for angle and optimum light reflection, probably using a protractor, measuring tape, and a level... simultaneously.

I thought, "Here it is... they've finally added the cherry to the top of their American-dream-home sundae... the American flag!" I imagined Super Dad saying, "We're not just a family any more... we're an American family..." as his wife, son, and daughter stood back to applaud his handiwork.

But as I got closer, I realized it wasn't an American flag, but a... Bernese... mountain dog... puppy flag. Wait, what??


Crocheted Hat!

So I combined a few YouTube tutorials to make this hat -- finished it today!
More creative writing to come, but in the mean time, some creative crocheting!