Monday, May 24, 2010


Thank you, AC.

And I can't lift you up cause my mind is tired
It's family beaches that I desire
A sacred night, where we'll watch the fireworks
The frightened babies poo
They've got two flashing eyes and they're colored why
They make me feel that I'm only all I see sometimes

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Typing with broken fingers

I'm reflecting on the life and death of a great man. I'll be back. I just . . . can't do this right now.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Teeth and Poop

Have I got your attention?

Hannah has her first dentist appointment today. 16 little choppers and 4 on the way. We've come such a long way in the tooth department. Sigh.

Also, she's speaking in sentences now. Here are some of her favorites:

     Where [cow, pig, horsy, choo choo, nunny, Etan, Dack, Kokot, Thonas]?

     Ih is! (There it is!)

     Ee go (Here you go)

     Wuh GO! (Let's GO!)

     Tee tee. Wehcun! (Thank you. Welcome!)

She started calling me "Mom" the other day. Not Mama, not Mommy, just "Mom." She says it with kind of a condescending tone, if you can imagine such from a two-year-old. Like "Mom! Get me a drink!" or "Mom! Pay attention!" I don't like it. I'm not Mom. Not yet. I guess it's better than what she calls her daddy.


I think it's time I really get serious about the potty training. I got myself a little intimidated reading "Potty Train Your Child in One Day," psyching myself out and buying all the "necessary" supplies (to include a doll that pees and a book of 700 Thomas the Train Engine stickers for her progress chart), then insisting she learn how to pull down her pants, sit on the toilet, wipe, pull up her pants and wash her hands BEFORE I even let her try using the toilet. If I stick to this method, I think high school graduation as a deadline might be cutting it a bit close. I just need to devote a few uninterrupted days to camping out in the bathroom with a stack of books and a jar of M&M's, and doing a few extra loads of ammonia-scented laundry. She's well aware of her bodily functions, announcing in the middle of dinner when she's peeing. She gets this worried little look on her face, like her cat just died, and says "Uh oh. Oh no. Pee pee! Where die-der? [Where diaper?]" When I'm changing a poopy diaper, she talks about it the whole time "Heh heh. Ida poo poo. Heh heh, poo poo," like she's saying "Heh heh, I accidentally crapped my pants. How embarrassing."

She says "poo poo" with an umlaut, so it's actually more like "pü pü."

These are things I thought you should know. I'll let you know how the scream fest dentist appointment goes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tossing and turning

This hasn't been a great week for blogging. I'm not sure I've had one of those in a while. I will say that I got an amazing amount of sleep last night - much better than the 4 hours of the night before. What are the things I lose sleep over?

1. Wanting to squeeze every last drop from those evening hours after Hannah's in bed with reading, writing, drawing and connecting with people.
2. Allergies and a sore on the back of my throat from scratching it with my tongue (I know, it takes talent).
3. My unmerciful daemon (thank you, Elizabeth Gilbert), who must still be on Japan time.
4. Very sensitive ears. I don't mean that every little sound wakes me up. I sleep in the basement, where sounds are muffled and closets flood. I mean my ears physically hurt from sleeping on one side for too long. I don't know, maybe my cartilage is too firm, or my ears are just extra pokey. Maybe I need headgear for bed. But I can't stay on one side for more than 30 minutes before I have to either switch or roll onto my back, which inevitably ends up with a stuffy nose because of number 1 on this list. It's true that you never sleep the same after having a child, but I don't think the child has very much to do with it (at least mine doesn't). My body is just way too sensitive now.
5. Have you read my dream journal?
6. Sleeping in the same room with my computer and thinking about tomorrow's blog.
7. Facebook, facebook, facebook.
8. Dumb people.
9. Dumb me.
10. Waiting until the lights are off to start my "to-do" list for the next day. You would think the list would be relatively short compared to someone with, oh, a job. But my "to-do" list has things like:
     take a shower
     cut back to 2 cups of coffee
     work on dying goat essay
     draw a pig
     take pictures of living room from different angles
     sleep for 30 minutes of Hannah's nap, finish laundry, read book
     go to library
     walk to park with Hannah
     reply to ____'s email
     cook something new
     practice "Pictures at an Exhibition"
     write book review for "Storm of Swords"
     pick new book to read
     dry sand in sun, fill sand box
     show Hannah how to play with play dough
     finger painting?

I need a break. That sounds funny to me, because staying at Mom and Dad's has felt like a vacation. I don't mean I need more leisure time. I'm up to my eyeballs in leisure time. I just need a break from . . . this. The schedule. I need to get out of my own head for a while. Community service. More piano students. Something big to work for. A camping trip to get the hell away from the computer. Live music. A road trip to see my brother in Texas. I need air, dirt and sunshine - the perfect sleeping potion.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Get a mop, I've melted and I can't get up

Lucky her cousin is a train junky and owns everything Thomas and Polar Express from here to Timbuktu, or I would have maxed out my credit card on train sets by now. Cuteness like this cannot be handled.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

French Impressionism soothes my soul

So instead of editing the 15+ blogs I have in mind for the coming weeks, I'll spend my day in Water Lily ponds while Claire de Lune augments my heart to let some happiness in. If you've caught the pun in my sentence, you're nerdier and more lovely than I had ever hoped.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Good Monday to you

I have no dreams for your today. Only a few thoughts and updates.

1. You know when someone says something really snide to you in chat or on facebook, and follows it up with a smiley? Here are some fictional mixed with non-fictional examples:

     "I consider your opinion to be a self righteous pet-peeve. No offense. :)"

     "Aw, are you having a bad day? Don't worry, it could be so much worse! :)"

     "People who can't afford health care are just too lazy to work, IMO. :)"

Ok, I really thought I'd have more examples than that. A simple smiley can make a comment just a little saltier. A little more evil. :) Emoticons let a person get away with saying anything they want, including nothing at all. Sometimes I just want to pick up that little smiley and take him between my fingers and pop him like a grape. Seriously. And I KNOW I'm guilty of doing it too. That's why I'm stopping. If you catch me "emoting" in a hurtful way, please call me out.

2. So I quit "365 Photos," like I knew I probably would. Sorry, Tenessa. :(  (<-----Is that one ok?) I find myself taking MORE boring pictures than usual, because I'm desperate for something to post. That, and only a few people are checking it (yes, I can see you!). Maybe when I figure out how to put "new photo" notifications on my home page I'll pick it up again.

3. Speaking of which, I really need to learn html. there's just no way around it! Grrrrr.....

4. I've just been in a nasty little "blah" mood lately, and I can't seem to shake it. My muse eludes me, my words taste like a dry piece of toast, and I keep telling myself "if I could JUST have some time to myself, I'd get over this. I'd read, I'd write, I'd sleep . . . and I'd feel better." I know that isn't true, though. I don't know what I need. And that's the most frustrating thing of all.

5. Mother's Day is beginning to feel like another birthday. And I don't mean in the gift giving, cake making, balloon tossing and candle counting way. I mean in a "this day will be better than all other days" kind of way. A "you can't be mean to me because it's MY day! MINE!" sort of way. A full-day spa, lounging with cucumbers on my eyes while men in loin cloths bring me cocktails with little umbrellas, sleep in a bed of silken rose petals with no disturbances day. And I kind of hate that. Because it never is. It's just another day like any other. Your kids still fight, cry, and poop their pants. Your face breaks out from too much stress and chocolate. You start your period. The food is cold at the Mother's Day lunch buffet. It rains. And all the while you're thinking "this is NOT how it's supposed to be! This day was meant to be perfect! I'm a mother now! I get this day to celebrate ME! ME! ME!" . . . and if that's how M-day is going to feel (admittedly due to my own selfishness), then who needs it? Maybe if I'd focused a little more on my own mom I wouldn't have felt that way. But there you go. Imperfect me.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The greatest, most terrifying 1:25 minutes of my day

My dear little Poopy Pants,
Peanut Butter,
Hannah Banana,
Stink Butt,
Uber Goober,

I love you.
     All of you.
     Your choo choos and bock bocks
     Bed head and yogurt-crusted brow
     Love songs and lullabies
     Shrieks and giggles
The way you twirl you hair when you drink milk
     Smile when you're in trouble
     Run away when I say "come here."
     Hug my face and say "awww"
     Kiss everyone in the room good night
          Even the people you don't know
I'm going to miss when you stop dragging your dollies by the arm
     Their plastic heads black from the pavement
     Stop calling the cat "titty"
     Bananas "nana"
     Oranges "ornch"
     The way your diaper crinkles when you run
     When your ability to jump with both feet in the air
          No longer thrills the way it did
          When all of your toes
          Still fit in my mouth.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Veggie Kabobs

This recipe is mostly by-guess-and-by-golly, but these sure were tasty!

Vegetables we used this time:
Small yellow potatoes (washed and boiled for 15 minutes)
Cherry tomatoes
Bell Peppers

I've also tried:
Yellow squash
Whole garlic cloves (yum!)

Mix and let sit for 10 minutes:
1/3 cup olive oil
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground rock salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Toss vegetables in herb mixture until evenly coated. Arrange on skewers and grill for 10-15 minutes. So easy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cat Sketch Fevah!

Best. Title. Ever. (It's so not.)

Ok, the challenge I gave myself this week was to use my mad circle-drawing skills to draw two animals that are at least semi circley. PAhahahahahaha! Oh dear . . . here are the results:
Not only is the lawn covered in chattery squirrels right now (so you'll probably be seeing more of these), but I watched Eddie Izzard for the first time the other night. This picture is dedicated to him. :) It was a super quick draw, and a much needed confidence booster when I later tried to tackle this cat:
*Picturing myself actually tackling a cat . . .* A little off, isn't he? I think it's the eyes . . . or the ears . . . or the tilt of the head. SOMETHING isn't right. Clearly my cat needs work, though I will say this is still a vast improvement from milk bottle kitty . . .
. . . whose poor little paws don't even touch the ground. Le sigh-meow.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I thought you were a life-sized paper doll

Hans and Mom meet Andrew Bird somewhere - maybe a mall - and bring him home for me to meet. They suggested we take a walk in the woods together to "get to know each other." He's on a tight schedule - probably has to leave for tour or something. We go walking in my parents' wooded back yard. He's nice. Sensitive. A good listener. We see an old wooden inn that looks like it's from the days of King Arthur. There's a festival going on inside and we decide to check it out.

While he's finding a place for us to sit, there's a showing of the guard. A hundred midgets come marching in. No. Not marching. They're all riding pigs. Pigs with saddles, bridles and everything. They line up before - is it the king? - and perform a dance. Then a hundred giants stomp in and perform an Irish step dance, making the pigs and midgets bounce everywhere.

Andrew comes back and says he forgot that he needs to go hunting. He leaves me with money for food and walks back into the forest. I continue to watch the festivities. The giants, midgets and pigs are singing drinking songs now, smelling strongly of beer and roast pork. When Andrew comes back he's carrying a stuffed rabbit that is obviously fake. He holds the rabbit to his chest. It's not his catch, it's his wubby.

We find a spot on the side of the building and lay out a blanket for a picnic. He's watching every move I make - the way I sip my drink, tuck my hair behind my ear. He seems amused, and asks me hundreds of questions. I'm in love with his shyness and introspective nature. I ask him to sing for me. After some talking, he clears his throat and becomes rather serious.

"I . . . I um . . . I'm going to school in Nebraska in the fall. Taking some writing classes to help with my lyrics. I don't know what your plans are for school, but I'd like it very much if you attended with me." Because that's how Andrew Bird talks. I was waiting from him to tip his hat and say, "If it . . . if it wouldn't be too much trouble, ma'am."

This song was playing throughout my dream:

MX Missiles
And now as I would judge and say you're aloof
but you know the truth is a seed
you know what you need is a conflagration
cause when I see the blood
and the bits of your broken tooth
it gives me the proof that I need
it's the proof that you bleed
it's a revelation
yeah it's a revelation, it's a revelation

I thought you were a life-sized paper doll
propped up in the hardware store
propped up on the front lawn watching the parade
of those legionnaires with two-by-four's
as they're marching off to war
yeah they're marching off to war

I didn't know what you were made of
the color of your blood, what you're afraid of
are you made of calcium or are you carbon-based
and if you're made of calcium I'll have to take a taste
cause, listen, calcium is deadly tender to the tooth
and it's one sure-fire way to know if you're
MX-missile-proof, oh no, or if you're just aloof

You were in the ground in late November
when the leaves in earth are down
did you, did you think they would remember
how you almost made stage-out
cause when you're running for the game against Alfonso
and you fell upon the ground and chipped a tooth
oh no, listen, I really have surprised her
to learn that you are really MX-missile-proof

Oh, I thought you were a life-sized paper doll
and you're propped up in the hardware store
you were propped up on the front lawn watching the parade
of those legionnaires with two-by-four's
as they're marching off to war
yeah they're marching off to war
oh they're marching

I dreamed that I died. Someone stabbed me with a colored pencil, and now I'm lying on my mother's living room couch while various people inspect my body and try to figure out what happened. I want to jump up and tell them "well you see, someone stabbed me with a pencil, and the wound became infected, and I died. You should probably quit asking 'how' and start asking 'who.'" But I can't, because I'm dead. Mourners come to pay their respects. I don't know why I'm not lying in a coffin by now. Maybe the police still have evidence to collect, though a wake is a funny time to do so. Or maybe it's sentimental. Mom didn't want me laid out in a stiff (sorry) wooden coffin for my wake. She wanted me to be comfortable, which, even though I'm dead, I appreciate.  As the different visitors come and go, they each have a different way of paying their respects. Some hold my hand and tell me the things they wish they'd told me - how they were mean out of jealousy, how they loved me more than they ever had the courage to say, how they wish I'd done the things in life that made me happy, instead of listening to their practical and heartbreaking advice. Some of them kiss my forehead. Some smell my hair. Some lie down with my body for one last "Suzie snuggle." And some punched me in the stomach for never returning those DVDs before I died. "Now we'll never find them," they say, making the sign of the cross as they look down at my blue lips and translucent eyelids. When the wake is over they still don't put me in a coffin. The living room couch has a hide-a-bed, and they just neatly fold me back into it. I'm thinking, are they just going to leave me here? It's kind of dark and dusty. I don't know how I'm thinking these things, since I'm dead. I'm liable to start stinking after a few days. Maybe they'll move me then. Or maybe this IS my coffin, and they just plan on burying the whole couch.

In the middle of the night I decide to come back to life and see what's going on in the rest of the house. See if there are any clues for my funeral plans. I think everyone's asleep, so I quietly climb out of the couch. Just then Amy comes home. She's in her pajamas, but she's been shopping. I hide behind the couch so I don't startle her (dead sisters coming back to life have a tendency to do that). She comes in the living room, sees me crouched behind the sofa, and says "wanna see what I got?" I stand up, brush myself off (there were a lot of crumbs in the hide-a-bed), and say "sure." We sit on my coffin and she shows me all the cute outfits she found for Hannah . She bought 4 different kinds of tutus, saying they would make good models for our next generation of toddler tutus. As she's showing me her shopping wares I'm thinking how very nice this is, spending time with my sister, and how I wished I could have spent more time with her before I died and came back to life.
. . .
There is a secret antique cabinet hidden in the wall of a house. I am a man who loves this house and all of its old secrets, and I've taken extra special care to make sure this cabinet remains hidden in the wall. I give it a new coat of paint every year. Then, some jerk decides he needs to access the cabinet and whatever is stored inside, so he rips apart my precious layers of paint, picks the lock on the wall, and ends up breaking the hinges on the door. Inside the wall it's dusty and unfinished. I'm a little embarrassed to see the raw materials my beautiful ancient house was made of. It took some of the magic away, and I was furious with this man for accessing the secret cabinet, which turns out to be a junk cabinet full of paper clips, batteries, and dried up ball-point pens. He just needed some AA's for his remote control car. Why didn't he go to Walmart?
. . .
Riding bikes up a hill with two other guys. I'm the fastest, but they are close behind. One has a fancy kind of bike that allows him to lay flat on his belly and pedal with his hands. He's about to pass me, and it just feels wrong to let him. We're riding through a Tuscan vineyard. When the two other guys pass me, they leave me behind and I wonder why it is I keep pedaling.