Monday, November 30, 2009

day 30

I have to say that 30 days of posting wasn't too tough his year but I don't feel like I turned out much of interest either. I suppose that's what a month of hectic work, two kids and several illnesses will give me. On the up side, I am feeling much more like keeping up some occasional posting instead of retreating for the hills like I have in the past. More frequent updates on whatever. I actually have a plan for a couple of regular topic-driven series of entries but I won't make any promises until I can get that started. So, I am starting yet another very busy month at work and looking forward to some time off after that. Jason's parents will be here (not staying in our little house!) for almost 2 weeks around Christmas, which is a first that will hopefully pan out well. I always say I will keep things small and easy for the holidays but already have running lists of crafts, projects and gifts, as well as home improvement projects. I'll do what I can to keep up.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

tree hunting

I couldn't have asked for a lovelier day (clear, blue sky and warm) to drive up toward Mt. Hood (or, Mountain Hood, as Mia calls it) and pick out a Christmas tree from the same family we have been visiting there for years. I also couldn't have asked for less cooperative children when it came to standing still and maybe, possibly considering a smile, and certainly not while both in the same photo, oh, no. Even with a lack of documented proof, it was a lovely outing. Decorating went pretty well also and I was particularly happy to find that Henry is much less of an ornament clumper this year.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

like a glove

On Thanksgiving at my parents', I asked Henry to put his hand in my clay handprint from kindergarten. It looked really small to me but his hand fit perfectly. I didn't think he would even humor me by trying but he was really excited and more than happy to take a picture. I suppose I should work on making a handprint for him about now as well.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

hardly worthwhile

This is at least the 4th time this month that I have gone to bed and remembered the blog commitment a few minutes later. Each time I think I won't bother to get up and then I do. Particularly given that is is day 27, I can hardly give up now. And, in each case I have nothing much to say. I have already committed to bed and sleep so this is another half-assed post that technically means I have posted yet another day but nothing more than that.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

happy thanksgiving!

We just got back from my parents' house after a good dinner and some hanging around. The kids are still there, which makes it nice and quiet and easy here. I am definitely thankful for that. We asked the kids what they are thankful for and this morning Henry repeated something we had read in a book about being thankful to bees for honey and trees for apples but when I asked at dinner tonight what his favorite thing is lately he said with a straight face and not an ounce of sarcasm, "for a wonderful mother like you." If he were a year older or maybe a different kid it could have been a completely canned response that he thought we expected but it wasn't and I loved it. Mia would like the world to know that she is thankful for pumpkin pie. Fair enough. I am focusing on how easy my life really is and how surrounded I am by funny, thoughtful and sweet people. For that I am very thankful.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Trashed kitchen, not to mention the rest of the house, but at least I have a lovely looking pumpkin cheesecake cooling in the oven. Tomorrow will be low key with my parents after a (hopefully) easy morning here. Keeping the expectations low at this point seems to be a good idea. So, a little trash tv instead of cleaning and I'm off to bed. That's all for now.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

not the muppet

Laying in bed with Henry tonight, he turns over and settles in. We often have little chats or clarifications on the day at this point, mostly fairly banal but some nights confounding.

H: Don't you just love St. Elmo's Fire?
Me: (stifling a laugh and a wtf?) Um, I'm not sure what you are talking about. Let's go to sleep.
H: You know, the song.
Me: (digging way back into my memory banks and coming up with some vague John Hughes' references and nothing more. also wondering who has played this for him. dad or nanny being the only two possibilities.) Right. I guess.
H: Why is it called St. Elmo's Fire? Was there a person St. Elmo's Fire?
Me: Yeah, probably a long time ago.
H: He's probably the one who discovered Elmo.
Me: (really stifling a laugh) That's a different Elmo.
H: Why is there another Elmo?

Things tapered of from there fairly uneventfully and he was asleep in a few minutes. Ah, the little moments I don't want to forget. I particularly like this idea of Elmo being discovered, plucked from obscurity and rising to super stardom. Also, I haven't dug up the song yet, which I suspect I will find on Jason's itunes, but I did look up the reference and it will give us something good to discuss tomorrow. Thank God for the internet.

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Monday, November 23, 2009


I spent the whole day in bed. It was clean and quiet and I spent the day alone. Sadly it was completely wasted with nausea, pain and vomiting. I think it's over now but it's unbelievable how we just seem to be jumping from one unpleasant interruption to another.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

dirty and not in a good way

Every few weeks or so, particularly after a tiring time with illness or what have you, I breathe a sigh of relief at being almost barely on top of shopping, cooking, feeding, bathing, vacuuming, prepping for a school and work week, scheduling appointments, managing tight cash flow, etc. All I have left in front of me is getting the kids to sleep and dong a little more food prep or cleaning for the week. Sometimes it's even after the kids are finally sleep and things are quiet that I realize the one thing I have forgotten to schedule in is a shower for myself. Showering isn't a bad thing at all and not very complicated, save for the mass of wet hair on a cold night, but I hate this realization more than almost anything. Why can't I just forget to fold the laundry or buy vegetables? Actually I do forget those things on occasion as well but it doesn't bother me nearly as much. Here I sit with soggy wet hair trying to figure out which loose end to tie up last before it all starts over again.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

much too much

One of those days (following one of those nights) that no one wants to hear about and I can't bear to write about. Everyone is fine I think but very tired and strung out. Hopeful for a decent night's sleep and a better day tomorrow. Time will tell.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

the differences are staggering

Mia has a cold and was being a pain at bedtime so I rocked with her for awhile. She asked for cheese and I told her it would make her snottier and that she couldn't have it. Had I said the same thing to Henry (which I'm pretty sure I have) when he was 2.5 or, um, yesterday, he would have likely responded with a freak out such as, "No it doesn't! But I want it. I'm so hungry. Please. Please. Please! It isn't fair." and possibly throw in an, "I never get cheese. Why do I neeeever eeeeever get cheese?" But, Mia in this instance replied "I want snot. I want more snot. I want snot and cheese!" Way to roll with it kid. Which is not to say that she doesn't throw colossal tantrums. Oh, she does but she is also a bit more flexible and understands the power of humor even though she still didn't get any cheese.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009


Finally today I am feeling almost completely well. This is good since I had a lot of work to do, had to do dinner and bedtime on my own (for the kids that is), and our fucking oil tank is leaking. Even thought things are a mess around here still I have this intense drive to start something new, a project of some sort. Yet I have no idea what it will be. Talking with friends tonight about getting pregnant (them) and remodeling things I feel a little envious. I want to be embarking on something new and fun and creative. I want to plan. On the other hand I am completely bogged down with uncertainly and trepidation about Henry's school. I think all I really need is sleep but I know from experience that a project will materialize and become clear. I just hope it's more exciting than finally organizing the basement.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a rare moment

I hate to imply that the best thing my family can do is leave me alone but it's 6:40 and they are all happily asleep. No one is even sick and they didn't put up a fight. Jason isn't down for the night and, truth be told, I don't mind it when he hangs around me in the evening (which he actually never does but that's another story) but otherwise this is quite a luxury. I am printing a crossword puzzle, going to making some herbal tea and curling up on the couch. In this moment this is all I could ever ask for.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

10 years

Because I am still sick and tired, I will go with more photos. It has actually been a nice excuse to look through some old photos. As of recently I have my screensaver set up to cycle randomly through the 9,136 (holy shit, who needs that many photos!?) photos in my iphoto library so the kids get fixated on old shots of themselves and glimpses into our lives before them and people they have hardly met. Today I am pulling a few of the only photos we took on our 10-year (13 together) anniversary weekend away in September. It takes me about that long (a couple of months) to be able to see photos, of myself particularly, for what they are and not fixate on the unsightly bits. So, there you have it. I would post wedding shots or something older for comparison but those were from the days of print and I haven't scanned anything, which also means that the almost 10,000 digital photos represent only 7 years. We definitely look a lot older but still pretty happy overall.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

slow road

Still fighting this cold and we had a horrendously bad night last night full of nightmares and other childhood issues that had me and both kids up for much of the night between 12 and 4am. Amazingly I had enough energy and brain power to get Henry out the door, do some needed work, pick him up, work a little more, clean up a bit, get a short massage (at home- I can't say how great it is to have a massage therapist with free time in the family), contribute to dinner and bed, do dishes, do a tiny bit more work, and watch some mediocre tv. That is it. I am off to sleep, desperate for an uninterrupted night. We'll see.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

under the weather

In a rare twist, I am the only one sick in this house. You would think that's a reasonable configuration but not so much. It's nothing major so far, just a cold with some isolated symptoms and a lot of fatigue. I did get to rest much of the day, if you can call it that. I didn't have to do much but nothing much got done and it all happened at high volumes so it feels like a bit of a waste. I guess moms can't really get a day off in any case. I'm off to sleep off what I can and hope for a little better day tomorrow.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009


There is simply no way I can have another baby. I keep saying I will spend more time with friend's babies but that is hardly practical. And, really there's just nothing like having one's own babies and watching them grow up. At least I have photos and hazy memories. Sigh.

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Friday, November 13, 2009


Searching through photos that are making me wish for warmer days. This grey, cold, wet fall has been somewhat of a large adjustment this year. I am just not ready to welcome winter.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

another day

One more of those days at the end of which I need to collapse. We're not sick and things aren't particularly more difficult than usual but I just don't have the energy for anything. I spent the morning in Henry's kindergarten class and it was barely managed chaos and more than a little disappointing. I'm confused. This is where we wanted him and it's relatively okay but really not the experience I imagined. I am reeling a bit and trying to figure out how much I want to say and to whom. We have a conference in a couple of weeks, which will be a good step but I think I might need to do more before then. Too much to think through and a lot of behind the scenes conversations. Then again, as Jason reminds me, "It's just kindergarten." Surprisingly that does help a bit. Ack, I have a kid calling for me for water. Off to bed it is.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

lacking a point

Is it really worth it to post just to keep up with the everyday thing even though I want to go to bed and have nothing to say? Well hardly, but I am sort of obsessive when I give myself a challenge, especially a quasi-public one. Also, if I don't post now then I probably won't tomorrow either and knowing me it could be the first of the year before I log in again. And that, I don't want. There may not be much worthwhile to say today but I have high hopes for at least a few more days this month. So, there it is, phoning it in, as it were. Carry on.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

happy together

They have changed even since last month but this is a nice moment to remember. Henry and Mia do fight every day to some degree, sometimes quite intensely, but I am thrilled by how much they play together and have fun together and really enjoy each other's company. For awhile Mia was more interested in Henry than she was in him but these days it is often pretty mutual. he looks out for her and she makes him laugh. They boss each other around and defend each other. Watching them together is one of my favorite parts of every day.

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Monday, November 09, 2009


It got to late and today was too hectic of a Monday that began before 5am. I am off to bed with little ability to form complete sentences. I suppose I could tell you how my boss filled a vial with saliva while I ate lunch in the common space in the office but really who would believe that?


Sunday, November 08, 2009


I would consider a longer post, perhaps one about the challenges of kindergarten, but I have design work due tomorrow and it's 8pm. I went to a nice book club this afternoon and returned to two smiling kids in pajamas w/teeth brushed. So very nice. I then spent almost 2 hours getting the small one to sleep but so it goes. This was a good weekend but I really feel like I need three-day weekends on a somewhat regular basis. Around here weekends are for getting cleaned up, doing projects, cooking, having fun, relaxing, and sleeping in no particular order. On any given two-day weekend (aka most of them) we generally accomplish four of the six at most and that simply isn't enough any way you add it up.

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

birth control

If I ever think about having another baby just tell me to have a dinner party or plan any other exciting thing and tell Henry about it beforehand. We are having friends over (any minute!) and Henry has literally asked what time it is (even though he can pretty much tell time) and when they are coming and are they here yet (do you not have functioning eyes or ears?) for 2 hours straight. I would guess that he has probably asked/whined 200 times in that 2 hours. Mia just keeps replying that they will be here in "a couple a minutes," which doesn't please him. He has me really hoping they will be here soon too and that my ears will not suffer irreparable harm before that occurs. Thankfully for me K is bringing drinks.

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Friday, November 06, 2009


It's simply amazing what part or a day without kids can do for me. They are spending the night with my parents and left late afternoon. Jason and I cooked an early dinner together, which was quite good. It's the first time I can remember spending the evening at home doing normal things while the kids were away. Usually we eat out, see people, or do projects around the house. We watched Away We Go, which I quite enjoyed. It was perfectly odd and quirky and emotional without being wrenching or upsetting or overwhelmingly happy either. I cried multiple times but not too hard. It was touching. As surreal and strange as it all was, it felt very real. Also we liked the sound track. Two thumbs up. And, it's not even very late now. I am going to fold a few clothes and go to bed, tired and happy. Things would be perfect if we didn't have to get up and go to meetings at Henry's school, but that's life. I may not get to sleep in or clean as much as I would have hoped, but actually, things are still pretty great.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

low level

The kids are still waking up between 5 and 6 am and I just barely got Mia down at 8 pm. Henry is coughing and tossing and turning although he isn't really what I consider sick. I had a very hectic day at work and didn't get things as finished as I wanted to. The dishes are dirty and there are toys everywhere. I have a huge box of organic herbs that I was so excited to get half-strewn around the living room and kitchen unpacked by kids instead of myself. The rain is pouring down. Don't even get me started on Jason's going-on-seven-month-illness and spontaneous rash that could last for up to two months. Nothing is exactly bad but nothing is particularly great either. I don't know what is going to push us over the edge to feeling better all around and I don't know how to go about finding it. I'm pretty sure that tv isn't going to help but that's all I can muster at the moment. That and crossing my fingers and hoping with all of my might for a decent night's sleep. Really, that's probably what we all need the most.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

goodbye, army guys

I am feeling grouchy and annoyed. Today was a stressful day but it was the kind of stressful comprised of a bunch of dumb, random things all happening at once and it's hardly worth detailing. But, here I am still grumpy nonetheless. Laying down with Henry tonight, he started rambling all sorts of things about needing more army guys and tanks fighting monster trucks and it hit me really hard. I know he has some exposure to such things, even at the Waldorf schools and more so from our neighbors but I have been trying not to worry too much about sheltering him and getting worked up about low levels of exposure to video games and unappealing cartoons and multi-level marketed toys. But, really I hate the crap and if I hate it enough to keep it out of our house then why in the hell haven't I been trying harder to keep it out of our lives altogether? The kid is 5 and I don't have a lot more time to control his surroundings. Soon I will have even less choice about what he sees and does. I feel much worse about the fact that I have let this happen than that it has happened. I feel guilty. When Henry goes to play with our neighbors (who are decent kids with parents I really like) on occasion, my house gets quieter and my life feels easier for an hour. I have been taking the peace and quiet without really considering the price. I need to hold my ground about things that are important to me whether they are easy or not. A bit dramatic perhaps but that's where I am right now. A bit of a half-baked rant as we near the end of this dark, frustrating day.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

my whole self

It's only day three here and I am tired and looking for a quick post. Long day in which I may have eaten too much stashed Halloween candy. I saved a few pieces for Jason, that I may have forgotten to tell him about, and then we traded the kids a toy for their candy when the begging and whining became too much. They look so small and unassuming but when you work at home and eat one every couple of hours it can add up to some major brain fog. Oh, and then I made caramel apples tonight. An aside, honey and cream and a touch of sea salt make lovely caramel. I will be experimenting more soon.

Where was I going with this? Hard to say but Mia said something yesterday that I don't want to forget. There is way too much unfortunate language in this house and not because I can't stop swearing in front of my children. I have really reeled it in after Jason made it clear how unpleasant it was. No, it's the garden variety "stupid" with a lot of "poop" and "farts" thrown in and recently there has been a whole lot of "I hate this/that/him/her." This is one of my least favorites but I remember doing it as a kid and I could tell it bothered my mom (on an emotional level) which gave me more leverage than it should have or than I wanted. Unfortunate. In any case, I am not bothered on any fundamental level by hearing that they hate things or even me (oddly I find it kind of amusing- all of that intense emotion over the smallest bump in the road) but I do find it tiring and am concerned that they will hurt other people's feeling. Another problem is that while it is probably not uncommon for a 5-year-old to be stomping around hating things it's harder to manage a 2.5-year-old doing the same thing. And, oh how she does the same thing. In reality, they are both quite good about such things and kind around their friends/peers. My kids are rarely bothered by name calling themselves, which at least makes this all the less traumatic but may also mean that I don't intervene enough. Meaning, I have never really had to role play what to do or say when someone says something you don't like so I was all the more stunned yesterday when Henry said "I hate you, Mia" (I think she snatched a toy), to which she calmly replied, "I like me. I like my whole self." Out of nowhere. It was perfect.

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Monday, November 02, 2009


Is it bad that I find my daughter so cute and overwhelmingly awesome multiple times a day, every day, that I, to borrow an apt phrase from Henry, feel like I am going to barf? Really. It's worse than any crush I've every had on a boy and I desperately hope it never ends. I feel guilty writing this but I don't think anyone or anything else in my life has ever made me feel so happy and so lucky. There it is. Henry, you have my permission to use this against me for the rest of your life. If I were you I would.

I was going to leave it at that but it hardly seems fair not to make some qualifications. It's not that I have a favorite by any means. Henry is perfectly as he is supposed to be and Jason and I give each other awestruck glances all the time when he says or does something brilliant, adorable, amazing. I think a big part of it is that I am more settled and comfortable in my role as a parent now than I was a few years ago. Also our family feels complete (I think) so it's easier to sit back and enjoy what we have right now. Henry keeps challenging us in new ways and while Mia is much more defiant and difficult than he was at 2.5, we know how fast it all changes and don't get hung up on the tantrums. The other part of it that is just fate is that Mia is just so darned much like me. She looks like I did and I feel like I really get her on a deep level. She is like a little me but with infinitely more confidence and it's a fun thing to see evolve before my eyes.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

more treats than tricks

I just had a brief moment in which I wondered if my login would still work. It does. I'm back! I can't resist the annual NaBloPoMo so I'm at it every day of November and hoping that I can keep up the momentum. I have missed posting and not missed it. More on that in one of the next 29 days. For now, we have some Halloween shots. Mia decided she wanted to be a butterfly over a month ago and stuck with it she was also amazing about the wings and the "sometimes a little bit pokey" antennae headband. I can hardly believe this kid is only 2-and-a-half. It was a day of multiple costumes and much activity. They both held up amazingly well and had a great time trick-or-treating. The lovely, dry weather helped. It was so nice that when we got home we all hung out on the porch handing out candy, which had a double bonus of keeping the dog calm and from insane barking since no one needed to ring the bell. Bedtime wasn't super smooth but once the lights were out they didn't move or make a peep, which is unheard of. Perhaps it was the late bedtime or the sugar or the glowing green glo sticks clutched under the blankets. Sadly this didn't prevent them from waking up at 5am (4am thanks to the end of daylight savings. Aaaaahhh.). As usual, I am exhausted.

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