Wednesday, December 2, 2009

18 Weeks

Besides posting the link to the actual news, I realize that I have not written about this pregnancy at all. And I suppose that's normal, because aren't you supposed to document less and less of each child's life? Like, while I took pictures and ran to the blog as soon as Norah cooed for the first time, this baby will probably not even get its picture taken until its a full 18 years old? Or something like that.

I mean, its not that I love this baby any less, its just that things are different this time. Most noticeably, I have a toddler on my hands while also having a person in my uterus. (Sidenote: Why is saying "in my uterus" so amusing?). When I was pregnant with Norah I took long, leisurely naps and could sit for an hour at a time just waiting for her to move again. With this baby, I can only sit until Norah decides to climb onto something or she starts to color on the wall or runs to me for the 14th time in 10 minutes asking for food. So, little baby, I'm sorry that you won't be born into a house that is calm and quiet and the most peaceful environment a baby ever saw. But rest assured, Norah didn't either, and you are going to have a very entertaining older sister to get you into all kinds of mischief. Its going to be a blast for the two of you.

I am currently at 18 weeks. I have seen the little baby a few times, and am the proud mother of a two-armed, two-legged, one-headed little creature. I am mostly over all the misery of the first trimester. I don't remember when it happened, but I woke up one day and it was all gone. So far gone that I reverted back to my previous position of I Don't Understand Why Pregnant Women are So Whiney! This is a Breeze! That, of course, was before the lower back pain, the increasingly frequent peeing, and the embarassing consumption of pickles. And olives. And Bagel Bites. I am all about the super nutritious food when I am pregnant.

And! Because I am much more aware of what is going on in the belly this time around, I noticed a few weeks ago that the moving around in there was not gas, but A Baby! Hooray!

Here is a picture for Grandma:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Jasmine tagged me in a meme. I still do not know how to say the word "meme". I'm suppose to be totally honest and write 10 things about myself, I'm guessing 10 things that most people would not know. I think...Anyway, here I go.

1. Today Jasmine called me a "well-organized hermit" and honestly, I do not think that anyone has ever better packed me into one phrase. Here's the thing, I'm not a total hermit. I like to get out and see people and talk to people in real life situations. In fact, I can be quite charming and humorous. But (and this is one big 'but') if I do not get my own time to sit around the house and talk to no one but myself and the cobwebs, I get mean. Like, I-will-claw-your-eyeballs-out-and-feel-no-remorse-mean. And I have gotten very good at recognizing the signs that tell me I need to stay at home for a day and can plan accordingly. Thus, The Well Organized Hermit.

2. Sometimes I get shy at drive-thrus because I am afraid the people behind me in line will hear what I am ordering and think that I am some kind of sicko for ordering three beef and potato burritos. Usually I feel this way at Taco Bueno, where the latent competitive eater in me comes out most obnoxiously. But seriously! The beef and potato burritos are made of magic! This shyness, however, does not stop me from ordering what I would ordinarily order and enjoying it completely.

3. Speaking of being shy, I have a shy voice box. When we were in childbirth classes before Norah was born, the teacher was explaining that if you are not comfortable in your birth setting, that your cervix will actually start to close up and labor will slow down. Its similar to having a shy bladder I suppose. Later in the class she was making us practice deep breathing and moaning as well as making horse sounds while we exhaled. (Its hard to explain.) I simply could not do the moaning and the horse lips. Just couldn't. I chalk it up to having a shy voice box. My bladder, however, is a raging loudmouth.

4. I have anxiety. It is no fun at all. But I am working on it.

5. In addition to having anxiety, I have a very vivid imagination. This can make nighttime noises in my house incredibly stress-inducing.

6. Somedays, when Norah has worn her pajamas all day long, and the TV has not been turned off at all, and I fall asleep while she sits in my lap and watches Sesame Street...I feel like a terrible mother.

7. I have large joints; elbows, ankles, and knees. I used to be very self-conscious about my knees, but after three years of Rusty telling me how cute my legs are, I have moved on to disliking my ankles. I call them "Skankles" (Skeleton Ankles).

8. I call myself a good writer, but I don't know that one can be called a good writer if one does not actually write anything good any longer. Did ya get that last one?

9. I have a very nice singing voice.

10. I love to read. Give me a good book and I will devour it in no time. I may even read it again. And when I get really attached to a story or a set of characters, I will get very sad when the book comes to an end, because it marks the end of a relationship in some weird way. I love Somerset Maugham, and if I had my way, would name my next baby after him. Many, many times I have thought that a particular book was put in my way for a reason, for the purpose of revealing and explaining things in my own life that could never have been explained in any other way. Kate Chopin's The Awakening did this for me in high school, and though I tried to re-capture the clarity I got from that story when I re-read it last summer, I just could not find it there again.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

18 Months

Dear Norah,

You are 18 months old. I have not sat down to try and mash out all the things I think and feel about you in over 6 months. Its not that I haven't thought about it all, I just have not actually done the writing part. I don't really know why. Maybe its because we are now going through the months for the second time, and waking up on the 7th of every month does not stand out to me as much anymore. That sounds weird, but for your first year of life, the 7th of every month marked an anniversary for us. 1 month past your birth, 2 months, 3 months, and so on until we got to April 7th again. 12 months past your birth...and suddenly it is October and we are coming up on your second Halloween, your second costume, and for the second time I am wondering if its ok for me to take you Trick-or-Treating even though we all know that I am going to be the one eating all the candy.

Alot has happened these last 6 months, not the least of which is your ability to walk. You can walk now. You can walk and run. You can walk on your toes, you can walk backward, you can walk sideways, and you spend lots of your time walking in direct opposition to where I've told you to walk. You eat with a fork and a spoon and most of the time you make it to your mouth. You can do a somersault. You give kisses and backward hugs and think it is hilarious when I pretend I am chewing on your face like a zombie.

You love to play with Legos, building towers and putting your favorite Lego person (who you named "A-Pssst!") on the top, only to laugh hysterically when he falls off. You love books too. Some days it seems like the entire day is spent with you running to get a book and then running back to me, waving it wildly and insisting "Book! Book! Up!" I have many books memorized, like Baby's First Alphabet, The Very Quiet Cricket, and Goodnight Moon. This past weekend you discovered a new favorite: Everyone Poops. Your favorite page is the one with all the animal butts.

Your love for your blankies has only deepened in the past 6 months. You would not believe how excited you get when you see your blankies. You run to them with your arms open wide, yell "GANKIE!", collect them to your little body and then let out a big content sigh. And then you climb into a chair and pile them on top of yourself until all I can see is your little hands, cradling them and rubbing the soft fabric between your fingers. And I know you are under there with as much blankie stuffed into your mouth as you can possibly fit, sucking on the corner until it is soaking wet. Your love for your blankies is something I can only liken with my love for chocolate chip cookies and trashy television.

Your verbal abilities have increased amazingly. You can say lots of words and you are starting to put two words together more and more. It seems like you learn a new word every time I turn around. I love that you can talk, even though I still can't understand much of what you say. The other day you were sitting in the backseat of the car and you repeated "Fie! Fie! Fie!" for something like 5 whole minutes. I still don't know what you were saying, but it must have been something important. Sorry...

Despite your communication skills, you still understand alot more than you can actually verbalize and this makes you very frustrated. You can throw some really impressive temper tantrums when you get frustrated. Your Great-Grandpa Al confirmed that you get the talent from me, for apparently I was known to throw a fit or two when I was your age. Its amazing; one minute you are totally fine, waiting patiently for me to finish getting our popsicle out of the freezer and the next you are a whirling tornado of blonde hair, screaming "Mine!" and pulling the empty box of popsicles out of the trash and collapsing onto it like it is your most precious possession and I just used it as toilet paper. I'm still not really sure what you were trying to tell me that day, but it was a very dramatic (and loud) 10 minutes.

Sometimes when I think back to the days when you were a newborn I breathe a big sigh of relief. Things were so much harder then, when you were so dependent and I never knew if you were going to sleep or not. And its true, those days were harder and these days are easier. But in some ways, these days are harder. I don't take 2 minute showers anymore, spending those entire 2 minutes a mess of anxiety, worried that you were going to wake up screaming and starving anymore. I take 10 minute showers now and I really am glad those days are over. At the same time, I never worried when you were 2 months old that you were going to fall and break your face open while running across the kitchen tile. So really, its a trade off.

Motherhood continues to be the hardest and most beautiful thing I have ever done.

My little lovey, you bring me such joy. You make me laugh and act like an idiot as I entertain you in public places. You make me angry and you make me cry. You make me feel like I am losing my mind. You bewilder me and make me stop what I am doing to watch you and your thinking face. You fill my heart with such happiness it hurts and I have never worried about anything as much as I worry about you. Your life has brought so many things perspective, has simultaneously cleared and clouded my vision. You are wonderful.

I love you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Click It or Ticket

Folks, we have some news.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Nom Nom Nom

A few weeks ago I was looking at The Baby Book by Dr Sears. A woman from our church bought this for us right after Norah was born and it is awesome. It's full of useful information about things like breastfeeding, helping baby sleep, what babies can eat at what age, and what to do when your precious sweet baby starts throwing tantrums and biting her toys with rage in her eyes. That last part has been particularly useful the past few weeks as Norah lacks the ability to verbalize her frustrations, so she bites her toys instead. At least she isn't biting me.

The Baby Book also has a handy development chart that goes from birth to age 2. When Norah was younger, every few months on the 7th I would lug the book into the living room and look at where she was on the chart. I read about her past skills, her current skills and her future skills as well as cognitive abilities and favorite activities. But as she's gotten a little older I've stopped pulling it out on the 7th of every third month.

So when I got it out a few weeks ago I had some catching up to do. I happened to look back a few chapters at a section about teething and noticed the handy age diagrams for typical baby teeth. Norah was about 16 months at the time and sporting 4 pearly whites, which placed her solidly in the 6-9 month range.

Then I looked at the diagram for babies in their 16th month and holy smokes! They are supposed to have their 1 year molars at that point. Not to mention all the other little chompers that have sprouted before the molars.

Dudes. How does Dr. Sears expect Norah to have all those teeth?I can't even imagine that. And why does she even need them, because honestly, she seems to do pretty well for herself with her 4 little friends. I don't really see the need for canines or pre-molars or molars. Incisors will do fine for us, thank you.

It was probably just then, just as I was scoffing at Dr Sears and his "tooth knowledge" that three more teeth erupted out of Norah's gums. Two on the top and one on the bottom. And just yesterday I (stupidly) stuck my finger in her mouth and right before Norah chomped down on it with her perfectly good incisors I felt an enormous lump somewhere near the pre-molar section of her top gum. Ouchies.

Perhaps that is why Norah has taken to biting her toys.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Midnight Kind of Blue

I know you aren't going to believe this, but I embarassed myself in front of yet another service type person.

When we went to Roswell last week my mom bought Norah this super cool swimming pool. It has a little slide and sprinklers that come out the side. Norah loves it. So does Mama, as Norah is happy to play in it for a good 30 minutes to an hour, just long enough to get really tired and ready for a nap.

On Thursday afternoon I took Norah out to play for a bit, and since we were just going to be in the backyard I thought I would just go ahead and wear my two piece bathing suit. This is the bathing suit that I got three summers ago, and while it fit me well then, and was very cute on me...three years ago I was not the mother of a child, a child who grew in my body for nine months and then nursed for another eight. Suffice it to say, I am shaped a tad bit differently now.

But hey! We were just going to be in the back yard, no one was going to see me. My belly really needs a tan! So out we went.

It was a solid fifteen minutes before I realized that the Direct TV guy was on my next door neighbor's house, with a perfect view of my yellow two piece and my very white belly.

Hopefully he was a gentleman and didn't look at us.

In other, un-bathing suit news, I painted my bedroom yesterday. La Fonda Midnight. Another excellent paint name with an equally excellent outcome. I do love the La Fonda colors from Valspar. I'll post pictures soon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Further Home Invasions

Today a termite inspector came to my house. I was expecting him at 3, but when my doorbell rang at 2 I was fairly certain it was the termite man, even if it was an hour early. Thankfully I had just changed out of my bathing suit and was able to answer the door in appropriate attire. Though I was in the middle of sending a text message to Jasmine and was kind of distracted.

He came in, and while the inspection only took about 10 minutes, he spent a good 5 minutes flirting with me and talking to my cats. No joke, he not so subtly asked me to have a make-shift coffee date with him. While he was in my house. And my baby was sitting not two feet away eating lunch and dumping water all over the place.

This was made slightly more uncomfortable when I realized that he had conducted part of his termite inspection in my very messy bedroom where all my under-things are splayed out in their glory.

Could someone please explain to me the good manners that are expected when you have repair-men and termite-men in your house? Because obviously I am clueless.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Just Here to Replace the Coil, Ma'am

A few weeks ago we, here in Arkansas, had a heat spell. It was June and everyday the temperature was up to a good 99-102 degrees. Now I know, I've talked about heat before and coming from New Mexico I am no stranger to 100 degree June days. But again, New Mexico hot and Arkansas hot are totally different things. In Arkansas this kind of heat is usually reserved for the end of July and August. I prepare all spring by stocking up with food and other essentials so that when the soul-sucking August heat hits, I'm set. I only have to venture outside on a voluntary basis or if some kind of emergency arises. Otherwise I just stay in my nice cool house, with all the west facing windows covered. But this weird June heat came, I was totally unprepared. I had thousands of places to be and things to buy so I kept having to brave the furnace outside. But every time I left the house and got into my car-- the car that could have doubled as an oven, sweat streaming down my face, the will to live quickly leaving me-- I took solace in knowing that a nice cool house waited for me when I returned. Ahh, I lived for thinking of that nice cool house.

Unfortunately, our air conditioner happened to be broken that week. So all those reviving thoughts of my nice cool house were melted just as soon as I walked inside and met nothing but stale, humid air.

We thought maybe it wasn't our air conditioner, maybe it was just so SO hot that the AC was doing its best to keep up. But when the unit did not turn off for a literal 4 days, we decided that yeah, something was probably wrong.

A guy came to the house a day or two later and confirmed: We needed to replace a coil. Whatever that means. He was going to talk to my mom to get the details all worked out, and he also added some Freon to the unit. And glory of glories! The house was cool again.

I completely forgot about the rest of the repairs needed until this morning. Rusty is out of town so I've been living up the single life. By that I mean, after Norah goes to bed at 8 I either watch trashy reality TV, watch girl movies, or play BioShock on the x-box. I know, that's a pretty tame single life. Maybe tonight I'll jazz things up a bit and drink some tequila while playing my video game. Even though my single life activities are less than exciting, I've been staying up too late. So this morning when my doorbell rang at 8:30, I was still deeply asleep and brushed off the ringing as part of a dream. Or one of those pesky hallucinations. I did the same thing yesterday when Jasmine called me. I heard the phone, thought it was an alarm and pushed whatever button my finger touched first. I think I hung up on her. Then when I woke up I couldn't remember if it was real or not.

When the doorbell rang for the second time I knew it was in real life. I went cautiously to the door, not expecting anyone and still partially asleep, and heard two men's voices. Even though I had no clue who it was, was a little freaked out by the two men standing at my door, and was woefully unarmed, I opened the door. Clearly I would be the first idiot to be killed off in a slasher film.

They were the AC repair-men! Come to fix our coil! Not to kill me! I was not wearing a bra! They apologized for not calling but they did not have my phone number, and they explained that they just needed to get into the garage to get to the attic.

I hate it when repair-people are at my house. I feel so jumpy, like I can't go to the bathroom because as soon as I sit down they will knock on the door and immediately need to know why the ferber box and the raspyclack are switched and turn off all the lights quick before your house blows up! And there I am, on the pot.

So I'm sitting here, listening to them in my attic while I write about them on the internet. And let me tell you, replacing a coil may sound easy enough, but it must be some seriously hard business. Every few minutes I hear some loud crashes and bangs that sound like things falling down stairs. I've heard lots of stomping and pushing and just now one guy said "Where's the glue!?!" ...Is my air conditioner held together with glue?

All I've got to say is, if those guys are up there using the old "Replacing the Coil" cover-up but are really stealing my giant tubs of endless pink baby clothes I am going to be seriously ticked off.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Veggie Patch

Oh hi!

I have a nasty case of Nothing to Say. So instead of words I will give you pictures. Of my garden. That is still growing gloriously even though I regularly forget to water.

We have had so many tomatos this summer. Which is awesome because Norah loves them. I think she thinks they are candy.

Bell peppers! I'm pretty sure we bought a red bell pepper, but these look awfully green to me.

Probably the cutest jalapeno I have ever seen.

These are my radishes. They are pretty awesome, and I think they are done growing, but really I have no idea. And if they are done growing, then how do I get them out? I need help...

Watermelon (top) and cantaloupe. Hooray!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Walk On

The beast, she walks.

I had expected the progression of Norah walking to be fast. Many of the babies I know began walking around their first birthday, and I expected Norah to do the same. Her birthday came and went, and while she was excellent at cruising around, and could even stand on her own without falling down, she did not walk. This continued for a few weeks, and at last! She took her first step.

Surely, I thought, not long after her first step she would start walking all over the place. That's what babies do, right? They take their first step, and then the world collapses as they start walking everywhere. Their mamas never get to sit down again.

I was wrong. Norah's first step was followed by a few more weeks of little walking and lots of crawling. Little by little she began taking more steps, and now she is a walking machine. But it took a long time to get there.

It's so strange to see her do this, walk upright like a little person. Slowly her gait is becoming steadier, less like a drunken zombie. Slowly she is beginning to learn how to turn and round corners. She walks and falls in perfect Norah fashion--looking up and saying "Uh-oh!", then rolling on her back and giggling, pulling her feet up to her face. This kid cracks me up.

Now that she has tasted the wonders of walking, she has little tolerance for being carried. At home this is fine, but at the store where there is an endless supply of things for Norah to break, her desire for independence is really obnoxious. She arches her back and yelps at me, so I put her down and say "Ok Norah. You can walk, but you have to hold Mama's hand. If you can't hold Mama's hand you can't walk." And Norah hears "Blah blah blah WALK!!! Blah blah blah." As soon as her feet hit the floor she slides away from me and tries to escape, walking as fast as she can in the opposite direction, arms in the air above her head, crazed look in her eye. She looks exactly like a bald little monkey.

Sometimes I forget she can walk. I'll leave her in the living room, I'll get my coffee and turn around to see this little blond head bobbing toward me. And it freaks me out. Just what, exactly, does my baby think she is doing? All this walking and talking and growing up business? Wasn't she a screaming little blob just last week? Now she is walking and saying words, combing her hair and brushing her teeth, taking off her diaper, climbing stairs, giving hugs and kisses and showing off whenever she gets the chance.
She is still screaming though. At least some things never change.
For more on how I feel about Norah walking, go here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Death Toast

This has been a terrible week.

Friday 6/19
I randomly threw up and suffered from various other intestinal issues that I won't describe. This was, of course, after a friend of mine had some VERY serious intestinal issues that required ER visits and whatnot. I, being the ever rational person that I am, decided that he had given me his illness through osmosis.

Saturday 6/20
Further intestinal issues

Sunday 6/21
Even further intestinal issues

Monday 6/22
You guessed it. Intestinal issues... Also, general laze and blah blahs. I felt EXACTLY like I did when I was first pregnant with Norah, so even though we were pretty sure that it was impossible that I could be a month or so pregnant, Rusty and I got a test anyway. It was negative. So there you go all you jump to conclusion-ers.

Tuesday 6/23
Perfect health! I cleaned the house! Which, I have to be feeling pretty glorious to actually clean the house. However, Norah was sick with a fever.

Wednesday 6/24
Norah and I both felt fine. I heard the Hallelujah Chorus, yes I did.

Thursday 6/25
We went to the Aquarium. They fed the sharks while we were in the shark tube and it was awesome! When we were in Houston, my marine biology sister explained to us how to tell if a shark was a boy or a girl. I'm pretty sure that all the sharks in this aquarium were boys.
Late that night I got a migraine. It kept me up from midnight to three., no matter what I did. Then I woke up at five thirty to get ready for work.

Friday 6/26
So technically the migraine happened on Friday. When I got up at five thirty I took some Excedrin and a took a hot shower and by the time I left it was mostly gone. My voice was inexplicably hoarse and manly, but I could sit up without feeling like my brains were going to pour out my ears so I didn't really care.

I went to work, the boys were crazy, we got a flat tire and I had poop water thrown on me. But that's a different story. Not related to my illnesses.

Saturday 6/27
I woke up on midnight to Norah's screaming. She screamed for a few minutes, then let out an enormous burp and several farts and she was fine. She did sleep in our bed though, and randomly slapped and kicked me in the face all night. I know this because I was awake most of the night.

First I had the chills. Awful terrible shakes like I had when I was in labor. I got up, put on some fleece pants and two blankets and slept on the couch for a while. Then I woke up an hour later pouring sweat. I took off the blankets and the pants and looked for our thermometer. I only found the stupid forehead one that does not work. I used it anyway and it said my fever was 101. However, that thing is so erratic it could have been anything. I went back to my bed because we had two fans going in there.

The rest of the night was spent with alternating fever and chills, another migraine, coughing and lots of nose running. Punctuated with sweet little Norah kicks and punches. I finally fell asleep around five and then Norah had the audacity to wake up at 7:20! This, from the kid who usually gets up around 9! Rusty took care of Norah, which was very kind of him given that I felt like death.

I spent the rest of the day feeling like death with thick bright green lava snot and absolutely no voice. For someone who spends her whole life talking, to others or to herself, lacking a voice is pretty tortuous. Around 3:00 I concluded that I either had the swine flu or a sinus infection that was going to work its way into my brain and kill me. Either way I was doomed. After confirmation from my mom that I was probably dying, Rusty took me to the convenient care clinic. They poked around for a bit, were confused about why I was whispering, gave me another pregnancy test (still negative conclusion-ers!) and then THEN! decided it was all a case of bad bad allergies.

I got a steroid shot in my butt! They said it was my hip, but I know the difference between my butt and my hip and that needle did not go into my hip.

Allergies shmallergies. I'm still putting my money on the swine flu or a deadly brain-bound sinus infection.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cantaloupe Liars

When I was in high school, my mom let Sara and me paint our bedrooms. We got to pick our own colors and during Spring Break we spent the entire week stripping wall paper, fixing ceilings and painting. It was incredibly hard work, harder than any of us expected because the floral wall paper that covered all the walls had spent the last decade baking in the New Mexican sun so that it was nearly impossible to remove. I think my mom still gets the twitches when she thinks about that wallpaper.

It was really very cool of my mom. I'm sure there were many other rooms she would have liked to paint and re-do, but she let us do ours instead. And Sara and I were both really excited about our rooms.

Sara picked a lavender for her walls, and a pale yellow for the trim. I picked royal blue for the walls and a bright gold for the trim. Sara's looked great with her bed spread and room decorations. Mine looked like a Kraft Macaroni and Cheese box.

So after that fiasco, you would think that I would have realized that I don't have the best eye for room color. But then, not too long ago, I picked this awesome grassy green color for my living room wall. It was a raging success in the Perkins' house. It is so fabulous, in fact, that it prompted Norah to speak her first sentence. When she woke up from her nap on the day I was painting, I brought her in to see and she said, "Mama! You are a color genius!", perfectly pronounced. ; )

I admit. After that I was a little over-confidant about my color picking skills. Me and my pompous self began eyeing the kitchen. And, at the same time, Amalah wrote about her kitchen as well. And when she mentioned a cantaloupe color I all but skipped to Lowe's, for BRILLIANT! A cantaloupe colored kitchen would be perfect! The pale orange would look great with my green wall and with my cabinets. I logged onto Valspar's website and found the perfect paint color. Cantaloupe Smile.

I have a problem with paint color names. I get distracted by them. Cantaloupe Smile sounds so perfectly orange and sunny and...cantaloupy. I mean, come on. The green in my living room is called La Fonda Plaza Green, and it turned out great, so surely a paint color named Cantaloupe Smile would be great and ORANGE. And to be honest, if they had named that paint Road Stripe Yellow, which would have been more accurate, I would have stayed away from it.

Rusty told me in the store that it was yellow. But I didn't believe him. It was called Cantaloupe Smile for pete's sake, it had to be orange! Sadly, from the first brush stroke I was unhappy. Even more sadly, I continued through two full coats, telling myself it was orange and it would grow on me and I would end up loving it. It never happened.

I woke up the next morning and walked into the kitchen and announced I hated it. I was going to re-paint the next day. So I went back to Lowe's, gave in to the experts and went with a nice blue shade that would bring out the orange color in my cabinets. Bah.

And I love it. I really do. It's so calming and mellow and not road stripey. And it's called Cincinnatian Hotel Lindner Blue. A perfectly respectable name.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Its Dorothy's Fault

Last night, after a delicious dinner with friends and a coffee run with Jasmine, Rusty and I were unwinding. He was playing Soduko on his phone and I was reading Snow Falling on Cedars. (So good!) We were happily laying in bed absently listening to the news when the weather guy broke in. Both of us put our full attention on the TV because it is June in Arkansas, still considered tornado season, and we could hear the storm outside our windows. We were listening to the storm update when the tornado sirens started wailing.

I. Hate. That. Sound.

I can't think of many things that scare me more than the tornado siren. The siren signals serious business, more than likely someone has sighted a funnel cloud. Its wail tells you to get your butt in gear, no goofing off, in case the storm comes and tries to knock down your house. Even on a perfectly clear day, when the siren going off is just a test, it freaks me out. My throat tightens and I start to feel sick.

So last night, when the siren sounded, we knew it was not a test. Both of us jumped out of bed and ran to get things ready. I threw on my shoes and started tossing things into the bathroom--pillows, blankets, diaper bag, cell phone. Rusty grabbed Norah as I was getting the pillows from the bed and then the sirens stopped. We settled down, sat back in bed, and waited for the storm to pass. Norah slept in our room last night because I am mildly crazy and would not have been able to sleep if she had been all the way across the house, just in case another storm came in the night and knocked a tree onto her bedroom.

It was a dramatic half hour.

And just now, we are waiting out another storm, this one producing tornado warnings in the county south of us. While I'm not hiding in the bathroom closet (yet), that last clap of thunder was so loud it shook the pictures on my walls and nearly make me throw up my dinner.

Again I ask: Why do I live in Arkansas, so close to Tornado Alley, and not in some safe place like Montana?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Its Worth a Thousand Words, Right?

So, quite a few things have happened in the past few weeks. But I don't really want to deal with all the words today, so I will update with pictures instead.
First, I graduated.

The Cranky Mommy Club!

Family :)

Sara also graduated! Mom was so proud of us.

Tristan and Norah bonded over goldfish and Sesame Street.

The beach!

The end.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Dear Equate Allergy Relief,

I hate you. You are useless. You promise 24 hour relief from sneezing, ithcy/watery eyes, runny nose and itchy throat. Instead, you give me a painfully dry throat...and that is all. Instead of allowing me to open my windows and my new screen door, you make me keep them closed in order that I may breathe.

Piece of junk.

Sniffles and Hatred,

Monday, June 1, 2009

You Know You Want To...

So Jasmine and I have this new project. And when I say "Jasmine and I have this new project" what I mean is "Jasmine has been doing lots of work on this new project while I have been lazing about eating cookies and painting walls in my house green".

Its pretty sweet. We have this blog, a joint blog, and if you know the both of us then you can only imagine the shenanigans this blog will witness. I am very excited.

So go to The Brokins and let us know what you think!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

C'est la Vie

In addition to a tied on bumper, only one side mirror, and malfunctioning doors and windows, my car also lacks a radio. Part of the saga of Dear Husband, Please Buy Me a New Car! I suppose. The tied on bumper, eh...I don't really notice it. The side mirror, don't really need it. I've grown accustomed to working out of only three doors and I have a handy set of pliers in case of an emergency window rolling down event (like, every time I go to McDonald's). But the radio...this one really kills me.

The thing is, I actually have a radio in the car. I got the car with a gaping hole where the stereo should be. No big deal when you are getting a free car from your mom, right? Well after driving around tuneless for a whole summer I was getting really desperate. The hums and groans of a manual transmission are only so appealing for so long. So I begged my friends, Mario and Matt, to help me find one of those awesome stereos that you can buy at Wal-Mart, the kind with the removable face-plate and then put it in the car. They obliged, because they are nice guys. But for some reason, we never could get the thing to work. So eventually, and I forget the details here, I got a nicer stereo (still from Wal-Mart with removable face plate) and we ended up paying $50 to the guy who lived across the street from us to put it in the car. And it worked! And for several years the stereo was my companion, belting out the songs I needed to hear no matter the time of day, the weather, or how many other things were falling apart.

The stereo held great power, made my slowly rotting car a thing I would gladly tolerate because I still had my Modest Mouse, my Hot Hot Heat, my Killers, my Bjork, my Working Title and my Explosions in the Sky.

And then one day, it died. My stereo just went out. And though for a while it would sporadically start working again, and I would leap for joy as the songs filled my car, I knew it would eventually stop working completely. That sad day has come (actually, it came about 4 months ago, but whatever.) and I am stuck in the tuneless box with nothing but the rattles and groans and squeals to keep me company. And yes, Norah's noises are included in the rattles groans and squeals.

I think Norah may mourn the loss of the tunes as much as I do, because she gets very angry if she has no music in the car. So I spend alot of time singing and talking to her as we drive around. I don't know how many times I have sung The Itsy Bitsy Spider. I probably sing it in my sleep. We sing solfege and scales in such dramatic fashion that Julie Andrews would weep. And recently we have started singing the ABCs, because eventually Norah is going to have to learn them, and I am really tired of the stupid soggy spider.

In addition to singing the ABCs, we spell words too. I don't know if you know this, but I am an excellent speller. Forward and backward. Which is why I always get to do the gnilleps puzzles in Cranium. (I hope I don't mis-spell anything in this post). So we spell things. Norah. Mama. Daddy. Pterodactyl. Ollie. Remington. Honduras. You get the picture. And when I spell for Norah, I do it very slowly, dragging out every letter so N-O-R-A-H becomes NNNNNNNNNNNNNNN-OOOOOOOOOOOOO-RRRRRRRRRRR-AAAAAAAAAAAAA-HHHHHH.

She usually spells with me, but her N-O-R-A-H sounds more like BEEEEHHHH-YAAAAAAAA-TTTTTTTT-EEEEEEEEEWWWWWW-GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! But its cute because she drags it out just like me, and because I am her mother so I think she is the embodiment of cute.

Actually, our spelling sessions remind me of this

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I don't know why Norah and I seem to be a magnet for mother-baby indecencies.

When Norah was a few weeks old we went to this football scrimmage thing at the University of Arkansas. It was a big public event, with literally, thousands of people in the crowd. And Norah, being just a few weeks old, had no concept of the inconvenience of breastfeeding in that crowd. She decided she needed to eat, immediately! and I had no choice but to buck up and nurse her. In a crowd of thousands of strangers, and a few non-strangers. I was a breastfeeding novice at the time. I'm sure quite a few people got a free show.

Then, a few months later, I had to figure out how to go to the bathroom at Target with Norah in tow. I ended up walking out of the stall with my past unbuttoned and unzipped, doing that wide-legged waddle that you do when you are trying to keep your pants up.

Not long after that, we took Norah out to eat at Red Lobster. I took Norah to the bathroom to changer her diaper, and just as I got her wet diaper off and was about to put her clean diaper on, she peed. All over herself. Her entire onesie was soaked. And I am not the kind of mother that carries extra sets of clothes, though I frequently end up with three pairs of Norah's shoes in her diaper bag. So when faced with a pee soaked onesie and jeans, I did the only thing I could: I walked out of the bathroom with a nearly naked baby and pretended not to see the questioning looks as I walked by. Norah ended up eating her dinner wearing nothing but a puff-sleeved brown corduroy bomber jacket from Old Navy.

A few weeks ago I had the flying Dorito poop incident.

And yesterday we went shopping. At TJ Maxx I took Norah into the dressing room because she was getting tired of Rusty pushing her around in the cart. I tried on the first outfit, and when I looked down at Norah I realized she had something in her mouth, something that had not been there a moment before. "Norah" I said, bending down to her eye level "What is in your mouth?" She happily pulled out her treasure and handed it to me--a previously chewed piece of gum. A hardened piece of red gum that had, at one point, been in someone else's mouth, teeth marks still intact.

GAAAAHHH! First of all, ew. Second of all, I don't even want to think about what kinds of mangy bacteria may have been crawling around the previous gum owner's unwashed mouth. Third of all, PEOPLE! Why in the world would you leave your chewed up gum on the floor for babies to find and eat while their mothers are not paying attention to them. Their mothers are too busy are trying to decide whether they can get away with wearing a flowered dress that requires little bra support (to which the post-baby chest says a resounding "NO!").

Gum chewers of the world, I implore you: use the trashcan!

And now I'm thinking that maybe she got some ornery germs from the gum, because today we had our first time out session.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Littlest Dare Devil

So, Norah is still not walking. I mean, she's only 13 months old and the average walker is around 15 months, so its not abnormal or anything. Besides, she gets around plenty well crawling on all fours. She hasn't really figured out the climbing off the bed or the couch thing either. No matter how many times I try to get her to flip around and crawl down backwards she continues to try and go head first.

Today we went to two parks. The first park we went to with Rusty and he taught Norah how to climb up a slide. Then the second one, the one here in town...oh my gosh. Norah climbed up the little steps like a champ, though she has never crawled up steps before, laughing like a lunatic the whole time. Then. THEN! She got to the top of the play equipment and launched herself head first down the slide!

No fear. No waiting to make sure someone was at the bottom (though Jasmine was there, of course). She just crawled to the top, laid out, and flung herself down the slide.

Its amazing really, this little person in control of her body, with a strong will and a crazy laugh, this wonderful little girl that Rusty and I are raising. I wish I had taken a picture...

Friday, May 1, 2009


Bell Pepper and Jalapeno Plants

Radish Sprouts

Despite the fact that there has been virtually no sun in my corner of the world SATURDAY! I now own radish sprouts, pea plant flowers, onion sprouts, and two teeny tiny green tomatos.
Maybe I underestimated my gardening skills. Maybe I have such extraordinary latent gardening know-how, that my plants have no need for the sun. They can just bask in my awesomeness.

Obligatory Baby Photos

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

A few weeks ago I went to get a haircut, and on the way back I passed by KMart. Since I had a KMart gift card and since KMart sells plants, it seemed like a good idea to get some flowers to put in my front flower bed. The one that, at the time, filled with weeds. So I wandered around the garden center and acted like I knew what I was doing. I scoped out the flowers, checked their leaves and buds, checked the soil type and sun preference. I like to think that I looked very knowledgable, but in reality, I was just grabbing things that I thought were pretty. I loaded them into my car and when I got home tackled the front flower bed. Three hours later, all the plants were in the ground and I was pretty pleased with myself.

Then last weekend Rusty and I bought a bunch of vegetable plants and seeds, and on Monday we got everything in the ground. Garrett is graciously making us a lettuce table, so once that gets here we'll slap some lettuce and spinach seeds in there and see what happens.

But here's the deal. I don't know the first thing about gardening. Which is strange, since most of my life has been spent around very successful gardeners. Successfully pulling weeds is about the extent of my knowledge.

However amatuer I may be, I am now the proud owner of both a flower garden and a vegetable garden. And I find myself strangely attached to these plants, like I am inordinately proud of how well my azalea bush is doing, and have not stopped worrying about whether my tomatos are getting enough sun. I've been out there everyday, several times a day, checking the water situation, the sun situation, and yanking any errant weeds that dare to sprout up around my new babies.

Hopefully my hard work will pay off later when I have tomatos and oregano and carrots coming out my ears.

Monday, April 27, 2009

In Case of High Cholesterol, Angel Identification, or Tooth Brushing

I love books.

I love to smell them, look at them, display them, think about them, and yes, read them. There are not many things that I like more than being able to spend an entire day devouring a book. Sometimes I love my school books, though not very often. I frequently love memoirs. I am a fan of short-stories and anthologies. I often enjoy poetry. But above all, I love fiction. Glorious, glorious stories.

Books are useful too. Some books are beautiful, and make good art pieces. Sometimes books can be used to prop up a wobbly table or chair, or, as I remember doing when I was young, righting a crooked Christmas tree. They make excellent presents. They are good for losing oneself, escaping a boring and disappointing day. And sometimes, they teach good lessons.

For instance, if one was considering one's outrageously high cholesterol, one could take solace in the words of Little Ozzie, the terrificly obese writer in the book Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz "With a dismissive wave of one of his formidable arms, Little Ozzie said, 'If you carried my bulk, your blood rich with cholesterol molecules the size of miniature marshmallows, you'd understand that a little righteous outrage from time to time is the only thing that keeps your arteries from clogging shut all together. Righteous outrage and fine red wine."


Or, if one was trying to determine whether someone else was an angel or not, one could answer these wise questions, supplied graciously from the Roman Church via Gabriel Garcia Marquez's A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. "They spent their time finding out if the prisoner had a navel, if his dialect had any connection with Aramaic, how many times he could fit on the head of a pin, or whether he wasn't just a Norwegian with wings."

Wise questions, for sure.

And finally, when one is weighing the merits of brushing one's teeth before going to bed, one might read these words, from Greg Iles' Blood Memory, when speaking of trying to find a suspect who owns dentures. "Would he necessarily have to be old?" "God no, Lots of people have teeth so bad they rot out by their thirties."

I would hate to be that kind of person.

Currently I am reading a book called Wasted, a memoir about anorexia and bulimia, Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome, and getting ready to move onto Toni Morrison's Love. I wonder what sort of life knowledge I will gain next.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Different Tempo Now

I am going to do something wild here and write a post that has nothing to do with flying poop or Mama love. I'm going to step outside my sphere of knowledge, that is, the sphere of motherhood and pretend to be an educated theologian.

In one of my classes we are reading and discussing the book Whatever Happened to the Soul? At the center of the book, a collection of essays really, is the theory of nonreductive physicalism. That being the idea that, "the person is a physical organism whose complex functioning, both in society and in relation to God, gives rise to 'higher' human capacities such as morality and spirituality". Very simply, the book discusses the idea that, rather than humans being made up of two parts--the material and mortal part (the body, the brain, etc) and the immaterial and immortal part (the soul)--perhaps humans are just one part. This would mean that upon death, the whole person would go to heaven, not just the immortal "soul" part. And, this would mean the notion of "saving souls" would have to include the whole person. This would mean that redemption goes much further than simply "soul" redemption.

Yesterday in class, we came to the topic of evangelism, and what adopting nonreductive physicalism would mean for it. And invariably, the question was posed:

Ok. So if you have just 30 minutes with someone, should you preach the Gospel, or give them some clean water, or some clothes, or whatever they need.

Without getting into what I believe about the whole "What if you only have 30 minutes to be with someone and YOU are the only sight of Jesus they will ever see!!" business, this is what I think. I don't think preaching the Gospel is always verbal. I think the Gospel can be preached in actions. I said yesterday, "Well really, if I live in a situation where I don't have clean water, and my babies are dying because of parasites in the water, and you come up to me and say 'Jesus loves you!', well...ok, but my babies are still dying." Telling me that Jesus loves me does not fix the problem of the parasites in the water. So if we are going to be in the business of believing that more than just an immortal and immaterial soul is being redeemed, then offering clean water to people is redemptive. Offering clean water, even without attaching verbal preaching, is preaching the Gospel.

In fact, I would take that argument even further. I work at a children's shelter, and because we are not religiously affiliated, we are not supposed to share our faith, identify our faith, etc. Often, my work involves holding babies--just to hold them and give them some human contact and affection. They don't know I'm a Christian, and most of the time I am not actively praying for them while I am holding them. That work, I don't believe, is any less redemptive than sharing verses from the Bible with someone who asks me to. And even further, if a group of non-Christian people decided to set up a food bank and distribute food to the hungry, then that work too is redemptive.

I believe that God works through us, in spite of us, and without us to do his Redemptive work. I believe that we join in this work, when we strive to right the wrongs we see, when we strive to better this world. Redemption comes in many forms, and often from the most unlikely characters. And accepting the idea of nonreductive physicalism (which is really just a fancy word for "I think the whole person is worth saving") allows us to remove our ideas about hierarchies of redemption. Then we won't have to make a choice between spending our efforts preaching the Gospel to care for souls or providing clean water to care for bodies. We can simply care for people the way they need to be cared for.

I know that many people will not agree with me here. That's ok, my own high school self wouldn't have agreed with me. I guess that's just part of working out our faith. But there we have dabble into theology. Tomorrow, we'll be back to flying poop.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

12 Months

Dear Norah

A few days ago, we celebrated your first birthday. The night before your birthday, I couldn't sleep. I was really tired, I had been tired all day, but for some reason could not sleep. And while I was laying there in bed I started to think about the night before you were born. I couldn't sleep that night either. I was tired then too, a deep kind of tired, results of carrying around 45 extra pounds of baby, water, and 9 months of haphazardly eaten cheese burritos and M&M McFlurries. But much more than tired, I was nervous and excited and anxious. I knew that the next day you would be born, that the next day would be the beginning of my new life with you. I had no idea what that really meant, but the possibilities kept me awake, in spite of being 9 months and 45 extra pounds tired.

I woke the next morning very early, and while it was still dark, your daddy and I drove to the hospital. Our bags were packed with all the possible things we might need. Your brand new car seat was in the backseat, still smelling like the box it came in.
I spent the rest of the day waiting for you to arrive. I was hooked up to lots of different machines, and had all kinds of tubes attached to me, which made going to the bathroom even more unwieldy than normal. I had to unplug myself from all kind of stuff, wrap the cords around my back, hoist my increasingly swollen self out of bed and waddle to the bathroom-all the while pushing an IV and trying to keep my hospital gown from showing all my parts. It was hard work. Thankfully I had some help, because I think I went to the bathroom about 800 times that day.

People kept telling me I should try to get some rest, but really, how was I supposed to sleep? At some point during the day I was going to meet my brand new baby! I had no idea if I was going to meet a boy or a girl. I had no idea if the names were going to work. No idea if I even liked the names we had picked out. I had to think about the inevitably increased contractions, water breaking, and...the actual birth. Oi. And, What Not to Wear was on! How could anyone expect me to sleep with all that?

You were born at 11:26pm, on April 7. When Dr. Crownover first held you up, upside down (they really do hold babies upside down right after they are born...) my first sight of you was the back of your thighs, the bottoms of your feet and your rear end. I just remembered that, Norah, just now as I typed the words. And its funny, because I can still see it: the green of Dr Crownover's scrubs, my puffy white legs, and your pink rear-end. Really, its kind of a hilarious first sight. They quickly wrapped you up in a pink blanket and laid you on my belly and Norah, I had no words. You were so beautiful. You had this glorious and clear pink skin, these black eyes, and black hair all over your perfect little head. I had nothing to say. I just stared at you, totally overwhelmed.
Sometimes I still do that. Sometimes, when you are playing with your toys or jabbering or laughing at me dancing in the kitchen or flinging your poop out of your diaper, I just there and look at you, overwhelmed. You're amazing. Your little brain is always working, you are always learning and watching and mimicking. These days especially it seems like you are constantly on the verge of something new. Its like you go to sleep at night and wake up having learned another trick.

When you were born, I could not imagine what you would be like a year later. I never could have imagined how beautiful and wonderful and sweet and hilarious you would be. I couldn't have thought up the way you cross your legs like me when you sit on the floor, or the way you cross your feet when you eat. I couldn't have thought up your maniacal little laugh, or the way you sometimes give me impish little looks when you are trying to get away with something. I couldn't have guessed at the way your mouth turns down and you wimper when your feelings are hurt. I couldn't have imagined the way your tiny fingers feel when you absentmindedly scratch my arm while we snuggle, or the way they seem to tear off itty pieces of my flesh when you pinch me. I also couldn't have imagined the incredible frustrations, anxiety, and craziness that have come with you as well. You are by no means perfect, Norah, and motherhood is one hard business. But at the end of it all, it is so worth it.

A few days ago, I swept the back porch. While I was pushing the broom in the space between the bottom of the house and the top of the concrete, sweeping out a giant pile of dried leaves and dirt, I realized that I had not cleaned off the porch in over a year. There are so many chores that I have just neglected for the past year, as I've tried to become accustomed to life with you. It doesn't seem like it should take a whole year to settle down, but it has. It has taken 12 months to get used to things. I certainly don't have everything figured out, but now, 12 months later, I'm ok with that. And tonight, I'm sitting in bed with a pile of your clothes and bibs at my feet, your monkey rattle on the floor next to the TV and an entire living room overrun by your mountains of toys, and I can't remember what the house looked like before you came and daily dismantled everything within your reach.

Norah, thank you for all the things you have added to my life. You are so fantastic, so special, so joyous and so very very dear to me. I love you in every way that I can, with everything that I can.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Look Out Tyra!

Back in January, we went to Roswell to visit my family. The weather was beautiful while we were there, in fact, warmer there in January than it has been here in April. It was so warm, you could go outside without any pants on. Norah chose to go ahead and take advantage of optional pants, because she is a baby and she can do that kind of thing.

Also, we had to take some pictures of her wearing these baby kneepads that my friend Katy sent us as a product test type of thing. I lived with Katy when I went to school at UNM. Now she has graduated and moved to LA and works for this fancy company that...well actually I don't know what the company does. But anyway, she sent us the kneepads, and then later asked if we would take some pictures of Norah wearing them and send them to her. Then maybe at some point they would use the pictures when they were building their website.

So we took the pictures, and sent them. is the finished product! (Dude. My baby is SO a model!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Keeping Me on My Toes

(Mom, you may not want to read this post. It involves poop. Love you!)

I had to take Norah with me to class today. I have taken her to all but one of my classes this semester, and I am so thankful to have professors who are kind and gracious and don't mind having a crowing baby in class every once in a while. Those professors don't know how much I appreciate their flexibility and understanding.

So. I took Norah to my Masterpieces of Literature class. I was prepared for 50 minutes of baby entertaining, equipped with: 1 bowl of cut up cheese, 1 bowl of graham crackers, 1 sippy cup, about 85 toys, and 4 diapers.

Norah was a doll. She was cute and charming and relatively quiet. And when she did burst out in baby monologue, it was perfectly timed, just as Dr. Stratman paused for class responses. She crawled around the back of the room, flirted, stood up and tried to walk, and only tried to escape once. In fact, there was only hiccup, about 25 minutes into class.

I was keeping one eye on Norah the entire time, and about 25 minutes in I noticed she was sitting very still and making her poop face. Great! I went through my various options, but pretending I didn't notice was not going to work because eventually someone was going to smell her and 25 minutes was a long time for her to sit in poop. I had to change her. So I, the intrepid mother that I am, gathering up the diaper change essentials and took her to the bathroom. I was undaunted by the lack of changing table. After spending 2 semesters pregnant and 2 with a baby, I know full well that JBU was not built to accommodate pregnant ladies or mothers with small babies.

There was someone else in the bathroom and I felt a little bad for her because I could already smell Norah's diaper, though I had not yet taken off her pants, so I knew that as soon as the girl came out of the stall she was going to be assaulted by Dorito charged baby poop. (Yes, I gave my baby Doritos yesterday, but come on! It was her birthday!) I took off Norah's pants, opened her diaper, blinked through my watering eyes because Doritos make for very pungent fumes, and reached for the wipes. And in the time it took me to reach for the wipes, Norah reached down between her legs and pulled at the top of her diaper. Quickly. She pulled it like you would pull a table cloth from a table, trying to keep all the dishes and silverware from flying off with the cloth.

However, that sort of pulling action does not work out the same way when you try it with a diaper full of poop. So while the dishes and silverware maybe would have remained on the tabletop, the poop went flying. Flying! A big ball of Dorito baby poop vaulted out of Norah's diaper and landed near her head, just barely missing her face. The girl was still in the stall and I would have felt like a colossal idiot if she walked out and saw a big ball of orange poop on the ground next to my baby's head, so I reacted without really thinking about it. I grabbed the poop, bare handed, and flung it back in the diaper. Then, the girl came out of the stall so with poop on both hands and on the floor I continued business as normal, apologizing for the scene as I usually do when strangers come upon my baby's naked butt in unordinary places. She left, and I continued the clean up process, wiping the floor and the baby and vigorously washing my hands.

Being a mom, its always exciting.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Very Merry Un-Birthday

Oh hi.

Yeah we are back. And by back I mean, "We drove all the way from Arkansas to pretty much California, then up to the Grand Canyon, then to Bullhead City, and then, to avoid the freak snow storms that blocked our whole way home, we drove to within one block of the border of Mexico on our drive back to Arkansas. And, I left all my motivation for house and blog keeping right there on that Mexican border".

We had a good time. We got some really incredible pictures of the Southwest. I read The Devil Wears Prada and got a sunburn.

But spring break is not what I want to write about right now, because I don't have to energy to deal with blogger's absolutely stupid picture upload business. What I want to write about is that momentous occasion known as The First Birthday Party.

Do you know what a big deal this event is? Do you really know? Because I didn't. I had no idea there was so much involved in planning a party for a one year old. I mean...the always fun guest list shenanigans, the invitations, the decorations, the goody bags, the gifts, the cake, the all-important smashcake. And all these things must be orbiting around the infinitely important THEME.

You wouldn't believe how many people, when talk of First Birthday Parties comes up, immediately ask "So what's your THEME?" to which I respond "Er. Hmm. Uh..." This THEME is important business. I was completely drawing a blank on a cool THEME so I went to one of my professors who has a baby about a month older than Norah. I asked what they were doing for their baby's birthday and he told me all about the cool party themes he and his wife had come up with for their older son's parties. Then he said for their younger son's first birthday (the one a month older than Norah) the THEME was Pupcakes. They were doing stuff with Puppies. And Cupcakes.

Ha ha! Get it? Pupcakes?

If it hadn't been a relatively boyish THEME I would have just stolen it. But I have dressed my daughter in pink every day since her birth and I am not about to break the Frill-Fest with a Pupcakes birthday party.

Then I asked Jasmine what she and Garrett were doing for Isaiah's birthday party in June. They are having a Brobee themed party, from Yo Gabba Gabba!. I would have stolen that theme were it not for the fact that I have only watched 1.25 episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba! because I think it's weird and creepy and I really wish that shows like Ahh! Real Monsters were still on. I have not earned the right to host a Brobee themed birthday party. Alas.

So, desperate to make some kind of headway on this whole birthday thing and feel like I am not a failure at being a mom, I dragged Rusty to Target to get some Stuff. Any Stuff. Whatever birthday Stuff we could find. And finally I found my THEME.

Spring! It's perfect will be spring when it is Norah's birthday party because...Norah was born in the spring and...spring is pretty and happy! Hooray! We got some Stuff in bright spring colors, and none of it really matched because we are loosely tying the whole THEME around these spring-y napkins with butterflies and flowers but in Coordination 101 we fail.

I ended up with: two packages of invitations (which I never actually sent), two packages of napkins, one pink table cloth, one weird stripey table cloth that I have since returned, balloons, a banner, flowered leis, and some bendy straws. It has all sat in the Target bag on my table since we bought it.

Now, with Norah's birthday party just a few days away I was feeling the First Birthday Party pressure again and I went to order her cake. I took a THEME napkin with me so they could decorate it to match and I had every intention to get her a matching little smashcake too. Because, you know, the smashcake is essential to the First Birthday Party festivities. I successfully ordered the cake and was feeling very proud of myself as I drove away from Rick's Bakery, having completed a momentous task in motherhood, and with quite alot of stylishness, to be honest with you.

Three blocks later and Holy Crap on Burnt Toast! I completely forgot the smashcake! What kind of mother forgets the smashcake for her baby's First Birthday Party?! I mean, seriously. I drove a little further, mentally punching my own self in the face for doing something so characteristic of Me.

But I didn't turn around. And I didn't call Rick's in a panic, begging them to add a smashcake to my order. I just kept driving. Because you know what? Cutting off a piece of the real cake and putting it on a plate in front of Norah is going to have the exact same effect as putting a whole miniature cake in front of her. Except this way, we waste less cake which means I get to eat more cake. That sounds like a win-win to me.

I'm done with this First Birthday Party crap. This is who I am, Norah: bendy straws, uncoordinated decorations, and no smashcake. I hope that's cool with you.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Breaking

The writing on this site has been pretty atrocious lately. I don't even know that you can call it writing. It's more like random blabbering about puke and tantrums. I just don't feel like I have much to write about. I don't do a whole lot. I go to school, and hang out with Norah. I, of course, find Norah fascinating. She's growing so quickly, learning and changing so much. I'm delighted by her. But then, I'm her mother and I don't imagine that the Internet is quite as delighted by her chirps and facial expressions and the way she crawls and the way her feet look when she crosses them while she eats. There is not a whole lot of adventure in my life right now.

On Friday afternoon we left for our Spring Break trip to Arizona. It was at least an 18 hour drive. A verifiable cross-country trip. And on late Friday night when we were in our hotel room in Amarillo, Texas, with our maniac baby rolling around on the bed and regularly kicking me in the face, I thought "Well. Hopefully I will be getting some good stories out of this trip. If nothing else."

I think I will.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

11 Months-The Late and the Lazy

We are leaving for our spring break trip on Friday. I am terribly excited. So excited, in fact, that it is taking everything in me to do my homework that is due this week and study for the tests I have this week. All I want to do is start packing, but I have this clunky essay about the population of the Ukraine that is due tomorrow and I really need to get on that...
It is way past March 7th, which was Norah's 11 month birthday. I forgot to write her a letter, and I don't really want to write one now because I am writing her big 1 year (!) letter in a litttle over 2 weeks. So in the place of a letter, I will just make a list of all her Awesome Tricks. Also, my brain is already on spring break, so I just don't have it in me to do anything more creative than write a list.
Norah's Awesome 11 Month Tricks

1. Feeds herself with a spoon. While she has not yet figured out how to scoop things from her bowl with her spoon, she can take a pre-loaded spoon from either her bowl or my hand and make it to her mouth. Most of the time. Sometimes it goes in her eyeballs and sometimes she tips the spoon over and dumps everything in her lap. And sometimes she waits til I give her a really full spoon and then flings it across the room.

2. Cruises. Yes, she now holds onto furniture and walks along it. And just today, when she was "helping" me load the dishwasher she let go and stood alone. She seemed just as surprised as me, and stood there for at least a whole minute before she fell down.

3. Eats an entire piece of pizza, including the crust. I am especially fond of this one. She didn't eat a cut-up piece of pizza. She held a whole piece in her hand, by the crust, and at the whole thing. Mama is so proud!

4. Yes. I give my baby pizza. Get over it.

5. Talks. She says lots of words, but the most clear and frequent are "Mama" "DadDad" and "Yea!?"

I'm sure she has more tricks, but the population of the Ukraine is waiting for me to write about it, so I must quit. But first, the sequence of self-feeding in picture form.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Norah has mastered the awesome art of arching her back and becoming as limp as a noodle. So if I am holding her and she gets mad, she pulls this trick and I have to scramble to hold on to her arched limp noodled little body, and I usually end up accidentally jabbing a finger into her armpit which just makes her more mad and then...the roof blows off the house.

So if you see a roof flying up the in air in the general vicinity of Arkansas, don't worry. Norah's just upset because I won't let her chew on the cat and then I jabbed my finger in her armpit.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Brain Mush

I ran into Rusty's car yesterday morning.

I was pulling out of the garage, on my way to school, and even though I do this exact thing every week, for some reason it never occurred to me that I should look behind me before I pulled out.

So I put my car in reverse and started to reverse and was really perplexed when I heard a crunch and then could not go any further. All the potential causes of the crunching went through my head: the trash can, the neighbor's trash can, the garage door, a box, a cat, the mailbox, Santa Clause? but never did Rusty's car cross my mind.

Then I got out and saw the butt of my car all smooshed up to the front of his. Poor cars.

I have no explanation for my lack of thinking except maybe this: The puke germs that I got, those awful germs that I got from my precious and lovely little baby, the germs that made me throw up more times in one day than I did throughout my entire pregnancy, those germs killed part of my brain.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

One Step Forward, One Germ-X Bath Back

Winter listened to me!!

It is a lovely (if windy) 75ish out there and I am one happy desert rat.

However, the Norah? Has the pukes. And not the cute newborn kind either.


Because I think my mom, Donna, sometimes reads this site I will refrain from any descriptions. Suffice it to say, the baby is sick. And that makes me sad.

Gotta go now. I have a bathtub full of Germ-X waiting for me to go roll around in it. Think healthy thoughts for the Norah!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Slathering on the Sunless Tanner

The climate in New Mexico is vastly different from the climate here in Arkansas and though it has been almost three years since I moved here, I am still adjusting. I know, three years is a long adjustment period, but when you spent 19 years in one kind of place and then move to a totally different kind of place...three years does not seem to be so long.

The summers here are obviously different. New Mexican summers are blisteringly hot, the sun could bake you like a potato in 10 minutes flat. But the heat is dry, it's a light kind of heat that you can breathe in, that you can escape if you hide in some shade for a while. The summers here are very nearly unbearable for a desert rat like myself. Here there is a heavy, wet, oppressive heat that can only be defeated by some serious air conditioning. You can't escape that kind of heat; it conquers even the nicest of shade trees. I hate hearing the locusts outside in the summer because their chirping sounds to me like "Saa-aa-aa-die! Come out here and swelter in this outdoor saaaaaaauna!" I hate those stupid locusts.

Like I told Dr Stratman yesterday: I was a lifeguard for two years in Roswell. I survived the heat there, though on some days it felt like my sanity was seeping out my pores, but I could not be a lifeguard here. I would just plain fall over dead.

In Roswell, spring and fall are marked mostly by wind and dirt. The dirt blows in your eyes and your hair and your lip gloss so all spring and fall you walk around with scratchy eyes, dusty smelling hair and gritty lips. The temperature is nice, but the blowing dirt...not so great. Spring and fall in Arkansas are lovely, prone to make me stare out the windows of my classrooms longingly, prone even to inspire me with poems. Though honestly, I would take dirt in my face over tornadoes any day.

And winter. I loathe the winter. I like cold weather for about a week, which is long enough to wear some cute clothes and light a fire, but then I'm done. In New Mexico the cold is different too. When I lived in Albuquerque and was going to school there, I learned the art of layering well. Because when I left the house in the morning it was cold enough to freeze the snot in your nose but by noon is could be a lovely 60 degrees outside. In Arkansas I have learned to layer too, but for a very different reason. Here I have to layer just to get to mail from the mailbox lest I turn into an ice sculpture on the front lawn. Here it is very likely that the snot in your nose is going to stay frozen for a good two weeks before you get some relief.

And you know what winter? I am ready for the snot in my nose to melt! Once, I wore two pairs of pants to school because when I left the house it was 9 degrees. 9! And it was only going to get up to something idiotic like 12 degrees by noon. That is just ridiculous. I would never survive the weather anywhere north of where I currently live.

All that to say, I'm done with this whole winter thing. I'm finished. I am putting away my winter clothes and they are not coming back out, not even if it snows. Perhaps I can bring on the spring just by sheer force of will. Perhaps winter will look into my face, see the revolt in my eyes as I scurry across campus in my little cardigan and cropped pants, and it will cower.

That's the plan folks. Won't you join me in the uprising?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Case of the Missing H

Yesterday I received this email from a lady named Lori: (I deleted some info to protect her privacy)

Hi Sadie! Thank you so much for the compliment; You've made my day! I did have some pieces in _______ at the Visitor's Center and _______ a higher end ladies shop; however, unfortunately, I've slacked on renewing the items there because I stay home with my 3 year old daughter and just haven't had the time to make a great deal of new pieces. Give me a call if you are ever going to be in the ________or ________ area I would be more than happy to meet up with you somewhere that is convenient for you and show you what I have. Just let me know. Have a great day!

I was very confused by this email, because I did not remember corresponding with Lori, though she seemed very nice. So I responded:

I am having a serious attack of allergies today, and that may be why I am experiencing this blank mindedness...but I do not know what you are referring to. Could you help me out?Thanks

It was a little awkward because I really was having some awful allergy/cold head fog and was genuinely afraid that I had sent her a nice email and then completely forgotten who she was. How embarrassing! But then she responded:

I received an Etsy convo from you yesterday regarding my jewelry; you said that you travel to Indiana often and you were curious whether I had my jewelry for sale in any shops here in the state. Sorry about your allergies; I understand completely!

Huh? Etsy? Jewelry? Indiana?! So I go into detective mode, and try to think of what to do next. I logged onto Etsy and tried to find her as a seller there, but because I did not have her username (and really had no clue what to look for) I found nothing. The thought crosses my mind that maybe someone has stolen my identity...

and is shopping for handmade jewelry with it?

That would be a very strange thing to do after going through the effort of stealing a person's identity. So then I think, "Oh lord. I know I have been under alot of stress lately, but surely I'm not forgetting whole shopping endeavors." So I check the history of my computer. Whew! No visits to Etsy the day before. I write back to Lori:

Well that concerns me because I know for sure that I was not on Etsy yesterday, and I have never been to Indiana... I'm assuming this is the email address that was attached to the message you got, could you forward it to me or something? I'm a little worried that something fishy is going on.

And a little later she responds:

Here is the convo; as i can see, I left out the h in the gmail address. There must actually be someone else named Sadie with a gmail address so close to yours... That seems like such a coincidence! Also, for both Sadie's to be familiar with Etsy; so many people have yet to hear of it... Very strange! I apologize for pestering you; thank you for being so kind. I'll go send it to the right person now... Take care of those allergies! Take care!
My apologies,

Aha! So the email address she received from this other Sadie is identical to mine, except for an "h" in the middle, which clearly could easily be missed.

So I wrote:

Whoo! That is such a relief! I thought I was doing Etsy shopping in my sleep or something! And making up trips to Indiana. Anyway, I'm glad to get that worked out, and I hope Sadie buys some of your jewelry.

Case Closed.