Thursday, May 29, 2008


Okay. First time camping with a baby that walks. A baby who also runs, plays in dirt, schemes wild escape plots, makes friends with other babies and finds funny hats to wear:

Yeah. I'd say it was a successful Memorial Day weekend. Aside from my going way overboard Friday night, having way too much fun (read: bad tequilla) and then laying there in our tent insisting that it is my tent too and I would puke in it if I wanted to, (and gosh, am I so proud of winning that argument), it was a great time.

How could I not have a great time with all of this going on? There was rum-fueled Maypole spectating (complete with complicated cross-ribbon rum-passing moves), and ferrets ("mouse," according to Wendy), and time to hang with my favorite people, and Meetza (giant hamburger patty + pita+cheese+ketchup=Meetza) and steak-y breakfast burritos, and tampanade and strawberries and cuddling together wrapped in warm sleeping bags and breathing the cool night air, and laying around in the grass, just talking and being under some trees by a stream.

What else could one ever, ever ask for?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

May Flowers

Spring is great with a one-and-a-half year old. I am so lucky to live where I live and have the opportunity to show her such wonderful things.
There are flowers to be decimated, birdies to watch endlessly, rocks to turn over and bugs to poke at, grass to rip up by the handful and shove into the mouth of the waiting pony... every little thing is a great new discovery. (Or in the case of the pony, a great new manic obsession.)

Like, today, we all went out to the damp garden to plant some seeds. Wendy's version of this involves throwing handfuls of seeds onto the mud while desperately trying to climb out of my arms and into the puddle. We were out there for about ten minutes when the wind kicked up, the clouds began racing in our direction, and we could hear the rain spattering across the field and heading directly for us.
Drenched in seconds. Running for the house, baby clenched to hip, soaking wet. Wendy thought this was the greatest thing to happen to us, like, ever. I showed her our reflection in the foyer mirror as we darted inside. Delighted by the sight of her hair plastered to her face and the rainwater coursing down into her mouth, she looked up, eyes shining, and spluttered one of her favorite words,
Wendy Skye, Adventure Baby.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A New Career is Born

Texting out of the basement of High School drivers ed class on a rainy afternoon:

Me: My voice leaves my mouth and takes a left turn into the vacuum of space. Their flat eyes tell me that it's Friday; That I don't really exist.

Carl: I can hear you crying into the void.
Me: Thanks, babe.

Mike: You teachers are all the same.

Bethany: Obviously you are subbing at Orwell High today.
Me: It could be Soylent Green High and they would still show up religiously to do nothing but lodge their complaints about the service. I think I'm over this subbing thing.
Bethany: I always thought you'd be a good lion tamer.
Me: Or an alpaca stylist. Or maybe I could bead-dazzle things for a living.
Bethany: I think you could change the world by bringing the Flowbee into the world of alpaca styling. And I'm not just saying that.

I'll totally turn the whole farm show scene on it's ear. You'll see.

Monday, May 12, 2008

On Mother's Day, A Love Letter

Dear Wendy,

You are so brilliant. You know so many words. When you don't know them, you make good guesses, like calling aardvarks "elfants" and various bugs "bees and butt-flys." You can "opwen" water bottles and juice cups and your jewelry box by yourself. (You love putting bracelets and necklaces on and saying "pretty pretty!" with this little princess headshake/hair-flip)

You have a great sense of humor. You dive into the freshly turned garden dirt, sitting right down in it and tossing handfuls onto yourself, yelling "bath! Baaathhh!" You like to play "sleep." You gather "plows" and "bank/nite-nites" (pillows and blankies) and collapse into them, sighing dramatically with contentment and squeezing your eyes shut. You fake a throaty little snore, pull the blankies over your head, then peek out at me with one eye and a conspiratorial smile at the corners of your mouth to let me know that you are not really asleep, but man are you good at pretending. You came up with this Quidditch/Cowgirl thing all on your own:

You are so bad. Your favorite thing that you are not allowed to do is put your feet in the dog's water dish. Daddy and I are getting good at noticing the sly look that crosses your face when you get the idea to do this. You stop in your tracks, a mischievous dimple appearing in your cheek as your eyes slide in our direction. Your whole body goes still, limbs paralyzed by the sudden need to place yourself in the water. Your feet are your biggest tell. When you are just about to do something naughty, they break into this little shuffle that we have dubbed your "bad feet." You make these quick little short steps toward the object of your temptation- the TV buttons, the tissues, the tall glass of ice water-all the while looking toward us (but not at us) from beneath your coyly lowered lashes. If we do not reach you in time, your bad feet dance takes you directly into the dog water, both feet and your butt too, if you can manage it. I'm not sure if your favorite part is the way the water splooshes into your shoes, or the slapping of your socks when you jump out and go soggily smacking down the hall, whooping in obvious glee at what you have gotten away with. In either, case, you delight in being bad.

You are very independent. You want to feed yourself, hold your own cup, rock your own chair, and decide on your own when you need help, thank you very much. (You say "hands?" when you need a hand, reaching out your own with the full expectation that your personal valets will always be immediately available to assist. Which we are.)

You are also a good sharer. When you have noodles, you want Mommy and Duke to have noodles. You see puppies in your books, and point to their big woeful eyes, and say "Duke; eyes. Cookie! Mmmmmm!" You sympathize with these dogs. You know your dog, and how much he likes his cookies. You thing every dog should have cookies. You love them all that much.

You are concerned for the welfare of others. You exclaim "stuck! stuck!" when you see cartoon squirrels shoved in glass jars, or kitties sleeping half-covered by blankies, or Mommy's butt sticking out from behind the entertainment center.

You have such a big heart. You love your Aunt "Mimi" and Pop-pop and Gramma and Duke and kitties (Flip-up and Punking), whom you kiss and chase and squeeze every chance you get. You gaze adoringly at Erin when she comes home from school, reaching up with your little arms that she cannot resist no matter how stressed out or difficult her day has been. You talk about Daddy when he's at work, and melt his heart when you lay your head on his shoulder and pat his back with your tiny hands. You banish all of my worldly concerns when you wrap your arms around my neck, resting your cheek against mine while gathering my hair up in your gentle fingers.

You are happiest when all four of us are together, and so are we.

You are so many glorious things. Every day, every moment, I love you. I cannot fill my eyes enough with the sight of you. Even when you are whiney, cranky, stubborn and cantankerous (and you are), my whole being is filled with knowing every amazing piece of you. More amazing is how you sense this helpless welling emotion that leaks and overflows from my previously well-governed reservoirs. You see my adoration, and you give it back. You know that you are loved. You have incredible love to give. You are only seventeen months and eight days old and you are already a wonderful person.

We love you so much.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Thing 1 and Thing 2

No. This is not how I am now addressing Carl and Marc. Marc is visiting for a few days and camped out in my sewing room. This is cool both because Marc is cool and we loves him (Wendy says "hey, Mahk!" in this almost Bostonian accent every time she sees him) and because it's great for Carl to hang out with his guy friends. Normally it's just him in the house with all of his womens. The dog and our retarded cats don't exactly make up for the sea of estrogen he swims in daily.


Thing 1: GLORY GLORY HAL-LY-LU-YA!! Wendy is now sleeping in her own room. Carl and I are now sleeping in our own room. All of us are sleeping All. Night. Long! (allnight....allnight!) all night looong! Of course, this all night long thing is actually theoretical, as Mommy still wakes up at least twice as a matter of habit, but I'm sure she will stop doing that eventually. Just like she will stop referring to herself in the third.

I have not talked much about the sleeping arrangement drama that has been going on around here, so as to remove the temptation for everyone to have an opinion about it, just like everyone seems to have an opinion about breastfeeding and TV watching and partially hydrogenated corn syrup and everything else having to do with other people's kids. Not that I don't value all of your opinions. I like you guys. It's just all of them. You know who they are. Suffice it to say, Mommy is neurotic about leaving Baby alone to sleep and she knows it and now she is getting better and learning that Baby is perfectly capable of sleeping without her. Crap. There she goes again. I mean, there I go...never mind.

Thing 2: Steph and Ryan are leaving for their Appalachian Trail trip today. They are getting on a train to Georgia and then walking back to PA. Walking back. Crazies.

They have officially moved back from Seattle, and were only here for a few weeks before setting out again, so it's really like my best friend hasn't moved back at all. It's more like she came for a visit and is moving back in the Fall. Just in time to register to vote.

I admire the way they are just checking out of the everyday grind like this. Very freeing. Best of luck, guys. I hope your thighs don't chafe you too much and your packets of dried fruit and salmon taste like adventure.