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Showing posts from June, 2008

Parental Failure #732

My parents are coming to visit, so we spent the weekend cleaning the house. This morning I am sore all over, which is pathetic on so many levels. I know my mom would say not to worry about it, that they're coming to see us, not our house, but she's never seen my house at its messiest, and I'd like to keep it that way. I aspire to be the kind of person whose house can be ready for visitors with, say, an hour's notice. Right now, I need at least three days.

Anyway, as I was cleaning our bedroom, I realized I have gone wrong in a very significant way. Here is a sampling of the objects I was pulling out from the dust underneath our bed: A plastic tea cup. An Ariel bracelet. A baby doll bottle. A My Little Pony brush. A fairy puppet. A Little People car. I realized that not only an I a slob, married to a slob, raising two slobs, but that I have, in my slobbiness, failed to preserve the sanctity of the master bedroom.

I never would have dreamed of taking, much less leaving, t…


Today is our tenth wedding anniversary, and I was going to spin some kind of elaborate metaphorical post comparing our marriage to the traditional ten-year anniversary gift, but then I found out that the traditional ten-year anniversary gift is…tin. Or, alternately, aluminum. All I can think of to say about tin (or aluminum) is that it conducts heat well, and it’s recyclable. Oh, and it’s apparently not a good idea to chew on foil if you have fillings in your teeth. Or even if you don’t, one would think.

Ten years ago I was walking down the aisle of my little hometown church. It was hot. It was really, really hot. The organist was, it was discovered a few years later, a pedophile. One of Chris’s groomsmen, and the guy who read the Bible verse (“I am a noisy gong!”), were both at the time our brothers-in-law; now they are just jerks who did our sisters wrong. (It’s fun looking through our wedding album – hey! There’s the molester! Hey! There’s Jerk #1! Luckily, or really not, many of ou…


Back to real life.

My time away was fabulous. Charlotte is one of my favorite cities. I napped, I read books interruptedly, I watched movies in bed, I shopped, I got stuck in an hour-long traffic jam IN A PARKING GARAGE (but that was the only bad part). We returned, hugged the kids, unpacked, did laundry, repacked, and then were off to Atlantic Beach with twelve high school girls (who fascinated Mallory, of course). We swam, we splashed in the ocean, we ate lots of Cheetos, we played in the sand, we rode up and down the "galigator," we ate fried shrimp, we soaked in the hot tub. But I could just shut up and show you pictures.

This was the first afternoon, when we went for a walk on the beach and the girls swore they would just get their feet wet. Naturally they ended up getting soaked, then I got soaked when I had to fish Phoebe out of the drink when a big wave got her. I like the way Mallory is channeling Marilyn Monroe in one of these shots.

I was surprised at how brave bo…

Out of pocket

I've always liked that expression and never had the opportunity to use it, so there it is. I will be away, gone, no access to internet (unless I take advantage of the hotel wi-fi) for about a week. Tomorrow through Sunday, Chris and I will be in Charlotte (comic convention for him, reading/shopping/napping for me); Monday through Wednesday all of us are going to Atlantic Beach, NC (yearbook workshop with high school kids for Chris, lots of swimming and sand castle building for me and the kids and I do hope Chris can join us for a bunch of that). So, although I am quite sure that checking my blog is the highlight of everyone's day -- there won't be anything new here for a while. See you on the flip side (something else I've always wanted to say).

I wish . . .

I was there to give you a real hug.

I wish I could make it all right for you.

I wish I didn't live 1200 miles away.

I wish I had a magic wand, or magic words, to make you feel better.

I wish this hadn't happened.

I hope you know I love you, and that I am holding you in my thoughts and my heart, and that I will honor that little soul in my memory.

Thumbs Up for Phoebe!

In the hopes that announcing this news to the internet will not jinx it entirely, I report to you that our brilliant child stayed dry all weekend, even during naps and overnight. Way to go Phoebe! We went out for ice cream to celebrate.

She's very proud of herself:

And a bit shocked that I was taking pictures on her in the bathroom:

Naturally, this happened the day after I bought the the jumbo box of diapers. Here's hoping they go completely to waste. Well, I guess all diapers go to waste anyway, don't they? Ha! Ha! Uh, yeah. You know what I mean.

Excuse our dust

I made this whole layout my very own self! Well, to be precise, I purchased the background elements and then built the layout. It was easy. I'm not quite done; I don't know if it's quite right yet. I do like the owl.

The header definitely isn't done. I may have to borrow my husband's skillz. This is why I am careful to call myself a web editor, not a web designer.

Stay tuned!

Not so magic

Mallory’s class read most of the Magic Tree House series this year, so when I found out that the series author, Mary Pope Osborne, was coming to the UNC Planetarium for a special event and book signing, I asked Mallory if she’d like to go. “Mary Pope Osborne! Yay!” Mallory said, and, so impressed was I that my 6-year-old recognized and responded to the name of an author, I said I’d take her. (Then I found out that tickets were $20 a piece. Ouch. I went ahead and bought the tickets, and informed Chris that he and Phoebe couldn’t come.)

The big day was Saturday. Mallory woke up in a foul mood. She asked for doughnuts for breakfast. I said no. She threw a big fit. I said that, apart from the fact that you just can’t have doughnuts every single time you want a doughnut, which for Mallory would be every seven seconds, we didn’t have time to go get doughnuts before we had to leave for the Magic Tree House show anyway. She said I was mean and that she wouldn’t go to the show unless I bought h…


I was walking around the office, showing off some new pictures of my girls to a group of select co-workers. A woman I'll call Kay called me over so she could take a look. I don't know Kay very well, but I do know that her 18-year-old son, her only child, was killed in a car accident a few years ago. I showed her the pictures and thanked her for her compliments, which were effusive. And I walked back to my desk wondering how it was possible to show joy over other people's children when you have lost your own. I know that people do it, I know they have to move on, but I just can't imagine how.

And as I write this, I have the feeling that I'm being insensitive, that I'm suggesting that a good mother wouldn't be able to move on from grief. I don't mean that at all. I know that if I were ever tested in this way -- which, needless to say, god forbid -- I, too, would come to a day that I would be able to be happy again, to enjoy life again. But the process of g…

It's Over!

No, I’m not talking about the democratic primary season, although allow me to say briefly – Go Obama! And also, although I am deeply sympathetic to the other candidate and how very crushingly disappointing this defeat must be for her, and although I have my own share of disappointment over how things have turned out because I would dearly love for my daughters to not even have to ask the question, “Can a woman ever be president of the United States?”, I am also deeply annoyed that she hasn’t conceded yet. You’re done! Now go away, we have more important work to do than to figure out what happens next to you.

But! I’m not here to talk about that. What I mean by my title is that Kindergarten is over for Mallory. It seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, well, except that I still remember the tedium of each and every handwriting worksheet, and still feel the pain of every morning wake-up (not a morning person, my oldest daughter) – but it’s done, and with this I feel she’s left the very l…

Stealing a page

Last week, Aimee posted some of my nephew's journal entries from his 1st-grade year. Mallory brought home her journals on Thursday; I hadn't even known that they kept journals, so this was a nice surprise. She handed me the one from September and said, "Look at how sloppy my handwriting was! What was I thinking when I was five?" Her class only did journal entries on Mondays, so generally Mallory just recounted her weekend adventures. Here are some of my favorites:

January 22: I wet to pla en the snow. I mad a sno ajul and I at sum snow and I cam inssid to haf sum hit jiclit. (I went to play in the snow. I made a snow angel and I ate some snow and I came inside to have some hot chocolate.)

February 25: I'm haveg a dol prdy. Im geteg a pupy. (I'm having a doll party. I'm getting a puppy. We did not get a puppy in February, by the way.)

March 31: I wint to the hotel to swem. I went to the bech to find seshels. I went to the acwreeim. (aquarium)

April 7: I wete t…