Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2009

My Unfavorite Things

Because it's that kind of day.

The stickers on apples.
How very cold it is in my bathroom. We're keeping our thermostat down low to save energy/money, and mostly the house is tolerable if you wear a big sweatshirt, but my bathroom is just frigid. Especially the porcelain toilet seat. Brrr.
People who don't understand four-way stops.
When your child wakes up whining that she's so siiick and she can't possibly go to schooool today, and then fake-cries pitifully when you tell her to get dressed anyway.
When your child then proceeds to throw up everywhere, and then cries that you're so meeean because you didn't belieeeve her that she was sick.
Stomach viruses.
Mouth noises of any kind. Smacking, slurping, crunching, munching, snoring, gargling, whatever it is, don't do it around me. Often I have to leave my desk for a moment while my cubicle-mates eat their lunches. Gah.
Grocery shopping.
When a book I really want to read is not available in Kindle format.
The Suite …

My Favorite Things: My Kindle

I got a Kindle for Christmas. You're jealous, aren't you? If you're not, you should be.

I've read six books on my Kindle in the past month and not once have I missed holding a physical book in my hand. The screen is great -- no glare, no fuzziness, it's just like reading ink on paper. It's easy to learn to use, it's easy to navigate. It's actually easier to read than a book in some situations -- for example, while lying in bed, because you can prop it up with one hand and not worry about the pages flopping over. You can read it while complete covered up with a blanket, hands and all, because all you have to do is nudge a button to get to the next page. I'm sure that ease of reading while lazing in bed under the covers was not high on the list of design features that were considered in the device's manufacture, but there you go.

The most wonderful thing about the Kindle is that, with it in my hand, I will never be without something to read. Even if…

My Favorite Things: Sandra Boynton

It's really cold, and I'm grumpy. So this week we're going to talk about my favorite things.

My mom gave each of us a calendar every Christmas. When I was eight or nine, mine was a Sandra Boynton cartoon calendar. The January picture was of a bunch of cats in a hot air balloon, and the caption said: "Oh no! It's only January, and this calendar already has catsup on it!" Get it? Catsup? Cats, up in the air? You can bet that my eight-year-old self found that very funny.

But it wasn't until I had my first child that I became a true Boynton afficionado. Mallory had almost every Boynton board book, and we loved them all. The ABC book, with the Penguins Painting and the Kangaroos Kissing. Blue Hat, Green Hat (oops!). Hey, Wake Up! with its broccoli stew (for the rabbit, not for you!) and The Bedtime Book with its perfect last line (The moon is high, the sea is deep, they rock and rock and rock to sleep). But her very favorite book, the one we read for bedtime for…

Birthday Notes

Mallory made me two cards for my birthday. One said: "You are the Queen of Mommies!" The second one said: "Happy Birthday! You get to be mine and Phoebe's survint!" I'm not exactly sure what she had in mind with that last bit, and the exclamation point made me particularly nervous, but I have to admit that she nailed it. Being a mother is a strange mix of being both a queen and a slave.

Both girls went to the Dollar Store to buy me something special. When I came home from work, Phoebe was in such a hurry for me to see what she got me -- a porcelain trinket box in the shape of heart -- that she tried to unwrap it herself, and it fell to the floor and shattered. Her heart was similarly broken; she cried and cried. Poor girl. (Chris and Amy made an emergency trip back to the Dollar Store to get another one. It's a good thing it was, in fact, only a dollar.)

Mallory later commented that adults don't have very fun birthdays. I agreed. Later I thought -- …



A new president.

The freedom to watch his speech on my couch, snuggled up in a blanket, with my three-year-old beside me (eating goldfish) and my seven-year-old playing outside with her neighborhood friends.

A perfect day.

fourth file, third picture

Aimee phototagged me -- the rules were to open your fourth file and post the fourth picture. All I have to say is that whoever invented this game must be way more organized than me about files and such. Also, I'm on my work computer and so my actual fourth file is not something I'd want to post. So, to make a long story short, I'm just going to post this:

We spent the (bitterly cold) weekend watching home movies. Mallory in particular is fascinated by looking at herself and Phoebe as babies, and although I could do without her incessant questions (Why was I crying? Was that my favorite shirt? Who bought me that rattle? What was I eating? Did I like to eat that? What was that noise, on the video? Was it me crying or Phoebe? How old was I right then? So how old was Phoebe? Where were the dogs? Why were they barking? And so on.) -- well, I think I'm past the point where I can coherently finish the sentence I originally started here. The point -- it's fun to watch. So m…


Thank you for your kind comments yesterday. Especially you, Michelle, because I didn't even know you read my blog, much less liked reading my blog, so, um, I'm just over here blushing now.

And I also have no time to write anything else. Stupid job. More tomorrow.


My dissatisfaction with 2009 is not just due to stomach bugs. It's more deep-seated than that; I'm not satisfied with myself. The year turned, and I realized that I am just exactly where I was at the beginning of 2008. I didn't make any positive changes during the previous year; I didn't improve myself in any way; things that bothered me about my life last January still bother me today. All I did last year was make it through; in fact, that's all I've done for the past several years, and I'm officially tired of it.

There's a line from a Liz Phair song that sums it up for me:

Half the time you didn't know any better
But half the time you did,
Hanging around like tomorrow doesn't apply to you.

I feel like that's how I've been living -- as though tomorrow doesn't apply to me. I make bad choices, or lazy choices, because it's the easiest way, or because I don't have the energy to make better ones. But this just creates a cycle of bad …

So far, I'd give it a C-

We're only 12 days in, but so far, 2009 has been the Worst Year Ever. The death of Chris's grandmother, of course, made us all feel a bit sad. The girls and I had a great time at my parent's house, but our time there was bracketed by two awful plane trips, complete with vomit, and it makes me sad to realize that every trip to see my parents seems destined to be expensive and stressful and fraught with problems. Mallory and I were both felled by a stomach virus which lasted most of last week; I thought we were over it and we had a nice weekend, but Mallory woke up sick again last night. She's thrown up more in 2009 than she has in her entire life up to 2009. (And last night made me really, really, really, regret our decision to get bunk beds.) 2009 needs to back off and give us a break, already.


Chris's grandmother, who died on New Year's Day, came to live with his parents when Mallory was about nine months old -- just a few months after Mallory herself started spending all day at his parent's house when I went back to work. I'd known Gigi (my girls' name for her) for years, of course, but I didn't really get to know her until she moved here, just at the point where she started declining. I never got to see the woman Chris described in his beautiful eulogy for her, or the woman Amy writes about here -- independent, sophisticated, spiritual, meticulously neat. But what I did get to see was enough for anyone. I saw a rather frail old woman who adored the baby in the house. Gigi held Mallory, and rocked her, and told her nursery rhymes in Polish. She scolded us if Mallory didn't have socks on, or a hat, or was in any other way not adequately protected against the cold (and Gigi was always cold). When Mallory got older, they read magazines together, an…