Monday, December 28, 2009

30 Weeks

You may have noticed that I have been a bit sporadic in my blogging the last few months. Being pregnant with a toddler is tough work!

I find myself either totally dragging and fearing the addition of another little baby to our family or completely energized and eager to take on every task that comes with being a wife and mom.

Unfortunately blogging is neither a mom or a wife task so it has fallen by the wayside.

But there is good news for you... I am now 30 weeks pregnant!


That is 30 out of 40. Just a short 10 weeks to go!

Once the baby actually arrives I can go about the business of collecting myself and figuring out what to do with a house of three men. I am quite sure that I will find it nowhere near as daunting as I keep thinking it will be.

Anyway, 30 weeks.

Yesterday I looked at my calendar and realized how close I am to the end of being pregnant. Somehow, having that nice round number in my head made me feel so secure. Instead of feeling like a giant balloon, or like I had let my pregnancy weight gain spiral out of control, I felt totally reasonable and like I looked just right for being 30 weeks pregnant.

To celebrate a day of not feeling disgusted with my shape I dressed up cute for church. I recently acquired a pair of brown, suede, slouchy boots and a pair of maternity leggings (the best $20 I've spent this pregnancy... they are SO COMFORTABLE!). I donned them last night with a sweet little dress and looked every bit the part of a maternity magazine model.

At least I thought I did.

Andy hates the boots and legging look (which I knew when I purchased them and was not expecting fireworks from him when I put them on) and told me that I looked like Robin Hood.

I told him that he would have to deal with it and that I would probably wear them every day for the next two and a half months, so there.

He laughed at me and said that he was quite sure every woman I encountered would probably tell me how cute I looked in them and the he knew he was the minority opinion, but he still thought it looked like a Robin Hood costume.

Then to make up for the teasing he told me my hair looked really great.

Which it did.

Regardless of his opinion of the latest trend, I still felt awfully cute as we headed out the door and prepared to parade myself around all of our friends.

Which I did, with great gusto.


Until I was talking to a grandma and she was making friendly conversation which included the, "When are you due?" question. I felt so smug to be able to say, "Oh, I'm about 30 weeks." And I tossed my hair to imply, "And don't I look just stunning?!"

Except she didn't catch the hair toss and replied, "Hmm..."

I don't like where this is going...

"You're kind of big for 30 weeks aren't you?"

And the tumbleweeds roll.

And my balloon bursts.

And I plaster a smile on my face and brush it off.

And make a quick exit from the conversation to find someone who can appreciate that even if I am HUGE, at least I still have fashion sense.

I hope.

Can I please pass on a word of advice? If you are talking to a pregnant woman, don't make any comment about her size except that she looks great. That is it. We all know we are getting bigger by the minute, but we can't do much about it now can we?


No. Matter. What.

Don't tell a pregnant woman she is big.




Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stocking Lunch

Growing up, one of the most anticipated traditions of Christmas was the stocking. My parents made such an event of the little gift appetizer.

My dad would come up with elaborate ways to hide the stocking. Each Christmas we had a list of rules we had to follow and clues to lead us to the hidden treasure. The whole lead up was thrilling, but the stockings, oh the stockings! My mom was a master of cramming as much good stuff as she could into the foot-shaped sacks.

I think we did the treasure hunt until I was about 22 (my dad does it now for Ellery). When we gave up the hunt, neither Liz or I could quite bear the idea of giving up our mom's amazing stockings.
Side Note:
When Andy and I got married
I think he was REALLY intimidated
by my mom's stocking.
We've had to make new rules for
stockings in our house.
As adoring and clever as Andy is,
I just don't think a boy can
stuff a stocking the same way
a girl, especially a mom, can.

The solution we came to was what we call our Stocking Lunch. We put an afternoon date on the calendar and meet to exchange stockings. My mom makes one for Lizzie and one for me, and Liz and I work together to fill up a stocking for my mom.

To this day we have never achieved as awesome of a presentation as she gives us every year, but we keep trying!

Today was our Stocking Lunch. Oh how I love being with my mom and sister!

Lunch was yummy and our stockings were lavish and we laughed a lot. There is something wonderful about sitting in public, digging through one of the icons of Christmas that is usually reserved for children and surrounding yourself with heaps of festive wrapping paper (my mom wraps each individual item that goes into the stocking).

We all ordered the same thing for lunch so when the check came we asked the waitress to split it an even three ways. It was then that, gasp! I realized that my mom and sister had ordered sodas and I only had water.

Oh the injustice!

Not like it was a big deal at all, but we decided that they would put the tip on their cards and everything would even out. Which it did.

But after all of our stocking jollity I think we were a little rummy. I started babbling on about how I had to leave my tip line blank and I didn't want the waitress to think I was cheap or mean. Then I rambled about leaving a note to explain the arrangement we made at our table:

"Dear Waitress, your service was excellent. I'm sure you noticed I didn't leave a tip, but it is because I didn't order soda and my dining companions did, so my tip is included on their tab. Thanks for the great meal!"

We were all laughing at the ridiculousness of it and then my mom and Liz ganged up on me and kept saying, "Do it!"

And you know what...

I did.

I put an asterisk on the tip line that lead her to the back of the receipt and to my explanation. Regardless of the fact that I feel really silly and totally suckered by my mom and sister, I'm finding solace in the fact that the waitress probably had a really great story to tell when she went home.

That's what I'm about. Making other people's day.

Thanks for another amazing stocking mom!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jack Attack III

Jack has been especially charming as of late.

It is easy to adore him when his skin is so soft and his smile is so big and his dimples are so deep...

But it is even more fun to adore him when he says cute things, initiates wrestling matches and softly touches my face and says, "mama!"

It's been a while since I've updated you on this awesome little man, and I figured you were probably dying to know all about what he's doing now!

  • He sings along with his favorite show's theme song. His favorite line being "come in." That is how he tells me he wants to watch that show, he says, "me min?" And I melt and say okay.
  • When he sees something unfortunate happen he says, "Oh no!" I love that he is starting to notice what is happening to the people around him.
  • He hides things, or throws things and the energetically says, "Where'd it go?" with his hands up in the air with an attitude of surprise and eager anticipation at finding it again soon.
  • When he sees or eats something he likes and it is finished he says, "more?" But he says it over and over and over and ends up sounding like a really soft spoken and sweet version of the seagulls on Finding Nemo.
  • His attention span impresses me every day. This little boy loves stickers. I have two tablets of those little round "way to go" stickers, you know the ones that come in a package of 2000 in the Crayola aisle at Target? He will sit for half an hour and stick one after another on a piece of paper. When he does it he is very serious and intent. It is amazing to me!
  • He also loves songs with motions. "If You're Happy And You Know It" is my favorite one to sing because on cue he will clap his hands, stomp his feet, turn around AND shout amen.
  • Andy has been teaching Jack new boy tricks too. Jack now is practicing jumping off things with two feet leaving the ground at the same time as well as knowing how and when to "tap out." Yes, it is true. Andy will squeeze Jack really tight and say, "tap out!" and Jack waves his hand around and says, "tap, tap."
  • All of these sweet moments make it so fun to play with him. But I also appreciate that he now will find an activity that interests him and do it totally solo. It is such a delight to watch him hard at work at whatever he has decided to do.
Every day he does something that makes me smile and turn to Andy to say, "How did we end up with such an awesome kid?!" It is fun to see him grow and learn and to discover that he is a naturally soft and sweet and in my opinion incredibly talented!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

He Said, She Said: Today

I'm going to share with you a very true and a very unfortunate aspect of marriage.

It is the fact that sometimes you have to come to terms with the reality that you are just weird. And that you, as a person, even as a loved and adored spouse, can be irritating and irrational and, I hope not often, mean.

Luckily this story has nothing to do with mean, mostly weird.

I am weird.

I am irritating (on occasion).

And it is a darn good thing that I am well loved and have a husband with a good sense of humor because these aspects of my personality come out much more frequently than I would like.

I also happen to be pregnant,
which I like to imagine causes
the increase in these unattractive qualities,
but in reality probably is just a scapegoat for me.
Oh well,
if I've got to surrender my body for the next 9+ months
to an alien creature
then I feel completely entitled to use
all the excuses I can think of.

Today was one of those days that I was totally indecisive. Like one minute I was saying to Andy, "I guess I'll go to the store..." and then a few minutes or an hour later I would say, "I guess I won't go to the store today." Then a few minutes later I would start the same go-round, always about going to the grocery store.

Andy patiently and sweetly ignored my contradictory prater about the grocery store. Giving a simple but genuine "okay" each time I voiced a half-formed plan out loud.

Finally toward the end of the afternoon I had to pathetically confess that I was just in a weird mood and had no idea about what I wanted to do. I rambled on and on about what might be making me think and feel so spastic. Andy listened politely and offered little to say that "no, don't worry honey, you've been completely charming and sensical all day." What could he say? I've been totally retarded!

I concluded my lengthy monologue by saying, "And I feel like a giant pregnant woman."

At this point in our marriage
I am too smart to say anything like
"I feel like a cow."
That is much too dramatic to get a gentle response
and what man do you know that likes
to hear his beloved bride called a cow?
My husband sure doesn't.
When I say things like that he just gets mad,
like he would toward anyone else
who talked about me like that.
So I stuck with the safe description
that would communicate the same thing.

Andy's response came out immediately and forcefully, "Well that's good! Because you are!"

I know that might not come across in text with the same teasing but man-factual tone that he used, but it perfectly communicated to me that yes, I am indeed a pregnant woman and I am exactly how I should be... growing big with a baby, so get over it.

Leave it to Andy to snap me out of a funk!

And pregnancy update: I feel huge!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Each week I have the privilege of helping in my sister Ellery's kindergarten class.

It is a wonderful plan on several accounts. It gives Jack a chance to hang out with my mom and play with his sweet grandma and it gives me a chance to be a cool big sister to Ellery. It is also enormously entertaining to be in a room full of five and six year olds.

I usually arrive as the kids are finishing their morning recess. Now that I'm a familiar face the kids in Ellery's class will run up to me and show me their coats, give me a hug, or shyly wave at me as they dash by.

Ellery always comes and hugs me and gives me a recap of what she's been doing at recess and who her friends of the day are.

Last week a girl from her class was sobbing and huddling by the teacher. When I got there Ellery ran up to me as usual. In a very compassionate voice she asked what was wrong with the girl. Ellie (the girl who was crying), between sobs said that so-and-so said they didn't want to play with her that day. I was so proud of my little sis when she said, "I'll play with you!" Then she grabbed Ellie's hand and pulled her off to play.

Way to go Ellery!

Ellie is a funny character in her own right. There is a gaggle of girls in Ellery's class who always appraise my accessories. They take turns saying,

"I like your earrings."

"I like your hair."

"You're pretty."

Can you see why I keep going back?

These girls all sit at the same table. Ellie sits at their table too, but even in kindergarten you can tell the "in" girls and the "out" girls. Ellie is not one of the in.

On the way to lunch one day I was walking with the class and one of the in-girls said, "I like your shoes." Ellie looked back to join in the commentary about my appearance. She looked me up and down and then her face broke into a smile. "You got all clean! Good job!!" Then she gave me a double thumbs up.

Yesterday when I went to class it was raining so they were having recess inside. It was a little chaotic as the teacher waved to me and tried to get a movie going for the recess time.

I admire Ellery's teacher
but I have to say that I find it a bit
odd to substitute
a movie for recess.
Especially for kindergartners.
Isn't the point of recess to burn off
extra energy?
Isn't sitting in the dark the opposite of
expending energy?
But I'm not a teacher
and I have fallen pray to the ease of a
moving picture to entertain Jack
when I just don't have the energy to think
of anything else.
So who am I to judge?

When I walked in the kids were all coloring or wandering and when their teacher said hi to me they all turned and waved too. Ellery ran over to hug me and as she was walking back to her seat Ellie ran up to her and with great gusto said, "Your sister... is... SO... AWESOME!"

Thanks Ellie!

As I took my seat at Ellery's table to wait while the teacher got the video going a little boy turned to me and held up his well-chewed fingernails. Out of the blue he said, "Do you have any nails I can chew? Mine are all too short."

"Oh, I'm sorry, I don't!"

Oh kids, you are hilarious!

I'm so glad I get to see a small part of Ellery's school life each week! Lucky, lucky me!

But seriously, what do you say to a kid who asks to chew your fingernails?!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

He Said, She Said: Cute

The following takes place just a few months into our marriage when I was still getting used to having the bathroom door open while I prepared for the day, and having a BOY walking around my house.

Emily is curling her hair.
Enter Andy.

Andy: "Good morning cute wife!"

Emily, slightly premenstrual and prone to moodiness - also unaware that a woman should never dismiss a compliment from a man: "Thanks but I don't feel cute."

Andy, jaw dropped and truly confused: "What do you mean you don't FEEL cute? You either are or you aren't."

Emily: "No, in a girl-brain if you don't FEEL cute on a certain day then you AREN'T cute on that day."

Andy, looks like he doesn't understand the language his wife is speaking and may have just realized he married a crazy person: *fish mouth*

Andy: "No. CUTE isn't a feeling it is a fact. You are cute or you aren't cute. Look it up in the dictionary."

Emily: "If only it were that easy. But thanks anyway honey."

Andy, walks away totally baffled.

Emily, finishes getting ready and leaves the house feeling cute.

End scene!

Monday, November 23, 2009

He Said, She Said... Attempt One

Have I mentioned before that I adore my husband?

He is so good for me.

We just celebrated our third anniversary and in those three years I have learned how to talk about my feelings without sobbing. I have learned to care less about what people think of me. And I have learned how to sneak veggies into almost everything.

There are still a million things I can learn from him, but the beauty of marriage is that I have my entire life to glean from his wisdom. Additionally, the beautiful thing about Andy specifically is that he is so patient with me while I learn and he forgives so quickly when I haven't learned.

Yes, I truly love the man I married.

But marriage isn't all doe-eyed and rose-scented. Lots of you probably know how hard it is through experience. And lots of you have probably seen or heard how difficult it is through other married friends. True, it is hard.

It is difficult and it is sweet. And somewhere in the middle it is very, very entertaining.

The difference between me and Andy is huge. He is all man. I take that as permission to be all woman. We process information in different ways, we use the same words to mean something totally different. There are lots of differences.

I'm going off on a tangent. What I really wanted to share are two sound bytes of real life with my husband.

Last night we came home from church and it was later than usual. In general we go to a service at 6 PM and get home around 8ish. Jack usually goes right into his pajamas and then into bed, but he was being SO charming that we let him stay up for a while.

By the time he was tucked in though, it was already 9:00 and I got the cleaning bug. Our landlord is coming over tonight (long story I won't bore you with) and whenever she does I feel compelled to present myself as the pinnacle of housewifery (did you know this word is actually in the dictionary). So I started doing that frantic clean up that includes taking everything off the counters and using a q-tip in dirty corners. The problem with this kind of cleaning is that it never, ever ends. There is always something else that needs to be dusted or organized or washed.


So as I was swept away in the cleaning my dear husband said, "You know you can take a break."

I can?


So I would sit down on the couch for like two seconds and then pop up again to do something else.

I think he gave me a gentle reminder to rest about three times before I finally decided, "He's right. None of this will matter in a few weeks, or even tomorrow."

So I sat down on the couch and watched Amazing Race and let Andy scratch my back.

Yep, he's a good man.

But that STILL isn't what I was going to tell you about!

That wasn't even one of the 'bytes!


I should know better than to try and have a point when I'm talking about my hero, there are just too many things to say.

I should also know better than to try and have a point when I'm pregnant.

Bear with me please.

Oh never mind. I'll have to tell you tomorrow. I'll warn you now, I'm going to skip the preamble and just jump right to my two favorite things Andy every said.

Not favorite romantic things.
Just comments that he's made about
our life.

If I skip the lead in maybe I can get them out before you start to fall asleep and drool at your desk.

Yes, I know you are reading this when you should be working.

Shame on you.

But I'm glad you read it anyway.

So, until tomorrow...

Three Cheers for Andy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I found myself today shaking my head in disbelief. How can God love me so much? How can he provide so fully for every need? How do I manage to forget that he cares for me when I am so constantly reminded of his provision?

Two weeks ago Andy unexpectedly lost his job.

He called me and let me know he was coming home early and why. My first reaction, before he got home, was tears. Mostly because I'm pregnant and a lot of the parts of my body seem to function on their own accord.

Despite the initial flow of tears, my overriding thought was, "This is okay."

Andy got home and I heard what happened and we talked and we both felt the same way, like God had something amazing in store and that better things were ahead. What could have been a crisis, either to us as individuals or in our marriage, is instead an opportunity for a new adventure.

So much has happened in my spirit the last two weeks. I have grown in gratitude for my husband, who loves and trusts the Lord. I have seen scriptures that I skimmed over in their familiarity come to life in new ways. And I have experienced the grace of God - the kind of grace that makes me draw a breath and worship in amazement.

We don't know what the next step will be as far as employment, but we do know that our landlords have offered to let us live, RENT FREE, indefinitely. Our other expenses are covered for the time being through unemployment. Not only has God seen fit to provide for our practical needs, he also prompted an acquaintance of ours to gift Andy with four tickets (face valued at $300) to the Apple Cup (a dream for Andy!) next weekend and an additional gift from some dear friends that means we don't have to stress about buying Christmas presents. The same day another friend dropped by two nights worth of dinner complete with desert and sparkling juice.

Who am I to deserve such love?

Who is this God that I serve that provides so much more than I can ask or imagine?

What is ahead?

I don't know what is next for us, but it truly must be something wonderful. And even if it doesn't seem wonderful right away, I will celebrate that my God is good and loving and faithful and generous.

God is good.

Monday, November 16, 2009

On Guard!

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
Proverbs 4:23

The past few weeks I've spent a lot of time in my own head. Thinking, asking questions, reading, recognizing themes in my life.

I am always seeking to find balance in my life. On one hand it feels like a never-ending chase and on the other, it feels like a worthy goal and admirable lifetime pursuit.

All of this introspection and meditation has led me to the Proverbs and to other well-known scriptures. It has been a refreshing few weeks of re-learning to love God's word and ingest it, so that it slowly becomes part of my person.

Proverbs 4:23 is one that was really "popular" when I was in high school. In a lot of scenarios it felt like it could be interpreted as "Above all, guard your virginity..." But now I'm a married woman and sex is good and right and wonderful- and this verse is still in the bible! It didn't disappear, so it must still have value for those of us who aren't guarding our lady-gardens.

I've been pondering and praying and hoping that I could understand what it means. The wellspring of life sounds like a pretty crucial part of living, so I figure it would be worth some contemplation.

And here is what I've discovered in my life: I need to guard my heart.

Are you amazed?

Brilliant, I know.

Rather than guarding my heart from a premature relationship or romantic infatuation I need to guard my heart from:

Unrealistic Expectations

These things creep in so quietly, and are so culturally approved, that I don't even notice that they have taken up residence in my thoughts and emotions until I am in the midst of a melt-down or am thinking cruel thoughts toward someone I am supposed to love.

When I am obsessed with my own expectations of how an event should work, or how Jack should behave, the life drains out of me. When I focus on what I don't have rather than what I do, my days feel long, lifeless and always wanting.

So, if I want the wellspring of my life to be overflowing and fresh and sweet, I need to be actively guarding against those things that would strangle my heart. When I am disappointed because Andy didn't say just thing I wanted to hear, I need to guard my heart from bitterness. When I look at a friend who seems to have it all together, I need to guard my heart from self-criticizing. When I make my Christmas list, I need to guard my heart from greed and envy.

At each turn of the day I have to be on the lookout. It is so much easier to stop something from taking hold of me than to loosen a thing that already has a grip. But at whatever point, it needs to be done. I want to be a woman who overflows, whose spring produces clear, refreshing water. Water that revives, nourishes and heals the lives around me. And to be that, I need to guard my heart.

Lord, please teach us to be on guard. To be active in filtering out those things that want to gain access to our heart, but don't bring us life. Shine your light on the righteous and reveal the things that carry death. You are good.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Day in FB Updates

I try and make a point to not keep my Facebook status TOO up-to-date. It would never do for people to think that I have nothing better to do than let them know what I'm doing.

Additionally, I don't really think most of my virtual friends are that interested in what I am eating for lunch, what errand I am running or my current emotional state.

However, you, my faithful followers, I know are interested.

So, for you, here is what I considered posting during various points throughout the day:

Emily Aichele is leaving the house without a shower and in her husband's sweats. If you see me, please disregard my disheveled state. I promise I won't make a habit of it.*

Emily Aichele is about to undertake the absolute worst household chore... scrubbing the bathtub. Ugh. It needs to be said again, UGH.*

Emily Aichele wishes she had a cupcake to reward herself for finishing the most hateful job of tub scrubbing.

Emily Aichele doesn't keep cupcakes (or any other sweet baked good) in the house for the very reason that she would use them as incentive for finishing (or starting) unpleasant chores.

Emily Aichele confesses that she ate the pieces of cake she brought home last night from a party as a coping mechanism for a stressful morning.

Emily Aichele confesses that she medicated herself with cake while watching a show about obesity.

Emily Aichele thinks that no matter how sprinkled a grapefruit is with sugar, it really doesn't satisfy the craving for something sweet and buttery.

Emily Aichele is proud that she at least tried to soothe her sweet tooth with grapefruit. And is glad that there is no fallback baked good to eat following her healthy choice.

Emily Aichele finds herself balanced on the fence of shaking her head at her ridiculous ways and nodding in appreciation of her charming approach to life.

Emily Aichele wishes you a good evening. Sweet dreams.

*Actual update. I couldn't resist.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


So far, everything is as I expected for the dinner swap. Ooooohh I love it so!

The additional benefit is that my housework has been done a good two or three hours before it usually is because my kitchen stays clean all evening. I've discovered that I need some sort of evening hobby, or at least a trip to the library to keep myself occupied. I've forgotten what to do with free time!

In Jack news, the smart boy discovered a trick that will serve him well all his life. He learned how to cover his ears.

On Sunday we went out to dinner with a couple friends after church. While we were waiting for our food to come, Jack was getting wiggly. We were asking him to do all of his tricks to keep him occupied (which currently are adorable animal sounds. The rooster and turkey being my favorite).

I'm not sure how he first figured it out, but at some point he folded his bendy baby ears over and then looked at us with surprise. He kept doing it, and kept making silly faces. It took us all a while to figure out what was going on.

We finally got it when a song he liked came on and he started dancing in his seat. Then he would cover his ears and listen with his cute little head cocked to the side. Then he would dramatically uncover his ears and make a face of amazement.

I tell you what, I never knew how entertaining little people can be! And who would have thought that I would celebrate the day he learned how to cover his ears?!

Oh the wonders of motherhood.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Feel Free To Copy Me

Next week marks the beginning of what I hope will be a thriving and delicious tradition.

Starting Monday, three families (counting my own) are embarking on a dinner co-op experiment.

What I mean is, one night a week I will cook a big meal and deliver portions to two of my neighboring families. Then, they will do the same for me. So I will cook one big meal each week, and get two worry-free meals in exchange. That sounds lovely to me.

Especially since cooking six adult servings is really not that much more work than cooking two.

In my mind this plan is a terrific one. I only hope that it turns out as perfectly as I am imagining.

What should I make for my first meal delivery? Oh the choices!

Speaking of food choices, yesterday I made the most spectacular spinach salad for lunch. This felt like a major accomplishment since I have mostly eaten microwaved nachos for lunch the last few months. I think there is something about hot cheese and corn chips that sooth me when I'm tired and strained. Remember how I used cheesy dip to cope after Jack was born?

Anyhow, my salad had a lush base of spinach and was generously topped with pear cubes, avocado and cucumber (and maybe a little feta cheese). I am planning on having another today.

Okay, and speaking of food in general, have you ever wanted to be a food blogger?

My friend Rosemary is one and she is getting famous. It is pretty awesome to know someone who is in the process of becoming famous.

If I were to confess a whim of my heart, it would be to have a blog like this or this.

I love the look. I love the idea of having different components of self-promoted expertise. If I ever had a big blog, I would have a tab for food, a tab for marriage, one for weird kids and maybe one for "Dear Fancy." What I really love is bossing. And telling people what to do and how to do it, which is, basically, bossing, and I already said that...

Awkward pause...

Anyway, I'm too afraid and lazy to ever set out to host a big blog. So I'll just have to continue to secretly dream and enjoy what other people have accomplished.

But back to the original question, what to make on Thursday for six adults to impress them and make them look forward to every time it is my turn to bring dinner?

I addition to bossing I also like impressing.

I think that might be something I need to reign in... but until a major internal examination and attitude overhaul, I still need to plan dinner!

Your ideas are welcome!

Monday, October 12, 2009


My last week has consisted of diapers, diapers and more diapers.

My little baby Jack has been unwell.

I won't go into details, because they are gross, but I will tell you that I have not had an uninterrupted nights sleep for about 7 days, I've given an average of two baths a day, needed an average of three to wash off the vomit and poop that have covered me and done about 104 loads of laundry.

My creativity is sapped and my energy is all going into just keeping up with Jack and my house.


Luckily energy and creativity can be restored by sleep and good company. Now, I just have to figure out a way to fit those things in.


Oh yeah, and we're having a boy!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Plan

Have I ever told you that I have the most lovely parents a girl could ask for? When I was growing up I was never shy to announce who my mom and dad were. After saying their names I would usually add some sort of comment about how wonderful they were and whoever was listening to me would grin to hear a teenage girl talk about her mom and dad with such adoration.

My parents are still wonderful. They have done an incredible job growing with me and launching me into this world. They are still a resource for me when I'm melting down or have "how to" questions, but they have understood how to be that while letting me be my own adult and try things a different way then they have.


I love talking about my folks!

A lot of the things my parents had to say over and over again as I grew up still stick with me today. The one that leads me into my topic of discussion this morning is from my dad.

"Emily, you are fixating."

Simple as that. He would use it when I wanted something and I just HAD TO HAVE IT and would pester and cry until I got it (or got over it). Or sometimes, if I wanted him to do something for me at a very inconvenient time and was not willing to wait pleasantly he would pull it out and lay it on the table.

When Lizzie and I talk we still use it to describe ourselves sometimes. "I'm totally fixating on ... fill in the blank."

Well, I am currently fixating on redecorating my house. This is an obsession that waxes and wanes. Chalk it up to baby-nesting, or just plain need-a-change, but I can't stop thinking about projects right now.

The problem with this is that projects are expensive. Andy and I try our hardest to keep to a budget and be wise with our money. We don't always make awesome choices but we don't usually go overboard. We aren't perfect, but it is something we think about and talk about on a regular basis.

In the past few months I have been sending my dear husband very mixed messages. One day I will ask what he thinks about getting more aggressive with our savings plan and squirreling away all our extra pennies. The next day (literally) I will ask him if I can go spend $60 dollars on a house project.

That is not a clear signal I am sending.

But sweet Andy doesn't bat an eyelash (do boys bat eyelashes anyway?) and he just waits for me to settle down and figure out what I want.

And I have.

I've made a plan.

Twice a month we take cash out of the ATM for our groceries, eating out, baby needs, our personal allowance, etc. The idea is that we only spend that amount and once it is spent, we don't spend any more.

Where I get in trouble is when I want a new sweater and just use my debit card, or when I want to go out to dinner somewhere that we would blow our whole eating out budget in one go. I also get in trouble at Starbucks, but that is another matter. All those extra purchases on our debit card or those "I need a break" outings really add up and sabotage our efforts at living on a budget.

So my plan, and my commitment to Andy is this: I will not ask for anything above our allotted budget for SIX MONTHS. That means if we go through our eating out money in a week, I will not pout about having to cook all the following week. Or, if I anticipate wanting a new pair of boots, I will not think of it as an "extra" but will save up my personal allowance (instead of my frequent trips to Starbucks) to buy them.

The benefit of the plan is this: whatever money is left in each category at the time when we "refill" can be used for household projects. SO.... If I am diligent to do my grocery shopping frugally, I can use that cash for supplies to paint my furniture. Or if I make more of our meals at home, I can use the extra there to buy a new bedspread.

Make sense?

I am actually so excited about this plan. It gives me great incentive to pay more attention to how I am spending our money. Each little item (Starbucks anyone?) is now viewed in light of, "Would I rather have this cup of coffee, or put this money toward buying new curtains?" Not only does it make my dream projects a possibility, it also relieves Andy of my fickle and confusing ways.

Well, not all of them, but at least this one.

So friends, cheer me on in this endeavor. I know that old habits die hard and that my enthusiasm for watching my nickels and dimes is fresh now, but will soon be tested by a pumpkin spice latte or bright Target scarf.

I know that delayed gratification is a healthy thing. I also know six months is a long time to feel "restricted" in any area. So, this really will be a challenge, but I think I'm up for it. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Open Arms

Sweet autumn, welcome!

Today I woke up to a thin fog and air cool enough to make me slide my windows shut. Later, when I ran my errands the sun was out, warm enough to cause me to take off my scarf and drive with a breeze blowing through the driver side window.

As I ate my lunch, I watched as the sun became less bright and a delicious wind shook the trees outside.

And as if all those delightful meteorological conditions were not enough, I get to fall asleep to the comforting sound of rain. Big, fat, cold drops of rain falling outside while I am warm and dry in my bed.

Oh Washington, it is good to be home. Oh Fall, I am so glad you have come!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Tomorrow morning my sister is driving me to the airport.

I will be getting on a plane to Nashville, TN... without Andy and without Jack.

For six days.

I haven't cried yet.

It doesn't mean I won't.

That is a long time to not snuggle your baby... or your honey for that matter.

But at the moment, the most distressing thing about the trip is that I can't wear my contacts for the entire trip.

I just had to go and get a swollen eyeball the day before I leave.

I had to make an emergency stop by the optometrist today.

He gave me eye drops.

And said, "no contacts!"

I hate wearing my glasses.

They are not cute.

And now every swanky person I meet in Nashville is not going to know me as "that really cool girl from Seattle." Instead I will be "that girl who would be cute if she just didn't have those awful glasses."


Well Nashville, here I come. Please know that I wanted to wow you with my style, but have been advised to refrain by a healthcare professional. Perhaps we will meet again (well, we haven't officially met yet, but you know what I mean) and I will show you my true identity.

Nashville here I come.

And while I may make light of the concerns about leaving Andy and Jack, I'm really nervous.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Just so you know,

In case you have been wondering,

Pregnancy brain is a REAL thing.

Earlier this week I discovered that instead of throwing Jack's cloth diaper in the diaper bin, I had thrown it in the garbage. Only I didn't know I did it. It wasn't like one of those putting your keys in the fridge kind of things where as you close the door you are like, "What am I doing?"

No, I really had no idea I had done it until I went to throw away a paper towel and low and behold, there is one of Jack's cute bottom covers in the trash.


However, that is nothing compared to today.

Today I met a gorgeous and interesting woman.

She captured my attention immediately. She moved with grace and poise. I just HAD to talk to her! We were at church and so it was easy to sit next to her, hear bits of her story and enjoy her easy smile.

I hope that doesn't sound stalker-ish. It wasn't really. Some people just exude that "I'm interesting and your life would be better if you knew me" quality, and she did for sure!

This is an author edit.
Apparently I also have difficulty
telling stories when I am with child.
Because the previous paragraphs
sound really creepy.
Even with the "I'm not a stalker" disclaimer.
I didn't sit in her vicinity and listen to her talk to
other people. I sat next to her and
struck up a friendly conversation.
Please don't think I'm an eavesdropper.

Anyway, after the meeting she ended up staying until everyone had left except for me and the other leader (I may not have mentioned that I'm helping with a mom's group at my church, but I am... today was our first meeting). Anyhow, I asked this terribly fascinating woman if she was waiting for someone and discovered that her husband is away on business and she wasn't looking forward to going home.

So I did the only thing I could do. I invited her to my house for coffee.

And she accepted!

That meant that she walked into my house with the random garbage smell (not usual, and a surprise to me when we walked in, oh yay!), laundry all over the couch (usual), stains on my carpet(permanent) and all other manner of mess.

But hospitality doesn't wait for laundry!

We had a wonderful visit.

I was able to offer lemonade with fresh slivers of ginger, which I hope compensated for half the pile of laundry. And I was granted the distinct privilege of making the "best nachos" she had ever had. Yahoo!

I wonder why I put "best nachos" in quotes.

An hour and a half into our very pleasant and easy conversation my doorbell rang.


It was Lizzie, my sister. She had the phone to her ear and almost immediately I realized my mistake.

For those of you who don't know,
My sister Liz lives two floors below me
in our condo complex.

I had a dentist appointment scheduled at 2:00 and Liz was at my door at 1:50. OH MY GOSH! How did I totally and completely forget that?! How?

Here is how the whole thing went:
The previous day I had called my mom
and arranged to call her at 1:00ish to see if Jack
was asleep or awake.
If he was napping she was going to come to me
and if he was awake I was going to bring him to her.
When she didn't hear from me
she called Lizzie.
Lizzie in turn came up and knocked on my back door.
Which I also didn't hear.
So she came to my front door and rang the doorbell.
And that is when I realized that I hadn't called my mom.
Does it make more sense now?

So I called my mom, who was supposed to be watching Jack and she headed over. This wonderful woman who I just met today offered to stay with Jack until my mom arrived. And I accepted!

I dashed out the door without a proper goodbye just as my mom was walking in.

How embarrassing! What a confusing, sloppy first impression I must have made.

But the day is done. My teeth are clean and hopefully my potential new friend won't write me off as a nutcase after this encounter.

So seriously. Pregnancy brain. It is REAL.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Free Time

Abruptly, Jack has gone back to two naps a day.

I don't expect it will last much longer, but for now, it means that I have two separate chunks of about an hour and a half all to myself.

I could use this time to tidy up, or take a nap, or read a book. But I find myself totally restless and totally aimless.

What is that about?

What a waste of all of those hours of napping!

Shame on me!

But it is okay right? To waste time on occasion?

Please tell me it is okay.

And please tell me that you have been thinking all day about the premier of Biggest Loser.

And please tell me it is okay to enjoy BL so much.

Oh dear.

I'm a mess.

But a happy mess.

For all my aimless hours, lacking in productivity, I find myself enjoying lounging on the couch watching my newest obsession and dreaming of all the things I would some day do to make over my bedroom.

I am glad that I have space in my life to dream.

Well here I am, blathering on. Not making any sense. Please forgive me.

Pregnancy does something to my brain.

As excited as I am to meet our new miss or mister, I will be delighted to have my body and mind back to myself (as much as can be with a newborn and toddler).

Speaking of meeting our baby... we get to find out the gender in about three weeks!


Pleasepleasepleaseplease let it be a girl!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Captain Jack

What Jack wore to the pirate themed birthday party this weekend.

Arrrgggh! (hook finger)

The Way We Work

Lately I've been getting that rearranging bug. I don't think it is nesting... it is just watching a lot of HGTV and having the urge to make things beautiful.

I like making things beautiful.

So the other day I was scheming with a friend about building a cool headboard... yes building... and from there I started thinking about paint and furniture and pictures and all the trappings of a fun room.

Side note:
I have never had a room
that is all the way finished.
It is my dream.
But for now,
in this "starting out" phase of life,
I always run out of money
and energy
and time
before all my dreams are realized.
Mostly I run out of money.
But I still hold hope that
one day I will have a beautiful
HGTV worth
As my mother would say,
"Go on dreaming dear, it is good for the soul."

Anyhow, on Sunday (my brainstorming all happened on Saturday night) morning Andy and I were sitting on the bed talking while Jack roamed the house.

I started talking about all the projects I had been thinking about, "... and we could build a new headboard like they have on HGTV, it wouldn't be hard, and then we could paint the walls and hang up those pictures we have and we could get new bedding and ta da! we'll have a new room!!"


Andy says, "Do you have a mouse in your pocket or something?"


I don't get it.

I say, "I don't understand."

He smirks and says, "You keep saying 'we.'"

Ha ha. Clever honey.

I say, "Oh yeah. Excuse me. I will build a headboard, I will paint, I will shop for new bedding. You will hang pictures and you will pay for it all."

Now before you go all up in arms on my behalf, I knew Andy was teasing. Well, not teasing exactly because that really is how it will work out, but I am okay with that.

Especially the part where I don't have to make the money. Hooray for a honey who works hard and cheers me on for being an at-home mum!

And who indulges me decor dreams.

Even if they never get finished.

Someday the will.


And in the event that you
are wondering about the use of
some day
either is acceptable.
I looked it up.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Andy and I went to church tonight, as usual. Our post-church routine is to stop somewhere and pick up dinner. By the time we get home around 8:00/8:30 Jack is either asleep or pretty near, so we put him to bed and then eat dinner while we watch CSI or some other mindless entertainment.

Tonight, however, we deviated from the customary and went over for a co-op dinner at a friend's house. Four couples were there and we each brought something to contribute. It was a truly lovely time, but of course it meant that Jack stayed up WAY later than usual.

It is now just a few minutes before 11 and we are just settling into home. What is so very charming though is that Jack was out cold in the car. Andy got him out of his carseat and as I admired our baby's sleeping face and Andy enjoyed the rare moment of snuggling I off-handedly said, "Doesn't it just make you want to go in and sit on the couch and let him sleep on you?!"

To which Andy replied, "Maybe I will!"

And he did.

So my sweet husband and my adorable son are laying on the couch enjoying each other. A flashback to when Jack was an itty bitty new baby. And a flashforward to our new addition.

Sweet Life.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Up and Down

I just had one of my monthly pre-natal appointments. Though I'm not given to fear or worry (that might be a lie, I think I worry just as much as the next gal) I found myself anxious to hear the heart beat of the baby and know that he or she is still growing strong and healthy.

The doctor gave me his usual delivery about "if we don't hear the heartbeat right away, it doesn't mean something is wrong..." and as he was reminding me that sometimes the sweet spot takes a while to find he was setting the doppler on my belly.

Wouldn't you know! With no searching, with no preamble, there was the sound of the baby. Loud and clear.

And I remembered that God loves me. And he loves this little baby.

I'm trying to remind myself of all the sweet things that come with growing a baby. This time around I find I'm much more prone to complaining or pouting. Granted, I think that number two for me is legitimately more difficult, but there are still sweet things to be dwelt on.

When I sat down to write, I glanced over at the couch and noticed my pair of size-up jeans that I bought a few weeks ago when everything was feeling tight. The first thing I thought was NOT sweet. I thought, "Oh my gosh! The butt of those pants is huge! Is that how big I am in back?!"

That is where I started.

But now that I remembered that there is a wee little babe growing inside of me and that my other big baby is taking a sound nap, my large tush doesn't seem quite so important.

It is unfortunate.

But not important.

I won't let it spoil my day.

Today anyway.

Ah the fickleness of emotions. Isn't it grand to be a girl?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Making Plans

Tonight we are taking Jack to the fair. I have very minimal expectations (all the better to exceed them) for how the evening will go, but there are three things that I really have my heart set on:

1. Taking Jack through all the animal barns.
2. Watch the Lumberjack Show. Especially the log rolling.
3. Eat cotton candy.

I have been thinking about cotton candy all day.

My mouth started craving sugary goodness around noon and I have tried to satisfy my taste buds with other sweet things (nectarine, cantaloupe, pistachio ice cream) but nothing was exactly right.

I can just imagine that moment when the first frothy pink bite touches my tongue... oh heaven!

I can also imagine the mess that Jack is going to make because one of us is going to give into him and let him try it.

Don't worry. I've packed my camera to capture it all. I shall regal you with tales from our adventure soon. Very soon.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Between Me and God

"He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those who have young."

Isaiah 40:11

That is what I need at this moment.

Gentle leading.

I have been trying to push myself. To lead myself. But not gently. With guilt or with pride, or even with anger some days.

But my leading is erratic. I take long detours. I am not well planned. I try to show myself the way and I get lost.

And tired.
And sad.
And confused.

But here is the light. I KNOW that shepherd. I am part of his flock.

And I have young!

So I get to be led gently. I get to follow someone who knows what the heck is going on!

And someone who has compassion on me in this season of my life.

I don't have to do the packing. I don't have to make the plans. I don't have to schedule a babysitter.

This trip is one that is all taken care of.

I get to follow the gracious leader.

Do you hear that?

It is a sigh of relief.

It is me setting down everything that I packed "just in case" and realizing that all the things that I need have already been taken care of.

The other great thing about gentle leading is that it implies that I am still going somewhere.

Mothering a toddler sometimes feels quite restrictive. Choices seem limited and most days I spend more time doing things that "empty my tank" than things that fill it. Sometimes I just feel stuck, like I've ground to a halt as a woman, as a wife, as a person in general.

But not so!

If I am being led (or more correctly, if I am following) that means that I am on the move. Somewhere. Anywhere. I don't know where. But I know that I'm not stuck. I'm not frozen. I'm not paralyzed.

Oh Lord! Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for taking a life that has begun to feel lifeless and breathing your strength into it. You truly are a glorious God.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

And LAME-O Was Her Name-O

Earlier today a sweet church woman, whom I really respect, stopped by to drop something off for me. I invited her up, even though my house was trashed. My house is always trashed. No matter how many times I feel like I've tidied the same thing, it still looks trashed. Just part of the mommy life I guess.

I've mostly come to terms with it.

But after this sweet, together, proper lady left I realized that right there, in the middle of my living room floor, just feet from where we were sitting and talking, was my zebra print bra. It must have been pulled from the pile of laundry by little hands attracted to the bright pink lining and bold pattern.

Can you see my shame.

Honestly, I only have that bra, in that print, because it fit so beautifully and the only other color option in my size was nude, and I already have flesh colored undergarments.

Well, and who doesn't want a little fun in the top drawer of their dresser? But I promise I don't make a habit of animal prints or trashy bloomers.

So now that lovely church lady has seen my wild underwear. There is no erasing that sight from here eyes.

There is no longer anything secret about my life.


Side Note:
Have I told you my most
embarrassing moment?
Probably not since this blog was born
after the awful incident.
Some day I'm sure I will share,
but tonight I am already living in too
much self-pity and shame
to bear another
mortifying revelation.


Today is Andy's birthday.

Happy Birthday you wonderful man!

The highlight of every birthday for Andy is Dairy Queen ice cream cake. I have to special order it because he likes each slice of the cake to have a different candy topping.

It really is a pretty sight and DQ cakes are far superior to Baskin Robins. And it makes him so happy, so I play along and order one every year.

We just came home from having dinner (I tried my hand at homemade french onion soup and it turned out pretty fabulous... I've been having kitchen success lately and am eager to tell you about them soon!) and cake at his parent's house.

Our downstairs neighbor often has had his door open on these hot days and because Jack is so interested in him we have struck up a casual relationship.

I know I haven't told you about this neighbor yet,
but what you need to know for now is that
he is quite (as in very) large,
always half naked,
smells very strongly of cigarette smoke,
and on two occasions has asked
to borrow money from us.
Despite all these strikes against him,
Jack greets him with a smile every day.
Andy and I have learned his name
and are slowing gathering pieces of his story.
This is a good thing.

As we were walking in I was carrying the remainder of the ice cream cake (five pieces). I whispered to Andy, asking if I should offer them some cake. I thought he said, "Sure, there isn't much left."

So as we walked in I offered it, thinking I would put three pieces (for him and his two roommates) on a plate and put the other two pieces in the freezer for Andy to enjoy later.

What actually happened was that they said SURE! and took the whole cake box. There was no graceful way to stop them and take the two pieces we wanted. Oh dear. So I just smiled and wished them a good night and proceeded up our stairs to put Jack to bed.

As we walked up the stairs I saw smoke coming from Andy's ears.

Oh no! What have I done?

"You gave them all of it?!"

I tried to explain that I didn't have time to figure out how to keep the two for us. What I discovered a few minutes later was that when I asked Andy if I should share, he had said, "No, there isn't much left."

Oh no. Ohno ohno ohno.

In a mumbly voice I heard him lament, "I only got one piece!"

There is absolutely NO way to redeem this birthday fiasco. I can say sorry. I can explain the misunderstanding. I can promise more cake another day. But nothing, nothing will bring back that cake, of which Andy only got one piece. On his own birthday.

That is a sad, sad story.

And Honey, I really am so sorry. Don't worry, I'll get your more cake soon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

That's My Cue

I've never been strict about nap and bed times with Jack.

It might be because I'm not super regimented anyway, but it might also be that his cues for needing sleep are so obvious that I've never had to question when he needs rest and when he doesn't.

I thought you might like a virtual glimpse of some of my favorite cues that Jack needs a nap.

THE CLASSIC: eye rubbing, yawning, head shaking... other cutesy baby-like signals that mean, "Oh! I'm getting sleepy."

THE MANIC: This one involves wildly running from every corner of the house, usually laughing in a shrill, slightly crazy, fashion. His movements get really fast and he doesn't stay in one place very long.

THE CLUMSY: This one often works in conjunction with The Manic. Jack starts to trip over things or run into walls and then get up and laugh it off, only to stumble just a few steps later.

THE CRANKY: Usually involves wanting to be picked up but not wanting to stay picked up, some sort of physical outburst and general unpleasantness.

THE NAUGHTY: My least favorite (but it makes it the easiest to put him in his crib). Not to be confused with Cranky. Sometimes when Jack needs a nap he lets me know by going around the house and touching every single thing (over and over and over again) that he knows is off limits. If I find myself saying, "No! Don't touch that!" forty-five times in a row, I usually move the little fingers into their little bed.

THE SILLY: This one is the newest and, in my opinion, the cutest. This is when anything I do is just hysterical. We can be sitting on the couch and I just open my mouth and all of a sudden Jack is in a fit of giggles. Oh, you can't even believe the sweet sound of real, true, delighted laughter coming from that little boy. I usually drag this one out as long as I can. When he stops laughing and starts staring into space, I know we're done.

THE OBVIOUS: This one is pretty cute too. And it makes it an easy decision to switch into sleeping mode. Jack will be playing and having a grand ol' time, when all of a sudden I look over and he is laying motionless on the floor. Eyes open, toy in hand, but totally still. Yep. When a 16 month old boy chooses to lay still, you know he needs a nap.

I feel pretty lucky that Jack is such a good communicator about when he needs rest. It sure makes it easy to have people babysit or to tell when it will be a two nap day instead of one. Just one of Jack's many fine qualities - of which I am trying to remind myself of as he proceeds to drive me crazy this week.

Any advice on making it through the food throwing/hair pulling/hitting/saying "no" a million times/climbing on the table/trowing the phone in the toilet/running out the back door and down a flight of stairs while my back was turned for half a second phase?


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Things I Am Thankful For

  • A gracious, patient, faithful God.
  • A husband who listens to me when I am processing life and still loves me even when I sound nuts.
  • Friends who check in on me after several pathetic blog posts and ask, "Are you doing okay?"
To all of you who have wondered,
the answer is yes
I really am okay.
The prospect of two babies
of my own
is a little scary.
I think I forgot for a few weeks
how much God loves me
and how in control he is.
Forgive my blog meltdowns.
And know that you will probably see more.
But I'm hormonal and gaining weight
like crazy.
That warrants a meltdown
once in a while.

  • A pastor who is a gifted speaker and a man who listens to God.
  • Meeting new people who are willing to share their story.
  • Drive thru food.
  • A baby who goes to bed easily.
  • A zoo membership.
  • Family nearby.
  • C.S. Lewis
  • My sister who is just as excited for fall as I am.
  • My other sister who says thing like this.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Real Life

Do you ever wonder about the real lives of your blogger friends?

Not the charming stories they tell you or the quippy remarks they make about small incidents in their lives.

No, I mean their REAL lives.

Well, if you have ever wondered, let me give you a glimpse at the less than glimmering moments of my last two real days.

Wake up and prepare to host a second toddler all day. 8-5.

Don't bother with a shower or even real clothes. Andy's sweats and the t-shirt I wore to bed are good enough.

Welcome baby #2 and reassure mom that I adore her child and am delighted to have him again.

Hear Andy open the door. Also hear rustling of plastic bag... did he bring me something? Yes he did! An iced chai and a cinnamon roll! Yay! I love this man!

Uneventful day. Well, in terms of grown up events. Baby #2 has the runs, there is the usual hitting, crying, saying "NO!" a million times. The major accomplishment of the day was Jack eating a real lunch (not just graham crackers or fishy crackers and a banana) including ALL of his vegetables. I was thrilled about that (there is no sarcasm in that statement, it I really was so excited that I squealed).

Both babies take a mid-afternoon nap and I decide to join them.

Wake up at 4:50, ten minutes before mum is supposed to arrive. Check my phone. Three new texts!

Mum says traffic is horrible and she missed the first bus. She will be at least 45 minutes late.

Bummer. That means I won't be able to go cheer Andy on at softball tonight.

Andy is home and both babes wake. Andy rummages around the fridge and asks if the steak in there is for dinner tonight.

I answer in the affirmative. A few moments later I realize that he is asking me if I will make dinner NOW instead of after his games. Ug. I hate telling him no and if he is hungry I feel like I'm not doing my job well, but I have two babies who just woke up and need attention and only 30 minutes before he has to leave.

I hand Andy a baby and scurry into the kitchen to see what I can make happen in 28 minutes and counting.

Hair flying everywhere. Getting sweaty. How does Rachel Ray do it?

Both babies in the kitchen and unhappy. What is Andy doing? He was supposed to entertain the kids while I cook.

Andy emerges from the bedroom in his softball uniform. I ask him to change baby #2's diaper. Don't hear a response and prepare to do it myself. I won't send my charge home with soiled pants!

Andy intercepts the diaper and sets to work. I hear him open it up and groan. Expecting a full one I peek around the corner. I see nothing. Andy calls me closer... "Honey! Look at this! It is gross!" I've seen a million gross diapers. I'm sure it is nothing. I walk over. And laugh. It is one little dot... really no bigger than my pinky nail... and he asks me to wipe it! Seriously?


I rush back into the kitchen and try and pull the meal together. I know Andy won't have time to eat it, but I offer to send it in a tupperware so he can eat it on the road (his friend was driving). As I'm pulling things off burners and mashing the potatoes and bouncing Jack on one hip Andy comes in to say he has to go. He's going to leave without his food?!


Andy leaves four minutes later with food in hand. Most of it. He refused the potatoes saying he didn't want to eat them in the car. I wish I had known that before I started making them. Both of us are still steaming.

Baby #2 gets picked up.

Send Andy text apology and explain why I got so worked up. Receive apology back. All is right with the world.

Put Jack to bed.

Tidy up.

Collapse on the couch.

Andy comes home.

More apologies.

Take a shower.

Go to bed.


Usual wake up routine.

Highlight of the morning is story time with Jack. We curl up on the couch. He brings me a book, I read it, and when we finish he crawls off my lap, finds the next book of interest, brings it to me and crawls back in my lap. Ah!

Receive text message from Andy asking if it is okay if he watches the fights at a friends house.

Start to cry.

I hate telling Andy no! He works so hard, I want him to have a chance to play. But I work so hard too. When do I get to play?

Consider sending back a text message that explains that I don't feel like I can handle another (three for the week) night of putting Jack to bed by myself and spending the evening in isolation. Instead stick with the simplest answer, "I would rather you didn't"

Text tumbleweeds roll.

Know that I have not sent the answer he was hoping for. The night is going to be lame at home anyway if he wishes he were at the fights. Try to come up with a plan that will give me some relief and still let him go.

Send a second text message offering to send him off the the fights with well wishes in exchange for and extra $X0 (dollar amounts have asked to remain unidentified) and a few hours of solo shopping time BEFORE the fights.

Andy replies: "DEAL!"

Shoot! I should have asked for more money!

Exchange several phone calls with Lizzie, trying to coordinate an outing for the morning.

Hurriedly throw on some make up and tame my hair, not with a shower, but with bobby pins. Dress Jack and set off with Lizzie and Jack for a few late-summer yard sales.

Acquire four brightly colored and uniquely shaped vases for a quarter each.

Return home from sales and hang out with Lizzie while Dane and Jack play and Jason grocery shops.

Take Jack upstairs and put him down for a nap.

Crawl into bed and pick up the Chronicles of Narnia. I wonder how many times I have read these stories.

Hear Andy come home. Pop out of bed, brush my teeth, grab my cash and all but run out the door.

Grocery shopping is last on my list before going back home, so I choose two stores that always have something and are near my desired grocery location.

Find a pair of earrings I love... but nothing else. Not even anything worth trying on. The line is ridiculous and not worth standing in for a pair of earrings.

Try second store. Nothing. How disappointing.

Consider crying but don't. Not worth it.

Less than an hour and I've exhausted my options for shopping (in this location). But I'm right next door to the grocery store so I give up my dream of a carefree afternoon and get back to mommy work.

Wander the aisles. Forget things. Wander back down the aisles.

Grab the juice we like and watch helplessly as two extra jugs come with the one I grabbed. One is safe and the other is spilling all over the floor and is splashed all over my leg.

Look around for an employee to notify, but don't see anyone. So I walk away. Well, it probably looked like I walked away, but I was really going to look for someone to alert at the end of this aisle.

Is everyone staring at me?

Am I leaving sticky, dirty footprints that will lead them straight to me, the juice spilling culprit?

I turn around and look back at the scene. An employee has arrived. I imagine him coming up to the mess and accosting the nearest shopper, "Did you see what happened?!" All the fingers point to me as I try to inconspicuously move on. But I feel his eyes staring. He knows it was me.

Continue shopping.

Also knock a box of pancake mix off the shelf and have a discussion about nectarines with a stranger.

Spot the juice-incident employee at the end of this aisle and try to avoid eye contact.

Pause at the magazine rack. Thumb through the hair cut magazines and see the next perfect style. But refuse to pay $10 for a magazine.

Pay for groceries and load them in the car.

Drive home.

Discover an empty house. Andy and Jack must be down with Dane and Jason.

Lug groceries up stairs.

Put away refrigerated items and leave the rest until tomorrow.

Go down to visit everyone.

Send Andy out for dinner.

Come back upstairs when dinner arrives.

Realize I didn't find ALL of the refrigerated items when I first brought the groceries in. Stick them in the fridge and hope they don't go bad or make us sick.

Eat dinner.


Bid farewell to Andy with an unintentionally snappy remark and apologize again. I've been having to do that a lot lately.

Jack helps me unload the dishwasher. Which is mommy speak for making the job take twice as long and creating a second mess that is twice as big.

Text a few friends in hopes that they randomly have a free evening. Receive all "no" answers, but well wishes. Feel very lame.

Play with Jack.

Bath time for baby.

Stories, brush teeth, sing, pray. Put him in his crib.


Survey all the chores that need to be done and decide they can all wait. Possibly forever.

The two pieces of chocolate in the freezer and HGTV are calling my name.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Moving On

It happened today.

My brain and my heart have bid farewell to Summer and have switched to fall.

Yes, yes. I realized that we have just started August and that there is still a month left of heat and shorts and corn on the cob all those summery things... but in just a few short weeks, we will reach September.

Ahhh. Can we all let out a sigh of relief together?

Many of you know my affinity (obsession?) with the autumn season. Something about it just brings me alive. The smells, the sounds, the food, the temperature, the pumpkins....

Just thinking of those things sends thrills through me.

You may be wondering though, how did I make such a dramatic shift?

Well it happens around this time, most every year, so it was only a matter of days. But this year what moved me from summer to fall was Horton.

As in Horton Hears a Who.

Either last year or the year before the Broadway cast of the Dr. Suess story danced in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This morning Jack and I were playing with the stuffed Horton that he received last Christmas ... and it just hit me. I am ready for fall.

I am ready for scarves.
And trips to the pumpkin patch.
Oh the trips to the pumpkin patch.
I am ready for spiced cider.
For full length pants.
For soup.
Glorious soup.
I'm ready for cinnamon.
And nutmeg.
And cloves.
I'm ready for candles.
For cool evenings that invite cuddling.
And Back to School sales.
And sending Ellery off to Kindergarten.
And for a growing baby bump.

Oh, friends. I am ready!

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Dream Come True

This morning as I was waking up I dreamt that I had a big paper bag full of specialty pastries waiting for me on the counter. As I moved from dream state to awake I thought, "Oh yeah! I have those delicious goodies to start my day!" I was thrilled and motivation for getting out of bed was building, until I realized that there were no pastries. Not even any good cereal or bread for toast.

Our cupboards are bare.

But I did get to sleep in, which is almost as good as pastries so my day still was looking bright.

Then Andy stopped by for a few minutes as he often does before his first job starts. Jack was still asleep so I parked myself on the couch and chatted with Andy while he was working on his online class. I mentioned my dream about the sweet treats and he said, "Should I go get you some pastries?"


Of course!

And he did! He went to my favorite bakery and brought back two delicious choices. He had to call me to see what I preferred of what they had out for the day and he said that when he went back in to order the woman behind the counter said, "I wish my husband would do that for me!"

Is it wrong to feel good when someone else is jealous of how great your husband is?

It probably is a little wrong.

But I still kind of like it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Heat Wave

Guys! Last night temperatures reached the highest... ever!... in Everett history.


I was NOT created for this kind of weather. Jack has a heat rash and I just discovered one under my bra strap this evening. I feel like I do nothing but sweat.

I don't feel like cooking, or even eating, but when I don't eat, I get queasy, so I have to eat. Everything is making me grumpy because I can't cool down and it is too hot to sleep. Tired, sweaty, queasy... can you just imagine?

Why in the world is Western Washington so HOT?! Please fall, come soon.

In other news, Jack threw my phone in the toilet today.

OOOooooHHhhh! I was SOOOO mad!

The phone was totally wrecked. I had to make an emergency trip to Verizon, which turned into a big ordeal. First, I got there at 9:20, started to unload and then heard someone call out, "Miss?"
"Are you coming in here?"
"We don't open until 10:00."

Under my breath, "grumble, grumble. Fine!"

We loaded back up, went to a random store to buy random things and stay in the air conditioning.

Just after 10:00 we were back in Verizon. I hate shopping for electronics in the first place. I also dislike having to adjust to a new phone. I also don't like going to all-grown-up places with Jack because, well, he's not a grown up. We made it through though and I got a phone, only to find, after I loaded up the babe and stroller, that they had set up the new phone with Andy's number, not mine.


Unload again, back to the store.

"Please fix this."

Finally we left and Jack snoozed on the way home. He slept for a little while, while I played with my new phone.

The most awful thing was, my previous phone was so destroyed that none of the contacts were salvageable. And thanks to the wonderful cell technology the only two numbers I've bothered to memorize are Andy's and my parents home number.

So, if you want me to have your number, you'll need to send it to me, because otherwise your info is lost.


Can you tell I'm hot and whiny?