Monday, May 18, 2009

Moving on up

I'm now blogging at See you there! (Please?) And update your links and readers (please?) -- I would really appreciate it.

As my son said to his friend's mother at a birthday party yesterday, "Thank you, EYEBALL!!"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

When I am a mom I will never ... Oops.

I thought I was almost done crossing things off the list of "things I will never allow/resort to/say when I am a parent."

Apparently not, because my car now has stickers on the insides of four (four!) windows. Better yet, two are Sponge Bob, one is Sesame Street, and one is Transformers. They all came from the doctor's office. (I know they didn't come from the haircut place because you should see my shaggy-headed children. It's a little hippie up in here right now.)

Yes, I drive a station wagon. One that's eight years old and has a big dent on one side because I practically rammed it myself with a shopping cart. One that's carpeted with crumbs and critically important crayon drawings and reusable shopping bags and gum wrappers.

But really, the stickers have driven away any last shred of decency and coolness I had left.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Worse than getting your teeth cleaned

Recently I had a Bad Day, of the grieving subset of Bad Days. I had to go to the dentist and I just knew there would be an awkward moment when the hygienist asked me if I'd had my baby or why I wasn't pregnant. I was dreading it utterly and it happened almost exactly the way I had feared, except I hadn't predicted the part where I spent the entire appointment willing myself not to cry, then lost it in the car afterward.

As I told Maggie after her post IVF Shoes, I only want to talk about our loss with people I really care about and trust. Everyone else, it's a need-to-know basis only. I know they don't know what to say. I don't either and I don't feel like comforting them because I suffered a loss.

Like Maggie did, I bought a necklace as a tribute to my son. And what I like best about it is that it's meaningful to me--the two taller flowers sheltering the little one, each representing one of my three children--but I only need share that meaning if I want to.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Merci beaucoup, Mom

For this weekend's Mother's Day blog blast, Parent Bloggers Network asked for posts about what our moms have handed down to us. I have an old post that sums that up perfectly, from back when my blog was very new. Here it is, if you're so inclined.

(Photo from my mother's retirement party in 2006 ... two years before she unretired and went back to work.)

Actually, yes, I would like the chest to wear it on too.

Alternate title: Mother's Day--The Low Road

I know it is petty, but sometimes I would like a teensy bit of credit for the things I do. I bet you do them too. You know, the things that are essential to the running of the household; or maybe just considerate--but that go entirely unnoticed by everyone else. Things like:

  • Being able to pinpoint exactly where every item of clothing is at any moment: "your middle drawer"/"the hamper"/"in your cubby at school"/"in the too-small box because you outgrew it two years ago"

  • The biweekly declutter (along with the weekly, semiweekly, daily, and hourly declutters)

  • Dressing and undressing in the dark if others are sleeping

  • Unloading the dishwasher 98.7% of the time
  • Wiping the bathroom sink clean every single night (can't anyone get their toothpaste down the drain? How does it end up on the shelf under the medicine cabinet?)
So for Mother's Day, I am giving myself a giant pat on the back. And here's one for you too; what do you do that no one ever appreciates?

*My husband is very good at holidays so I am sure I will be suitably thanked and celebrated today. It's just the other 364 days a year that sometimes need work.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Food in the round; and what the Internet is for

I loved this week's creative challenges at Hot by BlogHer. I chose to do the diet challenge:

For this challenge, choose one day this week and photograph every bite you eat, then blog those photos. (Before you eat it, of course.) You'll not only be hyperaware of food choices due to the accountability of blogging it, but you may be surprised when you see your entire day of food in front of you.

1 Nonfat chai latte; 2 apple slices left from kid's breakfast; 3 oatmeal with blueberries, almonds, and a splash of chai concentrate; 4 stir fry with brown rice, tofu, broccoli, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and bok choy, plus tea; 5 Annie's peace pasta with parmesan, again with the kid leftovers; 6 sugar snap peas; 7 "club sandwich" wrap with steamed vegetables; 8 roasted cashews with cinnamon and sugar; 9 seltzer

I am amused by the roundness of all my containers. And surprised by the small amount of food (I only ate half of that ridiculously oversized wrap). This is a pretty normal day of eating for me, except we went out to dinner. But not at a decent restaurant, so that wrap was the best thing I could find on the menu. We saw a show and were unable to resist the intoxicating scent of the ($7!) cone of roasted crack cashews.

And as your reward for being interested enough in my daily food intake to read this whole post, here is a clip from the show we saw. Still just as funny as when we first saw it 6(?) years ago.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Who's the mouthiest of them all?

The Mouthy HousewivesI've been awake since before 7 a.m. It is now past 11 a.m. and I have yet to sit down to actually do any work. I've been ferrying children to school and also ferrying misplaced stuff all over my house--today was biweekly Declutter Day. Yes, it took almost two hours to move all the upstairs stuff back upstairs and the downstairs stuff back downstairs and the basement stuff back to the basement.

I wonder what the mystery ladies behind The Mouthy Housewives would have to say about that? I may have to click over there and ask for their advice. If I can handle the mouthy truth.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Kids in a crate

After I saw this caged kids picture at Kimberly's, I had to see her two kids and raise her two with this:

It's an outtake from our recycled fitness toys photo shoot.

Mostly unrelated funny story: Once Jeff was flipping channels and "Snakes on a Plane" came on. I immediately yelled "M-f-ing snakes on a m-f-ing plane!" And he looked at me like I was completely insane, because somehow he had entirely missed the SoaP pop-culture moment.

But within about 30 seconds (no kidding), Samuel L. Jackson delivered the all-important line, and my credibility was rightfully restored.

Monday, May 04, 2009

There's convenience, and then there's ... dumb.

I have frequently noted here that I am no gourmet cook. I mean, the first time I roasted a chicken all by myself I bragged about it here like I had just earned three Michelin stars. But I have to feed myself and my children every day (my husband, the chef, is never home early enough to make dinner), and I try to make sure that what we eat is reasonably healthy and tasty.

So I am all about convenience foods. I buy bagged salads, Thai Kitchen stir-fry kits, jarred pasta sauce (these are good--no sugar or other junk), premade pizza crusts, and so on. Scrambled eggs, plain cheese quesadillas, and frozen ravioli are in regular rotation at our dinner table.

But there are some things I just don't get. Break-and-bake cookies, for one. I can't believe we need another level of simple below slice-and-bake. And also, Pizza Hut pasta delivery. Seriously? All you have to do to make pasta is boil water. If you have time to wait for the delivery, you have time to boil water and dump some cheese and sauce on top.

Of course, that is how my husband feels about bagged salads. He will pry the Fresh Express packages from my cold, scurvious hands because I'm not giving them up.


Also: Foods That Taste Nothing Like What They Are Supposed to Be, But Are Still Delicious*
  • Pringles
  • Chips Ahoy
  • McDonald's Hamburgers
*Although I can't remember the last time I ate any of these.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Behind the scenes

Over at my other place today I am sharing pictures from a photo shoot I hosted in my very own basement. Check out homemade fitness equipment (plus four cute kids. and a glimpse of me. and also a glimpse of my messy basement).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rear view

Suebob asked the other day whether we "bathe in past glory, or nakedly march into the future."

I responded that most of the time, I am too busy with the present to spend much time on either the past or the future. I realized that as a parent, I have become both more and less nostalgic than I once was. If I grew too attached to all the kid stuff in my life, I would DIE in an avalanche of clutter. So I purge, often. But there's really no way I can bring myself to throw away an old envelope on which Opie wrote (really wrote!) "JO JO."

Thank goodness for my blog and my mother. The latter has organized, edited, and printed all of my digital photos from the past 7 years and put them in albums for me. And the former helps me remember that time we went to the "requarium" at SeaWorld and saw the Shampoo show.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The eyes have it

The other night while we were watching TV, a mascara commercial came on and my husband said, with equal parts incredulity and disgust, "Who wears that stuff?"

"I do," I answered. "Pretty much every day."

He really couldn't believe it. I didn't know whether to be flattered, or bemused at his lack of awareness.

Mostly I just thought it was funny, because after all I don't wear mascara for him. It's for me. A little makeup (whatever can be applied in less than four minutes) helps me feel like the face in the mirror matches the one in my mind's eye.

Call me shallow, but I don't see anything wrong with that.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Shredded cheese

Time for a shredhead update!

Time for me to hang my head in shame and report that although I have been working out, I swear, and watching my food intake, I swear, it's, uh, not working. I've lost just a couple of pounds in almost two months of near-daily workouts. For all of March I did the 30-Day Shred, and this month I am doing a combination of Bob Harper Biggest Loser workouts--Cardio Max, Body Sculpt, and Weight Loss Yoga. Plus I take a power vinyasa yoga class at the Y twice a week, and according to my activity computer I accumulate at least 60 minutes of activity (walking, stair-climbing, pushing kids on the swings, etc.) several days a week.

So it's discouraging, to say the least. I'm still committed to continuing to work out (I'm supposed to be an expert, after all). At this point, I am in the habit of waking up early and putting in 20-30 minutes of exercise; and Jo is also in the habit of waking up and observing. I have extra motivation to get up because I don't want her to be up for no reason other than to watch some extra TV. Of course, knowing that we are both up means that Opie needs to get up too. He also needs to crawl under me every time I'm in downward-facing dog and to stand close enough to me to get hit in the head with hand weights on a regular basis.

Hmm. Maybe that would explain the lack of progress. The good news is that I do feel more fit, my muscles always have that slight bit of soreness that tells me I worked them, and I can now do headstand and crow pose. These are probably more important victories than the stubborn numbers on the scale but I'd like both kthx?

I just read a post about research showing that consuming blueberries can help reduce belly fat. Dude, I eat blueberries almost every single day for breakfast and still have a totally flabby gut. Don't you hate reading advice and tips and realizing you're already doing everything there is to do, and why on earth isn't it working?!

Julie pointed out that the blueberries probably need to be baked into muffins to have the most effect. I'm trying that next.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Clearly the child should have her own blog

When I went on a trip to Urbana illanou. My uncal said my hol famliy cood see a huge mashing called Shop Bot work.
In orter to make it work my ant Amy, hoo is an artist, and I had to cerate a dasine. We drew a bunny for a dasine on her conprter. My ant Amy sent the dasine on her conprter to my uncal. My uncal uploaded the bunny dasine into the Shop Bot. The Shop Bot cut the bunny shap out of a picee of wood.

Then we took it back to my ant and uncal's house. To pant it with my ant. We panted it wite and this weekend we will pant it with pingk spots.

I named it Stefeany.
The end.

By Jo and My Dad

(Editor's note: Opie got a plane, natch.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Enough to send the very best

Scene: The locker room at the Y, one of my very favorite places evar.

OPIE: Do Crocs care?

ME: Do they care? About what?

OPIE: No! Do they care!

ME: Um. About what? Do Crocs care ... about what?

OPIE: NO! Do. Crocs. care. You know! Do they care about this foot or that foot?

ME: Ohhh. Yes, they need to go on the right feet. This one goes on this foot and this one goes on that foot.

OPIE: Why do shoes care and socks don't care?


Back from a weekend away. The score: 12+ hours of driving, 1 unnecessary detour, 0 (!!) potty accidents, and 1 hour of kid car napping. That last was due to the portable DVD player, which I alternately want to marry and throw out the window of the moving vehicle, preferably when driving over a large body of water.


Five Star Friday

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Minor league Mayberry

We observed the first Monday of "spring" break with a minor league baseball game. If you've never done this with your kids, it's totally worth it even if you have less than zero interest in baseball (as I do). It's way easier than a major league game, in terms of parking, stadium size, and cost (and in our case it's at least 90 miles closer to home than the nearest major league park). The ballpark closest to us is clean and very kid-friendly; it even has a playground.

Plus, the goofy activities and cheesy (more on that later) promos are nonstop. Kids can't get bored by the slow pace of baseball when pretty much every inning includes a giveaway, race, or contest.

And when you are freezing your butts off in the bottom of the 5th you can just pack it in and go home, no harm done.


Free baseballs! (Note empty seats. A staffer we talked with was so pleased we were there he handed each child a real! baseball!)

We win a cheesy giveaway (afraid to actually eat them, so far).

I'm telling you, the excitement NEVER STOPS: a cannon that looks like a bratwurst on a bun and shoots packages of brats out into the crowd.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Packed up and ready to go

We won't be leaving for my brother's place for a few days, but yesterday Opie packed a bag. Stuffed it, actually: "So I'll have choices, Mommy." Here is what he wants to bring:

  • 2 pairs shorts (how optimistic)
  • 1 pair pants (also optimistic, given the limited success of potty training thus far)
  • 3 short-sleeved shirts
  • 2 long-sleeved shirt (it goes without saying that none of the above articles of clothing actually match each other)
  • 1 pair football pants (from Halloween costume)
  • 1 football jersey (from thrift shop)
  • 1 Superfriends coloring book
  • 1 rubber dog-nose mask
  • 2 pairs faux pilot goggles (a spare is important)
  • 1 string Mardi Gras beads (turquoise)
  • 1 6-inch-long piece of grosgrain ribbon (striped)

I guess I'll be packing the socks and underwear in my luggage.


Like Mrs. Chicken, I feel strange posting something frivolous today. I've been unable to write about Maddie (and now Thalon) in part because a silly, petty feeling weighs on me--that every mention of them is a tacit, although certainly unintended, exclusion of so many others: other babies who have been lost (yes, including my own), other families suffering other tragedies, too numerous or too unknown to mention. None of it is fair, none of it. But all I can do is enjoy the children I have.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter morning bedhead

If you're looking for charming Easter pictures of my shiny-haired children (and why would you be unless you are my mother), move along. They both had the rattiest, sticky-uppiest, messiest cases of bedhead this morning. Jo's was reasonably decent by the time we went to church, but Opie's ... forget it.

It actually reminded me of the day of my grandmother's funeral. My brother was in the middle of one of his months-long bike trips and for whatever reason had decided not to cut his hair or shave his beard until he completed the trip. Just try to picture the result of the combination of bike helmet, sweat, and longer and longer hair, day in and day out. Trying to whip him into shape for the funeral, my sister and I each took a huge handful of hair gel and attacked the wiry mop on top of his head. It worked about as well as my attempt to flatten Opie's locks this morning.

And it's still cold here. Which inspired a haiku.

Breath visible on
sunny Easter morn -- want a
nice cool Eggsicle?

"Spring" break ahoy this week (finally). In a few days we're off to visit my brother, who these days has hair so short that hair product is entirely unnecessary.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Roll with it, baby

The only decent picture from the roller rink party, and it's not even of the birthday child.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Gossip girl's birthday party roundup

If you don't like gossip, you can skip this one (I'll probably delete it in a few days). If you're in more of a Dorothy Parker mood and would like to sit by someone who doesn't have anything nice to say, stick around.

We had both kids' birthday parties this weekend, one Saturday at home and one Sunday at a roller rink. Saturday I had to clean up vomit (canine) before the party. Sunday I had to clean up crap (human) before the party. I'm glad we didn't have a party on Monday because I wasn't interested in mopping up any blood.

Since Opie wanted to have his party at home, we kept the guest list small--a bunch of his friends from child care plus a few neighbors. The response was abysmal. Out of nine kids, only one showed, and only three others actually sent regrets. At the last minute I invited some other neighbors, a family of four kids--thank God, because they made up pretty much the entire party.

Luckily, Opie didn't seem to care. His best buddy from school was there (and his parents did some heroic schedule-shifting to make that possible). He had a Superman cake and a Superman pinata and everyone got to wear a cape.

Jo's party was the opposite. Her guest list kept growing as she begged to invite "just one more" kid from her class. And all except one replied in the affirmative. Which, fine. The roller rink was a dirt-cheap venue: $5/kid. (The place clearly has changed neither its decor, or its music selections, or its prices since 1985.)

(Here's where the gossip comes in.) A few days before the party one of her friend's moms, who I know, called because she was having transportation issues. We eventually worked out that the child's cousin would bring her to our house, then we'd take her to the party; another friend would take her home. Easy.

Then another mom calls--someone I don't know at all. And she gives me chapter and verse on her recent hysterectomy/gallbladder surgery/"total abdominal reconstruction" and how she can't drive and is there any way I could ... ? So I say yes, of course, we can pick up your daughter and take her to the party and bring her home.

I'm glad she asked for help and I was glad we could offer it. I really didn't need so many details. But it got better. An hour before the party--when I was cleaning up the aforementioned crap, which happened to land on the one small patch of white carpeting we have in our house--Hysterectomy Mom calls back. This time she wants to know if her son can tag along. She'll pay for him, he can just skate, etc. Once again I get a whole saga of a bad night's sleep, Xanax didn't help, yadda yadda. I quickly calculate whether we can fit all of these kids in our station wagon and determine that we can. So I promise to pick up the birthday guest and the brother in half an hour.

We pile into the car and I am wedged into the front passenger seat with a huge box filled with goody bags and party favors. I can't move at all. We get to the kids' house and I make Jeff get out to say hello to the kids and the mom. She comes out in her pajamas and proceeds to pull from her pants pockets:

two drainage pouches filled with pus.

Like we needed proof that she had had this surgery. Good gravy. Really, how do you respond to such a thing? We backed out of the driveway as quickly as we possibly could. I think she was still talking about how many cc's of fluid she needed to allow to drain before she could have the tubes removed.

At the end of the party, some other mom volunteered to take those two kids home.

We said yes.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Golden boy

I never heard of the "golden birthday" tradition until mine (my ninth) had long since passed, and always felt just the littlest bit cheated.

So: Happy GOLDEN birthday, Opie. Can it be that he is four? On 4/04? As my younger child, it's much harder for me to let him grow up. He is still my littlest boy. I still carry him on my hip and sway him to sleep. He burrows into my bed nearly every night and I secretly love it.

Yet every week after his music class, his teacher notes that he "was a big helper with the smaller kids." Smaller kids? He IS a small kid! But this year, he gave up his Nuk. He dresses himself (capably, if not fashionably). He rides a bike. He recites whole pages of his favorite books. He makes up stories and songs and games. He sometimes--God help us--wears big-boy underpants. He can write his name!

Happy fourth, my beautiful boy. Your future is bright, and you make me smile like no one else can.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Seven years of good luck

I took these pictures on the morning of Jo's first birthday. I wanted to remember exactly what she looked like at that moment: Simultaneously eager to explore the world, and pensive too.

Six years later, her personality is much the same--95% go-getter, 5% ponderer. She doesn't tumble head-over-heels into things without thinking, but she does have confidence and self-possession in spades. (And yes, this is borderline obnoxious, so we work on knowing when to speak up and when to let others have a turn.) Despite her small size, she holds her own in a classroom full of children as much as three years older. She is fearless when it comes to swimming, climbing, public speaking--all those things that so many adults have trouble confronting.

Since turning 6, she's lost many of her front teeth and, famously, her appendix. She's become a strong reader and continued her interest in math and science. She has discovered a love of the stage (big surprise; see #4 below). She likes to get up early in the morning so she can spend a little extra time with me (and of couse, provide helpful comments) while I am working out. One of the best treats we can give her is to let her sneak downstairs after Opie is in bed and snuggle up on the couch to watch "a decorating show."(The other best treat we can give her is to let her watch any show, 24/7, but that doesn't happen except under extreme duress--e.g., hospitalization.)

She just brought home a huge stack of papers from school. These four cracked me up and deserve to be recorded here for posterity.

1. Name badge from field trip to hospital--the picture is of her in the CT scanner, or as she called it during her hospital stay, "the doughnut machine." She was in there 5 times last summer. I think she drew a pretty good likeness.

2. Recently adopted signature. I thought this didn't happen until about age 10.

3. "Writer's Workshop: Tru Storry," meditation on the theme of "making a mess."

4. "My Dream"

Happy birthday, Jo. May all your dreams come true, even the ones about getting your "her" done and wearing "macop."

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Shreddy Eddie

I did it!

OK, I mostly did it. I missed 3 days out of 30 on the 30-Day Shred. But I also did 75 minutes of vinyasa yoga twice a week for all four weeks. And I've been testing out a watch/monitor that tracks active time; I reach 60 minutes most days (that includes marching in place in my bathroom at 11 p.m. when I realize I am up to 57 minutes).

I didn't take before/after pictures, but I doubt they'd match the amazing results shown by Kristen, Christina, and Nancy (among many others I'm sure). I still have the flab spilling over the waistband of all my pants, although I do notice that I am not quite as desperate to switch to PJs in the evening as I was before. (Small victories, people. Small victories.)

Still, I am very glad I participated. I'll put up my lessons learned over at my fitness blog on Thursday (got an April Fool's post planned there today!). And as of today, go Team Bob!


Continuity updates:
  • We are getting a fat tax refund. I know that's not, actually, a good thing (means we've been lending our $ to the feds all year) but this was an unpredictable year for us, income-wise, so we're going to take the money and run. And smile. And pay some bills.

  • Two birthday parties planned for this weekend. So far ALL of Jo's invited guests are yesses and ONE of Opie's is. Scrounging for additional 4-year-old boy invitees now. Jeff hand-made 10 Superman capes and we have no one to wear them! snif.

  • I never did cut anyone off Bloglines. Am total addict.

  • Most importantly: Our grocery store rescinded its dumb policy about reusable bags. I found out when I went to the website to deliver a scathing e-mail.

Lots of good news. No foolin'. Hope you get some today too.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hump the Bump

Saturday morning: Chili Peppers 'n' pancake prep.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My kind of spring cleaning

I am not talking about the real kind of spring cleaning (heaven forfend). I am lucky if I remember to change the sheets regularly, and our windows haven't been washed in at least two years.

But even though it's still freezing cold, with snow predicted for the next two days, I am on an out-with-the-old roll lately. I am mercilessly cutting Bloglines subscriptions; I just can't follow over 100 blogs anymore (but I'm sure yours is still on there). We are meeting with the accountant today to finally wrap up our 2008 taxes. I am changing my habits by shredding every day and being more thoughtful about what I eat. I am actually keeping alive the two new plants that recently came to live in our house. I am itching to put away my sweaters and corduroys in favor of skirts and t-shirts.

I can't decide what to do with all of the baby and maternity clothes, though. I know I am placing a lot of pressure on myself to make a decision, but it's driving me crazy to have all this stuff around. If we're done, I'd like to try to move on, to celebrate the new time and space it might create in our lives while also mourning the babies, real and imagined, we'll never have. If we're not done, well, time's a-wasting, you know? Limbo is just not a place I like to be.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thunder rerun

This is from almost exactly two years ago. The weather today is the same as it was when I wrote it, so I am reposting it today.

Two years ago this week, I bumped into a neighbor who's married to an ob-gyn. Making small talk about my impending delivery, I said I hoped the coming full moon would do the trick. "Or maybe we'll get a thunderstorm," she replied.

I'd never heard that before, but she swore that she, her husband, and his colleagues over the years had noticed a significant uptick in births during and just after storms. Thunderstorms are a summer phenomenon, I thought; the snow is just barely receding. There's no way we'll get one now.

Sure enough, a few days later thunder clapped through the sky, lightning flashed, slashing rain fell, my dog curled into a tiny ball, trembling and panting. And my baby ... stayed firmly put. He didn't emerge until more than a week later.

Tonight we ushered in spring with a rousing storm. This time, no restless baby kicking at my insides, keeping me guessing on when he'd come and who he'd be. Now a toddler demanding "more boom!" Now a tiny boy following his big sister's lead, hovering over a terrified dog, patting and soothing. "Okay, Fah-ee. Okay." Now a blond head nodding to sleep on my shoulder as the lightning bursts through the window blinds. Now my own Opie.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Driving along in my automobile. Well, someone's.

Last month Nancy reminisced about cars in her past, and I commented that, even at my advanced age, I've never had my own car, not counting the ones I now share with my husband. In high school I had to walk, borrow from my parents, and even (horrors!) had a babysitter whose main job function was to drive me and my younger siblings around after school.

I went to college in West Philadelphia where a car was unnecessary and expensive, not to mention a certain target for theft and destruction. Then I moved to Manhattan--same situation, multiplied a few dozen times.

Apparently I moved in with my then-boyfriend, now-husband, just to get my hands on his car keys.

Still, when I was a magazine editor I went on two trips to test-drive cars. The first one was for Buick Regal and GM put us up at a very swanky hotel (no wonder they are out of money now). I spent a couple of days driving the car around a parking lot with all kinds of simulated hazards. During an evening cocktail party with the GM PR people I let slip that I lived in New York and hadn't actually been behind the wheel of a car in four or five years. PR man almost choked on his hors d'oeuvre.

That one trip made me an expert in test driving, apparently, so my editor also sent me to Alaska to preview a Volvo station wagon. And just to emphasize the ruggedness of the car which is now, in fact, my own mommymobile, I also learned how to shoot a rifle and go salmon fishing (with hip waders and everything). Besides seeing Alaska for the first and so far only time, I also got to meet a lot of blond Swedish dudes.

These days, the blonds I share my car with are the ones I gave birth to; and I will be happy to trade my four wheels for two as soon as it's warm enough to get out my bike again. But if anyone wants to send me to Sweden (or Santa Fe, or Seattle, or frankly, Stroudsburg) to check out the latest offerings, my bags can be packed in a matter of minutes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Mad Family

Mad drawing skillz, that is!

The assignment was to draw a self-portrait, so Opie drew himself "with a mad face" (top left; apparently also with some kind of bunny ear/mohawk thing going on. And also he's holding a sword, one that "shoots needles"). Then he required everyone else to draw a Mad self-portrait. Jo is on the upper right with the unibrow. Jeff is at the bottom left, being shot by a needle and shouting at the sword-bearer. Also he's on fire. I am on the far right with angry eyebrows and bared teeth. And in the bottom center, Jo's "surprise" look.

Here's what I found irksome the other day: Our grocery store changed its policy on reusable bags. They no longer offer a 5-cent rebate for each bag you supply--only their branded bags count. I don't use the reusables for the cash, but come on! What a stupid policy.

And you?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shamrock shred*

Two weeks down, two to go! I weighed myself on the Wii Fit the other day and I am down about two pounds. I don't think that is particularly meaningful because I have no idea what I was wearing the first time I weighed myself, or what time of day it was, or whether I ate a big plate of corned beef and cabbage that day (um, no). But it's always nice to see that graph sloping downward, and to hear a little bit of positive feedback from the chirpy little board.

I've been shredding faithfully, except for the day my kid was sick and my neck was sore, and also today because I worked myself into a lather hosting book club last night (and I did do a challenging yoga class today).

As I commented at Hot By Blogher, I think this will be the biggest lesson learned from drill sgt. Jillian (aside from "If 400-lb people can do jumping jacks, so can you"): Yes, I do have at least 25 minutes a day to devote to exercise. I may not (oh, who am I kidding with the may) continue the daily shred past these 30 days, but I can mix it in with everything else and use it on days when I am crunched (ha, or planked) for time or when I need a boot-camp tune-up.

*I am prefixing everything with "shamrock" today, BTW. Whatever random leftovers we have for dinner (much like the randomness of this post) will be dubbed "Shamrock salad," "Shamrock stew," and so on. It's gonna be huge.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Almost as cute as that sneezing baby panda

We went to an "open barn" at a lamb farm yesterday to check out the itty bitty lambies, ranging from 12 hours to a few weeks old. Here are some with their own little mini-Snuggies:

The kids got to hold one that was about two weeks old:

And here's a similar scene, with sound effect:

The teenage kids who help raise these animals are the fifth generation to live at this farm and raise sheep.

Of course, we only found out after we'd fallen in love with the cute wittle babies that this breed is raised for meat, not wool. And after we toured the barn, we were invited inside the house for some samples of ... lamb stew.

Faaaaaaarm livin' is the life for me! Um, maybe not.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

There oughtta be a law...

...against kids being home sick from school more than two days in one week.

...against bagged salad containing any of those yucky rib pieces.

...against the temperature being below 10 degrees F in March.

...subsidizing home delivery of groceries to mothers stuck at home with kids horking up their body weight in snot on an hourly basis.

Can you tell what my week has been like? I have such bad cabin fever that I am actually looking forward to a PTA meeting tonight.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WW: The show must go on

Jo, far right, as an Oompa Loompa. Moments before she exited, stage left, to puke in a trash can backstage.

I am so dense when it comes to realizing that my children are sick.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How did I end up in Mayberry, anyway?

Get the answer in my guest post at Midwest Parents!

Thanks, Heather, for the invitation and the warm welcome.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Spells R-E-L-I-E-F

  • "Take savasana."

  • "That concludes our winter pledge drive here on public radio."

  • "One minute of abs and we are out of workout 1."*

  • "The 3-hour meeting was cancelled."

  • "OK, you can empty your bladder now."

  • "You'll be getting a tax refund this year."

  • [Child:] "Zzzzzzz."

*Forgive me, mother(hood uncensored), for I have skipped a day of shredding. I tweaked my neck somehow--not from the Shred--so I gave myself yesterday off. Today, though, it's back on. Even though I have company at home (a kid waiting out her "24 hours fever-free" quarantine).

Friday, March 06, 2009

What happens when your 1st grader is in a classroom with 3rd graders

Better yet, I taught her the version of the song that I remember, the one about the naked ladies dancing and the hole in the wall. Oops.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sturgeon stein, frankenfish

I can't believe I almost missed writing about sturgeon season. It has been a source of endless fascination for me since we moved here. The arcane rules, the family tradition, the regionality--it hooks me right in (HA).

This year I hadn't had anything new to say. Plus I was so disappointed: Our next-door neighbor speared a 68-pound fish this season, and he even came over to see if we were home so he could show it to the kids (he didn't know I would have been so much more into it than them). Alas, we weren't around and by the time we found out about his big catch, the beast was already filleted and filling up the freezer.

As a consolation prize, Jeff got me this beer glass. Now is that true love or what?


Over at The Full Mommy today, I have a Parent Bloggers Network review of the most adorable (unlike sturgeon--they will win no marine beauty contests) Sylvania PalPODzzz rocket-ship nightlight/flashlight. A flashlight equipped with LED bulbs and NO batteries? Very space-age.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

My jet set friend

Recently one of my oldest friends came to town on a cheering-up mission (oldest as in, I'm not going to do the math because the answer will scare me). It was a perfect girls' weekend--dinner out, a night at a hotel, a yoga class, a little window-shopping, a theater outing. She happened to be here the night of the Oscar broadcast so we watched that together.

Oh, and we got pampered at a spa too, thanks to a Christmas gift from my husband that proved far more valuable than he ever imagined it would. I wrote about the spa in a guest post at my friend Anne's blog, The Jet Set Girls--where you can get all kinds of insider beauty and travel tips.

R. and I live almost exactly 1,000 miles apart, but we make it work. We don't talk every day anymore like we did in high school (you know, debriefing the day that we spent almost entirely in each other's company) or email many times a week like we did before kids (she has three and the hottest topic of our nonstop chatter was whether either of us is brave enough to go for one more). But she came to visit me here in Mayberry when Opie was only a few months old. My kids and I went to see her when she was juggling a brand-new baby and two older boys by herself thanks to a horribly ill-timed National Guard deployment for her husband. We've managed to meet up on business trips to New York (mine) and Chicago (her husband's).

Jobs, houses, and hometowns may come and go, but your best girlfriends? You can always count on.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Cheddar shredder

In the interest of research into the latest fitness trends, and also in the interest of losing this post-pregnancy gut, I am trying the 30-day Shred.

I'm not brave enough to post "before" pictures of myself (also, I stink at taking pictures into a mirror anyway) like Kristen, but here are my start-up stats:

Code Name: Flabbyberry

Tag Line: Wholesome is as wholesome shreds.

Current weight: 135 (so says Wii Fit).

Goal: Wear pants, buttoned, without unsightly muffin-top or angry red welts (seriously. ouch).

Diet Plan: Nothing in particular--just be sensible. Be cognizant of portion sizes and sugar intake (my particular Achilles heels).

Rules: No eating after 8 p.m. Only one latte/week (I can't stand the sugar-free kind).

Shred Plan: Starting with Level One daily, 3-lb. hand weights. Plus: power vinyasa yoga, 75 minutes, twice a week.

Off to do my first workout!

... pant ... pant ... gasp ... jiggle ...

OK, I'm back (wasn't that SO EASY!). Actually, it was very hard, but I got through it, more or less. It's short. Even though each individual segment feels crazy long (case in point: push-ups) you really don't do anything for more than a minute or two. (But you know those two minutes are tough when hitting the floor for crunches feels like a nice break.)

Comfortably zipped non-mom jeans: HERE I COME.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Time for an ideas meeting

As an editor, I had to attend my share of stultifying meetings. Anything with the word "analysis" or "budget" or "strategic" in the title would usually fall into that category. But we had fun meetings too. The whole editorial staff would gather, ostensibly to generate ideas for articles and columns for the magazine/website. Really, we would spend a couple of hours complaining about our kids/husbands/friends/hair/thighs. The ideas were simply a byproduct of the bitch session.

Wouldn't it be great if we could all get together and have a blog ideas meeting? At my fitness site, I have a list of ideas a mile long, because I have a particular topic to target. Here, the wide-open space overwhelms me.

Back when I had to come up with a batch of ideas to present at a meeting, I'd start by thinking I had nothing. But then I'd force myself to sit down and brainstorm and sooner or later I'd have something written down, enough to get me in the door of the meeting.

I don't like to think of this blog as a job. It's not (and in fact I am so tired of reading about marketing yourself, the business of blogging, blahdeblahblah--even though I know that I really need to do all that on my fitness site if I am ever to earn a living wage from it). But I still think I might have to summon myself to an offsite ideas meeting to liven up this place a bit. I might even treat myself to doughnuts to make sure I arrive on time.

P.S. The other good meetings were coverline meetings. You know, where we came up with new, creative ways to promise to solve problems with 5 steps or 11 tips or 49 steals and deals. Numbers sell, baby!

P.P.S. Most of the blog-as-brand posts have been very good. They just always give me a case of the (self-imposed) "shoulds."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This week in grief

It's been almost six weeks now and most of the time I am holding up fine. I think about my son all the time, but it's an undercurrent as I go about my day. I no longer can quite keep track of how many weeks pregnant I would be. But there are always moments, things I see or hear or read that tip me unexpectedly into a puddle of sorrow and regret.

Most recently it was the song "For Good" from Wicked. Looking at the lyrics now, they strike me as trite, but they hit a nerve nonetheless. Because I do wonder, often, what Lesson I am supposed to have learned from this experience. Is it presumptuous, or just premature, to think that I should take something away, that I deserve to get something out of it? That I ought to be wise enough to figure out what that something is? Is that too much pressure for my baby's tiny shoulders, or my own?

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return

Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood

Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you

You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend

I may not know exactly how far along I should be now, but I do picture, often, what would be happening now if our boy had lived, what I'd be doing and feeling. I expect I always will. I see three paths, three versions of my life--the one where I have a healthy, typical pregnancy and baby; the one where I have a child with disabilities, and am suddenly thrust into a new world of medical and educational and emotional challenges; and the one where I am missing a child. It's all very Sliding Doors.

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood

Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good
--lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Changed for good? That much is clear, even if not much else is.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Locker room rules for young ladies

1. Step directly from street shoes/socks into flip-flops.

2. Ohmygod please wear the flip-flops.

3. Remember? About the flip-flops? Okay.

4. Rinse off under the shower before you get into the pool. For this to be effective water droplets need to actually touch your body.

5. Rinse off again after you exit the pool. Wash your hair with shampoo if you don't want it to turn green.

6. Even if you want it to turn green, I don't. So shampoo.

7. Keep towel from dragging in the puddles on the floor.

8. Eew eew eew eew please keep the towel off the floor!

It's time for another session of swimming lessons! Yay.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chair by the window, please

Isn't that the sweetest face you've ever seen! That's my girl. Ninety-five percent of the time, she is a lovely member of the family. She doesn't shed much (just twice a year, and then it's rather exciting to take her outside and brush her and be astonished at all of the fluff we send into the breeze, you're welcome little birds for the ultrasoft nests). She tolerates kid antics, or walks away from them without a grudge. She makes me feel safe when I am home alone at night and keeps me company when I am home alone during the day.

Yes, she does steal food from the children, but she also cleans up all crumbs and spills for me, so it's kind of a wash. I am still working on forgiving her for one particular incident, though. Our first Christmas in Mayberry, we decided to have a party for our new friends and neighbors. I was 6 months pregnant with Opie at the time. My husband (aka the hermit) had no interest in helping host this shindig so I had most of the food catered. But the one thing I made myself was a freaking TON of cookies. Now, not only am I not a very good cook, I am s-l-o-w. It takes me forever to do the simplest thing. I spent an entire week of post-bedtime evenings baking. Did I mention I was 6 months pregnant at the time? By the end of the week I could barely stand.

The day of the party, I put all of my precious cookies on serving trays. To keep them cool and out of reach of toddlers, I stashed them on our screened porch, which was closed up for the winter. Just before the party began we started bringing the trays into the dining room.

And then someone left the door to the porch open. Allowing canine access. Said canine polished off an entire tray of my baked goods. You can imagine my hormonally enhanced reaction.

Oh, you better believe I served all the other trays, even though there was no guarantee they hadn't been contaminated with doggie spit.

Tell your own messy, naughty pet story--it's a Parent Bloggers Network blog blast. I don't think you're going to beat the Great Baby Oil Caper, though.

P.S. You know that chair in the picture is covered by a sheet, right? That's not really what my living room chair looks like? OK, just so we are clear.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The potty problem

For the record, the following do not motivate my son to use the toilet:
  • Effusive praise
  • Moderate praise
  • Barely perceptible praise
  • Threats of violence (no, of course not)
  • Candy
  • Stickers
  • Toys
  • Money
  • A kid-sized potty
  • A kid-sized potty seat insert
  • Just a regular potty like we all use
  • Choosing and buying his own underwear
  • Being allowed to wear underwear
  • Not being allowed to wear underwear
  • Wearing soaking wet underwear
  • Being one of the only kids in his class not in underwear

I started off very laidback. But the kid is going to be FOUR in six weeks. What the hell?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Double wordless score

Does it count as wordless if you post a picture that contains words? Well, who cares. This is a list of what the children plan to do this weekend. #3: "Punching Dad on the but[t]."

I'm wordless over here too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm like a stereotypical sitcom husband

I missed my anniversary again. My blog-iversary, that is. Actually, I checked my archives and it appears that I've never acknowledged it, so maybe we have an agreement, my blog and I, that we consider anniversaries a Hallmark holiday, and we don't celebrate them, at least in public.

So, never mind? Well, I'll just whisper in your ear that it's been (a little more than) three years since Mayberry Mom first arrived on the blogging scene. Together we've traveled to BlogHer, documented far more cute kid stories than a scrapbook ever could, succumbed to the lure of Twitter, quit a job, launched a freelance career (not to mention a second blog), and most importantly, collected a truly beautiful group of friends. Thank you for reading.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The no-school, no child care haiku

Flog me with a wet
muffler: I want some new snow
to cover the dirt.

Happy Presidents' Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fine. Well, sort of. You know.

People want to know how I am. How I really am. I appreciate the thought and I wish I could answer them.

I am happy not to be spending every waking moment with a painful, hormone-induced headache.

I am sad when I see my son's face and wonder what his brother would have looked like.

I am relieved that the terribly stressful period when we didn't know if our baby would live or die is over.

I am wondering how I will ever get through the month of June.

I am deeply touched by the supportive comments, emails, cards, flowers, plants, gifts, and food we've received.

I am thankful that I no longer have vicious nausea and heartburn 24/7.

I am discouraged that my body is flabby and lumpy with nothing to show for it.

Mostly, I just feel weird. I've never done this before and I don't know how to do it. For three years I had resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn't be having any more babies. I got pretty good at living that way.

Then I was pregnant, and that felt like an altered state, an alternative reality. So not being pregnant feels like a return to normalcy. But denying my son's short life is most certainly not normal.

You see the dilemma.

I'll steal borrow from Casey and tell you that you don't have to tell me you are sorry. She said you could tell her about your favorite sandwich instead. If you want to tell me something, what's your favorite flavor of ice cream? I was sorely tempted by a tub of Americone Dream the other day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How I met your father

Once upon a time (I'm going to tell you a story, or maybe an LSAT practice question) I dated a guy named Glenn. Glenn worked with a woman named Lori. Lori lived with a man named Bob. Bob had some grade-school friends named Mark and Dave. Mark had a college friend named Jeff. Jeff had a business associate named Ron.

Are you following? Sometime after Glenn flew the coop, I went to a party at Bob and Lori's. There I met Mark and Dave. Mark asked for my number. We went out on a date. It was at a comedy club which was apparently having a bl-w j-b theme night. Every single comedian decided to discuss that particular topic. Hi. First date over here. Awkward.

Still, there was at least one other date that I recall before things petered out (pun not really intended), as things do. But occasionally I would see Mark at Bob and Lori's. A few months later, Bob called to say that Ron had given Jeff tickets to a football game, but Jeff couldn't use them; did I want them? I couldn't go to the game but Bob seemed insistent. So I found someone else who could use the tickets. Then I had to meet Jeff at his office building, conveniently located next to mine, to pick up the tickets.

The rest is history. And this past weekend, we (Jeff, Bob, me, and a few others) finally watched Mark get married too. It was definitely the best Jewish-Nicaraguan wedding I've ever attended. Mazel tov!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hmm. Maybe I jumped too soon.

As of yesterday, all of the people that I couldn't stand working with at my old job have been laid off. So here I am eking out a freelance career, constantly wondering if I'll find enough work, tallying up the dumb ways we waste money, thinking about how I should be promoting myself/networking better but am not ... and now I can add "endlessly debating whether I should have just stuck it out at the old job." Of course, a ton of people got laid off there yesterday and it's quite possible that I would have been one of them had I stayed.

To top it off, my lovely boss from that job was laid off from her subsequent job. If I may restate the totally obvious, this economy can #suckit.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Sibling shuttle diplomacy

Of the many things that surprise and please me about my children, their relationship with each other tops the list. They truly enjoy each other's company, play together nicely, show mutual affection, and have each other's backs.

Sure, they squabble, but Jo is remarkably patient with Opie's 3-ish-ness, and Opie happily allows himself to be bossed around by his big sister most of the time. If he's having a tantrum, she creeps up next to him and tries to calm him down. Then she runs back and forth between him and the adult on duty, negotiating a truce. Several nights a week, they sleep side by side in the two trundle beds in Opie's room.

Jo recently brought home a worksheet from school called "My Special Feelings." It's a series of sentences that she had to complete: "I am happy when," "I am good at,"I am afraid of." My favorite: "I feel safe when ... my brother hugs me."

See, now this is why I wanted (still want? not sure yet) another one.

Extremely adorable photo filched from my brother and sister-in-law. Topic inspired by this week's Parent Bloggers Network blog blast for the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

From long-ago songs and someday goals

mom and kids readingI am from hardwood floors, from Meyer's Dairy milk in glass bottles, served in wine glasses on special occasions.

I am from glass shelves lined with houseplants watered every Saturday.

I am from black walnut, honeysuckle, lilacs, and grass on a hill.

I am from makers of music, milkers of cows, riders of rails, Beckers and Stephenses, fair skins and blue eyes.

I am from the stubborn and the silent, the peacemaking and the retelling.

From long-ago songs and someday goals.

I am from Sunday Mass with doughnuts after.

I am from the centre, from this side of the Mississippi and that, from braunschweiger and fried mush.

From the prize-winning irises and the fourth commandment, the stroller rolling down Tracy Hill and the dog named Susie.

I am from quilts on my walls, rings on my finger, names handed down from generation to generation. I am a daughter, a sister, a mother before I am anything else.

Thanks to Kate for tagging me with this particularly creative meme, which was a nice challenge for me at a time when the blogging well is a little dry. I do love writing about old family stories.

Thanks also to Magpie for the Tickled Pink award! I think you're the bees' knees, Magpie.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Steelers fanboy

Despite the rough start*, we did have a nice weekend, filled with the usual stuff (birthday party, Sunday school, ice-skating lessons) and capped off by just-the-four-of-us Superbowl party. Given that my parents met and married in Pittsburgh, I rooted for the Steelers and was thus richly rewarded. At one point Opie decided to go shirtless, which (of course, right?) prompted his father to paint his torso with a giant letter S (vaguely visible in the video).

*Thank you for understanding my need to post somber haiku. As Amy so rightly pointed out, this stuff has to come out in bits and pieces and that's what blogs are for.

If you ever tire of it and want the more cheerful version of me, you can always read my Family Fitness blog. Just so's you know.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Haiku Friday: Low

I never got to
hold him, smell him, even see
him; still I miss him.

Feeling melancholy over here tonight folks. Not much to post because everything is too ajumble in my mind (therefore I can make up words like "ajumble"). It would probably help to write it down, but my browser keeps opening to Chicktionary instead of Blogger. Funny, that.

Haiku Friday

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Eternal sunshine of the optimistic mind

Someday, this child will wear underwear. I'm trying the Law of Attraction because I am out of other options.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Incoming: Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day always catches me off-guard. I always feel I deserve a longer break after all the giftiness in December. Then along comes February 14 and suddenly I need dozens of teeny tiny cards for the kids' classmates and oh yeah, maybe I should get cards for the kids from me too, and I guess one for my husband while I'm at it. I was shocked the first time my kids got not just those cards with the see-through envelopes, but little bags of candy and other goodies. I missed the memo on that one (and I still resist).

So. If you want to be more prepared than I usually am, please to visit The Full Mommy's Valentine Gift Guide. It features goodies galore for kids, spouses, and even a little something for your favorite dog. Thank you to Leighann and Amy for tons of great reviews.

2009 Valentine Gift Guide,The Full Mommy

Friday, January 23, 2009

Out of the blue

My son will be four in a few months and everytime he picks up a crayon, he produces nothing but scribbles. I know you're not supposed to compare kids, blah blah blah, but Jo could scratch out the letters of her name and approximate a snowman portrait well before she turned three. So I started to wonder.

Then yesterday, Opie produced these guys:

And him:

Hello??? Where did this come from? They have feet! They have ears! They have ... cheekbones?!

Approaching one week later, I have my good moments and my bad ones. I indulged in some retail therapy. I tried to catch up on work. I even laughed with my kids. I also sat bolt upright in bed last night and bawled because I was suddenly seized with worry: My baby is so small, and what if no one is taking care of him? Irrational, I know, but I'm guessing I get a pass on being reasonable. At least for now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Untelling, undoing

It would be a lot easier if everyone read my blog. I've given our news to as many friends as possible via email, and my mother and Jeff's have mostly told family members for us. That still leaves neighbors, teachers and parents at the kids' schools, even my dental hygienist. I dread each and every conversation. They don't know what to say to me and I don't know what to say to them.

More than that, having to say it means having to believe it, just a little more, each time.

I'm thankful we don't have a nursery to empty. Eventually I'll have to decide whether to give away the baby clothes and gear I've saved, but for now all that can stay safely tucked away. The last thing I want to do right now is wear maternity clothes, but neither do I want to pack them up, spending another hour or two confronting the fact that I don't need them.

Thank you all for your supportive comments and e-mails. We are getting along as best we can. The small-townness of Mayberry helps; word gets around and soon our refrigerator and freezer are overflowing. They don't bring our baby back, but these loving, caring gestures help us eat and sleep and breathe and sometimes even smile.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sing thee to thy rest

We lost our baby, our little boy.

We'd known there could be--would be--was something wrong for a few weeks (which is why I haven't been posting or commenting). The end finally came just yesterday.

The end, and the beginning of us missing him and wondering what if and if only.

Every day of these awful weeks, I took my prenatal vitamin, I avoided alcohol, I double-steeped my tea to lower its caffeine content. Just as I've been doing since the first days of my pregnancy. I wasn't hoping for a miracle. I guess I just wanted to prove (to whom, I don't know) that I did every last little thing that I could to protect him.

It wasn't enough. And I do know that it wasn't my fault.

But I hope my little boy knows how much he is loved. And that my heart is as broken as his little body is.

Thursday, January 01, 2009