Friday, May 30, 2008


Just when we thought that we had nipped the invasion in the bud, it turns out that Fred and Wilma had a long-term plan in place - wherein their many many hundreds of offspring would descend on us in the summer of 2008. Luckily, Chip happened to notice a strange sort of brown bump on our front rain gutter, a bump the size of a dime, when he drove into the driveway this afternoon. The bump turned out to be a biomass of teeny tiny spiders. Spiders that may appear cute and tiny NOW - but given a nice few weeks of snacking will become the behemoth skulking creatures we discovered last year in the rosemary. CREATURES THAT ARE PLOTTING TO OVERCOME OUR HOUSE, KILL US IN OUR SLEEP, AND THEN WEAR OUR SKINS LIKE COATS SO THEY CAN INCORPORATE THEMSELVES INTO SOCIETY.

Upon further investigation, much chemical warfare (including a nice MacGuyver'ed FLAME THROWER in the guise of a can of hairspray and a fireplace lighter thingy), Chip eradicated the tiny monsters. He found an additional SIX OTHER NESTS around the outside of the house.

Shudder shudder shudder.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

and another reason why I love this man

Looking through the tv channels, notices that Titanic is on TBS and has one hour remaining.
Chip: What do you say we watch people die for an hour?

Also, tell me this: why would they film three different endings to Lost? And then there's this: are they ever going to FEED the baby? If I kept Alice hungry for the HOURS they've been carting that baby around the island, she would have up and MILKED A COW.

Friday, May 23, 2008

my childhood friend is going on a date with bob sagat

Chip walked up to me a while back and asked if I knew my friend Stacie was going on a date with Bob Saget from Full House. WHAT??? According to Chip, she was going to a wedding with him - and she'd written about it on her blog.

It turns out that my husband is a TOTAL SKIMMER (tm Tessie), and Stacie had had a DREAM about going on a date with BOB SAGET. My favorite part of this story is how I didn't really overthink the possibility of Stacie dating the dude... because she lives in LA and these kinds of weird things happen to her all the time.

Stacie and I have been friends forever. And we've done our share of weird stuff (going on mystery dream dates with Bob Sagat notwithstanding):

- We had pretend businesses in my family room. The most notable: A&S Computers, where we sat at little "desks" and made "disks" out of black construction paper (when the huge floppy disks were all the rage). Our favorite thing was to write in white colored pencil on the black paper.

- We had a wedding for our Cabbage Patch dolls in Stacie's backyard. I HAVE PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF. And we both wore our one-piece plaid jumpers. (I topped my ensemble off with knee socks and sandals.) Our parents attended the gala, and Stacie's longsuffering older sister Heather performed the ceremony.

- We made tapes for each other. It became this thing, where we'd each carry around these little tape recorders and just talk and do random stuff like interview our parents (Stacie: What are you doing right now? Stacie's Mom: Making dinner.) and then exchange our tapes. Have I mentioned that we lived AROUND THE CORNER from each other? And we saw each other every day? We made tapes for each other for YEARS.

- One summer Stacie came with us on our family vacation to my grandparents' farm in Idaho. Some of my best vacation memories EVER stem from this trip, including this exchange between me, Stacie, and The Little Brother sitting in the back of my dad's Acura:
Little Brother: SHUT UP!!! SHUT UP!!! SHUT UP!!!
Whimsy: NO!!! NO!!! NO!!!
Little Brother: YOU'RE CLOSER!!! I CAN'T REACH HER!!!

Good times. Tomorrow is Stacie's birthday. I've known her forever. Love her to pieces. Can't wait until she visits in early June.

Happy Birthday, Stacie-Racie. I love you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

home again home again

There's this thing that's happening that I'm not ready to talk about. How's that for keeping you in the dark? I hate it when something takes over all my brain space and the thing that I'm thinking about the most is the thing I don't (or can't) talk about. And I hate even more when a blogger is all la la la I'm going to talk about this thing I can't talk about. Which is exactly what I'm doing here. Let's put that to rest, okay?

In other news...

A glimpse into my husband's sense of humor. I was sitting on the couch with the TV on (had been watching Darjeeling Limited, but instead kept the movie running while I typed on my computer). The movie ended and Chip came by, stopped the movie and flipped channels. I didn't pay a single bit of attention to what he was doing and kept typing. Chip came by again about 10 minutes later and said, "Interesting TV choice." I looked up. It was the Golden Girls. For a minute, I defended my show choice and that's when I realized DUDE YOU WERE THE ONE TO PUT THIS ON. He's a weird guy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Q: how did I manage to get cheese whiz in my eye?

A: The same way I dropped my phone in the toilet.

Yes. You'd think I would know better or something. But if Amalah taught me anything, it's to persevere.

I was peeing (at least it wasn't NUMBER TWO) and my phone was in my back pocket. Chip was hanging out in the hotel hallway, pushing Bean in her stroller, waiting for me so we could walk down to Philadelphia's Old City District, and I thought yes I should pee before we leave. And after I'd done my business, I went to pull up Ye Olde Trousers, and PLOP that's when it happened.

Let me just offer this advice, if you ever happen to find yourself in the same situation: the 10-second rule doesn't apply, because even if your phone was only submerged for like seconds, it will still fizzle and pop (yes, it made actual SOUNDS in it's squirming seizure of death) as you watch the screen go to some weird DOS horrific ERROR ERROR ERROR HOW COULD YOU DROP ME IN THE TOILET WOMAN page before it goes black forever. Don't bother to scramble for a scratchy hotel towel and blot blot blot the phone, doing everything except mouth-to-mouth. It is dead. Gone. The way of all electronics that have been submerged in toilets. Say goodbye.

Chip mentioned, oh so helpfully on our walk to get the Philly cheese steaks (made with REAL CHEESE WHIZ of course) that there are no accidents, and maybe I was secretly hoping to get a new phone. In my defense, I have loved my little Motorola Q with its near crack berry capabilities because it has kept my insane list-making all IN ONE PLACE and also IN ELECTRONIC FORM. Which is very helpful.

Have I mentioned that it kept all my addresses, birthdays, and email addresses? And that I didn't back it up, like any self-respecting person would? (Brick and mortar friends, you have been warned. Please email me now and get me your info stat because I'm running blind over here.)

RIP, little Q.

So that's what happened last night. And then I got Cheese Whiz in my eye.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

bedroom relocation quiz

Why Was Bean Hanging Out On Top of the Dryer a Few Days Ago...

a.) She really wanted a nice windblown look for her photo shoot later in the day - and the dryer was just a good alternative to using a hair dryer

b.) The smell of Bounce dryer sheets makes her feel zingy (not to mention they help with the pesky static cling and make her smell just so fresh!)

c.) Her mom got a little over zealous in organizing the house and thought that keeping the baby in the laundry area made good sense

d.) The space on top of the refrigerator was already taken

e.) Her mother, at wit's end with her lack of daytime napping - knowing that Bean was extraordinarily tired but just couldn't go to sleep - thought that the white noise of the dryer coupled with the warm coziness of the whole laundry area would help Bean to drift off into a nice daytime nap.

Incidentally, if you choose E as the answer, you'll be interested to know that it didn't work as evidenced by the wide open peepers Bean is sporting in the picture. (Also check out how totally unimpressed she is by my creativity. She's all WHAT THE HECK CRAZY PERSON I BELONG ON YOUR BOOB NOT THE DRYER, and I was all THAT MAY BE THE CASE, BUT I AM IN DEEP DENIAL.) The helpless mother actually ended up DRIVING AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD FOR FORTY-FIVE MINUTES (yes, even with gas prices as high as they are) to see if the CAR would help. You will also be interested to know that she had some nice sleep while in the car, but as soon as we got home EYES WIDE OPEN OPEN OPEN AWAKE AWAKE AWAKE AWAKE SHOW ME SOME FOOD WOMAN. When the father came home a bit later, he found the helpless mother on top of the dryer.

* * * * * * * *

In other news, Philadelphia has been fun, but somewhat exhausting. I have tales to tell about traveling with a 10-week-old infant, but those will have to wait for another day (though seriously I can't believe how NICE people are when you're sporting a tiny baby - the hostess in the hotel restaurant actually brought Alice a stuffed animal yesterday). I'm outta here. I hear snorfling in the vicinity, and I believe I am needed.

Monday, May 12, 2008


I'm not just saying that she's one of my FAVORITE blogs because she just gave me this award. But really truly Meg is one of my favorite bloggers. Hilarious, real, honest, endearing, sweet, fascinating, a gifted writer, and an amazing mom.

Also? She rewarded me for posting images of things like this:

Now you're hooked and you'll have to tune in tomorrow to find out why my child is sitting on top of the dryer.

we're all fine here now thanks how are you

Arrived safely in Philadelphia with small infant child in tow. She proved to be beyond excellent at traveling, much better than the dude trying to get through the security check point with the JAR OF PICKLES. Alice - 1; Jar of Pickles Guy That Totally Lost His Cool - 0.

I am wimp. The time change IS TOTALLY KICKING MY TRASH.

Is there anywhere in the downtown Philadelphia area that sells SIZE ONE DIAPERS? Thank you, my child will not fit into diapers made for 16-pound giants.

We're staying at the Marriott right next to City Hall. I kept calling the statue on top of the building Ben Franklin. Chip called it the Quaker Oats Guy. We were both wrong: it's William Penn. We desperately need to bone up on history. We are sad and pathetic.

It is gray and rainy and windy. We are Seattlites. It isn't supposed to rain outside of the Northwest.

More soon.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Why have a travel size? Does the extra 1/4 inch make that much of difference?

We're leaving for Philadelphia on Sunday morning. Chip is going for a work conference, and Alice and I are tagging along. The approaching certainty of traveling with a 2-month-old infant has me wondering about space-saving. I've always been a heavy packer. I'm the one who shows up with the too-big suitcase, the extra three pairs of pants, the kitchen sink, and the soap dispenser. Now that I'm packing for two, and one of us requires her own seat and conveyance (in the form of car seat and stroller), I'm trying to pare down my own needs to the bare minimum.

My problem is that I lean toward the extreme: when I overpack, I REALLY overpack. When I strip my travel needs down to the nuts and bolts, I'm left with one nut and one bolt and NOTHING to do on teh plane. Truthfully, even when I pack an I-pod, a book, a magazine, snacks, a bottle of water (purchased AFTER the security check of course), knitting, another magazine, and a book purchased at the airport bookstore place (AND GUM) - I still find myself waiting for the darn plane, totally uninterested in anything I can find in my bag.

Luckily I now have a built-in To Do in the form of BABY. I will be bringing my I-pod and a book. I doubt I'll get to either one of them.

Wish us luck.

*** Can I just ask you, WHY THE HECK ARE THOSE AIRPORT BOOKSTORES SO TEMPTING? I swear, I could run into the same horrible selection of reading material at another bookstore and easily walk away. There's something about the airport that makes purchasing a little something IMPOSSIBLE TO AVOID. I buy the worst books there. The books that I'm ashamed to claim when I get home. And the thing is still UNREAD. I think there's a drug circulating through the air filtration system, or something. It's a mystery to me. (So I Married an Axe Murderer: They put something in the chicken that makes you crave it fortnightly.)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

so you think you can sleep sleep sleep

Currently residing in our bed:
- An exhausted, disheveled, snoring Chip.
- An exhausted, fuzzy, purrdling Phoebe.
- An exhausted, rosy-cheeked, sighing Bean.
- An exhausted, stripey, fish-breathed Fergus.

Currently missing from our bed:
- An exhausted, sore, blurry-eyed Whimsy. Because I'm here with you, keeping it real.

Last night was both glorious and truly sucktastic. Sucktastic because of the after affects from The Shots. The day of The Shots she pretty much just slept. We brought her home, fed her, and she was in and out of consciousness all day. Yesterday her system seemed to perk up just enough to make her feel terrible without totally taking her out of the game. The end result was a borderline inconsolable baby. She wouldn't even let Chip hold her. It was All Mommy All the Time from 6am until midnight. I shudder to think what she would have been like without the Tylenol. On the other hand, horrible as it was, there was this level of TEAM WHIMSY SPIRIT that I've never witnessed. Like we're in this together - we're gonna get through it - whatever it takes - if we have to drive to Tacoma and back - it's going to be okay kind of thing. Chip was amazing and fantastic. Totally Johnny on the Spot Guy, offering me whatever support I needed (including a neck rub that seriously saved my life). Bean proved once again to be Easy Baby 2008, because she did finally drift off at midnight, and I have a strong feeling that a less amiable baby would have been Up All Night.

Before anyone goes there - I'M NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT A BABY THAT HAS JUST HAD HER SHOTS. I'm not. I was ready for this to happen, I'd heard both sides of the story: the babies that are all La La La I Had My Shots and Everything is Perfectly Normal as well as the babies that are all HOLY CRAP THE WORLD IS GOING TO END BECAUSE I HAD MY SHOTS AND DUDE I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH THIS HURTS HOLD ME HOLD ME HOLD ME. Luckily Alice got through it - we're all fine here now.

Ready to get back to business.

Also: someone tell me WHY they even ATTEMPT to create any sort of will he/won't drama for David Archuleta. The dude is going to win American Idol. Just hand him the microphone already and move on to SOYOUTHINKYOUCANDANCEDANCEDANCE.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

pain makes you beautiful

At Bean's 2-month check-up yesterday, she received four vaccination shots. It was traumatic and horrible for all of us. Afterward, Chip said how he didn't want Alice to grow up uncertain about the world; how he didn't want her to think that extreme pain was always hiding around the corner, and you can never be sure when it's going to strike. He didn't want her to think that one minute we could be laughing and singing songs in a warm office and the next minute she'd be shrieking in pain as someone drove very painful spikes into her upper thighs. As he said all of this, I nodded in agreement, thinking that he was right - I don't want Alice making associations like that.

I continued to think about it on the drive home, and even more as I put clothes away and anticipated Alice waking up, feeling funky because of her ordeal. And after this little soak in my head, I've changed my mind. While the last thing I want is for Alice to equate painful spikes with me whispering in her ear or holding her close - I also realize that this is exactly how life is. How rare is it when we can really anticipate the pain? When we know it's coming, and can double-down inside, steeling ourselves for what's about to hit? Pain is surprising. Is tricky. Is going to reach up and grab us when we least expect it.

I've spent a good deal of time contemplating pain - it's ability to surprise us, every single time. There is a deepening that happens only through pain - whether it's physical or emotional or something else. I've talked about it before, and I've also mentioned how I wanted Alice to learn to appreciate the light as well as the dark that life has to offer her.

The shots she received yesterday: they were wickedly horrible, I have no doubt. And it was one of the hardest things I've ever done, knowingly holding her on the table, watching her shriek, having her tears collect in puddles on my arms as I said over and over, "You're going to be okay, Alice. You're going to be okay. You're so brave. Mommy and Daddy love you so much." But I'd do it again. I will do it again. Like so many things, the shots are necessary for her to avoid even deeper pain - maybe even death.

And one day, when Alice asks me if that's what pain and heartache and anguish is like - does it really just appear that way before you, when you least expect it? I'll tell her yes, it is exactly like that. And you have to embrace it, you have to move through it, you can't avoid it.

It hurts to grow.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


So I went to a photographer last week and had Bean's picture taken.

See, it was like this: sure, we take some great candid photos of her every day. Better than a photo studio would, I'm sure, at this age. But there's something about the actual picture with a background that's all pastel and smokey and the baby is just sort of sitting there all by her lonesome or there's a watering can sitting by her with some cheerful fake flowers and she's laying there on her belly wearing her best pink dress and frilly socks and it's totally unsuited for watering can weather but still it's just oh so CUTE... UGH. Anyway, I succumbed and thought it would be appreciated by The Grandma Contingent to have some photo-photos.

I went to this place that we'll just call Schmallmart. And you have to know that I have a tried and true HATE for Schmallmart, but that's another story. I called Schmallmart to make an appointment and asked the price. $7.95 for one pose, with a heck of a lot of pictures. I'm thinking HOLY MOLY PERFECT I can shell out $7.95 for a picture.

So I dressed the Bean in her tiny taffeta dress and put her in some of the most adorable pink shoes (SO CUTE YOU COULD DIE). Off we went to get her picture taken.

Then... well, I don't know how it happened except to say, you know how you plan to have one picture taken for $7.95 and get out of Schmallmart in two seconds flat but instead you're there for over an HOUR and you've just spent nearly TEN TIMES the aforementioned dollar amount and you're going to be receiving THREE POSES and more pictures than you'll ever know what to do with and they're so so precious and cute, but let's face it: every image is your adorable bundle of joy totally STONE FACED because there was no way in heaven she was smiling for the photographer?

Yes. So, um, maybe something like that happened.

And maybe it didn't.

Monday, May 5, 2008

nine things for nine weeks

She dances on the changing table. Chip sings songs to her and she pinwheels her arms and legs, moves her bum from side to side, all the while Chip is laughing and singing and encouraging: You're dancing, Alice! You're dancing!

The grunts continue. We love the grunts. She grunts in quiet rooms, when people need to laugh. She grunts in church meetings and when we're on the phone talking to doctor's offices. She grunts, we laugh, we say, "There's our baby."

She is watching us more. Making eye contact and trying to let us know she seems things. She watches the cats for signs of interest. She likes to look at black and white images. I hope she sees how much we love her.

She's rediscovered a love for her swing. It was touch and go for a little while, but the last few days she's done quite a bit of napping in the swing. She's in there now, while I'm writing this. She is so close, I can hear her sighing in her sleep.

She likes to have us imitate her. We play this game when she's stretched out on our lap, facing us. She sticks out her tongue in a certain way, or makes a particular face, or goes OH and then we do the same. I don't care if we play this game for the whole day.

She is getting baby-fat legs. An entirely new pudge wrinkle appeared on her upper thighs a few days ago. Chip thought her leggings were too tight, but after they'd been off for a while, I pointed out to him that the wrinkle was still there. A WRINKLE in the PUDGE. Very kissable.

I can't get used to telling people how old she is. I still want t
o say "two weeks" when they ask her age. It's hard to believe that it's two MONTHS.

She has spit up a total of four times in her life. I realize by saying this that I might be jinxing us for a future of spit-up and vomit, but a girl can hope.

We're approaching her 2-month shots on Tuesday. I know she's tough, she's a rock star. She'll sail through the experience. I'm more worried about us, how Chip and I are going to take it. She might cry for us more than she'll cry for herself. We need to be brave.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

the harsh light of day

There is something about the morning light that helps a person to see that not only admitting, but actually PROCLAIMING one is seeking out a television show made for the over-sixty set might prove to be a little... embarrassing. I'm just saying. In our defense, we haven't joined THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE CLUB or anything. Okay. I'm going to stop talking about it now.