Thursday, July 31, 2008

plain white box, part 2

About the PIF going on right now:

There have been some fantastic ideas about the plain white box concept - so I'm adding a few more details.

- The winner of the PIF, who will also inherit the plain white box, should try to add some decoration to the the box before sending it on to their winner, etc. I'm hoping this means we'll have a really cool looking box after a few cycles.

- The winner of the PIF should also post a little note or at least their city and state inside the lid of the box. That way it really is like the whole postcard-tied-to-a-balloon thing.

- As the box travels, I'm going to include a link to it's current residence: WHERE IN THE WORLD IS THE PLAIN WHITE BOX?

I really am so excited about this, I can't even tell you. Chip is getting to be a little afraid that I've gone off the end of the PIF. Ha!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

check out my knickers

There are some days when all goes well - Bean takes good naps, I have a nice breakfast, the cats don't puke at 2am, Chip is an a great mood, and the whole world seems like a beautiful place. The kind of place I'd like to hang around for a while. Other days seem marked with trouble - Alice won't nap (AT ALL), the washing machine seems to be possessed, Phoebe redefines UNDERFOOT and I step on her about 12 million times, and there's nothing good to make for dinner.

Today is sort of between those two extremes, but I'll tell you what: even the worst day can be so much better when you get a PACKAGE in the MAIL from TESSIE. I received my winnings from her pay it forward contest.

I took about a bajillion photos of the thing to try to really capture it's, um, essence. But all I ended up doing was feeling dumb.

With shots like this:

And this:
And this:

In case you can't tell, there's a box of Texas chocolate (I didn't know that Texas had an official chocolate - it's Texas Pecan Pralines, in case you were wondering). There is also a very handy mug describing my current state: WICKED TIRED. There is a little something for Bean. And lastly, HOT DISH RECIPES. Like a whole stack of them. I do believe we'll be having a weekly HOT DISH, Miss Tessie, thanks to you. Shucks, it was such a nice present -

I am beginning to think it should be DON'T MESS WITH BEAN, but maybe that's just me.

Now, in return for this box of fantastic loot, I am (again) hosting a(nother) Pay it Forward: Pay it Forward III, This Time It's Personal. Or, at least, this time it's a little gimmicky. I decided to put a twist on PIF III.

The prize will be whatever I can fit into THIS BOX.

Mystery prize package, but I promise it will be good. And then, if you win this PIF, you need to host your own PIF, using the SAME BOX. With the same concept (only what will fit in box). I was one of those sad little kids who always wanted to launch a balloon into the sky with my name and address tied to the string, in the hope that the balloon would be found by someone in Kansas or Michigan, or somewhere else that's totally fancy. Alas, my balloon was always the one that got caught in the power lines right outside the school. So I totally knew who found my balloon: ME. This is my chance, people, to SEE HOW FAR THIS LITTLE WHITE BOX WILL GO!

Edited to add the following:
- If you're the winner of the PIF (and the plain white box) - you should add some kind of decoration to the box, could be anything.
- Everyone who gets the box should also write their city and state inside the box's lid
- I'll post a link to the box's whereabouts. Because I'm seriously reliving the whole elementary balloon launch experience, and this time I'm not going to be disappointed! No siree!

You can enter this PIF by answering this question in the comments: what was your favorite school outfit (any age). Mine has to be my red knickers (do you remember KNICKERS?) with my blue and red BLOUSE. (Tell me what 3rd grade kid wears a BLOUSE to SCHOOL anymore? I loved those darn knickers. They had snappy things at the knees. And I wore my white KNEE SOCKS with them. I swear I must've looked like a deranged Pinnochio, but I thought I looked awesome.

Your turn. Contest runs until next Wednesday, August 6, 6pm PST. Go!

Monday, July 28, 2008

life lessons

I have faith that some things will eventually sink into my thick skull. Things like how I don't need to keep the monitor receiver thingy on my person AT ALL TIMES when Bean is taking a nap because I'm going to hear her regardless. The cry, the wail, the HELLO COME AND GET ME is really loud enough. And still I carry that thing around, keeping it on my belt, bringing it to the BATHROOM for a quick pee, insisting that Chip keep it turned up to FOUR when he's on Listening Duty because heaven forbid, we might miss it and she'll go back to sleep or something.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

she's a winner

We are HOME. We are TIRED. We are a bit on the CRANKY side. But we also have a winner for PIF II: Revenge of PIF.

The lovely winner is Vicky from Secret Mom Thoughts. Vicky will be the recipient of a handmade taggie, was well as some other handmade goods from yours truly. Congrats, Vicky! Once she gets the package, Vicky will post a picture of the loot and then host her own PIF, which will be, like the THIRD GENERATION PIF. Which is really cool.

So I'm sleepy and not very good company right now, which either makes me boring or wickedly funny. I'm sorry to say that I'm leaning toward boring. Which is why I'm waiting until tomorrow to tell you about the PIF prize I received in the mail from Tessie. She (and her package - HA THAT'S FUNNY) deserve Witty Whimsy as opposed to Boring Overtired Whimsy.

she has a lot of personalities in a tiny body

So far we've got...

Smelly Shelley
Droolie Julie
Screaming Mimi
Smiling Sam
Sweaty Betty
Fussy Bussy
Silly Billy
Sweetie Pete

And there's always Bean, Sweet Bean. I love this adorable girl.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

what do you do in the summertime

My sister and I were standing on mom and dad's back deck, looking out over their gorgeous backyard. Most of the kids were out there - hiding amidst the trees, playing on the grass. And then we spied The Sister's youngest, little 4-year-old R.

I know he looks DEAD or something, but he just loves his outdoor time.

Alice and I are flying home this afternoon. It's been a lovely visit, but we're so excited to see CHIP!

Friday, July 25, 2008


If you expected something momentous for my 1-year blogversary, you will be sorely disappointed. If you just came here to read something random, I'm sure you'll... get what you came here for.

Let's play a variation on Swistle's game (A Year Ago, A Year From Now) and do


A year ago...
- I was barely pregnant.
- I was writing ill-advised posts about the rubberband pants trick and my first ObGyn appointment
- I was just starting THIS BLOG

- I am mama to 4 1/2 month old Bean
- I am still writing ill-advised posts
- I am so happy to know all of YOU

Thursday, July 24, 2008

learning from your elders

I ran downstairs yesterday to shower. Mom was watching Alice. When I left, they were innocently playing on the floor. But I came back to this:

Grammie strikes again. I was informed that Alice likes to watch TV, and more specifically The Price is Right. I was also informed that she really got upset when the commercials came on.

Notice the pouty lip action.

It was suggested (I'm going to assume this was a HILARIOUS SARCASTIC REMARK) that I consider using the TV to babysit Bean more often. Yes, I'll see what I can do.

I can say all of this, poking fun at my parents, because they read this blog. HELLO MOM AND WINSTON.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

thinking about wednesday

Sometimes life happens in huge heaping leaps. It happens when you expect it: like having a baby or getting married or accepting a promotion or when a loved one dies. In these moments, you know that you're at the crossroads. You can look behind you at the life you've led - see what things have been, how things have been, who you've been, what you wanted. And you can look out before you at the life you're entering: see the things you want, see the plans you're making, see who is going to be sharing it with you.

And sometimes life happens in small moments, in the tiny things that are so incredibly small when they happen. You can't imagine that they will have any reaching affect on your life, but they do. Like the random conversation you have with a friend over lunch when he says that he's thinking of starting his own business (and you wind up working for him from home, part time), or the time you started talking to that cute guy at church (on the stairs, discussing Shakespeare and Lord of the Rings) - and you wind up MARRYING the cute guy. The small split second decisions, the inconsequential conversations, the times you turn right instead of left - these are the things that make up our lives.

I watch Bean change. She is growing up every second. I wonder what kinds of small things are going to happen that we'll be able to look back on and say Yes, that's when it started. That small moment. It changed everything.

Monday, July 21, 2008

jeeves reporting for duty

I've got to be totally honest - and this is embarrassing to admit: I thought this week was going to be easy. No, really. I made the huge first-timer's mistake of thinking to myself this is going to be pretty easy. I figured - sure, I'd be by myself with Alice, but I'll be surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents - all the makings for many hands make light work with a BABY. But really? Uh, it's not EASY. We miss Chip. We miss him down to our very bones. We miss his smile, his laughter, his many movie quotes fitting into any situation (No eye contact!). We miss his big arms and everything they can carry. We miss his broad chest and it's ability to hold a small weeping girl as well as a big weeping girl (on occasion). We miss him from the top of his round head to the tips of his toes. We miss him. And never once did I think we wouldn't miss him, but somehow I didn't think it would be so physically HARD to be away like this. It hurts.

Alice has been cuddled and loved and fussed over by so many people who love her dearly, and that is what makes this bearable. That we can be here, seeing all the cousins - sharing this with my parents. And that part has been just priceless.

Let me just add, by the way, that while we are surrounded by so many people who are willing to help with Alice, what I didn't count on was Alice's desire to maintain her exclusivity contract with yours truly. Here I thought (ha ha - silly mother) that she'd be happy to hang out with a cousin or an aunt or an uncle or two. And she is... to a point. But when it comes down to it, she's a one bodyservant type of girl. And you know who I've signed on with. So, dear Internets. I'm off to do Bean's bidding.

Manservant out.

The cousins. Notice my child in the center there.

With the little bro. Not so little anymore.

With two of her cousins.

Listen. You can unleash the wrath on my mother. But apparently this is what Grammies do-- they initiate their grandchildren into the age old tradition of drinking out of cups. When they are 4 1/2 months old. And when their mother is inside the house making up a bottle. My mom insists that Alice has been imbibing in red cup drinking on the side for weeks now because she's far too adept at it to be a first timer. (Should I really freak you out and tell you she's drinking Diet Coke? AHHH no. They promised me that it was water.)

Hey you. Yes you, behind the camera. Get back into the kitchen and make me a pot pie. And while you're at it, WHERE THE HECK IS MY DAD?!?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

leave your name and number after the beep

Thanks for visiting The Creamery. Alice and I are not home. We are currently whizzing through the air on a tragically orange and brown airplane. We might be consuming peanuts. And ginger ale. One of us is definitely consuming liquid sustenance. It's also possible that one of us is very sweaty and a wee bit sore from carrying far too much through the airport.

We will be reporting from the far away land of Utah all this coming week - but first we need to unpack. And also to land the airplane. Not necessarily in that order.

In the meantime, let me just remind y'all that we have another pay it forward contest going on here at The Creamery. You should totally leave a comment so you can WIN.

There is also this:


Friday, July 18, 2008

and she's a darn good photographer too

Take a look at what came in the mail today:

Yes, that would be my fantastic package from Maggie at and the duck said. If you recall ever so recently I was the winner of her pay it forward contest. Man alive. There is a book! And a Target gift card! And handmade cards! And an adorable dress for Bean! And post it notes! (Let's not pay any attention to the bag of charcoal sitting in the background, okay?)

So in summary: Maggie not only is a fantastic photographer, she's also a fantastic package creator. Wow. The timing of this package is excellent because Alice and I are headed to my parents' tomorrow (on a plaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaane - by oursellllllllllllllllllllllllves). I might even be able to read the book (if I can remember how) while the relatives slather love on the beautiful girl.

Now, as part of the whole pay it forward concept, because I won Maggie's contest, I'm now going to host my own pay it forward...


1. Post a comment, answering this question: If you were given $5 to spend at Target, what would you buy?

2. By posting a comment, you're entered to win PIF II.

3. The winner of PIF II will receive a baby themed package, including a handmade taggie and some other fun stuff.

4. If you win PIF II, you'll post a picture of the package (once you receive it) and then host your own PIF.

5. The contest ends next Saturday, 7/26/08 at 5pm pacific time.



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

hi my name is whimsy and i have a problem with projects

On Sunday Chip and I were talking about how bright it is in Bean's room. The sunshine is lovely, but we realize that we need something to darken the room for the morning. Enter my obsessive need for THE PROJECT. I will be making a wonderful fabric shade! For her room! And while I'm at it, I'm also lining the curtains in our room for the same reason. YES ANOTHER PROJECT.

These two projects are now added to the other projects I currently have in the works. Um, and there's kind-of a lot of them. Like the taggie blankets I've been making. And the baby blankets. And the knitted baby hats. And the pillows for Bean's room. And the dust ruffle for Bean's crib. And the unfinished cabinet in our dining room that still needs to be stained. And the kitchen table that I'd eventually like to strip and stain. And the upstairs walls that need to be painted (continuing the painting that I did all last spring: kitchen, living room, dining room, entryway, stairwell). This is only scratching the surface, like the current projects that are in the front of my brain - not bothering to mention any project that's fallen off the CURRENT shelf in my brain to sit listlessly on the BACKBURNER brain shelf.

And we WONDER why I like lists?

It's pretty amazing, actually, what staying home with Alice has done for me. Really truly I have my hands full with baby and working part-time right now, but I've also never been so inspired to be working on things. I've learned this lesson before, but it's always nice to get a reminder that the best thing for a stopped creative faucet is time and WORK. You have to exercise the muscle, allow the juice to flow, enter whatever analogy you'd like for the concept that you have to DO THINGS to feel the need to DO MORE THINGS.

My studio has never seen me so often and has never been so active as the last couple of months - and I couldn't be more pleased about that. I'm hoping that all this creative work will finally leave me open and ready to start painting again.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

in the smallest second

There are moments filled with such explicit bliss I can't hold it in and it spills down my cheeks - tears falling and catching in the folds of Alice's t-shirt, her body cradled into mine, her chin as soft as cotton resting quiet on my arm. Her chest rising and falling in blissful sleep - trusting sleep - sleep that can only come in childhood when you are so much smaller than the arms that are holding you.

How can I be so blessed as this? To have her here, to be holding her close, to be breathing her in. I feel so very very lucky.

Monday, July 14, 2008

saving my life one product at a time: postpartum month one

This post began as an email to a friend of mine who is fairly recently pregnant (due in January). She wanted to know about some of the things I couldn't live without - the things she might not hear about, the things not so obvious but oh-my-goodness-I'd-die-without-them.

So I started thinking and writing, writing and thinking about the little things that have made all the difference in our post-pregnancy world. And then I realized: dude, this could be a nice series of posts. Without further delay, I present to you...

IFE, ONE PRODUCT AT A TIME (postpartum month 1)


Oh my. For the NIPPLES. Because no matter what they tell you, no matter how awesome breastfeeding is (and it really really is awesome), it also TOTALLY HURTS in the beginning. And the nipples need som
e TLC. TLC to be found in this stuff, because it soothes and relieves the ouchy. I actually had more than one tube of this stuff stashed around the house and in Bean's diaper bag.


Possibly the best piece of advice I received after Bean was born. Emily came to my hospital roo
m and handed me a box of these and said IT'S OKAY TO CRY. About mid-week two, the tears started and they didn't stop. For DAYS. I cried because I missed being pregnant. I cried because I felt terrible. I cried because Alice was so beautiful. I cried because my mom was leaving. I cried because my boobs were sore. I cried because there wasn't anything good on television. I cried because the cats looked at me wrong and DUDE I'M GOING TO BE A TERRIBLE MOTHER PLEASE PASS MORE KLEENEX. I ran through one box and called Emily to tell her (mid-sob) I NEED MORE KLEENEX. So she came over with a pack of FOUR and also a chocolate milkshake. Kleenex (and a very sweet friend) got me through.

Eucerin lotion. Listen, I have the driest dry skin that ever dried. So I know what I'm talking about when I tell you that my skin post-pregnancy was the DRIEST IN THE LAND. So to recap, I not only had a small girl child learning to nurse on my oh so very ouchy ouchy breasts, but the skin itself was OH THE HUMANITY chapped and dry and so very scaly. I was not a pretty sight. But Eucerin lotion? ROCKS MY WORLD. You can apply it until the cows come home and your skin will just drink it in. It's lovely and fragrance-free (so it won't bother baby). I've tried a million and one creams and lotions throughout my life, and Eucerin, by far, is the best stuff for the job.

Basic Comfort nursing pillow.

This isn't personal to the Boppy and all Boppy lovers out there - but the Boppy so did not work for me. Alice was rolling off the thing from day one and it made me nuts. I figured I was nuts enough already without the added Boppy-shaped headache, so when I tried the Basic Comfort nursing pillow at our breastfeeding center, I didn't hesitate to buy it. The Basic Comfort nursing pillow had me at HELLO, people. So awesome. Where the Boppy is round and rolly and quite frankly a little on the smallish size - the Basic Comfort is large and flat and has a really soft cover that is removable for washing. It is the Cadillac to the Boppy's sub-compact is what I'm saying.

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp.

I want to send this guy flowers. Chocolate. Precious jewels. There isn't a day that goes by when I don't use the methods Dr. Karp describes to soothe Bean. I really don't know what I would have done if I hadn't read this book before she was born. Dr. Karp explains so clearly what a baby is experiencing in her first three months and how best to soothe her. So he not only covers WHAT TO DO but also WHY YOU'RE DOING IT. Which is so helpful to me. I'm all about the why. Why does swaddling work? Dr. Karp tells you. Why should I be making a maniacal shhhh shhhh SHHHH noise in Bean's ear? Dr. Karp tells you. Why should I be patting Bean's back and rocking like a lunatic? Dr. Karp tells you. It's FANTASTIC.

Alrighty, my friends. That's it for month one. I'd love to hear what stuff YOU couldn't live without during those early few weeks of baby's life.

Next up: miracle products from month two.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

oh baby

Please pop on over to see The Wife's brand spanking NEW BABY. I'm so excited for her and The Husband!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

made me laugh so hard I made that snorting sound

There is a snotty summer intern at Stacie's work. She falls asleep at her desk. And Stacie not only took a picture, but she posted it. Priceless.

And in other news: you know you're deliriously tired and also ever-so-slightly preoccupied with a small baby person when you spend an hour walking around Target with a large wad of kleenex sticking out of the neck of your shirt. Because you were wearing pants without pockets and had stuck the large wad of kleenex in the best place you could come up with for handy reaching several hours earlier in the day.

Let me tell you, I'm on FIRE with BRILLIANCE over here. Maybe I should take a nap at my desk.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

of green plaid jumpers and high school yearbooks

It's a strange swirly series of events that have brought me here tonight, thinking about this girl.

Chip has been a little nostalgic about his high school classmates, ever since we started watching this guy on tv. They went to school together, and it naturally started Chip down the road of wondering where people are - what they've been doing - and more specifically how they're doing. He's incredibly proud of the folks he's heard from, and those that he's watching from afar. Our friend Emily (also an old schoolmate of Chip's) started a blog just for their graduating class, to help them all connect with one another.

I'm a little sad to say that I can't begin to relate to this desire to track down old pals, to see old friends, to know what they've been doing, to revel in their successes and offer support for their challenges. On the whole, my high school experience was decent enough. I had friends. I did stuff. I drove my parents CRAZY. But once I walked through those gates and left the lockers and the weird smelling gym behind, I seriously LEFT IT ALL BEHIND. With only a couple of rare exceptions, I haven't talked to a single person I knew back then. I didn't follow anyone's exploits through college. I didn't receive any wedding announcements. I don't get any baby pictures from high school friends. I haven't joined any of those classmate sites. I haven't even CHECKED. I haven't ever googled anyone. I haven't searched Facebook or MySpace. I just... have no desire to do it. I don't know what I'd say. I don't think I have the equipment to start a conversation that ended sixteen years ago.

... Okay, I just deleted a few longish paragraphs that went into WAY too much detail about boring stuff that basically amounted to this: I'm a weird bird, yo. And for some reason, I've never been curious about people I knew when I was 17. I think I thought it would be too painful or something. But time passes. And things change. And we get married. And we have babies. And a whole other bunch of stuff happens that doesn't define us, but it molds us - changes us - turns us into the people we are today.

I look back at This Girl up at the top of the page. I think about her, about her dreams for her future, about her imaginings for career and family and life in general. I know that she didn't quite imagine the me I've become. I know that she never imagined the hard stuff, just like she never imagined the AMAZING stuff either. But I love that little girl. She had spunk and optimism and a fierce love for the world and everything in it. The kids from high school, I am beginning to think of them in the same way, knowing that the people they were then is a rippling echo into this our present.

Suddenly, there isn't anything wrong with a little curiosity.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

loopy - special post-fourth of july edition

We not only have a winner for the Pay it Forward contest here at The Creamery (CONGRATS AGAIN, FIONA PICKLEBOTTOM). We also have another contest! Because I WON - not one but two of these fine contest thingies.

I think I love the fact that they are looping around like that.

From TESSIE at Messing With Texas

From Maggie at And the Duck Said

I feel like I need to give an acceptance speech or something. I feel so lucky! My plan is to post a new contest for EACH of the winnings once I receive them in the mail. So that's not just one contest you could win, but TWO.

And because it was Independence Day yesterday, we have RED WHITE AND BABY: THE ALICE.

Friday, July 4, 2008

i have all my best ideas on benedryl at midnight while i'm watching tv on mute and using the breastpump ALSO: CONTEST WINNER

- I think the people typing the captions for David Letterman are lazy. Or just very slow typists. They've typed the same sentence three times. With spelling mistakes.

- The spelling mistakes are sort of making me crazy.

- The bloggers commenting that they eat the Special Dark first... don't live on the same planet as me. I can't stand the Special Dark. Good thing I didn't write that in the blog. I might have offended some Special Dark fans. Good thing I didn't add that I seriously think they need to redesign the entire Mini Bar blend because as far as I'm concerned it's only worth it to eat the Krackle and then the plain Hershey's. Good thing I didn't also say that I think they make those mini mixes because they need to find someone to take the extra Mr. Goodbar and Special Dark off their hands. Yes, good thing I didn't say any of that.

- If my genius neighbors wake Alice up with their louder than dirt fireworks, I'm going to poke out my eye.

- On second thought, maybe it would be better to march over there and poke out their eyes.

- Million dollar idea: a service that will track down the noisy neighborhood teenage hoodlum contingent in about ten years, setting off a large portion of firecrackers and horrid squealy things in front of their 4-month-old daughter's window. At midnight. When she's trying to sleep. And when they (the parent, the former noisy neighborhood teenage hoodlum) are operating on 3 hours of sleep while also nursing a cold that WILL NOT DIE. And then the service would leave a little note on their front doorstep "courtesy of someone you once knew". Yes, total million dollar idea.

- Sometimes, I swear I can hear the TV even though it's on mute. I either have Super Spider Hearing (unlikely) or am just Crazy (much more likely).

- Are the noisy neighborhood teenage hoodlums KIDDING ME? With the M-80's or whatever that racket is????

- Dude. I wonder how many people are going to read through this entire entry to find the contest winner, of if they're going to skip all my brilliant thoughts and just skim to the bottom.

- In addition to my new million dollar idea, I might need to start a brand new trend of DAYTIME FIREWORKS. I'm much more on board with this idea. I wouldn't have to try to insulate the sleeping child from the racket. Come on neighborhood teenage hoodlum contingent! How CRAZY would THAT be? You can still be a hoodlum at 2 in the afternoon! (And then sleep when it gets dark because doing the fireworks during daylight hours is the new black!)

- The benedryl might be taking effect.

And... winner of the contest for either the fantabulous taggie blanket (baby theme package) OR the handmade cards (other theme package - the theme being fantastic but not baby-related) is....


The best part of Fiona being the winner is that she was one of those fine folk who never win anything. And now she DID!!!! Here at The Creamery. That should make her a reader for life, don't you think? Now Fiona will get to pick which package she'd like, and once I get it out to her (in about a week), she'll post a picture of her winnings AND also start her own pay it forward contest. Yay!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

alice at four months

These are the moments when magic happens:

- When Alice is laying on my chest, smiling at me for all she's worth. Smiling like that because she's looking at me, her mom.

- When Alice is rolling over for the first time. The house is quiet except for my clapping and squealing and yay-ing like I've just won the lottery. And when she rolls over again. And again. And again. (And even again later, showing off for daddy.) We are so proud.

- When Alice is grabbing things (my hair, my glasses, her butterfly toy from Auntie Stacie, her taggie blanket). I tell her that we need to work on her grabbing things like laundry and dishes. And then putting them away. How COOL would that be???

- When Alice is talking. We imagine that she's telling us about her drea
ms. The places she sees behind her eyelids must be wonderful because she has a lot to say.

- When I can anticipate Alice's moods. I adore how well I know this little creature, and how she can still surprise me.

- When she is so content to be in Chip's arms. How he carries her around the house like she's a princess. How they are developing their own special bond.

There is magic in every moment with Alice. It has been a wonderful four m

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

at the end of all things

My friend The Wife is nearing the end of her pregnancy. Lo, not just NEARING, she's AT the end of her pregnancy and she's coming to terms with what it means. What it means to be transformed from Pregnant Woman to Mother - from couple to triad - from this other thing that she's been all her life to something we can never fully comprehend until we're holding that little person for the first time.

In times like these, I naturally turn to Lord of the Rings. There is a point when two of the main characters, Frodo and Sam, bloodied and beaten - their bodies and minds compressed to dust from the sheer effort it has taken to reach the end of their journey. They have fulfilled their quest, a job that no one should have been able to do, but they have done it. They are laying on the side of the mountain of fire with no hope of escape, finally at peace that their journey is over. Frodo is so glad to be there with Sam, at the end of all things. (And this is where The Wife comes in, as she is at The End...)

Sam and Frodo - it is at this point that they finally comprehend the job they had to do, and how they accepted it without a full understanding of it's difficulty or complexity. And even as those challenges and heartaches showed themselves along the journey, they never did give up or give in. They are weary. They are ready to succumb. But they are also purified. They are clear with their purpose. They are empty of any more confusion. They are at peace and it is finally okay to let go and accept their End. And this is when Gandalf appears with the eagles that sweep them up up up into the clear blue sky - above the dirt and the ashes and the fire - taking them to a place of unutterable beauty.

I think of The Wife, how she is now comprehending the job she and The Husband have been doing, and how they accepted it without a full understanding of it's difficulty or complexity. And I'm so damn proud of them - that even as they have faced challenges and heartaches they have pushed forward so bravely. I know that The Wife is weary. And as she faces childbirth (in whatever form it may take), I know that she will reach a point when she lets go in faith and puts her trust in Heavenly Father - and she will succumb to whatever fate awaits her. I know that at that moment, when everything else is burned away, she will look to this child with his fierce beauty and rise above the dirt and the ashes and the fire.

Here, at the End of All Things, it's also the Beginning.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

and there's this contest thing going on

Besides the bogey nose sucker avoidance, we've got this nifty CONTEST... deadline for entering is Friday!

only in dreams

What do you think babies dream about? Milk and chewy fingers and their parents' faces. Smiling green froggies and colorful taggie blankets and someone nibbling on their toes. It's hard to imagine that too much has happened in the (nearly) four months Alice has been alive that would prompt her to have nightmares, but amidst all her dreams, she has the bad variety too. For the longest time we've tried to imagine what could be haunting her, what could be so very terrible to wake her form a sound sleep crying - her face crumpling up into itself in a pinky red mess: lower lip jutting out, eyes squinting into little slits, big tears collecting in puddles on her cheeks. Some of our nightmare theories have included giant sadistic blankets coming to wrap her in the night, a demonic bottle that appears full but won't give her any milk no matter now hard she sucks, and the dreaded Moby - wrapped around her body so tight she can't see over her mommy's shoulder!!! Duh duh DAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Terrible, I know.

After all our theories, I finally came up with the real answer, the thing that haunts a baby's dreams, threatening her with it's looming presence.

I think that the babies have some kind of secret Baby Bogey sucker 101 seminar in the hospital (complete with flowcharts and a whiteboard with Tips for Avoiding the Sucking of the Bogeys). It's either that or they are just born with the innate hatred of the baby bogey sucker thingie as is traditional for NATURAL ENEMIES. I swear Alice has some serious ninja skills when it comes to avoiding the bogey sucker thingie and its entrance into her nose holes.

It appears that the actual scientific name of the blue baby bogey sucker thingie is BABY BOOGER SUCKER because that's what I entered to find it in Google.

And let me just add that I found some other frightening bogey devices on Amazon.

Such as the Baby Nasal Aspirator Vacuum Suction. Huh?

Are we really serious about this Japan? Because.... REALLY? Baby Nose Cleaning Tweezers.

Yes, they are serious about it. Deathly serious. Check out that IMAGE with the MOM SUCKING THE BOGEYS OUT OF BABY'S NOSE. WITH HER MOUTH.

Apparently, everything is made better with batteries. Including bogey sucking.

And I'm sorry, but making it into the jaunty SHAPE OF A BEAR with the name of BENJAMIN BEAR isn't going to change Alice's innate desire NOT to have something shoved up her nose. I'm just saying.