Saturday, August 30, 2008

not quickly forgotten

Before I get to the rest of this, let me just direct your attention up there to the right - where I have posted the link to THE PLAIN WHITE BOX and Cherish's Pay it Forward contest. Yes, she has THE BOX! I am pleasantly surprised that our postal system got the box to Cherish in, like, four days instead of the FOURTEEN that they had estimated. Now, go enter that Pif!!!

We are in San Francisco. It is also confirmed that we are absolutely CRAZY, but really - you already knew that, didn't you?

We left Seattle on Thursday night around 10pm, Alice wrapped burrito-style in her car seat (and hopefully for the night). We drove. And we drove. And we drove - and really, I should say that CHIP drove, but I did my work too: stationed in the backseat next to Alice to anticipate every snorfle, snuffle, and grunt and keep her little peepers CLOSED.

We made it to San Francisco around 7pm last night. This was after such random weird stop-overs in places like Santa Rosa, Mt. Shasta, and some little town in the Sacramento valley for feeding/playing/generally exhausting Alice before we strapped her back in the seat and tried to inch a bit closer to San Francisco.

Phew. So we're here. This is stop #1. We'll be leaving tomorrow night to head over to Utah to see my folks. I'm too tired to say anything even remotely witty. Aren't you glad?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

why I don't bother with rulers

I love the honest ones. The ones who don't hide their warts. The ones who will tell you exactly how they are when you ask.

I love the broken ones. The ones who have scuff marks and don't hide them. The ones who are more beautiful for their cracks.

I love the imperfect ones. The ones who can't draw a straight line. The ones who will tell you that they don't do everything right the first time, the second time, and maybe even the last time.

I love the fierce ones. The ones who are hard to love. The ones you break on like an ocean wave.

I love the messy ones. The ones who leave chaos in their wake. The ones who are surrounded by a cloud of uncertainty.

I love the unlovable, the unsociable, the hermit, the runt, the dirty kid with the freckles.

It's perfection and neatness and order that make me suspicious. I don't trust someone who is neatly ironed and always ready early. I don't think such a thing really truly exists - and the ones who put that out there are spending an awful lot of time creating a facade.

Real is unkempt. It is unruly. It is loud. It is lapped over the edges of the box. Real is beautiful to me because it's how and who I always want to be.

Monday, August 25, 2008

because i LOVE a good graph

My shirt has a sizable oatmeal stain on it. I am not going to change my shirt until after Alice wakes up from her nap, and after I have fed her her cereal. In the time we've been doing the whole cereal routine, I've learned a couple of valuable lessons. The first one being, whatever is clean prior to the Cereal Endeavor, will be dirty afterwards. And whatever is dirty prior to the Cereal Endeavor, will be even dirtier. See! Look at how I've GROWN!

My oatmeal-stained shirt goes hand in hand with my new understanding of Life with Baby - and more specifically, Doing Things in Life with Baby. I have even drawn you a helpful diagram:

Anything we do with baby falls somewhere on this line. Things like giving Alice kisses and tickling her toes easily fall on the left side of the graph - smack dab in the green zone of everyday doings. Some things (like the kisses or the toe tickling) are easy easy EASY from the start. Other things, like nursing or baths or getting her dressed begin at the more difficult end of the graph - maybe not in the RED ZONE exactly, but closer to it (because the closer you get to IMPOSSIBLE, the harder things become). But like the nursing or baths or getting Alice dressed - some things get easier, the more you do them.

Like this:

Then there are some things (like, say, putting Alice on the floor and expecting her to entertain herself for an hour) that are near IMPOSSIBLE - and being the relatively smart person that I am, I wouldn't dream of trying them. I also have to add that Bogey Sucking is in the RED ZONE OF INSANITY, but I do it anyway. Because it's the right thing to do.

The biggest challenge in Life with Baby is figuring out where something lies on the graph. And it's even better when I can ascertain where something is going to be before I do it - because it makes my expectations of the outcome that much easier. If I know something is in the RED ZONE before I try it, I can hunker down and just kind of expect the screaming - no harm, no foul. If the Thing I'm Trying continues to live in the RED ZONE I might decide that it's simply not worth my while and nix it from Life with Baby altogether. And yet, as I mentioned, sometimes things do get easier...

So that's where I'm at with the whole Working Out of My Boss' House with Alice in Tow. As gut wrenchingly AWFUL as it was a week ago, I'm hoping it gets easier. I'm hoping hoping hoping that, in time, it might eek down the graph just a tad - maybe even fall outside the RED ZONE. We had another office day on Thursday (the day I published this post about the last Thursday) - and it wasn't as bad. It wasn't peachy-keen perfect, mind you, and there was still crying at inconvenient times and much much much SWEATING (on my part) - but it was actually easier. My boss continues to be a really great guy, and does want us to come back again this week. I've just got to give thanks for the small miracles of toys that Alice LOVES and a soft blankie and also the Pack and Play (which I brought with me on Thursday). (Message from Whimsy: when in doubt, bring more STUFF.)

I think that one of the hardest things (and also the most entertaining- go figure) of Life with Baby is that Chip and I continue to sort of throw new experiences at the graph and try to see where they're going to stick.

Let's work out of boss' house! (SPLAT in RED ZONE OF INSANITY)

Let's try to go to FOUR places instead of our usual limit of THREE when we run errands today! (SPLAT in RED ZONE OF INSANITY)

Our newest endeavor that has me TERRIFIED is a road trip (gulp gulp GULP) down to ---- SAN FRANCISCO. Oh the humanity. We leave on Thursday night. I'll just let you know that I've already decided that the road trip heavily resides in the RED ZONE and I am unsure how far it will move the needle IF ANY.

Oh boy.

if I twittered

This is totally what I'd be saying:

The 35-minute evening nap is KILLING ME. There should be some kind of baby LAW that requires sleep in hour-long increments.

- - -

Chip during the Olympic closing ceremonies: WOW - IT'S LIKE A PAULA ABDUL VIDEO.

- - -

Is there anything more delicious than Alice kisses?

- - -

Stupid graph. Why did I have to try to make a GRAPH?

- - -

Why is a three location errand outing successful, but FOUR LOCATIONS just pushes Alice beyond her limit? Does she have something against the bank?

- - -

Maple and brown sugar oatmeal is saving my LIFE.

- - -

Welcome to Monday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

how to have a successful business meeting at your boss' house, a primer

1. When your boss suggests that you can bring your daughter with you, politely say no.

Do not readily agree, excited that you are now putting in place some of the plans the two of you had when he first offered you the job. The fact that you would be able to bring the baby with you when you met was a perk - and even though he is totally sincere in his offer, he is also living in FANTASY LAND thinking that you will get actual work done with a 5-month-old baby in the house. And a full grown dog (his).

2. Find a sitter for the baby. Really.

Do not create an elaborate strategy for moving the baby's sleeping time/nap times just slightly to the left so that you can have her dressed, fed, and packed in the car for your epic trip to Boss' House.

3. Find a sitter for the baby. I'm not kidding.

Do not pack TWO bags (including three blankets, various toys, ice pack for bottle of breast milk, change of clothes for baby, and many diapers and wipes that may be needed).

4. Check on the highway traffic before you leave.

Do not sit in INEXPLICABLE MASS OF CARS ON HIGHWAY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY, telling the baby (that you were supposed to leave at home) that "it's okay, it's okay, we're almost there!".

5. Double check your boss' address, and repeat it several times to make sure you heard "42nd Street" clearly.

Do not jot it down, print off the mapquest directions, and then jump in the car. Do not, after sitting in inexplicable traffic jam, mindlessly drive up and down 42nd street wondering how an entire BLOCK of house numbers have up and disappeared.

6. If you get lost, call your boss immediately, and kindly let him know that there must have been a misunderstanding because you cannot find the house number.


7. If you get lost, call your boss immediately to clarify the address.

Do not finally breakdown and call him after you have been rounding the same block for 25 minutes. Do not leave this message on his voicemail: HI. I MUST BE CRAZY BECAUSE I CLEARLY CAN'T FIND YOUR HOUSE. PLEASE CALL ME.

8. When your boss calls you to lead you in to his (easily found) house, offer a generous "thank you" when he states that he lives on 47TH STREET.


9. Enter your boss' house with an air of confidence and professionalism. Greet him warmly. Shake his hand. Agree to sit down at his dining room table and go through his stack of correspondence and other miscellaneous bills.

Do not offer him a sweaty and shaking hand and then quickly leave him standing in his dining room with the baby (in her carrier) as you dash outside for your other TWO bags.

10. Bring something nice for your boss' dog. Treat him as a member of the family, because he is sweet and beloved and will be spending this afternoon with you.

Do not silently wonder how you're going to possibly put the baby on the floor (on two of her blankets) with a large dog trotting around the living room, fearful that he will be trotting ON HER HEAD.

11. You should have left the baby with a sitter.


12. When your boss begins to discuss his plans for your time together, take notes in your (very businesslike) notebook - or even better, quietly tap away on your laptop.

Do not rustle around in a cavernous bag, muttering quietly I know I packed some writing things in here somewhere. Maybe I can use a napkin?

13. As your boss takes a phone call from a client, quietly go through the files on his computer. Be glad that you left the baby with a sitter because she would have been pretty startled by the barking dog.

Do not mutter in a tragic stage whisper I'M SO SORRY while trying to comfort the crying baby (that you should have left with a sitter) while your boss tells his client - Oh don't mind the barking and crying, we're sort of the Brady Bunch over here today.

14. Because you left the baby with a sitter, you don't need to worry about her falling off anything, like, say A COUCH. But if the phantom baby does nearly fall off the couch (because you have stupidly propped her there for a second while you rummage in the diaper bag), be calm - collected. Be concerned about the baby. Let your boss see how confident and competent you are!

Do not put your baby on the couch. Do not sheepishly stutter to Boss: wow - that was close!

15. As the afternoon wears on, work efficiently and maximize your time. This is a golden opportunity to discuss your work with your boss face-to-face. Do as much as you can. Remain calm. Exude confidence. Ignore the 90-degree heat.

Do not wrestle with baby. Do not sweat.

16. When your boss offers some white noise to help you get the baby to sleep (the baby that you didn't bring, remember?) - gladly accept. You might also try suggesting that you set the baby up in another room, where things will be quieter.

Do not laugh nervously at the mention of ENYA. Do not spend 15 minutes rocking and cooing with baby in an insane attempt to get her to nap, all the while sweating sweating sweating.

17. Be glad that you set baby up in another room to nap.

Do not put the baby in her car seat and spend the next 45 minutes rocking it crazily with your foot. Ignore the cramp.

18. Laugh and then politely accept when your boss offers you a cushion to sit at his desk.

Do not kindly decline and then spend the next two hours craning your neck until its muscles have hardened beyond reason.

19. Nurse the baby.

Do not feel so weird about nursing there in your boss' living room that you wind up bringing a bottle of breast milk. A bottle your baby is about to reject.

20. Bring an extra nipple for the baby's bottle.

Do not try to enlarge the nipple hole with one of your boss' knives. Knives that can most likely cut through CANS, they are so sharp. (See #19)

21. Before you leave, nurse the baby and check a TRAFFIC report.

Do not insist that you'll be able to take the express lanes and will be home in no time flat. Do not insist that you'll be okay and there's no need to feed the baby before you go.

22. As the car slows to a snail's pace due to the extreme TRAFFIC, pull off at the nearest highway exit to nurse the baby and wait out the drive time.

Do not madly insist that you WILL get home, and you WILL NOT stop. Do not sing Popcorn Popping 337 times during the 70 minute drive home in a vain attempt to distract the baby. The baby that is now crying.

23. Plan on another successful business meeting for the following week, knowing that you were absolutely on top of your game.

Do not have a heart attack when your boss asks you to come back next week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

still loving those knickers

Take a look at what I got in the mail the other day:

YES, THAT WOULD BE THE RED KNICKERS AND BLOUSE. (My mom read the entry and found the picture. How sweet is that?) So let's review: I am wearing quite possibly the dorkiest pants ever made. I am also wearing white knee socks. Sort of like Pinnochio. I am wearing my plaid blouse (with PUFFED SLEEVES). I am carrying my red apple school bag. I am wearing a red stretchy belt (possibly my Crayon belt, I'm not sure). I am wearing my interchangeable colored band watch (you know - there was a green band and a white band and a black band and a RED band and I could pop the watch out the back and move it from band to band - TO MATCH MY OUTFIT). And I am standing in front of a giant key. Because every front room in the 80's had a giant key in it. This picture now bears record of my dorkitude. But I loved that outfit. Loved.

Something else I love? The Plain White Box. Which isn't so plain anymore. The box top is still white - and looking a little weird because the lining I put inside the lid sort of peeks out a bit. I'm hoping someone down the line will decorate the box top. I'll keep you posted on when Cherish receives the package, and also when she hosts her PiF.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I officially declare this PACKAGE WEEK at The Creamery. I've finally got both Cherish AND Vicky's packages ready to ship (cue angelic choir). And hey, I have a great idea - how about I bait you with this teaser about having the packages ready to go, but I only talk about ONE of the packages today, and the other one tomorrow - or maybe Wednesday. Doesn't that sound like fun?

And yes, that would be Vicky's package that she won in JULY. Let's hope she thinks it was worth the wait. At this point, the boy might be in college. Happy graduation, son, here's a taggie and some other stuff. Now I know that the rule of the PIF is that Vicky will post a picture of the loot once she gets it, but I can't resist.

A peek:

One might argue that I'm ruining the surprise, but I promise that there is a bit more here than meets the eye. And besides, PRETTY COLORS! Now let me obsess about something: I loved making this package. I adore putting something together that will fit just right for someone - whether it's a box full of random surprises, or one Big Thing, I always want to make sure that the recipient really knows that the present was made just for HER. However, with this one, Big Dumb Whimsy really sort of, um, missed the boat. I kind-of geared this whole box toward a little boy that is a tad younger than Vicky's little shorty-pants (and boy is he CUTE - check him out here). The onesies? 3-6 MONTHS. The hat? 3 MONTHS. What was I thinking???

What's done is done, and even though this is going to eat me up inside, I'm sending it anyway. Because maybe Vicky can regift (I have no problem with this, Vicky, FYI). And then the giftee will be all, "YOU MADE THIS JUST FOR ME???" And then Vicky can say "YES, I SURE DID. JUST FOR YOU." Seems like a nice compromise, yes?

In other news, the Olympics this weekend presented some seriously AWESOME items for the AWESOME/NOT AWESOME list.

--Olympic racewalking. HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MADNESS? I NEARLY PEED MY PANTS WATCHING IT. So very, very awesome.**
--Men's and Women's steeplechase. Isn't this a race normally for HORSES?
--Olympic... trampoline? Really?

I can make fun because every single one of these people (including the RACEWALKERS) could seriously kick my trash.

** A RACEWALKING fact: Did you know that these dudes can get DISQUALIFIED for running? There is this nutty panel of judges that watches the field and then totally FLAGS THE RACEWALKER if they are caught crossing the invisible crazy line between WALKING and RUNNING. This just kills me. Chip's favorite part was watching the passers-by lap the Olympians.

Friday, August 15, 2008

that's never going to be the same, is it?

The one problem with the awesome/not awesome game is that I've totally ruined awesome in our house. FOREVER. All morning I was like, "Oh - that's so awesome." And then Chip was like, "And blah blah blah (insert badness here) is NOT awesome." I dare you. Try it at your house and you'll see what happens. It's both hugely entertaining and also a teeny bit irritating. But yes, you should TOTALLY do it too! You're very welcome.

So the case of the Augusts have sort of continued - what with the sticky sticky heat and the no air conditioning in the house and the small baby person who has decided that all she wants in life right now is to have mama hold her. I suspect some possible teething action, but I'm not 100% sure.


Awesome: Graham crackers and chocolate frosting.

Not awesome: Fake nilla wafers (the Fred Meyer brand) and chocolate frosting. Very very NOT awesome. I took a risk on the fake nillas and I am PAYING THE PRICE.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

awesome / not awesome

When life gets to be a little too, um, complicated for me, I like to return to the simple things. Things like thinking of the pieces of my day in terms of awesome/not awesome. Let me explain the complicated rules.

You have something happen, like allowing the baby to nearly fall off the couch because you looked away (stupid, stupid) and you review it like this:

Voice inside Whimsy's head: Hmmm - awesome? Or not awesome?
- - - - - thinking - - - - -
Whimsy: I'm going to go with NOT awesome.

It's great because everything can be now sorted into these two groups.

Awesome: Tillamook cookie dough ice cream.

NOT awesome: The cheapie strawberry ice cream we bought on sale. Chip said it actually tastes "carbonated".

Awesome: Alice in a diaper.

NOT awesome: Alice's diaper leaking liquid pooey bits on my lap. And a couch cushion.

Awesome: Alice crawling. No really. And she does it ON HER FACE.

NOT awesome: When Alice crawls on her face onto the hardwood floor. You think I'm kidding? We don't kid with the awesome/not awesome game.

Awesome: The end of this day.

NOT awesome: The record-breaking HEAT that is continuing into the evening. I don't think sleep is going to come easy tonight.

Okay, now it's your turn to play. Give me at least one awesome/not awesome.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

no content wednesday

The Late Summer Malaise has hit me hard, and I'm having a difficult time feeling very, well, UP about much. I think this happens every August, I can't be sure. I'm usually just so darn UGLY about it that I don't write much down. FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH. Ha. I'm going to do better this year, and slog through this mess, looking forward to September - the beginning of the 'bers (and my favorite time of year).

Anyway. I've been buried under a mountain of work-y stuff (house work, baby work, part time job work) and have still accomplished NOTHING. Yes, welcome to August. The Plain White Box isn't so, um, PLAIN anymore - but that's all I'm going to say about it right now, in hopes that I'll have it decorated and ready to send off to Cherish very soon. And I'm sorry - see that last sentence? Where I should have been all linked-up to past entries? And yet it's clearly NOT? Hmmm, yes: WELCOME TO AUGUST.

Am cranky.

To distract you from my obvious lack of manners (crappy phone picture notwithstanding: LOOK AT THE DELICIOUS BABY!):

Monday, August 11, 2008

monday night: wherein I admit my completely geeky love for the olympics

I love it, I do. With the opening ceremonies that last 16 hours and the parade of countries and the stories from the host country and the Olympic-themed commercials. I really love it. I devour every inspirational story (with the music and the black and white photography and the redemption that is so tuned to completely manipulate the audience and I DON'T CARE BECAUSE I CRY EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.) I just can't get enough of it. I watch every sport - the boring ones like water polo and boxing; the weird ones like synchronized swimming; the unique ones that I'd never see otherwise like fencing and women's softball; the ones that are being watched by every marketing executive on the planet as they furiously work to nail down the flavor of the month athlete for some kind of commercial deal. I love hearing the stories of triumph, heartbreak, overcoming obstacles. I love hearing about the teamwork, the sacrifices, the hard work. I am savvy enough to recognize that there is a marketing engine behind the Olympics, just like anything else. But I don't care. I really, truly, adore the Olympics.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

unveiling the not-knickers

I never did find a picture of the knickers. Man, am I BUMMED about that. What's even more irritating about not finding a photo is the fact that I know there's a picture out there with me in my FAVORITE OUTFIT. I am standing in the backyard by the old swingset, grinning for all I'm worth, wearing those darn red shorty pants with the snaps at the knees - complete with red and blue plaid short sleeve blouse. I might be sporting some pigtails.

Don't you hate it when you know that something like a photo exists - you can even describe it in detail - but you can't find any evidence of the thing? I have this same experience with a green and white striped shirt. I totally remember OWNING this shirt, but I have no memory of getting rid of it. And yet it is NO WHERE TO BE FOUND. Weird.

In place of the knickers, you get this little gem:

You ALSO get the winner of the Plain White Box PIF: Cherish at A Girl and Her Blog. What's so cool about Cherish being the winner is that she's 1. From CANADA and 2. A new blogger. So not only does the Box get to travel out of the country, we all get to visit someone new! As you can see up there to your right, I've added the promised WHERE IN THE WORLD IS THE PLAIN WHITE BOX icon - and as soon as I get it sent to Cherish, I'll update the link and post the picture. I promise to get it sent out soon because I can't wait to get this thing started. Now Cherish, please don't let us down! You get to host your own PIF with the Plain White Box (and all it's lovely details and rules... oh the humanity) and the whole circle will continue...

Yay! Am now tired from using so many exclamation points. Am going to lay down in front of the refrigerator.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

tick tick tick...

First off, I should admit something about our grocery stealing epidemic. It's true that it has happened to us three times in the last month, but it's been at three different stores. No kidding. I really can't explain it other than chalking it up to either Tremendous Stupidity on our part as to be that oblivious to our surroundings and we're just leaving groceries trailing after us willy-nilly through the parking lot. That - or maybe we're being stalked by an incredibly bored (albeit maniacally EVIL) bag boy who is following us store-to-store and slowly trying to drive us INSANE by stealing bits of groceries. Insane and also BROKE.

Anyway, the main purpose of this post is to remind you that the Pay It Forward deadline is TODAY, 6pm PST. Here's your chance to get in on the ground floor and possibly host the Plain White Box. I'll make the winning announcement tomorrow. I CAN'T WAIT TO GET THIS STARTED. Now don't let me down - go comment here to enter the PIF.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

11:46 p.m.

Late night belongs to me now. The house has dulled it's voice to a slow and steady thrum - the white noise of refrigerator, computer equipment. I walk down the stairs, passing Alice's room - listening for any stirrings from inside. The light from our bedroom leaves a small blue trail on the hallway floor.

In the living room I turn on a lamp, give myself some comfort in the quiet. Pumping has become a solitary experience, something I do in the dark house, something I do late at night when everyone is dreaming. Occasionally Fergus comes down to keep me company. He hopes for treats.

I sit hunched on the couch, listening to the humpf-humpf-humpf of the breast pump. I scan the room from this seat. I create to do lists in my head - the things left undone. I think about the day stretching out before me tomorrow and wonder if I will manage my time better. Is there ever a day that ends with satisfaction? Completion? A feeling that I have made the most of every second?

I close my eyes, meditate to the sound of the pump. I think of images that I'd like to paint - pieces I would like to make with bits of fabric - words I would like to commit to paper. In the black landscape of my mind I move mountains and create beautiful works of art. When I open my eyes, the yellow lamplight brings me back to the late hour, the feeling heavy in my eyelids.

When I am done, I walk to the kitchen, my bare feet padding on the wood floor. The wood is cool and comforting to my toes. I rinse the pump parts, carefully bag and tag the milk for Alice. She will need it tomorrow. I open the 'fridge and pull out the little plastic dish I use to keep the bags of milk. I count the bags, thinking of Alice, what she needs - how she trusts me to take care of her. I count the bags. They are so precious to me for what they represent, how much Alice needs every drop here. Sometimes I count the bags two and three times, thinking about Alice's hungry face, her smacking lips.

Many times I find my way to the den, to this computer, to the light of the monitor, to the white of this page. I think about my life. I think about my family. I try to represent them well. I often fail.

Chip is waiting for me upstairs. Waiting with closed eyes, gently sleeping. I will join him soon, and when I do, I know that I'll have a few moments of hesitation, wondering if I should wake him up, just to talk to him. To share the beauty of the quiet. To share a secret from the day. To kiss his nose. To rub his eyebrows.

Instead, I will watch his sleeping face, try to read his expression. Hope for good dreams. Hope for a good tomorrow.


Monday, August 4, 2008

last week

Third Time This Month

Whimsy: Where's the Benedryl you bought at the grocery store?
Chip: It's not in the bag? Are you serious?

- - - - -

Whimsy Doesn't Share Food

Chip: I found your package of cookies in the towel drawer.
Whimsy: Yes. I put them there for safe keeping. Along with the english muffins.

- - - - -

Third Time This Month

Whimsy: Do you know where I can find the new carton of milk? I looked in the 'fridge.
Chip: Are you serious? Did the grocery store not give it to us?

- - - - -

The Mount Everest Theory of Brownie Consumption

Chip: Wow. How come you ate so many brownies?
Whimsy: Because they were there.

- - - - -

Propping Her Eyelids Open with Toothpicks Didn't Seem Like the Right Thing to Do

Chip: Where's Alice?
Whimsy: Down for her nap.
Chip: But you just fed her.
Whimsy: Yes.
Chip: But... you kinda got mad at me yesterday for trying to put her down for her morning nap so early.
Whimsy: I know.
Chip: So... what's the difference?
Whimsy: She wouldn't stay awake. I tickled her, blew on her neck, burped her repeatedly. She was totally comatose, so I put her to bed.
Chip: Oh.
Whimsy: I even tried poking her. It didn't work.

- - - - -

No Really - Third Time THIS MONTH

Whimsy: Hey, have you seen the can of formula we bought on Friday?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

letter to alice at five months

Dear Alice,

At the moment, you are sitting in your car seat on the dining room table while your father washes dishes. You are both listening to Dave Matthews, and I think that you're singing. These are the moments that I never expected, that I never imagined: the small instan
ces when your presence makes our lives brilliant, beautiful, and poignant - like singing while washing dishes.

There are so many ways you have surprised me, even in the short five months you've been alive.

- You were not going to love music this early. With Chip for a father, I knew that you'd love music as soon as you could understand it, as soon as you could get your hands on an instrument - but I never expected your connection to music to start so soon. You are mesmerized by music. You love listening to it, singing along with it. You love when I sing you to sleep. You love when I sing made-up songs throughout the day. But most of all, you love listening to your daddy make music. He hypnotizes you with the guitar.

- You were not going to be a daytime napping baby. Your first few weeks convinced me of that. But slowly you're coming around to this whole idea of daytime sleeping. I know tha
t we have a lot of work still to do - but I'm so pleasantly surprised that you're even taking 30-minute naps during the daylight hours. This is a new (and very welcome) gift that you've given me this month. Thanks to your Aunt Wendy, we're calling these naps "SNAPPERS".

- You were supposed to be an uptight baby, a fussy baby, a particular baby. I am all of these things: uptight, fussy, particular; and I figured that you would be, too. You aren't. You are so friendly, sweet, easy-going. You love to laugh and make spit bubbles and raspberri
es. You are making so many new sounds now, it's hard to keep track of them all.

- The sound of your sneeze is possibly the single greatest thing I've ever heard. I didn't expect to fall in love with a sneeze.

- You were not supposed to have blue eyes. We expected brown. Everyone expected brown. Your pediatrician told us in the beginning that they might change by the time you're a year old, but for now your eyes are blue. Pacific ocean blue. Gray blue. The blue of a Seattle sky just after it's rained.

- You were supposed to have dark brown hair. At five months, y
our actual hair color is somewhat undecided. We see auburn. We see light brown. We see... possibly some red. I tell you you're my rhubarb girl because I think your hair actually looks a little PINK sometimes. My punk rock baby.

- Alice, you surprise me every day. Your smile, your laughter, your joy at all the little things I take for granted (Like m&m's in a jar? Who ever would have thought that m
&m's would be so totally captivating and HILARIOUS?)

Having a baby is a crazy/strange ride. I spent a lot of time anticipating things, expecting certain things to happen. I read a lot of books when I was pregnant. They prepared me for things like nursing and diaper changes and colic. They did not prepare me for the heart aching love I feel for you, Alice. They did not tell me that I would cry with you, that I would gladly put myself in front of a train for you. They did not tell me how amazed I'd be when you first turned over, or how I would cheer for you when you started grabbing things with your little hands. No book ever explained how I'd feel to see you with your fingers clasped together in front of you, looking like a thoughtful little young lady. There wasn't a single paragraph about how I would memorize every dimple, every little curve in your skin. In short, there isn't a book written that can properly put my love for you in perspective.

You are amazing.




And I'm not the least bit surprised about that.


state of mind

I've been a leeeeeetle stressed out around here. So much so, in fact, that Chip wasn't surprised - he was only deeply sorry when he thought I said this to him Friday morning:

I just had a dream that I was happy.

HA! Luckily that was NOT what I said. It was something about dreaming mumble mumble mumble... I don't even know what I said, but I know it wasn't that.

More later, internets. But until then, Fiona Picklebottom received her PIF prize while she was on vacation, but here is the pic and the review. Now can you see how much I love putting a package together? Yes. More incentive for you to enter the Plain White Box PIF - deadline is Wednesday.

(And when we're short on content around here, we end with pictures like this:)