Saturday, January 31, 2009

help me shelly, you're my only hope

Dr. Maureen announced the winner of her PiF, and it's Shelly Overlook! The entire FATE of the Plain White Box now rests on Shelly -- not that I'm trying to put ANY PRESSURE on Shelly AT ALL. Just, you know, my dearest deepest most beloved DREAM of having the box travel around the world and being able to track it. Congrats Shelly, do us proud!

Friday, January 30, 2009

something new

Annnnnnd it would seem that while we avoided a volcano blast, and we side stepped a rain of toads-- we DID get a nice new disastery item: an earthquake. Not big, so there is no worry. Just a 4.5 - which, I grew up in Southern California so I know me some earthquakes and this wasn't anything to stress about. In fact, the entire family (husband, wife, child, cats) slept through the whole thing. Even more interesting is this: THE PLAIN WHITE BOX IS IN DR. MAUREEN'S POSSESSION AND SHE IS HOLDING A NEW PAY IT FORWARD CONTEST. Here's your chance, my friends, to get the plain white box for your very own! I'm not sure if Dr. Maureen is going to post a picture of the box itself - it was only peeking through in the pictures she posted - maybe if we ask sweetly she will???

Anyhoo - to be really honest, I'm a little sad that my LIFELONG DREAM OF BALLOON LAUNCHING AND/OR PLAIN WHITE BOX WATCHING might be lost if the next winner doesn't carry on my very logical requests (read: CRAZY) to decorate the box, and track the box, and blah blah blah I AM NUTS BUT I'M NOT GIVING UP.

So. Dear readers, go here and try to win the PIF and then fulfill my lifelong dream. Or, you know, just win it and hold your own pif. Whatever.

The not-so-plain Plain White Box says, DON'T YOU WANT TO WIN ME?

* For those who might not know the whole story about the Plain White Box, and you've been looking at that picture there on the sidebar going ????. The long version is here. The short version goes like this: I won a contest and needed to host my own. I decided to get creative and add some rules to whomever won my contest - including decorating the same box for the contest and forwarding IT (the box) along with the prize (whatever could fit into the box), to the next winner. Cherish was the first winner. She passed it on to Dr. Maureen after some seriously crazy mail hang-ups. Now Dr. Maureen is hosting a contest. The end. Help fulfill my dream. No pressure.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

hot lava

Well. While our car wasn't overcome by a fiery blob of hot molten lava, we DID come home with a raging case of Teething. Which at times, I have to say, has felt like being overcome by a fiery blob of hot molten lava. Both for Alice AND myself. Poor sweetie is drooly and covered in a terrible stream of snotty goo. And last night? Oh dear sweet jelly bean the child WOULD NOT SLEEP. She woke up at 11:30 and just wouldn't go back to sleep. Until nearly 3:30. AM. Ask me what time she woke up - just ask me! 6:50.

This is the excuse I'm offering to you for this sadly lacking blog post. Whimsy: functioning on three hours of sleep AND LOVING IT.

Remind me to tell you why I think parenting is like the movie Jurassic Park, and not in a "and then they were free to roam about the park and they ate almost everyone" way.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

is that how you spell "vesuvius"?

We may NEVER TRAVEL AGAIN. We had the ARCTIC BLAST (TM the local news channels - they just KILL ME with their naming-all-the-weather-systems) that made Chip's trek to Utah more than a little bit S-C-A-R-Y in December. We had our recent FLOODING INCIDENT in Portland that CLOSED THE FREEWAY and had me doing laundry in the teeny-tiny two-machine hotel laundry room (VERY EXCITING). And now? We're in Portland again. Guess what greeted us this morning:

Niiiiiice. Check out this dude:

Need a bigger image? Here he is again:

Not that he has anything to do with the weather, but he was standing just there, like that, for A REALLY LONG TIME. Time enough for me to take the first snowy pictures, then notice him there. Then take a picture of him.

Then take some more snowy pictures.

Then take ANOTHER picture of him.

ANYWAY. Not that we're trying to stalk some poor Portland-er dude on my blog. We're talking about the very exciting WEATHER. And how it has made travel 'round these parts NICE AND EXCITING. Luckily, by the end of the morning, the snow melted off. It's still C-O-L-D. Not Minnesota-cold, but Portland-cold. I took Alice to the very friendly Target across the street and scored three pairs of jeans for (seriously) $1.75 a pair. A BUCK SEVENTY-FIVE.

As for Blog Content? Don't have much, duders. I have teeny-tiny jeans to celebrate! And melty snow! And a ride back up to Seattle tomorrow... wish us luck. And since we have now faced snowstorms! torrential rain! flooding! Please think No Rain of Toads and Safe Passage Past Both Volcanoes (Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier). HA! Now that I've said it, we're doomed. Please watch for us tomorrow night on the evening news: small family is horribly charred from freak volcano blast.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I was making chocolate chip cookies yesterday afternoon when I heard a distant BOINNNNNNG from somewhere over my head. About 2 seconds later, I could hear Alice's telltale FEAR cry - the one she reserves for Very Loud Noises and more specifically, the one she reserves for the BOING-making implement:

Do you have these in your house? The little brass spring thing that's supposed to stop the door from running into the wall? Fergus likes to find these things and attempt to tear off the white rubber cap with his teeth. But Alice... oh, Alice, she is TERRIFIED of them.

Of course, as is the case with anything that scares the ever-living PANTS off you, Alice is inexplicably DRAWN to these boingy doorstop things. Heaven forbid she's crawling in the bathroom (we don't need to discuss WHY), and I'm not able to stop her hand from reaching for the Object of Horror (again - we don't need to discuss WHY I'm unavailable to stop her)--- it's happened many times: I watch in horrified slow motion as Alice reaches for the Fancy! Shiny! Boingy! Thing!, all the while I'm clapping my hands, shouting, singing, doing whatever I can to get her to STOP. But it never works and her little hand touches the boingy and then we get the BOINNNNNNNNNNNNG and Alice is crying her eyes out.

So back to yesterday. It's not like I found a REASON to ever tell Chip about this particular Alice Quirk. These things just don't pop up in conversation, you know?

Transcript of yesterday's doings:
Alice: SCREAM! CRY! CRY! CRY! CRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRY! (this continues for a minute or two then there is this in quick succession:)
-Beat of silence-
Chip: I'm so sorry, baby girl! I'm so sorry!

It's at this point that I got involved and called upstairs to see what was going on.
Whimsy: Is everyone okay up there? Did Alice get scared of the door stop boingy thing?
Whimsy: Um, it's like, her NEMESIS. She can't NOT touch the brass door stop thing, and yet it scares her to pieces.
Chip: That's EXACTLY it! We're hanging out in her room, and she boinged the thing, started to cry, and so I thought I'd show her it's nothing to be afraid of, so I pulled it a few times and scared the CRAP out of her.

About an hour later, after I'd put her down for her afternoon nap, she totally woke up in a TEARFUL FIT, not once - but TWICE. Nightmares. And you know what I think? I think she had nightmares about giant brass door stoppers coming to make terrifying noises at her. I think she didn't know she had one of those contraptions of death actually IN HER ROOM and now she's afraid it's going to attack her IN HER SLEEP.

Chip and Whimsy: doing their best to instill Rational Fears in their child.

Now tell me: do you have any irrational fears? Or rational ones? What about the kids in your life? I want to know!

Friday, January 23, 2009

don't ask me

Once upon a time I worked with someone who claimed that she was cursed with the ablity to name someone's quirk/tick/thing-that-they-did-without-thinking-about-it within five minutes. She was eerily accurate and so we'd have her sum up each new officemate time and time again, very much like a dog doing a fantastic trick. Mary (not her actual name) would spend a minute or two with the new person, then let the newbie in on the trick, and afterwards Mary would reveal the quirk to everyone. We never questioned Mary's judgement: she'd just make the announcement and we'd be all - OH MY GOSH YOU'RE TOTALLY RIGHT! HE/SHE DOES THAT ALL THE TIME!!!! Mine was pushing up my glasses. (Now go ahead, those that know me in a brick-and-mortar way, Wow she's totally right! Whimsy does that all the time!)

It's not all fun and games KNOWING your own quirky tick. Now that I know mine, every once in a while I catch myself thinking about it. It's like thinking about blinking your eyes or breathing --- when you actually think about it too much, it becomes a lot less automatic and you start to sort of FORCE yourself to blink. Or breathe. Or, in my case, I catch myself pushing up my glasses and I wonder how many hundreds of times I've already done it that day. And sometimes I'll even be about to push up my glasses and try to stop myself, mid-push, just to see if I can delay it... (Now how many of you stopped to think about breathing or blinking just then?)

Just recently I have become aware of personal QUIRK of mine: I have absolutely ZERO recommendation intuition. What is "recommendation intuition", you ask? It's that gut instinct that (I guess) EVERYONE (except for me) has that tells them if they should recommend a certain book or movie or CD or WHATEVER to someone.

An illustrative example:
Let's just say that your good friend's MOTHER wants to know a great book to read. This MOTHER attends church regularly. She doesn't use bad language. In the course of the conversation, you think about a book that you just read. You loved the book. It made you think. It challenged you. You thought the writing style was very interesting. You heard a great interview with the author on NPR. So what do you do? YOU RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO YOUR FRIEND'S MOTHER. What book is it? The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell. This is a book that is DISTURBING, at best. At worst? It haunts you. For a long time. With very graphic and violent images. It's a controversial book. And... that's what I did. I suggested that my friend's mom read it. A couple of weeks later, I have this conversation with my friend:
Whimsy: Hey what did your mom think of The Sparrow? Amazing, right?
Friend of Whimsy: Actually, she had to stop reading it. Um, it sort of gave her some nightmares.

SORT OF GAVE HER SOME NIGHTMARES? You don't just SORT OF have nightmares. You have horrible nightmares. Images that make you STOP READING THE FREAKING BOOK. Excellent suggestion, Whimsy. SCORE ONE FOR BAD JUDGMENT!

Another example: I've been emailing an online friend (someone I met through this blog) for a while. We've been talking about books. I recommended one of my very favorites (of the NEW reads): The Time Traveler's Wife. Did I stop to even THINK about the book before I made the suggestion? Nope. I tell her it's amazing. I tell her that I've reread it a half-dozen times, that the author's writing style and her characters rock my world. I don't BOTHER to mention that she might prepare herself for some of the bad language in the book. Or the fact that there is some fairly vivid sexual content. IT DOESN'T EVEN ENTER MY MIND. Why? BECAUSE I HAVE TERRIBLE SUGGESTION JUDGMENT. Awful. I get an email back from my friend saying that she liked the book - that it was amazing and really well written. And then the kicker: Did the language or the sexual content bother you at all? DUDE. WHY DON'T I THINK OF THESE THINGS? WHY DON'T I AT LEAST PREPARE MY RECOMMEND-EE FOR WHAT I'M SO LOUDLY PROCLAIMING AS THE THING THAT THEY SHOULD ABSOLUTELY READ - DO NOT PASS GO - DO NOT COLLECT $200 - GO READ THIS BOOK - IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. I need to offer a rating system or something, for the love of pete. Luckily, my friend was VERY gracious, and even luckier, she wasn't offended by the book, she did like it. But it so could have turned out the other way. I'm an awful media recommender, but dude I totally SCORE in BAD JUDGMENT!

And yet another example: I reconnected with someone from high school on Facebook. I KNOW - I was all, "I'm not in contact with anyone from high school!" "I haven't joined any of those classmate sites!" I blame Chip. And The Wife. THEY made me join Facebook. But I actually DO really love that I'm in touch with this girl again - I'd forgotten how funny she is; and how we can apparently talk forEVER (going on, what, fourteen emails now?). ANYWAY. K reminded me that my HORRIBLE JUDGMENT goes back to HIGH SCHOOL because I took her to see... (wait for it): TWIN PEAKS FIRE WALK WITH ME. If you haven't seen this movie, you don't even KNOW what "messed up" is, yo. I was a huge Twin Peaks fan, and here is my sweet friend K, who is all - No, I didn't watch Twin Peaks really, I caught a few episodes... it's a weird show, but sure I'll go see the movie with you! And what happens? WHAT HAPPENS???? Some of the most disturbing and weird images to grace the screen. And me? I'm totally oblivious (yet AGAIN) to the fact that I've just completely screwed someone UP. The only reason I even know NOW that I messed K up? She mentioned it in one of the fourteen emails. "It messed me up for a couple of months. I remember having weird flashes of the movie randomly throughout the day for the next couple of months. It happened at weird times too. Even now, as I try to remember the movie, all I can remember is BLUE. Flashing scenes of things in blue." Whimsy SCORES again! Totally messing people up with my brilliant LACK OF JUDGMENT.

The lesson here, my friends, is this: first-- now that I'm painfully AWARE of my bad recommendation juju, I'm going to be thinking and rethinking EVERY stinking suggestion I make; and second-- you might want to NOT ask me for book tips or movie tips or media tips OF ANY KIND. That is, unless you actually DO want to have nightmares, or want to have your will to live simply drained from your body by sheer horror. I'm your girl.

But if you, you know, actually want to FEEL GOOD? Don't ask me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

lemons. and teeth, maybe.

Edited to add: the title was originally about lemons magically transforming into lemonade. But as Amanda pointed out, there isn't a lot of lemonade floating through this post. So there you go: lemons.


I have a confession, and it's not one of those confessions about how I killed my goldfish, or how I've been watching horrible television with Chip. It's about Alice. And it goes like this:

Alice is making a NOISE. A fairly new NOISE. A fairly new NOISE on a now-regular basis. And the NOISE? Is making me crazy.

The NOISE is like a thousand gnat-sized dentists equipped with corresponding gnat-sized teeth drills and they are busily DRILLING DIRECTLY INTO THE SQUISHY PART OF MY FRONTAL LOBE, all the while singing My Name is Luka (what Chip deems to be The Most Annoying Song Ever Written).

Or, it's like a hundred teeny tiny itty bitty babies with their teeny tiny itty bitty RAZOR SHARP TALONS scrape scrape scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaping a chalkboard.

Or, if you prefer, it's like biting into a wonderfully gooey melty chocolate chip cookie-- and as your teeth come together on the delicious chocolate concoction you feel the horrific CRUNCH of a giant egg shell.

It's like the most annoying and irritating thing that you can imagine - the thing that sends you screaming from the room to burrow your head under a pillow all the while screaming MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! until your ears bleed and your head explodes.

You know, like that.

This noise is the noise of WHINE. And I can't take it. I thought that we were too early for WHINE. Apparently, I was wrong.
Heaven-help-me-my-eyeballs-are-rolling-into-the-center-of-my-head-I-can-actually-SEE-the-tiny-little-dentist-HOLES-in-my-squishy-lobe-and-I hear-the-WHINE-in-my-sleep WRONG.

There aren't enough italics to get this across to you guys: the NOISE has taken my will to live. And oh dear, it's taken my will to even use ITALICS, we are in TROUBLE.

The problem with the WHINE at Alice's tender age? There is no explaining to her that we simply don't communicate in WHINE. We don't understand WHINE. There is no WHINE at the Last Homely House - and for that matter, WHINE doesn't go well with anything, so we're doing you a service.

There isn't any of that. There is only me and Chip, looking at each other and begging PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MAKE IT STOP.


And hey, if you have any helpful suggestions, let me know.

Edited (some more) to add: as I was putting Alice to bed earlier, I realized (duh) that Alice is teething with a vengeance, so I feel a leeeetle bad about posting this. She's generally a very easy-going and sweet kid. And we've learned that she (again: generally) doesn't make a fuss unless it's warranted. Really, I mean it. So the WHINE caught us by surprise. I'm going to blame the WHINE on the stealthy teething (totally snuck up on me, stupid stupid) and start fresh tomorrow. Yes, that's my plan. Though I am still curious about your suggestions for Curbing the Whine.

Monday, January 19, 2009

weekend rewards

We know who the fifth cylon is (not like I'm going to tell you or anything - you'll just have to find out yourself).

Chip came down with a nasty cold.

I ate an obscene amount of birthday cake.

Chip cleaned out the garage.

I swept up bread crumbs and wiped some very scrumptious cheeks more times than I can count.

We bought a brand new grown-up carseat (well, "grown-up" is a matter of comparison, I guess, but still).

Chip ninja'd his way into Costco after they were closed to buy us another set of colorful floor tile-thingies (we've gone the way of a real Kid House, with colored tiles on the living room floor).

It was a great weekend. I'd like another, please (minus the bad cold thing).

Friday, January 16, 2009

not sure how to title this one

Wow, you guys are a very obedient lot, aren't you? Thanks for all the nice comments yesterday. The birthday was pretty fantastic. We had pancakes for breakfast! And an afternoon nap! And a very yummy dinner! With an ice cream cake! And a fantastic gift from Chip (along with the new crackberry phone, which is awesome)! So, in summary: #35, very nice. Looking foward to #36.

Let's talk about something very important, shall we? Like the fact that I don't remember the last time I was able to go to the bathroom by myself before 7pm? How come no one warned me about that particular little gem of motherhood? (They should have a special section in your childbirth class: Steps to a Successful Bathroom Trip When You Are a Mother.) Now that Alice is mobile, gone are the days when I could sit her in a bouncy seat while I took care of business. Now I'm carting sixteen different toys in there, along with the baby. And I don't even know what happened yesterday except to say that Alice thinks she can walk by osmosis or something. If she's surrounded by things that are her same height (say, for instance, the bathtub, my knees, and the hamper) - she's all about just letting go of a stablizer and just free-wheeling it, which inevitably leaves her careening into the wall. My favorite part of the bathroom trip? Comforting a crying baby on my lap, my pants in a little heap around my ankles. Makes me feel like a real grown-up, let me tell you.

So, duders. I'm looking forward to the weekend. Tonight we'll be watching BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA (oh how I've missed it SO). And tomorrow we'll be organizing the garage. Exciting, right? How about you? What fantastic plans do you have in the works?

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Thirty-four years ago today, this picture was taken of me. The picture would look very similar today, except I won't be wearing those rockin' pants, my hair is slightly longer, and I like to think I usually avoid getting the ice cream AND cake all over my face. Nowadays it's just bits of cake.

(Now, as a birthday present, I demand that you comment. And tell me that my daughter looks just like me, even if she doesn't.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Dear Alice,

I'm writing to you (and, well, the INTERNET) for no real reason. No, that isn't exactly correct. I'm writing to you (and yes, the INTERNET) because you're getting bigger. Okay, that isn't exactly right either. I'm writing to you (whatever, and THE INTERNET) because you turned 10 months old on the 3rd and I missed writing about it and quite frankly, I missed writing your 9-month journal entry or whatever as well and I'm feeling all kinds of squishy about you getting older and I'll have nothing to show for it because I have all these pictures and not a single one of them has been printed out or stuck in any sort of a book. But that last reason sounds so horrible that let's just stick with the first one: I'm writing to you for no real reason.

Lately, one of my favorite things to do is to secretly
watch you play by yourself. I love to see that look of contented concentration as you carefully examine your froggy, or one of your blocks, or your chewy cell phone-- and after a few moments pass, you'll quickly throw the froggy or the block or the chewy cell phone onto the ground as you see something else worth careful examination (Clyde the crocodile, for instance). Usually I can be found during this time dumbstruck in the kitchen, thinking about how you're this real live PERSON inside a tiny Alice-shaped body, and you have all these thoughts and feelings and desires that are your very own. Like how you really adore chewing on Monty Bear's nose, but for some inexplicable reason poor Zeke the zebra is so totally boring and not worth even a single nibble.

In a few day's time, you went from finally hands-and-knees crawling to pulling up on furniture to cruising around a room faster than the mama can say "head in
jury". Nowadays you go from chair to laundry basket to chair to couch to coffee table to chair to toy basket. Sometimes you mix things up and throw in some Pant Leg (whomever's pant leg is handy). Please be careful about the Pant Leg because sometimes Mama is wearing what we call SWEATPANTS or even a SKIRT and those things tend to give way when tugged on by a little carpet nipper like yourself. (Note: Please don't expose the mama, thanks.) But I do love watching you move. Your legs are getting stronger and stronger and we think you'll be walking (heaven help us) before you're a year old.

After months of teething and waiting, and waiting and teething, we have sight of teeth. Or, as I am fond of calling a particular set of them, THE TEETH. Sorry about that, baby girl, but you're our first little one and we aren't so used to seeing such big chompers inside your mouth. We know they're going to be gorgeous one day. But for now, I am doing my best not to get my fingers any where near there.

On the communication front, I am proud to decipher the following words: daddy (da-da-da-da-da-da) and goodbye (b-b-b-b-buuu-buuu). If anyone else was to listen to these sounds, they might argue that you make them even when The Daddy is not present, and when we aren't exactly leaving - but a mama is supposed to be proud and also fiercely protective. So I stand by my assertions. Besides the words, you are clapping and waving. The clapping is just awesome. Sometimes you clap so hard you fall over, which is my favorite. Last night when daddy walked in the door you nearly gave yourself a black eye you were clapping with such wild abandon. Don't give up that passion, little one.

Other things I hope you won't give up:
- Your independence, as much as it pains me. I love how you are starting to want to do things by yourself (oh my holy moly - like EATING)
- Your sense of adventure, again, as much as it pains me. You
get this from your father and I just know that we're thisclose to you becoming a climber. But seriously, one of my deepest wishes for you was for you to be BRAVE. Because this world can be very scary and dangerous - and fortune favors the brave ones, my little pumpkin head. I have faith in you. You're going to set the world on fire, in all the best ways.
- Your joy. Oh dear, the THRILL of you! Your face breaks into the happiest, the most clear, the most instense look of WONDER for the world and everything in it! And I love that about you. Don't ever let that go.

My little bean head, I know that I tell you all the time how amazing you are, but I want to do it again and again so you'll never forget. You take my breath away with your beauty. You are the greatest example of Heavenly Father's love that I know. How else to show us what heaven looks like, then to send us a piece of it?

I love you always,

Sunday, January 11, 2009

whimsy is...

Home. After the Portland Excitement, we got home earlier than expected: Saturday afternoon. It's good to be here.

In extreme pain. Because of some mystery sinus migraine thingy. Very hurty.

The last person on the planet to join Facebook. See how I'm getting into the spirit of writing in third person?

When I'm feeling better, I'll be telling you about my upcoming THIRTY-FIFTH BIRTHDAY, dude. And now, excuse me, I am going to go take massive amounts of Excedrin, Tylenol Sinus, and possibly Benedryl. I'm sure there's no problem with med mixing, right?

Friday, January 9, 2009


You know what we're good at? Getting stuck in random places.

When we were coming back from Utah after Christmas, it was the picturesque town of La Grande, Oregon - way up in the wily wildlands of Eastern Oregon. The story you never heard involved a Holiday Inn (regarded to be the best hotel in town, "Even better than The Sandman Motel, because The Sandman allows pets and if you're not into pets then eww" -La Grande Holiday Inn Night Manager Cindy), Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Chip instructing a woman the next morning how to make a waffle on a make-your-own-waffle-maker ("you need to flip it over or the timer will never start").

This week it's Portland, Oregon. What is it about Oregon?, you ask. Well, it goes something like this: The Whimsy promised The Chip that she and The Alice would travel with The Chip at least once per month when he goes away for business and The Whimsy hasn't been so good on keeping that particular promise and she vowed to be better about it in 2009. And The Chip was coming down here to Portland this week. So The Alice and The Whimsy packed up and here we are. We were supposed to be here Tuesday through Friday. Until the skies opened up and rained down The Rain to End All Rains (since 2007 at least) and The Powers That Be saw fit to CLOSE I-5, the one and only real north-south highway between Portland and Seattle. It's closed due to flooding. The whole freeway is sort of underwater. LIKE THAT WOULD STOP US! But unless we decide to run through the police barricades, it would appear that we are Portland-ers for the time beling. (Best estimates are saying Monday...)

I need to learn my lesson and stop packing Just Enough. Whenever I pack Just Enough there is some kind of Pee Emergency (involving Alice, not me - unless you count the times she has peed ON me, and then I guess the pee involves both of us); or else we get stuck in a city for an Undisclosed Period of Time due to massive flooding - you know, the usual things. I bought some detergent today (because there's a TARGET across the street from our hotel - and seriously, how lucky am I?). I will be washing everyone's three outfits tomorrow so as to extend our clothing options for another few days. Luckily even though I only packed Just Enough, I did have the foresight to pack Just Enough things in all the same colors - so at least we can mix and match.

Don't feel sorry for us. We're safe. We're together. Our hotel room has TWO rooms - which means that we can actually keep the light on and watch TV even after Alice has gone down for the night. There's a Target across the street. And Chip's company is footing the hotel bill. Also - and this is mighty important - the sweet sweet (and very good friend) Wandering Nana is looking in on the cats. Guess how she'll be getting into the house? WE HAD TO OVERNIGHT OUR GARAGE OPENER TO HER. How's that for some nice problem-solving, eh? We originally left enough crunchies and water out for the cats to comfortably last until Friday, but seeing as how we'll be gone longer than that, another solution was in order. Wandering Nana to the rescue. We owe her BIG, yo.

Happy weekend, y'all.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

chip dips

Coming out of the shower, Chip leans into Whimsy--
Chip: I really hate that new razor. Look at what it did to my face!
Whimsy surveys the damage, though she really doesn't see anything except for a little cut on his chin
Whimsy: It doesn't look so bad.
Chip: Really???

Five days later, Chip and Whimsy are watching TV when the commercial for some Ultra Stupendous Hair Removal Pad comes on.
Chip: It's not like you even noticed.
Whimsy: Huh? What are you talking about?
Chip: I even had you LOOK at my face the other day and you didn't notice.
Whimsy turns to stare at Chip's face and notices that there is an actual Mustache Shadow on Chip's upper lip
Whimsy: You mean the Almost Mustache you've got there? I'm sorry, dude. You're just not a Hairy Guy. Would it make you feel better if I called you Magnum?
Chip: After five days, I've still got nothing.

- - - - -

Chip is pretending to tap dance frantically across the living room until he stumbles over Alice's shape sorter toy and makes a loud noise. Whimsy gives him a withering look and reminds him that Alice is ASLEEP!
Chip: Fine, I'm not going to try to be funny anymore.

- - - - -

Chip is watching Lords of the Dance or Dancing Superstars of the Planet or something along those lines. He motions to Whimsy, who is typing on her laptop at the kitchen table.
Chip: You're missing this! It's a very manly dance!

- - - - -

Chip is examining Whimsy's NEW BLACKBERRY STORM (which replaces the Disco Phone!).
Chip: Wow. You have my game on here. Your bricks look much more lifelike than mine.

- - - - -

Chip: Dude, I'm such a woman.
Whimsy: Why would you say that?
Chip: I'm laying in bed, eating chocolate, watching The Bachelor.

* Disclaimer: The Management (aka "Whimsy") would like to remind visitors to The Creamery that Chip is a very good sport, an extremely loving and devoted husband, and also a very strong and manly man. Although these quotes would make him appear to be otherwise, he is intelligent, funny, and extremely good-looking (had to throw that one in). Whimsy is a lucky girl.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

super stars of stupid

I can't believe I'm writing this. I shouldn't be telling ANYONE, let alone you guys, but here it is:

Monday night, Chip and I watched Super Stars of Dance. I KNOW. I have some excuses, even though none of them is good enough to cover the fact that we wasted a good forty minutes of our lives watching a show that was put together on a dare (how else to explain it?).

First, the excuses:
- We were really tired and wanted to just veg.
- Our satellite company has taken ABC from us. They are in some kind of contract stalemate with ABC and so they decided to just not broadcast it. Instead, they're attempting to shame ABC into renegotiation by placing a 24/7 "informational talk show" in its place. The "talk show"? Is a couple of dudes in Direct TV polos and khaki pants sitting behind a very official looking desk talking about how hard they tried to get ABC to give them a reasonable deal. I've been missing my nightly Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy for THIS? We are not amused.
- Have I mentioned that we were really tired?

Now, let's discuss Super Stars of Dance, shall we? Like the fact that I have to imagine that it was dreamed up by some monkeys who were bored during lunch. A dance show without any real stars! And it would be with people from all over the world! Including judges from all over the world!

Somehow, in their infinite wisdom, NBC put the show on. I wish I could tell you that it's so awful that it's good. But it's not. It's just awful. (It's also possible that the original idea that the monkeys floated to NBC included sword-juggling clowns, but NBC thought that was a little too much and went with the basic bare-bones dance show instead. A bare-bones dance show FROM AROUND THE WORLD.)

I feel especially sorry for the Russian judge, because I'm not sure the dude even knows WHY they have him wearing a multi-colored dental smock as he watches dancers FROM AROUND THE WORLD. I also don't understand how they expect poor dental-smock-wearing-Russian-guy to properly compare a ceremonial Indian Goddess Dance with the dirty dancing South African couple who are both inexplicably wearing hot pants. (Russian judge: I thought I was going to be juggling swords! And I was supposed to be wearing the hot pants!)

The highlight of the evening? Oh who am I kidding? It had nothing to do with SUPER STARS OF DANCE. The highlight was when we turned the TV off and I got to spend some quality time playing with my new Blackberry Storm. The Disco Phone has danced its last dance, my friends! Viva la Crackberry!

(Now that I've let you in on my latest confession, give me one of yours... doesn't have to be TV related. Tell me your dumbest, kids!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Love comes in many shapes and sizes. In the case of our recent trip to see my family, love is WEIRDNESS. And it's found in these pictures of my so-weird family.

Winston is all about the stiff-upper-lip, don't complain, be brave, be strong, pull yourself up by your bootstraps (or pants) kind of love. In other words:

This is Grampy Winston's version of helping Alice to grab something inside her car seat. I love this man. (Pardon the crappy picture quality - the Disco Phone has seen it's last days...)


He really adores his niece. I don't think he'd let her SUCK ON HIS NOSE if he felt otherwise. I'm keeping this picture to blackmail him and Alice later.

Pictures of THE TEETH coming soon. Alice is very shy about showing the glaciers to the camera. Perhaps she suspects her mother is going to do something very, um, UNBECOMING with the picture.

Monday, January 5, 2009

mental dental

Alice is developing her own set of real life tried-and-true CHOMPERS, in the form of not one, not two, not four, but five - yes FIVE teeth that are making their way into her mouth. (Two on top, three on bottom.) I'm obviously new at this, and especially new to seeing little teethy-bits where once it was Gum City - but dude her top two front teeth appear to be the size of DINNER PLATES. All the babies that are Alice's age have gotten their bottom teeth first - all cute and tiny and, well, TINY. I have no frame of reference for the top teeth, but every time I get a peek at the tectonic plates that are her pearly whites, I turn into that sailor dude from Titannic: ICEBERG DEAD AHEAD! Or more accurately GINORMOUS TEETH - DEAD AHEAD! I know it's mean to be saying this about my own child. I know! But I keep getting these frightening images of massive teeth making their way across the darkened house to consume me WHOLE. THE TEETH THAT ATE NEW YORK CITY. I can't even think of The Teeth in a normal, uncapitalized, way - they are The Teeth to me. Or, more accurately, THE TEETH.

My sister-in-law M tried to tell me that it's totally normal, that the top two teeth are on the bigger side, and that they'll look absolutely fine once they come in. I can't say that I was a very good listener as she was giving such kind advice because the whole time I was all,

Here's where I could get mushy and sentimental and tell you how strange it is to watch this little baby turn into a tried and true person PERSON, with actual teeth. (Or, THE TEETH - ha!) But, um, as you can see, I'm having a hard time with that. THE TEETH will be waking up and insisting that I feed them some breakfast soon. And I'd hate to disappoint them in any way. They scare me.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

re-review 2008

We're home. We're catching up. We're exhausted. We're doing our best to dig ourselves out of the luggage. The cats won't leave us alone.

Here's my 2008 list:

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Became a mother, stopped working full time in the whole workday world.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Um, I don't even remember mine from 2008, but I'm certainly making some for 09.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes. So very many. The Wife, Ana, Kate, a lot more.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Um... Montana? Is that a country?

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Patience. A peaceful way of solving frustration.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 3: duh.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

9. What was your biggest failure?
My temper.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No not really.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
It was a gift, but boy do I love my laptop.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Besides mine?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Besides mine?

14. Where did most of your money go?
Oh the medical bills.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Alice's smile, Alice's laugh, Alice's rolling over, Alice Alice Alice. (Though can I also add a few very wonderful visits: The Wife, Buddy, Mom & Dad, The Little Brother & Melanie)

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
This Woman's Work - Kate Bush.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Happier, fatter, poorer (HA HA)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Say thank you.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Complain and worry.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Madly, snowily, crazily in Utah with Chip, Alice, my parents, The Little Brother, M, and their almost-new-baby.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Again and again and again.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Battlestar Gallactica

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, not really.

24. What was the best book you read?
Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

26. What did you want and get?
A healthy baby and the ability to stay home with her.

27. What did you want and not get?
World peace, again.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Dude, I had a baby. I didn't WATCH movies..

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34. And it was almost a year ago... which might as well been a lifetime. There was cheesecake, a discussion of baby names that significantly muddied the waters at the time, and an amazingly fantastic BLISSFUL prenatal massage.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I don't really believe in regrets, and this one always has the ring of a regret. I have to say that 2008 was hard: bone deep painful in so many ways - but I can't regret any of it.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Pregnant and then after pregnant and then attempting-to-recover-from-being-pregnant.

32. What kept you sane?
The very same things from last year: my faith, my Chip, my family, my friends.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The election.

35. Who did you miss?
Chip's dad, The Wife.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Alice Faye is a pretty remarkable person, though if I had to choose an adult type person I'd definitely say Kate.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Expect to be surprised.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Baby mine.