Monday, October 31, 2011

celebrating chip's birthday in three easy steps

Step 1: A cake of requested frosting color.
(No really - this is what he wanted.)

Step 2: A cake of requested cake color.
(No really really - this is exactly what he wanted.)

Step 3: Enjoy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

that I might not ruin her

It's like that, sometimes: the only thing you can say, the one thing you can hope for with fervent whispers under your breath.

Because to hope that you'll inspire greatness is way too far above the mark - especially when you worry too much, when you push too far, when you try too hard to do and say the be the right thing.

So this is what you're left with: a mantra to just not do it so wrong that any of her inherent wonder is scuttled into nothingness.

A prayer to just avoid a complete implosion of self.

Yes, exactly that, please.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


It's a new bath pasttime for Alice: the creation of flotation devices for her tiny buddies (as the group of them are known).

I've seen a water-skiing Donald.

And a Goofy suspended upside down into the bath: some kind of new preschool water torture?  I have no idea what he did wrong.

I think I've taken turns feeling like each one of them in recent weeks.

Where are you right now?  On top of your game, or deeply under water?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the art of disappearing

I think I could write something about it, how to do fade from this space.  Though when I try to form complete sentences, things are garbled.

My recent absence wasn't intentional, or even significant.  I didn't go on a trip or suffer any losses.  It's just life... life happening in gulping doses and I am struggling with the balancing act.  It's really not a big deal.

My daily list of To Do's --- nothing ground breaking or even terribly complicated --- have worn down to the most basic items, and my goal is just to see the light at the end of that list.

The coping mechanisms are simple: I do my best to say No when saying Yes would be detrimental, and I stick to that To Do list.  Unfortunately, blogging has fallen to the bottom of the list.  I think it has something to do with a lack of things to actually say.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

a time capsule for the dark days

 I love stumbling through the archives of these pages.  Especially when it's been a rough day, a cranky day, a no nap day.

I love coming across reminders of bright spots that happened once upon a time.

These pictures are evidence of one such bright early autumn day - a day last week when all three of us escaped to the park to enjoy the last of Seattle's sunshine.

I made Alice laugh until she spit out a mouthful of Cap'n Crunch.

And after we had talked and whispered and laughed until our stomachs growled, we escaped for dinner on the water.
Watching dogs jump into the chilly waves as they chased water-logged sticks.

Alice and Chip took turns throwing rocks into those same waves.

And I counted myself lucky, so very lucky.

Monday, October 3, 2011


I remember the sound of running: the thwack thwack thwack of sneakers on pavement, my breathing working in syncopated measures.  I remember listening to passing sounds of lawnmowers, cars, the smack of a storefront door slamming in the distance - and I remember how these noises seemed to fill the spaces of my own running melody until it was a symphony of my own making.  And even later, when I'd walk through my front door exhausted and sweaty, the steady beat of that music worked its way into my life: something to live by, to breathe by--- a steady drum tattoo that kept time with the blood pumping through my veins, a rhythm I could call my own.

The rhythm of my life and ways has changed dramatically since those days of solo runs and eating chinese take-out in front of the television.

Those first six months of Life With Alice were so full of stops-and-starts, the search for some kind of drum beat that would work for us took far longer than I ever would have imagined.  And in the past three years, the beat itself has had to suffer through the small adjustments that all veteran parents know: teething and sickness and potty training and sleeping in a big-girl bed.

I'm not talking about a schedule.  This is not about a schedule.  I'm talking about the pulse of our lives, the measure of breaths we take as a collective we, the silent but palpable tick of our family's clock.

A month ago, Chip and I listened to little Polly's heart for the first time.  We waited while my doc maneuvered the doppler to first hear the strange sea sounds of my internal workings, and for a breathless few seconds worried when we couldn't find Polly's own beat.  But then it was there: a thumping steady badow-badow-badow-badow-badow at 155 beats per second.  The sound of it filled our senses with this very new rhythm, one we're already trying to work into the sounds that we know and love, knowing that it's going to change everything come some unknown day in March.

And now, after two months of having him as a daily presence in the house, Chip is going back to work.  It's a bittersweet experience for all of us: Alice will miss him something terrible, as will I.  And Chip, dear Chip---- I venture to say that he's making the biggest sacrifice of all.  I know that the rhythm we know will skip and stutter for a while, that it might suffer mindless abstractions of disruption while we look for new things that will work for us.

A change of routine.  A change of sound.  A change of method.  A change.  Lots of changes.

But I think if we try, if we have the faith to keep putting one foot in front of the other, we're going to find the music in it.  And it's going to be great.