Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Housewarming Gift



The very sweet people at AllModern sent us a housewarming gift. I was thrilled. So I carefully, oh-so-gently packed it with paper and two boxes. And that carefully wrapped little clock accidentally got buried in our storage unit with all the rest of our belongings. I meant to hang it on the wall above Jane's bed. I know she'll love it. Anyway, my heartfelt thanks goes out to them for sending it. It reminds me of a past vacation in Oregon when we spent the day at Timberline Lodge.

Good day.

Good clock.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fun, For A Change


Last night I took a break from boxes and cleaning to do something fun.

My sweet friends Jerusalem and Jeannetta invited me to see Tim Gunn.
I also snapped a picture of Jerusalem's house, which is light and bright, smells like coffee, and is filled with the cheerful sounds of her little boys playing.
I kind of wanted to move in with them.


I cannot remember the last time I had "girl" fun.
It's been a while.


And let me just say that Tim Gunn can work a crowd.
This was the part where he was talking about Project Runway and said,
"I'm sorry but the judges are on crack."
He was adorable.

So thank you sweet friends for including me!
Now it's back to unpacking boxes.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A New Home

Well. We're here. I have achy muscles and a headache. Matt is staring blankly at the wall whispering, "Never again." Jane is delighted with her bigger bedroom and loves to talk about the cars outside the apartment. Mabel is scared of the stairs.

We've kissed suburbia goodbye.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What I Wore

This is what I wore today, while I was changing addresses and making lists and cracking up.

Wish us luck.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Break From Our Scheduled Program


Our house is a wreck and I've forgotten to water my plants for over two weeks.
I also forgot to water Mabel all day Saturday.
Her little water bowl was dry as a bone and she was super, uber, duper ticked off at me.
So in fear that anything else in the house goes without basic sustenance,
I'm taking a pause from everything else that occupies my mind.
Which means a blogging hiatus.


Between packing boxes, Jane and I took a little time to sit on the front porch and discuss all this glorious fall rain.
In the south it's not fall until the rains move in.
Jane has started talking.

All. The. Time.
On Saturday it consisted of the words purple, oh boy, and maaaa (her version of mommy this week).
So it sounds something like this:
"Ohboyohboypuuuplelinglingalingamaaaa."



Matt and I stole away for a dinner date on Saturday night.
It was foggy and rainy and I wore a long sleeve shirt.
We talked about how it was probably our last date in our hood since we're moving into a temporary apartment on the other side of the city.
We've had a lot of wonderful times in this house, in this neighborhood, and it makes me sad.
But not sad enough to stay. I'm ready to move on.


And on a more random note, I wore my butterfly wing necklace to work last Friday, and a monarch butterfly perched on the outside of my office window for over an hour.
I kept whispering, "I'm sorry, OK?! The website said it died of natural causes!"
But the monarch wasn't convinced and just fluttered its wings at me, deeply disdainful of my wing necklace. I can't say I blame him.

So this is our life right now.
Hopefully it gets less crazy soon.
But somehow I don't think that will happen.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Sanctuary!" *insert Quasimoto voice here*



My home is my sanctuary, my little nest. Sometimes it’s a filthy nest, but it’s mine all the same. I can decorate and rearrange and watch movies there. I can sit on the patio and watch Mabel jump after
dragonflies. But now it’s a nest that’s not really mine anymore. It’s full of boxes and chaos.


Me no likey.

It’s especially hard since we have nowhere to go (a temp apartment full of boxes doesn’t count in my book). There’s no new nest on the horizon and I feel a bit like a duck out of water.


 
But I’m finding sanctuary in different places. On long walks. In parks. In my favorite stores where one day I hope to buy something for a new home, a new nest. Until then I’m sort of like good ol’ Quasimoto, lurking around the bell tower, wishing for a little sanctuary of my own.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Spare the Rod






Defiance.

It's a word that's entered into Jane's little world.

All humans enter into this universie tiny, adorable, pudgy little babies, no will of their own other than the overwhelming need to be held, cuddled, fed, and cared for. Then they discover their own hands, the mobile over their cribs. Their eyes light up with discovery. They crawl, they bite your shoe to see what it tastes like. The world opens up before them like a gigantic, brightly illustrated story book. It's excited. It's when you smile and say, "Welcome to the world."

And then they start toddling. And then they start doing things that might hurt them, like pinching their fingers in cabinet doors, or *cough cough JANE cough cough* playing with the knobs on the gas stove. It is then that the word NO enters into their universe. They have a choice to make.


1. Continue being the pudgy, adorable, witless creature they started out as and have no opinion of their own, never questioning your "no."

OR

2. Consider your "no" and choose to do what they want because, well, dangit, they want to.


I saw defiance in Jane's eyes when she discovered the sheer joy of slapping the white glass lamp bases next to the couch. They ring out with a little "ding" every time her little hands make contact. And obviously, I see visions of her standing in the middle of shards of broken glass, so I tell her no. She tilts her head, slightly lowers her eyelids, and does it again.

At first I slapped her hands. She thought that was hilarious. She proceeded to slap her own hands, thinking it was a game, and then in turn started slapping my hands. I was boggled and upset. So the next time we had a run-in, I slapped her leg.

Her eyes welled up with tears and she cried. Not because I'd told her no. Not because it hurt that badly. She cried because I hit her. It wasn't a good feeling.

So a few weeks passed and this battle waged on. One night she was in the bathtub, trying her best to stick her entire hand and arm up the water spout. In frustration I reached out and whacked her arm without saying a word.

She stopped what she was doing and looked at me. It was an awful look. Not mad. Stung. Confused.

It was then that a tiny wheel I didn't know I had started turning in the back of my brain.

I realized that spanking is sometimes just, well, lazy. It's a lot easier to reach out and whack someone's arm when they're doing something they shouldn't (like trying to pick the grunge out of the water faucet in the bathtub that has who knows what kind of ebola viruses) than just... pause.

It's easier for me to reach out and spat her leg when she's screaming, or tugging, or breaking something than pause and think, "OK. Is she hungry? Am I hungry? Am I just in a bad mood? Which one of us needs a time out right now?"

And so I find myself sparing the rod.And why the heck do we have to call it a rod? It's just so... bone chilling. Defiance doesn't always call for a spanking. I find that picking her up, taking her to the other side of the room away from what she's doing, pointing my finger at her and saying, "I said stop it" works far better than a smack. Running into traffic away from me when I'm calling her... well that's a horse of a different color and we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. But all in all, I'm finding myself doing things differently than I ever thought I would. I don't want her to be afraid of me. Respect me? Obey me? Yes. Be terrified? Confused? Stung? No way.

This parenting thing takes everything I thought I knew and turns it right on top of it's head. I'm so glad. Thank goodness for Jane and her defiance. Well, not really. But you know what I mean.



I'd Like to Live in This Picture Please


I present to you one of a series of three adorable drawings by my sister Rachel. I'd love to take a vacation inside her mind. And I'd also love to live in one of those adorable houses up there. Preferably the one with the indigo door.

You can find her drawings here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In The Morning I Wake Up


Mornings are Jane's best time. And mine.
We wear our pajamas and eat breakfast,
and talk about the Disney channel.
Btw, am I the only person who thinks
that the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is like
watching the inmates run the asylum?

And why is Blogger making my type line up like this?

Ah. The mysteries of the universe that occupy my brain.


Either way.
Mornings are good.
Especially when you have a 17 month old try to
sing along with the Small Potatoes song
when the only words she knows are
"no"
"Mama"
"Muhbul"
and
"Banana."
I highly recommend this as the perfect way
to start a morning.

Monday, September 10, 2012

This Weekend

This weekend Jane and I had colds, but we survived and even took a walk in the lovely fall air. Arkansas is one hot, muggy state. But this time every year Mother Nature throws us a bone and sends some cooler air, if only for a weekend or two, just to keep hope alive.

I took things down off the walls and it made me sad.

Matt watched a lot of football, and the sound of it made me want to open the windows and take a nap. I did laundry instead.

I used some semi-permanent dye and colored my hair darker. It's a nice change.

Jane has started reading books out loud to herself. She uses perfect Klingon.

Mabel was in the nastiest mood, trying to run in front of Jane to get to me first, and growling grumpily if she got too close. What to do with a toddler and a grumpy 9 year old schnauzer who's stuck in her ways? Jane is oblivious to the conflict, giggling and saying, "HI MUHBUL" as she crawls after Miss Grumpyton... her tail down and eyes pleading at me, "But why, oh why, do we keep this child?"

So that was my weekend. Two weeks until we move to an apartment. I'm happy we're selling our house. I'm so not happy about apartment living in cramped quarters with a grumpy old dog and a mess making toddler (who will no doubt try to unpack and overturn every box we store there). To combat my own grumpiness I bought a Yankee candle that smells like fall. We may be cramped-apartment-bound... but by golly it will be a good smelling cramped-apartment.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Spending Time With This One

Two whole days.
Her crazy hair.
Her smell.
Her chirps and giggles.
Her funny way of saying, "mayama."
It never gets old.
Never.

Cotton Candy Colored Clouds


There's a shift in the season.
I think it's the light. The sun comes up a little later,
the sun goes down a little faster.
Cotton candy colored clouds that have baked a little too long.

Fall is just around the corner.


Normally I would be in level code red nesting mode.
I'd be plotting fall decor, Halloween costumes.
Instead I'm packing.

I hope we have a roost to land in soon.
But I find myself noticing things I normally overlook.
Like the somber calls of the crows over the lake.
The crackle of leaves on the driveway.
All those subtle hints that I normally pay no attention to
because I'm too wrapped up in spray painting pumpkins,
or buying mums at the market.


This little crew of mine is uprooted.
But it's for a good cause.
Matt and I are ready for a change, even though we
have no idea what that change is.


I'm trying to roll with the punches and enjoy the hints of fall.
I'm trying to take time to hang out with my sister and sweet
brother-in-law. We'll soon be on the other side of town.
That makes me sad.


Fall is coming.
Summer is closing.
Our house is almost a memory.
Cotton candy colored clouds baked a little too long,
I'll always be reminded of this time in our lives when I see them.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Picture Time = Sick Time


For some reason, whenever we take Sunday morning pictures,
Jane is always coming down with a cootie.
Just look at that sweet face.
She did not feel good.


We spent our holiday weekend cuddling her.
I also sang about the wheels on the bus
until I developed a twitch in my eye.
It made her happy, so it's worth the tick.
Our house is getting appraised today,
and we found a month to month apartment.
So there's a silver lining...
we won't be living on the streets.
I packed up some of my bowls and pottery last night.
All of a sudden this all feels so final and real.
We're actually going to be saying goodbye to our very first house,
the house where we became adults,
where we became a family.
Then it dawned on me that Jane won't even remember this house.
That made me sad until she looked at me with those sick eyes,
held her hand in the air and chirped,
"Eh, eh, eh, eh."
That's Jane code for:
"Please sing about the wheels on the bus again."
And I did.