I was recently intoduced to Beth's blog, I Should Be Folding Laundry, via Twitter. (Have I mentioned I maybe kind of like Twitter?) This week she is starting something new. A weekly photo challenge.

I have never participated in anything like this before, but this one sounded fun and right up my alley. I've had a Canon Digital Rebel XT (it was the cheapest DSLR you could get at the time) for almost two years. I bought it without knowing the first thing about SLRs besides oh you know, the pictures look better. Over time I have figured about 50% of it out. Just enough to be comfortable, but I don't know really know any special tricks (read: I don't really know what I'm doing.) I also have a copy of Photoshop Elements on my laptop that I know very little about. My husband uses it for work. I want to use it too.

Participating in the photo challenge will force me to make time to work on this stuff. And by make time, I mean stay up until 1:30am while everyone else is sleeping. (Hi! Here I am. In the dark. Clicking on stuff.)

Sooo, anyway.

This week's challenge was take a picture of something you love.

I did not plan to take a photo of my children. It's not like me to pick the obvious easy thing. In fact, it is much more like me to pick something ridiculous like, oh, I don't know, say homemade bread, and then attempt to make the food and stage it in vintage dishes and end up with bad lighting because it is nighttime by the time the food is finally finished and then I would get grouchy because the perfect photo that existed in my imagination was never taken and end up not turning anything in at all.  Yes. That sounds very much like vintage Erin.  But this is new Erin. New Erin has two kids.  New Erin can't even pretend to do plan A.

That's how I ended up with... (ta da)

Which started like this:

I know at least one professional photographer reads this blog.  So to her and anyone else who knows what they are doing, please do not look at my crazy photoshopping.  Just kinda squint.  And admire Alice's cheeks.  


channeling Nancy Drew

My iPod Touch just went missing for about two hours. I usually know where it is at all times because a) I'm an addict and b) I have a two year old. If I don't know where something is there is a high likelihood it is in a toilet or garbage can.

I knew I had used it this morning
I knew where I was sitting.
I knew it wasn't there anymore.

I looked at what was in the general area of its last known whereabouts. A Viewmaster. Some stuffed animals. Clark's digital camera. (And a bell and a book and a candle and a monocle, if this were an actual mystery.) Hmm.

Maybe Clark took my iPod into his room and got out his camera instead?

I went in his room and looked on his toyshelf. The basket that usually contains his camera was empty. I looked directly underneath the toyshelf in the same area as the basket. There were cobwebs. And... way way in the back corner something silver.

Oh yes. My iPod.

I have no clue how long it would have taken me to look there if the thought hadn't struck me.

I'm adding "girl detective" to my official job description. (Along with cook, maid, puppetmaster, actor, librarian, interior designer, driver, laundress, Thomas train track builder, and organizer.)

He looks rather suspicious, don't you think?


Oscars 09! For real! Or um, pretend

When I was a little girl I truly believed that I would one day be a famous actress. And attend the Academy Awards, of course. I held onto that dream for much longer than I will publicly admit.

Each and every year I turn to TheFrock.com, and imagine choosing a dress for the event. The choices are always amazing and vintage and beaded and lovely and just humor me, okay?

So here we go!

This year if I were at the Oscars, I would be wearing... (ta da!)

And thanks to the magic of Photoshop, here ya go:

LOL. There I am! I'm waiting in the green room or whatever they call it to accept or deliver an Oscar. Or maybe just maybe I am a silly twentysomething mom nursing her baby and taking her photo with a webcam and then photoshopping it onto Sarah Jessica Parker's head. Ho-hum. Take your pick.

What would YOU wear? (Next year I am totally going to plan ahead and ask everyone else to join in me in my craziness by linking up... mostly so I don't feel ridiculous. And it's fun imagining yourself in a specific gown all night. I think I may have a disturbingly good imagination.)



One of the many cool new people I have "met" in this bloggy word is Madeline. She is so sweet, and I really think we would get along fabulously in real life. What more can you ask for from a blog? She tagged me for this meme. You are supposed to find the fourth photo in your fourth photo folder and post it for the world to see. Because I recently professed my love for such things, I better play along, right?

I LOL'd (for real) when I saw the photo.

It is one of my favorite people in the whole entire world, Marie, spitting out her gum just moments before she walked down the aisle to get married nine months ago.

And guess what? She gave birth to a lovely pink-cheeked baby girl on Tuesday. (Yes! Nine months after she got married. This really happens to people!) She lives many states away so I sadly cannot see the beauty of baby Coral with my own eyes.

I think she needs a blog, don't you?


frou frou

Six months ago right now I was watching the Olympics. Or maybe I had just turned them off. It was the very last event in Women's gymnastics and I had stayed up to watch through the medal ceremony. I was so tired and so uncomfortable. I had had several weeks of stop and start prodromal labor contractions that felt ohsoreal and ohsouncomfortable and then went ohNOwhere. I sort of told people about it, but what's the point? It's hard to explain that it really feels like you're in labor and then it really goes away every single night. "Oh, Braxton Hicks" they inevitably say. No, not Braxton Hicks. Something like that but these are intense. And feel like labor. And are impossible to sleep through.

I had imaginary conversations with Alice in my head a lot. I tried to mentally coax her to find a way out or at least send me some kind of signal when things were really happening. My first pregnancy ended in induction. This going-into-labor magical froufrou stuff I had heard about was all brand new to me. Part of me very sadly believed my body was broken and would never figure things out.

At 6am on August 20th, I woke up. I kind of maybe thought I was kind of maybe in labor.
At 7am things were getting intense.
At 8:30am we drove to the hospital. I walked to the car barefoot and moaning like a crazy lady. I went through transition in the car. I don't recommend this.
At 9am I was trying to get the baby out. (This part required every drop of energy I could muster. She was persistent posterior and asynclitic aka facingupandsideways)
By 10:30am, my little daughter was staring at me and I knew she was beautiful and I knew she was worth it and I would have done it all over again right on the spot if I had to.

Alice Vivian - on her birthday.

Alice Vivian - the six month old.

(This was her first taste of "food" and she made it very clear she prefers milk. Oh, and she has very obviously gained nearly 12 pounds since she was born. Most of it in the cheeks. )


in defense of the facebook meme

When I was in high school I really wanted everyone to fall into a deep sleep so I could go around and turn their backpacks inside out and see what kind of stuff they carried around. (I am not joking. I was really curious.) That stuff, those random things, I thought, would tell me much more about them than what I got from our day to day phony teenage interactions.

I never got to do that. (It's probably for the best. It's kind of a creepy idea in retrospect.) But hey guess what? The last three weeks Facebook (aka 24/7 High School reunion) brought the virtual equivalent-- 25 Random Things About Me-- to my inbox around the clock. And I have loved reading every single one. Really.

I know this particular meme has been ridiculed by many. I saw the mocking on twitter and heard it from my hubby and read it in Time. And I'm going to be honest. This mocking got on my nerves.

Maybe just maybe, we don't have to be too cool 100% of the time. Maybe we really can fish around inside and pull out things to share with others and not only live to tell about it but also find friendship, communitiy and even a few kindred spirits along the way. A huge reward in my opinion. And all it takes it putting yourself out there and feeling immensely dorky for about fifteen minutes.

Here we all are in our little houses, doing many of the same things at the very same time as one another. At the same time yet not together. So instead together we blog. And twitter. And write and read facebook memes. And shed the self consciousness and bad dorky feeling and just go for it. (Even in the face of serious teasing by one's husband.) To be SOCIAL. And to be interested, perplexed, and entertained by the amazingness of other personalities.

It's such a cool blessing from God that we each get our own personality. Think about that for a second. We each get our own personality. Please please please don't be afraid to flash yours around.


a Valentine kind of day

We dropped the two year old off with his Gaga and kept the baby. (Funny how having a five-month old with us is now the closest we get to alone time.) We had a very Erin-centric day.

We headed straight to one of my happy places, Midland Antiques Market.
There was so much stuff I loved that we didn't buy anything at all. I was too overwhelmed and sort of broke. That happens.

We then had lunch at Shalimar, my favorite Indian restaurant. I had enough punches on my frequent visitor card for a free meal, so we splurged on soft drinks.

Then we went to the mall. The Mall. I kind of hate the mall. But today, without Clark (I love you Clark but honey you are hard work) it was like a luxury vacation. We walked around. There was some silence. Anthropologie always cheers me up.

Then we went home. Clark and Alice went to bed. And now we're watching Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist because we love Michael Cera and Valentine's Day is all about love.

We did all the silly stuff I like to do from sun up to sun down. We should totally get a babysitter and head out to sing karaoke, but I don't own an appropriately sparkly outfit (that fits) and the outfit is half the fun. Maybe next year.

Happy V Day, ya'll.


feeling as shaky as a fiddler on the roof

That song has been running through my head. It feels so relevant.

Toddlers are all about habit and having a known normal usual routine. Their own little tradition. And when you need to change things? The transition takes control of your life. At least for a few days.

Life suddenly revolves around this:

That would be Clark's bed. His "real" bed, in his words. He's slept in that bed for a long time, but it used to have a cage tent on top. A tent in which he recently learned how to rip strangulation-hazard holes. Now that the tent is off, he likes to wake up EARLY. Like 5am early. I am not a morning person and I have a baby who likes to nurse all night. I cannot handle 5am.

It has left my brain feeling like this:

And my appearance like this:

(That is Bette Davis at the end of Mr. Skeffington. If you've seen the movie, you know this is not good.)


Can you blog about blogging? And other stuff I don't know.

I've been thinking about this, rambling it to my husband and finally decided to type it here.

(That's okay, right?)

I don't totally understand blogging.

I mean, I get it, I know why I do it, but the blogging culture is still somewhat mysterious to me. Am I like... a blogger? Or just someone with a blog?

(Okay, two blogs. And a twitter account. And facebook. And I swear I spend my entire day taking care of my kids and only do this at night. Though yes, I maybe carry my iPod touch around the house and refresh twitter and obsessively check my email while doing the otherwise all-consuming childcare, because really, without this little online social life I would probably just lie facedown on the floor and cry from time to time.)

I started this blog to write about the stuff I found too dorky and unrelated to my babies to put on my other blog. My other blog is password protected and full of baby pictures and a small circle of girl friends read it and that's that. Or that was that for two years, and then my grandma started reading it too and my self-deprecating anxiety over posting random thoughts on breastfeeding and coffee tables reached all-time high levels and forced me to start this new blog.

When I started this blog a few months ago I thought I would only post about the many beautiful things I found online. A way to keep my bookmarks uncluttered. This way, I rationalized, I could fantasize about well designed items without actually spending money.

Then some funny things happened. One, I forced myself to stop looking at design blogs and instead accept my house the way it is for awhile. And two, I started getting a few readers.

Now this blog is a free for all of random things (though I will still spare you the updates from the pediatrician) and I don't know what I'm doing or how to do it or if I'm doing it right, I just know I'm doing it. And it's fun. And I have already, in my short amount of time in the public blog world made some connections with really cool ladies. Ladies whose blogs I had never read or seen or laughed at until I opened myself up to try. So I think I'll keep on, even if I'm clueless. And if you're reading this and don't usually comment I would love to hear from you. I want to read your blog, too.

Also, I think I may have accidentally made it seem that I think 25 is "old" when it is so NOT old (I actually have some insecurity over feeling too young most of the time) and I hope I didn't offend anyone. The point of that post was that this little 20 year old boy plainly thought I was old when doesn't he know I feel like I just graduated from high school? This is unrelated but after much effort could not work it in any other way and wanted to be sure I said it.

(Yes that had been stressing me out since I published that post.)

Also, I think I may overuse parenthesis.

(I'll work on it.)


I know it will eventually be Spring. I know it. But I can't feel it.

For dinner I ate fancy British Lemon Lady cookies (or biscuits if you want to be that way about it) dipped into Funfetti Icing. Clark had tantrums all week. It was 8 degrees today. I pretended it was bedtime an hour earlier than it actually was, and Clark fell for it. (It was for the greater good.) I am on day number three without a shower.

But everyone in this family cracks me up. So oh well.


("That dolphin eating those crabs! Oh nooo!" Clark says in a very gruff voice.)


Uh, you know how my internet was out?

I'll bet you thought I used that time constructively, right?
Alone with my thoughts and whatnot? (And by alone I mean closing my eyes and pretending the kids aren't in the bathroom with me.)
I used my creative energy this weekend to make myself and Alice matching hairclips.
Matching hairclips.

I am 25, why do I even need a hairclip let alone one that matches my daughter's? What is wrong with me?

Let me derail the lame train by showing you photos of my oh-so-beautiful-baby so you get all starry eyed and forget how dorky I am.


I love the drool trickling down her chin. I'm her mom. It's okay for me to think her spit is cute, right?


not an addict (okay maybe a teensy bit)

I did not mean to leave things on such a somber note. I have many things to share and ramble on about.

...we've been having internet problems.
And DVR problems.
And iPod problems.
And our laptop AC adapter broke.
All at the same time.

Do you think God is trying to tell me to stop being such a technology addict?