ghost of halloween past: because all the cool cats are doing it

(A couple of my favorite blogs have done this in the last few days and I have decided to join them.)

On Clark's first Halloween I decided to take it upon myself to dress him up like something I knew he would never ever agree to dress up like later.

Clark Kent.

He was only nine months old and I reasoned that he would probably leave the necessary plastic Clark Kent glasses on for around three seconds and that it would take me at least eight seconds to pose and snap a picture. But I had a plan! I nursed him until he fell asleep and then drew one side of the glasses on his face as fast and furiously as I could with a freshly sharpened waytooexpensivetobeusingforthispurpose eye-pencil. I nursed him on the other side; repeat.

I thought I was a genius.

Then I rolled him over to find the first side got all smudged as I was drawing on the second side, and then while touching up the first side, I got the second side messed up. Bad words were muttered and eye-pencils resharpened. I would get them so they looked okay on one side and then realize the other side was too high and uneven. I would fix that and then he would rub them up with his chubby baby wrists. Erase! Start over! Re-draw! I did not give up.

I think I spent several hours just getting those glasses right. Hours, friends. Hours with an eye pencil and a wiggling baby. A baby too young to go trick-or-treating or have any clue it was a holiday or be bribed to hold still. A baby who was wearing his costume only for me and my camera.

It's been two years, and looking back at these photos I am so so glad I am crazy.

(For Alice's first Halloween I didn't even dress her up. I hope she never reads this.)


you capture: fall

Is it weird to not really like taking nature photographs? Other people take them and they are beautiful and interesting and I totally appreciate that, yet somehow nature does not inspire me. I just like to document human behavior. Anyway. It's no wonder that I went outside with my camera and a vague notion that I would take some photos of plants and things for this week's You Capture theme, Autumn, but instead sorta just took photos of my kids.

Clark found a monkey bar.

Alice lost a shoe.

This next one doesn't have people in it! I have this habit of making miniature bouquets out of random crap I find growing, just to pass the time. I remember doing this even in elementary school during recess, often searching for an elusive four-leaf clover to add to the bunch. Here's the one I made yesterday. It's kind of pretty. It got weirder after I took the picture and added mushrooms.

And then we came inside and played "haunted house" under the dining room table. I'm not going to lie; this part was my favorite. I'm indoorsy like that.

As always, head over to I Should Be Folding Laundry and click through all the prettiness.


totoro, totoro

I finished Alice's Totoro costume/hoodie for Halloween. It is one of the cutest things I've ever personally laid eyes on. It isn't perfect (the whiskers should be something sturdier like pipe cleaner and there are weird glue spots all over and the ear shape isn't perfect) but it definitely gets the idea across and looks adorable on.

The whole thing cost me less than $10 which made Luke very happy. Hopefully he'll remember this in the future when she wants to be something (she actually picks out herself) that is more elaborate like Ariel or Eliza Doolittle or something and I need to buy real sequined $15/yard fabric.

As soon as it was done, Clark wanted to try it on. I didn't mind a bit because oh my goodness gracious-- HOLY CUTENESS. I told him it can be his to play in when Trick Or Treat is over and Alice is all done with it. I made this concession mostly because I want to look at him wearing it all day, every day.

And for those of you (so probably everyone but Dera and Beth) whose children are not obsessed with the movie, this is what the real Totoro looks like:

Now let's all sing it together:


things about me that embarrass other people but strangely don't embarass me at all

Thing number one: My brain is extra super good at remembering song lyrics and notes. I would feel silly and braggy talking about something I am this weirdly talented at but I don't think this is bragging at all because it is obviously such a ridiculous and useless talent. I love to sing and my brain loves to memorize notes. I hear a song once or twice and that's it; the next time I am shopping at T.J. Maxx and the song plays I am noticeably singing along. And by "noticeably" I mean NOTICEABLY, like singing nearly out-loud and making super expressive faces. I don't even have to like the song. I can love it or hate it or think it's really bland-- I do not discriminate. I just sing. Loudly. To this and this and this and this and this and this. Every word, every note. I cannot help myself. (And yes, I just clicked on each one of those music videos and sang along with them before publishing this post and just for the record the master list of these songs would be thousands of songs long. These were the first six that came to mind because I heard and sang along with several of them today.)

Thing number two: I talk to strangers. If one of my kids is being extra cute or funny or I can't find the brand of deodorant I want or I'm standing on a street corner and the light is taking a long time to turn into the "please walk across the street now, quickly, and you probably won't get hit by a car" signal, I look around and make eye contact with the nearest person and start chatting with them about the goofy situation we are in. Once we were eating lunch at my favorite Indian lunch buffet when I saw another mom with a baby Clark's age. He was only about three or four months old at the time, and I was totally in momfriend-making mode. The conversation went down like this.

Me: Oh my goodness, how old is your little girl?

Disinterested Other Mom: Uh, she's three and a half months old.

Me: NO WAY! That's how old my son is too! When's her birthday?

Disinterested Other Mom: Um, January Fifth.

Me: NO WAY! That is my son's birthday too! How crazy! Where was she born?

Disinterested Other Mom: (sigh) St. Vincent Women's hospital.

Me: NO FREAKING WAY!!! That's where Clark was born! They were born on the same day in the same hospital- that's crazy! They're birthday buddies!

Me to Disinterested Other Mom's Baby: Hey there sweet little girl, this is Clark, he is your birthday buddy!

Disinterested Other Mom: (pause) Uh, yeah. I guess.

Clearly not all people are people people.
This was around the same time that I totally gave up on trying to make friends with other local moms.


while you were sleeping

I am crazy and it is 2:30 in the morning and I know nothing about html but I do know that somehow, someway, I managed to make my blog look a little different.


once he had a pretty mate/ but she met a cruel fate

When I was pregnant with Alice, I went through this mini-freak out where I had it in my head that I had to have certain things and if I didn't have those certain things then my whole pregnancy/labor and delivery/life forevermore would not go according to plan and I would be unhappy. It was all dumb, cheap stuff. It's not like I thought we needed a new car or house or even dishwasher. It's more that I obsessed over her room, her light fixture, her crib sheets, her first shoes, her first toys. I was weirdly (okay, hormonally) afraid that she wouldn't like me (I know, an awful fear right?) which may have had something to do with this need to prepare. I wanted everything to be just right so I could relax.

One of things I obsessed over was a dumb little bunny on etsy. Not that it was dumb at all, actually, I loved it, but it was dumb when you consider how much time I spent looking at the dumb little picture of it on the dumb little computer screen. It was just a little stuffed bunny that said "Alice's Bunny" with a poem printed on one side, and the image of a rabbit on the other. I talked about it, um, quite a lot. "WE HAVE to have ALICE'S BUNNY for THE NURSERY or THE NURSERY WILL NOT BE FINISHED!" I shouted at Luke, who had already spent many many hours humoring my whims.

He helped me build a parasol light fixture because I insisted she needed a parasol light fixture. He helped me cover a large piece of drywall with pink flowered paper and affix it to the wood paneled wall because I insisted she needed a large flowered board on her wall. He drove me to USA Baby ten thousand times and never complained, even though I never bought anything but instead studied all of the merchandise carefully and seriously, like it all meant something. But when it came to the dumb bunny? He rolled his eyes. He also told me it was overpriced. I think I said some bad words under my breath or quietly or out loud.

I was downright furious when the bunny sold to someone else.

I maybe had kind of a sad disappointed fit.

It was maybe not even "kind of" a fit but more accurately like a loud fit.


It turned out that Luke had made an etsy account with a fake name and bought the bunny for me and he surprised me with it later and I felt like a huge jerk but also like a tingly happy extremely lucky girl because finally, FINALLY, Alice's room would have Alice's Bunny safely tucked into a corner-- and also because I married someone really super fabulous.

Super fabulous and super tricky.


This is Alice The Newborn with her bunny:

This was Alice, today, with her bunny:

(Sidenote: That middle picture makes me kind of hyperventilate I like it so much.)



Yesterday I had a last-minute guest. My lovely friend Marie (who lives many states away) was visiting her mom in my part of the country. Marie was kind enough to drive the extra two hours to my place so she and her sweet little baby-girl Coral could cheer me up with a slumber party.

It was a very nice distraction.

We turned on our Tivoed (Is that right? Tivoed? Tivo-d? Tivod? It isn't even a Tivo brand Tivo, it's just an AT&T standard issue DVR so I suppose it isn't even relevant) episode of Glee but we got too distracted with chit-chat and never even finished the episode. This chit-chat went on until 2 AM.

A good friend is hard to find. I'm glad to have such a gem.

(And notice how Coral and Alice are looking at each other? Should we go ahead and order their BFF lockets now?)


It's been a week since I started miscarrying.

Thank you much for your love and supportive comments. I've read them all over and over, and will probably continue to do so for quite a long time. I wish I could give each one of you a hug.


You Capture: Still Life

I decided to finally participate in You Capture again this week! It's a nice cheery thing to post on my once-happy blog that has recently turned depressing.

Here is my still life.

King Triton has a lot of lady friends.

I have no idea why this amused me so much, but I weirdly enjoyed setting it up.

As always, you can see what everyone else photographed at I Should Be Folding Laundry.


click crash thud

No one broke their arm.

Instead, I had a miscarriage.

I know, I know. I didn't tell you I was pregnant.

I will tell you now: I was pregnant.

For three and a half weeks, I thought about babies and childbirth and baby names. I thought about Clark with a baby brother or Alice with a baby sister or what if it was twins? I was due in May and could already imagine what it would feel like to be very pregnant in late Spring. I was tired and sick and and my pants didn't button. I was very happy. But I'm not pregnant anymore.


On Friday I found myself in a position I had always feared. I was pregnant and bleeding. Losing a baby is one of those things you just don't know that much about until it happens to you. On Friday morning when I woke up, I didn't know a thing about it. Today I know too much.

Miscarrying a pregnancy is not cut and dry. Just like labor, it depends on a lot of factors and could go many ways. I was prepared for the emotional aspect. I knew it would be sad and depressing and that I would feel helpless and all of those things turned out to be true. I was not, however, prepared for how much physical pain it involved. In talking with friends I have learned that it isn't always this way. You might cramp a little. You might cramp a lot. You might be like me and crawl into the bathtub crying and then make your husband to drive you to the E.R.

So there you are, thing number one I wish I had known ahead of time: it can hurt really really bad. Like labor bad. Really bad. Gosh I wish I had known that.

Saturday I went to the E.R. and it fairly traumatic. They handled me in a sort of clumsy and frantic way. They did things that were unnecessary and painful. I am glad Saturday is over.

Today I went to the O.B. for a little check-up and it went as well as that kind of appointment can go. She said she thinks I've passed everything (sidenote: I had no idea how much "stuff" this was going to entail and oh my, it's a lot, and it's really sad and surprising to have to see it with your own eyes) on my own and she reminded me that I do not have an increased chance of miscarrying again, the risk is always one in five.

One in five, huh?

It's so sad. It's so hard.

Now that I'm on this side of things I feel a kindred kind of pain, a pain that has grown a little bigger every day since Friday when this started. As the reality of not being pregnant anymore grows, so does this unshakable feeling of sympathy for everyone I know who has ever had a miscarriage. It's like this great big sad shared experience so many of us have. I didn't want to be on this side of things, ever, but I am and I feel like I understand many of my friends who have been here just a little bit better. For that I am grateful.

The only other positive thing I can say about any of this is that Luke and I have really handled it together in a way that I can't remember handling anything else. We are in shock not that we lost this baby, but that our other babies are so perfect and amazing and we are so grateful for them. It isn't that we weren't grateful before, it's just that we appreciate the miracles that they are so much more. For that I am also grateful.


click click click

I just spent a half an hour frantically changing my blog header because I feel like my blog is holding me back. This will probably sound dumb and made-up, but I swear I just can't type on this thing anymore because everytime I open the page I think about how I wrote all that stuff about my grandpa. It's like an automatic response now. I pull up the page and feel heavy and annoyed at myself and want to do something else. I thought if I made things look different, then maybe I could feel different.

Okay. I will now try to feel different.


Things at my house have been really clicking lately. Like, really really clicking. No TV! Imaginary play! Craft time! Dinner cooked! Clean house! It's magical. A lot of it has to do with Luke and his newly found habit of helping me with the dishes. I have no idea how I tricked him into thinking it was his responsibility to do the dishes every night but I did, or maybe it wasn't me at all; maybe it was him or God or maybe there is mind control from the advertising industry involved, I'm really not sure. And I don't care. My sink doesn't have dishes in it, and that's a win.

I know the really really clicking phase never lasts very long, so I am trying to soak it all up before someone inevitably breaks their arm.


I hate that I hesitate when I want to say how great and joyful I feel.
I hate that misery loves company, but saying you're happy and blessed and actually really love being a mom and your life isn't falling apart makes you boring.
It isn't funny or interesting.
I don't think I say it enough.
I love being a mom. My life isn't falling apart.
I do my fair share of bitching and laughing about the ridiculous aspects of parenting, but I want to be very very clear in case this was lost in the midst of all of that: I love my life. I love my family. I wouldn't trade a minute of it. I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I would say it every day if I didn't think you all would get tired of hearing it.


another day, another dumb explanation for my lack of content

Luke and I have been sharing a computer. I decided to keep this old fixed computer thinking I could use it during the day when Luke is at work and he could use it at night. But I don't open it during the day. And he uses it like, ALL NIGHT.

Over there to the left under my name it says something along the lines of, "I only blog when they're (my family) all asleep" and it's true.

I only blog when they're all asleep.

They don't sleep during the day. At least, not at the same time. There's always someone who wants a sippy or for me to get the candyland game down from the top of the closet or help drawing a teepee. Those things are my job. And I take my job seriously. There are some people who could figure out how to do that stuff and also type on the computer and not get distracted but I just can't.

It was easier when I only had one kid and I suppose it will get easier again when my kids can do things like open the refrigerator without assistance. But they can't do that stuff right now. Right now they are one and two years old. Right now, an open computer equals crazyhouse.

I just can't get online under our current arrangement.

I have been reading your blogs on my iPod and not commenting and feeling somewhat creepy and stalkerish about it.

I think I'm going to buy a netbook or maybe just a really cheap laptop.

Thank you for listening and here's a cute picture for your time. Yes, they are the same goggles featured in the last post. He likes goggles a lot.

late september 2009 280

(I was going to post this as one of my "You Capture: Fall" photos but that obviously didn't happen at all, though I did spend some time thinking about posting it as I instead played Moxie on my iPod and Luke hogged the computer.)