'tis the season

That's my Papa there on the left.
If you don't think this is one of the best pictures ever, you are wrong.


like little children hiding their eyes

I was going to write a post about thankfulness.
I was going to write a post about how I got to the place I am in.
A happy Thanksgiving kind of post explaining why I love every second of what I am doing and why it all kind of feels like a surreal gift (are you rolling your eyes yet?) and why I go out of my way all the time to explain that even though I have been through a bunch of weird crap lately I AM THANKFUL for my life.

I swear I don't say these peppy optimistic things to be annoying and I don't say them because I feel like I have to say them.
I say them because I mean them.
I say them because there is a lot of joy in my house and in my heart.

I say them because I am thankful for what I have. Constantly.

I may only be 26, but I've been through stuff. The bad kind of stuff. The kind of stuff that steals your joy away from you. Even though my beloved Papa passed away and I had a miscarriage and I hurt myself all over on a dumb treadmill fall (that I am still healing from if you can believe it) all in the last three months, my joy has not been stolen. I am not depressed.
I have real, tangible things to be sad about, yes, but they are the kind of things you grieve over and you weave into your story. You cry sometimes out of nowhere and you squint really hard trying to understand and accept the realities of life. I am dealing with that. I am definitely squinting. I am not dealing with the heavy kind of stuff that threatens to break your spirit and steal your joy. I am dealing with life. I am so thankful that I get to deal with life.

So I was going to write a post about that stuff.

Then I started singing this song and I couldn't stop. I felt better about a lot of things. I sang it all night, for hours, until everyone went to sleep and my house got so quiet that my whisper-singing even seemed too loud and I stopped singing and started typing this post.

I decided not to get too ridiculously long winded in my explanation of the rainbows and bunnies I sprinkle into everything and instead just tell you to sing this song.

You will feel better too.

(Sometimes I think I missed my calling in life and should be getting paid to sit around singing songs for fun. Those jobs are pretty easy to find right? Singing a fun-to-sing song feels like a good dream and a good beer and being a kid and an old person all at the same time.)


like a humorous dogs-wearing-costumes daily calendar* but way way better

Clark recently went through a rough period, sleep-wise. Instead of shutting his eyes and cuddling up in his dark bedroom the way he always had, he started banging on the wall and randomly getting out of bed and yelling things to me through the door, waking Alice up too.

Our solution?

We now tuck him in with the following items:

large very soft microfiber "happy" blanket
small very soft microfiber "happy" blanket
stuffed dog, "Puppers"
stuffed singing/talking dog "My Pal Scout"
very bright night light
Text and Learn
stack of Maisy books
memory foam mattress pad
sheets with a higher thread count than my own
1978 Disney Cassette tape playing "Skip To My Lou"
cup full of ice water

my iPod Touch

As much as he loves the music and dogs and the ridiculously comfortable soft bed, it's the iPod that gets him to sleep. He falls asleep playing with Dress Chica and ShapeBuilder and painting/drawing apps the same way I fall asleep playing Moxie. I would worry about sleep hygiene but I'm honestly just happy he falls asleep without getting upset. Besides, he comes by it honestly. My grandma falls asleep playing video Poker.

There have been some unintended consequences of letting him go to bed this way.

1) He deletes things. Emails, tweets, and apps have all disappeared.

2) He updates my facebook status to say things like, 'axiiaudha;;l".

3) He somehow takes screenshots of the games he is playing and saves them in my photos. There are currently NINETY SIX screenshots saved there.

But the best part? The part I didn't see coming? After he falls asleep, I go to his room and take the iPod out of his little hand and I get to see what he was doing when he fell asleep. Luke and I look at whatever it is and then look at each other and just shake our heads. There is something so sweet about the half finished portraits and puzzles and dressed-up chickens resting in his little sleeping hand. It's always slightly different and is such a funny little surprise. This moment is, reliably, one of the best ones we have all day.

*I once bought Luke a humorous dogs-wearing-costumes daily calendar and not only did he use it and like it, he would bring home the funniest days to show me at the end of the week. I know you will appreciate this, Smacksy.


this is my fake plastic trophy

I am reading my husband's blog and just shaking my head.

"OJ McDuffy.... LOL. Old school."



I love reading his blog even if I don't always understand it. And I totally get football and enjoy watching our team win and all of that, it's just that he sometimes takes it to a level I don't have the patience to follow. OJ McDuffy? Quite honestly that sounds made up.

He writes his blog with his brother and he uses a fake name (Demond Sanders) and ummm, have I mentioned how serious he is about the Colts?

The following excerpt was taken from the 18 to 88 "about us" page...

"Demond Sanders"

Real Name: Luke Dunlevy

Why you should take my opinions on 18to88.com seriously:
You definitely shouldn't.

Why I'm not a sportswriter: I'm a fan. An insane fan. Ask my college friends about the number of television remotes I smashed during the 2001 and 2002 Colts seasons. I love the Colts and it is a lot of fun to write about the amazing career of one Peyton Williams Manning. I enjoy running a small business, but if I ever gave that up I'd like to write childrens books or be a drunk.

He has been hogging the computer all week, writing things about guys who play football in horse themed uniforms, so I haven't been able to get on here and write out all of my feelings and deep innermost thoughts and dumb jokes. I would be annoyed except that his blog? It's... popular. Really popular. He gets 1000X the traffic I ever will. They get linked on ESPN and all those important sports websites I don't read ALL THE TIME. So I give him the computer. I let him do his thing.

I am thinking I might scour black Friday ads and try to find a reasonably priced laptop. Then I won't be affected by the Colts 10-0 record or our new strict 7daysaweek treadmill regime (yes I got back on the treadmill after my spill) or a DVR full of crap we act like it's our job to watch.
(Like Project Runway. This season? Maybe my last. And shockingly it wasn't Lifetime that drove me off, it was IRINA and L.A.) I will just type type type on my very own laptop.

Except when I don't because I am off being ADD and dumb and thinking my blog posts in my head instead of typing them out.

This one?

Stream of consciousness.

NOT one of the ones I went over and over perfecting in my mind as I tried to fall asleep all week.

Oh yes, I have posts in my head. And they are GOOD. Thought provoking. Interesting. Those (unposted purely imagined) posts are pure BLOG GOLD. This one is more like blog gold... plastic trophy.

"Yaaaaay. I wrote something."


which do you want first?

Good news: I got all the laundry (like, every clothing item we own) clean.

Bad news: It is sitting in a crumpled-up pile and I have to put it all away.


Good news: Luke is very good at helping me put laundry away.

Bad news: Tomorrow is Luke's birthday so I feel obligated to put it all away myself as a gesture of appreciation.

Good news: After several weeks of cleaning dirty Batman underwear (and taking all the best toys away) Clark has stopped his pooping-in-the-toilet-strike and will, willingly, poop in the toilet again.

Bad news: He walked into my bedroom with poop all over his feet a couple of hours ago and we still have no idea where he pooped. Very unlikely it was in the toilet unless he snuck into the bathroom like a small ninja and then quietly flushed the toilet and cleaned up after himself.


Good news: After a thorough investigation, it's looking more and more like it's the ninja thing. He secretly pooped on the toilet himself.

Bad news: Before we noticed he was covered in poop he sat on the large pile of clean clothes.
More than sat in it.
Rolled in it.
Played "airplane" in it.
It is all being transported back to the laundry room.


Good news: By the time I get all the laundry washed and dried again, it won't be Luke's birthday anymore and I will have help putting it away.

Bad news: None. Unless you're Luke.

fallen leaves in the night

I have had this version of this song on my computer since the days of Napster.

I sing it a lot.
And I mean it.

Tell me one thing more than this.


you capture: real life

I wasn't sure what to do this week. I took a lot of photos but none that really had to do with this challenge. I could have taken pictures of the messes all over my house but I've done that before.
So instead I am showing you a photo I took yesterday with the laptop's webcam as I was trying to send someone an email and, ultimately, gave up.


I have said a million times (like in my profile info) that I only blog when my kids are sleeping. Clark doesn't nap, so this really means I only blog after we're totally done doing everything else we needed to do that day. I blog when it's the time of day that normal humans go to sleep. It isn't that I WANT to stay up all night on the computer (though the night owl in me is okayish with it) it's just that... well...

They like to be on me all the time and be actively involved in what I am doing. They even like to help me type! Yes, typing on the laptop is like a golden ticket to the Wonka Factory. They act like it's the best and most thrilling activity EVER. And Alice's favorite button to type is the power button.

Head over to I Should Be Folding Laundry to see more little glimpses of real life.


i have two hands

I'm not feeling like myself.

I am mad at people that have done things to make me mad and people that haven't really done anything to make me mad at all. I'm dwelling on it all instead of forgiving them and loving them and moving on.

My knees hurt and I keep bumping them on things and screaming when I do. Knees are not something you want to rub all the skin off of, FYI, because you bump them on things all the time but you don't really notice until they don't have any skin on them anymore.

I don't know where my friends are to talk to. I feel lonely.

I took a pregnancy test (even though there was a 0% chance of me being pregnant) because I am insane. I think I wanted to see it tell me I am not pregnant anymore. It told me I am not pregnant anymore. I knew it would, obviously, but after the SIX tests that told me I was pregnant not very long ago, it tore me up. I am dumb for even going there. I am also out $5 for the test. I should be almost in my second trimester but instead I'm out $5.

Clark has been a pistol lately. Or a gun that is worse than a pistol but I don't know anything about guns so I can't tell you what kind of gun it would be. The kind that back talks a lot. Like he repeats everything I say to him back to me, but opposite. "You DO NOT have to take my game away. I DO NOT have to put my pants on. I AM being a very good boy."

I feel little pangs and sudden tiny stinging tears on and off all the time because I know I will never see my Papa again.

I am eating candy, as I write this, out of sheer desperation for a sugar induced mood boost. I hate candy.

on the other hand...

I have an amazing cozy house with a fireplace and lots of free firewood and I've been finding so many things I love at the Salvation Army lately and it doesn't matter if I like candy or not, I feel like it's okay to eat the pink Starburst because I have been running on the treadmill every night and my back and knees hurt but every time they sting I think of those with serious injuries and burns and pray for them and thank God for my healthy body. I have kids that are more amazing than could even be dreamed and DVR and a painting of kittens and some really amazing friends and family members and dreamy memories of being a little girl and playing Little House On The Prairie in my backyard while Papa mowed in his white t-shirt and shorts with white socks and shoes. And a cigarette. He always had a cigarette.

I love my life. I do. I thank God ALL THE TIME that this is my life. I'm exactly where I want to be. It's okay if some of it hurts or puts me in a bad mood. It's exactly where I want to be.

hello now

I just showed Clark (who will be three in January) Luke's blog and my blog and then asked him what he would put on his own blog for "all the people" to read.

His reply?

"A GHOST. A BIG BIG GIANT ghost. A punkin too and my best buddy Scout*, mom. I think a Scout story. Once there was dog named Scout. He played and hided in the grass. He hided inside of my own house and he said something to me. He said something about my wall. And about my blocks. He said that Wall-E blocks** are great to play with. And he said mooooo. Cows say mooooo. Tell them about me too. Tell them about my great planetarium house that glows in the dark***. And tell them about Scout too. What did Scout say? Did he say, bocka bocka? Did he say other things? He likes to say ruff ruff. HELLO NOW."

He just said that to me all at once, without really taking a breath, stream-of-consciousness-like. Can you tell he's my kid?

*not an actual dog, a LeapFrog toy
** these blocks-- they have nothing to do with the Disney character Wall-E except that Clark thinks they ARE Wall-E because they look just like him:

***he does not actually have a great planetarium house that glows in the dark, he just saw a picture of one the other day and thought it looked cool


Neither LeapFrog nor Kid K'Nex paid me or provided me with any free product for this post but if they want to send me free stuff and/or money they are welcome to as Clark's Christmas presents are currently coming from the Salvation Army. Kid K'Nex and Leap Frog toys are two of his three favorite things in the whole entire world, the third being giant ghosts.


erin versus the milling tread

I fell off my treadmill on Saturday morning. No, actually, I fell on my treadmill and the treadmill kept going. I was stuck between the moving part (the milling tread I guess you'd call it) and the bookshelf behind it and couldn't throw myself off for a good 10 seconds as it moved along at 6 miles per hour, rubbing the skin off of my knees, arm, and back.

We have laughed a lot over how ridiculous this incident was and I feel completely stupid. The whole thing seemed like a scene from a movie, complete with the bookshelf breaking and me screaming and tumbling around. It really is a certain kind of funny. You know what certain kind I mean. The not-actually-funny-at-all-live-action-Disney-movie-guy-gets-hit-in-his-testicles-by-a-large-branch kind of funny. In fact, it turns out that treadmill humor is kind of a thing on the internet.* If you google "treadmill fall" you will be presented with many pages of "fat girl falls on treadmill OMGLOLZ" videos that were presumably created to entertain someone. (Not that I googled "treadmill fall" after falling on the treadmill like an idiot or I have an obsession with googling stuff or anything like that.)

On the other hand, it is actually not all that funny because I am in a lot of pain and it was quite frightening and it could have been much much worse. On page 8 of the "treadmill fall" google search results (so after the fat girl videos) I found a story about a teenager passing out on a treadmill and having so much skin rubbed off that she needed skin grafts and was disfigured.

Treadmills are dangerous.

I am so grateful that I made this realization after an accident involving myself and not one of my children. I am so grateful that I have been reminded to always take the safety precautions I don't always think I need to take. I am grateful for my newly heightened awareness. I am also going to have some seriously hardcore scars which is kind of cool, right?

Be careful friends. Accidents happen. Buckle up. Look both ways. Use the treadmill key.


This is my back. This really gross wound runs from the bottom of my bra to the top of my pants. (Yes this is an intentionally small and blurry image. You're welcome.) Both knees and one of my arms have them too.

*I realize this is true of almost everything.