I look at people.

I took this photo in November and forgot about it. I found it on my desktop last night and smiled a lot. I don't know who these people are; I took the photo out of my car window as we were driving home from a Colts game*. I just thought they were sweet. The little girl was standing in front of Monument Circle. I thought maybe you would like to smile at them too.

*I have mentioned before that my husband and his brother write a Colts blog. It is a super big deal at our house that our Indianapolis Colts are going to the super big deal Super Bowl. Expect a post about it.


notice her dress matches her light fixture?

When I was pregnant with Alice I had a kind of a pregnant-hormone-panic over the room that was going to be hers -- the only room in our house with wood paneling. I wavered back and forth over whether or not to paint the wood but ultimately decided to screw a piece of drywall to one of the walls and cover it in vintage wallpaper to distract from it paneling instead.

After an extensive (and when I say extensive, I mean an obsessive ongoing nightly thing) search, I could never find the right wallpaper at the right price. In a last ditch effort to make it work, I covered the drywall in wrapping paper pieces. It looked cute. Not what I had in mind, but cute enough.

This is a photo from my old blog showing what it looked like when it was in progress:

(Luke nicknamed the endeavor "the crazy lady project" because I was, truly, acting like a crazy lady.)

And this is what it looked like when it was done:

And then Alice was born and lived happily with the wrapping paper wall until one morning last month when she woke up and decided that instead of calling out for me to come get her, she would stand in her crib and rip as much paper off as she could. I knew that would eventually happen. I did not think it would happen when she was 16 months old.

So after much deliberation, I decided to strip the rest of the paper off, spackle it, and paint it with chalkboard paint.

And now it looks like this:

I think it's good. Better for a bigger girl. And she is, indeed, a bigger girl.


I made broccoli cheddar soup on a whim tonight. We loved it.

I wasn't surprised; it contained an entire block of cheddar cheese.


look, a meme

Dera, Nell, Lisa, and Madeline all participated in this meme and I promised them I would too. Sure it was like a month ago, but what do you expect from the girl who used to hand out her Valentines on the last day of school.


1. What Are You Listening To Right Now?

my space heater, and clark kicking the wall of his bedroom in his sleep

2. What Are You Watching Right Now?
the five tabs i have open in firefox. i was watching dvr'd episodes of arrested development until a few minutes ago. did you know IFC shows them all in order and commercial free? sure we have all the seasons on dvd, but taking the disks out of the case and putting them in the dvd player and then having to use the right remote to navigate the menu would be exhausting.

3. What Room Is Your Computer In?
it's a laptop. it is usually in the living room or on my bed.

4. Do You Have Christmas Lights Up Outside?
okay, so i am late answering this, but no. we didn't put lights outside. we don't have a single electrical outlet in the garage or outside of our house.

5. How Long Have You Been Blogging?
i started blogging when i was pregnant with clark, around october 2006. that blog was locked to only friends and family with a password. i started this public blog in november 2008.

6. If You Could Go Back In Time, Where Would You Go, Who Would You Meet, Why?
i would of course love to hang out with my relatives when they were younger, but i can't deny that i would have to go to an old school cheesy hollywood movie musical audition, just to see what i'm really made of. i would also be a lot skinnier in this fantasy and have long legs that look good in the super-short tap shorts. i would also know how to tap dance.

7. If You Could Be Paid To Give Of Your Time To Others, What Would You Most Like To Do? (Volunteering)
paid? to volunteer? i have no idea specifically. i think a lot of us probably feel this way, right? it's hard to be aware of so much suffering and not have any clue what to do about it.

8. If Santa Could Bring YOU Something This Year, What Would That Special Something Be?
a vacation with my husband. for sure. he never takes time off of work and we haven't had any kind of vacation at all since october 2007.

9. If You Could Have Your Blog Readers Know One Thing About You. What Would That Be?
it makes me really happy that you come here to check in on me. really, your comments make me so happy. i also want you to know that i strive to really be authentic and show you who i really am. i mean the stuff i say. just in case you were wondering.


a little less crazy and weird

First of all, thank you all who left me comments on the last post. I spent all of my blogging time this week reading your blogs instead of writing things on my own. It was nice. Really nice. Like a little party for me.

Second, you notice I changed my blog header again? That's because I had the following conversation with Clark three times this week.


Clark: Mom, show me the cute pictures.

I click on my blog and start to scroll to the flickr link...


He points emphatically at my blog header.

Clark: That picture is NOT MY FAVORITE.

Me: What picture do want to look at buddy?

Clark: Like a picture of my baby brother. Not THAT ONE. THAT one is crazy. And weird.


So there you have it. A new blog header, starring Clark's baby brother Alice.


let's make a deal

So apparently today (um yesterday, now) was delurking day, and I missed it. Delurking day just means everyone who reads LEAVES A COMMENT instead of clicking away. I am super guilty of lurking on other blogs, which is silly because I know how much comments make this worth doing. I just don't have a lot of time and often read posts and feel too tired to think of something clever to say so I don't say anything. I do this. And I know you do it too.


What do you say we do pretend delurking day, one day late (late is more my style anyway) and if you read my blog today you leave me a comment? Pretty please? Whether you're reading for the first time or you read every day, say hi. I would love to read your blog, too, so make sure you link to it so I can leave you a friendly not lurking comment as well. Deal?

And just to make you feel extra bad and guilty, I have been sick this week so your comments will super special pep me up, okay?

Thank you friends. You make this fun.


driveway lessons

I didn't learn to ride a bicycle until I was seven or eight years old. I didn't think there was anything weird about it, but it was way past time. One day my mom put her foot down and decided to make me figure it out. After a few frustrating driveway lessons, I could wobbily make my way from point A to point B-- so long as points A and B were only a few feet apart.

Eager to sharpen up my skills, my mother told two neighbor girls that I wanted to go for a bike ride with them. I didn't know the girls very well. One of them was older than I was and (bless her heart) had a bit of a mustache. The younger one was my age and I'd seen her around at recess but we weren't friends. I could immediately sense that things weren't going to go well. I tried to say I didn't want to ride, but I was already locked in. My heart sank a little as I pushed my bike out to the street where they were standing. I was an only child who spent most of her time dancing to "Kitten On The Keys" in her basement. They were sisters, kids who played outside and raced each other, kids who knew how to not fall off of bikes.

I barely made it ten feet down the street in front of my house before things fell apart. I was mortified. I didn't know what I was doing. I fell again and again. I brushed the gravel off of my knees and I fell into the street again. The same street with the large sign that says "Clark Park" on one side-- the sign with which I would one day, smiling and full of grown up confidence, photograph my son Clark. Of course I didn't know the grown-up confident version of myself yet, and as I tried to keep up with the girls on the bikes, the street and the experience seemed eternal. I tried not to cry, but I was just too embarrassed and I couldn't hold it in.

By the way, this is the story of why I don't like riding bikes. I do not own a bicycle.

I have two other memories of those girls. Once I ran into them in a department store at Christmas time. My mom had dressed me up, red hat to pointy toe, like one of Santa's elves and was having my photo taken. I passed them in the store and they looked at me and said hi. I don't think I said anything because I was dressed like an elf. Another time I went to a birthday party at their house, and someone told me that their grandma used to live with them and she died in the bed we were sitting on. I left the party early.


this many

My baby, my first baby, turned three yesterday. I have a three year old.


He's our little (big) ball of energy and humor and creativity and light and happiness and trickiness and he can roar very loud. Especially in public. Today he peeled a clementine by himself and told me, "Mom, I learned how to peel! Now that I am three I learned how to peel." Day one of being three, learned to peel. Write it down. We've got 364 more days and 364 more things to learn this year. I want him to slow down and I also can't wait to see who he will be and what he will know. I love him so much it scares me. He turned me into a mom and I am so so glad.


gonna be okay

This morning I woke up and prayed that I would have the energy and willpower to clean up my house. Usually that's enough to get me going, but today was different. Today Clark chose to communicate using nothing but a high-pitched squealing sound for two and a half solid hours. I knew he was hungry (he's eaten little since his stomach flu last week) but he just screamed in my face when I offered him even his very favorite foods. I think he was so hungry that nothing sounded good. But he didn't say that. What he actually said was more like, "IDON'TWANTTO ahhhhhhAHHHHHH eeeeEEEEAAATTTT!" He said he didn't want to eat or do anything, and he said it all just like that, shrieked in my face.

Eventually I got tired of trying to make him feel better when he so obviously just needed to eat and said, "Honey you are starving. I am cooking this hot dog and feeding it to you whether you like it or not. I will put the bites in your mouth." He replied with his standard, "I don't want to ahhhhAHHHHeeeEEEEAATTT a hot dog." But then he paused for a moment and said, "I want to eat a cold dog." He took a cold hot dog out of the package and ate the entire thing as fast as he could. I was so glad he was eating something that I didn't even flinch. He began speaking like a normal human as soon as it was gone. We both felt so much better that we sat across from each other at the kitchen table and started smiling and then laughing. We laughed and laughed at ourselves without saying a word.

With my ears still buzzing from the afternoon's eternal whine (not to be confused with eternal wine, which I would have gladly taken during the peak of things) I called my mom and told her what was going on at our house and she offered to take Clark to see the Chipmunks movie with them. Um, yes. Yes you may. I dropped him off at the theater and noticed my tank was almost on empty, so I headed to the gas station with Alice asleep in the backseat.

I got out of the car and stood there in the 10 degree air and got gas without gloves, my fingers numb against the icy metal pump. The gasoline spilled a little and the smell combined with the windchill and the Lady Gaga song the gas station was blaring created this surreal zen moment that was jarringly both unpleasant and beautiful. It was like a very tiny vacation in a way I can't even explain. I soaked up every second it took to put 19.25 gallons of gas in my 20 gallon tank.

I got back in the car and felt a little like I'd been slapped in the face. In a good way.

Now it's 8:30 and I'm about to put Clark in bed because he's tired but I keep putting it off because I know that when he does fall asleep, I'll miss him.

(PS. I had never put more than 18 gallons of gas in my tank before. I am so thankful we didn't run out. This would be a really different post if we had.)

I wrote this post on Thursday but for some reason didn't feel like publishing it. I feel like publishing it now.