treasure chest

My mom and I moved out of my grandma and Papa's house when I was 8.
Shortly after I turned 11, we moved to a new city.

Whenever we went back to visit my grandparents, I would steal something.

A pen. A rubberband. A duck coaster.

A tiny piece of the place I couldn't be.

I would take these things home with me in my pocket and when I was alone in my room I would take them out and hold them and cry.


Today Clark found a funny harvest-themed tin in my things. He brought it to me and called it his treasure chest. Inside was wallpaper. Old wallpaper. I took it out and unfolded it. I smiled when I saw it because I knew just what it was.

I was probably six when Papa started stripping the wallpaper in the dining room. I was so distressed that I kept some of it and I made my mom buy me a tin where I could keep it. I folded the old wallpaper up all teary-eyed like and placed it inside, to keep. You know, FOREVER. I guess I was a sentimental child.

When I held that wallpaper this afternoon I felt like I had been keeping it in my pocket for twenty years.

A tiny piece of a place I cannot be.

And it isn't three hours away, it is decades gone and only a handful of people even have the memory that it existed.

I have the memory. And I have the wallpaper.


plain as the nose on my face

I almost chickened out when the ultrasound tech asked me if I wanted to know the sex.
I said I still wasn't sure and had to think a little longer.
She said she would ask me again before she said anything revealing.

She didn't have to say anything revealing.

Baby moved and suddenly we were staring at very obvious boy parts.
"Oh, it's a boy!" my mom exclaimed.
I saw what she saw.

(I've had three of these ultrasounds in the last four years, I know very well what I am looking at by now.)

It's a boy.
It's a brother.


look at the pictures

Yesterday I told Clark about the ultrasound coming up. I showed him a diagram of a baby growing on my pregnancy app. He totally got it.  We talked about how he grew in my tummy and how Alice grew in my tummy and how he had an umbilical cord before and he has a belly button now.

I've been a little concerned about his reaction if we have another girl.  He had been making very dramatic emotional statements that our new baby, "IS A BOY, like ME and YOU, right DAD?"  Maybe it is a boy Clark.  And maybe it is a girl.  It could be another little sister.  During our long talk, I told him mommy was going to see pictures of the baby and I wanted to know how he felt about it.  I had pretty much resolved that if he was okay at all with having a sister, I would let the sex be a surprise for birth, but if he was still freaking out and just saying, "a brother, a brother, it's a brother mom" that we should probably find out now.

"You'll be happy if it is a boy won't you?" I asked him.

"Yes, I will be happy!"

"Good.  And it might be a girl, and that's okay too right?"  I asked, kind of holding my breath.
"Yes, I will be happy if it is a girl too!"

I was surprised and relieved at his answer, and I thought that settled it, but then he very sweetly and almost sadly looked it me and said, "But mom?  I want to look at the pictures you look at it.  I want to look at those pictures and then I will know if it is a boy or a girl."

And that's how I decided to find out.  How do you say no to that?

The ultrasound is at 1:45 Eastern time today.

If new baby decides to show us what he or she is, I will let you know as soon as I can update afterwards.
And if we can't tell, that is okay, I will get my surprise and be happy about that too.  Either way, prayers for a healthy baby are very much appreciated.

It is just sinking in that I am to this point already.  I get to see the baby today!  The real baby.  This pregnancy is flying.


greetings from swonderland


Here we are.

Alice in the Wonderland garden at the Garden & Patio show.

Do you like it?

(This post was 50% to draw attention to the fact that I changed my blog name and 50% an excuse to post that photo of Alice.)


jumping off, or in my case not.

This morning I said the word "Berkeley" over and over in my head until it sounded like broken chalk. I thought about how it has that weird extra E and how both of my high school best friends live in California and then I realized I was still repeating it in my mind and that "Berkeley" didn't sound like a word at all anymore. It was just pieces of sound.

I will probably never live anywhere but Indianapolis, Indiana. I'm too young to know how I feel about that for sure, but I think it's okay. Indianapolis has some really good things.
And by "things" I mean people, yards, trees, and coziness.
It is filled with those.

I will lure my kids home for the holidays, even if they choose other places to have people, yards, trees, and coziness.

(I intend to have epic Thanksgivings.)



Today is my mom's birthday. She is one of the brightest of my cozy things. I love you mom. Happiest birthday to you.

PS. A week from today we are having our one and only ultrasound. We're still on the fence about finding out the sex. Okay, I am on the fence. Luke wants to know. The only name we love is a girl name, but everyone seems to think it is a boy and Clark INSISTS it is a brother. Like I said, I'm on the fence.


today was holiday good

Alice in her Saint Patrick's outfit this morning. Clark had one too, but he was hiding.

Today was so beautiful here, I hope it was beautiful there too.

I spent the morning with my mom (yay!) and then she took me to lunch at the Indian buffet (double yay!).

The weather was so funny, it felt like we were shedding seasons over the course of the day.

I was chilly in my Winter coat this morning but I dug the screens out of the attic this afternoon and filled the windows with them. As I worked on the back screen-door I changed us all from jackets to t-shirts and before I knew it Clark was taking all of his clothes off outside and it was warm enough that he thought that was okay. Which it isn't. Even in the Summer. But it was warm enough to try. That's the important part.


And it did rain.

We are conned Midwestern masochists.
We wait all Winter for a day like today.
Oh dumb emo Winter, today was worth it all.
Today was like the best vacation.
My face is still warm from the 73 degrees of sunshine, hours later.
Tomorrow it's going to rain.


I wrote that in a "note" on my iPod last night, not intending to post it here or anything.
I just wrote it there because my husband hogs our computer and I wanted to remember how warm and lovely our day had been. I had this deep buzzy feeling and I wish I had had a keyboard instead of a tappy tappy iPod.

I appreciate Luke's dedication to his job, but I think we need His & Hers laptops.





(he thinks he is Mario and I am Luigi and he needs to use the plunger to open up the next level and the refrigerator)


Refrigerator door plunged open, Clark eating "leaves" straight from the bag, typical weekday.


Oh, and the next day he did this during the three minutes it took me to put away Alice's laundry...

(He's a fan of leaves.)


(Especially with half of a bottle of Hidden Valley squeezed on top.)

PS. The Mario obsession is due to Luke's brilliant purchase of The Super Mario Bros Super Show on DVD. It is pretty horrible. Clark thinks it's the best thing that has ever in all three years of his life happened to him.

PPS. We bought him his own plunger.


Cute Attack

She's giving me one.


We're trying on Spring clothes today.

The snow is melting and nothing in the ten-day forecast indicates that we'll be getting more. In fact, the temperatures are supposed to be in the forties. THE FORTIES. I can see grass in half of my backyard right now. Sure there is still a huge frozen puddle and snow covering the other half, but I see GRASS. Brown-gray grass that shows no signs of life except that it is GRASS and if I squint I can imagine it green and hot and I can sort of remember what it feels like to complain about all the bees and dandelions. I'm hoping the huge wave of heavy gray depression that seems to be affecting everyone I know will lift. Come on in March. Come in like lamb and go out like kitten.