there is nothing in this world that is cuter than a two year old girl


"...now baby 'uppunzel i can read one more chapter of the heddo keety book for you, but den it is time for lights out and i cin chick on you yater.  now let me find dat heddo keety book for you.  baby 'uppunzel, do you have your peenk piddow?  i cin hewp you find your peenk piddow and then i cin read ONE MORE chapter of heddo keety but then LIGHTS OUT!"



blink blink

we don't have a desktop computer.  we have a laptop. it stays folded up under my bed most of the time.
this makes it hard to write.

i have three little kids who have competing demands for every second of my time.  i took ALL THREE KIDS with me to the eye doctor today.  we are at target buying bread every other day yet i sometimes don't wash my hair for five days straight.  there isn't a lot of time and there is never time for my own self that doesn't come with guilt and rush and pressure.
this makes it hard to write.

i have neurosis and confidence issues.  i am a perfectionist and hate when i hit publish on something that isn't just so.  i sometimes feel like the people who should be rooting for me are snickering at me, for whatever reason, instead.  even if it isn't always true.  (it is sometime true.)
this makes it hard to write.


i have ideas and words and thoughts that have never been put anywhere and i want to put them somewhere because it makes me feel better.  i don't have to be an excellent writer, i just have to feel better.
as soon as luke gets my laptop working i will set it up on the desk with the cursor blinking.  i will turn my brain upside down and shake out the thoughts and feel better.

eye doctor fun


hello and other things

I got a new camera!  Hooray!  A new camera that WORKS!  But I don't know how to use it.  Like, I technically can figure it out, but it isn't comfortable.  And the colors all look funny.  But it is mine and I think I maybe kissed it when I took it out of the box.  Maybe.


I can't believe I have a new camera.


And of course my laptop found out about my new camera and decided to quit working.

(I am typing this on Luke's work laptop.)


My blood sugar crashed last night and all of these wild thoughts were running through my head. I need more time for me. And more time to write things down. I would like to be organized and have them on my blog, but even written on a piece of paper would be better than flitting out of my brain and never returning. I would like to buy an iMac or an oversized plain paper notebook and a new sharpie. Probably the second one. I am paying off the new camera.

Hope I will be back soon with my notebook thoughts all ready for the world.


* * * * *
Continuing with the question answering:

the grumbles asked:  i want to hear about these goodwill bins! what are these bins you speak of? how does one find them?

Ohhhh my my.  I will do a post about the bins soon.  It is technically called The Goodwill Outlet and it is nuttttsssss.  As the old gentleman I always run into there says, "I just call this place the mad market."  Basically it is unsorted Goodwill merchandise that no one has looked at yet mixed with merchandise that didn't sell.  It is all dumped into bins that are wheeled out into a room full of waiting wild-eyed people wearing gloves.  The waiting people POUNCE on the junk as it is rolled out and tear through it like the crazies that they are.  (I am one of them so I can say such things.)  I have actually seen people FIGHT over this stuff, like, all up face to face, having words with locked eyes and then getting kicked out, the whole bit.  It is 99 or 69 cents a pound, depending on what you are buying.  And the stuff I've bought?  I will save for another post.  I've bought like, um, 60 or so pounds of stuff.  I'm a little ashamed but it is so much fun.


Michelle G asked: if you could do ANYTHING (in YES a perfect world...) what would it be?   (photograpy....re-sale shop for the thrift store "scores" etc..)

Oh Michelle, this is THE question I ask myself all the time.  What am I even doing?  I think the answer is that I want to do everything and I want to do it all really well-- so much better than I currently can do any one thing.  I want to get better enough at something and everything to turn the sparks in my brain into something I can look at and hold and put away in a drawer.  Specific, I know.


Tell me one or two differences in your parenting from baby #1 to baby #3 (as we all seem to change SO much in our parenting styles with each new kiddo :)

Well, Clark was actually an easy baby.  Clark who is the challenge of all challenges now?  Was an easy baby.  I was totally the mom who 100% cloth diapered, played toys on the floor all the time, "KNEW" what worked, etc.  While I loved being at that place and doing all that stuff, Hal has never worn a cloth diaper.  Sad, kind of, because cloth diapering is really economical and can be fun, but I am 30,000 times busier and tireder now than I was then.  And I don't "KNOW" anything now.  I know what is working for me today, but not what works.  There is a big difference.


BloggerKate from Big City Belly said:  what time do you go to bed? how much sleep do you get? what time do you usually wake up in the morning? (clearly, I love to talk about sleep) 

I am a night owl, it is in my blood, and I have always gone to bed after midnight.  HOWEVER, Hal has never slept more than five hours at a time and wakes up around 5:30 every morning, so I am tired all the time.  All of the time.  I am tired. All of the time.  And as night-owly as I am, I am every bit as much not a morning person.  Is there a word for that kind of person?  It is me.  I am a huge jerk until 11 every morning.  My eyes don't open until allllll the coffee is gone. And I drink my coffee from a Mason jar.

(I will keep answering the questions left here a little at a time until they are all done.  You can leave me one if you missed it the first time and there is something you are wondering!)



robot faces

Last night I hid in the kitchen to lick the brownie batter spatula. Not my most attractive moment but I didn't feel all that self conscious about it until I looked up through the window pane and locked eyes with a robin. The robin was standing in my yard, slurping up a worm like it was an overdone spaghetti noodle and not breaking eye contact with me. It made me feel embarrassed for the brownie batter situation. I froze there and thought of the story about the people who took care of the robots. I saw it on television (or maybe it was the internet) and it was like three years ago (or maybe six years ago)? The robots were set out onto the street with emotional messages and pleas for help tied around their necks with paper and string. The people who saw them read the messages and looked at their robot faces and treated them like people and tried to help them and had sympathy for them, and even though it didn't make sense, no one wanted to be the one telling the sad-paper-message robots no. This isn't even that related to me in the kitchen with the spatula, but it's still the first thing that I thought of when I projected the aggressive and judgmental thoughts onto that robin.

I know I already shared this on instagram and twitter and Facebook (ahem - sorry!) but our family was included in an article for USA Today (it ran yesterday, and the paper should be available through the weekend if you happen to see a copy and want to see for yourself) and our photo was used on the front page! The front page of USA Today! It was pretty exciting.  (See us there, right under the word Newsline?)

I knew when I spoke with the reporter that the issue at hand (family size and choosing how many children to have) can be touchy and send people-- particularly the type of people who like to leave comments on newspaper websites-- into a fit of judgment and ugly assumptions. I know there are those out there who have unkind things to say about young mothers with three or more children. It is highly likely that those ugly things have been said in the comments section of this particular piece, so I am choosing not to read the comments.  Okay, that's a lie.  I read a few and closed the window.  I am choosing not to read any more. I know that these people don't understand.

I am proud of Luke and proud of myself, doing what we are doing. We work really hard and we have made a nice cozy life. We make sure the car seats are installed correctly and we read the books and change the diapers and push the swings and kiss the ouchies.  We pay the bills and we pay attention.  Our children are smart and sweet and wonderful. We have a plan and we have a family and we are really happy. It can be done. You can be in your twenties and parent. It isn't, like, the right answer, but it is an answer.  It really can be done.

It's perplexing how many vicious online arguments over this personal decision or that all come down to the stubborn belief that there is a right answer.  There is no right answer! How many times do we forget this and have to relearn it?  We are not a bunch of robots with messages tied around our necks. even though it may seem it at times.  We can do lots of different things in lots of different ways, and it will all be okay.  We can be different.  Life isn't arithmatic, people.  It's chemistry.  It's biology.  It's experience and personality stirred up with blood and risk and regret.  It's an essay and a road trip and a glass of beer.  Or whatever beverage you like.  We'll toast anyway.  I am so glad we are not robots.  I am so glad we are all different.

Happy Mother's Day, moms.
You work really hard, finding your way and then doing things your way.
You are pretty amazing.

And happy Sunday, rest of you.  CALL YOUR MOM.


some new cheer around the house

Like a year ago I bought this children's dictionary, filled with crinkled but beautiful pictures, thinking I could use it "for some project." But it just sat there.


Over the weekend we bought a child sized table and two chairs (the PB kids Carolina table and chairs!) from a neighbor's garage sale, and I put them in the corner of the dining room.


It's funny how one little thing can set you off like that. I was really tired of the atmosphere in our dining room, anyway. It was so... serious. Like it was just the dumping ground for stuff I liked that didn't have a place anywhere else and it was fine, yet slightly annoyed me because it was too dark and somber and I am insane and let things like this annoy me. Anyway the new kid-light-fun-sweetness-arts-and-crafts-hooray thing going on in the corner made me want to sew a garland. I mean, on paper and in my head I am SO OVER GARLANDS, yet, what do you know, I found myself sewing a little scrappy and off-center garland out of fabric scraps from the Goodwill bins. And feeling okay about it? Because why not. It took two minutes to make, I can always throw it away in a week.


So this brings me back to the vintage ABC book. I remembered it, got out scissors and the stapler and made these:


They are making me so happy. I cannot get enough of the colors in old children's books. This is why I have to buy every last one I find. Do you know how many vintage children's books I have? Someday someone is going to go out looking to buy just one single vintage children's book and not be able to because I BOUGHT THEM ALL.


That? Is a small small fraction.

My camera is on the fritz and it was kind of an excruciating process just getting these for this post. It has been dying a slow death for the last 8 months or so. My birthday is June 3rd, if anyone wants to buy me a $1000+ present, make it a Canon 7d please and thank you.

Anyway, this is what I've been up to. I always mean to document stuff like this so I can look back and remember when I did what, but forget. So here it is, blogged, on record. This is my dining room in May 2011.