Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chinese curse

My fortune cookie from last night's dinner out:

Do not sleep in

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Portland Heats Up

It's dang hot here, people. 105' hot. Arizona readers will not be impressed, but here in Oregon we are accustomed to mild summers with rain. Oregon = rain, not Oregon = 105'. Our anthem is, "One misty, moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather..." We are not equipped to deal with heat like this!

Like every other family who doesn't belong to private pools, we have been hitting the public pool scene. The older kids still enjoy it for the most part, and Emmeline LOVES IT. A recent member of the Crawl Everywhere Club, the pool was no exception. She was very charming and crawled all through the pool where possible. Luckily for us the pool is smooth, or her wittle wegs would have gotten all scratched up.

Isn't the back of my suit cute?

Mommy, you can relax because I am fine here crawling in the water.

Must ... crawl ... must ... crawl ...

Monday, July 20, 2009


I am still alive, my cherished readers (all three of you). I am just bored. Too bored to write about my boring life. Clean, cook, nurse, drive, repeat. That about sums it up.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Birth Day

I picked up Birth Day by Mark Sloan (MD) at our library. The cover has baby feet on it; how could one resist? (Wait a minute...isn't that also the name of that doctor on Grey's Anatomy!)

It is a light, easy summer read. Funny, interesting and accurate -- Sloan is a pediatrician who sprinkles his writing with medical school anecdotes and personal stories. Most of the book is written in a positive tone and with great respect for the entire creation-of-life process. Not to be ignored are mindblowing facts like after delivering, post partum women immediately start producing odor from their nipples which smells like amniotic fluid -- this is meant to encourage newborns to nurse. Did you know that? I did not know that!

It's a fun book. If you know someone who is expecting it might be a nice gift alternative to the standard layette.

Summer beverages

I was in a store. I saw water bottles for sale. I remembered my young son left cocoa in his water bottle from January to May and consequently it died an ugly, smelly death. I reached for the blue one, which I thought read "Cold Water".

It was only when I got home I realized what the bottle said! Hey, nothing says good parenting like an eight year old toting water in his beer bottle, right? Even better, letting the baby sip from it at the pool!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sleeping Beauty is a fairy tale

At a recent pediatrician's visit our beloved doctor asked how Emmeline's sleeping habits were. This picture immediately popped into mind:

She sleeps in the car. In fact, her recent pattern is to sleep for 20 - 30 minute stretches, three times a day. The last nap usually in the backpack - yes I wear it inside the house - while I make dinner or try to finish our ongoing landscape job. I have heard and read about mythic babies who looooove to sleep in their cribs for hours. I have never had one, and doubt if they really exist. I think they are urban legends designed to make busy moms feel guilty.

The obvious question here is: does she sleep well at night? Well, she stays in sleep mode for about ten hours, but that does not mean she sleeps continually. She wakes and nurses three to four times every night. Good grief it pains me to even type that.

Gotta go, baby just woke up!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What the kids are reading

The President's Daughter by Ellen Emerson White

The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud

Eva by Peter Dickinson

100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson

Star Wars Jedi Quest by Jude Watson

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bye Bye School

Today as I drove home from our last outing I slammed on the brakes when I came across this:

This is where our small neighborhood school used to stand. Our community passed a bond to build a new school, so it's out with the old, in with the new ...


Yesterday I made the mistake of taking three kids with me while shopping for clothes. Clothes for me.

It was ok if you overlook the baby squirming and occasionally crying. It was ok if you overlook how 85% of the time was spent looking at kids' clothes. And it was ok if you overlook how we ran out of time and I didn't buy a single thing for myself although five items were purchased.
It slipped into not okay when one of my kids innocently asked, "But Mom, why would you need nice clothes?"

Ah, steam roll the self esteem. The child of course was right; I don't need nice clothes. Glance at how I spent the day: made breakfast, cleaned kitchen, fed baby, got spit up on by baby, nursed baby, scrubbed bathroom while starting laundry, [insert shopping trip here] drove child to camp, picked up child, drove three other children to tennis and while waiting helped other child practice kicking soccer goals with baby in backpack. Stop at grocery store, home for more baby care, laundry, washing the kitchen floor, preparing dinner. Oh, and a little landscaping thrown in when I had spare time. Why would I need nice clothes, indeed?

I don't need nice clothes, but I need some clothes. I am tired of wearing husband's tshirts and long jeans in hot weather. Or skirts made to fit the waist with safety pins. My tops are stretched out at the bottom from lifting to nurse baby; I'll spare the description of the woeful state of my undergarments. I am ok in the shoe department, but it has been forever since I had two matching socks. My clothes are worn, dull, thread bare.

Readers, how do you manage buying things for yourselves? Do you justify a $35. shirt, or do you hope to find one acceptable at Target? Do you buy clothes if they look good on you, or do you wait for the best deal? Do you try them on before buying? What is the highest you have ever paid for jeans? I saw some for $240. yesterday. For jeans.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

We *heart* Merlin

Dear readers, my family and I cannot get over how incredibly awesome the new Merlin tv show is! If you haven't seen it, give it a try on Sunday nights. Magic, romance, danger, ahhhh, all the makings of a good time.

Seriously, we are totally into it. We about lost our minds thinking we had missed tonight's episode. But Gwen, m'Lady, do not fall for Lancelot! Merlin is your man!

Too bad I donated my English literature texts after saving them for ... well, I don't need to mention the exact number of years it's been. A long time.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


We had hot weather last week and spent one late afternoon at a local public pool. Emmeline, after splashing for a long time, nursed and fell asleep on the chaise lounge (nursing an active baby whilst both clad in wet swimsuits is worthy of separate post).

What occurred after baby fell asleep was of questionable maternal judgment. This was not premeditated, but was instead a knee jerk reaction to having a husband handy to watch sleeping baby.

Ok world at large, there I am in a swimsuit. Ta da. I am checking to see if baby is still asleep. Even though Daddy is one foot away.

She IS still asleep! At this point I am seized with the utterly insane idea that rather than wade in the shallow end like every other mom aged 40 and over, I will go off the diving board. See me? Where is my neck? And that's quite a tan I have, eh? Too bad you can't see what that blue skirt does for my veins. I hope you like my leprechaun jig.

Dear Lord Almighty, what am I doing????

Yes, you have it here, folks, I did a flip. None of us could believe it, especially not that guy on the left in the grey swimsuit. The best part was the smile of surprise on my third grader's face -- he didn't know his old mom had it in her! He LOUDLY offered his support: "WOW GREAT FLIP MOM!" Not to be outdone, his sisters across the pool were scoring me by holding up fingers (and apparently, taking pictures).

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Exterior Design

There is a house on our street with a black door. I'm not saying it's our house, but it might be. It might not be. But it might be.

As you approach the house you occasionally will be greeted with drawings. They are usually seasonal. These celebrate all things early summer: