Thursday, December 16, 2010


I've found quite a few things to smile about in the last twenty four hours. I thought I'd share. There are the small things:
  • Like Littles eating an entire strawberry in one bite
  • And watching the Man study at night
  • And harmonizing to Etta James with Littles
  • And spice cake (enough said).
And the bigger things:
  • Like fluffy white snow to watch and play in
  • The Man coming home early
  • Finding out I'm having a NIECE
  • One or two really good books (yes, this is on the bigger things list)
  • Jesus...
But I think God send me these special little blessings because Little's teething has been, well, torturous this week, and He knew I needed a pick me up. So when the Little Bub demands to be held all day and whines and fusses and is generally annoying, I think about...his face when he tasted snow for the first time, a phone call from a good friend just because, an alter-ego blog, sweet and sour chicken, and curling up on the couch with the Man to watch The Sing-Off. Because one day (hopefully in the not too distant future) Littles will have all of his teeth in, and it'll be something else that's driving me crazy. And I will find special little blessings to pay attention to then.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Death of My Reading Life

Over the month of November (and the first week or so of December), my reading life lay ill and dying. It had slipped into a coma. It's heartbeat was steadily slowing. The doctors had lost all hope. It would rally every now and then for a few pages of Anne Lamott, flickering briefly in the dark night of the soul but inevitably returning to the catatonic state from whence it came. This sudden decline towards death was brought about by several unrelated causes: NaNoWriMo, Thanksgiving (turkey has that effect on me), "possibly pneumonia", the depression that ensued when I realized I wasn't going to reach my NaNoWriMo goal, a brief but intense affair with online T.V., general get the picture. But today--I rallied.

And read Chalice by Robin McKinley. As a brief introduction, I have an on going, deep seated love for Robin McKinley. It started when I was but a wee lassie, well, ish, and I read Beauty for the first time. Her retelling of Beauty and the Beast was perfection: intuitive, vivid, breath-taking, rich with detail but still subtle, true to the story while still being original. I wax eloquent. She deserves it. Since that time, I have purposefully picked up as many of her books as I can find, and she might possibly hold the title for Most Books by the Same Author on my bookshelf. So when I opened my birthday parcel from my wonderful oldest sister to find a Robin McKinley book, there may have been a bit of squealing and possibly some excited jumping. Which leads me to today. When I read said book and thoroughly enjoyed it.

One last short note, the Anne Lamott book that kept me going through the deep gloom of the last few weeks was Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, as suggested by one of my faithful readers (Julie'uli'uli, you know who you are), and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were so many moments of going "Yes! That's Exactly What Happened To Me!" Not to mention the fact that her son looks rather a lot like my Little Dude (it's the "porno lips") and they both seem to have an unquenchable desire to put their hands in other people's mouths. What is with that? Best of all, I could pick up Lamott, read for a few pages, and continue on with the craziness that was November, knowing that those moments of solitude and hysterical laughter would come round again.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Lazy

November bombed on me writing-wise. I blame NaNoWriMo. For those who don't know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and I got sucked in. No lie: I am incapable of turning down a challenge. Also no lie: "November" is an anagram for "Not Only Very Exasperational Month But Ever Ridiculous." To sum up, I started NaNoWriMo 8 days late. Wrote furiously for a week and didn't do anything else. Crashed and burned. No writing was done. Little Man got Possibly Pneumonia and an ear infection, and we enjoyed some hang out time in the E.R. No writing was done. Thanksgiving came around, and the three of us traipsed north to hang out with the Philly family (they stuffed their turkey with cheese steak, just kidding). No writing was done. Then I got sick (I blame Littles) and went into a state of unnatural hibernation resulting in a) Cabin Fever and b) Laziness Extraordinaire accented by c) Traces of Poop from the Blowout Diapers caused by Little's antibiotic and d) Lots and Lots of Snot. Obviously, no writing was done. November, on the other hand, was. 50,000 words of fiction? Barely a twinkle in my eye.

But here's the good thing, the Man starts his masters this week, so I can write in the evenings while he's working on saving the world with his new degree and maybe finish my currently half-written and really cheesy novel. Also, for those of you who don't know, December is here, and December is My Month, the month in which I regularly achieve my full measure of happiness and fulfillment. In our family, December is fondly referred to as "Mers-mas". In it, I celebrate my birthday, my favourite holiday, and my anniversary to Most Wonderful Man. In order to get the maximum level of enjoyment out of those celebrations, I have to be extra good the rest of the month so that I can be proud of who I am as a person (this is bad theology). This led me to Michaels yesterday.

My goal for this week has been to recover from this cold, so I've spent most of it on the couch pretending I was dead. Except for when I resurrected to be Zombie Mom. But yesterday I thought I'd recovered enough to be a better version of myself, and first on my list of errands was Michaels to pick up stuff for a wreath. My awesome mother-in-love had sent me a wreath (leftover from our wedding) and a Super Cool Bow that she made with her own two talented hands. I took the S.C.B. to Michaels with me to find other wreath stuff to match. I let Alex hold it for a bit so that he'd feel helpful, but when he exchanged it for a hideous, glittery gold fan, I took it back and tied it to the stroller as his taste has obviously not developed sufficiently at this point. Needless to say, "Christmas had thrown up over Michaels"*, but it also turned out to be one of those days when everyone wanted to carry on a full blown conversation with me. I have one of those faces. Plus, Littles is a great conversation piece. So here I am, wandering the aisles of Michaels in a daze (I'm horrible at craft things like making wreaths), trying to be polite to the hordes of other customers who want to steal my child while surreptitiously wiping my snotty nose on my poo-stained sweatshirt (just kidding, I'm pretty sure it was just baby food) and unable to hear properly because my ears are full of fluid from this cold. Then I looked down at the stroller and realized the Super Cool Bow was gone.

Gone, I say.

I back tracked through Michaels for another ten minutes before I gave up weaving the stroller through piles of glitter and completely changed my mind about what to put on the wreath, which took another thirty minutes of standing in the wreath attachment aisle looking bemused and grungy. I'm sure some lucky person found my S.C.B. and said to themselves, "Wow, this is a Super Cool Bow! I don't see any others like it! I'm going to get it so I can be awesome and unique," and tried to buy it at the register. I, on the other hand, dragged myself home to recover from Michaels (no more errands were done) and attempted to make my own bow (which is only Semi-Cool). But my wreath turned out okay**, and it made the first day of December at least a bit profitable. This blog is what I'm doing to make day two worthy of being in My Month.

*Stolen. I admit. You know who you are.
**I tried to upload a picture to blogger, but it hated me. If you're desperate to see how my wreath turned out, there's a photo on facebook.