Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sundays in My City: Wild Kingdom

My oldest's birthday is coming up at the end of the month, and, cringing slightly, we asked him what he wanted as a present. We winced as we asked because it was just as likely that Owen would ask for a food dehydrator or a carper cleaner as he would a monster truck or a football.

Owen's weird. The best kind of weird, but still....he would prefer to do laundry over almost any other activity, and had a meltdown the other day because I wouldn't let him unload the dishwasher.

I know, I all wish you could have my problems. Let me assure you that when a near-four year old "unloads" the dishwasher, bloodletting is part of the process more often than not.

It has been well-documented that Owen's other favorite toy (besides the previously mentioned household appliances), is his collection of PVC pipes.

When I took this picture, it was about forty degrees outside, the coldest temperature I would allow for him to turn our backyard into a mud-wrestling arena (although Paul and I generally save that activity for after hours...)

Thus, it was with a great deal of relief that Owen declared that he wanted a fish tank for his birthday. Of course, a nice, self-cleaning pet rock would be an EVEN BETTER pet, but I understand the allure of having actual fish to feed and name and study.

I'm not so sold on the cleaning of the fish filth, but I love my son, and I will do the bitter task....or better yet, passively aggressively ignore it until Paul takes care of the job instead.

We journeyed to the Prince Frederick Zoo, otherwise known as PETCO. This is a regular field trip for us, because we have no museums for children, no indoor playgrounds, no water parks, and no options for indoor fun without driving in the car for at least a half hour (a whole bag of Goldfish crackers, in kid terms).

It never fails to please. We went to PETCO this time as a reconnaissance mission, and I imagine I probably shouldn't have let Joel do this: 
We checked out the wildlife. 
I had my eye on this little hot tamale: 

And what's this? 

Now you're talking my language. Feathered AND STD free? Hubba hubba. Boom chika wow wow...
We saw all the fish. Even all the Nemos, which were once again, trapped in glass tanks. Nobody found this sad. 

Joel was quite taken with this ferret. Since I would no sooner bring a ferret into my home than a possum or a rabid 'coon, this is the closest he will get to this weasel-like creature. Mommy's love goes only so far. 

After distracting the kiddos with promises of apple juice, I thankfully missed a meltdown regarding the dog treats that looked just like cookies, and the long-winded attempts at bargaining to procure some of said dog treats. 

As I drove home, I spied this sign. Perhaps dog treats would be a more healthful choice. 

Join Unknown Mami each week as we explore our Sundays in our Cities!

Unknown Mami

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Fragments: The Lost Treasures

When moving large pieces of furniture, such as pianos and beds, one often unearths all sorts of treasures, or fragments of a former life. 

Thus, my Friday Fragments...otherwise known as "Lost Treasures." 

(Thanks for hosting, Mrs. 4444)
Mommy's Idea
I found a duffel bag full of clothes. Perfectly nice clothing, in my size no less. I had packed these items away during one of my pregnancies, and in my postpartum haze, forgot all about them.

Because I've been known to get into I'm-throwing-shit-away manic moods, it wouldn't surprise me in the least that I tossed bags of functional clothing away.

Just the other day, I had to be talked down from tossing my wedding dress. I said, "What, should I save it for Owen or Joel to wear?"

My friend said, "You could always make a pantsuit."

Another friend was quick to add, "If Joel plans to wear a shiny ivory pantsuit, I'm taking my daughter off the table." (You do that, don't you? Plan the nuptials of your respective children with girlfriends so you can have a really good wedding reception with your best friends?)

Anyway, long story short? Next time I feel the need to shop, maybe I should just look under my bed.

I also unearthed some photos:
Here I am in my sons' future shiny pantsuit. God, I was young. 

Here I am being French-kissed by a baby kangaroo. This happened in California. Naturally. 
Finally, I found this treasure: 

NERD ALERT! I bought a magazine dedicated to LOST. For six dollars. Oh my God, I might as well write fan fiction and go to conventions dressed as Hugo Reyes.

It had a poster, which, for a goof, I placed on my fridge. I know this photo is awful.

But wait a minute...what's this?
Benjamin Linus. Does ANYBODY think he's hot now? Anyone?

I am very excited about the season premiere on Tuesday, but I still feel that I haven't completely succumbed to the dark side. Why? Because I did not think, even once, that I needed to own these...

...official Lost action figures! 

After all, I can buy the magazine, watch the show with religious fervor, read the recaps and the fan forums online, and come thisclose to dressing my baby in a Dharma Initiative Onesie, but...buying action figures? That's just dorky. 

And Lord knows I'm not a dork. If you don't believe me, I'll curse you out in Klingon. 

Happy Friday, everybody!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Her Daughter's Song

I have a special place in my heart for musicians like Ben Folds or even (Lord help me) Elton John, because, like me, they are pianists.

By no stretch of the imagination am I comparing myself to these talented, highly-successful musicians. That would be like comparing myself to Julia Child because we both own a stock pot.

I studied the piano for most of my childhood, and I can read music and play with a touch of grace and flair. However, I can't improvise, I don't understand musical theory, and certainly can't compose anything.

When I became an adult, my parents passed the piano my way, because I would play it. Alas, that has not been the case. It has served as a place to place photographs and collect dust.

Occasionally, I would tell my mother that I wanted to get rid of the thing. Our house is small, and it swallowed up space. She replied, "Well, honey, do what you want. Remember that I bought it with the money mother's inheritance."

No guilt there.

So, it sat in our bedroom for years, lurking in the corner, silent and resentful. We talked about getting rid of it, but the words never sprung into action.

Until, that is,  this weekend. We were in church (A sidebar: Let me tell you why I love my church 1) It's into helping, not smiting 2) It respects my intellect and my need to ask hard questions 3) Politics are never, ever discussed. 4) Hot dish) and I stood up during announcements and said that the piano was available, and free to a good home.

After the service, a woman walked up to me. I've seen her many times, but have not spoken to her at any length. Her daughter plays, and was at the point that she was ready to move beyond a small keyboard. We exchanged phone numbers, and made a plan to meet up.

Yesterday, we dropped the piano off. Just like that,  we could breathe in our own home. The woman called me up, thanking me, and she said she was "wonderful, just wonderful." The phone glowed, I swear it. She was just elated.

It was a beautiful song, her voice.

She added the newest verse, but this song started with my grandmother.

My grandmother gave an inheritance to her only daughter.

Her daughter used this gift to purchase my piano.

And now, in one of those stunningly subtle acts of grace, I, a mother of sons, passed on this gift to another mother, and her cherished, only daughter.

The song continues, and it is sweet.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January Blackberries

We went to the park yesterday. Really, it was a little too chilly, and certainly a little too muddy.

Yet the need to run and move was a biological imperative. We would bundle up, and we would play. So help us, we would play.

As soon as I saw this puddle, I knew what was coming:

It would have been easy to get exasperated yet again. It would have taken next to nothing to grumble under my breath and talk to Owen in a sharper tone than necessary. I know this because I have done it many, many times.

My friend Jen recently passed this quote my way: "Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being." ~ Kittie Franz

And so, I decided to embrace the mud, and let the boys play.

Later on, we came home and cleaned off. In the bowels of my freezer, I found some blackberries, picked last summer, and frozen for a day precisely like this.

They tasted like July and sunshine, and were all the sweeter because I cherished each one.

Each and every one.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I didn't realize it was Comment on My Poor Parenting Day

This hit me at the right place at the right time. 

Dear Every Person in the Entire World,

Yes, I have heard that my kid looks like Ralphie from A Christmas Story!

I have also heard that he looks like Harry Potter.

And yes, I have also heard that he looks like the kid from Jerry Maguire.

But bless your heart for telling me. Really. You're very, very creative. Thanks ever so much.

PS---Yes, the glasses are real. If I was to dress my kid in a costume, I would dress him like Freddie Mercury. Doesn't every mother want that?

Dear Lady at Target,

Thank you for telling me that my child should be wearing shoes. I have heard of this delightful invention, but have yet to find a pair that Joel will not remove with extreme prejudice and utter disgust. Thank you for letting me know that I am slowly killing my child through indifference and neglect. Cheers!

Dear WaWa,

Thank you for being a beacon of hope and beauty in the world of gas stations. You play Donna Summers at the pumps.Your coffee bar is stocked with Kona coffee and fresh creamer. Your freshly-toasted, delicious subs, are, in a word, transcendent.

And so, I thank you, WaWa. You bring joy, one fountain drink at a time.

Dear Owen's Teacher,

Thank you for your object lesson about germs and disease. You've given my son the gift of compulsive germaphobia, which is, as you know, the gift that keeps giving!

Ahhhhhhhhhh, I feel a bit better.

Link up with adrienzgirl if you feel like sending some thank-you love!

Think Tank Momma

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Turn the Page

Not every week is dancing leprechauns and hookah-smoking possums. Sometimes, you stay close to home and get stuff done.

This is one of those "sometimes."

Loyal readers know that Joel decided to fling himself out of his crib, so we're moving on to stage two of Operation: Contain Baby---the big boy bed. We bought the twin mattress and the comforter with trucks (!) and stop signs (!!!). We cleared out every last choking hazard, set up the gate at the top of the stairs, and (gulp) moved Joel into Owen's room.

My boys are sharing a room. We're getting rid of the crib. It's the end of the baby era for us.

I'm mostly okay with this, except for the teeth marks. As we were breaking down the crib, I saw the little hash marks tattooed along the crib. Owen's teeth. Joel's teeth. My babies, my little teething babies, had gummed the crib, testing out their new teeth like an artist with a fresh box of pastels.

And seeing those little marks, it killed me. It just killed me.

I try not to be one of those boo-hooey moms, crying over every haircut or outgrown onesie. I mean, I don't even really like babies. The older they get, the more fun they become. They talk. Tell jokes. Climb. Run. Think.

At least that's what I tell myself.

But, it's different with Joel because there's that sense of finality. The lights are turned off, and it's time to leave Babyville. We won't be returning here again.

I could have spent all day being weepy about a piece of wood. Instead, I went to the library. 

The library adjusts my attitude like a spiritual chiropractor. Whenever I'm ready to throw in the towel, I'm reminded that a world with national parks and public libraries can't be all bad.

A place with books and music and computers---all free! A place that feeds my mind, renews my hope in new beginnings, and has a wicked-cool sailboat  for my kid...well, that's about as close to perfect as I'm going to find on a cloudy Saturday morning.

I can promise you that this kiddo is delighted to break down the boundaries of his life...each frustration transformed into a met challenge, another taste of independence.

I mean, why crawl when you can stand? Why sleep behind bars when there are truck comforters and shared big-boy bedrooms?

Libraries hold promises. Growing boys hold promises. I can weep over the passing of time, or I can turn the page, and see what's going to happen next.

Away we go!

(See Unknown Mami's site for additional tours of the world, through Sundays in My City)
Unknown Mami

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Fragments: Body-Surfing

I went to Ocean City this summer with a group of girlfriends. While my friends sunned themselves and read magazines, I went body-surfing. I watched my feet disappear into the salty depths, and waded until I hit the breaking point.

Bouncing on my toes, I felt the rush of the water as it lifted me up, effortless, like a little girl swinging a rag doll. I relaxed in the powerful arms of the wave, until it dumped me, rather unceremoniously, onto the rocky shoreline.

Salty and smiling, I ran back for more. Sometimes the waves were full of empty promises, a mere hiccup of motion. Sometimes the waves felt the need to assert authority, giving me a skinned knee or a nostril full of salt water.

Yet, I kept going back, riding the waves until I returned to my sunny patch and my towel, spent and elated.

Motherhood is a form of body-surfing as well, and these fragments represent the exhilarating highs, and the stinging lows of the week.

Mommy's Idea
(Thanks for hosting, Mrs. 4444)
Owen crept into my bed, as he does every morning. By "crept," I mean, he talked loudly to himself, randomly flipped on lights, and jumped on the bed, yelping, "SURPRISE!"

I wouldn't exactly call him cat-like. Or ninja-riffic for that matter.

Nevertheless, he came in, snuggled next to me and said, "Mommy?"


"Mommy, you need to go look out my window. The sky is ORANGE! There's ORANGE in the sky!"

I grumbled up the stairs, and with my son saw a sunrise so beautiful, such a combination of orange and purple, that it almost broke my heart. Such incredible beauty, such gorgeous light.

Yesterday, I was reading my magazine and heard the familiar patter of little feet upstairs, "Owen must be up from his nap," I thought.

I returned to my reading, hoping to finish the article before starting Motherhood: The Afternoon Shift. I heard the door open, then listened to his steps scurrying down the stairs. My bedroom door opened and out rang a tiny voice, sing-songing, "Da-DAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

Joel. It's Joel. What the?---Joel, the not-even-EIGHTEEN-MONTH BABY, was in my bedroom. How? HOW???

To get in my room, THE BABY had to do the following:
1) Climb out of his crib.
2) Open the door to his room.
3) Navigate the steep steps (without his glasses, naturally)
4) Walk to my room
5) Open my door
6) Be pleased as shit with himself.

I've sired Evil Frickin' Knievel. Goodbye, remaining sanity.

How to make your preschooler lose his mind with joy:

1) Attend a meeting.
2) Discover that the bathroom looks like this:

I have found the Promised Land, and it has a Mommy Potty and an Owen Potty. 

Owen came out of the bathroom beaming, and said, "Mommy, have you seen that potty?"

"It has a little potty, huh, O?" I said.

Nodding his head vigorously, Owen added, "And a big potty too!" He immediately added, "Do you need to go potty?"

"Not right now," I said, taking a sip of coffee.

"Keep drinking that coffee, Mom," Owen said, "I'll wait."

Because I love my son, and have lost any of those pesky "personal space boundaries" people mention from time to time, I did return to the Magical Potty of Wonder, and we did, in fact, have a tandem pee-a-thon.

It was a golden shower of motherly love.

Owen has a terrible habit of interrupting me when I'm on the phone. It's maddening, because in my circle of friends, things are happening that require discussion. One friend is adopting a little boy from China, and is getting violated on a regular basis by immigration law. Another friend is moving to Rhode Island, which is devastating in so many ways, I can't even write about it. A third friend is getting violated on a regular basis by the health insurance trolls. I certainly won't write about her struggles, because THEY WILL FIND OUT AND JACK THINGS UP EVEN MORE.(They have blogging spies, I'm sure of it)

So. I want to talk to my friends about things, and Owen and Joel choose these moments to become utter asshats.

I'm on the phone and Owen will bellow, "HEA-LUP! RIGHT NOW! HEA-LUP!"

I know he's not on fire. I know he's not in any serious harm. He's simply frustrated that I'm focusing on something besides Young Sir Owen of the Awesomeness, and has decided to be loud and annoying.

Let's not forget rude: "Right Now?" Seriously?

Because I've yet to learn how to be an adult, my inner Redneck comes out, "Owen, ya needs to be quiet or I'll turn yer insides out!" or "Boy! Shut Yer Piehole!" or "Owen! Go to bed or I'll put your toys in the trash can!"

That, my friends, is quality parenting.

On the negative side, I'm teaching my kids that bullying=parenting. On the positive side, my friends forget their problems because at least they aren't me. 

Thanks for riding the waves with me! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Clean Green or Be Damned (My Gift to You)

For those who have interest...

Clean Green Recipes

You will notice that many of the ingredients for the following products are the same.  These products were what people used to clean and disinfect before the industrial revolution.  Your own Grandmother may have used some of these methods in her own home.  These products are easy to make and use.  They are very inexpensive, and harmless to children and pets.

Anti-Bacterial Spray- Add 20 drops of lavender or tea tree oil per every 2 cups water in a spray bottle.  Spray areas and allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping up.

Sink Scrub- Make a paste out of Baking Soda, a squirt of liquid soap, and a couple of drops of lavender or tea tree oil. Scrub and rinse.

Un-clogging a Sink- Pour 1 cup of Baking Soda down the drain, and then follow it with 3 cups of boiling water.

Rust Away for Tin or Aluminum- Use ½ of a potato dipped into salt, and scrub.

Copper and Brass Polish- Ketchup.  Allow it to sit on the metal for a few minutes, and then rub with a soft cloth.

Silver Polish-white tooth paste

Oven Cleaner- Make a paste out of equal parts Baking Soda and liquid soap, and a little hot water.  Scrub

Oven Clean-up for Fresh Stains- For liquid spills use salt.  For greasy spills use baking soda. 

Window Cleaner-Combine 3 TBSP. Vinagar to 2 cups Water in a spray bottle. Spray and wipe clean with news paper.

Furniture Polish-Combine 3parts Olive oil to 1 part Vinegar in a jar.  Shake well before using.  Massage into furniture using a soft cloth.

Carpet Stain Spray-Combine 1 cup Vinegar, 1 cup Water, and ½ cup Baking Soda in a spray bottle.  Spray /Dry/Vacuum

Fresh Carpet Stains- Cover the stain with a heavy coating of salt.  Allow it to absorb the stain and dry.  Vacuum up.

Carpet Freshener- Sprinkle the carpet liberally with Baking Soda, then add a couple of drops of essential oil of choice.  Allow it to sit for an hour or so, and then vacuum.

Mold and Mildew Cleaner-Add 2 tsp.  Tea tree oil to 2 cups water.  Can be used in a spray bottle or in a bucket.

Whitening Method for Laundry-Soak white overnight in a bath made of 1:10 parts white vinegar: water, rinse in clear water and then wash in machine.

Laundry Soap-Combine 2 cups of grated soap (Octagon) to 1 qt. of boiling water and stir until the soap is dissolve completely.  Pour into a large bucket and then add 2 cups of Baking Soda and 2 cups of Borax.  Stir well then add 2 gal. Of clean water.  Stir, and then add to containers. Shake before using.  Add ¼ c. to each small load of laundry.  ½ c. per larger loads.

Fabric Softener- Add ¼ c. White Vinegar and 3 drops of Lavender oil to the final rinse.

Kinda Wordless Wednesday: Situational Irony

I am an English teacher, so occasionally I'm allowed to do this: Here's a lesson about irony.

When Alanis Morrisette sang, "It's like rain on your wedding day," or waxed on about "black flies in Chardonney," it was not, in fact, ironic. These two examples are unfortunate. Perhaps, in the words of my friend Josh, these examples may be "Alanic," but they are not ironic.

Wikipedia, in itself an odd choice for an English teacher, (for it is not the most credible of sources), explains that, "Situational irony is the disparity of intention and result: when the result of an action is contrary to the desired or expected effect. Likewise, cosmic irony is disparity between human desires and the harsh realities of the outside world (or the whims of the gods)."

Therefore, for your enjoyment, I present to you an example of situational irony:

Behold! My summons to traffic court. I didn't realize my lead food offended the entire state of Maryland. Getting a speeding ticket is, in fact, simply unfortunate. However, juxtaposed with the Thoreau quote, this is a tableaux of situational irony.

Unless I'm wrong. If I wrote an entire pretentious, pedantic post defining irony incorrectly....that, by definition, would be ironic.

A little too ironic. 

Don't you think?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cleaning House

A few weeks ago, I went to a class about do-it-yourself cleaning supplies. This, apparently, is what stay-at-home mothers do when we aren't wiping asses, eating bon-bons, or drinking our way through play dates.

This has been something I've been interested in for awhile. I like a clean house. I find it satisfying to remove streaks and clean sinks. I believe that I can have gleaming countertops and win my Nobel Peace Prize, thank you very much.

This being said, I find it a bit alarming that so many of my cleaning products, could, you know, poison my children. I remember Paul wrestling a bottle of Windex out of my pregnant hands. "God, the baby shouldn't be inhaling this stuff!" he cried.

I grumpily walked away from my filthy windowpanes all the while thinking to myself, "If it's bad for Fetus Joel, how come it's okay for us?"

What really creeps me out, though, is the oven cleaner. The directions recommend treating the vile substance like toxic waste. Don't let it touch your hands, don't breathe the stuff in...but, by all means, use it to clean your cooking appliances. You know, the ones used to cook food. That you then consume.


So, I went to this natural cleaning class, and realized that it's possible to clean your house without spending a boatload of money or using a magical combination of bong water, butt sweat, and the essence of the Great Spirit.

It was so counter-revolutionary and mundane---use the stuff that Grandma used to use. Baking powder. Borax. Soap. Vinegar. Ketchup. The only thing I didn't already have was a ten dollar bottle of Tea Tree Oil.


I still have some 409 under the counter (for emergencies), but I find that these natural cleaning supplies do the job, save money, and smell good--especially if you like North Carolina BBQ.

And, as a bonus, I don't worry about my children growing tails or forked tongues. That's a win-win.

Now, I cannot believe that I wrote about organic food yesterday and natural cleaning supplies today. Stay with me, readers. I promise to be less preachy tomorrow. Perhaps a good-ol' fashioned story about constipation will be in your future.

In the meantime, I thank you for your indulgence.

PS---If you're interested in any of these recipes, drop me a line.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I feel nudges a lot. I'll hear the same message, in slightly different forms, again and again. Nudging me. Telling me that it is time to take some action.

I don't believe in coincidence. There are no accidents, and so, I must honor these nudges.


For the last year, people have asked me to read The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan.  

I'm scared to do it.

I'm afraid that it will force me to radically change the way I feed my family and myself, and I'm afraid I won't be able to afford it.

I mean, we can't afford organic food. We shop at Wal-Mart, even though I know it is a soul-crushing place that treats its employees poorly. I know.

We're doing the best we can---we do the farmer's market in the kinder months. However, we don't buy milk or cheese or beef at a farmer's market.

Even if I drove an hour out of my way to buy meat at Whole Foods, I daresay much of it has been corn-fed and Lord knows what else.

Reading this book would make it impossible to hide. Although knowledge is power, I also sometimes choose to be an ostrich.

I'm scared that I might know what I need to do, and still be unable to provide it.

(I'm not reading Skinny Bitch for the same reason).

I feel like I do not do enough to help other people. I read about the things others do, and I listen to the stories of others, and I remain purposefully numb.

I deny the basic call to help.

I've felt this nudge, a persistent little ache, to do more, to help more, to be more. To give more and to take less.

I need goals and I need accountability---so here is my thought: As of this writing, I have 89 followers. What if I pledged to give eighty-nine hours of service in 2010?

Service could be helping out a friend, or volunteering or doing a job that needs to be done. 

I can do eighty-nine hours.Then, I'll blog about it here and there.

You heard it here, Internet. Anybody with me? An hour per follower?

Let me know if you feel the nudge.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sundays in My City: Like Jellyfish

We had company over the weekend.

Naturally, we went to the Calvert Marine Museum to see the fish.

It's hard to go wrong with fish.

As I look at these creatures, silent and glowing...

...I wonder what they are thinking.

What is going on in there?

What will they teach me someday?

Like the fish behind the clear, cool glass, they are gorgeous and slippery. They move to their own fluid rhythm, and although I cannot read their minds, I can appreciate their beauty.

...and watch them dance their incandescent dance.

Join Unknown Mami to see the world, one mouse click at a time!

Unknown Mami

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fertilizer for the Soul

I said, "yes, " today, and it made all the difference.

I'm so good at saying "no."

No, I don't need you to watch the boys. 

No, I don't need help moving. 

No, I don't need you to bring anything to the party. 

No, we don't need any meals. 

Then, I always say, "But it was so nice of you to ask, thank you." As I've lived in the South for awhile, I sometimes find myself adding, "And bless your heart for thinking of us."

I say "no" for several reasons. Sometimes, I don't need the help.

Other times, I'm like Owen as he strains to put on his own shoes. It takes an act of will for me to step back and let him struggle, because I know that if he moved the Velcro this much, the task would be done, and we wouldn't be late. Again.

Yet, he is militantly independent, and my interfering hands would hurt as much as a slap in the face. When I short-change his developing skills, I slap his sense of self,  and steal his sense of accomplishment.

So, I let him struggle.

I recognize this quality, because I also need to do things by myself. As soon as Joel was home from the hospital, I wanted to get down to this mother-of-two business. I wanted to load them into their car seats, feed them, comfort them, and take them into the world, all by myself. I needed to know that I could do it, and that I could do the job well. There was no point pussyfooting around with extraneous, temporary help.

How selfish of me.

Yes, you heard that right. I denied others the right to take care of me. Ms Moon wrote about this very eloquently, and I encourage you to read her thoughts.

People long to take care of others. I long to hold my babies when they fall, resting them against my shoulder until the heaving sobs dissipate. I enjoy making meals for people when they have new babies because I believe in the Church of Casseroles and the grace of tender care. I am grateful to watch other people's children so that parents can rest, or take care of their business.

It's fertilizer for the soil, this caring business.

So, today, I said, "yes," when a friend of mine asked to take Owen for the afternoon. Paul took Joel to the doctor to remove the dressing from his surgery, and I suddenly had an afternoon to myself.

I got my hair done, and allowed Olivia to wash my hair with lavender shampoo. I imagine, in Heaven, there will be a whole room dedicated to hair washing and foot rubs. Then, Sarah cut my hair and colored it an almost magenta-red.

I arrived like this:

I left like this:

And now, because I said, "Yes," I feel beautiful and light.

I am once again ready to care for others.

If they let me.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Embarrassing Crushes

I think I married a good-looking guy. He has blue eyes the color of blown glass, and a kind smile. He's a marathon runner, and consequently has zero body fat and nice abs.

But, then again, what do I know about attractive? I find all sorts of weirdos attractive.

Like this guy: 

Hugh Laurie, aka Dr. House. I rarely watch the show, but when I do, I'm lost in those eyes. I'll even excuse the facial hair. Bonus points for being secretly British.

It gets worse.

Malcolm Gladwell. He has his PhD in Awesome. I'll read anything this man writes. Even economic theory. Then, I'll use his glorious hair as my loofah.

It gets worse yet.

Yes, I have a huge crush on Michael Emerson, aka Benjamin Linus from "Lost." His character is delightfully creepy, and when he quotes Of Mice and Men, I get weak in the knees. Plus, his eyes can bulge out of his head!

Here's the most embarrassing one yet: when I was in sixth grade, I saw a Star Trek movie---the one about the Humpback Whales. I left that movie in love with this guy:

Yes, that's right. Pavel Chekov lit my fire. The Russian accent, the uniform. Hotness personified.

I cannot believe I just shared that, Internet.

Go on now. Tell me. It will be cleansing. What is your most EMBARRASSING crush?

PS--No actual hotties. I want to hear about the Crushes That Must Not Be Named.

PPS--That is, unless you only like hotties. I guess you could share those.