Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Baby Bump

I am 32 weeks along, which equals 8 months by my calculations. However, I still have 2 months (8 weeks) left. Whoever said humans have a 9 month gestation was a liar. And probably a man.

Photos by Amy Gretchen

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I was home alone. My man was in a hotel room 2,000 miles away. I have an old house that makes sounds. Unsettling sounds. Sounds that may cause one to believe that robbers, rapists, and murderers have broken in and are making their way down the creaky wood floor of the hall to the master bedroom. Or worse, that ghosts or other questionably real creatures are preparing to appear in my bedroom to torment me. When I hear a creepy sound, I usually perk up and listen for a second, on high alert, arm hairs standing, muscles tensed. Then I remember that I am a wuss with an overactive imagination and I am able to talk myself into rational calm.

Last night after one such episode, I turned to reach for my book on my "night stand" (which is currently a short stack of large art books by my bed) and saw this looking back at me.


The eyes! They're looking at me! Stop looking at me!

Have you ever looked at a person's eyes upside down? One time as a child, I was playing with my brother in his room downstairs. For some reason, we were lying on the ground. Maybe we had been wrestling. Well, he was lying flat on his back and I was on my hands and knees above him, looking down at his face, upside down. His eyes met mine and suddenly, I was gripped with intense terror. My whole body jumped and I screamed. The sight of his upside down eyes looking into mine was at once so surprisingly terrifying that it seized my body with fear. My scream scared him. One second, we were smiling and laughing, and the second, we were screaming together.

Look at a person's eyes upside down and tell me it doesn't scare you.

There, that's better.

Six Mostly Unrelated Thoughts on Music

  1. I love it when my family visits me because we usually end up singing or banging rhythmically on the table or dancing wildly around at some point. Last night my brother David and Little Sis came over for dinner. After we ate, I showed Uncle Davey the piano piece I've recently learned: Linus and Lucy (aka the Peanuts theme song). While I played, he made percussion sounds with his mouth and hands and Little Sis danced with the punk. I'm happy to see that he has musical influences besides his crazy mama.
  2. Why is it that when women age, their formerly lovely singing voices begin to sound like men imitating women? (See this video.) The only two women I know of who have avoided this are Dolly Parton (who I'm assuming is injected with age-defying substances) and my Grandma Valeen.
  3. Steven Tyler has revitalized my interest in American Idol. I don't even miss Simon and his creepy crawly chest hair.
  4. Thanks to a brilliant Christmas gift from the aforementioned Grandma Valeen: an electric guitar that plays several familiar rock excerpts, the punk knows the words to Love Shack. How many of you could sing, "Love shack, Baby!"as a two year-old? It's totally awesome. And slightly disconcerting.
  5. Sometimes I wish I lived in a musical.
  6. The punk's Kindermusik teacher commented today on his talent for rhythm. Thank goodness for that because it seems he is only capable of monotone singing:

Punk Subtitles:
I am a child of God
And He has sent me here.
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
Lead me, guide me,
Walk beside me.
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with Him someday.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Call Me Mrs. Clean

In the comments of my last post, my friend Diana pointed out that she didn't realize I was married to Mr. Clean. The truth is I began my affair with him when I saw what his Magic Eraser could do to my walls and sink.

Photos by Amy Gretchen.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

This Is My Family

Photo courtesy of Amy Gretchen. More to come.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mood Swings and a Full Moon

This is the view that greeted me from my bedroom window this morning when the punk's soft pajama-clad feet came padding into my room. He blessed me with an agreeable wake-up time: 7:30! This was a welcome change from the early six o'clock hour he's been favoring lately. This beautiful sight (and my well-rested body and mind) helped me to begin my day with a smile.

I've been struggling lately with a negative outlook. The pregnancy hormones, aching back, stinging sciatic nerve, heartburn, and fatigue have been getting to me. But after a nice rest and a happy sunrise with a (nearly) full moon setting, I was suddenly reminded of the way I felt immediately following the birth of the punk. In the 3 minutes that followed his arrival, I experienced an empowering euphoria that I'm not sure I've ever experienced before or since. (The closest thing to it was at the finish line of my 1/2 marathon in 2007.) While the doctor was weighing, measuring and cleaning my babe, I had the overwhelming sensation that I could totally, without question, do this again. I wanted to be pregnant immediately and have the chance to experience labor and delivery again as soon as possible.

Well, here I am. Nine weeks away from delivery. Although that powerful euphoria has long since left me, today I'm thinking maybe I will be able to handle it after all.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

12of12: January (Wednesday)

(Click on the block of photos to enlarge.)

1. Breakfast: hot chocolate and a buttered, toasted demi-baguette
2. Finally putting Christmas in a box
3. Learning a new piece: Linus and Lucy
4. Picking my man up from work so he can retrieve his car from the shop
5. Lots of driving
6. A rare treat: lunch with Daddy
7. World Without End by Ken Follett
8. Bella's piano lesson
9. Playing with Dad while Mama makes dinner
10. Chicken pot pie
11. Happy punk
12. His favorite toy

Did you join me in the 12of12 challenge today? If so, please post the link to your blog in my comments. I'd love to see what your day looked like!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Tomorrow I shall begin one of my goals for 2011: joining my friend Amy in her 12of12 challenge. It is a lovely project in which I will take photos to document my day on the 12th of each month. I will then choose the 12 best shots and post them for you here (and in my 2011 family photo album). I think it's a great way to capture the day-to-day life of my family. Most of my photo albums are filled with the "important" things like birthdays, Christmas, the punk's firsts... But this will allow me to look back on my year and see what really happened.

The sum of all the typical, mundane moments is what makes a life. So here's to capturing that life in photos! Will you join me?

The 12of12 challenge begins tomorrow. I plan to keep my camera by my bed tonight so I will remember to start snapping photos first thing in the morning.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Not Chocolate

One day, when I looked something like this...

I was searching the kitchen for a snack. I didn't realize it at the time, but my mom was (is) a pretty health-conscious lady. We each had our own large mug with a straw, always filled with water, sitting on the counter near the stairs. Anytime we walked past our mug, we were expected to take a drink of life-sustaining water. Also, we didn't often have access to sugar cereal. (I always requested Cocoa Puffs for my birthday breakfast.) If we wanted a snack while watching TV, we could have fresh veggies like carrots and celery.

So, when I found a tupperware of crushed Butterfinger sitting on the counter, I was elated. How was this possible? I didn't recall an ice cream sundae in my recent past, and couldn't think of any other reason why crushed candy would be sitting out in my mom's kitchen. But honestly, I didn't think twice about it. I had found a treasure and I wasn't going to waste time wondering about its magical existence.

So I grabbed a spoon and dug in. I brought the heaping spoonful of sweet, crushed goodness to my mouth and chewed twice. Then my contented smile immediately replaced itself with a look of horror. I ran to the sink and gagged, moaning with shock and disgust! After making sure every speck was off my tongue and my mouth was thoroughly rinsed, I inspected the contents of the tupperware.

It was not crushed Butterfinger. The crumbly brown and orange substance was leftover taco meat that had been sitting out all night.

Excuse me while I go brush my teeth.
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