Thursday, October 30, 2008

An artist is born

My husband and I always enjoy murals.

Fly must know this, because he decided to create his own mural!

Just look at the detail. I believe he used pencil. How avant-garde!

And here I didn't think Fly enjoyed the visual arts.

Call me crazy, but I think Fly's work has the flair of another musician-artist:

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Warmth

What I'd wear today if I could: a good coat, simple and wear-everywhere but also elegant, like this one from Body Central. (Hey, I saw a fab coat I loved by Burberry, but it was almost $1,000. Sometimes, you really can't knock the inexpensive stuff.)

We've just gotten our first cold snap of the season here in Neverland, and my closet is woefully unprepared. Because our coat weather doesn't last, I rarely get to wear my jackets and sweaters, so they don't wear out. But that means I keep the same sweaters and jackets year after year, and they are starting to look really dated (a red plaid corduroy puffy jacket, anyone?).

I don't need a coat that's really heavy -- I usually dress in shed-able layers in the winter because you never know if the crazy weather will warm up and make you roast.

What is your favorite outerwear, and where do you buy it?

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Giving a whole new meaning to self-flagellation

It's not my fault if Fly thinks he has to hit himself in the face as part of his religious upbringing.

Well, maybe it is. A little bit.

I thought it would be nice to show Fly how to pray. After saying a brief prayer (toddler attention span and all), I pulled my hands away quickly, and loudly said, "Amen!" I thought saying Amen loudly would make it fun. And I thought the hand thing would give him something to do. A way to keep Fly's interest.

Praying has his interest, all right. Now he wants me to say one quick prayer after another just for the chance to shout, "Amen!" Kind of like this:

"Thank you, God, for all this delicious food. AMEN!"

"Thank you for your good example of love. AMEN!"

"Thank you for little boys. AMEN!"

Somewhere along the way, instead of throwing his hands apart, Fly started slapping himself in the face. So every time he says, "Amen," he smacks himself. With both hands.

If they don't already, the people at the church are going to really wonder about our family....


Thursday, October 23, 2008


Our city recently installed speed bumps in our neighborhood. I hate speed bumps despite the horrifying speeds at which people fly past the houses -- but that is a rant for another day.

As I drive over the speed bumps in the car, I say, "Bumpy!" to Fly in the back. And when Fly, JP and I are out for our nightly walk and we wheel Fly's stroller over the bumps, we say, "Bumpy!"

Now Fly has started saying bumpy. Not only that, but he knows the locations of all the speed bumps. He can point in the correct direction and tell me that Bumpy lives that-a-way.

He also has found great bumpy places to drive his toy cars over, like the top of a misshapen, dimpled box. And on the track that JP put together for Fly for his 2nd birthday last month, there are a couple areas of bumpy track -- his second favorite part of the setup after the bridges.

Fly's bumpy obsession doesn't stop there. He wants to explore every non-smooth, nonlinear object or area -- a manhole cover, rocks in the garden, the back of my legs.

The kid lives for bumpy.

And when Fly says the word, it can also sound just like another word he learned recently, pumpkin. Or -- for some reason -- tractor. (I can identify the slight nuances in his toddler dialect.)

This is how it occurred to me Fly has already learned that, in life, bumpy is more interesting than smooth. Something is more appealing than nothing. A flaw = fascinating; perfect = boring. Bumpy is what sells novels, movie tickets and cosmetics. Bumpy is what drives us up the wall about the people we love, even though we love them anyway. Bumpy makes us real. Bumpy is what makes us want to set goals, to achieve or to overcome. Basically, bumpy makes the world go 'round.

And I guess I have the city -- and all those speeders -- to thank for that.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Purple

What I'd wear today if I could: something in just the perfect shade of purple, like this sweet belted cardigan by Kensie. You might not be able to see the black buttons going up the front, but they're there. And the black ribbon belt just finishes it off.

I'm not much of a purple wearer. It's hard for me to find the right shade of purple to go with my coloring. I probably wear things all the time that aren't the right tone for me, but I wear them anyway because I love them. But with purple ... I don't know what it is about purple, but I just feel I have to be careful.

Amethyst works. Eggplant seems to be OK. But never lavender. And orchid is horrid.

Oh, to find perfect purple for fall! Like this swingy skirt by Chloe:

Or this velvet jacket from Banana Republic. Velvet? Jacket? Purple? Yum!

Is there a color you avoid, or feel you have to find the right shade before wearing?

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Surprised and amazed

Parents expect their kids to learn new things as they grow. Days, weeks and months pass, and the baby you had becomes a toddler. One day you suddenly wonder when your child learned to string words together, or try on your shoes, or push a chair to the kitchen counter to get something.

I knew Fly would learn and grow, but I didn't know how much that would surprise me every time I realized he had discovered something new.

Like the day he tried counting to 10.

When he pointed out green and yellow.

When Fly excitedly found a large circle in the pattern on the playground floor, and then a triangle in the notch of an old VHS tape box.

And I'm not only surprised, but amazed, at Fly's imagination.

A tea bag is a kite.

A patch of sunlight on the floor is a puddle.

His toy cars want to eat his breakfast.

A newspaper, placed just so at the center crease, is a tunnel.

A container of Vaseline is a bongo.

Every week, it seems, Fly learns something new or does something for the first time. And as he learns, I also learn -- about him and his ability to surprise and amaze me.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Into the mouths of babes

Sometimes, the everyday things that Fly is learning converge -- and watching him figure things out makes me laugh.

Ever since Fly was about 18 months old, I have mildly, casually been potty training him. Which many in-the-trenches, potty-training four-star-general moms would say is not really true potty training. I guess it isn't.... But he has used the potty about 10 times now.

Anyway, last night just as I was sitting down to eat dinner, Fly looked at me and said, "pah-pah" (a general potty term). He also had that look on his face.

Notice he never says "pah-pah" to JP.

Sure, enough, Fly was already in the business of making #2, and I sat him on the potty just in time. I did the jumping and cheering and hugging and kissing and made a big deal out of it.

Lately, when Fly has used the potty, I have given him mini M&Ms -- a trick I'm sure I picked up from one of you moms. So even though it was dinner time, I felt some reward was due. After washing up, I counted out a few M&Ms and put them near his plate.

(So far, this is all just to tell you why my child had M&Ms with dinner.)

Fly immediately went straight for the M&Ms, of course.

But he put them in his pasta.

And he proceeded to eat his sauce-covered mini M&Ms with his fork -- something else that he has been doing better at recently.

I tried to convince him the peas in his pasta were M&Ms, too, but Fly didn't buy it.

Which just shows that, despite his choice of candy-for-dinner etiquette, he has a better grip on reality than I give him credit for.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Layered bustier

What I'd wear today if I could: a look like this one (by Trina Turk from a few years back -- this is a goody from my ol' Style File) -- a bustier over a crisp white shirt. I loved this look when I saw it a few years ago, and I saw it at the mall again recently. I think a simple bustier or corset over a white shirt just looks so fresh and so fall. Pair these two elements together, add dark jeans or some nice pants and cool ankle boots, and you've got yourself an amazing date-night or night-out-with-the-girls look. Hat optional. (And my humble recommendation is to skip the hat altogether if you're going out after dark.) If you already have a bustier from, say, summer, you can keep wearing it into fall this way.

Now my quest is just to find a nice bustier. I know Bebe and Charlotte Russe stores usually carry bustiers, and you can order them through Victoria's Secret. Or eBay.

Oh, and I've also seen some shirts made to look like a corset over a shirt, but they're just one piece -- which is fine -- but the two-piece real thing is more chic.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My lot

I found this entry written on a pre-blog of mine about a year before I found out I was pregnant with Fly.

- - - - -

Within the past week, two people have asked me to recommend them or their work for their latest endeavor.

One is a professor at a university who wanted to know if I would please read her current book and then read her forthcoming book, kind of like a peer review, I guess.

As if I were her peer.

The second is a person who is not only soon to be a lawyer but is also a PhD candidate in archeology. On top of that, she's an intern journalist for a well-known newspaper. She asked me to write a recommendation letter for her application to an environment fellowship.

And why wouldn't someone like me recommend someone with that kind of education level?

I'm honored, of couse, just to be asked. But I just can't believe that, with my lowly B.S. degree, I'm the one doing the recommending for these brainiacs. Like, why would anyone put worth into what I have to say about these women's capabilities?

I was advised a few times to become a lawyer (and I got an A in a media law class). But 70-hour workweeks don't sit well with me.

I was once really interested in genetics, especially gene therapy, but my biology grades weren't good enough to continue far down that path.

I wrote my first computer program for fun at 12 years old, but became bored by it.

Now I've written a book, but it's not the Great American Novel that will get me on Oprah, or any bestseller list, or even on a reading list for high school English classes.

I just haven't tried hard enough, or haven't been ambitious enough, to reach the level of these women.

So maybe it's my lot just to be the person who encourages and supports others to attain what I couldn't.

And there's value in that.

- - - - -

I'm posting it today because recently, I've had three people talking with me about books they are working on. It reminded me of this post, so I dragged it out. Now that I stay home with my boy, it is still very true that I am in an encouraging/supporting role -- for Fly, for JP, for the people I know working on books, for my friend Guinevere who is finishing her degree and for various other people in my life. And it is still very true that I believe there is value in being the helper, the cheerleader, the aide, the sounding board.

I may not be accomplishing great things for myself -- one person. But if I can help others -- several people -- with their accomplishments, isn't that an even greater crop of achievement?


Monday, October 13, 2008

Bustin' Out Babies

New Baby News!

I had my baby boy Junebug on June 30. Thank you so much, everyone, for your good wishes!

Chelle at Creative Thoughts and her family welcomed Cordelia on Aug. 1. The "primal war cry screaming" was worth it!

Existere gave birth to boy and girl twins (!) Mano and Torre on Aug. 11. Welcome, precious pair.

Danielle at New Mommy Rant had her baby boy Jude on Aug. 18. Way to go!

Who's Due

Nunc Scio quit sit amor. Kris is happy to be expecting her third baby girl!

Look at Who's Here!

August 18
Danielle at New Mommy Rant had her baby boy Jude on Aug. 18. Way to go!

August 11
Existere gave birth to boy and girl twins (!) Mano and Torre on Aug. 11. Welcome, precious pair.

August 1
Chelle at Creative Thoughts and her family welcomed Cordelia on Aug. 1. The "primal war cry screaming" was worth it!

June 30
I had my baby boy Junebug on June 30. Thank you so much, everyone, for your good wishes!

May 1
Adventures of an Awesome Mom. Awesome welcomed her third boy, Daniel Michael. All right!

April 26
Humps and Baby Bump. Humps announced her first baby, Baby. So beautiful!

April 20
The Sweetest Work on Earth. It's another boy, Noah Andrew, for Ashley. Congratulations on some truly sweet work!

March 30
Mommylog. Lane added Emiliana to her family, already including toddler son Matias.

March 13
Metropolitan Mama. Stephanie had another sweet baby girl, Little Sister to Stephanie's adorable daughter Big Sister. (Another lucky Friday the 13th baby!)

March 10
Growing A Pair. Dawn wants to show everyone who she made: Squeak, little brother to Noise and Funk.

March 2
Mommy Instincts. Jen and her family welcome a springtime Lily to the world, joining big brother Jonah.

March 1
Graceful Parenting. Carol and her family welcomed baby Alana -- sweet and "not any trouble at all." Ahhh....

February 13
It Was a Very Good Year. Tatiana was very lucky on Friday the 13th to give birth to her sweet Maia.

January 5, 2009
Lifenut. Gretchen's little Archie spent some time in the NICU but is now home and doing great!

November 11, 2008
Seagulls in the Parking Lot. Kiki and her family have welcomed Levi into their family.

October 15
Interrupted Wanderlust. Kristi had twins, Nicholas and Luciana, the lovely Isabella's younger siblings.

May 22
Cool Zebras gave birth to Ms. D, her third child and her second daughter.

January 11
Much More Than A Mom gave birth to a girl, Bella (a sister for son Primo, who was 20 months old at the time).

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

It seems I have my own little Linus:


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Recession chic

What I'd wear today if I could: Well, it's really not what I would wear, but if this economic crisis keeps going the way it has the past couple weeks, I might end up wearing a barrel!

Or a sandwich board!

Um, but perhaps with a different slogan on the front.

I suppose I could always shop at consignment stores. Yard sales. My own closet. I sometimes sew my own clothes, but that's not always the bargain you might think it is -- maybe if I used recycled materials like gum wrappers?

Or duct tape?

Promise not to call the paddy wagon for me....

Have you bought anything for yourself recently, or do you plan to soon?

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I pushed a girl and I liked it

Well, actually, Fly pushed a girl.

And then he pushed a boy. He's equal-opportunity that way.

We were at a play area, and a girl of about four came up to him, smiling. She wanted to play. But what did Fly do? He pushed her.

(And a couple weeks ago, I was so proud of his compassionate heart!)

The girl wasn't physically hurt, but her feelings were hurt. She retreated to her mom. I walked Fly over to her to apologize and to say pushing is wrong. I did the same later after he pushed the boy.

Fly has never pushed anyone before. In fact, when other children get a little rough or grab something out of his hands, he just lets them and then backs away from them.

Now he's an aggressor?

I could say he was tired, or keyed up from playing, or overexcited by playing with the other children, or that someone pushed him and he wanted to push someone too. But pushing is still wrong.

So now, I suppose, we're at the beginning of a long line of years when children learn how to interact with one another and to treat others with respect.

That's only, what? The next 23 years or so?

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Splash on!

Fly isn't really wearing shorts that long -- they were just hanging down because I forgot a swim diaper and used a regular diaper that soaked up all the water. By the look of him, though, I don't think he really cares.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

List of funny

Back in March, I took a blogging break. During that time, I declared that writing here and reading other blogs would only continue if it was fun. (And I changed the About Me profile. See? "A mama needs to have more fun.")

Now, blogging has gotten waaaay more fun because the ROFL Awards are back!

Sept '08 ROFL

The fine Oh, The Joys and Chicky Chicky Baby stepped up to the task of organizing the nominations and spreading the laughter across this here Interweb.

I nominated Jenny The Bloggess' post The Fruit Test because this is the kind of thing that would happen to me. Only, if I wrote about it, my post would be all sad and whiny rather than hysterically funny. You must click over and read it if you weren't one of the 212 people who already did! Also, check out Oh, The Joys and Chicky Chicky Baby for the full list of funny!

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Fall bag

What I'd wear today if I could: a new bag in a darker shade for fall, maybe something like this by Vera Wang's line Simply Vera, found at Kohl's.

Peeps, it's the first of October and I'm still running around with a white tote bag. Of course, it's 84 degrees here today, so it still feels like summer. But I'm ready to move on. (Which Jodifur did a couple weeks ago already.)

Today was also the grand opening of Kohl's in my hometown. Kohl's has never before graced our region, but my friend Roo/Robin is an avid Kohl's shopper who ferreted out a store three hours away and would shop there. Yeah.

So today, I found this bag, which turned out to be $89. I can pick 'em. I know a lot of women wouldn't hesitate to drop that amount -- or more -- on a bag, and it's probably worth that amount. But see, my bag is going to end up getting juice spilled in it from a leaky sippy cup, cracker crumbs are going to wind up in the bottom, and it could very well carry a dirty diaper around (in a separate bag, of course).

Come to think of it, basically I should just take a gallon-size Ziploc bag, make a cute cover for it out of cool fabric and handles from the craft store, and be done with it. There's an Etsy idea, eh?