So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

Meet the Fish

I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.


World's Most Beautiful Child

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World's Most Handsome Child

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Other Important Things

Clive Owen

Clive Owen
Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend


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Merry

The tree is trimmed, the halls are decked, the cookie dough is in the fridge waiting to be rolled and cut and baked and then smeared with icing in a three-generation free-for-all tonight. There are presents under the tree guaranteed to blow two little minds, and Santa is set to be a hero. The stockings are hung with those removable plastic hook things on the living room sliding glass door, for lack of a chimney by which to hang them with care.

Merriest of merries to you and yours from me and mine. May you have a season of wonder and joy. And kisses.

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Has to be Done

Oh come on, you didn't think I was going to get two feet of snow and not force you to look at the obligatory kids-in-the-blizzard pictures, did you?

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Elsewhere, I'm having an affair.

Nobody Cried Their Eyes Out This Year - Progress

Mia wants a big girl bike, but it needs to be pink and she also requires a princess basket and be careful loading it into the sleigh so it doesn't get scratched and where are your reindeer Daddy said they were in the woods but Mommy said they were double parked what's double parked and Mia also wants an Easy Bake Oven but the bike is more important and Mia is four and her brother Owen is only one and he likes cars and trains and remember about the bike Santa ok Santa ok?

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Owen wants to get the hell away from the creepy old guy with the smelly beard.

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But Owen, Santa might bring you some candy.

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There now, you've survived my Children With Santa photos once again and don't have to repeat the experience until next year. That wasn't so bad now, was it?

Here Comes the Hate Mail

I know probably should, but I find Mia so adorable whenever she starts talking about the Baby Cheesus that I just can't bring myself to correct her.

Sleepless in Suburbia, Part 835

I recently wrote about how Owen liked to stay up until midnight (ok, 9:00, but it often felt like midnight) and asked the internet at large for advice. By far the leading contender in the Advice Olympics was "put the child to bed earlier." Which seems like a no-brainer, right? But sometimes, especially when you have been sleep-deprived for going on five years now, the obvious does not seem so obvious. Many people suggested that we gradually move Owen's bedtime earlier to help him adjust to the change. But what really rung true for me was a comment from Sabrina. She said now look, this child isn't going merrily along until 9:00 every night at which point he drops like a stone, so it isn't some ingrained circadian rhythm that is keeping him up. It is that it takes an hour to get him to sleep, so if you want him in bed an hour earlier, start the whole hullabaloo an hour earlier.

Um, ding ding ding ding ding? Yes, of course. Owen stays up late because we let him stay up late. We let him stay up late because it took so damned long to get him to sleep that we thought staying up later might make it go faster. And it did, for a day or two, and then it didn't. So we let him stay up later still. Lather, rinse repeat until insanity ensues.

So we realized that we were the problem. We also realized that Owen has never had his own bedtime routine, at least not since he stopped nursing. We've been doing Mia's bedtime routine and basically just trying to keep Owen from interfering, and once that is done he gets either dumped into bed (bad) or taken downstairs to watch cartoons (also bad).

We've made some changes. Owen now goes into his room at 7:00 every night with whichever parent is up in the rotation (we alternate kids nightly). That happens regardless of where Mia is in her bedtime routine, which has meant that she has had to endure some changes to her usual schedule, but she's been very gracious about it. So Owen's door closes at 7:00 and he is in his room for the night (well ok, the first part of the night). He gets stories and cuddles and his lovies and his blankie and his music turned on and Mommy or Daddy sitting in the glider reading (to ourselves, not to him) until he falls asleep and clearly this is still far from perfect, but you know what? He's been asleep by 8:00 three nights in a row now, and sleeping until 7:00 most mornings. He's also cut his naps down from 1.5 hours to 1 hour, but that still means that I usually get 15 minutes a day with both children secured in their rooms and that is generally enough to preserve my sanity.

And finally, we moved him out of the crib, which was two months overdue. It has only been two nights, and he is waking up more often at night confused about where he is, but he likes to climb in and lie down, so it has helped the falling asleep process at naptimes and night.

Next challenge, getting him to sleep through the night, but one thing at a time, right?

Three New Things

So far today I have done three things that I have never done before. (Well ok, really four things, but the fourth is unrelated to the other three).

One - Bought something from Craigslist.
Two - Assembled a toddler bed.
Three - Retired my crib.

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Sigh.


(Elsewhere, gifts for vegetarians, including something you should buy for me should you happen to be my husband.)

Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

My mom loves Christmas. My mom especially loves decorating for Christmas. (My mom also reads this blog, hi Mom.) When I was a kid, our neighborhood had an annual outdoor Christmas decoration award, and my mom wanted desperately to win it. So one year, she nixed the strings of colored lights that my brother and I voted for and decided to go for classy. She went to the craft store and returned with foam circles and miles of holly garland and spool after spool of red velvet ribbon. And she spent a weekend wiring garland to foam and making her own bows and stapling and gluing and whatnot, and she made wreaths. And they looked great, and the house looked lovely and traditional and colonial and just like the houses that won that award every year. And my mom didn't win. She hung those wreaths for years, and for years she didn't win.

And then, finally, she did win. Several times, really. And lo, the heavens opened and the angels sang except by then I think she was pretty much over it. But still, vindication.

Now, my mom is very practical. She made nine wreaths for the nine windows on the front of our house. Obviously, of course, that is just what you would do. Why hang wreaths on the back of the house, which faced only trees, or the side, which faced only neighbors? But my room was at the back of the house. I had no front-facing window, and therefore, I had no wreaths. And I was bitter. I wanted one of those wreaths on my window. I watched my mom make them, watched and helped her hang them every year, and I wanted one. I asked my mom (repeatedly, I believe) why she hadn't made wreaths for my room. And she said, very logically, that my room was at the back of the house. Nobody would make wreaths for the back of the house. She was completely right, completely reasonable. I lost nothing in life by not having wreaths on my windows.

But this week, when I made wreaths for my house, I made one for Owen. His room is at the back of the house, and I have nine wreaths on the front, and one on the back. On Owen's window.

And I'm sure that one day he will ask me why the heck I bothered to make a wreath for his window and tell me it was ridiculous and want me to take it down. And I will say no. No, because it is funny the things you remember.

P.S. If you want to see the wreaths I made in all their glory (and please do not mock me, I am not crafty and am feeling a bit insecure about my wreaths), you can check them out here at Style Lush.

P.P.S. I feel I should mention, as I do sometimes blog for money at various corners of the internet, that the Style Lush gig is purely for fun. I'll always tell you guys if I'm getting paid, promise.