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

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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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Clive Owen

Clive Owen
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« September 2010 | Main | November 2010 »

Thank You Nots

That title up there is not a typo. I feel the need to point that out since my last title did have a typo and I only just got around to fixing it, so for the record, no typos in this title. I make no guarantees about the rest of the post.

We have attended quite a few kid's birthday parties in the past several months. On three occasions, I have, several weeks later, either run into the birthday child's mother or had reason to correspond with her on another topic and had that mother volunteer that she is "behind on thank-you notes." In all three cases, no thank you note has been forthcoming. (ETA: I should mention that in all three cases the gifts were not opened at the party.)

(Now, I have also attended a Saturday morning birthday party for which I received a thank you note written by the child in Tuesday's mail. That, my friends is hardcore thank you note-ing and I can't imagine how the parents convinced their child to accomplish such a feat.)

Anyway, I've been wondering if this is now acceptable? This claim that one is behind in thank you notes serving as an excuse for not writing them at all? And I ask because I personally despise writing thank you notes on behalf of my children. I never have appropriate stationery, I am always out of stamps, and I can never figure out whether to write the note as myself, as I am after all the one writing it, or to write it as my child, which is pure fantasy because neither of my children is currently capable of dictating an appropriate thank you note. I always seem to go for the "from the child" option, but I find it especially difficult when my child has already personally thanked the gift-giver, and then I sit down to write a fake note for my kid to sign.

So, I don't like to do it. But I always do. I was raised to write thank you notes, it was firmly planted in my psyche as a requirement of civilization, and I always write them, like it or not. My goal for Mia's birthday is to get my thank you notes out before I receive the thank you note from Mia's BFFs birthday party. She is ten days younger than Mia and her mother is an incredibly conscientious thank you note writer.

But what do you think? Are thank you notes becoming old fashioned and passe? In my mind, I feel they could probably be replaced by a thank you email or thank you phone call (but not, I suspect, by an I'm behind on my thank you notes email, which is not quite the same thing, but I am often wrong about these things). Where do you fall in the great thank you notes debate?

Life with Baby

(This started as a comment on this post from Swistle about what a normal day with a baby is really like. I'm sure she is quite grateful I decided to move over here with it.)

I had this boss once who was a fine manager in many ways and an outright disaster in many others. She would call me into her office or come tearing into mine with her hair on fire and some disastrous catastrophe that she needed me to drop everything else to research, solve, present the elegant solution to our VP within two hours, and while I was at it make sure the entire thing was somebody else's fault. Which I would do, because I am that good. So I would bust my ass for two hours, move mountains, change the laws of physics, screech into her office before the deadline with all requested components completed ready to face the VP, and she would look at me like I was insane. Somebody somewhere had decided this was no longer an issue, why was I still working on it? Well, you didn't tell me. And why isn't any of my other work done? Well, because I was putting out your fires all day.

Or else, she would give me an assignment and tell me oh, nothing critical, get to it when you get to it. And naturally, twenty minutes later, she would be all over my IM wanting an update, what had I done, why wasn't I finished yet? Well, because you said no rush.

And then, she thought she was a fabulous multi-tasker. She would take a meeting while on a conference call and answering email and responding to pages (back when we all still had pagers because we thought we were so important), but really she just never had any idea what you were saying in the meeting or what was happening on the call or what was really in her email. Then she would want to know why I hadn't told her something. But I had, three times in three different ways.

It was a non-ideal working environment. But it sure prepared me for day to day life with a baby.

A baby will scream her fool head off because she is starving to death and cannot abide another instant without nourishment and if she doesn't get a boob or a bottle up in here stat it will ruin her hopes of ever going to college. So you scramble, you jump out of the shower, you snag the bottle with your toes without putting down the double armload of groceries, you arrive the conquering hero to save your poor, suffering child, and the baby is over it. Not hungry. Not in the slightest. Why are you shoving that boob in my face?

Or the baby is chilling in his bouncy chair, sucking on his toes, nothing to see here, you just go right ahead and keep folding the laundry, Mommy. And then MAYDAY MAYDAY and there is poop on the ceiling fan and you spend the rest of the day scouring your house with disinfecting wipes. And then all the kid wants to know is why is favorite blankie has been festering in the washing machine all day.

And of course, the kid stops listening to a damned thing you say pretty much simultaneously with language acquisition, then they want to know why you didn't tell them that hauling a chair over from the kitchen table and planting a chubby fist in the middle of the frying pan you are using to cook dinner was going to hurt their ittle wittle fingers? I did tell you, three million times.

It isn't all bad, not by a long shot. Much of it is amazing. But much of it is like spending every minute of your life with the worst boss you ever had. At least they can't fire you for writing about them on the internet.

Disaster Waiting to Happen

My Owen, monkey boy, demon child, capital T trouble, entirely too beloved by me, who escaped his crib at well less than two-years-old and began, shortly thereafter, standing on the side rail and flinging himself to the floor in what can only be called a deliberate attempt to break his little neck, has, at much less than three-years-old, exhausted the possibilities of a toddler bed and is currently spending his first night in a big boy bed. Which is, in point of fact, just a twin mattress on the floor, but it has Buzz Lightyear sheets, which were a huge hit. It took him a while to go to sleep, but then all was well and oh-so quiet. So I was rather shocked when I went to check on him and found the child sound asleep, across the room, sitting on the floor and resting his little head on the toddler-sized armchair in his room

Looks to be another long night around here. Also, wah my baby, etc.


Why does Pandora always want me to listen to Hotel California? It seems that no matter what I enter as my starting point, all roads seem to converge at Hotel California. Is it that my musical taste leads somehow inexorably to Hotel California? Is there some vast Pandora/Eagles conspiracy? I can understand how it happens when I start with Simon and Garfunkel, as I am wont to do (What? I like them. Yeah yeah, your musical taste is far more refined than mine, you win.), but I was running today and started with Lady Gaga. Song number five? Hotel California.

Why do all of my shirts get holes in them right at the spot where my pants button? Seriously, all of them, exact same spot. At first I thought it was because of my belt (You have more than one belt? You win again.), but I didn't wear a belt all summer and all of my t-shirts have these holes. Then I thought it was from carrying Owen, but I carry him on my hip and there are not holes in the hip. Then I considered that I was tearing all of my shirts with my rock-hard abs, but one glance at my torso made it quite clear that was not the case. Now I am thinking maybe it has to do with my seat belt? I don't get it.

It Goes to 11

Eleven years ago today, my boyfriend of nearly seven years became my husband. Since then, we've had two children and five mortgages together. We've laughed and cried, loved and fought. We are much richer than we were eleven years ago, and fatter, and stronger. I don't think either of us had a clear idea all those years ago what this would entail, other than a big white dress and higher taxes. And while nothing in life is certain, there are two things I am sure of. My husband loves a good Spinal Tap reference, and this one goes way past eleven.