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April 2009

Sticking my fingers in my ears and singing LA LA LA

Yesterday was supposed to be restful. Phillip took the day off and we spent it at his parents' house, letting them do the child wrangling while we unattractively draped ourselves over various pieces of furniture, catching up with our reading both online and off. So that was nice. But then there were all these in between times- the drive there and back, lunch out, five minutes here and there when grandparents were out of earshot- when we were talking about all this FUTURE STUFF and I came home feeling VERY VERY OVERWHELMED.

The driving factor, I believe, is that Phillip's grad school application is due Friday. There is a lot (A LOT) I want to say about the grad school thing, except we don't know he if he will be accepted, and most of it I've only barely started to share with him and my thoughts are all jumbled anyway. Suffice to say that 1) I really want this for him and 2) I have a million and a half fears about it. THERE YOU GO.

Of course it wasn't just THAT, we also talked about Sharing A Room: Part Two, when we might sell our house, the road trip we keep talking about even though neither of us are at all confident about our ability to pull said road trip off, the various little events we've got going on this weekend and next weekend and the weekend after that. Not to mention the fact that I have to call my dentist and say, "I always get the hygienist who trained at the Hanoi Hilton, so I am leaving your practice, I'm not going to my appointment next week, don't leave me annoyingly chirpy messages on my answering machine and don't send me the obligatory birthday card because I'm OUTTA HERE." That makes me very nervous.

It's just... a LOT, you know? I'm usually pretty good at this future stuff, being the obnoxiously optimistic member of Team Cheung. It's the having-to-call-my-dentist stuff that gets me down, not the Grand Plans months down the road. THAT stuff is EXCITING.

Buuuuut yeah. I'm not going to write about that. Yet. I am just going to sit here and allude to it and refer to it and mention it without giving any specifics and make everyone all, "DUDE, either PUT UP or SHUT UP."

I have a huge stack of items in the Mommyblog Folder and another couple items in the Garden Blog and Churchy Blog folders and, OH YES, another in the FACEBOOK FOLDER, but blah blah blah you've read all that before (except the Facebook one) and besides, right now I'm kind of feeling like a nice stiff drink for breakfast. Maybe I should open a suggestion box. "Dear Maggie, I know your main topic is your inability to deal with [fill in any noun] on any given day, but I was really hoping you'd spend some time writing an Ode to The Big Brain Theory's Sheldon." Or "Dear Maggie, yeah yeah, your kid sleeps in your closet, whatever, what are your feelings on milk chocolate vs. dark chocolate?" And I'm just DYING for someone to say, "Dear Maggie, I will not be able to sleep until you give us your thoughts on how to power through these Dire Economic Times." HA. Now where is the gin?


And would you believe the Terrible Twos are in full swing?

Well HELLO United States! I wrote down where everyone was from (DORK!) (except those of you who didn't TELL ME, possibly because some of you were all, "She already KNOWS where I live" but whatever, you were lazy, I was lazy too, I left you out) thinking there might be some kind of... I don't know. Correlation! Pattern! Clear representation! Except: most decidedly not. You are from EVERYWHERE, with Florida and Texas being the tiniest of stand outs. Interestingly enough, those are the only two states in which I stubbornly refuse to reside. It's nothing personal Florida and Texas, it's your stifling so-thick-you-can-chew-it heat. I'll take my gray dreary rain, thankyouverymuch.

(Note: I spent a handful of days trapped in DisneyWorld while my dad attended a conference, age twelve or thirteenish. MISERY, but, it's true indignant Floridians, I haven't spent enough time to REALLY know. But! Until I was a Grown Up I spent a week every summer splashing in my grandparents' condo pool in Dallas, Texas. My memories of Dallas, Texas are 90% wall of heat that flattens you the minute you step out of the airport, 10% smell of stale air conditioned hotel rooms.)

Anyway. Thank you. That was rather enlightening. But where are my locals, eh? Maybe you DO live down the street from me and you are as mortified by this as I am! Although it's possible that the only locals reading my website are people I already KNOW. For example! Today I was at a kiddie birthday party and the dad of the birthday girl announced that his wife reads my blog "every! day!" and he said this in front of all the party goers and, okay, it's not like the blog is a SECRET. Duh. BUT STILL. Must we advertise the dorkness? Sigh. Where am I going with this? I don't know.

Phillip is behind me in the kitchen making our dinner while I hammer out my TOTALLY NONSENSICAL NONLINEAR THOUGHTS and holy cats those mushrooms stink. No really. They stink so bad that when Phillip got home from the grocery store he made me smell the plastic bag to see if I smelled what he smelled. Which would be pot! Why did our groceries smell like pot?! And then, ten minutes later, we realized we were smelling the mushrooms (shiitake) and duuuude I do not know about tonight's batch of stirfry.

OH SO ANYWAY. I was also a little unnerved to see the few of you who admitted to being even more stats stupid than me. I mean, do you guys REALIZE how much time you could be wasting? Check out this little thing called Google Analytics if you've got an extra weekend, or if you use Feedburner, dive into THOSE numbers for a while. My obsession began with statcounter.com, a site that made my eyes cross on a near-daily basis during my working days. Typepad has a very basic stats page, but I know a lot of you use Blogger so, uh, good luck with that! Have fun! Don't say I didn't warn you!

But do you know what I really opened this Compose Window to say? I FOUND A KITCHEN! For Jack, not for me. I like my kitchen. But Jack's kitchen is almost as awesome as mine. For the longest time I was deciding between this kitchen and this one, mulling and mulling, and not buying anything because there was too much wrong with both of them. I loved the look of the wooden one, but I wasn't sure it had enough stuff to do and the plastic one was, well, UG. LEE. I'd almost decided to go with the plastic kitchen, seeing as how it is a GIFT for my PRECIOUS BOY whose opinion should matter the MOST, but I couldn't make myself do it. So tonight I decided that I would buy a kitchen that is 1) twice as much as I hoped to spend and 2) about six inches too long for the place I planned to put it. BUT THESE ARE JUST DETAILS. We're hopeful that this kitchen isn't just a toy, but an INVESTMENT, and we've already discussed moving the furniture for the umpteenth time in order to accomodate a larger play area. See? ENTIRELY justifiable! Now I just have to figure out how to get it here in time for his birthday. Which is in two weeks. OMG PEOPLE I WILL HAVE A TWO YEAR OLD IN TWO WEEKS ACK ACK. 


Another seven quick takes

1. I read this article this morning and immediately went to Redfin to find us a house. I couldn't find anything in our price range. I couldn't find anything $50,000 above our price range. Decided the article was an Evil Real Estate Agent Plot, designed to 1) make me want another house (admittedly, easy to do) and 2) make me think we are Missing Out. Then I went upstairs to fold laundry and clean up the bedrooms and be content with the house I HAVE.

2. Phillip loves to snark on my love affair with the Bravo Channel, but he has no business saying anything because UFC Fight Night? What is THAT? I'll tell you what it is. It's a show with the Fear Factor guy's voice grating in the background and that, my dear Phillip, is not Shakespeare. So lay off.

3. But the Real Housewives? OMG I LOVE THEM. And I love how they're doing a New Jersey edition, like Bravo's on this mission to find all the stereotypical regional women (fake blond fake boob floozies, East Coast socialites, mob wives, and... I guess I don't know what the Atlanta 'thing' is) and create these false yet incredibly entertaining relationships. Yes, I KNOW it's total trash and I enjoy it ANYWAY. I keep wondering what The Real Housewives of Seattle would be like. Probably a bunch of ladies who live in huge sustainable compounds (lakeside, natch) with organic vegetable gardens and 3 or 4 Prii in the garage. And their arguments are about whose charity event was more green and the backstabbing is of a proper passive-aggressively polite sort.

4. I fell today. I fell while holding my baby. I've always wondered what I'd do if I fell down the stairs while holding one of my kids. Would I attempt to cushion my fall? Or would I be solely concentrating on making sure my precious baby comes out unscathed? You know, the stay-at-home-mom's version of Will I Be A Hero On The Battlefield? I'm proud to report that my one single thought whilst flying through the air was DON'T DROP MOLLY DON'T DROP MOLLY. I'd stepped on Jack's toy schoolbus, which slid across the floor, sending me up and over and sideways- not down the stairs, but close enough. I landed on a knee and a toe and a hip and an elbow and I am now turning purple in all of those places, but Molly was fine. Not even startled. My toe on the other hand, which I'm pretty sure I broke two-ish years ago and which didn't heal correctly, is super mad at me. Oh, and instead of cursing wildly and sobbing, like I wanted to, I sat there holding my toe and saying "OUCHIE" over and over so Jack wouldn't freak out. And then he must have put two and two together because he marched over and kissed my toe. AWWWW.

5. Tomorrow is Friday, which means visiting grandma, which means Jack might live to see the weekend. Save the toe-kissing moment, he's been so ORNERY this week. And, suddenly, very rough and antagonistic with Molly. Molly, however, has suddenly become touchy and sensitive re: the general direction of Jack's GAZE, so I try not to bark at him too much. I understand, Molly, (OH HOW I UNDERSTAND) but as the mom I am going to need both of you to SHUT IT.

6. I have, like, seven or eight little seedlings in my Jiffy peat pot tray. How awesome is that? Nothing in my garden box yet, but now I have these little sprouts for when the garden box inevitably fails me. It's so fun, I love it. I am really really hopeful I won't have to buy a single grocery store zucchini this summer.

7. The other day someone mentioned in the comments that she was a lurker from SLC (Salt Lake City? Right?) in case I was wondering about all my SLC hits. Which was sort of funny to me because I don't look at my stats and have no idea where anyone is from. You probably think that is a big fat lie, since "blogger" = "obsessed with stats" but it's true. It's also true that I have forty-seven different statcounter codes enbedded in my site and that I used to check my forty-seven different statcounters about ninety-seven times a day, BUT. I started to feel like I was holding ten tons of information without any idea how to use it, you know? I don't even understand half the LINGO. And then I went and had a second baby and I'm lucky if I get to post AND read YOUR posts, let alone count how many times the girl from SLC visited today. I figure if you're around, you'll say hi. Which I very much enjoy SO SAY HI WHY DON'T YOU. And tell me where you're from, because I admit I DO harbor a slight fear that some random chick on my street might be reading my website and I'm COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS.


Go here to see other [undoubtedly more interesting] quick takes.


Proud supporter of laziness

The neighborhood playground is about a ten minute walk from my house. In honor of the glorious spring weather, the kids and I trooped over to fulfill the daily wear-them-out requirement. Across the street are about a dozen townhouses, houses we briefly considered when we were looking to buy, and every time we go to the playground I think, "Gee, if we lived HERE I'd only have to walk across the STREET."

Read more at Parenting.com


Also today! I am quoted over at Grandparents.com for an "advice to grandparents" slideshow thingie. When they sent the email asking for thoughts, I spent a ridiculously long time trying to word my answer Just So and DUDE, MAGGIE, could I have sounded like any more of a Word I Don't Want To Use On A Family Website? My "advice" amounts to something like, "Don't even LOOK at my kid without asking first" when really I was thinking back to my very early new mom days, aka Days Of Profound Insecurity. It's hard to pinpoint what you need and want in the middle of the New Baby Fog, you know? And you need space to try out the authority thing because you've never been the authority before. At least I did. I AM SLOW. Anyway. This is especially embarrassing since only, oh, YESTERDAY I was telling my mom that I wish the grandparents weren't CONSTANTLY ASKING ME STUFF because seriously, I do not care if you want to go put socks on the baby or give Jack two cookies instead of one. The baby probably IS cold. And isn't it some inalienable grandparent right to spoil the grandkids? So I come off WAY cool in that slideshow, LET ME TELL YOU. Anyone who clicks to my site from there is only wondering what other kinds of Word I Don't Use On My Website advice I've got to share. I'M SORRY, GRANDPARENTS. PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME ALONE FOR THREE WEEKS NEXT MONTH.

Check out the other advice though. THOSE moms aren't Words I Won't Use On My Family Website.


'Tis better to update with pointlessness than to not update at all

In two-ish weeks my mom and dad are leaving to visit their other grandkids. And a few days after they leave, Phillip's parents are headed to Europe for one of those crazy whirlwind Forty-Seven Cities In Ten Days! tours to celebrate their 40th (FORTY. ETH.) anniversary. Both sets of grandparents will be gone approximately three weeks, at the same time, and I have to say I'm sort of annoyed they didn't coordinate this whole thing a little better. I mean, this is really going to cramp my style.

(And those of you whose families aren't anywhere near: I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT. My inability to deal without grandparents is well documented on this website, therefore you are ALREADY aware that you are better people, not as neurotic, smarter, prettier and more talented. IT IS ESTABLISHED.)

I have nothing else to say about that. I just felt like complaining.

Oh wait, I have to tell you about my in-laws' European tour. Some friends of theirs, whom they met on previous tours and cruises (they are big on tours and cruises) suggested everyone do this big Europe trip organized by some Chinese company out of Vancouver. The reason they picked this particular tour? They will get to eat CHINESE FOOD. Like, when everyone goes out for dinner in the evenings, they will be going to CHINESE RESTAURANTS. My mother-in-law is telling me this, shaking her head and saying, "Who goes to EUROPE to eat CHINESE FOOD? We'll be in France! Italy! I don't understand these people." And of course I am all agreement, but then I look at my father-in-law and wonder: can he survive three weeks without noodles and rice? I am not so sure.

What's funny is that a few weeks later the friends backed out of the trip. Ha! My in-laws are going anyway (see: Forty! Years!) and I hope they have their fill of European Chinese food.

So what should I do today? Jack's chatting at me through the baby monitor and Molly seems content, for now, in the exersaucer. I think we need to head to the local party and costume shop to pick up some party favors for the tea party this weekend. Loooong time readers may remember my involvement in the church tea party fundraiser, which, I agree, sounds like the least fun time ever. Except it is AWESOME and this year I am co-hosting a table with a friend which means it will be AWESOMER. Our theme has sort of morphed from Super Cool to Maybe It Will Look Nice to Whatever, Let's Go All Out With The Gaudy and people I LOVE GAUDY. I DID swath my table the first year in pink and gold fabric, sprinkle it with confetti and glitter, and provide feather boas and rhinestone tiaras for my guests. I love this stuff. Any reason to go to the party and costume store, right?

The sunny weather has disappeared for the time being, which means our standard afternoon of Hanging Out In The Front Yard Digging Up All Of Mommy's Seeds is out. Good news for my garden box, bad news for me. The afternoons go by so fast when it's nice out. A sunny day in Seattle is the most beautiful thing- too bad the sunny weather doesn't really kick in till, oh, AUGUST.

Well, now, both children are hollering and it's Phillip's work from home day which means he is HERE but I can't ask him to DO anything so LUCKY YOU it's time to end this disjointed purposeless collection of randomness. Molly says: jdsfkljdcno9. See you later!


You'd think I'd have it figured out by now

Anxiety left me alone this winter. I meant to post that on the first day of spring: FIRST ANXIETY-FREE WINTER IN YEEEEARS!, I mean, I was looking FORWARD to posting that, counting the DAYS, but I let it pass. I didn't forget exactly, but I had something else to say and my good news didn't seem so important. At first I was upset I left it out, then I decided it was a good thing. I've been defining my seasons by degree of anxiety for nearly eight years now, and the fact that my anxiety level for that season didn't even warrant a mention... well, that's amazing, actually.

All winter I waited. It had to crop up sometime, right? Something would happen, one of my "triggers", or even just a dark dismal isolating day, but any anxiety I felt was minimal. Fleeting. Easily forgotten the next day. I felt like I was getting away with something. I felt like the anxiety bus had missed my stop, but any minute the driver was going to notice I wasn't on board and rush back for me. I appreciated every anxiety-free evening at home, every night I fell asleep without watching TV or making Phillip keep the light on or downing generic brand Benadryl. I'd lie in bed expecting to fall asleep. Expecting it to happen, as if falling asleep on my own was normal.

But then, it WAS normal, and normal isn't really something you love or think about or pay any attention to. It was normal to be normal. While I can truthfully say I did not take advantage of my anxiety-free winter, that I was giving thanks nearly every day, my winter wasn't happier or prettier or more exciting. It was easier, less stressful, without the anxiety-related arguments and situations Phillip and I usually find ourselves dealing with. But other than that- it was normal.

Hindsight (and the more hindsight I gain) helps me pinpoint anxiety. For example, I've now been pregnant twice, and both times I was Super Duper Man This Sucks Anxious. I had about a trimester of anxiety with Jack, and three full-on every-minute godawful trimesters with Molly. But as soon as both babies were born, every shred, every drop of anxiety disappeared. Poof! The immediate months following their births were some of the best brain-wise I've had. I know how impossible that sounds, because people worry about post-partum depression, not pregnancy crazies, but that's not the case with me. I spent my whole Jack pregnancy preparing for the nervous breakdown I was sure to have once the baby was born- the only thing worse than anxiety would be anxiety with a new baby, right? But it didn't happen, either time. When and if Third Baby happens, I hope I can step outside of the anxiety long enough to remind myself that having the baby will help!

But it doesn't last, right? Jack was five months old when it came shuddering back, a series of child abuse cases in the news turning my head into a broken record of fear. Molly is seven months and I'm fine. It's spring now, today is gorgeous, and it's hard to see anxiety bothering me any time soon. Sun does wonders for my overactive imagination.

I started taking Vitamin D in the fall. LOTS of Vitamin D. I know what my starting level was, but I'm too afraid of needles and that rubber tourniquet thing to go back and have it checked again- and even if I did have it checked and my levels had skyrocketed, that's still not proof that Vitamin D helps. I've never taken it before, and my levels were very low, but it's still not proof.

I hopped back on the No Sugar bandwagon much sooner after this baby. I started regularly exercising for the first time in my life. I've been running several times a week for the last seven months. That's an entirely new thing, and something everyone says is beneficial not only for your physical health but your mental health as well. So maybe that's The Thing That Did It. Maybe it just helped.

I'm older. I'm stronger. I've been working on this anxiety thing for a long time. Maybe I know how to handle things a little better than I used to. Maybe I've really incorporated all the "tools", you know? I know what to say to myself when anxiety starts to creep into my shoulderblades. I know not to wait it out on my own, that I need help to think it through. I'm doing the right things.

I also know that anxiety doesn't make sense. I know that the very first time I experienced anxiety, it was because I'd convinced myself of something that wasn't true, that was, in fact, IMPOSSIBLE. And even though I knew this, that I repeated it to myself over and over, I was anxious anyway. I know that my thoughts loop around on each other and I don't have time to straighten things out in my head before the loop happens again. I know that not everyone has this problem, as shown by my husband, who, when I tell him what I'm thinking, looks at me with utter incomprehension. I know that my memories aren't lined upiand in their proper put away places, that something can happen tomorrow that will make me feel the feelings I had when I was fifteen. I know anxiety can come back at any time.

I decided to think of this winter as a gift. I have every expectation that I will be anxious again, maybe horribly so, but for now I am free of the assumption that every winter will be anxious. That every winter I'll be unable to fall asleep, afraid to do anything new, too jittery and nervous to enjoy a night out with Phillip, too isolated in my own head to make it through a day at home with the kids. Maybe instead of worrying about when anxiety will show up this fall, I'll worry about if anxiety shows up. Maybe that doesn't sound like an improvement, but OH it IS.


In which I get my way

Phillip likes to wake up on Saturday mornings and stay in bed for at least another hour. Then he likes to shuffle around in his pajama pants, watch TV, read the paper and eat enough breakfast to make up for not eating breakfast at all during the work week. He doesn't give one second's thought to where the day might take him. Me, on the other hand, I need to GET UP and DO STUFF.

We would have actual fights about this, way back before The Children when we had the OPTION of sleeping in. It drove me kerrrraaaaazy that we could waste an entire morning sitting around doing NOTHING. And that's exactly how I saw it: a waste. Phillip calls it "relaxing" as in, "I need to relax after all the what-are-we-going-to-do-today nagging", and I'm still not sure if I've managed to effectively communicate the fact that sitting around in the mornings is NOT RELAXING. For me. I understand that's what most people like to do on Saturday mornings but SERIOUSLY, SHOOT ME NOW.

I am a big fan of sitting around AS YOU KNOW, but Saturday morning is prime time for DOING STUFF and while Phillip is relaxing I am sitting there calculating all the time I'm losing. Now that we have kids, though, Phillip can't relax and I can't get anything done. So we don't argue about it anymore, but neither of us wins, which is lame.

Every once in a while, though, one of us calls dibs on a Saturday morning and the other is required to participate. Phillip will be all, "I had a harrrrrrd week," and give me The My Dog Just Died Face and then what else can I do except put on my bathrobe, make pancakes and watch The Simpsons until it's time for lunch? Other times (okay, a lot of times) Saturday is MINE. We run errands or do some contrived Family Outing or visit friends or do ten loads of laundry in a row. And this Saturday? Was reserved for the garden box. Phillip was sooooo excited.

Saturday involved one trip to Fred Meyer, one trip to Lowe's and three trips to Home Depot, the last of which Phillip completed by himself as was required to save the marriage. Fred Meyer because we thought dirt might be cheaper (nope), Lowe's because in our side streety efforts to avoid traffic we completely missed Home Depot, and Home Depot because its garden center is so much better than Lowe's IN MY NOT AT ALL EDUCATED OPINION.

We ended up with thirty bags of dirt (that's 30 cubic feet for those of you playing at home). The box could have actually used 40 cubic feet but my goodness is that a lot of dirt, and also, maybe you did not know this, you have to BUY the dirt. Dirt! It reminded me of when people would take Soils in college. A whole class on dirt? Seriously? It's worth that much?

I did a bit of research on what kind of dirt I was supposed to buy, but in the end I bought the cheapest stuff they had, plus seven or eight bags of steer manure, which completely grossed me out, but which was insisted upon by my father-in-law, who knows his dirt.

I bought these start-your-plants-inside peat pellet things recommended by Tara and six or seven bags of seeds. (I was going to link the peat pot thing, but when I searched for the link I found a HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA site and I don't want to be accused of, you know, corrupting America's Youth.) Cucumber, zucchini, peas, lettuce, beans and a butternut squash, because I buy a LOT of butternut squash. I planted the peat pellet things and then I planted seeds outside. Sounds redundant? But I will need something to plant in the garden box when my seeds refuse to sprout. Or, as was evidenced today, they are unceremoniously dug up by Jack.

I'm going to have tomatoes, but I'm going to buy seedlings. And I sort of want to grow them upside down, maybe, I don't know. And it's pointless to plant them now anyway because it won't get hot till, oh, August. (We were supposed to have nice warm weather this weekend, hence the garden boxing, but the best I can say for this weekend is: it didn't rain. Stupid weather people and their stupid forecasts.)

The last trip to Home Depot was for edging bricks. Phillip managed to sink about a fourth of them into the ground, but we've still got a lot left. And then I will be buying mulchy stuff to spread in the edged off area, transplanting some dahlias and camellias, shoveling up fifty tons of rocks and moving them out of my way, and figuring out a sandbox. So that when Jack follows me around trying to dig up everything in the garden box I can shriek, "Go dig in your SANDBOX!" and he can look at me like he doesn't understand English and go right back to hacking the seedlings to death. And that's just Phase Two of the Yard Improvement Plan. Phillip is SO EXCITED.

And if you thought THIS was fascinating, I bet you'll find the post about My Very First Run Outside a scintillating read. Weigh in Monday morning!


If it's Friday (or, uh, Thursday night PST), it's seven quick takes

1.
Does anyone do those grid logic puzzle thingies? Like this one? I'm wondering if there's an iPhone app. Can't find one via googlestalking and I'm normally pretty good at that so... hello mommyblog-reading developers! Please make me a way dorky logic puzzle thingy app!

2.
This is Phillip's work late Thursday and an old coworker of mine is coming over to keep me company. I haven't seen her since Molly was born. She's a bit older than me, in a different stage and setting of life and we don't have a whole lot in common except my old workplace, a fondness for pho and consistent agreement on what looks good and what doesn't. (She's a graphic designer, I'm a nitpicky perfectionistic dweeb.) When I last-minute-email-invited her over, her nearly-instant reply consisted of, "Can we watch Survivor?" Now, I have never seen one single episode of Survivor, had no idea it was on tonight and only vaguely remember Coworker chatting about it in the office. I said, "Of course!" because I find her commitment to television both impressive and admirable, and possibly this is why we get along so well.

3.
I somehow agreed to make 200 lemon bars (TWO HUNDRED LEMON BARS) for a churchy event. I am already up to my ears in other preparations for said churchy event, and now I am making 200 lemon bars. (TWO HUNDRED.) I am just going to say right now that these are going to be teeny weeny itty bitty bite-sized lemon bars. I am not going to use Smitten Kitchen's recipe, as those were gooeylicious and goo is not terribly conducive to the churchy event. I'm going to use someone else's recipe that requires the juice of one lemon per batch, about 3 tbsp. Does that sound AT ALL RIGHT to you? I mean, these are good lemon bars. Very yummy. And I made a test batch tonight (I told former coworker I'd provide her with treats) but still. I used, like, five or six of Elizabeth's "lemons" for the SK lemon bars so I am Suspicious. We shall see. ETA: Still yummy. Just a thin lemon layer and not at all gooey.

4.
I had pretty much decided not to join another church committee (I decided this while listening to Molly howl at 3 am, btw, perhaps not the best time for decision making) but then I woke up and saw that everyone thought I should keep this committee thing going. So now I am undecided again (YOU HAVE THE POWER) but I thought I would illustrate for you how very UNHELPFUL I am as a member of my current committee. Part of our job is to evaluate the liturgies. So. Practically half the meeting was evaluating Holy Week (for which I attended exactly 33%, oops) and there was Much Ballyhoo regarding whether, during the Easter Vigil, all the lights get turned on at the Gloria or the Alleluia. And here I am thinking to myself: 1) I have no idea and 2) I wouldn't have noticed if it was wrong or right and 3) I don't believe I could correctly identify the Gloria OR the Alleluia during the Mass. AND I AM ON THE LITURGY COMMITTEE.

5.
You need to speak financegeek to understand my friend The MBA Student's tweets, but he just tweeted about this site where you can take a quiz to find out what your "house style" is and I understand THAT. Who doesn't love quizzes? And who doesn't love imagining how they would decorate their homes if Great Great Uncle So and So suddenly keeled over and left you a wheelbarrow full of money? I am 50% Nantucket Style, 33% Vintage Modern and 17% Cottage Chic. Whatever that means.

6.
I continue to be completely and totally freaked out by the fact that when Jack was Molly's age I was already pregnant. I look at my chunk of a seven-month-old and think OH DEAR GOD. I mean, if it happens it happens and it obviously turned out fabulously (she's a CUTE chunk of a seven-month-old) but man am I NOT ready to do it all over again. I know that when Jack was seven months old I'd been thinking about "next baby" for a while (that's what happens when you want your kids close in age AND you have a ridiculously easy first baby). I still want my kids close in age and I definitely want a third baby, but I think third baby can take his or her time. I wonder how many people are out there with first and second babies close in age and a bigger gap between third and subsequent babies.

7.
Also! Favorite New Reader Carolyn left me this poem in the comments yesterday and it made me all SNIFFLY.

An Excuse For Not Returning the Visit of a Friend

by Mei-Yao Ch'en
Translated by Kenneth Rexroth

Do not be offended because
I am slow to go out. You know
Me too well for that. On my lap
I hold my little girl. At my
Knees stands my handsome little son.
One has just begun to talk.
The other chatters without
Stopping. They hang on my clothes
And follow my every step.
I can't get any farther
Than the door. I am afraid
I will never make it to your house.

seven quick takes are hosted here!


Before I go out to have FUN

I figured out through writing this and also this, over at Parenting today, that I am not doing very well. I wish these things dawned on me without having to Blog Extensively or without picking random fights with my husband because I am Vaguely Unhappy, but there you go. 


Being a Determinedly Optimistic sort, I have a really hard time admitting things aren't swell. Or, that they ARE swell and I am actually ENJOYING the swell, but that it's been a while since Phillip and I were out- really OUT-  and that I'm overdue to stuff my feet into a pair of uncomfortable shoes and have my husband order me a top shelf drink. Or, you know, go on a spa weekend. That'll work too.

Don't break out the prescription pad just yet. The sun is out. If you don't spend the entire winter with your whole skin shuddering for a taste of sun, I'm not sure you can understand what "the sun is out" MEANS to a person like that. We just moved our bed under the window and when I woke up this morning there was sunshine peeking through the blinds and instantly I knew: ALL IS WELL IN THE WORLD. Also because except for a 3 am pacifier call, Molly slept through the night. As the night before was, uh, the opposite of that, I HAVE to believe things are looking up. At least for now, right?

So instead of poking through the internet today we are packing up and hanging out with the friend I keep trying to visit. She lives super close to an amazing park and did I mention the sun is out? So I'll see you tomorrow. Oh, and should you feel compelled to leave an uplifting everything-will-get-better-soon comment, make sure to include a link to a pair of uncomfortable shoes. I could use some suggestions.