Seven quick Friday takes from a dark Thursday living room
The first of several thoughts on two under two

I bet someone's post topic will be, "Um, how about you just don't WRITE when you can't think of anything to write?" And then I'll have to be, "Hmm. Point taken."

I am trying to think of something I haven't told you before and I can't think of a single thing. Okay, well, a single BLOGGABLE thing. This is sort of bumming me out and making me think I should shut down the blog. "Sorry friends! Nothing left to say!"

On the other hand:

Via an angst-filled email exchange with Blogless Charlotte Pants and then a conversation this morning with Liz (or more like a Vomiting Of Things In My Head While Liz Listened Patiently, God Bless Her) I figured out what to do with that sad heap of words in my computer labeled NaNoWriMo. Charlotte helped me realize that I pretty much need to rewrite the entire thing (this is GOOD if not exactly HEARTENING) and while talking to (at?) Liz this morning I realized that I needed to quit drama-fying the rewrite (because DUDE there are a LOT of WORDS) and just, you know, start

So I came home this afternoon and hauled my laptop to a completely different part of the house and turned on my favorite Pandora station and closed my eyes. And then I rewrote the beginning. It's not fabulous. It's not awesome. But it's better than my other beginnings - more believable, more real, more true to who I think these characters are - and I needed that beginning to launch me into the rest. I have a hard time just jumping into a scene. I need to write them to know them, so I have to start as far back as makes sense. 

ANYWAY. BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Gosh, I really wish I could tell you something you didn't know. I don't know why I'm so stuck on this right now. I think I have it in my head that "Something You Don't Already Know!" would make a really excellent blog post at this point, in the same way that many annoying people think it makes an excellent ice breaker. (Have I told you how much I hate ice breakers? Probably.) 

*drums fingers on the table*

*sings a few bars of the Wiggles' rocket ship song: "BLAHSTing off to Mahws! ZOOMing through the stawhs! Watch the world go by in my rocket!"*

*looks around kitchen, wishes for Hershey bars*

Okay, so, this is a pointless exercise, isn't it? I sort of feel like I did this morning, when every time I tried to tell Liz about a movie or a book or something with a Name I had to sit there like I was eighty-seven years old and conjure it up from the depths of my furrowed-in-intense-concentration brow. And then I STILL couldn't think of the name! So I have an idea. I think YOU should tell me something about YOU. Oooh! Idea! Because when I got all "Like me on Facebook!" on you I saw that a bunch of you LIKED me but I didn't think I had MET you before. "Met" in this case meaning "read a comment you had written". HMMM. You Facebookers are a big bunch of LURKERS. 

But I confess. I lurk too. Which is why I think I will leave a comment on every single blog I read tomorrow. The famous and not-so-famous. (I stole this idea from Elizabeth. The running theme of this post is: I have none of my own ideas.) (Either I will leave comment after scintillating comment, or I will be too intimidated to open my feed reader at all!)

Okay people. SAY HELLO. If you happen to leave me a Post Topic you get brownie points. I will say hello BACK. It will be a grand day of Ice Breaking. But I'm going to write my other stuff now, and maybe sneak into the bag of chocolate chip cookies my mother-in-law made for her grandchildren. WHAT?

Comments

D Whipple

I'm a big time lurker that "liked" you on facebook. So.... uh, hi!
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This is why I don't comment (or blog). I don't have anything to say. I guess it's because I'm a teacher and I talk all day. Anyway, I enjoy your blog - I read it daily. Keep up the good work!

Elsha

I'm a total lurker. I've been getting better (because who doesn't love comments right?) but I probably read your blog for like a million years before I commented the first time.

Post topics, hmmmm. How about what you're reading? I always like to know what other people read. My reading list is only like a gazillion books long right now, so I could add a few.

C @ Kid Things

I'm not much of a lurker, I comment a bit I think, but I'm commenting again anyway. I can't really think of any interesting post topics, though. I mean, I get all my blog material from my kids.

Megan

Hi Maggie

I don't have a topic off the top of my head and the battery in my laptop is about to die but I did want to say Hi!

Megan

Wendy

Me, me, me, I'm a lurker who reads you every day to find out that my 3.5 year old son is not the only preschooler to drive his mother MAD CRAZY BATTY. Sorry, I'm sure your son is a lot better behaved than mine, but it's comforting to know that at least one other mom doesn't have a child that does everything he is told.

Found you through Daring Young Mom. Hmm..something about me? I'm having 7 layer dip and raw veggies and potato chips for dinner? Not too exciting. But at least all 3 kids are sleeping now, and I can hear my living room ceiling dripping water into the buckets.

A topic to blog about? you might have done this one already-how did you meet Phillip? I love "how we met" stories! I once asked all of my coworkers how they met their significant others and learned a lot about them from the stories. I was about 16 years old, and worked with around 30 women who were mostly 40-60 years old.

Charlotte

Write about television, lots and lots of television. Or your gardening efforts or go into minute details about Weight Watchers. Whatever it is, keep writing, not least because I'm buh-uh-ored and think that hourly updates would be fabulous.

Oh, dear. I'm responsible for all cookie and alcohol consumption? I'll take that.

Jen

Hello!

I've been lurking (and meaning to write/comment forever) due to our many similarities (me: white, raised Catholic, used to live in Seattle, married to a Chinese American guy, with one child who is 15 months and one who is due at the end of August/beginning of September (there will be 18 months between them), with OCD tendencies and a love of cake. And bread. Real bread.), and differences (*raised* Catholic, and I can't eat cake or bread because of the gluten. Gah.)

As far as topics are concerned: I know you talk about this in small pieces all the time, but any specific advice you want to give about the most useful tips/tricks for surviving with 2 under 2 would be highly appreciated. Or, for that matter, how you survived in your last trimester with Molly. I am no longer supposed to pick my 15 month old up. Ha.

Jen

Amy --- Just A Titch

I don't know if I qualify as a lurker, but HELLO, and please, for the love of pete, leave me a topic idea, too.

Formerly Gracie

I'm a sometimes commenter, so not enttrely a lurker. I've been really bad about leaving comments since I started reading blogs on my smartphone when a catch a moment here and there. It's not the easiest to type on, so I plan come back later when I'm on my lappy but then the baby starts crying... or my big kid yells "Emergency" when it's really not, or Monkeys! I just plain forget. So yeah, sorry about that. I still adore you all the same.

Steph

Hi,
I'm a lurker but only due to time. Something about me...I'm Italian so naturally I love bread too, I'm also a speech pathologist. I love reading your blog- even when you don't have a post topic!

ccr in MA

Yeah, I usually lurk, too. Sorry?

My newspaper delivery is now ten minutes late. Discuss.

Petroni

My general lurking is a product of often reading blogs via Google reader on my iPhone. It's just a hassle to link through and comment that way, you know? But I always WANT to comment (and have, a few times).

Anyway, love the blog!

As for a post topic--and this is purely for selfish reasons--was there anything you DID to help your kids become good nappers (Jack's current naplessness notwithstanding). My kiddo is a chronic short napper, and I am desperate to stretch these naps into something more useful, both for me and for him. Yesterday there were three 35-minute naps, and it was UGLY by the end of the day.

Maybe you could talk about your favorite places to go in the new 'hood?

Ellen

I'm pretty new around here, so maybe you wrote about this before (sorry!) But since I live across the country from you, how about writing a post about how you ended up in the Pacific Northwest, what you like and dislike about it, and if you could live anywhere else (cost and opportunity are no obstacle), where you would.

jessica

I lurk probably more than I comment. But I know we've had "conversations" before. At least I remember.... you have lots of adoring fans.

Sarah in Ottawa

Work and illness (after our trip) are kicking my ever-loving butt, so I haven't been commenting as often or even updating my own blog. SHAMEFUL! But I read each post faithfully, promise. And though I take breaks from Facebook, I will "like" you soon!

As for topics: how is life now that you are almost halfway done your tenure as a grad school wife? How is it better/worse/different than you'd expected? What about the Hawaii trip - plans? And just like Jen above...any stories/tips/etc. about the 2-under-2 experience would be great. Juggling double strollers, all that jazz - I'd love ANY info!

maggie

I've commented a few times, but I'm curious what genre of stories you like to write. You might have said before and I missed it. And have you written any books or short stories you have tried publishing? I loved doing nanowrimo too, although mine is far from publishing material :-)

Miriel

Oh my GOSH I have been struggling with the exact same thing: nothing to write about--or, at least, nothing GOOD to write about. But I would like you to know that I heard Taylor Swift on the radio over the weekend and it made me think of you.

Arwen

I am the worst commenter ever, I think. My iPod Touch has totally wrecked the limited commenting habit I had before I got it.

But I'm here, reading! I will always be here reading, even if you turn this into a blog about your habit of collecting antique wagon wheels.

I would like you to write about whether your kids hit each other. I can't remember if you've mentioned it. Do they? Because Blaise is 16 months old now and we are going through the sibling rivalry/aggression stage right now (like, if Camilla is on my lap, Blaise tries to push her off - WITH BITING - that kind of thing). Did your kids have a phase like this? Did it END?

Lani

I am a lurker who has never left a comment and has no real reason to be lurking on a website primarily about parenting because I have no children. That being said, I love your personality and stream of consciousness writing style. My suggestion for a blog topic is going to be a tad bit selfish, but oh well. I will be coming to Seattle next week for six days and I would love to read a post about your favorite restaurants, shopping areas, or points of interest.

Life of a Doctor's Wife

Not a lurker, but I love your blog - even the "I don't know what to write" writing. Even though I'm not a parent, I am fascinated by the parenting topics. What about writing about some (any?) of the things you were sure you were going to do/not do as a parent before you had kids... and how they changed once your first came along?

Jessica

You must be really bored if you're going to read MY blog (and seriously, you don't have to). My post idea: shortcuts you've found as a mom. Like this weekend, we threw a first birthday party at our house and OMG-so much work. I think next time we'll go to the party room at Pizza Hut or something. (Not really, but I wish we would).

Jessica

P.S. You'll be my first comment ever! Aren't you honored?

Ashley

I've commented a couple of times and we've had one or two Twitter "conversations" but for the most part, big fat lurker here! I don't comment for the same reason I don't blog: If I can't get the wording juuuust right to convey my point (which is often), I think, "Screw it. Someone smarter and more articulate than I has probably already thought of it anyway." But I'm here! And I read your blog daily! My babies were born in May 2007 and October 2008, so I can usually relate to whatever's going on with your kids.

I like reading your thoughts on Third Baby because I totally have Baby Fever right now in spite of the fact that there certainly is not a Third Baby in my future. I can live vicariously through you!

Carrie

I'm a lurker - Hi from South Dakota!!

Christiana

I am not a lurker. Sometimes I worry that you think I'm stalking you. :)

But I did like you on FB. Because I DO like you and because I need a FB 12-step. :)

Anyhow, blog post topic: Um... what is your least favorite kids TV show and why it is evil. :) And be prepared for me to post on this some time in the near future, too!

Brittany

I'm a lurker. Although I have commented a few times. I tend to do that- lurk and then randomly comment as if the blogger might have any inkling of who the heck I am.

susan

I think I would qualify as a lurker although I think I may have commented once. I would love to hear more about your new neighborhood and where you live. How your house is coming along.

Jess

The fact that you HAVE a pile of words to rewrite is already SO CRUCIAL. I mean that is the biggest part of the whole thing, you know?

craftyashley

I tend to comment a lot too. I don't know about topics- I always like reading whatever you post! Even this one is amusing. I would like to know (and you may have posted this before) how you potty trained Jack- how you are liking new neighborhood- neighbors?
Any big summer plans?

Michelle

Hello from Minnesota! I consider myself a professional blog lurker. I read at least 7 different blogs daily and never comment even though I do want to some days. And like Ashley (above) I also feel like if I can't convey my point just right, I just don't comment!

As for topics, I agree with some of the others...what books are you reading, how did you and Phillip meet, do you have any pets? You could write about them.

I don't have kids either, but I love your personality and your writing style and just enjoy hearing what you do have to say about your kids. I follow a few other mommy blogs and find the stories entertaining...but I'll just wait. I'll have my own soon one day! :)

Christy

I comment very sporadically. Ideas?
Aren't you going to Hawaii soon? Talk about THAT. I never don't want to hear about Hawaii.

What music are you listening to? I don't listen to the radio, so I rely on offhand mentions in blogs to get new music to listen to.

What else? Pictures of your kids. They never get old. The pictures, not the kids.

HereWeGoAJen

Because if we didn't blog unless we had something good to say, we'd NEVER blog. And that is why I believe everyone will be hearing about my freshly cleaned carpets later today. Or maybe that is too boring and I should go with baby pictures?

I shall go do whatever it is on Facebook I am supposed to do. I didn't before because I think we were moving.

Blog topic: How to Get Ugly Linoleum Clean. (Sub-topic: The People Who Lived in Jen's House Before Her Were Slobs.)

Lisa

I lurk and occasionally comment as well. I don't remember how I found your blog, but I can relate. I had 2 kids in less than 2 years. My oldest turned 3 today and has a serious listening deficiency. I am a mommy who resorts to yelling (but I'm trying to reform). I live just across the mountains from you in Wenatchee. I don't have any ideas about blog topics, but I love reading about your adventures in parenting and baking!

Shannon

Hi Maggie- another blogless occasionally commenter here! Hawaii! Tell us about Hawaii! :) Since I just moved too, I'd also love to hear how you're settling into your new neighborhood, finding places, etc. With just one car too, that's the part we're still struggling with since neither of us knows where anything is.

Lori

Longtime lurker/reader from Texas . . . soon to be lurking from Germany. I really enjoy your blog and reading about the escapades of Jack & Molly.

Julie

Yet another lurker. (Are you surprised by how many of us there are?) I've typed comments a couple times (re laundry, grocery shopping, systems for storing all the STUFF), but gave up and didn't post when I couldn't get them just right. But I read all the time, and recommend your blog to others because you say just what I'm thinking! About me: grew up in Seattle, attended UW, lived briefly in Europe, now living in Kirkland, Catholic, 5 kids, two of whom are close in age to yours. Love your writing style, but I think I also enjoy your blog because of some of our similarities.
Do you have any tips for making real life mom friends? My old parish church had a Moms Group which was great for fellowship for both moms and kids, but we moved and the new parish doesn't have it. Yes, I know I should start it myself but...
Also, post more on the Catholic part of your blog!

Shannon

oooh...I'm a lurker. Not a Facebook clicking lurker, but a lurker nonetheless. And I've been lurking for a long time. Like since around the time you announced you were pregnant with #2.

I'm not sure where I found you...maybe you commented on another blog that I lurk around.

I'm good at lurking.

Maybe I'll stop lurking so much.

Jen @ The Short Years

Hello. I'm low on blog ideas and procrastinating instead of working on my novel as well. If I did have any post ideas...well, I'd probably save them for myself :)

Good luck.

Julie

Hi Maggie,

I'm a several-years-reader, and sometimes commenter. But, since I don't have a blog, and when I comment I just show up as "Julie", and I'm sure there are lots of other "Julie's" and that you can't tell me from them.

(Can you, and I just don't know it?!?)

And my favorite post topics are just about random day to day goings on. Particularly if there are pictures!

lindsay

I have no topics... but love that this is a near daily blog filled with awesomeness. Keep it up Cheung!

Christina

Holy Cats. This is a lot of comments. Clearly you are one very loved blogger. :)

Topic: Favorite 80's movie and why. OR If you could re-live one day from high school or college, what day would it be? (I love your high school flashback posts!)

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters

Delurking (again?) to say I love your blog! And I vote for a post on how exactly you go about grocery shopping with two little ones as this is something I've still not been able to do. Granted, I'm only 3 months in, but summer is coming and I'm gonna need to get out of the house every once in a while! :) I'll even take a post on how you keep them simultaneously entertained throughout the day without going crazy.

Do those ideas get me any brownie points? Or do they just make you want to drink like they do me? ;)

roberta

Another "I never comment and I don't have a blog" commenter delurking. I think this is the first time I have ever commented on your blog. I too am a SAHM to 2 kids, but mine are both boys, one is 3 1/2 and the other just turned one. I also live on the opposite coast, so I love reading about the Pacific Northwest. I love reading your blog and do not find your writing boring, even when you thinking you are boring. topics, hmmm... Hawaii, SAHMing, the new neighborhood, running or lack thereof.

Carrie

Hi from MN! I am a complete lurker...I have been reading your posts for a few years now, and NEVER commented until now...sorry! I love reading about your every day life and how you deal (or don't) with things. I can COMPLETELY relate, and love that I'm not the only one!

Manda

I would like a post about how to survive pregnancy and a toddler simultaneously whilst keeping your dignity intact. My toddler is currently trampling all over me in my weakened state. TRAMPLING. I am reduced to tears almost daily, I have no alone time, and my house is a filthy toy-strewn MESS. HALP.

Shelby

I bet I probably still count as a lurker because I don't always comment, but I promise I read every single thing you write. Usually first thing in the morning before I go to work.

Blog post ideas: Are you still watching Friday Night Lights? What do you think? What exactly is this "off the grid" thing that you guys have going on? OH, and what sort of process do you use for your cloth diapers??

Something you don't know about me? I talk to Darren about you all the time, and I always call you "Maggie-from-Seattle".

Sarah

You should kind of "know" me as I was the one who mailed you the pictures last summer. I would love to hear about coping techniques with two. Our next kiddo is due anywhere from 3-8 weeks, and I'm beginning to freak out that perhaps running my own business and dealing with a 3 year old and a newborn might make me a tad busy (and perhaps crazy).

Oh, you're welcome to comment on my blog, but I haven't updated in ages. I have lots of ideas, but sadly, they are all still ideas.

Zindzi

Hi from Argentina, Maggie!! Sleep-deprived Catholic SAHM of one 4 month old - just hanging in there most days (insert gaping yawn here). Awesome blog, even if you write about writing about stuff....(eye twitch)

Sonya in San Antonio aka Glam-O-Mommy

Hi Maggie...I read your blog every day and post occasionally. I really enjoy reading your posts about motherhood. You are very funny and a good writer. I discovered you through your Parenting Post blog. Anyhoo, I just started blogging in March and realized I am struggling to keep blogging. I have lots of ideas and start lots of posts to save the idea before it leaves my brain, but since I am a working mom who writes for my job, sometimes I come home and the last thing I want to do is write some more, even when it's about me and being a mom, which is my favorite thing. So I am going to keep at it, but I know my blog will never be a daily (weekly even LOL) thing, unless, of course, I ever get laid off, and then I am sure my blog entries would go up dramatically! I want to hear more about when you find time to write in your day, do you write at the same time, what is your novel about, etc. Plus, what do you feel has been your best moment as a mom? Worst moment? And like others have mentioned, I'd like to know more about your relationship with Phillip! Since this is kind of an icebreaker post, I am going to share something random about myself, which is what I use during icebreakers at work functions: I can drive a tractor. Little known fact about me that you would never guess by looking at me. My grandpa was a farmer, and he taught me to drive it the summer I was 15. So there you go...I'll have to go friend you on Facebook when I have a minute. :)

Melanie

Here's my official confession: I read your stuff all the time, but don't really comment. I blame the fact that most of the time, I'm reading it from Google Reader - and plus, during most of the year I'm *technically* supposed to be teaching middle schoolers while I'm checking out the latest updates.

But I love your writing style and the fact that you sound like my English major friends from college. And yes, I did friend you on Facebook!

sara

I'm a total lurker, I admit it!! But I am Princess Nebraska's BFF from grade school, so I feel like I already know you. :) I love what you have to say. I have a just-turned-two year old and am due in August with my second. The kids will be sharing a bedroom, so I am a bit scared after all of your stories, but it's great to go into it with my eyes open! Keep writing, because I'll keep reading even when you have "nothing" to say. :)

Kathleen

Im an infrequent commenter, mostly lurker, and I like you on fb.

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