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May 2008

My job

When Phillip got home tonight I didn't want to tell him about my day. He'd spent the last eight or nine hours sitting at a desk writing database reports and lurking about a windowless server room and showing people how to right click.

I spent my morning spending a scandalous amount of money on things I wished I was buying for myself, but was buying for friends about to experience wonderful moments in their lives. I took Jack to the little playground in the middle of the shopping center where I watched him watch the big kids run all around him. We looked at books in the bookstore. We ate pasta with fattening white sauce for lunch. We smiled at other babies. We walked wherever we wanted to walk, in nice enough weather, and we decided when it was time to go home.

Sure there was the hour when Jack, having woken up when I pulled him out of his car seat, decided that a ten minute nap in the car was enough nap for him. And after an hour of hoping and peeking I finally got him out of his crib and marched us downstairs in tears, because my nicely planned afternoon was now ruined and how am I supposed to clean up the house when he's awake to step in my piles of dust and crawl inside the dishwasher? I fumed and wiped mascara streaks off my face and Jack wandered over to me and patted me on the leg, as if to say, "All right, Mom, time to get over it."

I cleaned up anyway, and Jack "helped" and then we watered flowers and moved furniture for the party and made a last minute grocery list. I gave him a teether and we sat on the couch watching my favorite politics show. And then we tried for another nap and this time it worked.

I got everything done. I read a little bit of the umpteenth Magdalen Nabb mystery I borrowed from my dad. I tooled around on the computer. I heard Jack wake up and we went downstairs to play and get dinner ready. A little while later his dad came home and wanted to know how my day was.

And I didn't want to say, because so many times I think this can't possibly be my life. How am I getting away with this?

It's business time

First order of business: does a one napper start sleeping later in the morning? Jack's not awake yet and it's just about eight. NOT THAT I AM COMPLAINING. NO NO NO. It's just... a little weird. Like, we wake up on our own.

Second order of business: I don't remember this from my first pregnancy, but the DREAMS! All right people, not THOSE kinds of dreams, these are all dreams in which I somehow meet up again with All The Boys I've Ever Loved, only we're grownups and we go out for coffee and things are totally different. It's kind of like my brain is making up it's own kind of closure. Again, NOT COMPLAINING, it's just... again with the weird! (Oh, and also the dream I had this morning where I went down to my brother's house and got his gun- YES, A GUN- and shot the &*%$(*#$% crows outside my window who started screeching at 5am.)

Third order of business: I'm feeling a little bad for my post at Parenting yesterday, like I inadvertently labeled all teenagers Dreadful Babysitters. When really, I was just saying that I was a dreadful babysitter. And I wasn't even that dreadful, honest! There were two kids in particular I looked forward to hanging out with. But I certainly didn't babysit because I looove kids and I doubt most teenage babysitters do it because they looove kids. Not that they HATE kids, but don't tell me all the good babysitters would babysit for free. Which brings me to a point I neglected to make: if you don't have the free kind of babysitter (yay grandparents!) IT'S SO EXPENSIVE. They're charging 25 cents more for POPCORN at the MOVIE THEATER and you've got to go home and pay your sitter too? Yikes. I'm not sure we could afford to go out either.

And guess what there's a FOURTH order of business, in which I tell you that the conversation I had with my family last night about names has completely thrown all my name choices in the AIR. They are now free falling about me and hopefully landing in a preferred order. I struggle between not wanting to share the names we like because Hello, my name is Maggie, I don't handle disapproval well! and dying to share our names so I can get approval (if there is any to be had) and feel better about everything. Since so many people tell me, "Just pick the one you like! Everyone else will deal!" it makes me believe my People Pleasing Genes are even more out of whack than I thought.

ANYWAY. I'm looking forward to my day with Jack. This late wake up means it should be fairly easy to keep him up until lunchtime, and I'm planning to go to the trendy outdoor shopping mall and spend some money. On a wedding gift and a baby gift, so money I HAVE to spend, you understand. We'll eat lunch there and maybe fall asleep in the car on the way home (him, not me) and I'll successfully carry him upstairs and lay him down while he's still asleep and then he'll sleep for at least two hours. RIGHT?

One of those "just so I remember it later" posts

Nap Status! Who cares? Me!
Yesterday Jack slept from 11:30 to 1:30. He took a cat nap from 4:30 to 5. He went right to bed at 7:30. He woke up for the day at 7:15. Could it be that one nap is getting him to sleep better at night as well? Be still my beating heart! Today won't be consistent, since he'll sleep in the car on the way to my folks' house (about an hour drive) but it feels nice to actually have a STRATEGY or something. You know? Instead of just going along with whatever and having no idea what to do.

I should have a post up at today, although it's not there yet. It's about babysitters... and how I am afraid of them. The neuroses! They multiply!

In other news, my kid is so freakin' adorable. NO REALLY. I'm realizing now that I was in some kind of Horrible Fog from about January to April. I was throwing up all the time, the weather was miserable, we never left the house and Jack was just entering the world of mobility. So I was having to keep him away from the books and the stairs and the cabinets and I felt like I did nothing except feed him and pick up after him. But now that I'm feeling like myself again, it's like I have this new baby. I'll say that his tiny personality has asserted itself (to put it nicely), but there are also these other things. Like, suddenly he's become sort of cuddly. I know! Last night Phillip and I were both sitting on the couch and he crawled up in between us and just hung out there for a bit, kicking his feet into Phillip's stomach and butting his head into my shoulder. My brother gave him a stuffed dog for his birthday and I thought, "Oh, cute, another stuffed animal" but PEOPLE, Jackson LOVES THIS DOG. He hugs it while riding in the car seat, he hugs it in the shopping cart. He has lots of stuffed toys and all of them are getting this treatment lately. And he doesn't just chew on them either! I know!

As for the other kid... I'm starting to be a little nervous about this one. This kid kicks me everywhere. She's not big enough to be causing any permanent damage, but still. Annoying. And! Scarier still, she is CONSTANTLY MOVING. I remember Jack kicking me a lot and I know I don't remember well enough to compare, but it seems like this new baby doesn't stop. First thing in the morning, all day long, when I'm trying to go to sleep... what if she's one of those energetic babies who doesn't like to sit and watch television? WHAT WILL I DO?

Anyway, I've got to take a shower now (remember when I asked you how to take a shower? Lately, with this late napping boy, the shower solution is Phillip watching him for a bit before he goes to work and SIGH I get out of bed.)

Now if only we can get some sun back to this part of the world all will be well. I swear, it's almost time for summer and we haven't even had SPRING. Where do I file my complaint?

A small victory!

That was so helpful you guys, SO HELPFUL.

I just needed a little Confirmation of My Suspicions. Last night I informed Phillip that there would be no morning nap and we would see how things go. It is now 11:25 and Jack has just gone down for his first nap of the day. He was up at 7:30 which made me feel a little better about pushing back his nap, because that's sort of on the late side for him (and after going to BED at 7:30 and sleeping through, holy moly, there IS a Santa Claus!) I dragged him to the grocery store around 9 and hoped against hope that he wouldn't fall asleep on the way home. He didn't, thanks to the 47 stoplights between our house and the store, and then I was looking at another hour to kill before 11, the earliest possible time I could give him lunch.

Sooooo... I ADMIT IT, I parked him in front of a Sesame Street singalong DVD while I unloaded the dishwasher and cleaned up the breakfast dishes. He happily bopped along and laughed to himself and oh, so adorable. From 10:30 to 11 we played with the heaps of toys he got for his birthday (I've noticed that girls get a new wardrobe on their first birthdays, boys get enough toys to fill a small living room) and then I heated up some lunch that was 1) easy to eat and 2) rarely refused. I mean,. I'd been keeping him up so long, I didn't want to make him work for his lunch as well.

It went okay at first, but he got crankier and crankier and I finally wasn't able to stuff any more food into his mouth without a small fist knocking the spoon across the room. I wasn't sure he'd eaten enough, so I gave him a rice cracker and took him upstairs to, what else, check my email. He likes to wander around my room and get into all the grown up things and I still had another 10 minutes to waste before 11:30, my naptime goal. I must say, when you are trying to keep the baby up it sure helps to have a kid who never lets on that he might be sleepy.

In his crib by 11:25, howling for 30 seconds, asleep by 11:30.

11:30 is still too early, but I'm hoping he sleeps a long time. A girl can wish! And the plan is to get him used to one nap and slowly push it into the afternoon. I'm not sure if there's a point to this, since we're still leaving in the morning for my parents' house and he'll fall asleep in the car, and then there's the matter of the baby shower we're throwing on Saturday and will I want him to nap before that or not, but today feels moderately successful. I wonder what the afternoon will be like...

Yesterday he slept all of 20 minutes before the moms group babies woke him up. Then he took an hour and a half nap in the afternoon. It was perfect. PERFECT. I am so gunning for a one nap lifestyle!

You know how I don't read books, right? I probably should. I was vaguely aware of this one nap transition thing, but I didn't know anything about it. And my friends' kids are angel babies who sleep for hours in the afternoons while their mothers eat bon bons and paint their toenails. So, you know, I thought it just HAPPENED. And it never occurred to me that Jack would start dropping his afternoon nap rather than the morning one.

It makes me wonder how many things are going to crop up in Toddler Land. I know nothing about toddlers. Or preschoolers. Or kindergarteners. I am SCREWED!

TOTD! Nap Transitions! Your experience please!

Topic Of The Day! (Forget that stuff I wrote last night! This is more important!) HOW DID YOUR SWEET ANGELIC BABY TRANSITION TO ONE NAP?

Around nine and a half or ten months, MY sweet angelic baby's clockwork nap schedule went poof. Cue many angsty blog posts. Around eleven months his nighttime sleep went down the toilet too. Cue MORE angsty blog posts. Around twelve months I decided to give up. Schedules, cry it out, waking him up, leaving him in his crib for an hour even if he wasn't sleeping- none of it was working. Some days he took two naps, some days he took one nap, some nights he slept through, some nights he was wide awake between midnight and two, some nights he woke us up whimpering every other hour. And did I mention that nothing we tried seemed to matter? NOTHING HELPED.

Hence the giving up. I am still frustrated, because I never know when to plan anything and even if he has a string of two nap days, one rotten night will have him waking up late and not napping the next day at ALL, so WHO KNOWS. Like this week he seemed to "regress" into two regular naps. Until last night, when he had a hard time going down and probably didn't really fall asleep until 8:30 or 9 and woke up at 7:45. Which is pretty late for him. Which means it is 10:15 right now and he is in his crib just in case he is interested in a nap. Although as soon as the moms group babies arrive (he has a sixth sense about other! babies!) he will be up and demanding to play.

Anyway. The giving up means giving up on a routine, which I'd always thought was absolutely necessary for baby-rearing, but I suppose it is only absolutely necessary if the baby WANTS a routine. Which mine clearly does not. At least right now. But! Giving up means I am not wailing about it on the phone to my mother and my friends and hopefully you've noticed a sharp decrease in blog angst. (Don't respond to that.)
But! There's still the matter of what to do in any given morning or afternoon and because I have no plan of attack, no strategy, no routine, I am perplexed by what to do every single day.

It appears that my kid is pushing back his morning nap. He is no longer tired exactly 2 hours after he wakes up. More like two and a half, three, three and a half. So I've been waiting longer to try putting him down. Which is fine. But then sometimes that is his ONLY NAP. There are days when I put him down at ten, he'll sleep for an hour and a half, and that's it. Or he'll get tired around 4 or 5, but I don't put him down then because he'll never go to bed on time. Those days he'll go to bed earlier which usually means he wakes up earlier which means an entirely different kind of day.

It really helped a lot to hear my pediatrician say that when her son was transitioning to one nap, he seemed to drop the afternoon nap. I kind of think that's what Jack is doing. If he gets a morning nap early enough, the afternoon nap is a given, even if it's hard to come by or doesn't last very long. But if the morning nap is more like a late morning nap, there goes my afternoon coffee break.

Since I'd much rather he take his nap after lunch like a GOOD BABY, I've been wondering how to encourage that. Like this morning he woke up late and I thought about just keeping him up until after lunch. I didn't, mostly because I had to clean up the living room and does anyone else's baby like to walk directly into the pile of dust and crumbs you've just swept into a nice pile? Just mine? So I stashed him in the crib thinking that if he was still awake when the moms group comes over I'd just get him up. But now I think he's right about to fall asleep and everyone's coming in 5 minutes.

Why am I writing a post if everyone's coming in 5 minutes???

Oh! AND all of this seems to be influenced by how much his teeth are hurting that day because THE MOLARS ARE COMING THE MOLARS ARE COMING.

Anyway. Just wondering what it was like for you!

Names, reservations and furniture, oh my!

It's Monday night. I'm writing now because I think the moms group is coming over tomorrow morning which means I'll have to spend nap time picking up the living room. (I could do it now, but did you know there's a Deadliest Catch marathon on? Right. Priorities.) Oh, and I don't even know if they're coming because it wasn't on the calendar (we have a calendar!) and no one's responded to my email and have you met me and my RSVP issues? So. Who knows.

About the NAME thing... My mom called me all, "What is the Louisa name! I need to know what the Louisa name is!" so I told her and maybe I should always share name choices over the phone because you can choose to misinterpret phone silence and hesitation while it's impossible to misinterpret The Face. 
I'm feeling better about using an Unusualish Possibly-Not-Universally-Liked Name thanks to your willingness to play along and choose between FAKE NAMES, what good sports!, but still not decided.  Whatever. It's not like I'm having this baby tomorrow. And we were still deciding on Jack's name after he was born, so it's not like we don't have Name Indecision Precedent. (Physically restraining myself from continuing on this subject because whooooo caaaaares?)

Also, I'm a touch preoccupied because I've been trying to make hotel reservations for the wedding we're attending in June. And between the "max occupancy" error I got online and the reservations I made on the phone and the weird email saying I have a reservation for one room (I needed two) in Victoria (where the wedding is NOT taking place), I'm, to put it nicely, perplexed. I'm going to have to call a stranger on the phone AGAIN and you know how much I enjoy doing THAT.

Anyway! We had a lovely Ikea-free weekend. And "Ikea-free" certainly does not mean we didn't spend any money. We first spent a ton of money at the Cheesecake Factory for a friend's birthday, because Phillip and I never want to eat the same thing and therefore have no interest in sharing a gigantic plate of Cheesecake Factory food. (Like how I said "don't want to eat the same thing" instead of "want a giant plate of food all to ourselves" which would be what is actually true?) Then we spent a ton of money at dim sum yesterday (see: want a giant plate of food all to ourselves) and THEN we spent a ton of money on patio furniture for our patio that is roughly the size of a dining room table. Actually, it was pretty cheap considering we bought four piece wooden set (and then gave the bench to my sister because hello, dining room table-sized patio!) So, okay, not terribly expensive furniture, but when you add in the decorative pillows I bought (for lumbar support!) and the hotel reservations and that trip to Target and the flowers I have to buy at Home Depot tomorrow because my next door neighbor is TOTALLY OUTDOING ME, it's adding up. Pretty soon I will not be able to say, "But we have that big tax refund!" OR "We got that stimulus check!" because DUDE, we have done our economy-stimulating part. 

So, it's Monday night and someone has to go back to work tomorrow and someone else has to entertain the boy all by herself tomorrow and woe is us. Although it shouldn't be too bad (for ME) since I now have a nice chair to sit in while my kid splashes in his water table. Which he is most certainly going to do since tomorrow is supposed to be the only warm-ish day for the next fourteen weeks (you can never say "hot" here, only "warm", alas) and WE MUST TAKE ADVANTAGE.

But first, I must call the reservations line and inquire as to why I have the wrong kind of reservation in the wrong COUNTRY.

I hope you all had lovely weekends too.

ANOTHER weekend post? LUCKY YOU.

So, as I may have mentioned one or two times before, I'm having a hard time picking a name for this baby. We have a just-in-case boy name, but I'm stuck between two girl names and I CAN'T DECIDE.

Last night I rounded on Phillip all, "WHY AREN'T YOU HELPING" because seriously! It's like he has Selective Hearing when I start talking about names. And while I have brought it up a lot in the last day or two, it's not like I've spent the last five months pestering him with names. So suck it up, right? PAY ATTENTION. I said clearly, to give him the benefit of the doubt, "Which name do you like better? Name X or Name Y?" AND HE IGNORED ME.

I know. I know! I took a few deep breaths before I called the lawyer and then I decided to ask him what was up. I said, "DUDE. What is UP?" And, according to Phillip, he likes both names and, you know, one is like this and the other is like this and he likes both and he doesn't know and the subtext was LAY OFF ME, WOMAN.

And so, I come to the internet. Again. What did people do without the internet?

(My mom and I were talking about this the other night, except fill in "cell phones" for "internet". My mother owns a cell phone, but I don't think she ever turns it on. Or takes it out of the car. Which makes me wonder how she manages to find my dad when they split up in the grocery store, because really, how did people find each other before they could just whip out their phone and call the other person? But then we started talking about texting which I have done maybe three times in my entire life and oh dear God how old are we?)


So I am trying to decide between two names. I am not going to tell you what they are because I have already told you that 1) I am pregnant and 2) it's a girl and WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE TO SURPRISE YOU WITH? so you're just going to have to deal. But I will tell you that the first name is a lot like "Annie" in style and feel and the second name is a lot like "Louisa". So just work with me, people.

We like "Annie" because it's cute and simple and while hardly anyone keels over with excitement when I say we're thinking of it, no one thinks it's awful. The general reaction is "Adorable!" Which is fine with us. I think of my own name as being in the Cute section and it's worked out okay for me. What we don't like about "Annie" is that it is just cute. Also, it began life as a nickname for another name, and while it is a full fledged name on it's own now, it's still nicknamey to me. It also doesn't go with the middle name I'd like to use. Neither of those things are huge deals, but they prevent me from saying to my dad (who asks me the most), "We're going to name her "ANNIE", now STOP BUGGING ME." (Confidential to my dad: but you are forgiven because you actually want to TALK about names and you liked Jack's name before we even told you it was going to BE his name and I am definitely going to ask your opinion of my second name!)

"Louisa" is one of those names I've always liked, but is not terribly common and I'm afraid of saying, "I'm thinking about Louisa" for fear of The Face. You know The Face. One of my sisters is particularly good at it (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.) The Face tells you that this person thinks the name you like reeks of Lindburger cheese. But! It's not a MADE UP name. It's an old timey name that hasn't quite risen to modern popularity like a lot of other old timey names. It's prettier and more sophisticated than "Annie" and has two obvious nicknames. However! The full name is a bit matchy matchy with Jack and the nickname I like best is SUPER matchy matchy. I like the other nickname well enough, though, and she would probably go by that name most of the time. We like the idea of a longer more formal name with a quick nickname. And it goes with the middle name I want.

Today I like "Louisa" best, even though someone once told me that she could see me having a girl named "Annie" and I doubt she'd say the same thing about "Louisa". But that's partly why I like "Louisa" today. The only things holding me back are the matchiness and the potential Faces. I know I shouldn't care about the Faces, but have you met me?

So, internet, what would you pick? (Ha. I love that I am asking you to pick between two fake names.)

ALSO! I would like to say that I am not normally so OCD about NAMES. I mean, what is wrong with me? I am plenty OCD about a million other things, but names? Not so much. Popularity is not a big deal to me (I looooove Emma and would totally be considering Super Duper Popular Emma if my grandmother hadn't always had a story about her friend Emma Mae when I was growing up, which is now my connotation for Emma, BOO.) And if you want to name your kid what I'm naming my kid, I don't really care. Although if our kids end up playing together a lot it'd be kind of annoying. But my mom always told me she wanted to have a girl named Maggie and a boy named Alex and guess what, she has both, and I kind of wish there was a name I'd always wanted.

ALL RIGHT. End of super whiny terribly boring post about NOTHING, thank God I'm posting on a Sunday, no one reads this thing on SUNDAYS, and tomorrow's even a holiday, EXCELLENT.

And I'm still not going to Ikea. But I will think of you dim sum cravers as I pop a fourteenth siu mai into my mouth. Mmm.

Change of plans

Guess what we are NOT doing this weekend?

Going to Ikea.

Today we are going to the playground where Mommy is going to drink a latte she's been craving all week while someone else takes over swing duty. Swings just sound like more fun than Swedish modern.


The rest of the weekend will be a whole lot of nothing where the nothing is occasionally interrupted by dim sum and Thursday night season finales on Tivo.


Even when I have nothing to say I still manage to fill the compose window...

Today at Parenting I attempt to rationalize my lack of belly shots, blog posts and new girly bedding for the new baby. "Harrumph," says New Baby. "Good luck with THAT one."

After I wrote that Fix Up My Bedroom post yesterday I got all kinds of wigged out. I not exactly the patient type and it was driving me up a wall that I couldn't go out RIGHT THAT SECOND and buy everything I needed. And then I thought about how we will probably go to Ikea this weekend, along with the rest of the Greater Northwest Population, and exit the store without anything we were looking for and also an intense hatred of The Public. Because that's what always happens to me when I go to Ikea. I can't figure out what I want and invariably someone has driven their loaded shopping cart over my foot.

Thanks for all your [excellent!] suggestions. They helped me make a list which I then used to torment my husband when he got home from work. Phillip has no imagination when it comes to stuff like this. I'll start yammering about a shelf here and a hook here and the whole time his face is scrunched up like, "what the hell is she talking about, I can't picture any of this, if she keeps talking I'm going to miss The Simpsons." And while I think I'm pretty good at envisioning things and thinking up solutions, I'm pretty rotten at the execution part. This is why I should not be allowed near a paint brush. I am not kidding about wanting something to take no longer than an hour. If I have to go shopping, then lug it home, then put it together, then find out it doesn't fit, then take it back, then find something else, then realize it's not big enough and we need another one... GAAAHHHH.

Then I took Jack for a walk and picked up every single House For Sale flyer in my neighbor and wigged out all over again because WHY CAN'T MY HOUSE LOOK LIKE THOSE PICTURES.

Now you are thinking, "It's not a Personal Organizer she needs so much as many weeks of therapy."

Do you have Memorial Day Weekend plans? (Other than going to Ikea?) I always get excited for these three-day weekends and then it turns out that somehow they got filled with the stuff we're always doing and there's no room for a Big Weekend Project! or a Big Weekend Outing! Does this only happen to me? We're doing all sorts of fun stuff this weekend (except for Ikea) but the fun stuff is spaced out kind of annoyingly and not making it very easy to, say, go somewhere we don't usually go or repaint the bedroom. (OKAY OKAY I will STOP talking about PAINT and also BEDROOMS.) In fact, my weekend sounds like a handful of fun definitely-want-to-do-these-things things filled in by manipulating nap schedules and carefully planned arrivals and departures, to make sure someone maintains his cheery disposition at the fun things. Or is this just what happens when you have a one-year-old taking his sweet sweet time transitioning to one nap?

But we've got a lot going on post-Memorial Day. A party at our house. A destination wedding at a winery, where it will not be proper for me to get super loopy the way I did the last time I was at this winery, BOO. Out of town visitors. And our anniversary trip, which morphed from a California weekend to a Vancouver weekend to a Whistler weekend to a one-night stay in downtown Seattle, but WHATEVER, it's still a night away from the baby!

And now I must go check to see if the blissful silence means Jack has fallen asleep in his crib or Jack is chewing thoughtfully on a board book in his crib. Shall we take bets? I'll put my money on a scenario that looks like this:

Sleep is for the weak!

But oooh, I was WRONG! It seems the nap gods are smiling upon me this week.

How I'm going to spend our stimulus check

Hey, have you guys been reading my friend Liz? She's funny, yo.

She also knits. Look what she made for me. So pretty!

I look ADORABLE in this.

Okay, maybe she made it for the new baby, but don't think I didn't try to jam my ginormous arms in there. (Seriously. Ginormous. The indoor play area, that I totally went to yesterday because OMG the baby (toddler? WAH) took an actual NAP and the heavens sang, has mirror-lined walls. Fun for babies, sad for pregnant women who eat entire tubs of ice cream for dinner.)

That picture, by the way, was taken in our entry way. That little table is there because I've been carting it in and out of the house. Mr. Laptop needs a place to hang out when it's warm and the baby is splashing in his water table. Anyway, that is also an ORANGE WALL which I never dreamed I'd have, but looks, in my opinion, pretty cool. It's the only thing I've painted since the Red Bathroom Disaster and while the edging could have been neater, it looks halfway decent.

I would REALLY like to paint our bedroom. Specifically, I would really like to paint over the lime green wall, even though I still like the lime green wall, because we've moved our bed to a different wall and now instead of a Backdrop Wall it's kind of a Random Lime Green Wall. With nothing on it because after 3 years I still haven't decided what to hang.

I like my house. It's smallish (by which I mean, I can't invite everyone I know to a party AND hope that they all show up) and the bathrooms are stupid and the closets are miniscule, but it's new and modern and I've spent a lot of time filling it with Me Things. You know. Couches in my favorite color, good books, plants, pictures from Italy and college and Hawaii and China. I feel happy in any room in my house (and maybe not everyone needs this Happy In My Space feeling, but it's a Life Requirement for me) EXCEPT! Phillip's office and our bedroom.

Phillip's office is a done deal. It's not my space. And no matter how many times I've helped him reorganize and rearrange and box up stuff for Goodwill, that office is a dumping ground for all kinds of junk. (Including the treadmill we bought! That I have never used! Go me!) Anyway, we're just going to ignore the office.

My bedroom, on the other hand, often fills me with a sense of frustration. Things were greatly improved with the addition of curtains and a new duvet (thanks Mom!), but a pretty duvet doesn't really keep us from not putting our clothes away, the piles of stuff next to each side of the bed, the heap of reference books I have stacked up on my desk, the sorry excuses we use for nightstands. (I have a a stool, Phillip has a broken Target nightstand I've had since my first apartment.)

AND NOW? A new baby is moving in. At the end of the summer. And since New Baby won't be moving into Jack's room until he's ready for a toddler bed, I have to make our bedroom a place I am happy to be. Yesterday I dumped three loads' worth of laundry on our bed, let Jack dive into the heap and plotted a trip to Ikea.

We need some kind of storage solution, preferably one that we can hang on a wall. Real estate is valuable in this room and most of what's left will be taken up with a pack 'n play. I've needed a place for books, work stuff and art supplies, and now I'm going to need somewhere to put all the diaper changing and feeding things we won't want to dig out of Jack's room in the middle of the night. I can't buy actual nightstands since we don't have anywhere to put them, but I need SOMETHING for a book and my glasses. (Something that is not a STOOL. GAH.) And I'd paint, except haaaaaaaaa that is never going to happen.

Oh, and I need a new storage solution for Jack's room, a storage solution for our bathroom, a bookshelf for upstairs and about a dozen picture frames for all the pictures we've had taken this year and are currently being kept in a manila envelope under forty books on my desk. Something tells me I may be running into Elizabeth at Ikea this weekend.

Who cares about the bedroom when you have a perfect baby-sized front yard with a WATER TABLE and flowers to water with a PINK ELEPHANT?