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February 2012

January 2012

The hottest day in Seattle is Palm Springs in January

When you're a native Pacific Northwesterner, who has never lived more than an hour away from a Large Body of Water, and at one point lived mere steps away from an OCEAN, and who now regularly maneuvers her vehicle around several annoying lakes just to go SHOPPING, flying to Palm Springs was a freaky mind trip. Perhaps you did not know this, but THERE IS NO WATER IN THE DESERT. 

Sights like that make me panicky. Like I start envisioning Wile E. Coyote-type scenes where it's just desert and animal skulls for miles and miles. I get like this when we drive to EASTERN WASHINGTON so the ACTUAL DESERT gives me the shakes. 

But then you fly OVER Palm Springs and it's this swanky, midcentury Oasis. I kept pointing out giant green square (with a hotel in the middle) after giant green square (with a golf course and a hotel in the middle) to my friends. I don't know. It was just sort of fascinating. I know. I'm a dork. I'm a dork from one of the greenest places on Earth. 

And then we touched down and I instantly felt out of place. I needed to be of Retirement Age, attached to a Paunchy Balding Man in belted khaki shorts and white tennis shoes, with a vodka cranberry in my hand. (Although, you know what I can say for the Paunchy Balding Men of Palm Springs, they all appeared to be with women who looked like their wives rather than their secretaries.) (MAD MEN NEEDS TO HURRY UP AND GET ON MY TELEVISION.) 

So anyway, my friends and I took a taxi to a hotel that was actually as snazzy as it looked in the pictures. Aaaand, we never left. Well, there was Saturday morning when we walked into town and found breakfast, but mostly we were at the hotel doing a whole lot of nothing. It was mahvelous. 

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We read, we talked, we ate at the hotel restaurant (twice - it was SO GOOD), and I'm glad I bought a bathing suit because DO YOU SEE THAT POOL. 

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Oh hello most perfect bath tub in the universe. Please come visit me.

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I threatened to put my friends on the blawg, but only one of them appears in my handful of phone photos and you all know I'm completely incapable of putting pictures from my CAMERA onto the COMPUTER. Anyway, this is my friend who knocked on my door the first week of my freshman year of college and is basically responsible for sucking me into four years of NDCF and we are going to call her Pancakes. Because:

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we ate that mountain of pancakes. Each of those pancakes is bigger than my head. I think we ate some fruit. But mostly pancakes. And we ate them POOLSIDE in our BATHING SUITS in UPPER SEVENTY DEGREE WEATHER in JANUARY. WHY DID I COME HOME?

Oh right

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You guys, Phillip did SO AWESOME. I think the kids did pretty well too. Emma had one good night and one not so good night, and I missed her SO MUCH, but I'm also really glad I left her at home. I think it was great for Phillip to have the experience of taking care of the kids on his own, and I think it was fun for them too. I knew he'd be fine taking care of them, no worries there. I did miss her, and all the super cute babies at our hotel did not help, but I was fine. (Except for the pumping. HAAAATE.) Anyway, I knew that Phillip would be awesome with the kids but, uh, not so much with the rest of the housewifely duties, ie: cleaning anything. Except! My house was spotless when I came home. SPOTLESS. For this we will thank my blessed mother-in-law who visited Sunday afternoon before they picked me up at the airport. Seriously. I was SO HAPPY ABOUT THIS. 

Pretty much the only negative thing I have to say about my trip was that my Kindle Fire mysteriously stopped working on the plane ride home. BUMMER. I had to get out my OLD Kindle (which I brought because it has the e-ink screen which I would need to read outside in the SUN, I know, shut up me) and reread the first half of Prep, which might be even more awesome than the first time I read it. But even that, I mean, most of the time we were using it to hook our other friend on Downton Abbey, which was super fun. Speaking of, Pancakes does not think Matthew Crawley is cute. !!! 

Anyway, I'm super glad I went. Sunshine brings me out of many a funk, and I'm glad I didn't bring Emma. I may start lobbying for a Blathering 2013: Palm Springs. We can all pretend to be trophy wives!



SOTC (state of the children)

I was going to do this big post where I took a photo of every outfit I am bringing to Palm Springs, but then I decided that 1) no one cares and 2) that was excessive navel-gazing even for me. 

SO ANYWAY. Phillip's been gone since Sunday morning and HOO BOY am I loving both sets of grandparents right now. We stayed with my parents until Tuesday lunchtime, and Phillip's parents just spent the entire afternoon and evening entertaining my kids while I packed and ran on the treadmill and generally stayed away from the noise. 

Sometimes Phillip is slightly interested in jobs that would take us out of state. Sometimes I REALLY HATE January (and November and December and February and March and sometimes April too) and I entertain notions of southern California or shoot, even northern California, but this will never happen. We could never move away from the only people who want to take our kids for overnight! 

In honor of the speech I did not watch last night, the State of the Children goes something like this:

JACK. This kid, you guys. THIS KID. He is KILLING ME. Senator Smartass is perhaps not a name we use in his company, but it sure fits. He's something four and three quarters, average height, needs his pants cinched tight, big dark eyes and thick dark lashes and the stuff that comes out of his mouth drives me BATTY. I mean, half of it is awesome. I do not deny the awesome. He's a thoughtful little kid who remembers a lot of random details and soaks up Facts like nobody's business. He often interrupts me (often when I'm yelling at him) to ask me what a word means. Like today I was getting onto him for being a brat to his grandfather and he's all, "what does Polite mean, Mommy" and I'm like, "JUST GET OUT OF MY HAIR." 

He is constantly singing. Like, CONSTANTLY. He is loud. He is energetic. He is SO MUCH MORE energetic than he ever was, more than I ever thought he'd be. He does not stop! Ever! And when you tell him to be quiet he won't even look at you or acknowledge you because it's like he ALREADY KNOWS, he doesn't have to WASTE ENERGY turning his head in your direction, he ALREADY HEARD ME he KNOWS. Argh! It burns me up! His smartassery drives me around the bend on a daily basis. His know-it-all-ness, his bossiness, his refusal to accept your corrections, his "okay, okay, stop lecturing me so I can go right back to doing exactly what I want" business is INFURIATING! 

Of course, I also find it utterly charming as this kid is EXACTLY LIKE ME. Even my mother says so. (Obvs she says this gleefully, in a SO SHALL YOU RECEIVE YOUR COMEUPPANCE! tone of voice.)

MOLLY. Miss Mollymoo is the girliest girl of all the girls. I've spent a considerable amount of time wondering how she got this way. She does not have a particularly girly mother (several sequinned dresses notwithstanding.) I never played with dolls the way Molly plays with her babies. I don't remember demanding to wear my dress up dresses all the livelong day. Did I even HAVE dress up dresses? She wants to be a princess, but she hasn't been super exposed to the princess phenomenon. She's pink and purple and sparkly and glittery and where is her wand and not that clippy, Mommy, and I want to wear THAT dwess and Mommy you should wear THAT dwess and not those shoes, Mommy. 

I also spend a lot of time wondering if I'm doing right by Molly. Her brother is so Over The Top in his personality sometimes that Molly is just an element of that. She does everything he does, a split second after he does it. She is always content to let him go first. When he's not around she often seems a bit lost. And I hate that when I try to figure out where she is developmentally or whatever, it's always in comparison to Jack. 

But this morning we dropped Jack at preschool and ran an errand at Target and stopped in the Target Starbucks for a treat and it was like my heart was just FULL of Molly. She sort of ignores you now when you talk to her, like she's either pretending not to hear you or she really can't be bothered to answer, she insists on having a helper every time she uses the potty, her hair makes me crazy, and ENOUGH ALREADY with the "but I don't like those pants, Mommy" every single morning, but I have loved every single stupid minute of taking that girl out shopping and for coffee and for treats and just Her and Me time. It's the best. It is so much fun. It is so sweet. I just love her. I was telling her this morning when I was buckling her back into her car seat, that I just love my girl, and she goes, "Just girls! No Daddy! No Jackson!" Yes, kid. You are my mall buddy for life.

OH EMMA. I think she has skipped 6 month outfits entirely. I put one on her this morning and her FOOT was busting out of the FOOT POCKET, so I dragged the storage box out from under the bed and started rummaging around for the 9 month clothes and HOLY CATS MY 4-MONTH-OLD IS WEARING 9 MONTH JAMMIES. This is probably no big deal to a lot of you, but I am used to SCRAWNY children. Although Emma's not particularly WIDE, just LONG.

The last two-ish months were so stinking hard with sleep. I mean, I was having existential crises left and right. The lack of sleep and the constant re-napping was permeating every minute of my day and every thought in my brain. But for some reason she kicked it into gear on Sunday night and now she, like, GOES TO SLEEP. I mean, it hasn't even been a week, but she's now taking Actual Naps and going to bed and Actually Sleeping. I will never assume good sleep is a trend, but I will take it when I can get it. I hope she keeps it up this weekend for Phillip!

And dudes, she is the HAPPIEST BABY. I mean, even when she's fussy and not sleeping and all that, this baby is a smile machine. It's so awesome. She just started laughing and she has this deep gurgly belly laugh. It's not this cute little baby laugh, it's growly and phlegmy and AGAIN: utterly charming. She does this other thing where she thrashes around in JOY - usually in the morning when I'm changing her out of her heavy nighttime diaper. You'd think she was going to kick a hole through the changing pad and thwack herself off the changing table. I LOVE IT. It is SO CUTE!

And all three of them together is SO trippy. I mean, these are my KIDS. With MY genetic material! HOW CRAZY IS THAT!!! Oh wow I'm going to miss them this weekend. Well, after I've slept through the night and had a poolside cocktail or four. Then I'll miss them. 




Things To Do While Phillip Is Gone

  • Move the boxed up Christmas stuff from Emma's room to the downstairs closet
  • Move the grocery bags of booze (from the CHRISTMAS PARTY GAH) from the blue room to the other downstairs closet (or develop hard liquor habit?)
  • Box up the 3 month clothes and get out the 6 month clothes (PORKY)
  • Laundry
  • Choose/buy fabric for the curtain headboard
  • Work on Blathering website
  • Pack (Pack WHAT I have no idea since NOTHING FITS)

TV Shows I Just Started Watching

  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Homeland

Books I Am Bringing [Via Kindle] To Palm Springs

  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  • Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure by Matthew Algeo
  • Polly's Story (Swallowcliffe Hall) by Jennie Walters (apparently these are books told from the Downton Abbey-ish servants' perspectives)

Book I Recommended To A Guy Friend Who Usually Only Likes Sci-Fi

  • The Wednesday Wars. And he keeps texting me to tell me how AWESOME IT IS. I AM SO PROUD OF ME! (And him. But mostly me.)

Styles Of Clothes In The Stores That I Tried On But Cannot Wear On Account Of Being Twenty Pounds Too Large And/Or Thirty-Two Years Old

  • pretty much every belted or drawstringed dress. Why do these want to cinch me on the WIDEST parts?
  • the very loose but rather-reminiscent-of-the-80s tops that require some sort of tank top underneath
  • that very cute but super unflattering sundress at Target
  • the tank tops with the racer backs. Um.
  • that too-short skirt at Target
  • the belted flutter-sleeve top that made me look 6 months pregnant

Reasons I Have Yelled [Real Yelling] At My Kids Today

  • they won't stop "singing" but it isn't REAL singing it's horrendous nonstop NOISE
  • Jack was HOWLING upstairs while I was trying to sweep up the entry way (the pine needles! are killing me!) and when I raced up there he said, "You said you were going to get me a snack."
  • two (TWO) pants-wetting incidents
  • they got out every single puzzle in the house and threw the pieces all over the living room and then complained when I insisted they pick it all up before dinner
  • they would rather run around naked and flash their baby sister than put their pajamas on FTLOG PUT YOUR PAJAMAS ON

Things I Would Like To Be Eating/Imbibing Right Now But Won't Because I Am Trying To Lose Weight Except That's Going Nowhere Fast So Why NOT Eat All The Things

  • chocolate cake
  • Nutella
  • wine
  • Nutella
  • kettle corn
  • Graeter's black raspberry chip ice cream
  • a freshly baked loaf of bread (yes, all of it)
  • more Nutella (for the bread) (obvs)
  • an Orange Dream Machine

One Thing I Will Share With You Then We Will Pretend I Didn't Say It

  • Emma has been sleeping from 9 or 10pm to 3 or 4am. Since Saturday night. Which is... A HECKUVA LOT BETTER THAN WAKING UP EVERY HOUR DONCHA THINK??? Also. I put her down awake tonight. And I think she fell asleep. COLLECTIVE GASP.
  • Thoughts: Do you think I still have the same baby? Did someone come in here and trade her out? Do we have some sort of OPPOSITE four month sleep regression going on? Is she just super advanced and got through her regression EARLY? 

Optimism! I have some!

Phillip had to be at the airport at 9:45. I dropped him off and headed directly to my parents' house, Sanctuary Of Free And Cheerfully-Given Childcare. I've been feeling nervous about this week of solo parenting for a long time, probably since the LAST week of solo parenting. However! I'm feeling okay about it NOW and here is why: 

  1. We are staying at my parents' house for two nights. TWO. This is one part giant hassle to ninety-seven parts Just Not Being Alone. I LIKE being alone, but not for five days in a row. I may have to type this in front of the Mike Huckabee show, but my mother is rocking my not-sleeping baby in front of the Mike Huckabee show so I CAN type, so I have absolutely no complaints. Besides, Mike Huckabee has his moments. 
  2. The rest of my week contains preschool, a visit from the in-laws, a visit from the Baby Observer Therapist Lady who I would sincerely like to adopt but probably can't until the Year Of Baby Watching is over, and a long-scheduled playdate. 
  3. My week will be capped off by a weekend in a locale some forty degrees warmer than it is here. The thought of reading a book in the sunshine will keep me going for a long time. 
  4. Did I mention a not-sleeping baby? But yesterday she took a long nap, fell asleep at bedtime by herself, and slept from nine to three-thirty in the morning which: HOLY MOLY WHO TOOK MY BABY AND GAVE ME THIS BABY WHO SLEEPS? I WILL KEEP HER! 
  5. I'm not saying this is a trend. I am saying IT GIVES ME HOPE.
  6. If all else fails, I bought a new swing. In which I saw her fall asleep on her own with my very eyes.
  7. We are not snowbound! We can go places! WE CAN GO TO TARGET. 
  8. Also I have some good TV stored up. 

A long time ago @anneoftroy told me that she always planned to DO something when her husband was out of town and what *I* always plan to do is watch GOOD TV SHOWS and EAT TREATS. I'm simple. 

In other news, I just got home from attempting to buy a swimsuit. This was not the PURPOSE of my visit to the store, my PURPOSE was to buy batteries because SOMEONE left the swing on all night even though there was no baby IN the swing... anyway. I was showing my mom where I'm staying this weekend and bragging about how hot it was going to be (at least to a ghostly pale Washingtonian like me) and she said, "are you going to go swimming in THAT pool" and I said "oh God not I am not wearing a swimsuit what are you smoking" and she just pointed at the picture of THAT POOL and I thought YOU'RE RIGHT MOM. Why should I let my thunderthighs, my saddlebags, my love handles, and what breastfeeding has done to the rest of me AHEM keep me from truly enjoying THAT POOL? Am I that girl? Am I really that vain? Am I really going to give up THAT POOL?

The truth is, Internet, I am totally that girl. But I thought I'd give it a go anyway. Perhaps I could find some giant piece of interestingly draped black spandex that covered at least 75% of my body. I didn't find anything like that, but I did try on a few other things. They weren't... SO bad. I didn't buy anything, but I didn't cross off the idea of perhaps looking in a DIFFERENT store. 

And then I ate the chocolate that Phillip was SUPPOSED to take on his trip with him so I wouldn't eat it all but forgot in the car when we dropped him off this morning. OOPS. 

Obvs I need to go open the wine

I've been stuck in my house (and, to be fair, the two blocks SURROUNDING my house) since Saturday afternoon. I suppose I COULD have driven somewhere, but 1) we live on a hill and 2) I AM the Seattle driver who can't drive in snow, so it's just better for everyone if I stay home. 

AND I think I've handled it quite well. The kids have played in the snow every day, we've done puzzles and games and stamping, we've made snow ice cream (success!) and snow candy (fail!), we've made real dinners, we've done laundry and cleaned the house and picked up our toys, we have NOT watched TV all day long. I've been treadmilling and eating the right things and calling people when I start to feel despairing that the snow will ever melt. 

UNTIL TODAY. Today feels like my breaking point. I am just done. I am tired. I want to go somewhere. ANYWHERE. Tonight Phillip asked me if he could get together with two other guys tomorrow night, not even for anything fun, but to be all job networky, and I snapped. I WANT TO GO SOMEWHERE! WHY CAN'T I GO SOMEWHERE?!

I also have "Phillip is leaving on Sunday" in my head - I don't think that makes it better. 

Anyway, today I ate all sorts of horrible things and chose NOT to treadmill, so you are catching me at a Feeling Somewhat Bad About (And Also Sorry For) Myself point. I'd wanted to lose about 3.5 more pounds before next weekend. It's possible! If I do nothing except run and shred and eat apples. But we all know that isn't going to happen. 

I have lost 13 pounds since I started Really Trying To Lose Weight after Emma. And that feels impressive to me. Some people don't lose any pounds! And I've lost 13! During the holidays! Yay! Then again, I have TWENTY MORE POUNDS TO GO and that feels overwhelming. Also very HEAVY as you would expect twenty extra pounds to be. 

I've been losing about a pound a week, which is FINE, but also VERY SLOW. I mean, that gets me all sorts of approval from the Lose It AND Keep It Off crowd, but it's not really working for me in dressing rooms, if you know what I mean. I feel confident that I WILL lose this weight eventually, but next weekend I will be hanging out with my Old And Dear Friends and I may have mentioned this before, but they are two very slim, very hot, very super cute Asian girls and I AM NOT ANY OF THOSE THINGS. I am pretty sure they are bringing swim suits and GUESS WHO ISN'T. 

I know that's awful. I KNOW IT. I know I shouldn't talk like that. BUT I DO. SO THERE. 

We just finally - FINALLY! - organized the Cheung Family Trip and I am 99% sure it's happening in June, so I would really REALLY like to be VERY CLOSE to my goal if not AT my goal. I for SURE will be at my goal weight a little later in the summer at a family wedding. Oh yes I will.

Why am I not writing this on my weight loss blog? I DON'T KNOW. AM CRANKY.

So today is a loss, I think. Today I ate the kids' mac and cheese and one too many granola bars and a handful of animal crackers and a slice of Forbidden Cheese and God knows what else. Oh yes, BROWNIES. Because I am SNOWED IN and you know what? Sometimes food DOES make me feel better. 

I just... I've got things to DO, Seattle Weather. Apparently it's going to start raining tonight and tomorrow and drastically warm up and I am HOPEFUL but I have also been SNOWED IN for nearly a week and that starts to do things to your rational reasoning skills. Let us not talk about how Phillip is flying in the direction of the storm and may get stuck at his airport on his way home (MAYBE!) and unable to fly home (MAYBE!) and I would be stuck with the kids another week PLUS miss my own trip (MAYBE!) Seriously, the ONLY positive thing about that scenario would be not feeling fat in Palm Springs.  


Whenever people start talking about how Stay At Home Moms Are Isolated I want to roll my eyes. I want to say, "Um, have you heard about THE INTERNET?" And I've told countless people ABOUT the internet, including Mental Health Professionals who count SAHMs among their clientele. I also tell SAHMs, but my success rate on that is about zero percent, if you count success as "being even moderately interested". Which is disappointing, isn't it? Because if I can count to one single thing that's kept me afloat over the last four years, it's my website. Cue the Orchestra of Internet Harmony. 

But while I'm rolling my eyes I also have to acknowledge the real life army of support that lines up behind me. I have amazing parents, amazing in-laws, and a whole bunch of amazing mom friends. Sure, I talk to people in the computer all day long, but I am FAR from real-life-isolated. Nearly all my friends had kids the same time I had kids and we made huge efforts to see each other during the week. Not just the organized mom groups, but random spur of the moment get togethers at the zoo or the wading pool or (my personal favorite) someone's house where we could just sit on a couch and let the kids entertain themselves. 

And then I also had friends to go out with at night. We'd leave our husbands with the kids and go to happy hour at the Italian restaurant or just hang out at Whole Foods sharing one of those giant desserts. Friends to meet for coffee on Saturday mornings or a walk around the lake. I did - I DO - all of these things. 

So it's weird to me, nearly five years into the mom thing, that NOW I'm starting to feel isolated. Last night I stood in front of Emma's window, rocking her to sleep for the umpteenth time, and worrying about Phillip's trip next week. It used to be that I could call up anyone to come over and babysit me (us!) for a while, but life has totally gone on, for everyone.

Is it harder to see people now? At this stage of the game? Is it just me? I feel like preschool schedules (and SCHOOL schedules, gah!) have really cemented when I can and cannot be around adults. Like I used to see my working friends on their off days, but now the various preschool schedules get in the way of that. And there are just more KIDS. We're not all new moms with new babies anymore. Now we're wrangling grade schoolers and toddlers and infants and you have to work ballet lessons around morning naps and Tuesdays are really the only good days to hang out, but that friend WORKS on Tuesdays so that's not going to happen. ETC. ETC. Plus I used to just jump in the car any day I felt like it and go visit my parents. Now I have to take SCHOOL into consideration. 

What is kindergarten going to do to me? I'm scared!

Maybe it's also my not so central neighborhood. My house in a wooded area. The fact that nearly all of my mom friends work part-time. Beholden to a school schedule. Trying to get a baby on a nap schedule. A husband going out of town. It's dark. It's January. We're freaking SNOWBOUND. 

And I'm to blame too. I tend to see the same lovely people fairly often, and with one or two of them we've TALKED about how it's harder now and we decided to make Every Other Thursday our day or whatever. Which is awesome. But then there are the friends I miss, who I don't see because of my OWN laziness (JANET I LOVE YOU YES I'M AROUND MONDAYS AND THURSDAYS!!!) 

But yeah. I'm feeling it. My internet people are real-er than ever, but my real life people feel distant. OH BOO HOO I hear you saying. GO CRY INTO YOUR FIRST WORLD PROBLEM HANKIE. 

I'm going to go say good night to my big kids now. Everyone say a little prayer that Emma has a better night. Maybe I won't have to write another angsty blog post. (HA HA HA.)

SnowWatch 2012, conducted from EJ's bedroom window

Oh YAY! ANOTHER snow day! WAHOO!

Actually, it's fine. I say that GRUDGINGLY, but it's true. I happened to go to the store the day before the snow hit, so we have a ton of unhealthy things to eat, we still have un-played-with Christmas presents to keep us occupied, we have diapers and Netflix and Ursula The Neighbor, Formerly Of Michigan who knows how to properly sled etc. So we are FINE. 

I refuse to call it Snowpocalypse or Snowmageddon until the internet goes down. But then no one would KNOW I'm calling it Snowpocalypse or Snowmageddon which is really the entire point. 

Anyway. What I really want to talk about is how I did not sleep [again] last night. 

I FEEL like we are doing the right things for the kind of... situation we want. I say that because cosleeping was totally fine until it wasn't. You know? Nursing in bed was totally fine until it wasn't. But those things weren't working and the new things do not appear to be working. I was up so much with Emma last night that I think I can pinpoint the exact moment the Snow Event happened in my neighborhood. 

She was hungry (she shouldn't have been hungry) and then she was gassy (from what?) and then she just didn't want to lay flat in her bed? Or she wanted to be held? Or she was just awake? WHO KNOWS!

Now, you guys all know my aversion to parenting books and all that. My answer to all of these things is, "SHE'S A BABY." And you really just have to wait for someone to grow out of that. 

Phillip, on the other hand, takes a harder, longer view of things and when he's not sleeping he's of the opinion that he might never sleep again and SOMETHING! MUST! BE! DONE! 

To be fair, I get that way too, but I don't always want to have a Conversation about it in the middle of the night. Which is what happened LAST night and you can be SURE we were at our most rational and well-said at four in the morning. Isn't EVERYONE at their most eloquent at four am?

So my husband chooses that moment to tell me that he's going to send our big kids to his parents for the weekend when I'm in Palm Springs and HE is going to have Sleep Boot Camp with Emma. Perhaps he didn't put it QUITE that way, but the words "cry it out" were involved. 

I am SO NOT AGAINST cry it out. In fact, it was the only thing that ever worked with Jack. That said, I was SUPER AGAINST CIO with Molly because I just felt, in my heart of hearts, it wasn't going to work. And we never really did it with her and she's a great sleeper now (she was then too, she just didn't want to go to bed on time!) and isn't this vindication? But Phillip doesn't really BELIEVE in my heart of hearts. He believes in DOING SOMETHING. 

I kind of think Emma is a tension-increaser, though it's true I haven't tested her enough to REALLY know for sure. But I also think she's a bad sleeper. She's not HORRIBLE (she's not crying or awake for hours or whatever) but she's certainly no Molly (who fell asleep on her own from the beginning.) So I don't really know how to rejigger this kid. 

And I'm not here to complain, really, I just wanted to sort of organize it somewhere other than my brain. Sleep is not going well. (DAYTIME sleep is better, so there is hope.) Husband would like to request permission to wage a Sleep War. The President of the household is not so sure. However, the President is also very very tired. 

I think we'll just go sledding again. That seemed to tire everyone out. 

The Snowbound Edition

You guys, I don't remember when we had enough snow to make snowmen. Or the right KIND of snow. And I have made TWO people-sized snowmen so far. I've dragged my kids around on a plastic disc borrowed from our friendly neighbors. I've oohed and ahhed over the winter wonderland that is my tree-filled neighborhood. I've put hats and mittens in the dryer. I've made many cups of hot cocoa for the kids. I've exchanged the "isn't this NEAT!" happy face with the not-friendly neighbors, because snow on a holiday weekend IS pretty neat. 

But now I am over it. To be honest, I am over it as soon as it begins falling, because Seattle is not known for its snow-handling abilities, both practical (the city continually falls down on the snow job) and emotional (I've seen ninety-thousand cars slide down Capitol Hill streets into downtown on the news thus far.) Also it means I am stuck. 

See, Seattle's kind of weird, in that it will snow in certain pockets of town, or the snow will miss entire ribbons of neighborhoods, or it will DUMP in one particular area and only dust another. It started falling on Saturday and by Sunday morning it was pretty clear that we were not going to church OR the baptism reception for which I bought a VERY CUTE PRESENT. Disappointing! 

Usually you're fine once you get out of the side streets, but according to the news, our chunk of I-5 was a skating rink. Also, our side streets are BAD. My side street is a VERY STEEP HILL and even though it's one seven millionth of a mile long, it's still a launching point for flying into a house and/or sliding backwards into the creek. For this reason Phillip parked HIS car (did I tell you we have two cars now? gah) on the street above the steep hill, like everyone else on the two cul-de-sacs below. 

So we're not STUCK stuck. Phillip could drive out and get us whatever we needed (although he'd still have to make it off the side streets and they are gleaming sheets of white). But for all intents and purposes I AM STUCK and I am stuck here with THREE RESTLESS CHILDREN and there is only so long we can all do this. 

It was fine when Phillip was home this weekend. He's actually still home. He's WORKING from home, which you may all agree is worse than being at work. I used to think it was awesome that he could work from home, but now I know it just means he's HERE but UNAVAILABLE. I do a lot of stomping and shouting when he works from home, just so he KNOWS. 

But anyway. Hopefully this will all be over by the time Phillip leaves for his trip on Sunday morning. Right, God? 

I haven't been doing much of anything except, oh, standing in every room in my house deciding how I will decorate/redecorate/remodel/redesign. It's a sickness. Especially because I have every intention of DOING these things. It's not just, "Oh, wouldn't it be fun if we knocked down this wall?!" Like, I want to email the dudes who took out the fireplace and ask HOW MUCH WOULD IT COST TO KNOCK DOWN THIS WALL. 

I spent a couple hours yesterday planning and measuring for a wall of DIY built in bookcases, before I realized that Ikea only sold one style of bookcase in the depth we want (as far as I can tell anyway, feel free to refute!) and my plan would not work after all. I did a lot of computery work. I folded a lot of laundry. I made brownies which was BAD because 1) I'm still hoping to lose four pounds by my trip (HA HA HA!) and 2) I am beginning to suspect that eating copious amounts of chocolate makes my baby uncomfortable... 

BECAUSE SHE WAS UP ALL NIGHT AGAIN. This is not helping with the snow. She is actually sleeping better during the DAY, which is great. That's helping a lot. She's even napping in her bed again, after we tried it out one day and she slept three amazing hours. So. Better during the day, but still crap at night. Even though we 1) moved her into her own room and own bed/car seat and 2) I am no longer nursing her in bed and 3) we tank her up as much as possible before we put her down for the night. Last night she still ate ALL NIGHT LONG and I finally ended up putting her in bed with me because WE COULD NOT HANDLE IT. And I suspect she didn't REALLY need to eat, but when you're dead tired and it's 4 am, you are not particularly principled. 

So I don't know. Whatever. What am I going to do with us today? More snowmen? BLARGH.

A blogged Pinterest board

Master Bedroom

Curtain Headboard

  • black curtain rod, at least 70" long (cheap at Target)
  • coral/white fabric (chevron? paisley-ish?)


End of Bed Bench

  • the door the sellers left wedged between the fridge and the pantry cupboard
  • foam
  • table legs
  • coordinating fabric (same as curtain headboard? same as window curtains?)

Some sort of small console table for my jewelry box

Living Room

Wall O' Bookshelves (And Television)

  • Built in Billys? Have not decided where this falls on the scale of One to Bat$%&# Crazy.
  • Ask our friend the contractor PM if he thinks we could pull this off.
  • Include fireplace? Does that move it farther up the scale?

Seating That Is Not A Couch

Finish painting doors for the white Craigslist cabinet

Decide on floor lamp or table lamps

  • If table lamps, I need another small console table to wedge behind the couch
  • Perhaps someone will buy this for me

Phillip wants curtains. These would have to be GIGANDO. A print in blues/grays/yellows.

Something to put on the blank wall. WHO KNOWS WHAT THIS WILL BE.

Emma's Room


  • currently a sagey green that looks half decent with pink and white
  • could repaint turquoise and haul in a ton of yellow?

Dresser/Changing Table

  • get a new one? (because the drawers are starting to stick)
  • spray paint white until we get a new one?


  • Probably plain white (or plain yellow?)


  • Stupid pergo floor is 1) cold and 2) hard on my feet. What is not super expensive?

Something to put on the blank walls. AGAIN. WHO KNOWS WHAT THIS WILL BE. 



Friday Reads & Recommends

Today was my last day at Parenting. If you would like to read my totally phoned-in last post, it is here!* Ta da! So some of you were asking about what's going on over there and this is what I know: they are "discontinuing" the blog. I actually emailed my editor last month to say I didn't want to renew my contract and she said they were going to get rid of the Parenting Post ANYWAY. So! I am under the impression they are going to focus on the parts of the website that get some traffic. Heh. If you first found me over there, if you ever left a comment, if you ever read a POST over at Parenting, I really appreciate it. I was never sure how they picked their writers or what, exactly, they liked about the garbage I spewed out every week, but I was grateful for the opportunity. It was, overall, a good experience, though I AM pretty happy to not have to do my weekly ohcrapwhatamIgoingtowritethisweek panic dance anymore. 

Christopher Buckley's thoughts were the best thing I read about the passing of Christopher Hitchens. 

"At first glance Veronica Mars and Pride and Prejudice have little in common" and yet...

This NYT piece about intelligence agencies failing to note the death of Kim Jong Il was a little... unnerving. Sort of. I don't know. Seems like this was a big thing to miss, yes?

This piece about Seattle's political kneejerk reactions and assumptions is for the locals. The writer was a Thorn In The Side of my favorite boss and I can't read anything he writes without wondering what Favorite Boss would think. Not sure what he'd think about this one, but I liked it (and agreed with most of it). 

Lure of Chinese Tuition Pushes Out Asian-Americans. This is mostly about the California system, but my alma mater makes an appearance!

Here I considered linking to a bunch of "how to make an image map with CSS" tutorials and decided you guys wouldn't be into that. 

Instead I will leave you with three articles from Businessweek, of all places. The first is Lego Is For Girls. SUPER INTERESTING, you guys. The second is about women CEOs and the men who run their homes and raise their children. The third: Three Types of People To Fire Immediately.

I haven't read any awesome books lately (a couple of NOT awesome ones)... I just started the new Charles Todd Inspector Rutledge novel, which is great except it is not saying ANYTHING about Meredith Channing or where she went (she is OBVS supposed to marry Inspector Rutledge!!!) And I am probably going to download John Green's new book as soon as I'm done with my frillionth English murder mystery. I forget what it's called. I know it's about teenagers with cancer. CAN I JUST READ A NOT-SAD YA NOVEL???


*thanks for your ideas on what to write for my last post. I went with the "what have I learned" which was as boring as it sounds. I LOVED the "how has it affected your marriage" idea but I would MUCH rather write about that HERE. Remind me to do that if I keep writing about baby sleep, okay? No one wants to hear about baby sleep.