Wednesday, December 31, 2008


For about 4 years in a row, my New Year's resolution was to quit smoking. Three years ago, that one finally stuck. Now I have decided to work on a few other things that I would like to accomplish this year.
1. Send birthday cards to people. (This will be year #2 for this goal)
2. Find some way every day to serve someone around me.
3. Finish the Iron Girl triathalon.
4. Fund at least one home improvement project with my art (hopefully more
than changing a light bulb!)
5. Complete one grad school course.
I will keep you posted on my progress...
What are your goals?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lets get together

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of get togethers with friends and family. With Scarlett's birthday. Thanksgiving, Christmas and now New Year's Eve, Scarlett has recently begun asking for a party and cake every day. We have been visiting with so many of our friends and family that I feel like every day has been a party. Scarlett has enjoyed playing with cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. I love to see all of the people who adore my children almost as much as I do. Nate and I are both blessed with families who keep life interesting. I wouldn't trade this craziness for the world.

Monday, December 22, 2008

pnuemonia, insomnia and other hard to spell words...

It is almost 4 am and I can't sleep. In times of stress I get terrible boughts of insomnia. I've tried a lot of things while I was wishing I could be sleeping--like advancing the plot of the novel I'll never publish, hot baths, yoga, reading one of the 6 books I am in the middle of, doing the dishes, and now blogging. Usually the only real cure is getting back into my sleep rhythm. (Yes little Ens, I'm blaming you!) I'm sure I'll have no trouble falling asleep 45 minutes before the kids are up...sigh...
This past week has been crazy hectic and I guess the frenetic pace isn't good for me. Scarlett and I spent about 6 hours (while we both should have been sleeping) in the ER on Tuesday night. My intuition kept telling me something was wrong while my pediatrician was telling me everything was fine. Sure enough, she developed pnumonia and the poor child has been so, so sick. The week that I had planned to use for Christmas preparations was instead focused on nursing her back to health. It is a huge relief that I no longer have to pin her down and syringe juice into her mouth every hour. I think there were about 3 days where I had one or both kids crying for about 90% of my day. I admit I did teeter on the edge of a breakdown (I even pondered shaving my head Brittney-style or taking psychotropics and accosting strangers Anne Heche-style) but I pulled through and so did Scarlett.
I knew she was better when she ate a whole plate of scrambled eggs in 3 seconds and when she announced several times, "Scarlett happy, momma!" So worth it.
I hear a baby crying...that's my cue

Monday, December 8, 2008

So Lucky

At around 4 am I heard Ensley fidgeting in his crib. When I leaned over his crib to check on him--feeling tired and wishing I was still snuggled in bed--I was greeted with a huge grin and two of the cutest dimples ever made. Instantly I didn't care about how tired I was. All I could think of was how lucky I was to be a mom to my kids. With the holidays, travel, and chores I seem to be getting busier by the minute. But Ensley's little face reminds me to stop and enjoy this great gift that I have been given.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby!

Today we are celebrating Scarlett's birthday. She picked out her own outfit, helped me make cupcakes, and flew her kite at the beach. All day I just watched her in awe. How is she already a two year old? Where did the time go? She brushes her own teeth is full of opinions, and can even put on her own shoes. I am treasuring every moment with her. I am truly grateful for my Scarlett!

Friday, November 14, 2008

doing chores

I admit sometimes I fantasize about when the kids are older. Nate was just talking about how awesome it will be when both kids sleep the whole night through. I wondered how long it will be until they get themselves ready for bed and all we do is just go in and kiss them goodnight. Don't get me wrong, I treasure every moment of these days they are so young and I know it is truly fleeting, but seriously, it will be cool when they are old enough to do chores. My only problem will be deciding which chores to assign them first. On second thought, Scarlett is ready to do dishes, isn't she?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


This year we had a really fun Halloween! Scarlett was thrilled to be Elmo--she didn't really like to have the hood up, but still looked so cute in the furry red suit. She does not seem to care that the holiday has passed and still wears the elmo suit most days. It looks especially nice with her pink rain boots she often pairs with it. Ensley was a bumblebee and couldn't have been cuter. THe outfit was so wide that he could sit up on his own, which I definitely think was the highlight for him. Our neighborhood was great for trick-or-treating! Everyone was out on their stoops giving out candy for the kids, and there were even people giving out food and drinks for the parents! Scarlett was a little reluctant at first to participate, but then she figured the drill out pretty quickly. SHe would march right over, say "Happy Haloween" and "Thank You" and then drop her reward in the pumpkin to free up her hands for more. Then she got two tootsie pops--one for each hand--that she wouldn't part with. She was completely content so we headed back to our stoop, where we gave out the candy that I bought as well as most of the candy we had just collected (I'm far to weak to allow piles of it in the house!!). We put on some music and Scarlett danced around in circles all cracked out from eating a lollipop. It was fun to see all of the costumes. My favorites were the ones with muscles already built in. I also gave candy to many teenagers without costumes (didn't want to be egged) and a few adults of questionable mental states. Ensley snoozed through a majority of the evenings events, but sure was cute doing it. It was a great night. It was a little bittersweet for me, because I was thinking of trick-or-treating with Kirsten as a kid and wishing that she wasn't a million miles away on her birthday. Don't worry Kirk, I ate a few pieces of candy just for you!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A great gift

My parents gave me a lot of great gifts growing up. One of my favorites was a Dodge Colt that I literally drove till the transmission fell out (twice). I also loved the preemie Cabbage Patch doll that Scarlett now plays with. But those gifts pale in comparison to the best one they gave me. Thirty five years ago today, my parents got married. And today my mom made my father a meatloaf even though she doesn't like meatloaf. And my father probably wrote my mother a very romatic and sappy poem.
All my life they have shown me what is like to love someone--to be in love and to stay in love. Over the years, my siblings and I got to see how great marraige can be. We got to learn so many lessons about how to laugh together and have fun. We also got to see how two people work together when times are hard. I always felt secure that my parents loved me and each other and I am lucky for that.
On my wedding day, I hoped I would be as happy as they are.
And I am.

Thanks Mom and Poppa
Happy Anniversary

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Iron Girl

So I have decided to do it...
In order to transform this wimpy body into that of an athlete's I have decided to sign up and train for the iron girl triatahlon in August.

0.62 mile swim
17.5 mile bike
3.4 mile run
stop laughing
A diligent reader of this blog may remember that I tried swimming before and it was not my best work. I am most nervous about the swimming part, but I am also nervous about doing that much physical activity in one day!! I am the kind of girl who loved being on the volleyball team because all of my friends were, but was horrified when we had to run up and down the bleachers at practice. Most of my exercise these days involves delivering laundry from one floor to another or carrying the double stroller in and out of the house.
I know it will not be easy to convince this puffy, creaky, old body to get to work
but that's ok. I am excited to take on this new challange-to have this huge seemingly insurmountable goal. It is a good thing that I have almost a year to train, because I am going to need it!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekends away

Grandma Kate and Lauren Elise

I swore that I was just going to stay home for a weekend after two weekends away.

That was until I got a call that Lane was having her baby. I was already packing my bag before we hung up. She was just so tiny and sweet, with the softest head of sweet-smelling baby hair. Was it really only 9 weeks ago that I had a little newborn like that?! Layla was at Mom's house so I got in some good auntie time and Scarlett was happy to have a buddy to play with. They even shared once or twice. And the highlight of the trip was looking at my sister's big smile when she talked about Lauren. It was such a celebration that I almost forgot the fact that I have yet another bag to unpack...
Maybe tomorrow..

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rebel without a nap

Today I had a lunch date with a friend and her baby. We went to a lovely restaurant and this was our first mistake. We went right before Scarlett's nap time and that was the second...
Scarlett threw the cookie the waitress brought her. She threw the crayons that I brought her. She told me no, the waitress no and my freind no. She even told her beloved Elmo no. The only thing she ate was a few pieces of my lettuce dipped in ketchup.
I couldn't distract her with anything fun. I couldn't give her any kind of consequence that would change things (although I did consider just for a moment putting her in the women's room for a timeout!) It was a horror-show.
THe waitress said, "Let me guess--almost two years old?" How did she know? Was it the scowl that Scarlett was giving her?
Sometimes I look at her rolling around on the floor kicking and screaming and wonder "what happened to my sweet little girl?" I know she is still in there somewhere and I can not wait to see her again!
When thinking about what I would be like as a parent, I thought I would be able to handle the whole discipline thing so much better. There are so many times I am just sitting there wondering what to do.
If this is any indication, it is going to be a long year!
(Meanwhile Ensley slept contentdly the whole time!!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

what a long strange trip

Last night we drove to Raleigh to visit Nate's sister. Scarlett has never been a fan of long drives--usually instead of falling asleep, she would scream and yell. Often the only thing that would soothe her was some kind of horribly punishing children's music that gets stuck in your head for days on end. But this trip was different...
We loaded her and Ensley in the car just after 6 pm and the baby promptly fell asleep. I woke him when we stopped for dinner and he ate and went back to sleep. He was so quiet that I wondered if he was alive. This kind of excellent behavior must have inspired Scarlett. She happily talked to us and sang made-up songs to her Elmo doll. She pleasently told us when she was hungry and then after telling us that she saw the moon ("Moon mama! Mama moon" times 100)she fell sound asleep. She woke when we were a few minutes from our destination.
Nate and I talked to eachother, listened to our own music and even imagined the days when the kids would be playing their video games on trips like these. I was even able to sleep for an hour.
I hope that this wasn't just a fluke--we are travelers at heart and don't last long before wanderlust sets in again. I don't know if it was night driving or positive peer pressure that made her so pleasant, but I'm happy. Where to next?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our lil 'eers

This weekend we took our first big family trip. We took a pilgrimage to Morgantown to watch the football game (we won!) and also to celebrate the fact that 10 years ago this month, Nate and I started dating. We went out to eat at the same restaurant Nate took me on our first date (we were broke, so the restaurant was also a great place to take our family and another family with two kids--no one cared about the throwing of food!)It was quite a different experience to be in Morgantown as the parents of two small children rather than unfettered college students. On Saturday night, after I had bathed the kids and tucked them in and I setteled in to watch TV I wished for a few minutes that I was going out dancing with my friends instead. It can be so fun to have no responsibilities. But when it comes down to it, spending time with my kids has been the coolest and most important job I have ever done. The rewards far outweigh the fact that my Friday nights are not quite what they used to be... I mean, what could be better than this?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things

Recently I had "Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music stuck in my head (don't ask me why, I credit it to sleep deprivation) and it occured to me that Julie Andrews' character had a very strange list, I mean mittens...who wears those past the age of 4 anyway? But then I realized I might have a few strange things on my list. I mean, The smile Ensley flashes at me and the adorable way Scarlett says "bless you, dude" are definitely among my favorite things, but there are also some strange things on my list...
finding a treasure in someone else's trash
ice and water on the door (I waited so long for this!)

my down comforter
the smell of wet pavement
Diet Pepsi Vanilla (it is so hard to find that when I do it makes my whole day!)

people falling down (I'm a bad person, i know, but nothing is funnier)
any song Bob Marley ever sang
my new jogging stroller

So I guess considering my list, whiskers on kittens aren't really that strange at all..

Saturday, September 27, 2008


On Sunday Nate and I invited our family and friends to church to participate in our baby dedication, where we pledged to teach our children about God and acknowledge that they are a gift from Him. We promised to put our children on a path towards Him as they are His. It was a beautiful service and we had a great brunch afterwards (thanks so much to everyone for pitching for 20 is not as easy as you imagine it to be!) I had just been reading about Abraham and the gift he was given. God promised him a child even though he was very old. Finally after a very long wait, Abraham became a father at 100 years old. In the story, it is mentioned that Abraham and Sarai laughed at the news. I can only imagine how excited they must have been. Then when their precious son Isaac was a teenager, God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son on the altar and offer him up. Abraham was faithful to do this and got his son up on the altar and was poised to be obedient when God spared Issac and produced a lamb to be sacrificed instead. Now I know that teenagers can be bratty, but this must have been so wrenching for Abraham. It was hard for me even to think about this. I dedicated my children to God, but could I truly offer them up like that? I pray that I am never asked to make that sacrifice. And now I can see what an amazing sacrifice God made when he sent Jesus to us.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

she is a pistol

In the big sister department, Scarlett is the tops. She looks at little Ens and just wants to hug and kiss him all the time. She often offers him her sippy cup or whatever delectable meal she is enjoying. She loves to help by throwing away diapers and pushing the stroller. She does not get jealous when storytime is interupted by his fervent "feed me" cry or when he gets carried and she has to walk. Ensley could not ask for a better big sister.
But she does seem to be needing me a bit more than she used to. I hear her crying out "Help peeeeeeze!" so frequently that today I couldn't even remember why I taught it to her. Sometimes I have to remind her that she can do it herself. She has discovered that when she does not get her way, she can do more than just scream (a favorite tactic) and has added in throwing her body prostrate and kicking her little feet. One of her new favorite phrases is "no Daddy" and I've caught her practicing her scowl in the mirror more than once. She knows what she wants and she has unyielding determination to accomplish her goals.
One day, I will admire those traits in her.
One day...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Twice the everything

Life has certainly changed these past few weeks! A few of my observations:

I am back to carrying a purse AND a diaper bag. And no, its not a small purse.
I will never be on time to anything ever again.
I can never rewear anything--everything either has poop, puke or applesauce on it.
I have no idea what is going on in the world, but I did notice the guy from Blue's Clues got a haircut.
Two children screaming at one time while I am making dinner makes waterboarding seem like a relaxing spa treatment.
I find myself spending alarming amounts of time pondering shades of poo.
I fantasize about sleeping. Just sleeping.
I can carry amazing amounts of things-babies, strollers, bags and kicking toddlers all at once.
I used to saok in the tub so long I would have to drain off some water to refill it with warmer water. While I no longer enjoy these leisurely soaks, I often have to drain and replace bathwater--for much more sinister reasons.

So many things have changed I have been feeling like I can hardly keep up with my own life! But when Scarlett says "hug mama" and wraps her arms around me or Ensley looks up at me and smiles so big he dribbles milk, I am grateful for every second. Life before kids may have been simpler at times, but I can not imagine doing anything more important than being Scarlett and Ensley's mom.
And in the really hard moments, this is my mantra:
“I sing for joy at the works of Your hands.” - Psalm 92:4

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

He's here!

Three weeks ago today, Ensley Samuel Smith made his much-anticipated appearance! Life has not been the same for a single moment afterwards, and I am loving every minute of it. He is very handsome, and already has graced us with several smiles that might not be gas induced. He astounds me every day with just how precious he is. I feel like he is growing like a weed--he has actually outgrown an outfit! I am treasuring every second of this though, as I know understand how fast it truly is. Sometimes I just snuggle him in my arms and thank God for this miracle. Even on the days where I think about sleep more than I actually do it (he started off great, but has recently become nocturnal) and even when I find poop on my arm (his-not mine) and puke in my hair and he has again sprang a leak as soon as I open the diaper and hits his own face and Scarlett's shoes (has happened more than once) and even when he is fussing and I have to blog one-handed, even then, I know how blessed I am to be his Mommy. For more cute photos, check out my mom's handiwork.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Its a blow-out

Yes, still pregnant. One of the only good things about being overdue is the look of horror that crosses many faces when they ask me when I am due and I tell them last week. Especially men look at me nervously as if I might birth my child right there in front of them. Oh yeah, another big advantage is that Nate is still spoiling me...he has taken me out to two really nice dinners and last night took me out to hear the BSO perform the world premier of "The Dead Symphony no. 6." I never would have guessed how well Dead tunes translate to symphonic music! Not only was the music great, but it was a much more interesting crowd than the usual symphonies!
There are some downsides, don't get me wrong. If I am pregnant any longer, I might have to get mechanical help exiting the car. Also I can not call anyone anymore because they automatically assume I am calling to tell them I am in labor. Plus more than one person has begun to call me "Cankles" (you are cruel people). But we are managing...I think people are right about this guy realizing that it is too stinkin' hot to come out now! Just say a little prayer for us!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Well, as it is just past midnight, I suppose I am officially overdue. The boy did not come today, as was expected, and for the moment he seems content to remain in utero. I am glad that someone is content.
Much to my husband's chagrin, I hate suspense and anticipation and suddenly I find myself mired in it. So much so that it is past midnight and I am blogging rather than getting much needed sleep. I have tried all of the stupid tricks that can sometimes cure my insomnia, but none have worked. Well except for the ones I can't try, like Theraflu...
Of course I don't fail to recognize the irony--one day very soon I will be so sleep deprived that I could fall asleep with my eyes open. But now sleep eludes me. I just can't wait to see his little face. I keep wondering, what will he look like? Will he look like his sister did? Will he look like me, or like his father? Will he be a good sleeper? Will he be easy-going and easily amused or will he require much cajoling and arranging?
More than anything, I just want things to happen. I just want to be finished waiting--even if that means plunging headfirst into chaos I am ready to start it up. Do you hear that little guy? Aren't you tired of being cooped up in there?
My powers of persuasion are lost on him.
And by the way, is it possible for feet to swell to the point that they burst like an over-inflated balloon, because I am starting to be concerned...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hot as blazes!

It was another hot one today...
My parents and siblings came out to check out my new digs and we trecked all over to take in the sights. It was fun showing off the place and it was even better to relax and enjoy the day with them. My favorite part was when Scarlett mounted the shiny metal playground equipment and promptly reported to us "hot." We are no dummies, that's why we were sitting in the shade!
While Scarlett and I enjoyed out evening stroll, a little old lady chastised me for being pregnant in such heat. She let me know in no uncertain terms that in her day they had enough sense to stay in and keep their feet up. In her day they would not have accepted such foolishness. Just to be sure she had imparted every bit of wisdom she had, she also advised me that Scarlett needed her bangs trimmed.
Luckily for her, I get milder when the weather is this hot. The fiery side of me really wanted to advise her that her chin hairs were also in need of a trim. And that in my day we do not wear floral slippers as out-on-the-town wear.
Anyway Scarlett gave Mrs. Oldy McGuinty one of her dirtiest looks (and she's got some dirties) and I think that was message enough!
What is it about a pregnant belly that invites the advice of others anyway?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Its the little things

Well life has been a dizzying tumoult of change of recent!
There has been so much excitement and drama that I can honestly say that I have not been bored for a single moment in my recent memory.
We are in our new home and settling into the neighborhood. I am practicing becoming a real Baltimorian by calling everyone "Hon." I love that I can walk to just about anything I need and that I already know my neighbors. My little trellised oasis of roses in our back alley is one of my favorite places in the world now!
But it hasn't been exactly easy. Nate and I don't argue much. Or maybe I should say, we didn't argue much. Luckily we still love eachother as much--even when the other person is being crabby.
And six days after moving in, we had to put our kitchen remodel on hold (not before it was rendered unuseable of course...) because the bathroom floor had to be ripped out and replaced entirely. Luckily my handy husband and hardworking father-in-law dedicated their last two weekends to getting that problem fixed. I swore I wasn't going to complain, but after two weeks of being 8 months pregnant and having no flushing toilet in my home, I gave the "I've been a martyr" speech. Oh well, I tried.
But now there is a lovely new tile floor and fabulous flushing toilet. It is brand new and does not have any of the yucky-previous-owner germs. Plus, I did not crash through the floor while taking care of business in the bathroom, which was definitely going to happen if Nate had not taken care of the rotton floor problem.
All in all I have to say that I am a lucky girl!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Hard Mac"

Today I was asked to prepare a packet of pasta (with freeze-dried beef in it) for someone. This is not a food product that I have been aquainted with, although if it were around when I was living in the dorms, I'm sure I would have already tried all of the flavors. This particular culinary delight consisted of an envelope of pasta that you mixed with water and stirred in some powder with beef chunks conviently included. I was doubtful that this process would render anything even remotely edible and my suspicions were confirmed. I promise to you that I followed the directions so very carefully that I even easured the 3/4 cups of water, which I would never normally do. I punched in the exact number on the microwave that was recommended. The result was horrifying. First of all, it came out of the microwave with a very hard, neon orange crust layer all over the top that I had to crack thhrough to get to the food (much like a creme brule only gross). When I did, I found that the pasta was so far on the wrong side of al dente that the poor child would break his teeth if I fed it to him. Also the "sauce" had congealed into chunks--not good. Several attempts at stirring, adding more water, and re-microwaving only made the dish more of a glop of sludgy over-processed goo than it had originally been. I gave up and made the poor child some chicken and rice.
All the while, I am asking this: Who was it that decided that the process of preparing boxed macaroni and cheese (you know, boiling the water, draining the pasta, stiring in the sauce) was too difficult? And if these people are indeed not capable of preparing this simple meal, should we complicate things with the new "easy method" and more importantly should we be allowing them to operate microwaves at all?
My other question is this: Why does Scarlett constantly shun my carefully prepared homemade lunch and beg for what ever packet/box/envelope pasta meal that other child has to eat!?!?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Big excitement!

Life recently has seemed to be full of big excitement. This is how I like things, although it seems hard to catch my breath at times. We sucessfully sold our house, and survived the inspections, negotiations and subsequent work that followed. (the front yard has a huge trench in it, but this is no longer my concern!!) We have also found a house finally! After looking at about 20 and a ridiculous amount of research, we have put in an offer that I think has been accepted. I think tomorrow we will find out for sure. I have even collected a couple of boxes for moving. Wow, I can't believe it is really happeneing. I have been on the Ikea website 50 times already and have my new kitchen planned out perfectly (did I mention that we bought a fixer-upper?). It seems that life is not about to settle down a bit for a while, but at least I'm not going to be bored!
I am so excited about moving into a place that was bulit in 1900 and restoring it to some of its original splendor. The park across the street has a great playground and a pavillion that was built when the neighborhood was built.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Like eyes for the blind...

Okay, before I say what I have to say, I will get to the exciting stuff is a boy! Nate and I found out on Monday morning and have the sonogram shots to prove it (little guy, you can thank me later for not posting them, the tech actually inserted an arrow to clarify!!) Nate and I feel that our cups overflow!

And Friday was my birthday, which was very nice. We drove out to WV for the weekend and just as the trip got underway, Nate asked me to pull over. When I did, he quickly popped up an awesome GPS unit onto the windshield!!!! I could not believe it--he had already set it up and we used it on the way (we knew where we were going, which was good, because apparently it didn't--it would have gotten us lost in my parent's neighborhood...) It was a nice chance for Nate to demonstrate all of the cool features, including a soothing British accent. I could tell that he wished it was his, which somehow made it seem even cooler! She seemed a bit demanding while I knew where I was going, but I liked her anyway and named her Geraldine.

Now to some this would be a cool or neat extravagant toy in their car, but as anyone who knows me could testify, for me it was like getting glasses after a lifetime of a wheelchair for my broken legs or even coclear implants for my deaf ears. I know this sounds dramatic, but it is not, I swear. I have a real and true disability when it comes to navigation. There is no map that can save me from myself. Not only to I lack the ability to create a mental map of an area and can not even imagine how roads relate to one another, but I also tend to panic in navigating situations and make decisions that no rational person would. I have been lost in almost every town I've driven in and spent countless hours taking random turns, u-turning, asking dudes at gas stations, and praying to the mighty Lord above all the while wondering if I was going to have to move because I would never find my way home. I have driven down roads in tears after realizing that I had already been down them twice, and when we first moved to Maryland, I was very well known in Nate's office--because there were so many times that I would have to call him and tell him where I was while he used Google maps to guide me home. If I didn't have a cell phone, I would probably be out there somehwere...just lost!!!!!

I think I'm a reasonably smart person in other aspects of life, but in this area, I am truly lacking any ability at all. My only survival technique has been route memorization. The worst is when I know how to get from my house to the mall, and from my house to work, but trying to figure out how on earth to get from the mall to work is exhausting!!! But thanks to my thoughtful husband, this curse will plague me no more! I'm a free woman! Goodbye my dear gas station attendants...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I wonder what you are thinking...

I often look at Scarlett and wonder what is going on in her mind. I remember that shortly after she was born, we would hold her and watch her sleep and see her eyes moving about in a dream and I wondered what that dream could possibly be. Now that she is talking a little bit, I am beginning to get a better picture of who she is, but there are still so many times that I could not even guess at what her little brain is cookin' up. Today at my midwife's is a perfect example. When my midwife, David, said "Hi Scarlett!" and tried to go in for a hug, she furrowed her brow and shrank back. I know at this moment she was saying "if you touch me pal, you're gonna regret it." This was obvious. But then when I tried to put her in the car, she started arching her back and saying "NANANANANANANANANA!" Now I know this meant she didn't want to get in the car, but for the life of me, I have no idea why. She normally loves car rides--was even singing on the way to the midwife's. But on the ride home, she was definitely not singing. When I reached back to pat her leg she pushed my hand away with intention. Luckily the little mood storm cleared up as quickly as it had materialized and she was back to her normal self later, but I am still left to wonder--what was that all about? Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get her figured out...Of course Nate probably thinks the very same thing about me.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Tonight is the night and we are all a little nervous...
Scarlett has gone to sleep with a pacifier (aka a binky) since she was four weeks old. Tonight she is 15 months old and we have decided that she will no longer sleep with a binky. At twelve months, we took it away during the daytime. She screamed on EVERY SINGLE car ride until she waws thirteen months old.
She is actually somewhat of a conisseur of binkies. She has favorites that rotate regurlarly...there is the diamond studded "bling binky,"the novelty binky that was actually decoration on the cake at my baby shower, the weird knobby purple one and many other interesting varities. Each night she carefully selects one to put in her mouth. Then she chooses one for each hand. These she immediately holds into her closed eye sockets as she lay. It is so cute. And now it has to stop.
I am actually a little sad too. My little baby is growing up and reaching so many milestones...she can climb up onto the couch, exclaim "yuck" when her diaper is rank, and help put her toys in the basket. She drinks from a cup and picks out her bedtime story. She has even mastered to fine art of throwing a fit when things don't go her way. I can't believe that she is the very same girl that I held in my arms and rocked to sleep as a tiny baby.
And tonight, please pray for us all. I worry that she will scream and cry at the injustice of her situation. (She can maintain the "freak-out" mode for a remarkably long time). My next worry is that she will not be able to go back to sleep when she wakes up too early. Normally Nate or I have to "re-bink" her at some ridiculous hour when all three pacifiers have fallen to the floor or wedged themselves between the crib and the wall. Now what will we do? I have a sinking feeling I am going to be up very early tomorrow morning.
I hope there is a nice sunrise...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Adventures in yoga

Now that I am pregnant I have had to give up my Pilates class. Most of the class is spent lying facedown (I feel like I'm flattening the baby) or flat on your back (not allowed to do this because it put pressure on your organs or arteries or something like that)or twisting (don't know why this is a no-no). Last week I tried swimming for exercise. I talked to the life guard who told me that a reasonable amount for a beginner would be 16 laps, or a half-mile. This sounded reasonable, as I am in pretty good shape and comfortable in the water. I started off strong, but after five laps, I started to feel very winded and had to take a break between laps. After a couple more it took me longer to catch my breath between laps than it did to swim one. My shoulders were on fire after ten so I floated a while and decided that ten laps was an okay first attempt. The next day I was so sore that I could hardly lift Scarlett up. Every single muscle in my body was telling me that I had overdone it. I am going to try it again, but I am going to go a little easier this time. So yesterday I went to a new yoga class. I have been to a million different kinds and usually enjoy it. This one is known as "hot' yoga (and true to its name the thermostat was set at 77!!) The class description boasted a faster pace and more intense workout. I was looking for something more than just relaxing poses, so I gave it a try.
I knew I was in trouble when the teacher was standing in the middle of the room swooshing inscense around herself cereminously. She shut off the lights and asked us to look through our third eye. I only have two, so I just thought about my grocery list. Then she taught us a mantra we should sing to connect our centers to the power of yoga. First of all, if singing were all it took to get me into shape, then my morning shower would suffice and I would not be paying my monthly gym bill!! Second of all, I do not have any kind of spiritual connection to the power of an exercise class. Our teacher told us that yoge could transform our lives. The poor girl, if she only knew that we were all just looking to transform our thighs... But after all of her silliness, class began and the pace really was intense. My heart was beating right away and I had to work hard to keep up. Several of the poses were pretty intense (and some I didn't even know were humanly possible). During some of the poses, she would ask us to hold it and then meditate on some kind of yoga truth. I found these were great opportunities to mentally redecorate my bedroom, examine my toe nails and decide that I could definitely use a pedicure, feel the baby kick and smile, and even pray. And no, I was not praying to the power of yoga. God could hear me through all of the patchouli I have no doubt. During this one pose all I could do was think about not collapsing onto the floor. Oh, and then the girl next to me strained so hard she popped out a fart and I had to meditate very hard on not laughing out loud because it was very, very funny.
I have not yet decided if I am going to go back to yoga--it was a great workout and I get bored of the same old routine--but I have decided that if I did have a third eye, I would definitely use it to find a spot next to someone who would not break wind when the going got hard!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day

I have heard so many cynics complain about this holiday and I personally do not understand it. No, I do not believe that that Kay jewelers and Hallmark have conspired against us! I love this day, and to me it does not mean that we have to buy things or stress and worry. Valentines Day is a reminder to me that I should show my husband that I am still completely in love with him. And I look forward to hearing that from him as well. We have been together for ten years and often get caught up in the chores and duldruns of everyday life. A little romance every once in a while is definitely a blessing and not a curse. I was so touched when Nate secretly arranged for my friend to watch Scarlett so that we could go out to dinner and watch a movie. He remembered that I had mentioned really wanting to watch this achingly romantic movie and knew that I hadn't been to the cinema in two years. I loved the dinner (stuffed calamari, grilled octopus salad, and filet of sole) and cried at the movie (Atonement). But the best part of it was knowing that Nate had taken the time to do something for me. On our ride to and from the city, we listened to the double-disc Valentines Day playlist that I worked on for Nate for the last 2 months. (Because he puts a song in my heart...awww) The night was completely perfect, even without jewelry and Hallmark!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Baby Whisperer

Well there are some days that you are on the top of your game and there are some days that you are not. Today did not turn out to be one of my days to shine. Now that I have only one more step to be a liscensed child-care provider for the state of Maryland (the final inspection is schedule for Wednesday!!) you would think I could handle a couple of kids. Oh, but not today...
I had Scarlett and her best friend Connor outside playing this afternoon. It was so warm out--we were thrilled to enjoy it. While Connor is steering the bubble mower around the yard, Scarlett faceplants onto the brick patio. She screams, and her face is covered with blood. I get her inside and cleaned up to discover a scraped up nose and a goose-egg forehead. The only thing that got her to stop crying was a popsicle. My poor little thing. But she did want to play still. So did Connor. So we went back out and we were kicking around a soccor ball. It lands in a decorative koi pond. The pond is cute, but would never pass inspection, so we got fill dirt and rocks and planned to fill it in this weekend. Unfortunately that was not soon enough. When the ball landed in the pond, Connor's dog jumped in after it. Conner sees this and yells "Jump!" Then jumps feet first into the pond. He is now belly-button deep in the pond. I run over and pull his screaming, frantic body out and am overcome with a stench I have never encountered before in my life. If ten thousand elephants were to defecate in a hole and then fifty overweight men threw their week-old gym clothes into that same hole, it would only begin to rival this smell. The poor child had to be stripped comeletely nude before he could even go into the house!
Perhaps I need to accept that today is not my day and be sure to bring my A game tomorrow! Sorry Scarlett and Connor!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Goodbye old friend

When Nate and I moved into this house, there were a couple of huge murals that were on the walls in the living room and the bedroom. They were not exactly my taste, and I swore I would get rid of them as soon as possible. I took down the deer grazing in my dinig room right away and repainted the wall, but the mountain lake scene in my bedroom just sat there and sat there. I decorated and redecorated every room in the house, but our bedroom just went on displaying that scenic view. Well, until yesterday. With some help from my mother-in-law, I tore, scraped, and steamed that mountain down. This will definitely help our house sell, and with a fresh coat of paint, I'm sure it will look incredible. I can't believe I am saying this, but I was actully a little sad about the whole thing. Somehow, I am going to miss it! It may have been ugly, but it had a special charm that at first amused me and apparently grew into something resembling fondness. Who knew!?!? Oh well. I don't miss it enough to install one in my new bedroom! And at least I have some photos to always remind me of my very own mountain lake!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy New Year

I am usually good at keeping my New Year's Resolutions. This year one of mine was to blog more consistantly. We can all see how that has been going...
But I am really going to try and improve.
This year has been so eventful only two weeks in. Nate and I have replaced the flooring, molding and front door (with much needed help from friends, family and neighbors). Although we still have some work to do before we are finished, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I admit I have gone a little crazy living in a construction zone, but Nate has done a truly amazing job and the place looks so nice.
Marie and I have begun our new business venture. The steps to get a state approval have been lengthy, but we have waded our way through it and are now waiting for state, zoning and fire marshall inspections and the process will be complete. We have a pretty lengthy waiting list of clients and are getting so excited for field trips, story time and of course art projects.
Scarlett has been walking like crazy. It seems like one day she just gave up crawling and started plodding all around. She still has a bit of a Frankenstein walk and falls down a million times a day, but she is so happy to be cruising around. Her favorite activity is to carry around a bucket, lunch box or purse in one hand while holding her phone up to her ear chatting away. I am working on catching this on video, I promise!
And we got to see the first glimpse of our newest little treasure.