Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Summer of Classics: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Without a doubt, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith has to be one of the most poignant and beautiful books I have ever read.  From the first page, I was hooked.  I wanted to know Francie Nolan.  I wanted to watch who she would become.  I wanted to know her hardships and find the beauty in the life she lived.

As I read further, I found myself in love with the whole Nolan family.  I can't imagine a stronger mother than Katie Nolan.  I hope to be half as good a mother as Katie - I also hope to never feel the poverty she endured to give her children everything she did.  The whole family worked, and hungered, and ached, and shivered together.  They wanted for so much.  And yet... somehow, they had so much.

They shared love and laughter.  They shared their hard-earned dollars.  They never hesitated to give everything they had for each other.  They created memories - beautiful memories.  The Nolans were at peace with who they were and from where they came from.  Such amazing strength.  And the motivation of that Francie!  What a child!  So imaginative.  So honest.  So able to overcome.

I had heard the following quote before:

"Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry...have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere-be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost."

And this speaks to me.  As a daughter, wife, friend, coworker, mother.  Let me be something every minute.  And more so, let me appreciate who I am every minute. 

And the best explanation I have ever known for believing in Santa (I still believe, to this day):

"Because," explained Mary Rommely simply, "the child must have a valuable thing which is called imagination. The child must have a secret world in which live things that never were. It is necessary that she believe. She must start out by believing in things not of this world. Then when the world becomes too ugly for living in, the child can reach back and live in her imagination. I, myself, even in this day and at my age, have great need of recalling the miraculous lives of the Saints and the great miracles that have come to pass on earth. Only by having these things in my mind can I live beyond what I have to live for."

Beautiful.

Summer of Classics: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Without a doubt, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith has to be one of the most poignant and beautiful books I have ever read.  From the first page, I was hooked.  I wanted to know Francie Nolan.  I wanted to watch who she would become.  I wanted to know her hardships and find the beauty in the life she lived.

As I read further, I found myself in love with the whole Nolan family.  I can't imagine a stronger mother than Katie Nolan.  I hope to be half as good a mother as Katie - I also hope to never feel the poverty she endured to give her children everything she did.  The whole family worked, and hungered, and ached, and shivered together.  They wanted for so much.  And yet... somehow, they had so much.

They shared love and laughter.  They shared their hard-earned dollars.  They never hesitated to give everything they had for each other.  They created memories - beautiful memories.  The Nolans were at peace with who they were and from where they came from.  Such amazing strength.  And the motivation of that Francie!  What a child!  So imaginative.  So honest.  So able to overcome.

I had heard the following quote before:

"Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry...have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere-be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost."

And this speaks to me.  As a daughter, wife, friend, coworker, mother.  Let me be something every minute.  And more so, let me appreciate who I am every minute. 

And the best explanation I have ever known for believing in Santa (I still believe, to this day):

"Because," explained Mary Rommely simply, "the child must have a valuable thing which is called imagination. The child must have a secret world in which live things that never were. It is necessary that she believe. She must start out by believing in things not of this world. Then when the world becomes too ugly for living in, the child can reach back and live in her imagination. I, myself, even in this day and at my age, have great need of recalling the miraculous lives of the Saints and the great miracles that have come to pass on earth. Only by having these things in my mind can I live beyond what I have to live for."

Beautiful.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An Ode to Work (and Electricity)

Oh, to be back at work,
Where there is the loveliest little toaster for bagels,
Where lightbulbs fill whole rooms with light,
Where computers connect to internet, 
Where vacuums TURN ON when plugged into the wall.
Oh work! Oh blessed work with the electricity therein!

As you might have guessed, we are still without power.  BGE estimates that power will be restored by Friday at the latest... or maybe Saturday morning.  I can't make this shit up.  They actually said in their message, "Definitely Friday!  But maybe Saturday."  So I'm planning on spending the long weekend gutting my fridge, cleaning every surface, and spending hundreds of dollars to fill it again.  Yay!

But on a positive note?  Aside from the loss of my refrigerator, I am actually really enjoying the loss of electricity.  My house is amazingly calm and quiet.  Nothing is whirring.  Nothing is buzzing.  The TV is continually silent.  Nate was talking about how much he missed TV (not me!).  Laura looked over at it and said, "Oh yeah!"  She had completely forgotten about her friends Dora, Diego, Elmo and Cookie.  The quiet is music to my ears.  I swear, I have even enjoyed being a mom more since the power went out.  I have spent more time on the floor, reading, playing, gobbling that little sweet baby neck spot than ever before.  I almost don't want the power back, except that I'd like my fridge.

Since losing power, I have had my moments of frustration.  I have been snappy and bitchy.  But I'm always a little snappy and a little bitchy.  I'm mostly snappy and bitchy when people ask about the fridge.  It is what it is!  We've lost the food, and that sucks.  But we could be a whole lot worse off.  WE HAVE HOT WATER.  Done.  Period.  Given the choice between power and water?  I'll take safe (and heated) water any day.  We'll get the electricity back in good time. 

For now, I am truly content to suck up as much electricity as I can at work, and spend quiet candlelit evenings with Nate and Laura.

An Ode to Work (and Electricity)

Oh, to be back at work,
Where there is the loveliest little toaster for bagels,
Where lightbulbs fill whole rooms with light,
Where computers connect to internet, 
Where vacuums TURN ON when plugged into the wall.
Oh work! Oh blessed work with the electricity therein!

As you might have guessed, we are still without power.  BGE estimates that power will be restored by Friday at the latest... or maybe Saturday morning.  I can't make this shit up.  They actually said in their message, "Definitely Friday!  But maybe Saturday."  So I'm planning on spending the long weekend gutting my fridge, cleaning every surface, and spending hundreds of dollars to fill it again.  Yay!

But on a positive note?  Aside from the loss of my refrigerator, I am actually really enjoying the loss of electricity.  My house is amazingly calm and quiet.  Nothing is whirring.  Nothing is buzzing.  The TV is continually silent.  Nate was talking about how much he missed TV (not me!).  Laura looked over at it and said, "Oh yeah!"  She had completely forgotten about her friends Dora, Diego, Elmo and Cookie.  The quiet is music to my ears.  I swear, I have even enjoyed being a mom more since the power went out.  I have spent more time on the floor, reading, playing, gobbling that little sweet baby neck spot than ever before.  I almost don't want the power back, except that I'd like my fridge.

Since losing power, I have had my moments of frustration.  I have been snappy and bitchy.  But I'm always a little snappy and a little bitchy.  I'm mostly snappy and bitchy when people ask about the fridge.  It is what it is!  We've lost the food, and that sucks.  But we could be a whole lot worse off.  WE HAVE HOT WATER.  Done.  Period.  Given the choice between power and water?  I'll take safe (and heated) water any day.  We'll get the electricity back in good time. 

For now, I am truly content to suck up as much electricity as I can at work, and spend quiet candlelit evenings with Nate and Laura.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sometimes I clean when I'm bored

I'm pretty bored today. I was yesterday too, which means I'm extra bored today. Laura's down for a second nap, so I figured I'd clean. Since I have nothing else to do. So I got out the vacuum, plugged it in and turned it on.

That's when I remembered the reason I'm so bored: my electricity has been out for over 36 hours. I put the vacuum back. I'm still bored, but now I'm also embarrassed.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sometimes I clean when I'm bored

I'm pretty bored today. I was yesterday too, which means I'm extra bored today. Laura's down for a second nap, so I figured I'd clean. Since I have nothing else to do. So I got out the vacuum, plugged it in and turned it on.

That's when I remembered the reason I'm so bored: my electricity has been out for over 36 hours. I put the vacuum back. I'm still bored, but now I'm also embarrassed.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Am I Wrong?

Laura is a small child.  She's in the 20th percentile for height and weight - and has been since she was six months old.  She's perfectly healthy.  Perfectly!  She just happens to be smaller than 80% of children her age on average.  Averages have highs and lows on both ends, which is how we come to create averages.  So just being a little smaller on average does not make Laura unhealthy in any way.

So it really bothers me when family obsessively discusses Laura's small build.  Last time I checked, having a healthy, active and lean child was a good thing.  So why does everyone want to Laura to plump up?

I have had body image issues almost my whole life.  I didn't recognize my skewed feelings about my body until college, when I was 104 pounds soaking wet.  When I realized it then, I felt all the memories of self-disgust woosh in and slap me in the face.  At age three, I paid more attention to what my stomach looked like when I sucked in than the Pirates of Caribbean live-action show going on in front of me at Disney World.  At five, I realized that my thighs looked thinner when I crossed my legs like an adult, which is why to this day I cannot sit with my legs uncrossed.  And I was just as small a toddler as Laura is now.

I can't help but feeling that obsessing over Laura's weight will only encourage her to focus on it later.  Laura won't know that we are worried about her being too small.  All she will know is that we overlook everything else to discuss her weight.  If we don't fuss over how well she's learning words or the new color she learned - and only fuss over her weight, what message are we sending our daughter.  I admit, too, that at times I have worried about her small size; I'm her mom and I don't want to mess this up.  But I'm done with it.  Laura is a perfectly healthy child in every way.  She is smart as a whip with a great sense of humor - and she's not even telling jokes yet.  I can't wait to see how she turns out.  And I don't care how big or small she will be.

Am I Wrong?

Laura is a small child.  She's in the 20th percentile for height and weight - and has been since she was six months old.  She's perfectly healthy.  Perfectly!  She just happens to be smaller than 80% of children her age on average.  Averages have highs and lows on both ends, which is how we come to create averages.  So just being a little smaller on average does not make Laura unhealthy in any way.

So it really bothers me when family obsessively discusses Laura's small build.  Last time I checked, having a healthy, active and lean child was a good thing.  So why does everyone want to Laura to plump up?

I have had body image issues almost my whole life.  I didn't recognize my skewed feelings about my body until college, when I was 104 pounds soaking wet.  When I realized it then, I felt all the memories of self-disgust woosh in and slap me in the face.  At age three, I paid more attention to what my stomach looked like when I sucked in than the Pirates of Caribbean live-action show going on in front of me at Disney World.  At five, I realized that my thighs looked thinner when I crossed my legs like an adult, which is why to this day I cannot sit with my legs uncrossed.  And I was just as small a toddler as Laura is now.

I can't help but feeling that obsessing over Laura's weight will only encourage her to focus on it later.  Laura won't know that we are worried about her being too small.  All she will know is that we overlook everything else to discuss her weight.  If we don't fuss over how well she's learning words or the new color she learned - and only fuss over her weight, what message are we sending our daughter.  I admit, too, that at times I have worried about her small size; I'm her mom and I don't want to mess this up.  But I'm done with it.  Laura is a perfectly healthy child in every way.  She is smart as a whip with a great sense of humor - and she's not even telling jokes yet.  I can't wait to see how she turns out.  And I don't care how big or small she will be.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Proofing

I've seen my share of hurricanes in my day.  At age 3, Hurricane Elena hovered over my family's then-home in Tampa, FL, for days while my parents were away on a vacation.  My grandmother set up our Hurricane Headquarters in the central bathroom.  It was at the center of the house with no windows, and made a perfect fort for a three-year-old with her seven-year-old brother.  We had a sleeping bag in the tub, apple juice under the counter, and played hour upon hour of "pirate."  It was the best week of my toddler life.

Fast-forward six years to Hurricane Bob in 1991.  My mom was due with baby #4 at the beginning of September, so she cut short our annual stay at the summer home on the Cape.  My grandmother (the same as above) didn't think it was fair for me to go home two whole weeks early, so she convinced my mom to let me stay on the Cape with her and my great-grandmother (who owned the house).  I was psyched!  A whole two weeks with the grammys!  It was going to be awesome.  I was even more excited when I heard Hurricane Bob was barreling towards us.  My mom swore she'd never leave me with my grandmother again (but she did).  I had a sweet set-up in the corner of the kitchen, snuggled in a sleeping bag surrounded by cookies and some new books.  And I had a perfect view of the old oak tree as it crashed down onto the house.  No injuries, but we were without power for the remainder of that vacation.  We had a gas stove and food in the freezer that needed cooking.  I stayed up with the Grammies, talking by candlelight of their childhoods.  I'll never have another week like that in my life.  Hundreds of games of cards and priceless memories.

So when Hurricane Isabel was due to hit the fall of my senior year of college, I made tracks for Baltimore to weather the storm with my sweetheart.  We stocked up on beer and watched the rain stream sideways across the house.  Every house across the street lost power.  Our side of the street did not.  We hooked up an extension cord and offered electricity to the neighbors, played a lot of poker, and drank a lot of beer.  My housemates in Virginia hosted a Hurricane Party in our house, where the electricity was lost for days.  A friend from William & Mary was visiting for the storm and wound up staying two weeks.  When she finally got back to school (which had been closed due to severe damage), her cadaver was in bad shape.  She continued the autopsy.  This is why I was an Art History major.

Hurricane Irene is swiftly approaching.  I have stocked up with some pantry milk for Laura and a new long-handled lighter for our gas stove.  We have three sets of candlesticks ready to be lit.  I know where two (working) flashlights are.  Nate is buying the typical bottled water and toilet paper.  We have lots of wine and a huge pot of chili in the fridge.  We are ready to weather this storm.  I just hope the earth doesn't decide to quake once again as the rain clouds pummel our house.  Good luck, everyone!

Hurricane Proofing

I've seen my share of hurricanes in my day.  At age 3, Hurricane Elena hovered over my family's then-home in Tampa, FL, for days while my parents were away on a vacation.  My grandmother set up our Hurricane Headquarters in the central bathroom.  It was at the center of the house with no windows, and made a perfect fort for a three-year-old with her seven-year-old brother.  We had a sleeping bag in the tub, apple juice under the counter, and played hour upon hour of "pirate."  It was the best week of my toddler life.

Fast-forward six years to Hurricane Bob in 1991.  My mom was due with baby #4 at the beginning of September, so she cut short our annual stay at the summer home on the Cape.  My grandmother (the same as above) didn't think it was fair for me to go home two whole weeks early, so she convinced my mom to let me stay on the Cape with her and my great-grandmother (who owned the house).  I was psyched!  A whole two weeks with the grammys!  It was going to be awesome.  I was even more excited when I heard Hurricane Bob was barreling towards us.  My mom swore she'd never leave me with my grandmother again (but she did).  I had a sweet set-up in the corner of the kitchen, snuggled in a sleeping bag surrounded by cookies and some new books.  And I had a perfect view of the old oak tree as it crashed down onto the house.  No injuries, but we were without power for the remainder of that vacation.  We had a gas stove and food in the freezer that needed cooking.  I stayed up with the Grammies, talking by candlelight of their childhoods.  I'll never have another week like that in my life.  Hundreds of games of cards and priceless memories.

So when Hurricane Isabel was due to hit the fall of my senior year of college, I made tracks for Baltimore to weather the storm with my sweetheart.  We stocked up on beer and watched the rain stream sideways across the house.  Every house across the street lost power.  Our side of the street did not.  We hooked up an extension cord and offered electricity to the neighbors, played a lot of poker, and drank a lot of beer.  My housemates in Virginia hosted a Hurricane Party in our house, where the electricity was lost for days.  A friend from William & Mary was visiting for the storm and wound up staying two weeks.  When she finally got back to school (which had been closed due to severe damage), her cadaver was in bad shape.  She continued the autopsy.  This is why I was an Art History major.

Hurricane Irene is swiftly approaching.  I have stocked up with some pantry milk for Laura and a new long-handled lighter for our gas stove.  We have three sets of candlesticks ready to be lit.  I know where two (working) flashlights are.  Nate is buying the typical bottled water and toilet paper.  We have lots of wine and a huge pot of chili in the fridge.  We are ready to weather this storm.  I just hope the earth doesn't decide to quake once again as the rain clouds pummel our house.  Good luck, everyone!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cape Escape

Wait, you didn't know I was gone?  That's because I'm all cagey and stuff.  But I'm back.  After a beautiful week at my family's summer home.  After a week of sun and ice cream and waking with the sunrise.  After a week of balloons and pizza (peee-sah!) at the band concert.
After a week of home cooked food in my favorite kitchen.
After a week of remembering the feel of sand between toes (some of us liked it better than the toddlers of us).

After a week of watching the fish get off-loaded at the pier while harbor seals wait, hoping for a stray to fall into their open mouths.
Down they go!  Down the chute!
At least four seals bobbing by the pier
It was a beautiful week.  Sunny and wonderful.  I missed the earthquake in DC, as I lazed on the beach, watching the seagulls fly overhead.  I am told that people felt the quake as far north as Boston.  I guess I was cushioned by the sand beneath me.  I didn't even see a Great White Shark on my trip - that's how calm and perfect everything was.  Although, seeing a shark might have made it a little more perfect.  Who knows.  I'm back.

Cape Escape

Wait, you didn't know I was gone?  That's because I'm all cagey and stuff.  But I'm back.  After a beautiful week at my family's summer home.  After a week of sun and ice cream and waking with the sunrise.  After a week of balloons and pizza (peee-sah!) at the band concert.
After a week of home cooked food in my favorite kitchen.
After a week of remembering the feel of sand between toes (some of us liked it better than the toddlers of us).

After a week of watching the fish get off-loaded at the pier while harbor seals wait, hoping for a stray to fall into their open mouths.



Down they go!  Down the chute!



At least four seals bobbing by the pier
It was a beautiful week.  Sunny and wonderful.  I missed the earthquake in DC, as I lazed on the beach, watching the seagulls fly overhead.  I am told that people felt the quake as far north as Boston.  I guess I was cushioned by the sand beneath me.  I didn't even see a Great White Shark on my trip - that's how calm and perfect everything was.  Although, seeing a shark might have made it a little more perfect.  Who knows.  I'm back.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fall

I have a thing for autumn leaves.  The color, the smell, the crunch.  I think it stems from my early childhood living in Florida and visiting grandparents in New York and Massachusetts.  We would fly up for a visit and see the trees in flaming oranges and reds.  Trees - so foreign in my earliest memories.  My books all showed trees with puffy green branches.  The trees at my grandparents' houses were anything but.

On one trip North when I was in preschool, my mom helped me pick the prettiest leaves from my grandmother's yard.  We ironed them between two sheets of waxed paper so their vibrant colors would last forever.  When we got back to Florida, I brought the leaves into school for show-and-tell.  Each of my classmates got to take one leaf home with them.  Those leaves were such a novelty for us.

A few years later, my family moved to Connecticut.  We had an enormous yard; a clearing surrounded by a small woods.  We moved in the middle of winter, so we had almost lived at that house a full year when we first saw the enchanted forest around our house burst into color.  When those leaves fell, we had mountains of leaves to play in.  We would rake them into enormous piles, set the rakes to the side, and dive in head first.  The leaves were so numerous, we could swim through them.  We would play for hours until our piles were flattened and scattered, where we'd leave them to rake up again the next day.  That was the best yard I have ever seen.

A few more years went by, and then my family moved one more time to Massachusetts.  We moved in the fall, and were immediately met with a vibrant landscape.  One of our first weekends at the new house, my parents piled us in the car for a drive.  "Where are we going?" one of us asked.  "Leaf-peeping!" my mother answered.  Not much of an answer... until we got out into the mountains and were spellbound by the colors around us.  We became seasoned leaf-peepers after that, driving around the state to see the trees in their finest.  Stopping for apple picking and cider.  Breathing in the colors.  Rejoicing in Fall.

Living in Maryland, where I've been for the past seven years, I still appreciate the colors of the trees around me.  I look forward to weekends driving out Route 70 into the country to see the lines of brightly colored trees dotting the landscape.  I can't wait to have a yard filled with leaves to rake up and jump in with Laura.  I hope to someday decorate our house with waxed-encased leaves, just so I can see the wonder on my daughter's face.  I have a thing for autumn leaves.

What do you like best about Fall??  Link up with MamaInsomnia!
”Mama

Fall

I have a thing for autumn leaves.  The color, the smell, the crunch.  I think it stems from my early childhood living in Florida and visiting grandparents in New York and Massachusetts.  We would fly up for a visit and see the trees in flaming oranges and reds.  Trees - so foreign in my earliest memories.  My books all showed trees with puffy green branches.  The trees at my grandparents' houses were anything but.

On one trip North when I was in preschool, my mom helped me pick the prettiest leaves from my grandmother's yard.  We ironed them between two sheets of waxed paper so their vibrant colors would last forever.  When we got back to Florida, I brought the leaves into school for show-and-tell.  Each of my classmates got to take one leaf home with them.  Those leaves were such a novelty for us.

A few years later, my family moved to Connecticut.  We had an enormous yard; a clearing surrounded by a small woods.  We moved in the middle of winter, so we had almost lived at that house a full year when we first saw the enchanted forest around our house burst into color.  When those leaves fell, we had mountains of leaves to play in.  We would rake them into enormous piles, set the rakes to the side, and dive in head first.  The leaves were so numerous, we could swim through them.  We would play for hours until our piles were flattened and scattered, where we'd leave them to rake up again the next day.  That was the best yard I have ever seen.

A few more years went by, and then my family moved one more time to Massachusetts.  We moved in the fall, and were immediately met with a vibrant landscape.  One of our first weekends at the new house, my parents piled us in the car for a drive.  "Where are we going?" one of us asked.  "Leaf-peeping!" my mother answered.  Not much of an answer... until we got out into the mountains and were spellbound by the colors around us.  We became seasoned leaf-peepers after that, driving around the state to see the trees in their finest.  Stopping for apple picking and cider.  Breathing in the colors.  Rejoicing in Fall.

Living in Maryland, where I've been for the past seven years, I still appreciate the colors of the trees around me.  I look forward to weekends driving out Route 70 into the country to see the lines of brightly colored trees dotting the landscape.  I can't wait to have a yard filled with leaves to rake up and jump in with Laura.  I hope to someday decorate our house with waxed-encased leaves, just so I can see the wonder on my daughter's face.  I have a thing for autumn leaves.

What do you like best about Fall??  Link up with MamaInsomnia!
”Mama

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Toy Box

Do you have in-laws with great intentions and poor execution? I do. My mother- and father-in-law mean so well. They have the best of intentions. They just don't always check in with Nate or me before executing these intentions. Which is why Laura has a plastic kitchen (rather than the wooden one I was planning to buy her), a purple Tinkerbell foam chair (rather than something a little more neutral and a little less... garish), and a big, wooden toy box.

I never intended for Laura to have enough toys to warrant a toy box. Maybe a small basket, with a tub of rotation toys in the basement to switch things up. But never a whole toy box. Imagine my surprise when I came home from work a few weeks ago to a mammoth toy box sitting in my family room. "And it's in cherry! To match the other furniture! Because [I] wouldn't have liked the white that [MIL] wanted to get!" Very good intentions, thank you very much, I'm going to go seethe in a corner now until I can get a grip.

No really, I'm quite appreciative of the gesture. Laura's toys (of which Nate and I have bought maybe 3) were running rampant all over the room. It was a disaster. The toy box really does speed clean-up. In a way.
The toys all have little accessories. The Little People have a whole township of crap that goes along with them. The duplos - OMG. And have any of you heard of "Flat People?" These flat plastic people were resurrected from my in-law's basement. They have little outfits that snap on, and actually Laura loves them since even a toddler can change their clothes. I'd never heard of them before, I'm guessing they are vestiges of my SIL born in 1989. As "cute" as they are - they have pieces. Lots and lots of pieces. And the toy box was filled with hundreds of small parts belonging to a greater whole.

All those little pieces, lying loose and scattered in the toy box, were giving my palpitations. Laura couldn't really play with anything in its entirety, because the entirety was spread all over the bottom of the toy box. Enter: GENIUS.



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Stacking boxes. I got four in two sizes: two larger and two smaller. They are already filled. I have one for Little People. Another for the Flat People things. A third for zoo animals. And a fourth for Care Bears and My Little Ponies (vestiges of my childhood, c. 1982!) The stacking boxes fit so neatly in the toy box, like they were meant to be in there all along.

The family room is tidier. My brain is tidier. Sanity has returned to our house. I have made my peace with the toy chest. Everything is going to be alright.

The Toy Box

Do you have in-laws with great intentions and poor execution? I do. My mother- and father-in-law mean so well. They have the best of intentions. They just don't always check in with Nate or me before executing these intentions. Which is why Laura has a plastic kitchen (rather than the wooden one I was planning to buy her), a purple Tinkerbell foam chair (rather than something a little more neutral and a little less... garish), and a big, wooden toy box.

I never intended for Laura to have enough toys to warrant a toy box. Maybe a small basket, with a tub of rotation toys in the basement to switch things up. But never a whole toy box. Imagine my surprise when I came home from work a few weeks ago to a mammoth toy box sitting in my family room. "And it's in cherry! To match the other furniture! Because [I] wouldn't have liked the white that [MIL] wanted to get!" Very good intentions, thank you very much, I'm going to go seethe in a corner now until I can get a grip.

No really, I'm quite appreciative of the gesture. Laura's toys (of which Nate and I have bought maybe 3) were running rampant all over the room. It was a disaster. The toy box really does speed clean-up. In a way.
The toys all have little accessories. The Little People have a whole township of crap that goes along with them. The duplos - OMG. And have any of you heard of "Flat People?" These flat plastic people were resurrected from my in-law's basement. They have little outfits that snap on, and actually Laura loves them since even a toddler can change their clothes. I'd never heard of them before, I'm guessing they are vestiges of my SIL born in 1989. As "cute" as they are - they have pieces. Lots and lots of pieces. And the toy box was filled with hundreds of small parts belonging to a greater whole.

All those little pieces, lying loose and scattered in the toy box, were giving my palpitations. Laura couldn't really play with anything in its entirety, because the entirety was spread all over the bottom of the toy box. Enter: GENIUS.



Close this window
Source
Stacking boxes. I got four in two sizes: two larger and two smaller. They are already filled. I have one for Little People. Another for the Flat People things. A third for zoo animals. And a fourth for Care Bears and My Little Ponies (vestiges of my childhood, c. 1982!) The stacking boxes fit so neatly in the toy box, like they were meant to be in there all along.

The family room is tidier. My brain is tidier. Sanity has returned to our house. I have made my peace with the toy chest. Everything is going to be alright.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer of Classics: Women in Love

Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence was added to the Summer of Classics because my mother wrote a significant paper on it in college and offered me her old c.1972 copy, complete with her maiden name written on the title page and her underlines and notes throughout.  I read it because I figured my mom liked it enough to write a paper about and because I figured I needed some Lawrence to round out my Summer of Classics.  A little eroticism never hurts, right?
My notes: excuse the handwriting!
I won't write an essay expound on what I thought of this novel, it would be too much.  Although, I did take a bunch of notes while reading (which is why I always keep a little notebook and pen in my purse)!  I had to.  The notes kept me sane.  This novel was so thick with theories, philosophies and entendre.  I found myself referring to readings I did for graduate school - Karl Marx, Leon Foucault, Walter Benjamin - readings I'm not sure I really understood even in graduate school!  I couldn't believe I was referencing them for a "fun" summer read.  Women in Love brought new meaning to the Summer of Classics reading challenge.  I certainly was challenged!

It's hard to say what I enjoyed in reading this book.  I didn't hate it, but I suppose I wasn't prepared for such a difficult book at the height of summer.  Some sections were really hot and heavy... which left me lusting for my husband; he very much appreciated this aspect.  Other sections of the book were beyond disturbing.  The violence between Gerald and Gudrun was particularly hard to read. 

The characters in WIL are completely self-absorbed and selfish.  The utter selfishness was the hardest part for me to read.  Particularly since the characters were all redefining marriage and how relationships should work.  If you ask me, selfLESSness should be at the forefront of any relationship or marriage.  How could they spend their lives together without taking a minute to appreciate their counterparts' needs and desires?  It was infuriating.  If I took anything away from this book, it's that sometimes grad school readings show up in the most random places and that being selfish lands you frozen in the bottom of a cravasse.

Up next: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.  I can only hope this is more of a "beach read," but I'm pretty sure any book taking place in a slum with bad men seducing young girls is not a beach read!

Summer of Classics: Women in Love

Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence was added to the Summer of Classics because my mother wrote a significant paper on it in college and offered me her old c.1972 copy, complete with her maiden name written on the title page and her underlines and notes throughout.  I read it because I figured my mom liked it enough to write a paper about and because I figured I needed some Lawrence to round out my Summer of Classics.  A little eroticism never hurts, right?



My notes: excuse the handwriting!
I won't write an essay expound on what I thought of this novel, it would be too much.  Although, I did take a bunch of notes while reading (which is why I always keep a little notebook and pen in my purse)!  I had to.  The notes kept me sane.  This novel was so thick with theories, philosophies and entendre.  I found myself referring to readings I did for graduate school - Karl Marx, Leon Foucault, Walter Benjamin - readings I'm not sure I really understood even in graduate school!  I couldn't believe I was referencing them for a "fun" summer read.  Women in Love brought new meaning to the Summer of Classics reading challenge.  I certainly was challenged!

It's hard to say what I enjoyed in reading this book.  I didn't hate it, but I suppose I wasn't prepared for such a difficult book at the height of summer.  Some sections were really hot and heavy... which left me lusting for my husband; he very much appreciated this aspect.  Other sections of the book were beyond disturbing.  The violence between Gerald and Gudrun was particularly hard to read. 

The characters in WIL are completely self-absorbed and selfish.  The utter selfishness was the hardest part for me to read.  Particularly since the characters were all redefining marriage and how relationships should work.  If you ask me, selfLESSness should be at the forefront of any relationship or marriage.  How could they spend their lives together without taking a minute to appreciate their counterparts' needs and desires?  It was infuriating.  If I took anything away from this book, it's that sometimes grad school readings show up in the most random places and that being selfish lands you frozen in the bottom of a cravasse.

Up next: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.  I can only hope this is more of a "beach read," but I'm pretty sure any book taking place in a slum with bad men seducing young girls is not a beach read!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thirty-Six Years

Today is my parents' thirty-sixth wedding anniversary.  They met nearly forty years ago, and were married on a hot August day four years later.  It's been (mostly) happily ever after since then.  My parents have always shown me and my three siblings so much love.  Love for each other.  Love for us. 

They didn't get too many pictures at their wedding (don't gey my mom started on their photographer!), but I love how this one:
 Is so similar to this one taken three years ago at the same (though renovated) church:
You can see the same boat-ribbed ceiling of the church in both pictures.  Even after the renovation, they kept the spirit of the original design very much alive.  I also love the 70's sleeves on my mother's dress!  Classic!

This was posted in honor of my parents' anniversary in conjunction with "Down the Aisle" over at Mommy of a Monster & Twins!

Thirty-Six Years

Today is my parents' thirty-sixth wedding anniversary.  They met nearly forty years ago, and were married on a hot August day four years later.  It's been (mostly) happily ever after since then.  My parents have always shown me and my three siblings so much love.  Love for each other.  Love for us. 

They didn't get too many pictures at their wedding (don't gey my mom started on their photographer!), but I love how this one:
 Is so similar to this one taken three years ago at the same (though renovated) church:
You can see the same boat-ribbed ceiling of the church in both pictures.  Even after the renovation, they kept the spirit of the original design very much alive.  I also love the 70's sleeves on my mother's dress!  Classic!

This was posted in honor of my parents' anniversary in conjunction with "Down the Aisle" over at Mommy of a Monster & Twins!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nothing Missed

For a while now, I've been obsessed with replacing the family room rug.  I hate the one in there now.  It's old, dingy, and has never matched anything in that hodge-podge room.  When I get stressed, I become increasingly obsessed with replacing the damn rug.  It's got to go.

I was a bit stressed yesterday.  My husband's family was dealing with yet another stupid crisis (not serious, no worries), which meant my MIL had to rush home in the middle of the day yesterday, taking Laura with her.  When I arrived home after work I found a series of half-finished chores waiting for me to finish.  The biggest of these was the alphabet floor mat, all neatly piled in the sink for washing.

I looked at the pile.  I looked at my family room, currently devoid of the primary colored alphabet.  I marveled over the beautiful honey-colored wood floors around the perimeter of the room, hidden from sight for nearly a year now.  I looked at the pile again and made my decision. The mat is gone.  I cleaned each tile and carefully tucked the bunch away in the basement for some future purpose. 

Suddenly, I see my family room in a new light.  It's a large space with plenty of room for toys, play and family.  The rug is still hideous, but it serves as a soft cushion for tea parties and puzzles.  I still want to replace it, someday.  But for now, I'm just happy to leave it alone.

Nothing Missed

For a while now, I've been obsessed with replacing the family room rug.  I hate the one in there now.  It's old, dingy, and has never matched anything in that hodge-podge room.  When I get stressed, I become increasingly obsessed with replacing the damn rug.  It's got to go.

I was a bit stressed yesterday.  My husband's family was dealing with yet another stupid crisis (not serious, no worries), which meant my MIL had to rush home in the middle of the day yesterday, taking Laura with her.  When I arrived home after work I found a series of half-finished chores waiting for me to finish.  The biggest of these was the alphabet floor mat, all neatly piled in the sink for washing.

I looked at the pile.  I looked at my family room, currently devoid of the primary colored alphabet.  I marveled over the beautiful honey-colored wood floors around the perimeter of the room, hidden from sight for nearly a year now.  I looked at the pile again and made my decision. The mat is gone.  I cleaned each tile and carefully tucked the bunch away in the basement for some future purpose. 

Suddenly, I see my family room in a new light.  It's a large space with plenty of room for toys, play and family.  The rug is still hideous, but it serves as a soft cushion for tea parties and puzzles.  I still want to replace it, someday.  But for now, I'm just happy to leave it alone.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Told You So

Four words.  They feel so good to say... and do absolutely nothing to help any situation.  I can't think of a time in my life when saying, "I told you so!" ever did anything but inspire bitterness.  But I'm sitting here at my desk at work, having just gotten off the phone with my mother-in-law and all I can think to say is, "I told you so."

I just knew it.  I knew from the first moment I heard that she was lending her car to my BIL's trainwreck of a girlfriend that it was a bad idea.

I just knew if.  I know from the first time I met my BIL's trainwreck of a girlfriend that she was a bad idea. 

But what good would it do for me to say that?  To tell them that I knew all along that disaster was coming?  Nothing.  I would isolate myself from them, when what they really need is a little support.  A little bit of "OMG that sucks but we'll get through it."  I'm already an outsider to their family.  Telling them what I really think?  Would not help anything.

Which is why I'm just keeping my damn mouth shut.  If I can't say anything nice, I won't say anything at all.  And they wonder why I'm such a quiet person.

I Told You So

Four words.  They feel so good to say... and do absolutely nothing to help any situation.  I can't think of a time in my life when saying, "I told you so!" ever did anything but inspire bitterness.  But I'm sitting here at my desk at work, having just gotten off the phone with my mother-in-law and all I can think to say is, "I told you so."

I just knew it.  I knew from the first moment I heard that she was lending her car to my BIL's trainwreck of a girlfriend that it was a bad idea.

I just knew if.  I know from the first time I met my BIL's trainwreck of a girlfriend that she was a bad idea. 

But what good would it do for me to say that?  To tell them that I knew all along that disaster was coming?  Nothing.  I would isolate myself from them, when what they really need is a little support.  A little bit of "OMG that sucks but we'll get through it."  I'm already an outsider to their family.  Telling them what I really think?  Would not help anything.

Which is why I'm just keeping my damn mouth shut.  If I can't say anything nice, I won't say anything at all.  And they wonder why I'm such a quiet person.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Potty Pooper

Yes.  I'm about to talk about my daughter going to the bathroom.  I'm looking for advice, so please offer it if you can.  And if you don't want to read?  You are excused!

For several months now, Laura has shown signs of interest in potty training.  It all started when, at just over a year old, she would pee all over the bathmat every single time I got her diaper off for bathtime.  So we bought her a little potty to stick her on as the tub filled with sudsy water - with much success!  We would often lift Laura into the tub to see the little puddle left behind.  Cue much praise.

So lately, Laura has been grabbing the front of her diaper and hopping in front of us to get our attention.  If we fail to respond, she walks to an isolated corner, still holding her diaper, and squats down.  We've made it to the actual potty a few times, but mostly she tells us too late and isn't sure what "Can you hold it?" really means.

Nate and I are looking to get more serious about this whole potty training thing... BUT.  We have no clue what to do - especially at such a young age!  I never thought I'd be asking for advice on this subject at EIGHTEEN MONTHS OLD.  But here I am.

Have any of you potty trained early?  How'd it go?  Did you use a specific method?  Any and all recommendations are welcome!

Potty Pooper

Yes.  I'm about to talk about my daughter going to the bathroom.  I'm looking for advice, so please offer it if you can.  And if you don't want to read?  You are excused!

For several months now, Laura has shown signs of interest in potty training.  It all started when, at just over a year old, she would pee all over the bathmat every single time I got her diaper off for bathtime.  So we bought her a little potty to stick her on as the tub filled with sudsy water - with much success!  We would often lift Laura into the tub to see the little puddle left behind.  Cue much praise.

So lately, Laura has been grabbing the front of her diaper and hopping in front of us to get our attention.  If we fail to respond, she walks to an isolated corner, still holding her diaper, and squats down.  We've made it to the actual potty a few times, but mostly she tells us too late and isn't sure what "Can you hold it?" really means.

Nate and I are looking to get more serious about this whole potty training thing... BUT.  We have no clue what to do - especially at such a young age!  I never thought I'd be asking for advice on this subject at EIGHTEEN MONTHS OLD.  But here I am.

Have any of you potty trained early?  How'd it go?  Did you use a specific method?  Any and all recommendations are welcome!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why shouldn't you tell a secret on a farm?

Because the potatoes have eyes and the corn have ears!
I am a sucker for a corny joke.  Get it?!
Sorry, but I couldn't resist a bad joke with this goofy picture of Laura eating corn on the cob for the first time last night!  When I first gave the cob to Laura, she looked at me like I had eight, crazy heads.  What was she supposed to do with it?  So I demonstrated with loud Cookie Monster nom-nom-nom noises and got the cob positioned correctly in Laura's hands.  Laura picked it right up from there!  Complete with loud Cookie Monster nom-nom-nom noises. 

Sometimes I worry about Laura's eating.  That she's not eating enough.  Or she's not eating enough of the "right" things. I worry that her diet isn't balanced at all, unless all those circus animal crackers in her tummy are doing some sort of unseen balancing act in there.  Somedays Laura refuses to eat pretty much anything, and I just have to toss my hands up in the air and call it quits. 

Then there are the days, like last night, where I hear "Moh! Moh!" every five minutes.  Where she eats an entire ear of corn + an entire og og (hot dog) + a whole steamed carrot + an entire snack bag of goldfish, which she earned for being such a good eater at dinner.  Those days astound me - where is all that food fitting in her tiny little body?!  But they also remind me that Laura is a toddler.  She'll eat when she's hungry.  As long as I offer healthy options, Laura will eat what her body needs most.  And no matter what she eats, she's still my tasty little morsel of toddler with that bend at the back of her neck that I bury my face in to kiss every night.

Why shouldn't you tell a secret on a farm?

Because the potatoes have eyes and the corn have ears!



I am a sucker for a corny joke.  Get it?!
Sorry, but I couldn't resist a bad joke with this goofy picture of Laura eating corn on the cob for the first time last night!  When I first gave the cob to Laura, she looked at me like I had eight, crazy heads.  What was she supposed to do with it?  So I demonstrated with loud Cookie Monster nom-nom-nom noises and got the cob positioned correctly in Laura's hands.  Laura picked it right up from there!  Complete with loud Cookie Monster nom-nom-nom noises. 

Sometimes I worry about Laura's eating.  That she's not eating enough.  Or she's not eating enough of the "right" things. I worry that her diet isn't balanced at all, unless all those circus animal crackers in her tummy are doing some sort of unseen balancing act in there.  Somedays Laura refuses to eat pretty much anything, and I just have to toss my hands up in the air and call it quits. 

Then there are the days, like last night, where I hear "Moh! Moh!" every five minutes.  Where she eats an entire ear of corn + an entire og og (hot dog) + a whole steamed carrot + an entire snack bag of goldfish, which she earned for being such a good eater at dinner.  Those days astound me - where is all that food fitting in her tiny little body?!  But they also remind me that Laura is a toddler.  She'll eat when she's hungry.  As long as I offer healthy options, Laura will eat what her body needs most.  And no matter what she eats, she's still my tasty little morsel of toddler with that bend at the back of her neck that I bury my face in to kiss every night.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ms. CrankyPants

Laura was cranky this weekend.  Which made me cranky.  At least, that is how I see it.  As Nate sees it, I was the cranky one, which made Laura cranky.  Apparently she "reflects my moods" or some crap.  Nate's probably right, since he's a victim of our combined crankiness and can probably tell who was cranky first. 

I took out my crankiness on a dozen (homemade!) chocolate chip cookies.  Oh, and Nate.  And some more cookies.  And then Nate again.  After yelling at him, again, Nate put me in a time out.  Up in our room, by myself, until I was ready to be pleasant again.  I was supposed to be napping, but I was reading instead.  This is oddly reminiscent of my childhood.  Sometimes I wonder if Nate and my mother are secretly in league with one another.

But at least the cookies were good. 

Ms. CrankyPants

Laura was cranky this weekend.  Which made me cranky.  At least, that is how I see it.  As Nate sees it, I was the cranky one, which made Laura cranky.  Apparently she "reflects my moods" or some crap.  Nate's probably right, since he's a victim of our combined crankiness and can probably tell who was cranky first. 

I took out my crankiness on a dozen (homemade!) chocolate chip cookies.  Oh, and Nate.  And some more cookies.  And then Nate again.  After yelling at him, again, Nate put me in a time out.  Up in our room, by myself, until I was ready to be pleasant again.  I was supposed to be napping, but I was reading instead.  This is oddly reminiscent of my childhood.  Sometimes I wonder if Nate and my mother are secretly in league with one another.

But at least the cookies were good. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Plumbing

I stepped in a puddle of water on Tuesday night, right in front of the dish rack.  I figured I had been a tad sloppy washing the pots and pans, so I just threw a dish towel onto it and walked away.  When I stepped on the same spot and felt a cold, wet towel under my toes on Wednesday night, I decided to check out the problem.  A great big puddle on the floor, coming from the sink cabinet.  Great.  The entire floor of the cabinet was sopping wet and warped.  Water everywhere.  I found a (working) flashlight and turned on the tap to find the link.  Even better: the drain pipe.  So the water wasn't even clean!  EWWW!


The Culprit: A cracked seal

I called my dad to make sure I could consider this problem a not-emergency, since emergency plumbers are EXPENSIVE.  He concurred.  Keep the sink use to a minimum, avoid running the dishwasher, and the leak should be contained.  I posted a photo of the problem in Facebook, to share my woes... and came back to 15 comments from friends advising how I could fix it myself! 

I planned on fixing the pipe after work yesterday, but when I got home from work my father-in-law was under the sink, wrench in hand!!  I have never been so happy to see that man.  I didn't have to do anything!  Laura tried to help out a little while I basked in not doing a darn thing.

Don't worry, Laura has a flashlight!
Laura micromanaging the job
Laura checking out the finished product
The sink is good as new, and I can wash dishes again.  Yay!  Er, wait a minute. 

Plumbing

I stepped in a puddle of water on Tuesday night, right in front of the dish rack.  I figured I had been a tad sloppy washing the pots and pans, so I just threw a dish towel onto it and walked away.  When I stepped on the same spot and felt a cold, wet towel under my toes on Wednesday night, I decided to check out the problem.  A great big puddle on the floor, coming from the sink cabinet.  Great.  The entire floor of the cabinet was sopping wet and warped.  Water everywhere.  I found a (working) flashlight and turned on the tap to find the link.  Even better: the drain pipe.  So the water wasn't even clean!  EWWW!


The Culprit: A cracked seal

I called my dad to make sure I could consider this problem a not-emergency, since emergency plumbers are EXPENSIVE.  He concurred.  Keep the sink use to a minimum, avoid running the dishwasher, and the leak should be contained.  I posted a photo of the problem in Facebook, to share my woes... and came back to 15 comments from friends advising how I could fix it myself! 

I planned on fixing the pipe after work yesterday, but when I got home from work my father-in-law was under the sink, wrench in hand!!  I have never been so happy to see that man.  I didn't have to do anything!  Laura tried to help out a little while I basked in not doing a darn thing.

Don't worry, Laura has a flashlight!
Laura micromanaging the job
Laura checking out the finished product
The sink is good as new, and I can wash dishes again.  Yay!  Er, wait a minute. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

You know how weather sometimes reflects your mood?

I wasn't going to have a good day today, no matter what.  Nate and I had a serious conversation about work and money last night that left me feeling more than a little attacked.  Yes, I charged thousands of dollars to a Sallie Mae account to get my degree - and now I owe all those thousands back.  No, I did not get a raise at work for earning my degree.  No, there isn't room for me to get promoted at my current job.  No, a raise isn't at all realistic.  No, I don't have a spare nickel to show for myself at the end of the month.  Yes, I am really freaking worried about this.
I couldn't sleep last night. I was overtired and had a cookie (or three) too close to bedtime.  My skin felt all prickly and odd, like I had a rash or something.  After tossing and turning, I took a Benadryl to help me fall asleep.  I slept fitfully after that, and was not amused when Nate thought he could allay my worries from last night with a little intimacy.

I might have been a little rude.  So now I'm worried, tired, and on the shit-list with the husband.  The original outfit I put on was too tight and gave me a tummy ache of bloat and over-heatedness.  And as I started walking to the train the skies opened, soaking me with rain.  It seems fitting that I should be sitting in a cold, wet, cotton dress at work right now.  It's a dark and stormy day here.  I'm waiting for the rainbow.

You know how weather sometimes reflects your mood?

I wasn't going to have a good day today, no matter what.  Nate and I had a serious conversation about work and money last night that left me feeling more than a little attacked.  Yes, I charged thousands of dollars to a Sallie Mae account to get my degree - and now I owe all those thousands back.  No, I did not get a raise at work for earning my degree.  No, there isn't room for me to get promoted at my current job.  No, a raise isn't at all realistic.  No, I don't have a spare nickel to show for myself at the end of the month.  Yes, I am really freaking worried about this.
I couldn't sleep last night. I was overtired and had a cookie (or three) too close to bedtime.  My skin felt all prickly and odd, like I had a rash or something.  After tossing and turning, I took a Benadryl to help me fall asleep.  I slept fitfully after that, and was not amused when Nate thought he could allay my worries from last night with a little intimacy.

I might have been a little rude.  So now I'm worried, tired, and on the shit-list with the husband.  The original outfit I put on was too tight and gave me a tummy ache of bloat and over-heatedness.  And as I started walking to the train the skies opened, soaking me with rain.  It seems fitting that I should be sitting in a cold, wet, cotton dress at work right now.  It's a dark and stormy day here.  I'm waiting for the rainbow.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Drama Queen

Did I ever show you this picture?  It was taken way back in May at my SIL's house.  Apparently, her low-to-the-ground coffee table really brings out the drama queen in Laura.  Yep, she's paired a romper with Uggs, as I'm sure some reality star has done recently.
May 27, 2011
Because here is Laura now sitting on the same coffee table, showing off her toenail polish, with the most dramatic teenage-girl look she could muster.  If I weren't laughing so hard, I would cry.
July 23, 2011
I am already worried for the teen years.  At this rate, they are right around the corner!

Drama Queen

Did I ever show you this picture?  It was taken way back in May at my SIL's house.  Apparently, her low-to-the-ground coffee table really brings out the drama queen in Laura.  Yep, she's paired a romper with Uggs, as I'm sure some reality star has done recently.
May 27, 2011
Because here is Laura now sitting on the same coffee table, showing off her toenail polish, with the most dramatic teenage-girl look she could muster.  If I weren't laughing so hard, I would cry.
July 23, 2011
I am already worried for the teen years.  At this rate, they are right around the corner!

Monday, August 1, 2011

If I'm on your flight, run away.

If you ever see me in an airport, start following me to my gate to make sure I'm on a different flight than you.  And if you are unfortunate enough to be on my flight, hop over to Customer Service and get yourself on stand-by for a different one.  You don't want to fly with me.

Two weeks ago, my flight up North was so delayed (and I was so tired of lugging a toddler and "carry-ons" around the terminal) I had Nate pick me up so I could get on a flight the next morning instead.  Which did take off without a hitch except for the ungodly hour of the flight.  Which is itself was a hitch.  Coming home?  Laura and I were so delayed, we took ourselves to the bar to wait it out.

This past weekend, I was so sure of a smooth flight: we had Nate with us!  Naught could go wrong!  We got to our gate, at the way far end of the terminal.  The flight was showing on time.  We parked ourselves and let Laura roam.  Then the PA system announced a gate change: we had to move all the way to the gate nearest security.  So we schlepped ourselves back up to Gate 3.  No problem.  The plane was there and was showing on time.  But how could a flight of mine be on time?

Mechanical issues.  Two hour delay.  Before they even finished the announcement, I looked at Nate and said, "I GOT THIS," and ran to customer service to get on stand-by for the next flight North.  I was first in line, with forty-five other travelers behind me.  I walk really fast.

So with some extra time to spare, Nate and I moved back to the very far end of the terminal to the THIRD gate, and sat at the bar.  Where Laura fell off a chair.  Onto the tile floor.  Face first.  There was blood.  Thankfully, she just bit her lip and everything else was fine.  But it was just typical of my flying experiences.  We finished our beers and hauled our stuff over to the gate for boarding.

"Excuse me, but have they begun calling stand-by passengers yet?  Oh, you already called us?  [sad trombone] Wait, you can still squeeze us on?!  WE LOVE YOU!"  So we got up to Boston without (further) delay.

And then my dad got lost driving up to the reunion/funeral.  Because everyone has a  funeral months later in the middle of a reunion, right?  Oh, just us.  But we were lost, and it was all because I was in the car, tempting the fates of the travel gods.

Last night, I could hardly believe it: our flight was on time.  I refused to call anyone to let them know we were at the gate because I didn't want to jinx it.  We boarded on time.  We pushed back on time.  OMG WE TOOK OFF ON TIME!

And then Laura became that baby on the plane started screaming.

I'll be sure to warn you the next time I'm heading towards the airport so you can be sure to avoid me.

If I'm on your flight, run away.

If you ever see me in an airport, start following me to my gate to make sure I'm on a different flight than you.  And if you are unfortunate enough to be on my flight, hop over to Customer Service and get yourself on stand-by for a different one.  You don't want to fly with me.

Two weeks ago, my flight up North was so delayed (and I was so tired of lugging a toddler and "carry-ons" around the terminal) I had Nate pick me up so I could get on a flight the next morning instead.  Which did take off without a hitch except for the ungodly hour of the flight.  Which is itself was a hitch.  Coming home?  Laura and I were so delayed, we took ourselves to the bar to wait it out.

This past weekend, I was so sure of a smooth flight: we had Nate with us!  Naught could go wrong!  We got to our gate, at the way far end of the terminal.  The flight was showing on time.  We parked ourselves and let Laura roam.  Then the PA system announced a gate change: we had to move all the way to the gate nearest security.  So we schlepped ourselves back up to Gate 3.  No problem.  The plane was there and was showing on time.  But how could a flight of mine be on time?

Mechanical issues.  Two hour delay.  Before they even finished the announcement, I looked at Nate and said, "I GOT THIS," and ran to customer service to get on stand-by for the next flight North.  I was first in line, with forty-five other travelers behind me.  I walk really fast.

So with some extra time to spare, Nate and I moved back to the very far end of the terminal to the THIRD gate, and sat at the bar.  Where Laura fell off a chair.  Onto the tile floor.  Face first.  There was blood.  Thankfully, she just bit her lip and everything else was fine.  But it was just typical of my flying experiences.  We finished our beers and hauled our stuff over to the gate for boarding.

"Excuse me, but have they begun calling stand-by passengers yet?  Oh, you already called us?  [sad trombone] Wait, you can still squeeze us on?!  WE LOVE YOU!"  So we got up to Boston without (further) delay.

And then my dad got lost driving up to the reunion/funeral.  Because everyone has a  funeral months later in the middle of a reunion, right?  Oh, just us.  But we were lost, and it was all because I was in the car, tempting the fates of the travel gods.

Last night, I could hardly believe it: our flight was on time.  I refused to call anyone to let them know we were at the gate because I didn't want to jinx it.  We boarded on time.  We pushed back on time.  OMG WE TOOK OFF ON TIME!

And then Laura became that baby on the plane started screaming.

I'll be sure to warn you the next time I'm heading towards the airport so you can be sure to avoid me.