Tuesday, June 30, 2009


i am wordless for once. not sure why. sorry guys.

but lucky for me it's wednesday. so i will talk through picture-

behold the shrivitorod.

it's a prototype. try not to be too envious of its classy swagger and elaborate leash-to-buggy system. this puppy can cruise up any sidewalk, driveway, or recently mowed lawn like nobody's business. just grab your keys, water bottle, poopie bag and drive it like you stole it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Taking Myself to Task

Have you ever said something a bit left of center to your offspring? Something that left your mouth before it was properly censored first? Words that you most likely said because you were too exhausted, too annoyed, too 5am to think of others.
I'm not talking charming, Cape Cod cute, Parenting Magazine quotables either. I'm also not talking about ridiculous proclamations ("You'll turn into a Cheeze It if that's all you eat.") out of frustration- we've all done that from time to time. I'm talking about things that are blurted out, shot out like a serpent straight from your own undying ego.

I have. And here is the most recent irrevocable goodie:

After having to repeat myself for the third time about not jumping on the bed yesterday morning I said to G, "Mommy just needs you to listen better or you won't have any friends. Sometimes you just don't listen." Really? Is that how it goes, Erin? This is what you wanted to say? You seriously believed this was a paramount message to relay to your two year old boy just moments after he woke up happily delirious to spend all day with you, his daddy, and his little sister? He's two and eight months old, not twenty-two and making mortgage payments. Wow. Did I really want to load up his toddler plate with this? He just discovered earthworms and ladybugs a few weeks ago in our backyard garden (our backyarden as he says) and I'm forcing him to consider finessing himself through complicated relationships with people he hasn't even met yet?

"No friends?" He doesn't even use the potty full time. Should he invite all his "park slide" buddies over Friday night for the big boy undie-wearing flushfest?

"Doesn't listen?" He just learned HOW TO SPEAK IN SENTENCES. That might have a little something to do with him practicing this new skill set nonstop, there genius mom. He's a tad bit preoccupied with mastering the English language to care whether or not his shouty shoutsalot voice is on your nerves by 6am.

Once I said it and those mean words were out there, all I could think of was his sweet mind churning up images of his "friends" that would no longer be there because he jumped on the Mommy & Daddy bed:

Tigger, Pooh Bear, Thomas the Train, Max & Ruby, Angelina Ballerina, Not-Sadie, Nonie, Nammy, Pop. Poof! All Gone. Gone Daddy Gone. No more friends. Jumping on the bed. Listen. You don't. Better. Won't. Have sometimes. Words. Mean Mouth. Mommy not my best friend anymore.

Then my next phrase echoed in my ear, "..you just don't listen." Oh. Is that so Miss Speaker of the House Lady? I believe this WonderChamp does nothing but listen to your every droning syllable all day long and repeat back to his Little People figurines later on, verbatim at times, complete conversations you held with yourSELF (you verbose pancake) over your beloved Swiffer and/or DustBuster. Seriously woman. Damaged goods. Let this one escape your skewed perceptions and religious self-doubtings. He's new, unused, and perfect. Let him continue in that light with your positive guidance and loving words, ya big bully. Leave behind your own neurosis about people not liking you. That's what this is about, after all.

To know you is to know and like your children? Not even close, not even close to close. We have to let go of this notion. Our children are not extensions of our shortcomings. They aren't even extensions of us half the time. Personalities are born and they continue to build their own quirks and nuances, they don't always borrow from their family tree. Children are individual and inspired creatures from another planet as far as I'm concerned. A planet we once knew, eons ago, just as they do now. It's their turn. Let G know there are boundaries and consequences for his actions. That's your job. Your other more important job, however, is to show him love, consideration, patience (an inordinate abundance thereof, yes!) generosity, humility, joy, curiosity, determination and have a big piece of Shut Your Mouth once in a while. You be the Listener and enjoy the ride. Let him do the talking...you've had your turn already. And in the process, he will certainly and without your help in most cases make friends who love him, appreciate him, listen to him, and don't mind one bit if he jumps on the bed.

Reindeer Games

This is a picture of what we do before 9am. G, Lillabeth, and Mommy spend a little quality time "playing" in my room just for a change of scenery. Desperate, right?

Is it me or is it really hard to figure out what the hell to do for 16 hours (we have early risers) every day of the week? I'm trying to remember to "enjoy the moments" and "take each day as they come"and for a large majority of the time I really do but they just keep coming and my day planning isn't improving at the rapid rate I would expect. I swear to you that by the time 4:00 has hit I'm ready to collapse in a quivering mass of spent energy wherever I am and stay there until either Andy gets home (by 6:30 or 7:00) or Marni stops over to say Hi.

4:00pm and blam, to the floor I go.
6:30pm someone walks in...

Me: Hey, what's up?
Andy (or Marni): What are you doing on the floor?

Me: I'm done for today.
Andy (or Marni): Where are the children?

Me: Not sure. They both were
watching a Hell's Kitchen marathon in the living room a few hours ago.
Andy (or Marni): Oh. whe
re's Sadie?
Me: She's been hiding in the bathtub since May.
Andy (or Marni): Are you going to get up
Me: Umm, nope. I'm good here.
Andy: Wow, you really should think about going back to working outside the home, Erin.
Marni would just ask me to move over so she could lay down next to me. Then we'd take a few minutes to chat about who got kicked off of last night's show and why they deserved it or didn't.

But alas, 4:00 will come along again today and I'll force myself to be above dropping to the floor in a selfish pile of weakness. I will
stand up tall, put on the plastic fireman hat and have a Nerf sword fight with G while Lillabeth jams out in the safari jumperoo. We will overcome.

Oh, before you
walk away thinking we never leave the house. We totally leave the house. Quite often actually. Today we went to Freddy Hill Farm in fact and spent 32 entire minutes outdoors. I know, I'm getting way ahead of myself. I may even try for 41 minutes tomorrow if I'm feeling outlaw.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

WTF, Old Navy?

It's a complete sham that the only physical reward a mom gets for popping out her post first kid(other than the sweet screaming mimi itself) is an extra love handle. Or eight. I love that most moms I know affectionately refer to their post-natal bellies as their "muffin top." That's cute. My muffin top is not cute. It's more like the jawline of an English bulldog...no wait, that's way adorable too. It's more like what bubbles over the tube in an eighth grade lava experiment. Regardless, it's awful and I'm going to take pictures of myself from the double chin up from now on until I can make it go away.

To make it go away is another world of worry from now because I'm still nursing. In case you haven't seen me in a few years, or since weaning Grayson, I'm currently the same bra size as your Aunt Hilda. Seriously, none of you would recognize these cans. My husband barely knows it's me half the time and sometimes he literally goes, "Your boobs are huge," as if they just knocked on the door, shook his hand, and introduced themselves for the first time that day. Crazy.

The one way I could hide myself and all my unloveliness was typically shopping at Old Navy. Why there? Because I love how they size things. I once was an 8-10 in pants and could go into Old Navy and get a 4-6!! A FOUR? Are you kidding me? My mother birthed me as a nine proper and I've NEVER been a four as long as I've breathed oxygen- WAHOO! I LOVE Old Navy! They also have very cute shirts. So I went to Old Navy this week with my little gift cards (other people know I love Old Navy too) excited as hell to purchase things that were non-maternity and actually trendier than my Danskin sweat jacket (hot.). Since I was towing a 6 month old in a stroller and a toddler everywhere BUT the stroller, I opted not to try anything on. I am a smart shopper, however, and an honest girl so I upped my usual size by two and "went big." Evidently, I wasn't being generous enough. Old Navy has officially let me down. Their 10-12 pants barely camouflages my extra-ness and I REFUSE to believe I've gone up that many sizes just because I was at one time in my life larger than Minneapolis, Minnesota.

So I'm left with a bag of really cute summer pants and shorts that do not fit. They MIGHT fit if I stop eating and take on a crack habit but I'm thinking neither is a great idea for nursing Abby.

Old Navy, I suggest you design a NEW line of clothing for the post-baby thirty and forty-somethings who still deserve to feel good about themselves. And I further suggest you start by sizing them this way: "If you WERE a 8-10 before babies, this should work" or "Have 20 more to lose? No worries, I hide all that." Believe me, you'd have a few too many devoted shoppers. And we'd all buy at least one of those scuffed up soccer balls our toddler used as a babysitter whilst we browsed your establishment.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The List

My husband is a list man. If it's in his brain, it's on a list somewhere. It's actually impressive how his mind must categorize naturally for him to create these ordered reminders. For years I have poked fun at these things in all shapes and perforations found all over the house and on his person. I've made fun mostly because they are always there; they are his constant. He sometimes chews tobacco, sometimes doesn't. Sometimes runs six miles every day of the week, sometimes doesn't. However, my husband will forever make lists...it's how his brain shifts and moves forward. Throughout the years we've been privy to skinny pieces of Labrador decorated paper for groceries and household items, unlined white papered wish lists of hunting gear, Word documents bulleting his (our) five, 10, 20 year plan.

In light of our imminent move to Virginia, Andy's organizational gene is in full glory. His pen is in overdrive and lists abound!! Just this morning I unveiled the most recent stash of lists (yes, even his list had a baby one underneath it!). It is entitled, "Don't Move" : fridge, washer/dryer, garage freezer, garage ladder, garage lawn spreader, gun cabinet." Then, underneath those words is the offspring of that list entitled the, "Move Ourselves" This is really why I love my husband and where all his sweetness lives. I will let you read for yourself. Sorry but no shortcuts, you have to peruse the entire thing for the full effect. Okay, as it is written:

Move Ourselves List

-Andy's Mtn. bike
-Pac N Play
-Double Stroller & Snap N Go
-Gas & Propane & Hazmat
-Andy's tools
-Frozen/Cold Food
-Files & Lockbox

-Rubber Ducky
-Deer Mount

Did you see it? Did you read the sweetness? Inside that noggin filled to the rim with copious amounts of military knowledge, aircraft acronyms, and fine tuned MajorSpeak is a smooshy gooshy soul that actually wrote down, "Rubby Ducky," in his very masculine hard-to-decipher-at-times handwriting. This is why I love this man. He can fool the rest of the world into thinking he's hardcore and badass but I will always be here, reading his lists and knowing what's really important to him also happens to be the things that are really important to his children. And yes, I did read the Deer Mount part but of this we do not speak.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Grayson's Month So Far

Grayson has been busy this month. He has been looking for Sadie (who LIVES in our bathtub to get away from Grayson.)

He's been finding Sadie to make sure she is flossing properly.

He's been studying for his boards with his fellow med-student friend, Josie.

He's been running an open mike night out of his living room.

"I luj you....I luj you....I luj you...." was Josie's lyrical melody. Very deep and devoted.

And taking the stage himself on occasion. WonderBoy G. Yeah, tha's right.

He's been overseeing and helping to build an elaborate Styrofoam construction for his sister.

He's been dabbling in aeronautics...providing flying lessons for small aircraft in his spare time.

AND he's been inviting cute girls to the bedroom...(gasp!) Overall, Grayson's been one busy guy and we're very proud of his vivacious spirit!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dear Eric

Dear Eric,

Yesterday you and Christie heard words that I still cannot really comprehend. Your doctors said the words: thyroid, surgery, treatment and cancer all in the same sentence as your name. This should not happen. This should not happen to you. This should not happen twice to Christie. I am so angry with whoever effed this up in heaven that I'm definitely going to hell for cursing God out in my living room yesterday. Yes, I did. I told God to take a flying leap and that's putting it nicely. I still can't really wrap my brain around any of this bullshit and I'm sure you and your wife are just as stunned and dazed as I am today. Shock is an interesting boyfriend and got me through most of the evening until 3a.m. when all the questions, anger, hurt, worry, and frustration came tumbling down in my brain all at once. I couldn't get back to sleep because my rational mind could not stop repeating the words, "Eric has cancer. What?"

Mom is being amazing right now. She is so happy that you have the "good cancer" because she has the ability to see down the road. I can't yet. I can't see past you having to go through any more poking and prodding with needles, NEEDLES, the thing in the world that skeeves you out the most. I'm having a really hard time trying to even picture this evil stuff inside your body, inside my brother who has been so strong, so capable, and so healthy all his life. I don't have to tell you how helpless I feel because I know you heard that in my voice last night on the phone. Oh, and please don't not call me because I promise I won't be a complete girl about this and cry every time I hear your voice. I'm just so freaking mad and confused right now, Day One and Day Two. This. does. not. make. sense.

I know you are going to be all right. I also intellectually get that if you have to have cancer then Mom's right, this really is the best kind to have. What I don't understand is how this could happen to you and your family right now. Your little Landon just turned one. Your wife just lost her sister to brain cancer. You just hit the prime of your life and now you've got this horrendous piece of shit slice of life to deal with. I'm so sorry, Eric. I'm so very sorry you and your family have to go through this right now. I know you said you'd rather be the one going through it because the worrying about someone else would be worse. I don't think it's worse but it is about the most helpless feeling I've ever had. Empty. I feel like a floating head with arms and legs held together with strings. No torso. My middle is like a big pit or cold canyon that feels like a constant swirl of sinking. If I pay attention to it, it makes me want to throw up. I'm not going to be paying attention to it because we both know how much I like to throw up. I guess that's the only way of describing what being on this side of things feels like in case you were wondering. See? You're missing all the fun on this side so let's trade. Let's trade for a while and I can take the week "off of work" and read People magazine while the radioactive dye spits its venom out onto the bad cells. I want to do this for you so you can go play with Landon, ride your motorcycle with Christie, or talk to Mark on the phone. I'll turn it back over to you when I've slept for a week straight (ah, see? I SO could do this part!) and am well rested and strong. You can take it from there; you can take over on all the follow up visits and re-checkings. Deal?! You wouldn't take me up on that for a second but please know I would do it for you.

You have this thing beat already so don't worry about that. Between your family and friends there and your family and friends scattered about, we'll all work together to figure out the best ways to help out when you, Christie, and Landon need it. I see how strong Christie is, I've watched her hold herself together under the most dire of situations and not crumble when crumbling is the only option left. And I know how strong you are. I grew up relying on how strong you are and rode those coattails for as long as I possibly could before jumping out of the Pentenville nest. Your road may be bumpy now, Eric, but it is going to be okay. We will see to it that your road ends up right where you left off and you'll look back at this time as a small detour in your otherwise beautiful life. You may have cancer now, my brother, but it cannot have you.

I love you. That's all.


Friday, June 12, 2009


I'm sorry to be remiss in blogging. It's just that I've been very tired. Like holding paddles that shout, 10!, standing ovation tired. I think I can feel my brain waves surging back and forth looking for the connectors that were there, oh about three years ago. I think it's the imminent move staring me from across a crowded room that has me all drowsy with denial. Suddenly, now that it's really almost time, I don't want to go. I was excited about moving closer to "home" but those feelings have recently given way to sadness about leaving our lives here. I'm sad that we have to move from this house that we walk, talk, sing, dance, stomp, zoom, tiptoe, arabesque, tromp loudly through everysingle day and night. I'm sad that we're departing from the only home Our Grayson and Dear Little Abby have ever known. I'm sad that Sadie won't have an Ana to go visit and go give kisses to. I'm sad that I'm leaving Marni; my Sistah From Another Mistah. My Marni who is the spiciest girlfriend I could ever wish for. She is also the most loving. She will curse out my husband when I can't (then pinch him on his tush as only she's allowed). She will come over to visit then tell me to go take a shower while she watches the kids. She is my One and Only who says out loud the things I think in my head. She is my own personal American Idol panel, my Dancing with the Stars companion, my So You Think You Can Dance diva. Moreso, she is my adult world: my time-out from Max & Ruby and Goldfish crackers, my reason to sneak out of the house and go have a beer and bad "karaoke." Nope, I can't even pretend I'm going to be okay without her right next door, just a few barefoot steps away. Ugh. And of course, her Vinny that spent too many hours their first year in the neighborhood helping a wayward me who constantly found herself up Shit's Creek without even a remote hope of a paddle. Scratched cornea? "Hi Vinny, I'm sort of blind right now. Can you maybe drive me to..." Vinny (who had already grabbed his keys the second he saw my puffy eyeball): "Let's go!" Weeks later Me Again: "Hi Vinny, could you help me put together this trampoline..." Vinny: "Where is Andy's Alan wrench?" Where will we be without Vinny's one-liners, his gravy, his stories, his home brew, his love of Radar & Eric? And the Redmonds. Larry's "Hi Master Grayson!" from across the street, his firework displays, his Oktoberfest. Marylin's white wine parties, her silliness, and her laugh. Brian's constant (and weirdly comforting) basketball dribbling, spider-smashing prowess and his smiling eyes. The Wendlers. Cara's sweet heart and fellow new momship. Andy's warmth and friendship too. Their beautiful sprite Josie who I want to put into a bubble and keep safe forever right along with Grayson. And the babies. Little Lil and Abs - the same age growing up together despite their worrysome mommies. Palmer Park, The WaWa, Black Dog, Liberty Thrift, Next to New Consignment, our garden, our pretty hydrangeas, our front porch swing, our Nammy & Pop an hour away, Aunt Jen & Uncle Pete only 30 minutes down the road. All of this and more has kept me from remembering any funny stories to share or faux pas to repeat here. Don't get me wrong. I'm wholly ecstatic to be closer to my family and dear friends from Maryland. I'm super psyched to be an hour's trip from all things in my former married with children world. And I'm sure I'll be back on the horse, once we're settled and are able to visit with family and friends close to Virginia. For now, however, I'm feeling a little down in the dumps that our move is here. There are no two ways about it: Andy, Grayson, Abby, Sadie and I are leaving our home, our loved ones, and the life we have made together here in these wonderful walls on Karlyn Lane. And for this, I'm feeling blue and a little unfunny.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Grayson: Once upon a time there was a pencil and his name was Mommy.

Me: A pencil? (I would focus on this instead of the obvious gender issue.)

Grayson: Yes, and his name is Mommy.

Me: and?

Grayson: and he went crazy. The End.

(I swear to you I did not make this up.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Grayson- August 2007

Abigail-June 2009

Brother & sister, same drool and all.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Laundry List

Domestic life has a way of making you forget to slow down. There are 500 things that need to be done within an hour's time and before you know it you are racing upstairs, downstairs, and throughout the house like your bum is on fire. Case in point:

5:30 am: Grayson comes to our bedside to ask if that "sun is coming up?" No. I want to reply no, not today dear. It's a full day of night-night. Let's go back to bed.

5:32 am: I ask the husband to please deal with Grayson and his sunshine. I have Lillabeth at the till and refuse to have two small human backpacks before 6am.

5:45 am: Lillabeth is finished nursing and is clowning around so we get up to go downstairs.

5:45 and 30 seconds. Smell poop. (The race begins!)
5:45 and 60 seconds. On my way downstairs I remember last night's laundry. Run laundry on "damp cycle" to shake out wrinkles from night before.
5:46 and 5 seconds. Bring Abs to changing table and change diaper number one.
5:46 and 30 seconds. Put Abbadoo in exersaucer. Realize she needs bib. Run into living room to retrieve bib. See many toys strewn about already. Spend 2 minutes sorting and returning toys to baskets just so aesthetics don't screw with me before orange juice.
5:49 Return to put bib on Abby and smell poop. Again. Wow, impressive.
5:50 Change diaper number two on Abby while singing, blowing raspberries, and stretching face into cartoonish angles to entertain. This diaper change is insult to her busy schedule. She's fussy. Rightfully so, ceilings are boring.
5:51 Think to myself that maybe Da Vinci was really just kind hearted baby soother who created beautiful tapestries on ceilings and walls to amuse babies during diaper changes. Was that Da Vinci or Da Someone else? Wait, what?!? Am I drunk?
Return Abby to exersaucer and see Sadie standing vigil by cookie bin. Give in. As usual. Begin to put her breakfast together. Feeling dreadful that she never got walked yesterday.
5:53 See dirty dishes in sink while putting Sadie's dish together so abort breakfast assembly for dish suds in sink instead.
5:55 and counting. Sadie moans to snap me out of cleaning OCD. A dog of few words.
5:56 Add lots of Cherryaki chicken leftovers to make up to Sadie, again.
5:57 Put Sadie's bowl down on floor. Notice swirls of dog hair and clusters of crumbs so grab Dust Buster.
5:57 and 30 seconds. Apologize to Abby for noise. Proceed to Dust Buster entire kitchen. Plus dog. Who is still eating.
5:58 Realize dog hair and crumbs are not magically secluded in kitchen area sooooo grab Swiffer.
5:59 Grayson enters scene because he enjoys a little cleaning OCD first thing in morning too. Hand wand over. Consider grabbing Windex. Smudges on windows are not lovely. Pretty sure one grew in radius while standing there.
6:00 Smell poop. Again. Toddler poop this time.
6:01 Have first argument of day with toddler. Can't believe I'm asking him to "stop cleaning"just to meet challenge of his morning numero dos. Yuck times 11. Seriously, would somebody potty train this kid already? Where is his mother?!
6:04 G finally relinquishes Swiffer wand. He stands (somewhat) still to commence diaper change number three of morning.
6:06-6:15 G wants to "play chase" while riding his Pooh mobile (aptly named). Acquiesce because excuses elude bleary brain. Sloth behind G as he LOUDLY zooms along kitchen, dining room, hallway as though he's had lollipops and sweet tarts for breakfast. Has he HAD lollipops and sweet tarts for breakfast?
6:20 Announce to disappointed G that Mommy needs to fuel up before playing more chase. I'm thinking vodka. If only.
6:21 Abby is unusually quiet in Exersaucer. Check in to find her chewing plastic part of shoelace in half (from a toy, not a shoe) like it was her job. Near death experience number one down. Whew, only 3,458 to go.
6:22 More Mommy Guilt. Shouldn't have put those blocks on a string on doorknob only inches away from her grasp. Guilt gives way to pride. She is motivated to grab at something so hard to attain. That's my girl! Obviously she's going to be an astronaut.
6:23 Husband comes back downstairs to announce he's got to go to work now. Yes dear, have a nice day. Will try not to envy your sixty minute solitary commute away from this world of crazy.
6:24 SUPER BUDDY! screams Grayson for no apparaent reason.
6:25 Husband departs. Daydream briefly that I'm riding shotgun, even if husband does work in cubicle.
6:27 (Long daydream) Smell poop. REALLY? All before 6:30 in morning. Enough to make strongest person cry for Mercy.
6:28 Get on FB for 30 seconds to "escape." Consider writing "Anyone else covered in dog hair and poo already?" but leave status blank instead. Even domestic divas have some pride.