Thursday, November 30, 2006

Random silliness and the now unterrible twos

We have now entered a realm of bliss where time-outs actually work and the kiddo has become a total delight. Perrin is now madly in love with his father, and the two of them spend hours every evening running around playing together. It warms my cockles to see them become so close. John is a terrific dad; the kind that wrestles in the floor and comforts his son when he's upset. I'm so happy I could burst.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's my birthday. Shake my booty.

I could get all sentimental and philosophical about the significance of this birthday, but I won't. I will simply say that today I am 29, and it's weird and wonderful and whatever. I had some deep dish cheese pizza and am now devouring some Ben and Jerry's. It's a good thing. But I've made a pact with the universe that I shall not age another year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanks a million

Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday. What other day lets you gorge until you can no longer function, nap unabashedly with your pants unbuttoned, and hang out with cool families like mine? Did I mention the complete lack of religious awkwardness or mandatory gift-giving? Thanksgiving ROCKS!
I also like to reflect on the past year and make a mental note of the things for which I am very, very thankful. Like to hear it? Here it goes.

First and foremost, for my boys. Some days I'd rather shave my legs with a chainsaw than breathe in the fumes of the testosterone, but most I am swimming in bliss
Green tea fraps from Starbucks. Yeah, they're worth the $4 and pretentious punks I have to encounter to buy these
Cashmere yarn. Need I say more on this one?
My size 8 Addi Turbos. The yarn flies off these babies with no snags and no tears. I heart me some addis.
Downers Grove, Illinois. It's my Stars Hollow, my pie in the sky, my secret garden. I have never felt more at home than I do here. And I never thought I could say that about a suburb.
Crestor. Seems silly to thank a little pill, but without it, I may not have lived to see this day.
Monday night chats with my girls. Mom, Jen, Aunt Debbie, and Grandma. I am surrounded by a wealth of strong, warm, brave, and loving women who have shaped who I am and who I aim to become.

The universe has blessed me beyond all reason. I am not special. I am part of you and you are part of me. I am thankful for one more year to realize the joys of this life.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Christmas gifts are almost completed. I have another hat for my stepbrother, and a couple of bracelets for my sisters.

Kitty hat for Ashley

Mary Jane slippers for Jessica

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Zen, parenting, and learning from my mistakes

"The Buddha is sometimes called, "One who has Sovereignty over Himself or Herself." Events carry us away, and we lose ourselves. We walk with grace and dignity, like an emperor, like a lion. Every step is life." Thich Nhat Hanh

Before Perrin was born, I bought a book written by a Zen Buddhist and his wife. It was called "Everyday Blessings," and it was all about mindful parenting. Mindfulness means moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness. I remember underlining many passages and making notes in the margins, and I was certain I would parent with zen master-like tranquility and compassion. I would have limitless empathy and sympathy for my child and do what was right for him, society be damned. And then I actually became a parent in a society that places an unfair label on only children, and somewhere between his 2nd birthday and now, I somehow lost sight of what was really important. I started thinking that I had to do whatever it took to make sure that Perrin defied all those stereotypes of being selfish and spoiled so that he would be looked upon as the astounding exception to a ridiculous rule. I started to pay more attention to the other mothers who were staring at me like I was a terrible mom when Perrin was throwing a huge fit in the store than to the real reason behind the screams. My embarrassment at being thought of as a bad parent overwhelmed me, and I haven't been showing my son the empathy he very much needs from me. To see that his emotional outbursts are his way of trying to express something he can't convey with words, and that it is not because he is trying to be defiant out of anger, but out of frustration. I must make it my mission to see the world through the eyes of my son and not through the eyes of the perfect mother through which I would like the world to see me.
"The times they need our acceptance and our love the most are, inevitably, those times when it is hardest for us to give." Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn, "Everyday Blessings"

We live to survive our paradoxes

So, here it is. Brian's Christmas sweater. I'm so in crazy love with this sweater that he'll be lucky to actually receive this gem. It's maddeningly comfortable, and the cable turned out a helluva lot better than I imagined for my first crack at 'em. The reason I look so pissed in the pic is b/c Perrin was thwacking at the camera with a broom. Don't ask.
In other news, John comes home tonight from the latest trip to Austin. If I had to do this single parent gig every day I'd be institutionalized. I miss him so.
Ooh Ooh and here's the other thing. In April, I will be taking my class to become a doula. I'm so excited about it I could wet myself. I didn't discover my true calling until I was 28 yrs old, and now that I know what I'm supposed to do on this earth (for a living I mean) I can't wait to get started. Being a mother is delightful, and I truly believe that it is the greatest gift I've ever been given, but once Perrin is in school, I'll be bored to tears. Oh, what will I do without the daily pummelings I receive from my sweet little monkey?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Five years and we still like each other

Five years ago at this very moment, I was walking down the aisle toward the man of my dreams. He was crying, and I was trying very hard not to swoon. I was excited and terrified and every other emotion rolled up in a big froofy white dress. Five years, and I still consider myself the luckiest woman on the planet to be married to such a wonderful human being. He's my lobster.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Brian's DNA sweater

This is the sweater I'm knitting for my sister's fiance for Christmas. The pattern is just a top-down raglan to his measurements, with the double helix cable pattern thrown in the mix. He's a science guy, so he should dig it. He's a pure delight of a person too. My sister is quite the smitten kitten.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

How Halloween works as a parent

Step 1
Get kid to gut pumpkin so you don't have to touch the gooey grossness

Step 2
Dress kid in costume and hope he doesn't get bored with it in twelve minutes...and don't show him the candy you're giving to OTHER kids or you get this face

Step 3
Get cute neighbor kid (in this case, Isa) to stand next to your kid and pose for obligatory pre-candy shot

Step 4
Run behind kid and at every house he hits, remind him to say "trick or treat" and "thank you" when the goods are given.

Step 5
Let kid eat one piece of candy, send kid to bed, and then raid his stash for the chocolate. After all, 2 yr olds don't really need that much sugar, do they?