22 November 2009

Down on the Farm

Austin and I took a ride out to Suffolk yesterday to pick up our Thanksgiving turkey. My mom and stepdad were there as well, and I got a few really cute pictures of Austin enjoying the sights and sounds of the farm.

His favorite? The cat.

But there were also cows, including a two-week-old calf...

And chickens...

And football...

And lots of running around with Grandpa...

And much toddler handsomeness...

It was a great day. We'll definitely be back next year!

All pictures were taken at Full Quiver Farm in Suffolk, Virginia. And no, I didn't get a free turkey for blogging about them.

18 November 2009

17 November 2009

Pugtastic Tuesday - 11.17.09

Licking Her Own Eyebrow - 11.12.2009

16 November 2009

At Ease

I remember reading Jane Kenyon's poems at one of the worst points in my depression. Her collection "Constance" sat on my bedside table and I read it over and over and over again. She described the pain and anguish I was feeling better than anyone (save Sylvia Plath) I'd ever read. The words in this piece, from "Having It Out With Melancholy," pressed against my pain like a tourniquet, making it surge before it dwindled:


Once, in my early thirties, I saw

that I was a speck of light in the great

river of light that undulates through time.

I was floating with the whole

human family. We were all colors -- those

who are living now, those who have died,

those who are not yet born. For a few

moments I floated, completely calm,

and I no longer hated having to exist.

Like a crow who smells hot blood

you came flying to pull me out

of the glowing stream.

"I'll hold you up. I never let my dear

ones drown!" After that, I wept for days.

I read these poems now, the poems that pinpointed my agony, made me feel less alone, brought on wave after wave of uncontrollable tears, and they're like memories of a battle. They're the stories you tell about a scar.

I still feel as though I'm floating now. The days are flowing by, but for once, I don't feel disconnected, adrift, aimless. There's no one, no malevolent thing, to snatch me out of the light. The fear has faded, the panic is gone.

11 November 2009

The Weekly Austin - 11.11.09

Where's Your Bee-Bo? 11.4.09

Austin really likes the Sandra Boynton books. His favorite is "The Belly Button Book," in which a tiny hippopotamus refers to hers as a "bee-bo." While he doesn't actually say "bee-bo" yet, Austin does know where to look for his (and anyone else's). In these pictures, he's having a little trouble finding it.

10 November 2009

Pugtastic Tuesday - 11.10.09

Pugly: "If I stare at him long enough, he'll give me that tomato."
Bama: "ismellsomethinginhispocketWEEEEEEE!"

06 November 2009


Most of the time, I feel like I have the most perfect kid in the universe: affectionate, funny, not a picky eater, sleeps like a brick, loves everybody. And then there's this afternoon.

This afternoon, I am the proud mother of a screaming, head-butting, slapping, fit-throwing T. Rex who apparently does not want me to make dinner. How do I know? Because every time I walk in the kitchen, he wedges himself in between me and whatever work surface I'm trying to use, and caterwauls until I pick him up. I have tried ignoring him -- I get hit with whatever toy is handy. If I pick him up, he immediately wiggles and squirms to be put down, then cries when I DO put him down (lather, rinse, repeat). I've tried a snack, I've tried a drink (for him, not me, although MAN does that sound good right about now), I've tried reading together, watching a show together, ad infinitum ad nauseum.

And now we've reached the point that I like to call "OH FOR THE LOVE OF PETE WOULD YOU PLEASE STOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!" I don't yell this out loud, or even say it in a regular voice. But it blares in my brain at full volume -- almost like in The Shining, when Danny sends a telepathic message to Dick Hallorann that's so strong, Dick feels like he's going to pass out (or something like that):


This is the point where I have to carry the screaming, kicking T. Rex up the stairs, put him in his crib, shut the door, and walk away. Because seriously? Mommy needs a time out.

I'd never, never, NEVER do anything to hurt my son. Even at the worst of these moments, when I feel my blood boiling, and all I want to do is scream right back at him, it never enters my mind to hit him out of anger. But I also know that sometimes very scary things happen in the brains of tired, stressed, hungry mommies on the verge of their own little meltdown.

So I walk away, and I turn the volume down on the baby monitor (it's up just enough for me to hear if he's doing anything other than peevish whining), and I wait for the transformation -- his, not mine. I get my shit together, and then I go upstairs and get him. Lather, rinse, repeat.

05 November 2009

Thanksgiving Fever

Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the leaves on the ground, or maybe it's the fact that the Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving catalog arrived a few days ago, but MAN! I am ON FIRE for the holidays this year!

Not to make anybody sick with my crazy organization/planning, but I've already decided on the Turkey Day menu. The majority of the recipes are from Williams-Sonoma, including the same stuffing I made the last time I did a holiday dinner. What I'm saying is, this food is going to be THE JAM.

We're having about eight people over, so with us, that's ten. Well, ten and a half if you count Austin, who will probably chew on a roll and a piece of celery for thirty seconds and then proclaim, "All done!" Aside from parties, I haven't cooked for quite this many people before. But you know what makes it extra super fantastical? My new kitchen! I will have counter space! And a work island! AND IT IS CLEAN! There are not enough caps or exclamation points to express my excitement, so forgive me for typing like a thirteen year old girl. I'm filled with the urge to type ZOMG TKSGIVING! over and over again.

Anyhoo, what's YOUR big plans for the holidays?

04 November 2009

The Weekly Austin - 11.04.09

Plainclothes Jedi - 11.03.09

Austin was Yoda for Halloween. His costume has been washed and put away, but the lightsaber remains. He loves it. L-O-V-E LOVES it. He's unbearably cute running around the house with this thing. Totally a safety hazard, but really...is there a cooler way to get injured than with your very own LIGHTSABER?!

03 November 2009

Pugtastic Tuesday - 11.03.09

Sad Face - 10.21.09

Oh, Mr. Pugly. Still not feeling well. Still limping around. We're doing our best to keep him comfortable, but he just looks so darn pitiful. Poor old man.

02 November 2009

Die! Die Crickets! DIE!

I've spent the last half hour or so trying to find a video clip of Dave Matthews telling a really funny story about crickets. No luck -- it's from an episode of MTV Unplugged from about a million years ago. Anyhoo, the gist of the story is that one of his friends from South Africa wigged out and set a bunch of crickets on fire in a bathtub.

I totally and completely identify with the desire to light those fockers up.

Now, I'm not talking about good ol' Jiminy, or even the shiny black crickets you find in the backyard. I'm talking about these things:

Camel cricket, cave cricket, spider cricket, NASTY SCARY MOTHERFUCKING ALIEN CRICKET MENACE, whatever you want to call them, I hate them. With a passion.

I don't hate them because they do damage (they don't) or because they bite (they don't) or even because I generally dislike insects (I don't). I hate them because they hop, they hop FAR, and they hop in a very erratic fashion. Like, HOLY HELL IT'S COMING RIGHT FOR MY FACE. They're also huge, at least around here.

Why do I bring this up, you might ask? Well, guess what I found in my bathtub at 4 AM today? That's right. NASTY SCARY MOTHERFUCKING ALIEN CRICKET MENACE. Definitely not what I wanted to see as I was about to hop in the shower. I had to run to the utility room and grab a bottle of Clorox Cleanup -- the chemical of choice for cricket elimination. (Not really, but we didn't have any bug spray.) After hosing him down with the stuff for what felt like an eternity, he finally died. I put on a glove, wrapped him in TP, and flushed his alien cricket menace ass down the toilet.

I'll still be checking that toilet every time I use it for at least three days. For all I know, he's some sort of alien cricket ninja whose compadres will climb out of the sewer to avenge his death.

01 November 2009

Halloween Weekend Recap

This weekend has been absolutely nuts. I haven't been to this many social events since, well, forever. First, there was the Halloween party at Peggy and Brandon's house. My costume?

It was a great night, despite the fact that I ate too much and drank a little too much. Everyone's costumes were awesome -- we had a Vikings superfan, a potted flower and her box of Miracle Gro, and of course Dorothy and the Scarecrow, our hosts.

Saturday, we went to Little T's pirate-themed birthday party. Austin did pretty well, despite the fact that we didn't let him help T open his presents. There was cake, which he totally chowed down on...

...and Charlie actually managed to get a good picture of the two of us!

After the party, we ran a couple of errands, and then it was time to get ready for trick or treating. Austin wasn't really happy about his costume at first.

By the time we got to my mom's house (we trick or treat in her neighborhood because it's safer, and well, they give out better candy!) Austin was in a much better mood. He kept his costume on the whole time and didn't get freaked out by anyone except a random ten year old in a Michael Myers mask (ugh!).

Mom took us out for Mexican food, and then we headed home. I'd planned on having some folks from work over to watch scary movies, but by the time we hit the door, I was so freakin' tired. I could barely keep my eyes open. I put the word out that movie night was cancelled. Nobody seemed disappointed -- I think most everyone had other plans anyway -- so I didn't feel too bad about it.

To finish up the night, we kicked back on the couch and watched "Jeepers Creepers" (which I think would have been a much scarier movie if the bad guy was just a psycho and not some sort of alien monster bug thing).

Today's been kind of boring. I'm not feeling so hot (might be getting a cold, I think), Charlie's painting the trim in the kitchen, and I'm trying desperately to avoid the Halloween candy.

How was YOUR weekend?