Thursday, April 29, 2010

I have Moved...

Hey All!

Guess what - I am moving!!! Or I have moved already. Well, I am trying to move but I am somewhat of an idiot at anything technical.

Anyway, I bought myself(well, at least my domain name) and my blog is now cleanly and simply and I am now on Wordpress and have NO CLUE what I am doing. (shocking)

Come visit me there - I am still under construction, but can now post and the rest of the site will come this week thanks to my amazing and very patient designer and website goddess. You can find her here.

(and if you already follow me - I guess you will automatically still follow me on the new blog -it is like you have no choice...eerie - I guess that is why they call you a follower)

Anyway, thank you for following me over to my new digs. ..and let me know what you think of the new design!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mean Girls...

I have been thinking about Phoebe Prince a lot. It scares me to think that bullying can go this far and have this consequence. Mostly I am scared for my very accommodating, just like their mother, daughters.
It was a hot summer evening and I was walking with my friend Misty on the dusty paths of the County Fair. It was a typical Friday night at a small town County Fair in Indiana. Expensive games with cheap prizes, stale popcorn, rides older than my mother, gawking carnies, and teenagers primed with hormones just looking for trouble. It was totally my scene.

We were walking and talking, checking out the fair, as well as the talent when someone pushes me hard from behind. As I turned around she then hits me and shoves me to the ground, yelling at me to get up and fight her. I evidently "took her man" and she was pissed and out for blood. But I stayed on the ground and told her no - I had no interest to fight(knowing full well she had 30 pounds on me, more raw physical strength, and a mean streak that frankly scared the shit out of me) and to just leave me alone. I don't clearly remember everything that happened, but I am sure I cried.

And for the life of me, I cannot remember that boys name that caused this incident when I was 16.

I have never in my life hit, pushed, whacked, or purposely physically tried to hurt someone - even in self-defense, and frankly am not sure that I could.

In the 6 years I have been going to day-care and preschool conferences, every teacher has told me the same thing about my daughters. "They need to be more assertive!"

Even as toddlers, they would not dream of taking a toy from another child, physically touching another child except for a hug, or if another child took their toy-they would watch it go and choose something else.
They don't fight with each other and have never taken something from their sister, and if their sister asks them nicely to use the pink marker they are currently using, they hand it over and grab the purple.

I don't remember ever teaching them any of this and believe it is somehow just inherent to them as now I see their baby sister being a real pain in their rears as she will TAKE EVERYTHING they own.
As sweet and innocent and seemingly polite this lack of assertion was in preschool, it is not serving Eloise well in school. She is in a class was some brilliant kids, who know what they want, get what they want, are quite independent and well, bossy. So she accommodates them all and then comes home in a puddle of tears quite often. How she "never gets to play what she wants to play" "never gets a turn" "is never picked for pairing up" "last picked for teams" "plays alone on the playground" "sits alone in the lunchroom" ...mean notes have come home in her backpack.(the note has already been addressed with the school/parents)
She is a sweet, kindhearted gentle soul with infinite patience. But it is all wearing thin and frankly I am feeling helpless. I lift her up trying to give her the confidence she needs to just be comfortable with who she is, but she is trying desperately to fit in with the "cool crowd" even at 7 years old. I totally understand, as in school, you are sadly measured by the friends you keep. I don't even want to have a conversation with her that some girls are just simply mean. I have a hard time swallowing that pill myself and want to believe in only inherent goodness in the world.
So I ask of you, how do you teach your daughter to be assertive, yet not aggressive, still be lovely and not loose her innocence of knowing their are "mean girls" out there? How do I not be a protective mama bird and just let me little girl fly on her own? How do I keep from going to the school and kicking some first grade mean girls asses myself?;)


Monday, April 26, 2010

The Bright Side of Laundry...

My dryer broke 9 days ago.

Which hasn't been horrible as our weather has been unseasonably nice and since we live in the city, there are no pesky ordinances against hanging my underwear outside.

So for over a week, we have hung our socks and underwear, sheets and jeans outside for the wind to dry and our neighbors to admire.

We seem to air our dirty laundry enough, so it was a nice change of pace to just air our clean skivvies.

Then it rained this weekend, causing my living room to become a laundromat.

What started as a chore though, has become something more...something more "my glass is half full" -esque. It has brought back memories...
-of my grandma hanging everything out on the line, even jeans when it was 30 below zero. I remember handing her clothespins to make quick work of the chore.
-Clothes hanging in our home in the Winter to keep the air humid.
-Playing fort and hide-and-seek between the sheets on the line - running through the clothing tunnels on a bright sunny day.
-Folding clothing brought in that was warm for the sun and fresh from the air.

Perhaps I am a bit sad that my own girls won't have these memories of simpler times and hard work.

Perhaps I will ask Jed to string up a permanent line for us out back and we can bring this household chore back in fashion?

I just better go check with my neighbors first.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Stroke

I remember quite vividly the visits to my great-grandmother's house. I was little - 3,4,5 years old and we went to visit her often. I hated those visits. It was not a fun thing to do, so why did my mom feel so obligated?

Her house smelled like old lady. Or what a 4 year old would define an old lady smell as. Urine, cigarette smoke, dust, sickness. She was paralyzed from her strokes and disfigured from her mouth cancer. She lived at home with her aid. She was either in a hospital bed or wheelchair.

This was not a grandmother to me - she didn't give hugs or smiles, she didn't dig in her purse and give me a 1/2 stick of double-mint gum - or juicy fruit if I had been especially good. She was sick, sad from losing her husband so suddenly not too long before, and she was miserable.

I didn't want to hug her. I would spend my time playing with her little figurines in the windowsills and upon the shelves or I would hope my Aunt Gail would visit with us, so we could play together in the stairway landing of my great-grandmother's old duplex.

I would hope we wouldn't have to come again, but we always did. And I would pass the time as best I could while my mom gently did her grandmother's hair, chatting about the latest news and neighborhood gossip, making a meal, and mainly just spending time with her knowing her time was short in this world.

I am sure my mother explained to me what had happened to great-grandma at the time, but I don't remember that. I just remember being 4 and going to a scary house and visiting a scary old woman that I did not recognize.


This January, my daughter's grandmother suffered a massive stroke. Their grandmother that they see the most, who lives in town and treats them to warm hugs, days of coloring, lunches of their choice, and unlimited M&M's.

When they walked into her hospital room on that January evening, I really thought they would go running towards her and into her warm embrace. But instead, the room went uncomfortably quiet as they stood frozen. Their young bodies were completely and unnaturally frozen as they stared and tried to see their grandma in the woman in the hospital bed - whose eyes were distant, body immobile, and words delayed. Instead of running towards her, they fled to the hallway - leaving me tearful and helpless to explain as my own childhood memories came flooding to the surface. As they rushed to the hallway, I went to my step-mom's bedside and held her hand.

Eloise silently sobbed when we left saying "I didn't think she would be so sick, it didn't even look like her. Tell me she will get better."


And she is getting better. Therapy is intense. Progress in slow. But my heart is warm and happy to see the hugs and kisses return. To see the girls look forward to the visits, to enjoy driving her wheelchair around, making her pictures to bring sunshine to her room, sharing their tales of the week and bringing treats.

We are mortal - it is not a secret we need to keep from our kids. It is so important to teach our kids what love is like when it is easy and we are healthy and strong, but also how important love is when those who love us need it most.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Astrid 9 Months

No matter the crying, time is flying by. I find myself grasping and holding tight to your babyhood, trying to slow you down, trying to make it last. How can you be nine months old. Wasn't it just yesterday I first saw your sweet face for the first time.
It was different with your sisters. I wished their babyhood away and applauded each step they took towards being a toddler, a preschooler, each step towards more independence.
But you, you, I need to stay a baby a little longer. Please stop trying to only feed yourself, please stop the CRAWLING, please stop asserting your newly fierce independence...but it is okay for you to keep babbling "mum mum mum" at me. That I could listen to

I run my hand along the pretties in your closet, already sad that this Summer will be your only opportunity to wear ruffles on your butt, as is evidenced by the 85 sets hanging in your closet. The sweet dresses from Europe - the ruffles, the smocking, the bows, the delicate lace. We don't even have 85 days of Summer in Minnesota, so perhaps this years early Spring was a blessing for us in many ways.

You are giving kisses and sharing your food, you mimic and clap and sing. You have already eaten mud and hit your head on the sidewalk. You need to slow down - you have a lifetime to enjoy, learn and experience all that Summer has to offer. Why must you already try to keep up with your sisters.

I see now that you really are the baby of the family. How you have assumed this role so easily and stolen our hearts. We give you everything you desire, and then some. You are sufficiently spoiled and I am smitten for life.
I love you baby girl.
xoxo, mom

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day


Earth Day

by Jane Yolen
I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass,
Each honey tree,
Each bit of mud,
And stick and stone,
Is blood and muscle,
Skin and bone.
And just as I
Need every bit
Of me to make
My body fit,
So Earth needs
Grass and stone and tree
And things that grow here
That's why we
Celebrate this day.
That's why across
The world we say:
As long as life,
As dear, as free,
I am the Earth,
And the Earth is me.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Go Bobcats!

(please excuse the dirty laundry on the floor - remember, we have no dryer)

So I came downstairs in my Montana State Bobcat shorts yesterday - you know with the word "BOB CATS" written across my arse and Jed was all like "snort, haven't you had those since college?" and I was all like "yeah, and they still fit me awesome - even better than 20 years ago!" and Jed was all "yeah, but do you think they are appropriate now?" and I was all like "well, if you were 41 and married, and a woman who gave birth to 3 children and the word "BOB CATS" still looked awesome across your arse, you would TOTALLY WEAR THEM EVERY DAY!" and Jed said "touche" and I said "So, I totally deserve an awesome anniversary gift now right?"

Happy Anniversary, Jed. I figured if I get this out there early enough today we wouldn't have a threepeat.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Astrid Phone Home and a Winner...

Astrid Phone Home...
Please tell me you know this movie reference?

Feeling old today that I used to watch Welcome Back Kotter in Prime Time. And for my 7th grade cheerleading dance, we did it to P.Y.T. - I still break out those moves when I hear that song.

I went to and typed in numbers 1 through 26, for the 26 comments made...

..and the Winner is #6 -Melanie!
Blogger Melanie said...

That sure is one cute baby! And, I cannot tell a lie, I did have to Google "Horshack" because I have never watched Welcome Back, Kotter, but for some reason I do remember the Vinnie Barbarino/John Travolta character.
Now, I sure did grow up singing PYT!
Way to go Melanie - email me at tracymorrison[at]comcast[dot]com to collect your GC!

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Monday...

Do you have those bugs where you live? You know the hairy centipede thingamajigs with the 10,000 legs. They usually hang out in the bathroom or laundry room? I would post a picture for your reference, but doing so would make me vomit to look at it again, so I will spare you.

My morning started as so...

...I took off my clothes and sat on the potty, started the shower(you know because it is Earth Week and I wanted to waste water for 3 minutes to get it nice and hot..), grabbed for the roll of toilet paper and one of those bugs was SITTING ON THE TOILET PAPER - and I TOUCHED it - and then freaked and fell off of the toilet and onto the floor, hitting my head on the sink on my way down(we have a freakishly small bathroom) - but then the sucker - after also flying through the air - landed on the floor right next to me, so I SCREAMED and then managed to launch myself into the air to avoid touching it again as it started scurrying towards me. (mind you again that I am totally naked) On my way back into the air I hit my back on the radiator and my knee on the toilet(mind you also that I have yet to wipe), and manage to open the bathroom door to land in the hallway - the place I will now call the "centipede safe zone".

I quickly slammed the bathroom door shut to somehow contain the bug, hugged my knees, sobbed - naked and still unwiped in the hallway.

This was all before 5:30 this morning.

So how is your Monday going?

Oh, and don't forget to visit here to find out who Horshack is and perhaps win a contest.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Horshack Moment...and a Contest...


...and if you had to Google who Horshack is - please "out" yourself by leaving a comment below.

Because you must really be a Pretty Young Thing.(..and name that singer)


Leave a comment that you either had to Google Horshack because you had no clue AND name the P.Y.T. singer - OR if you know both - OR if you just want to say "hey cute baby"..

- so...basically leave a comment, and one comment will be chosen randomly on Tuesday morning to win a $20 Gift Certificate.
(**comment by 9pm central time, Monday night. Contest is not affiliated with or sponsored by, it is funded and sponsored by solely moi**thank you for your time.;)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Let's not do April 15th again, mkay?

I am assuming there is someone up there that I have really pissed off. And Matilda Jane also continues to be mad at me?

If I can take you back quickly - MJ launch #1 - lice...MJ launch #2 - lice...

So when Eloise woke up sick with a high fever at 3am this morning - for MJ launch #3 - I have to say I did not expect much less.

I love having people coming in and out of my house, attempting to enter orders, feebly trying to properly mother a very sick child, and nursing a baby all at the same time..not to mention my 5 year old was following me around all day asking for a snack and wanting to read.

We ate cheerios for dinner.

..and the new cookie tank sold-out in minutes..and how many did I snag for my customers - ZERO. Flipping ZERO. So, I got to spend my afternoon apologizing to dozens of women who were none too happy.

On top of this, I got to write a check for a gazillion dollars to the IRS today. Really a gazillion.

So 7pm finally came, and I was able to pour my wine, sit down to finish my orders, throw in a load of laundry, watch the SNL special.

..and moments ago, my dryer breaks. dead. burned.made a moaning sound.started smelling really bad. and died right in front of me. Now, I have 3 load of wet clothing hung all over my house. ALL.OVER.MY.HOUSE.

I have no money for a new dryer as I gave the IRS a gazillion dollars today and didn't earn any commission since I could not snag a cookie tank to save my life.

I am so damned lately.

Do you think someone is trying to tell me something.

Happy Tax Day everyone.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Wonder Wednesday...

I have spent my day wondering things....

Like I wonder how many starving children I could feed when I look at the amount of food that ends up on my floor instead of Astrid's mouth.

I wonder how we live and accept so much excess.

I wonder when Eloise and I won't fight in the mornings. Tomorrow? Please.

I wonder if I will ever sleep more than 2 hours at a time again.

I wonder how much botox will cost to fill in the number 11 on my forehead.

Or why when I spell forehead, I usually forget the e.

I wonder why there are 2 ways to spell capital. Or is it capitol? See, I wonder why I cannot get that.

I wonder if in 1987, my parents thought that their tolerance to alcohol was like totally awesome and impressive as they could down like 8 bloody marys and not feel a thing, as I wonder if they knew I had filled most of their bottles with water before I left for college?(you know, to make it look like they were still full....)

I wonder if I am the only adult American female who hates Glee? I was a cheerleader and an honor student in high school and not once did I ever break into song, nor did anyone else. And I wonder why they wear their cheerleader uniforms all the flipping time? We never did. I wonder if they do not own normal clothing. This also makes me wonder if I am the only one who also did not appreciate high school musical. I wonder if I am the only mom that took it out of the DVD player and smashed it into a 1000 pieces in front of my kids after it was only on for like 3 minutes because those kids on that movie were FREAKS. I also wonder if I am the only person on the planet who has no clue who Taylor Swift is?

I wonder how old my kids think I am as Eloise asked me today if I had TV and other electronics when I was a little girl "in the olden days".

..and then I don't have to wonder why I drink a lot of wine after they go to bed.

What are you wondering about today?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shop Therapy...

When did I become the invisible woman?

When did I become less fabulous just because I have dried puke on my Matilda Jane tee'd shoulder, fingerprints on my designer jeans and goldfish crumbs covering the bottom of my Louis?

Is it because I don't bother to put on make-up, perhaps my hair isn't styled, my nails are chipped and my wrinkles are prevalent?

Is it the desperate look on my face for trying to have 5 minutes to myself?

Is it because I look lost in your store, not having shopped in awhile?

All I know is that my excitement to have 15 minutes to shop today turned sour quickly as I became the invisible woman.

In this economy, with small shops being hit hard, I try to mainly shop small and shop local. I am lucky to have many fabulous shops within blocks of my house in our trendy Grand Avenue area.

I dropped Esther at a play date, Eloise at ballet, the baby was sleeping and I had a $300 gift certificate from Christmas that I finally found a moment to spend.

I walked in the quaint, trendy boutique to silence. I was the only person in the 20x30 shop and the sales associate never looked up from her i-phone. After a few moments of browsing and feeling awkward to be in the small shop so unannounced - I said "hi - how are you today" - she looked up briefly and grunted.

I found a few dresses to try, let myself into the dressing room and came out once to see what she thought of the fit of my favorite. She looked up briefly and said "it looks fine."

Moments later I hear another customer walk-in and she is greeted with a friendly "hello, is there anything I can help you find?"

I exit the room to find a stylish and gorgeous young woman.

If it were my money, I would've walked out empty handed - but I found a dress, some shoes and a fabulous new bag - all by myself and felt almost embarrassed to check-out as she didn't even talk to me as she took my card.

I walked out nearly in tears with my large bag feeling like I never existed and hoping I could still enjoy my purchases Nevermind that these small boutiques need the business, how could someone be treated so poorly.

I wanted to use social media for evil and pull a brilliant dooce and twitter and facebook most negative comments about the boutique.

But I didn't. I decided that I still liked my purchases, even without her approval or even acknowledgement. Do I really need to be the cool girl anymore, or have the most followers, commentors, or friends, or be fawned upon when shopping.

Maybe now in my 40's, I am becoming invisible to the next generation. But I don't care. I see me and those arrogant "sales clerks" can bite me.

Have you felt invisible lately?


Monday, April 12, 2010

Little Chef...

I love having her underfoot while I cook.
I can count my blessings on her 10 little toes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Easy Weekend...

We had a weekend without one plan. Free of all obligations. No schedule, no stress, no problem.

We spent our weekend going to playgrounds, meeting casually up with friends, having picnics in our backyard, chats on the front porch, playing American Girl dolls and folding laundry.
We ate cheerios and pancakes for dinner.
We enjoyed the easy rhythm that Astrid has finally gotten into this week. A week with virtual no crying, easy naps and more smiles than we have ever seen. She is almost crawling and so happy to be there.
We spent the weekend not worrying about eating lunch an hour late or missing a nap or even having to nurse in public with a baby that pops off every 10 seconds for social hour. I didn't even stress it even after this or this in the news of late. My favorite quote of the week "why is it that everyone wants to see a woman's breast until there is a baby attached?" Sad.
I am sitting here and I am happy and joyful and my heart is just so full from this easy weekend.

How about you?


Friday, April 9, 2010

Twitter-Dee Follow Me

After joining Twitter last year and leaving my account blank...I finally decided to Tweet this week.

(...and this is where my family, my main audience, goes huh? and moves onto cute picture posts...)

After finally realizing that I haven't read a real newspaper in 18 months or watched the actual news on TV more than once per month - that I am now getting my news from the web, facebook, blogs, my i-phone, and that my circle of "friends" is more on line than in real life, I decided that I needed to further my trip down the rabbit hole for more information and interaction.

Social media is now and the future, and I need to get my 40 year old ass in gear and enjoy the ride a little bit more.

This is a very dated YouTube clip - (like so old to be from June of 2009 of all things) - but the statistics of Social Media are staggering.

And while I don't blog for popularity, press, advertisements or money - I am in awe my the women who do and support their families by it.

..and on the Today Show this morning - this interesting segment about Mommy Bloggers - because even though we seem to be mature and able-minded moms, trying to teach or children to be positive contributors to society - there are still the mean girls among us. Sad.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Have great weekend.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Baby Steps...

I find myself celebrating Astrid's accomplishments with complete abandon. She deserves a pony for learning to patty-cake and a trip to Europe for doing "so-big."

Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but that is where my heart is with her.

No matter the crying, whining, bitching, being up all night, icky faces, particular attitude, constipation, or just being thankful she is cute - she is being celebrated.

Now as a typical mother of this generation, I am feeling like I slighted my others in wishing away their babyhood and just wanting them to grow-up. Whether true or not.
But not this time. How lucky am I to "know" this is my last baby and to appreciate every minute of her very long days.

How sad am I that I cried this week when she clapped for the first time or that I show-off her "so big" to strangers at the grocery store. I encourage her to click her tongue as she learns "trick" after "trick" and I revel in her new found genius that only a mother can appreciate.

Now I just need to use this complete and utter crazy motherly abandon when Esther learns to ride her bike this Summer and Eloise discovers the cure for cancer.
What are you celebrating in your kids life today?

P.S. Cute dress huh - I wore it 41 years ago...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happiness is...

Eloise has been practicing her ballet recital piece daily..and if I have to hear the song "..happiness is sharing a secret, pizza with sausage, telling the time...catching a firefly and setting him free.." one more time, I think I may stab someone.

Because who really let the fireflies go? No, as kids, we trapped them and let them die overnight in our makeshift bug keepers/slash jars without air holes. Admit it.

"Happiness is 5 different crayons?" Come on - was this written in 1932? Who uses crayons anymore? Isn't there an app for that now?

I will tell you what happiness is...

Having your cousins to play with.
Even if you only see them once per year, you play like you just saw them yesterday and are thick as thieves.
Happiness is tween boys carrying Easter baskets and going on an egg hunt.
Happiness is cousins getting themselves into double trouble.
Happiness is seeing your dad smile surrounded by his grandkids...
..and his kids...
Dyed eggs..
..and wearing a fedora on Easter Sunday.
THAT my friends is Happiness.

..and there is no app for that.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Crawling Sequence...Hurdles...

A picture I submitted to The Women's Colony was published here. The theme was hurdles - which Astrid and I are trying to overcome every day.
The past 2 weeks, besides just being a usual bitch, Astrid is trying to hard to crawl..and is doubly angry because of it. Since her sisters didn't try to crawl until they were, 2, I had no idea what a frustrating process this was.
So I got down on the floor and watched her, did not encourage her(as baby proofing seems like a HUGE hurdle to me right now) and laughed at her frustration, trials, errors and just giving up to suck on a block.
Another hurdle I am attempting to leap over is my fear of photo post processing. The process seems daunting and learning curve long, and I am not sure that I have from 2am-4am to dedicate to that process - which are currently the only hours I am sleeping.
So, I shoot and download and crop and publish and most times cringe at my photos. Jed bought me PSE for my birthday LAST YEAR and it has sat and collected dust.

Last week, I finally installed it - encouraged by Ann and by the fact that the Pioneer Woman had her actions available to finally work on elements(one step processing I will take the time to try...)
So, I did it - and yes spend some sleeping time playing with PSE - but these photos show me that my time is well spent.
What hurdles are you jumping over these days? Big or small? Let's stop sucking on blocks and celebrate each other.
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