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It’s Pictures Again


Since we last talked…

Fourth of July.






Zachary had his first Zoo train ride that he could really appreciate.


Audrey learned how to do this.


Zachary learned how to do this.




And tomorrow he’s one year old.

I have a lot to say but have lost the urge to talk quite so much. Well, type so much. I still talk a lot. Maybe soon. Got to go watch The Jim Gaffigan Show. I’m very excited about that.

posted under Audrey, husband, TV, Zachary | Comments Off on It’s Pictures Again

Exit Strategy


My boy child is very busy in utero, sometimes surprisingly so. Yesterday, I squealed at a sudden jab and said, “The baby’s really moving!” Audrey poked her head around the corner and said, “He’s out?”

Ha. No, darling. Not by a long shot. I’ve told her we still have a while to wait and I’ve started trying to explain that I’ll go to a hospital to get him out. There’s just no way to convey what a process it is!

I met my new doula (yay!) on Monday and when she asked if Audrey would be along for the birth, I just had to say hellz nah. While I would love for Aud to have a slightly more concrete idea of where the baby is coming from, I don’t feel I put on the most calm and educational show in labor. I do not want to freak her out.

So I’ve been nervous about a few aspects of labor. I’m going to spare you the squishy details and today obsess over the very basic and essential, When Do You Know You’re in Labor???

Have you noticed on TV, when a woman goes into labor, she’s just going through her normal daily activities when suddenly she grasps her belly, looks up meaningfully, and says, “It’s time”?

What bullshit.

I spent an entire day wondering if I was in labor with Audrey and then another night only knowing I was not in labor enough to get to go to the hospital. When I finally just begged to go in, consistent contractions be damned, it turned out I only had 3 hours to spare.

Which was fine for a lot of reasons – no long time at the hospital means no time to think about drugs and no time for staff to get antsy and want to do something – but here’s the thing: second labors are notoriously faster than firsts. Like maybe twice as fast. So now I’m nervous. If I go in long before my midwife thinks I should, will I just end up being sent home a dozen times? Or spend way longer laboring at the hospital than I want to and get burned out faster? But if I wait for proper signs of progressed-enough labor, will I have a kid on my living room carpet?


Stuff to harass my midwife and doula about next time I see them.

Y’all out there! How did you know when to go to the hospital?

posted under Audrey, pregnancy, TV | 2 Comments »



I took a day off from the Bible yesterday. The folks came over and we went out to eat. We timed it just badly enough to get the tired kid to the restaurant right at naptime. And what did this two-year-old who’s been so TWO lately do? Act like a total lady. Sit contentedly, eat happily, be a total joy to be around. Ain’t life sweet?

Today Andy and I are working through the two-hour season 4 premiere of Downton Abbey. This show, I tell you. I was so passionately in love with it in the beginning, and now I find myself groaning at the thought of watching another episode. Can I take it emotionally? I’ll ask myself. I feel like there used to be more fun along with the drama. Sigh.

Yes, these are the kind of problems I have right now. Woe is me.

So let’s tackle the Downton of its day, Genesis.


Abraham dies. Rebekah’s having trouble getting pregnant (theme!) until Isaac does such a good job of pleading with God about it, that she gets knocked up with twins. It’s sibling rivalry from the beginning in there, and as they’re duking it out in utero, those of us who have been pregnant can feel for Rebekah when she complains to God: “Why is this happening to me?”

God talks right back to her (that’s the third woman God has addressed personally, if you count that “You did too laugh” to Sarah) and tells her the boys will be fathers of rival nations and the older will serve the younger (theme!). Esau (“hairy”) is born first and Jacob (sounds similar to “heel” and “deceiver”) is born grasping Esau’s heel.

Esau grows up an outdoorsy hunter and Isaac’s favorite while Jacob is a quiet homebody and Rebekah’s favorite. One day, Esau comes home all exhausted from hunting and demands some of the stew Jacob’s cooking. Jacob asks for Esau’s rights as firstborn son in exchange. Esau, in the ultimate act of immediate gratification, agrees. I’d like to point out this is lentil stew, not even beer cheese or chicken and dumplings.

We take a detour from these two with a bit of famine, moving, and Isaac pulling Dad’s “She’s my sister” routine with a local king. Oh, sigh. Then some battles over wells.

So then Isaac’s on his deathbed and going blind. He gets ready to bless Esau, conferring all the rights of a firstborn upon him: it would typically mean a double share of the inheritance and leadership of the family. Rebekah talks Jacob into presenting himself as Esau to get the blessing for himself. It works, and Isaac and Esau are shaken hard when they realize what’s happened. Esau plots to kill Jacob and Rebekah tells her younger son to hightail it to her brother Laban in Haran. Isaac agrees and tells him to marry one of his uncle’s daughters. Not those local women like Esau married. Jacob goes. Esau, getting his folks don’t dig on his two wives, adds another wife, this time one of Ishmael’s daughters.

posted under Audrey, the Bible in 2014, TV | Comments Off on Kids

Second Birthday Wisdom


Last year, I wrote a post on Facebook saying I had been a mother for a whole year and now knew absolutely everything about parenting, and then proceeded to list it all. Thank you for putting up with that. So.

I’ve been a mother for two whole years now, so I totally know everything about raising kids. Here’s what I’ve learned the last year:


1. You can baby-proof a house, but you cannot toddler-proof it.

2. The only way to get my child to do something she doesn’t want to is to say, “Mommy do it or Audrey do it?” Suddenly she is gung-ho to take on any challenge. “AUDEE DO IT!” I do not look forward to the day this stops working.

3. I’m guessing sweeping will also cease to be fun for her once she’s actually of any use at it.

4. The American Academy of Pediatrics may say children under 2 shouldn’t have any screen time, but Sesame Street is the perfect time to go to the kitchen and sneak all the junk food you don’t really want your kids to have. TV – the healthier choice! Also:

5. Find what they love and use it to bend them to your will. “Sure, we can watch Elmo! We just need to pick up books first.” Watch how fast your living room gets clean.

6. I just found out how to take a shower! Toddler in her mostly child-proofed bedroom, with door anchored open but gate shut, with a Super Why app on Mommy’s Kindle. Mommy in bathroom three feet away with door open, and nothing fancy like shaving. Tried it once so far, and there were no injuries. Breakthrough?!?!?

7. Having a best friend whose kid is your kid’s best friend will SAVE YOUR SOUL.

8. Don’t give that baby your phone unless you want her to create a Twitter account or text your ex-boyfriend. Kids these days are born knowing how to do this stuff.

9. It’s totally okay to ask God for a sign as to how you should deal with your toddler’s stupid sleep, but if that’s immediately followed by your child having a sudden, terrifying, barky cough that freaks you out so much you spend the night in bed with her so she doesn’t die, and then you all end up getting the best sleep of your life and the cough disappears after you get up the next morning, well then, what are you going to do about that, because GOD.

10. And you really don’t regret lying with her until she falls asleep when you get some sloppy, wet kisses out of the deal.

11. When Aud was born, I had an intense bond to her, but not what you would commonly call “love.” I fell in love with her as I started to see tiny bits of her personality emerging. Well, she’s got a lot of personality now. As she becomes ever more herself, my love for her just gets crazy. Crazy big, crazy joyous, crazy I-would-boil-a-bunny-for-her-if-I-needed-to.


12. On the flip side, her more difficult days make me love the husband a lot more, I tell ya.

13. Turning two means this is the last chance to let a lot of stuff slide. This year the kid really won’t have an opinion on her birthday party or, you know, even notice if her lousy parents get her any presents or not.  (I mean, REALLY, the grandparents have that covered pretty damn well already.) She doesn’t know that anyone other than those two friends you picked could have attended. She can’t stop you from ordering another literary-themed cake, as she doesn’t know Elmo cakes can be made. But I don’t feel too bad half-assing her party. Audrey’s second birthday won’t be the impressive affair Suri Cruise’s $100,000 second birthday was 5 years ago, but Audrey’s dad ain’t Tom Cruise, so I think Aud wins.


Lifestyles of the Educated and Animated


I love PBS. I really do. If it weren’t for PBS kids’ programming, I wouldn’t get to spend the first hour of my day drinking coffee and reading celebrity gossip on the internet instead of parenting my child. I may be only halfway paying attention, but I am flummoxed by the lives of these characters. Does anyone out there have this world figured out? Because I’m too tired to make sense of it.


What is the Man in the Yellow Hat’s Job?

Curious George is our favorite show. But this character confuses us. Andy and I mulled this one over for a few mornings. The Man has an apartment in the City, a house in the country, and the resources to take on the kind of adventures that would lead to the acquisition of a monkey. He has some kind of association with the museum, but we wouldn’t call it a job. We can’t tell if he has any real skill or knowledge, or just dabbles in whatever interests his rich self at the moment. He is totally dating Professor Wiseman, but it’s obvious she’s too smart for him and sees him only as a boy toy.

“Trust Fund Baby,” says Andy. “Oh, wait – he’s Buster!”


“Buster! He’s Buster from Arrested Development. He’s got, like, eight degrees, but is completely useless.”


What Kind of School does Sid Attend?

Sid the Science Kid is in a class with a 4:1 student/teacher ratio. Think of all the amazing, individualized attention and customized learning for those kids! Oh, wait, no. Just Sid. One kid dictates the entire curriculum. “I want to learn about germs today!” Okay, Sid, screw everything else, we’ll study what you want AND your teacher will sing an original song on the topic. Come on, how awesome would it be if they had to study whatever Gerald wanted one day? That kid’s hilarious.


Super Why, with the Power to Change the Author’s Original Intent!

Let’s just leave aside the terrible versions of classic stories on this show. (Rumplestiltskin is employed by a busy, party-throwing princess? It’s so washed clean of anything interesting it might as well be my high school years.) Super Why solves problems by completely rewriting parts of the story. Oh, no, he di’n’t. This reminds me of an edition of The Secret Garden I saw after it its copyright entered the public domain. It had been altered to replace all talk of Magic with references to God and Jesus. The worst is that the editors claimed they were reflecting “the original intent.” No. Just no. Just…no.*


Is it Martin Short’s Voice that Makes the Cat in the Hat Freakier? Or is He Just Freaky?

Nick and Sally’s moms, I’m begging you…stop giving permission for your kids to go weird places with a creepy cat that tells your children to flip his thingamajigger. Stop.


Won’t somebody think of the children?


Sesame Street and Daniel Tiger, we cool.

We don’t watch any of the other shows. Any deep thoughts about Martha, Dinosaur Train, Word World…dare I mention Barney and Caillou???


P.S. Totally sorry I watermarked Ed Grimley. I don’t know how not to. But note: that photo AIN’T MINE.


*says the girl who adulterated the entire thing when she wrote a children’s play called The Secret Garden…of Zombies.


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