Monday, October 29, 2007

Seven Years Ago...

I married my quiet man...

Relationships up to the point H and I had met had been sort of soul-crunchers, and I had been staying far, far away since my move to Boston. Rationalizations popped up, of course. I was busy, I was adjusting to my new life on the East Coast, new friends, a small bit of schooling, new job(s)... H stepped into this busy quagmire one January.

We met on a blisteringly cold evening for drinks at The Top of the Hub, and talked into the night. Rather than face a train ride home on the T, I let him drive me home. Smiles, much talk, a Hey, we should do this again... and quietly, almost imperceptibly our lives started to entwine.

He asked for my hand while we walked, or offered me his arm. Often. Books, movies, any old topic of conversation. I introduced him to local live music like Jim's Big Ego, and he picked me up at 4am one morning so that we could drive to Lexington for the Patriot's Day festivities that begin at dawn. We shared our love of travel and history and old New England cemeteries. And one cold December evening he took me on a carriage ride and proposed... It was the same year that we lost my Grandfather to a brain tumor, and we both flew to Wisconsin to share our news and attend the funeral. It was the makings of a bittersweet weekend.

Planning was a whirlwind, as we had a little less than a year. It was a wonderful celebration with 100 friends and family, packed into an old New England church's pew boxes and an old New England home for food and dancing. I panicked only when I discovered that "Our Sunday" coincided with the Fall daylight savings time that year. (Although, I suppose that would have meant people would be an hour early, not an hour late...). We still laugh that facing each other at the front of the church, we each grabbed the wrong hand when it came time for the rings...

It is seven years (and one child) later. I love taking his hand, spooning into his back at night... I am barely awake many mornings when he leaves before first light. It is a safe cocoon when he settles the comforter more securely over me before he leaves.

Seven years of a quiet whirlwind that blew into my life. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Happy Anniversary H!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Water heater busted yesterday, which equals water all over the garage, hallway to the garage, and seepage into the neighbor's garage.

First contractor - HUGELY expensive. Second contractor - NEVER calls back. Purchase new heater from big-name store - ROYAL runaround about getting out here to install the @!&$*^ thing.

Say hello to Mom with the proverbial steam coming out of her ears, which yes, is the only hot water you will find around this place.

Oh, and H went for jury duty today and yep, they picked him. Out until at least Tuesday. Hope he wasn't looking for a hot shower to go to court.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Just a few odds and ends... It is supposed to hit 80 degrees today. Eighty! It's October 22nd! I can handle this kind of Fall.

Sense memories... of all kinds. Think of the name you can't stand, and suddenly remember that a kid with that name bullied you in grade school. I look back at yearbooks now and realize that that imposing figure was a third-grader. A black and white photograph that H took when we visited Quebec years ago - the starkness of it reminding me that we were freezing our hineys off. I think it was the weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving, and it was cold! The smell of burning wood takes me to 4th of July bonfires in our backyards in Michigan. Ditto for the sugary scent of marshmallows, ripe for the toasting.

Anytime I pass by The Food Network and happen upon the program Unwrapped, I always get sucked in... there is something fascinating about the behind the scenes of how things get made. A recent episode dealt with some Halloween candy, and I loved learning about Smarties. Smarties remind me of my Grandma B. She always had them in her purse. Probably great for keeping kids like me quiet in church, as I would sit and eat one tiny little sugary bit at a time.

What items/experiences send you down memory lane?

Friday, October 19, 2007


My + banana = MyNana!

It is sometimes amazing to me that this kid was being targeted by his pediatrician at his 18-month appointment as a possible candidate for needing some "Early Intervention." I worried. I even made an appointment, and like flipping a switch he suddenly decided that it was time to talk and he hasn't stopped since.

He's been explaining his favorite programs to me, and chattered his way all around the farm today with his father and I. Pigs! Horseys! Chickens! and most especially Tractor!

A favorite topic of conversation ever since the jaunt to The House of Chuck E. has been the doggie with the guitar that was up on stage with the band. Our local playgroup recently held a toy/clothing swap and Daniel glommed onto a toy guitar that spouts rockabilly music when you hit the keys on the neck in place of strings. There was no way I was getting out of there without that guitar. The mouse fallout continues...

Monday, October 15, 2007

So that explains it...

Connoisseur of chocolate, chocoholic, choco-maniac take your pick and that's me. In the same way that I used to wrinkle my nose with distaste and accuse my Mother of hiding celery in dinner recipes the reverse is true if I think chocolate is in the house. I'm a veritable bloodhound for that last piece of Halloween candy, or the bag of chocolate chips hiding in the back of the pantry if there's a pinch. The local ice cream shop during my college years at MSU was a place called Melting Moments, and I was in heaven with a scoop of their "turbo chocolate."

If there's a selection on hand, H and I are perfectly matched as I will nab the dark chocolate every time and toss him the Hershey's... No selection on hand, doesn't mean I'm picky! I'm sure I don't need to go into what a certain time of the month does to my chocolate consumption either.

I was intrigued to read this article about a scientific study where they think they have linked a craving for chocolate to the type of bacteria living in a person's digestive tract. I was also amused to read:

In fact, the study was delayed because it took a year for the researchers to find 11 men who don't eat chocolate.

I wonder if they looked for any women to participate in this study??

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ack! There's a Mouse in My House!

We were invited to our first Chuck E. Cheese birthday party. Daniel was over the moon yesterday! I had recollections of ol' Chuck from when I was a kid, but hadn't considered him for the two-year-old crowd. Boy was I wrong.

There were video games that were more suited to the older kids, but there was also a climbing structure and arcade games of all kinds. Daniel was drawn to the barnyard ones that had eggs rolling down a chute, and if you dumped the bucket just right you scored points. Another had ping pong ball "bees" that you caught in a net and dumped into the honeypot and you earned points for how many... all of these arcade games earned you tickets that could be cashed in for prizes at the end. There were kiddie rides of every stripe, Bob the Builder and the Teletubbies among others. I almost didn't need the pocketful of tokens because by the time I started something up Daniel was noticing some other ride or doo-dad and he was off and running again.

The tables for pizza and cake sat near the stage that had an animatronic Chuck and his cohorts up there playing instruments and singing. This fascinated Daniel to no end, and even when I dragged him out of there he was chattering about "Doggie guitar" and "Song!"

The festivities ran through nap time though, which led to an overtired and somewhat cranky toddler. He was struggling to keep his eyes open and pretty much zonked on his father's shoulder in time for bed. By that time I was wishing for open space on the other shoulder as it was a day of Mama running to keep up.

As we were getting ready to go out this morning, I had to convince Daniel that no, we weren't going to see Chuck E. today... Uh oh.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mommy Biology

I was commenting to someone just the other day that if I were in charge of little things like oh, say human biology, I would give mothers a little bonus. We all know the changes that come with pregnancy, the whacko hormones and so forth. I think Moms should be gifted with an extra set of adrenal glands that kick into action once the kid arrives. This ensures that we can actually keep up with the little buggers. And I only have one!

It no longer surprises me when there are rather long stretches of time between hearing from my friend Kim. She has five.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Festival O' Fun

Both of my sister-in-laws sing with bands, and this afternoon one of them was playing at a local festival. You know the type: blow up bouncers and slides for the kiddos, a couple of carts with hot dogs and hamburgers, fried dough and ice cream. Earlier in the day there were a lot of vendors selling crafts and other things. The evening was pretty much devoted to the music, and later some fireworks.

I was amazed. I think it was one of the first times that we have gotten Daniel in front of live music like that. We all know he loves his country music videos, but to see him get down and boogie to the live music was fun. He and his cousin Nicholas chased each other around in front of the band, squealing and laughing and joined by other random kids from time to time.

Daniel did have one casualty of the evening. I took my eyes off him for two seconds, and a bigger kid not watching where he was going pretty much flattened him/knocked him off his feet. The Mom swooped in right away, but instead of even offering up an, "I'm sorry" she just scooped up her kid and exited. It makes me a bit angry. I know it wasn't intentional, but my kid had the breath knocked out of him - it took him a minute to gather up enough air to even start screaming - and he now looks like he has a bit of road rash down one side of his face.

We got everything calmed down, and Daniel went back to the music. I would occasionally try to stop him and get him to drink some water... I even tried to steer him over toward the kiddie bouncers at one point thinking he might need a break. This just earned me a wail of, "Dancing!"

I finally made a decision to head for home, and was preparing for a fight to get to the car. When I paused because a song I liked had just started, Daniel looked at me and said, "Go Home!" He's nothing if not a kid who knows what he wants.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Laundry Misdeeds

Holy cow did today start with a misstep... We have a blankie in the house. I've been fortunate that Daniel doesn't seem to cart it everywhere - it's made thousands of miles of trips to Grandma and Grandpa's house, and even to the doctor's office a few times when I thought comfort might be exceptionally needed. But usually it is just a fixture in the house: a good cuddler on the couch, and a must at bedtime. Needless to say, blankie gets a tad, um, ripe at times. The best plan of attack is to launch it straight into the laundry as soon as he gets up. Then I am pretty much guaranteed to have the thing dry by nap time.

Little did I know. I executed Plan B: Wash Blankie when Daniel's second favorite morning show came on the air. Super Why is a new PBS show that is also very letters and reading oriented, and Daniel is fascinated with it at the moment. The show began, and durn it all he started hunting for the blankie. It was a slippery slope after that... nothing I could do was quite right. (I'll cry 'til you pick me up. No, wait, pick me up and I'll cry harder!)

I finally cut the tumble dry short, yanked blankie from the dryer, and handed it to him slightly damp. And lo, peace did reign on the house of Dirt Makes Fat. For the moment...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Personality Plus

Maybe it's because of the stay at home mom gig, but sometimes I am totally knocked sideways by the changes in my little guy. I am so close every day that they sort of sneak up on me. You take this tiny baby home from the hospital, and just love them to bits but let's face it. As one of my friends said to me: It's pretty much eat, sleep, diaper, repeat.

There is the first smile, first word, first steps... and somewhere along the line this whole personality pops out and this realization hits of a "real boy" in there. I had Daniel out and about in the car and running errands with me a few days ago. My head was down in the front seat as I rummaged around in my bag looking for something. I heard a giggle and looked in the back to discover Daniel wearing the Country Weekly music magazine he had been paging through previously as a hat. I could just tell by the sly grin that he must've been doing that for a little bit, and finally giggled to get my attention (and because he couldn't hold it in any longer.) The grin got even wider as I nearly fell over in my seat from laughter...

This is a kid who was so focused on seeing the tractor at the farm yesterday that I was literally running to keep up with him. And a kid who was so excited at the prospect of picking out a punkin' that I felt badly about steering him away from the super-humongous-ginormous pumpkins because we don't have the room.

I worry sometimes that in all the "dailiness" of "being a Mom" and being the caretaker that I lose sight of some of those "joy in the pumpkins" moments. And I pray that I never squash such impulses in him, and just enjoy my little boy with the plus-sized personality.