Monday, March 31, 2008

late one night

last night i was up late reading a book ( good book, i'll have another entry about that one) and i was thinking about ava asleep in her bed and i just . . . missed her. i wanted to see her, make sure she was breathing, tuck the blankets around her. i refrained because the possibility of her waking up and thinking it was morning was far worse than the sweet moment i imagined.

however, in the middle of the night, she was coughing a lot, so i got up and got her a drink. she was awake, holding her blanket and waiting for me when i got there. after demanding that we go sit out on the couch while she took a sip, i grabbed a blanket, wrapped it around us and sat back. she took a sip or two of water and immediately fell asleep. she filled my lap and then some like michaelangelo's pieta, spilling off the ends of my lap, sitting straight up, her little head against my chest, her dark eyelashes casting shadow on her round cheeks. it reminded me of other dark nights on the couch, where i sat right in the middle indian-style and fed her a bottle. i could hold her with one arm. and she held her tiny little fists up to the sides of her face and drank with her eyes closed.

it was a good night.


Friday, March 28, 2008


by now everyone's heard of barack obama's slightly inflammatory minister, right? you know, the anti-white, anti-american man who preaches afrocentric religion? this has upset me for several reasons (none of which involve whether or not i love barack obama, i'm leaving political affiliation out of this one, alright?).

reason one: racism is something i feel very, very strongly about. i feel like we had the civil rights movement for a reason. not so that we could stop making black people drink at their own drinking fountains, but that we, as a country, could recognize the "all men created equal" line and understand it. in my book, racism is not okay. no matter what. not even jokes. not even if the race featured in the joke is not present. to know that this minister white is out and about preaching racist-based beliefs really, really bothers me. i feel like he's just causing more trouble, not helping anything. so when i heard on the news today that obama's rates are going back up and that no one thinks this will affect him for very long, i was really irritated. not because i want so badly for him to lose, but because apparently, racism is not that big of an issue to people. why not? (and i understand that barack himself is not saying these things, but you can't help but wonder. i mean, for twenty years he was an active participant in this church, he had a close relationship with a very outspoken and opinionated man)

reason two: having that minister is just silly. being president is something you plan for for a long time. so affiliating yourself with such an inflammatory character just seems ill-planned. like he's not taking this whole presidential campaign seriously. is he serious about being president? then maybe he should try to look as presentable as possible. this minister should be something his adversaries dig up from his past, not his present. so what's his deal?

how has this minister scandal changed the way you view Sen. Obama and racism?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

weekly mouse

taken while she was saying, "eed da bubbos"
translation: "eat the bubbles"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

waste not, want not

as i browsed the aisles of target yesterday, i was thinking about all the things i do need. like organizational somethings (boxes? baskets? bins?) to take the chaos which is ava's closet and turn it in to order. it has sort of become this door in ava's room that i can lug crap over to, throw in, and never think about again. however, with the up and coming baby number two, i've been thinking about how i just might need that closet to be in some sort of order (or i'm nesting which is by far cuter than organizing). then i thought about all the things i don't need. like a diaper bag (which i bought). or baby bedding (didn't buy). or that bubble blowing toy which i didn't need, but absolutely love (there will be pictures, every household with small children needs one of these).

i completely despise the feeling of wanting something. i hate being hung up on stupid things that are unnecessary. i think it's because i feel like i'm wasting my time looking over the fence to admire the greener grass. why don't i just feel grateful for the baby bedding that i do have? what spoiled brat needs new baby bedding for every new baby (i am talking myself out of this baby bedding really fast).

and i hate seeing cute things that other people have and then wishing for cute things too. because really, i don't care that much. i don't know why i do this.

maybe my question is this, how can i better enjoy the things that i have? and how can i help myself want and need less? and how can i help my children want and need less? and how do i teach myself to not compare what others have to what i have?

does anyone have the answers to these questions?

Monday, March 24, 2008

writer's block

i have to write the editor's notes for the magazine.

i have no idea what to write.

my head hurts.


happy easter!

Friday, March 21, 2008

to see or not to see?

we (my fetus and i) had another doctor's appointment yesterday, where i gave permission to my doctor to invade that baby's space! baby did not seem to appreciate it, turned his/her head face the other direction and "swam" so he was backwards. the ultrasound was blurry and , well, boring. i wanted to see something! and not just genitalia, either. my doctor became concerned for my happiness (more people should be like her) and asked me if i really, really wanted to know what i was having.

really? i don't. i mean, i do in the sense that i think that finding out the little bugger's gender will help me feel more close to him/her. i despise saying it and him/her drives me nuts (you too, probably). but every time i say "he" or "she" the person i am saying this too perks up and says, "he?" then i have to stop everything and explain, no i don't know what i'm having, i just don't like saying it. it gets old, you know? so i do care. but it's not like i'm waiting in anticipation, fingers ready with nursery paint buckets and sewing projects. honestly and truly (scout sign being made here), i just want the baby to be healthy. and if he/she is not healthy, i want it to be something that modern medicine can fix.

so what have you all done in the past? find out? wait? why?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

weekly mouse

after bath

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

one, TWO!

ava can count to two. she does so with gusto. she loves pairs of things. she'll hold up her hands and say, "one, TWO!" it's hilarious. and adorable.

we go to the park every thursday with the other girls in the ward. there's only one little girl who is ava's age and her name is hazel. hazel is an adorable button-nosed fire-cracker. she has these hideous cowboy boots that are white with BIG red and white polka-dot bows on them and she wears them every day. EVERY DAY. she insists upon it. i've always thought that was funny and wondered when ava would have a preference for what she wore. yesterday, she finally did. she wanted to wear one white church shoe on one foot and one pink croc on the other foot. she wore these to the grocery store and then later, she put them on just to run around the house. i'm delighted that she has a preference. and i love how cute this little memory is.
there was this little girl i knew growing up from a homeschooling group, and her mom let her wear whatever she wanted. she always wore princess-y dress-up clothes. i loved seeing all of that individual personality being allowed to be expressed.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

much better

ava and cousins

it's amazing what a day wearing pajamas in a dining room table fort with a stack of books can do. i feel so much better.

our weekend was spent in san luis obispo, where my grandpa lives. it was his 80th birthday weekend, so everybody (really, everybody, only one cousin was missing due to his mission in switzerland) was there. that's my grandpa, his wife, eight children, all with spouses (save one) and their children. the smallest family is three. the biggest family is six (children. each). in addition, two cousins are married, one is engaged, there's ava (the lone great-grandchild) and my grandfather's two brother's came out and my grandpa's wife's children came also. we come out to a rather loud and disruptive crew (note: non of this amazes the mormon readers, only the non-mormon readers. my friend mario described dinner at the packard's house as, "a roomful of children who each take turns scooping their dinner out of a barrel.").

ava was in heaven. there were all of these girl cousins who wanted to play with her. they gave her whatever she wanted. they each vied for her attention. so she sat happily, on a round table surrounded by little girls, swinging two balloons in the air and they all told her how cute she was and giggled. you know, my brothers play with her all the time, but their attention wanes. these girls, however, kept her busy almost the entire time. it was awesome. she was returned to us well-fed, blissfully happy and completely exhausted.

so why didn't she sleep AT ALL??? you got me. i barely the meaning of this child.

saturday night was spent mostly in tears (the hysterical kind, and they were hers, not mine. i was surprisingly calm. ryan kept offering to go sleep on the couch. i didn't let him.) and then, finally, at an odd angle between ryan and myself, she slept with her little head pushing him off of his pillow (and subsequently, off the bed) and her little feet jogging nicely in to my back. here's something about ava i learned over the weekend: the child runs in her sleep. in addition to the bed hog, someone else in the house was snoring. i think they'd slept walked and were standing right outside our door because i could hear them LOUD and CLEAR. also, the house was FREEZING. so freezing, i was wearing nearly every warm piece of clothing i'd brought and still shivering. i think i got, at most, four hours of sleep. and that's the generous estimate.

the next morning my cousin cheerfully piped up, "it was so hot last night i got up and turned off the heater!" i nearly impaled her with my cereal spoon. really. but i was distracted by the warm steam spilling from my ears that i forgot to hurt her.

naturally, ryan and i were a bit dazed and grumpy (ryan dazed, me grumpy) the next day. ava was a little sensitive. she cried (high pitched, banshee sort of crying) for nearly the entire ride home. and i was delirious at that point, so i think i took all of her toys away from her. then i gave them all back. and i think i yelled. yeah, i'm pretty sure i did.

we got home and i slept for a good long while, then we put ava to sleep and i went right back to bed. the next morning i felt as though someone had been beating me while i slept.

today, however, i feel great. i've been waking up early and going walking and it has been the best thing i've ever done for myself. i feel so good in the morning! and it almost carries me to the end of the day.

i'm ready to get that little baby out of her crib and give her a hug.

Monday, March 17, 2008


the weekend was a tough one. i'm taking time off to recuperate. so no weekly photo (i know you're all in tears). sorry!

Friday, March 14, 2008

what really gets my goat

here's a little fact for you: i have an ego. yes, it's true. i admit that i smirk when people say "nordstroms" or "barnes & nobles" or use words that really have no meaning at all like "nice" or "sweet" (for example: sweet husband, that makes me cringe). i think, "how silly they sound." and then i think, "i would never say something like that."

here's the saddest part about that: i hate people who have egos. i hate it when people are superior. in fact, nothing grates on my nerves more than ego. and i happen to, every tuesday, be surrounded by such enormous egos i should be dead by now. from brain hemorrhaging. because i swear, when they talk, i can feel my blood oozing in to my brain. it makes sloshing noises as i walk away.

that's a whole other blog entry (really, it is, and it shall be told because seriously? the stories!). the superiority i'm going to rant about today is parental superiority.

really quickly (sort of a refresher for those of you who may be new to the blog). ava's my daughter. admittedly, she's my only daughter and all of this stupid parental superiority is coming from parents who have more than one child (usually, sometimes i can't tell), but she is my daughter. i do spend 11 hours of my day with her. and 2 extra hours in the house cleaning up her mess while she naps. so i'd say i might be considered an ava expert, am i right?

so what's with the people who have to tell me about her? for example, the old woman at the grocery store. ava was mad at me because we were not taking the shopping cart with the enormous car attached. for several reasons, (1) it's big and awkward, (2) it's hard to push (really hard to steer), and (3) because i didn't want to. she's doing this half-whine half-heartedly slapping the handlebar of the cart thing where she's mad but it's fake and she'll get over it. and she does. because some grandmotherly-type woman is standing nearby and ava thinks, 'hey, maybe she'll tell me i'm cute.'

this woman eyeballs me (and i mean really eyeballs me) and says, "she's tired."

but it's not, "excuse me, but i'm a mother and a grandmother and your daughter seems kind of cranky so i was wondering if maybe she's a little tired? (don't worry, dear, we've all been there, being a mom is the greatest thing you'll ever do, but it's also very hard)"

no. that would have been nice. then we would have had a nice moment. then we would have smiled and i would have walked away with my head a little higher and ava's half-hearted temper tantrum falling on my deaf super-mommy ears.

no. she says, "she's tired." as in, you look like a terrible mother who doesn't know anything and didn't read any of the books and i'm a mother and a grandmother and currently your child is dying from the awful job you're doing.

so i smiled politely and said, "well, maybe." because for the record? ava was not tired. the child doesn't nap until early afternoon and this was early morning (like 9).

"no," says extra hostile granny. "she's tired. look, she can barely keep her eyes open."

i just walked away. but i wish i'd chewed her out. i don't care if you took in twelve teenage ted bundy's and turned them in to ward cleaver and they all come visit every sunday with a girl and a boy each and maybe even a dog and a pot roast. DON'T TALK TO ME LIKE THAT. because really? WHO ARE YOU? i am the child's mother and yeah, she didn't come with a text book, but i think i'm doing a pretty good job. SO BACK OFF.

in fact, i really wish i'd chewed her out. i really hope she's at the grocery store on monday morning.

let's hear your pet peeves.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

weekly mouse

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

everyone has one

what ava calls her belly button: "belly butt!"

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

oh baby

friday (at fourteen weeks) i finally went to the doctor. this has become a sort of joke with some of the girls at church. they kept asking me how far along i was and what the doctor i was seeing and i kept telling them i had no doctor (because i wanted a midwife and i was waiting for one to drop by one day and tell me she was mine) and as far as i could tell (and as far as those internet pregnancy ticker things could tell) i was x number of weeks along. and then they'd say these things:

"you need to see a doctor!"

"how have you not called a doctor?"

"miriam, you are so funny!" (this is what people say to me when they don't understand me. often it means that they think i'm behaving oddly. i think they say funny because they can't say weird. that might hurt my feelings.)

so i finally buckled down, called a doctor, was referred to another doctor and was referred, finally, to my current doctor. and i like her. she is nice. and she makes me feel relaxed. and she didn't like the idea of giving birth at home any more than i do (for clarification, i don't like the idea of giving birth at home because of the WHAT IF? factor).

the best part was having an ultrasound. you know what? there's a baby inside of me. and he/she is just little. but he/she looks like a baby! and it is the most miraculous thing in the world. it put all of this pregnancy stuff into perspective. and you know what i kept thinking as i watched that little baby wave at the camera (yeah, this one's going to be a ham, just like his/her older sister)? it's amazing that it's happening to me again. i mean everything involved in pregnancy is so intricate. all of these cells put so much into us. ava started out small enough to fit on the head of a pin and all of this growing happened and here she is, skipping around our apartment with an easter basket and telling us "NOOOO!" when we ask her if she would like a snack. and my body is doing it again, it's creating this baby that (so far) is healthy and strong, and just where he/she should be, rolling around, a pumping heart. . .

i'm in awe of the human body. i don't know how you couldn't be when you watch one be created.

i have ultrasound pictures on my fridge. they are blurry blobs of varying gray, white and black. when i show people i say, "that black spot? that's the eye. and that white line? that's the spine. and those white dots? those are fingers. oh that gray thing? i have no idea." it doesn't matter. i show those ultrasound pictures to whoever stops by the house. i'm so proud of my new baby. i'm so in love already.

Monday, March 10, 2008