Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dynamic Duo

Yesterday, Aria parked like this:

And it totally worked because I put my leg in between the cars to keep them from touching.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

it has to be said

to the person who found this blog by googling, "why is my bird so clingy?" i'm sorry, but i have no idea.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

after a bath

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

18 of them. months, that is.

i think that when i walk around with him people might not think, "look at that baby." they might think instead, "look at that little boy."


he talks. a lot (if he and ava are equally chatty i will have to lock myself away in a tower). he pretends to throw himself on the floor when he doesn't get his way. he does it so carefully that you know what he's up to and it's easy to refuse sympathy. he also loves to run away from you when you're mad at him. he squeals while doing so and then i have to smile because he's just so dang cute and then the punishment is pointless. he loves to feed people his food. only grandparents like this. he loves to hug ava. she likes it only half the time. he also loves to make her shriek. if a hug can get her to shriek, excellent. if not, he'll try something else, like flapping his hand in her face or pulling on her shirt sleeve. when he walks with a bowl of food, he spills it. then, when he bends down to pick up and put it back in the bowl, he spills the rest. when he hugs me, he holds me tight and rubs my back. he wants to hold my hand for a minute before falling asleep. sometimes he shouts, "MOM." just to hear me answer. he loves to be held. he loves to snuggle. he loves me.

i love him.

bedhead. this is pre-haircut. now, upon just awakening, he looks more masculine.

Monday, February 22, 2010

a visit from great grandma and great granddad

great grandma helps seth put his oven mitts on. when dealing with hot pans it's a good idea to find oven mitts that go all the way to your arm pits. you can never be too safe! right, seth?

a three generation picture. for posterity.
(edited to add: that actually, it is a four generation picture. i forgot to count)

my grandparents came out to visit (my mom) from nebraska. it was so good to see them, because i tell you what, finding the money to get out there to visit and then managing to arrive all in one piece is a task that makes me quake in fear. so, we sat around and talked until my children wept with exhaustion and i was forced to take them home. it was fun. and now, more than ever, and despite the quaking, i am motivated to get my little family together and spend some happy time in nebraska.

Friday, February 19, 2010

friday favorite no. 3

1. i want this series for my kitchen. my favorite part is that the series is titled "i love your utensils". delightful.

2. shabby apple is amazing for several reasons. one of these reasons is that the clothes are perfect for church. another reason is that they are modest. this dress is awesome because it's got a kick of sass.

3. there's been a lot going around about haiti lately, the help that they'll need to recover from the earthquakes and how we can help. the church of jesus christ of latter day saints has an amazing humanitarian program. they are organized, efficient and fast when it comes to providing things like hygiene kits, clothes, blankets, food and water to countries facing disasters much like haiti. here is the link for hygiene kits that you can assemble and send over to help someone who could use the comfort of a clean mouth at the end of the day. the directions and shipping address available here.

4. this pattern looks simple enough for my 2010 goal to learn how to sew something. now, i'm off to find some fabric that isn't cheesy.

5. ikea. do you know anyone who isn't in love with this store? my favorite stuff is often found in the kids section. seth has been in love with this chair ever since he first discovered it. his favorite thing to do? get inside, pull the shade all the day and find some willing parent or grandparent who'll spin him until he can't walk straight. maybe one day. . .

Thursday, February 18, 2010

the best part of our week

so, good news! we got haircuts. and do i really need to add that we love them?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

more on the injured

i realize i forgot to tell the story of seth's face.

so, we like to take our bikes and ride down the driveway. seth does this very badly. i hope he grows out of it by the time he's a teenager because i don't think we can afford a new mailbox every other day. so, he was on his way down the driveway and i was following him, he kicked it into high gear, veered to the left and went right towards the curb where i foresaw his flying through the air and really hurting himself. i shouted his name (didn't work, didn't expect it to) and started running, grabbed at him, and missed (just barely).

seth's little bike slammed right into the street, nose down, seth flew over the handlebars. i heard his head hit the gravel. it sounded sickening.

the worst part (or the most inconvenient part, i guess) is that ryan had stayed home to do a business call that included a client that needed wooing and his boss. so, before he went on the call, he begged me to please do whatever i could (short of drugging them) to keep those kids quiet. it was very important. so we figured he'd go in the bedroom, which was the room farthest from where the kids would be, and i'd take them outside.

naturally, i realized that i had yet to get dressed and now the call had started and i had no choice but to herd the children out the front door and just stay out there in my pajamas. it was nice. and then, when seth hit his head and i ran after him and was in my pajamas, my neighbor drove by.


so i picked that sethy boy up, screaming bloody murder and rushed him into the house and searched for a) a bandaid and b) ANYTHING to make him stop crying.

so that's how it happened.

it's called compromise. and guilt.

me: so what are we going to do tonight?

ryan: we should watch marley and me.

me: (with a groan and a whine) i don't want to watch that movie!

ryan: we have to. kevin gave it to us. he's going to keep asking us if we've watched it yet.

me: yeah. i don't want to watch a movie where i cry over a dumb animal that isn't even mine. i hate that. we could watch butch cassidey and the sundance kid instead

ryan: yeah. or that one with russel crowe.

me: yeah. or my sister's keeper.

ryan: yeah. or not. i'll go get marley and me started. try not to fall asleep.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

why i stink at dieting

me: try this. it's a 90 calorie diet-y kind of cereal bar.

ryan: after telling me that, why on earth would i try it?

me: because! it's actually good.

ryan: actually, it's not bad. but i have a 300 calorie minimum for snack foods.

me: i do too. that's why i eat three at a time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

on being pregnant

i've looked back over the pictures from the last two years to find the ones i want to put in the album from that year and i noticed something.

there are, like, no pictures of me pregnant.

my first thought was, will this make my children sad?

but then i remembered that there are literally NO pictures of my mom pregnant and i'm just fine (right?). so now i don't feel bad. but i do feel like i owe my current children and future children an explanation which is as follows:

you try waddling around with a pelvis that is so loose and slippery you feel as if one foul step will result in your entire skeleton rearranging itself so your head is hanging from your knee and your ankle is sticking out of your neck and looking good at the same time.

i remember being at the very end of my pregnancy with ava and in a very emotional and desperate moment crying out, "is there no other way?"

and ryan answered, "no. there isn't."

and then i tried to attack him but the sheer bulk of holding that six pound and thirteen ounce baby and all of her baggage kept me from moving quickly and since ryan had no baby and no baby baggage, he nimbly leapt away from me. at least he looked terrified. i think it's because when i attempted to attack him i also growled.

oh, pregnancy.

it is not a good sign that as i am trying to motivate myself toward thinking of a third child with welcoming thoughts instead of murderous ones that these are the memories i have.

want to hear another funny pregnant story? before i even knew i pregnant with ava i made the same enchilada recipe three times. in one week. and then, when i was folding laundry in the bedroom one day, ryan came in with a sandwich to chat with me during his lunch break. having cut the sandwich into two halves and, being in the habit of eating only one half of the sandwich at a time, ryan rested the remaining sandwich half on my jewelry box until he was ready for it.

"please get your sandwich off my jewelry box," i said in a condescending and pretend-patient tone.

ryan looked bewildered. "why?" he asked.

"it'll get crumbs all over my jewelry!" i exclaimed as if, DUH! WHY DO YOU THINK I DON'T WANT YOUR SANDWICH ON MY JEWELRY BOX? (note: i don't own any jewelry. i think that box was filled with a few coins from different countries and a bunch of st. christopher charms a nun in rome gave me tied to a ribbon)

"what?" ryan asked. yeah, he was completely confused. my behavior and my sudden concern for my jewelry box was rendering him motionless.

so i freaked out. it was the next logical step. and i GRABBED that sandwich and i THREW it into the trashcan. all the while weeping about how he never listens to me and how he doesn't care how i feel and how i am JUST SO TIRED OF BEING TREATED LIKE THIS.

you'd think ryan would take this moment to recognize that perhaps, with a wife this crazy his best bet might be to run out and fetch me a bouquet of flowers, but ryan's ability to deal with women is something he's learned through the years of our marriage. and at this point, he hadn't racked up too much experience. so he grew indignant and said, "you threw my sandwich away! i worked hard on that!" WHILE I WEPT. i know. how could he? am i right?

i don't remember what happened after that. most likely i kept crying and ryan ran as fast s he possible could to get away from me.

but only a week later i stood on one side of the bathroom door and he stood on the other side of the bathroom door and i watched to see if my pregnancy test was going to be positive or not (ryan wasn't allowed in the bathroom because i prefer to pee on sticks without witnesses). and when that little pink line appeared (by now i had thrown the bathroom door open to make ryan watch the stick with me because the anticipation was nearly killing me), ryan said, "so that's why you threw my sandwich away!" (i promise you, he's much better at dealing with women now).

oh pregnancy. slowly i'll chug chug chug towards the happy place that will make it possible for ava to get that baby sister she's been begging for. you know what's in that place? that feeling of a quiet morning where i lay on my side and watch the roll of a new life under the layer of skin stretched to its maximum in the morning. the line of little clothes neatly folded and placed in an empty dresser drawer. that moment, when it is all over at long last, when that BEAUTIFUL baby is placed on your chest, sticky and wet and squinty and just so, so beautiful. did you know, that the moment they placed seth in my arms, i felt, overwhelmingly so, that i knew him? i knew him! my sweet, sweet baby.

when seth was brand new he'd fall asleep on the couch and instead of moving that tiny baby off of that big couch so i could take a nap, i'd curl up in a ball on the chair so i wouldn't have to leave the room my sleeping baby was in.

i feel better now. it's still too bad there's no other way, though. because really? nine months? isn't that a bit much?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

i name the love. . .

i offer you a list and fully expect a list from you, too.

i love my iphone.

i love the fact that buddha wants to sleep under the covers with me all night long, waking up at six every morning to start purring and stand over me and dig his head under my hand so i wake up and start scratching him. oh, that cat.

i love the tv show pusng daisies.

i love it when ava and seth play together.

i love sunshine.

i love anything that has chocolate and whipped cream.

i love national geographic.

i love that ava climbs into bed with us every morning. even if the last thing she wants to do is sleep.

i love feeling like i'm top of things.

i love keeping the windows open all day.

i love the beach.

i love it when seth dances.

i love oranges.

i love strawberries.

i love enchiladas.

i love that kevin called yesterday from his dad's house to play me a song he just learned on the piano.

i love living near family.

i love photography.

i love it when ryan is teasing me and he doesn't change his tone at all and i have to guess whether he's serious or not. he is a very convincing teaser.

tell me what you love! let's see it!

Friday, February 12, 2010

friday favorite no. 2

a valentine's day special!

1. sprinkles is a cupcake bakery in beverly hills. from what i've heard, the stars just love them. so, awesome news! you can order them online! and wouldn't that be a fun valentine's day gift? if you live too far for fresh cupcakes to arrive fresh, order one of their mixes from williams-sonoma

2. this, my friends, is a smitten mitten. it is a mitten that allows you to hold hands with the person you're smitten with in cold weather. isn't that adorable? sadly, i have no use for this. and that is sad.

3. true birds makes one of my most favorite accessory makers. and, even better, they create instructions for the accessory challenged. check out these on

4. i'm a jeans and t-shirt girl, which i occasionally attempt to correct. this, of course, means i go out shopping and come home with three t-shirts and one non-t-shirt, which i never wear. but, i found this t-shirt, which is sporting a delicate sort of ruffle and this means that FINALLY i can have my cake and it it, too. plus, it's pink. and cute. and PERFECT for a date on valentine's day. 

5. this necklace can be found here, in this beautiful little shop. isn't this the most lovely thing? 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

3.5, baby

likes to talk. can talk a hundred miles a minute (and, in the words of my father, "As Mom might say, she came by it honestly.  That means it reminds me of a little girl I once knew." OKAY FINE! it serves me right having a child who talks this much. i mean, i guess i have talked a few ears off a few people in this lifetime of mine. HI CAROL!). so this little girl dances like a ballerina  complete with toes pointed and arms gracefully curving overhead. puts her own clothes and shoes on. backwards. like, everytime. wants grapes, string cheese and chicken every lunchtime. also, fruit snacks. loves to tell people, "i once had a cat and now it's DEAD." (she's not talking about buddha) thinks that ryan and i live some extravagant party lifestyle complete with nightclubs, bodyguards, enormous purses and bug eye sunglasses after she and seth go to sleep and every night begs for a chance to stay up and live it with us. is too tall to sit on my lap properly. when i read to her at night, she sits next to me. smiles a sweet smile and puts her little hand on my cheek when telling me she loves me. wants to sit next to the faucet at every bath. still sleeps with her blankee. still loves princesses. still sweet. 

and now, she's just old.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

check out my kid's head


it looked better (or worse) two days ago, when he fell. and boy, did he fall.

Monday, February 8, 2010

i'm not their nanny, i'm their mother

i'm talking to a man who one day may hire me for some writing. he says, "so, miriam! what do you do now? are you in school? do you work?"

"no," I answer, "i'm a mother."

he looks shocked. "a mother?" he repeats. "really! how interesting!"

"yeah, i have a three-year-old and a one-year-old at home," i say, with a smile.

his eyes travel to my ring finger where my wedding band is. "oh," he says, "you must be older than you look. i thought you were eighteen."

okay, i know i look young (as does ryan. i think he finally looks like he might be in his twenties now. when ava was first born, i think people suspected him to be a really tall fourteen-year-old) but eighteen? really? should i start wearing some make up maybe?

Friday, February 5, 2010

friday favorite no. 1

one of my favorite bloggers, erica, does a mod podge monday every week where she lists her favorite finds. since she started doing that, i started keeping track of my favorite things from my "window" shopping excursions  online and now, for all of your viewing pleasure, i'm going to start listing them on my blog fridays as a "friday favorites" feature. fun!
1.  this stamp. you can buy a self-inking or a hand stamp. isn't that calligraphy so aesthetically pleasing? the visions i have when i see this cute stamp include sweet little handwritten notes and mittens. i don't know why mittens, but somehow, when i envision myself walking down to mailbox to mail off a letter, i'm wearing a really cute coat with mittens. note this: i have only lived in a place where you could wear mittens without looking like a freak for two years. and i did not own mittens once. obviously, this is a shame.

2. these quilts from pottery barn. lucky, lucky me, my very good friend vanessa works at pottery barn and she gives me her discount. i just might have to find a new bedspread. because seriously? the one we have is so sad i feel cranky every time i climb into bed. and it is so hard to find decent looking bedding that isn't cheap, lame or ugly.

3. wouldn't these be super cute in my little mouse's hair? you can find them here.

4. this is lazercut silhouette makes me so happy. the "beez neez"? classic.

5. you've heard about buddha at this point, i'm sure. and i'd love to upgrade his lame-o grocery store purchased collar to a cute homemade collar from etsy. i love this fabric, but i doubt buddha would. i mean, he is a b boy, after all. he probably wants something a little more "street".

Thursday, February 4, 2010

little white lies

me: so, ava, tell me what you did yesterday while i was gone!

ava: we went to the park and played. then it got dark! and daddy and sethy went home. and i stayed.

ryan: yeah. i let ava walk home from the park. by herself. in the dark. i was like, "come home when you're ready".

ava: yeah. so i did. all by myself.

this is why i'm afraid to let her go to a class by herself. because one time? she told her teacher that "my mom is so mad at my dad but she still loves him".

i can foresee so much embarrassment in my near future.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a long, awkward pause

so teenagers.

its a whole other ballgame with that lot. a ballgame that i've suddenly been plunked right into-- the middle of the seventh inning stretch (that is, if this game is baseball. i have yet to figure that part out. maybe it's just half time? making it football?). i became aware of this new ballgame while trying to understand what kevin's grades might be in school. i thought i just might ask him and then i'd know. all of your mothers of teenagers out there? are you laughing hysterically? can you even read this through your tears? can you believe the amount of innocence i showed? do i have another thing coming or what?

yeah, i know.

something i notice kevin does when he's not all that comfortable with the conversation topic (this is a conversation topic that is about anything serious or responsible): he flops. it's like he's a wet noodle. one minute he's sitting upright and we're all laughing and having a great time, the next he's on the floor and we have to keep checking for a pulse.

"so kevin, what are your grades?" i ask.

flop. pause. finally, "uuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhh. . .i don't know."

"okay, how many classes are you taking?" i ask.

pause. "uuuuuuhhhhhhh. . ." i detect a slight motion underneath his left eye. "uuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh. . .six?"

"how many A's?"

pause. another pause. ANOTHER PAUSE. "none."

"well, that wasn't so hard."

kevin opens his eyes and lifts his head to look at me, "huh?" he asks. i realize he's only talking to me now because i've deviated from the original topic and he's hopeful that we can start talking about twilight or mountain biking or kanye west. well, he's wrong. i remember exactly what we were just talking about and not only that, i'm going to learn from my mistakes. never again will i point out how ridiculous he's being until after the fact.

"never mind. how many B's?"

flop. pause. "uuuuhhhhhhhh. . .one."

"okay good! how many C's?"

i'll spare you the rest of the conversation. just know that it involved long pauses and a lot of flopping.

what am i to do with this kid?

Monday, February 1, 2010

carol. if this were a piece of lyrical poetry, i'd call it "ode to carol"

last tuesday i went to dinner with my friend carol.

carol is wonderful for several reasons, mostly because she is just so caroly. for example, one time ryan was at trader joe's and he was about to drive away when he saw carol and she was pushing a cart. she sort of took a running start and then she jumped on the back of the cart and she rode it all the way across the street. and he came home and told me and i laughed really hard and said, 'oh! that's so carol! that's so carol!" and then i made a mental note to email her so we could go out to dinner IMMEDIATELY but i forgot and GUESS WHAT? carol emailed me the next day to ask if we could go out to dinner.

THAT, my friends, is CAROL.

so tuesday, we're having dinner at this little cafe that is one of the only two places to eat in the city i live in that is not a chain and i am saying to myself, "do not hoard the conversation, do not hoard the conversation, do not hoard the conversation." because my friend carol? she tends to listen and i me? i tend to talk. and even though i would appreciate the opportunity to practice listening, i just talk. and talk. and talk. all over carol.

i met carol at college. we were in an english class where i talked the whole time and everyone else (including the professor) listened. the professor, a man who i call by his first name, which is hart, who forever changed my life, thought that carol and i were an unlikely duo. and i was offended. but then i thought about it, and by thought about it, i probably mean talked for a really long time to someone who didn't even know who carol was, and i thought about how carol is such a good listener and not only that, she smiles really nicely while listening and laughs at all the right places, and suddenly, our friendship made sense.

this is what i thought about when i told carol (with much animation) all about my life and begged her to tell me the secrets to raising great kids (have i mentioned that carol is a mom to kids who are really cool?) and she thought for a minute and then said, "i think you're doing a great job."

to carol: had i picture of you, i'd stick it up here (you're probably grateful right now that i don't), but since i don't, this is my "yay carol!" post. thank you for dinner. thanks for wandering into a room of perfect strangers with guitars (and a flute!) with me and thanks for agreeing to do it again sometime. also? as i insisted you not get out of the car so i could tell you one more story and you politely stayed and listened? thank you for that also.