Thursday, November 27, 2008


It's raining here. It's not a downpour or anything--just a steady drizzle.
This was the TOP ITEM on local news last night.
When there are terrorist attacks in India.

Really? A rain shower that's lasting more than a half-hour trumps the 100 people being held hostage in various hotels?

Plus the spin on the rain was "Wow, how will affect your T-day plans? Are people complaining?"
When we're in a multi-year drought and we're about to start mandatory water cutbacks that will affect one of our major industries in the state (agriculture)?
Really? Really Fox News? Really?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

thank you

Lucy has started saying, "Thanks."
It's not that she just started being polite--no, it's that she's shortened the construction. She used to say such a cute little, "Tank youuu Mohmma" and now it's all casual and clipped. What's next, "'sup?"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Our cat, Eleanor (Na-Nor) is a source of much joy/sorrow, fear/loathing/happiness and other confusing back-and-forths for Lucy. She loves her! She's frightened of her! She wants her in! She wants her out! She wants kisses! She wants her to get the heck away from her, Right Now!
Typical exchange:
"Na-nor! In"
I open the door. Eleanor obediently comes in.
"Na-nor. Kisses."
Obedient (well, actually, indifferent) kisses/sniffs of the hand.
"Na-nor. Scratch. You. Me."
Runs and grabs hold of Momma's leg. Regards cat warily.
"Help. Na-Nor. Food."
Runs forward, digs kibble out of dish, places it next to Eleanor's mouth. Runs back to momma.
"Scairt. Na-Nor. Scairt. Scratch. You. Me. Momma. Up!"
Momma lifts up Lucy.
"Na-Nor. Out. Scairt."

Not that I can blame the kid, really. Eleanor is mercurial herself. But I keep trying to explain to Lucy that the cat can not scratch her if she's sitting across the room on top of a chair. It's just not gonna happen.
The other day, I caught Lucy shaking a set of measuring spoons at the cat, trying to shoo her away. What's next, mediation?

Monday, November 24, 2008


In the midst of all these holiday sales, let me share a bit of cross-cultural translation. In Japan, you see all kinds of stores that say "Book Off" or "Clothes Off". That's because they saw our signs that said "20% Off!" and took "Off" to mean "sale".
Happy saving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

the joke

Today we were at the park with our friends Abi and Ginger. Ginger made a joke.
"Do you like my hat?" (Pause) "Goodbye!"
No, she wasn't wearing a hat.
Move over, Seinfeld.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

here baby

Today I turned into a horse. A lion came up and climbed up onto my back and rode while I crawled around, er, cantered. Then she got down and took my hoof and said, "Here, baby" and led me around the living room, er, corral.
Then the lion had to take a bath and go to bed. Funny, it's not as hard giving a lion a bath as you would think.

Friday, November 21, 2008

the take-home elephant

We went to the zoo today. Saw zebras, elephants, giraffes, monkeys, and flamingos. Lucy liked it. But she was a little scared of some of the animals. So she wants smaller ones to take home with her. They'll hang around with our cat and probably sit in her stroller.
If anyone hears about a miniature elephant, I guess we're in the market for one. Perhaps Craig's List?

Help my child turn into Audrey Hepburn

Just saw this on Grosgrain, and I need it need it need it. So I'm posting here:
Downtown Holiday Jacket and Pant GIVEAWAY!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

toddler editing

One way of cutting fat from an essay pitch for a magazine is to try working on it when your toddler is sitting in your lap, banging the keyboard occasionally. Then save the file. When you open it, half of it will have been deleted. That part that's gone? You really didn't need it.
Surprisingly enough, I really didn't.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

craft lust

Some people like shopping. They get object lust.
I, on the other hand, have craft lust. I keep going to people's blogs, and finding links to more blogs, all with darling handmade thingamajigs. A fabric doll house. Homemade pajama bottoms. Thrifted sketch books.
It kind of brings to mind this article, on home "economies". Except in my case, instead of spending too much money, I will spend too much time.
But I will have lots of clever handmade things to entertain me.

more on fox in socks, sir.

--Lucy likes reading it to herself, now. Mostly, this consists in yelling, "Stop it! Stop it!"

--I feel the tiniest bit competetive when I read this book aloud. As in, No one else can read this book this fast! Until I stumble and say something silly, like quick blick brocks or tweedle poddle buttle. I practice diction every week, with singing, so shouldn't I be a shoe-in for a Fox in Socks speed-reader contest? Read, sir! Lead, sir! Lead in reading, sir! Needing some leading reading, sir!

--How can this be? I just googled "Fox in Socks reading competition" and got 0 results. You'd think someone would be trying for a Guinness Book record or something.

So here we go: send me your times, and I'll post them here! It will be a world first!


Thanks for the tag, Diana. Here's my stab at being, kreativ.
6 things that make me happy:
--Child staying asleep longer than 45 minutes for nap.
--A really fabulous long book.
--The Dynamite Roll at Blue Fin sushi. Oh, my God, they weren't kidding when they named this thing.
--handmaking something when it turns out like the picture.
--PG Tips.
--My husband's sense of humor.

I anoint thee, Anne and Michelle and Abi and Rachel and um, you. The person reading this. Meme away!

Fox in Socks

Wow, you get really thirsty reading Fox in Socks six times.
Really, really thirsty.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I am that playgroup member.
That one who keeps bringing her kids, even if they're sick.
That one you all like okay, as long as her kids are healthy, and those other times, well, you just grimace.


I kept denying it to myself, until today. I'd sent an email out last night saying I probably wasn't coming, except if things were better in the morning, when all the members of my beloved playgroup chimed in via email and said, "No, please, Heather, put the sick kid down! Stay home. Because, see, you're sick, too, and we don't need your germs. Please."

Then I had to look long and hard in that computer monitor screen and realize...I'd turned into That Mom.

In my own defense, it's only because my playgroup is That Awesome. Everyone's wise, and kind, and writerly, and terribly patient. The other, newer playgroup we've been attending? Skipped it. Childcare at church? We just said no. But this Tuesday playgroup? It's like missing my morning tea. Waaah!
Plus my child hasn't been sleeping terribly well lately (thus the clinging, never-going-to-go-away cold) and is Cranky. My husband and I haven't been sleeping too well either, and when she wakes up too early, we use our upper limit of feel-okay-about-it TV watching before 7 am. Leaving me with a cranky, sick toddler that no one wants to be around, except (most of the time) her parents.

And I thought the dumb cold was all but gone a few days ago. Except it ISN'T.

I know, blah blah blah, who cares about my problems when everyone else is sick? I have No Right to inflict this cold on other people. Especially (ahem) the mommies and kids I love so much.

So mea culpa, playgroup. Thanks for being kind to me, even in my sleep-induced selfishness. See, it's just cause I love you so much.

Monday, November 17, 2008

nap nap nap nap

My fabulous husband let me take a long nap today when our sick, tired child decided that a 10-minute nap was sufficient (?!?) for her resting needs, thank you very much.
I'm hoping I can nip this bug in the bud.

In other news, our church is supporting Advent Conspiracy, (the whole do-gooder movement that inspired me to make our gifts this year.) They played a video in our service, which noted this crazy fact:
Americans spend 450 billion dollars a year on Christmas.
There is a global water crisis. Lack of fresh water kills more people in the world than anything else.
Approximate cost to solve said crisis? 10 billion dollars.

There are lots of great ways to give to worthy causes this holiday season, but that one tops my list. I'm going here to donate (a Christian org). Not a Christian? I'm sure there are lots of non-sectarian places working on water relief. Find one and give them some cash, already! Lets let go of our water bottles and make sure everyone on earth gets decent water to drink.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

sicky sick

Dyami's been sick for the past week, and I was feeling all skilled in avoiding the germs.
Note the past tense.
Going to bed now in hopes that I will sleep the bug to death.
Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Last night, my parents watched Lucy for a while. My dad played Mr. Sock with her, using a sock as a puppet.

I think.

I think this because on the ride home, Lucy told me so.
"Mr Soooock," she kept saying.
She kept saying it because it took me a long time to get it. I thought she was saying "Mr. Sat," which made less sense. "Mr. Sat, Pata," made even less. But when it was "Mr. Sock, Pata (Grandpa)" I started putting two and two together.
I questioned her. "YOu mean Grandpa took a sock and made it talk like a puppet?"
"And he called it "Mr. Sock?""

Only time (and perhaps my dad's comment...Dad?) will tell if my reading of the somewhat cryptic Lucy story will prove to be correct. I sure hope so. Because if it is, it will be the first time that my child told me a story that I hadn't already participated in.

Next up: the story arc and lessons on characterization. Or should I work on dialogue with her next?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Today at lunch I laughed at Dyami's jokes, and my eyes watered a bit. I shed tears at the drop of a hat, physiologically: when I yawn, laugh, or for the normal reasons.
Surprised to see tears, Lucy looked at me and asked, "Momma? Sad?"
"No, honey, I'm not sad."
She tipped her head to one side and tried again. "Itchy?"

new tiny phone technolog

Lucy holds a cracker up to her ear. One corner of it is in her ear. It looks uncomfortable and possibly unsafe.
"Lucy, please keep the cracker out of your ear."
Cracker doesn't move. "No. Talking."
"You're talking to the cracker?"
"The cracker is a phone."
"Uh-huh." Ignores me. "Hi. Yes."
Holding my hand up to my ear as a phone. "Hello, cracker. Can you hear me now?"
Lucy looks at me, incredulous. "No, Momma. No work."

I guess the cracker network doesn't interface with the hand network yet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

lost shoe

Lost: One very small pink Croc. Somewhere in the streets of Leucadia. Still not found after driving said streets of Leucadia and getting fairly lost.
Reward: Kisses, nuzzles, and some dirt Lucy's always picking from between her toes. Which she will now do more of, since she lost her shoes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

more notes on felting.

When you felt strawberry-pink wool roving, you will think, "wow, that texture looks really familiar." Then you will wonder what it looks like. "Hand-made paper?" No. "Feathers?" No.

Then it will come to you.

Pink fiberglass insulation.

Nothing says "fashion" like construction materials.

Monday, November 10, 2008

blah blah blah

Today was a blah day. Lucy's got the clear tracks down her face, slept oh-so-poorly last night, kept us up, and we are tired from traveling and from the giant mountain of laundry and post-packing chaos of our house. Dyami kept asking me if I was okay today. I was, I just didn't have enough energy to have a facial expression.
But. The wee one is in bed, we have high (possibly vain) hopes that she'll sleep better (longer than 20-minute stretches would be great!), and the house somehow got picked up by my half-hearted attempts to attack the clutter. Everything is still viciously dusty, but I Do Not Care.
Now that posting is out of the way (yay doldroms!) I'm going to go finish a Christmas Crunchy Granola Nut Job Craft Project.
Wish me luck.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Driving to and from camp this weekend, we were kind of appalled by the utter sprawl in SoCal's back country. Parts of the road were just through farming areas, but every, oh, five minute or so, we'd come over a hill and see thousands of cookie-cutter houses. Once, we just saw the farmland with a graded hill behind it, ready for the three car garages and streets like AspenGlen and WindyPines.
These are McMansions, 6-7 bedrooms. Out 40-60 minutes from any kind of urban center. In one case, I had no idea where you would even buy groceries. I have no problem with people moving away from it all, but why in the HECK would you live in a suburb that's not even sub to anything? That is it's own little pretend community smack dab in the middle of cow country? Where there are no jobs to support a seven bedroom lifestyle, so you MUST commute hours in each direction to pay the mortgage for said McMansion?
Please, someone explain this to me? Or--actually don't. Let me just remember the open fields and the rock-pile mountains and the wide valleys with the towering thunderclouds over them. And try to forget the benighted suburbia that lay over the next ridge.


We went to a nearby camp for a church retreat this weekend. Checked the weather before we headed out because there have been years with rain/snow on the ground. Forecast: All clear this year.
So tell me, why did it hail the last day? And pour rain? When we had brought no umbrellas or other rain-type gear?
Actually, I didn't mind too much except for the frozen toes and wet jeans. Here are the reasons:
1. Hail gets you less wet than rain!
2. Any weather is kind of a nice change of pace here in So Cal.
3. At least it was only the last morning.
4. Waking up to the sound of rain is very cozy.
5. The frickin' drought. When we're still watering our lawns with drinking water.
So, rain, rain, please stay. Just warn us next time so we bring our galoshes.

that hospice thing

So a while ago I posted about volunteering with hospice. I still visit Maggie, and also another gentleman I'll call Henry. It's weird that I got this inclination for working with hospice only months before my mom-in-law needed hospice care of her own. I'm not sure it gave me any insight or preparation whatever into Donna's sickness and death, but it was definitely weird timing.

I like the people I visit. A lot. Maggie manages to communicate with her smile that she is just so pleased we are there, so amazed to see a wee person beside her. Lucy is comfortable enough now that she pulls me down the hall, plays with the levers on Maggie's wheelchair, and gives her a kiss goodbye. Every time we see her, she begins the visit by staring off into space, but seeing Lucy has never failed to make her smile.

Henry was a harder nut to crack--he still is. He's able to communicate much more than Maggie, ask questions, answer them. So I think he has more frustration, too, being more aware. So when I first visited him, he told me not to turn down the (very) loud volume on his television so I could hear his (very) quiet voice. He was much more interested in CNN than hospice visitors. And who can blame him? And I realized I was a little annoyed at him for not being immediately taken with Lucy; he (gasp) almost ignored her during our first few visits. But now I catch him watching her with a smile on his face. He thanked me for praying for him. He doesn't object when I turn down his volume anymore.

The odd thing about doing something often enough is that you get used to it. Visit terminally ill people with various health issues, and it becomes normal. I greet Maggie's hallmate, the woman who always tells me that I should take her home with me and that she wants to keep Lucy, and who occasionally makes comments about her breasts in a very loud voice. I smile at the woman who says "Help! Help! Help" over and over, then stops and compliments Lucy's pigtails.

Mostly when we're there, Lucy wants to play the piano in one of the lounges. I let her, occasionally asking a staff person if it bothers anyone. "No," they laugh, and when I see the audience that collects to watch her concert, I have to agree with them.

Friday, November 7, 2008

what's pathetic

is I think I've already fallen behind on NaBloPoMo, and this weekend is only going to get worse. We're going on a family trip for a few days where I will not have I-net access.
I know you all are very disappointed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

something witty and short.

Yes. Here it is! Witty, short, and just in time for bed.
Okay. At least it's short.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

super stoked

I am super stoked about our next president. Oh, so, so stoked. Whooop!

Notes on bedtime, continued

Four thirty am wakeup? Are you frickin' kidding me?
Confession: said a really bad cuss word when trying to change the diaper in hopes that it would convince a certain small child to go back to sleep. I mean, I hoped the diaper change would convince her, not saying "f$%^". Hoping the child didn't notice and pick up on said cuss word. Since she learned all the words to "Baa Baa black sheep" yesterday, I'm guessing that's a vain hope.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Notes on bedtime

1. The really good tips from Hack Mommy regarding bedtime? They'll work!
2. Well, by work, I mean, like a charm for four glorious days. Then there will be Halloween.
3. That Halloween candy--just a little bit, come on!--that you let your daughter have? Not a good idea.
4. Yes, two year olds have nightmares.
5. For the record, the nightmares involved a scary lion (roar) and an elephant with big eyes. (Or as Lucy puts it: "Lion. Come. (Nodding) Dream. (Wide eyes.) Roar. Scairt. Elephant (Nodding). Eyes. Beg."
6. It takes two days (approximately) to convince said child that the safari animals will not be making another appearance.
7. Add daylight savings. Shake/stir, whatever you feel like.

Result? Momma waits in the bedroom for an hour while the child falls asleep, just to keep the peace and her sanity intact while Dada's out of town for the night.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Okay. I'm very pleased with myself.
In keeping with my back-to-nature, living-in-suburbia-but-really-possessing-the-spirit-of-Laura- Ingalls-Wilder, handmade-on-the-cheap aesthetic, I've started making clothing.
Okay. A skirt. For Lucy. But see, it's So Cute. And it has a pocket for Lucy's buttons!

Thanks to Hack Mommy for skirt instructions, printed on a little slip of lined paper.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Lucy is really only herself.

"Are you my sweetie?"
"Who are you, then?"
(Earnestly) "Lucy."

"Are you my kid?"
"No. Lucy."

Or sometimes:
"Are you a little goober?"
"No. Woman."

Hear her roar.