Thursday, July 28, 2011

chow hound

Julia: is my shoulder sweet, dear?
Then please stop biting it. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


There's really no better cheering section for a father's soccer game than a four-year-old and a (very loud) toddler.
We were so loud we distracted the ref.

Well, they won, so it worked.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

thank you, bathtub

I'm sick and headachy, and we had no plans today, and I was running out of ideas. SO I filled the tub with water and containers, and sat and read while the girls played.
It was a very painless hour, and everyone was happy.
Thank you bathtub. You really came through for me today.

Monday, July 25, 2011

just get up

I woke up at about 5:30 am today to go use the bathroom and because of the early morning light. Then I fell back asleep for 10 minutes or so until Julia woke me.
I felt fine at 5:30, but those extra ten minutes put me right into some crazy sleep cycle. I was groggy and out of it until the afternoon.
Next time, Heather, the extra ten minutes of sleep WILL NOT HELP YOU. Just get up already.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

plane shakedown

So flying back from Michigan a few days ago, I succumbed.
I'd packed little new toys and activities for Julia, but the truth was, I was exhausted, and even the energy entertaining her or reading to her for the ride home seemed like too much.
But we got on the flight, and voila! Individual entertainment centers.

I scanned the menu, and saw it: Little Einsteins episodes, $1 each.

$1 was not to much to pay for thirty minutes (or ten even) of quiet.

I inserted my credit card in the slot ,and sat back, and got out my headphones, and...

Did not get even one minute of relaxation.

What was I thinking? Earbuds for a toddler? Of course she was putting them in her mouth after thirty seconds. The screen couldn't hold her attention if the headphones were out, and couldn't hold her attention without sound, either. She really wanted to press buttons, and not watch the screen, and after a minute fighting her, I realized:
I'd been had. By my own desire to check out.

I put away the earbuds and my expectations of hands-free parenting. I got out the first of the little baggies of fun, and I interacted. And of course it was a lot less taxing than I'd made it out to be. Two hours passed (relatively) quickly, and she finally nodded off to sleep with hardly a protest ("Apple!" She said. "Apple. Apple.")

And then I wondered why we all believe that a credit card and a video will solve all of our problems.

Friday, July 22, 2011

loving it

After jet lag, a morning nap.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

oh, dear children

When you are jet-lagged and beyond tired the day after the crazy plane flight, and are rude, and impossible to control, and you refuse even hugs and sympathy, and you melt down because of everything, then we are very sorry, but it is time to go to bed.
Also, it's time for us to go to bed too.
Hopefully we will all feel better tomorrow.

Monday, July 18, 2011

better than fireworks:

when the sky goes dark in fifteen minutes, the wind picks up and blows waves over the lake, and the trees start dancing . The humid air blows away like fog and the fresh air blows in.
The rain starts.
Every so often, the lightening flashes in the darkened sky and you can watch the wind blow it in waves over the waves of the water.
And then, ten minutes later, the lake is glass.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Was on the plane yesterday for four hours, sitting next to an older lady--probably in her seventies. She didn't have a book, or an iPad, or watch the movie. She was friendly, but quiet, and just sat. For four hours.
It makes me a little sad that this was remarkable. It feels like it's a rare person that feels calm and still enough in our society to sit still and alone like that for that long. I know I couldn't.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It's been a while since I've put Julia in our Ergo. Mostly because she hated it--cried any time I picked it up--so I gave it to a friend who has a 10-month old.
But we needed it this week, so I borrowed it back, gritting my teeth at her reaction.

I needn't have worried. She saw the darn thing, lit up, and immediately wanted to be carried in it.

Ah, novelty. A parent's best friend.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Newborn preferences: I would like to be held, thank you. And nurse. and sleep.
Baby preferences: Same as above, please. Plus, I'd like to look around and smile.
Crawler preferences: I want to see that! And that! And that!
Walker preferences: I want to walk. NOW.
Toddler preferences. I want to get everyplace I couldn't before. Where do you keep your knives? ALso, I want that shirt on. No, actually, that other shirt. No, the first one. No, both of them. I also want water. No, tea. No, milk. Get me a snack! I'm hot! Get this shirt off of me. No I want it on. I'm done with this diaper! Could you put it on my baby? I want to help! I want to be done! I want to start over! I want the music on! I want it off. I want to dance. I want to lay down. Get me a snack! I want to sleep! No, I'm awake now. Get me a new shirt.
Now I want to be naked! No more shirts, ever.
Except that one right there, that I just had on. Could I have it back, please?
Now, about the knives?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

nothing much

You know the favorite moment of the day? Lucy lying on the couch, me snuggling up next to her, then her giving me gigantic hugs and kisses. And then Julia joining us, and inspiring a tickle fight.
I love how the small moments are the best ones. The ones I will probably remember till my girls have their own kids.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

looking at the globe with Lucy

Blue crooked line, wending through desert,
Tight state lines, heedless of mountains,
Ridiculous lines fixing ebbing seashore,
Drawn on maps, stilling ocean's movement
Magic lines, drawing us into our world.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

tipping point

Today was a tipping point, from having a baby and a kid, to having to kids, both able to be involved in the same activity (cookies/playdough) at the same time.

A not-stressful, yet project-filled day.

And also a day to say goodbye to those other days, that were fresh, and raw, and tender, with newness and needs to be met.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I didn't really grow up reading poetry, and I got through nearly all of an English degree without reading much of the stuff. Not intentionally, though I think my lack of familiarity didn't make me jump at the chance to study it.
And then, in my grad studies, I took a bunch of poetry classes, and wrote poetry, and even got some pieces published.
And then I had baby and misplaced my brain somewhere.

However, Lucy and I have been reading poetry together. Children's poetry, which is about my speed these days, but also good children's poetry. Discovering it through her eyes is helping me rediscover it on my own, those little distilled looks at the world, with their incantations, their rhythm and tricks making the language dance on the page, the jokes and riddles buried in the letters themselves.

Ah, childcare. An education. Really.

Monday, July 4, 2011

notes on catching (and releasing) fish

Those fish, they are wily. They do know that behind the bait lies a hook .They must, because 99 out of 100 times, the bait is gone, with nary a bite.
Also, when you do catch them, they go all sideways when you reel them in.
They lie still in your hand as you unhook them. So still you're sure they're dead.
And then, splash, they swim away upright, as if they'd never left the water.

Is there a life lesson in there someplace?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

here we go

Yesterday, Julia decided she didn't need a nap, thankyouverymuch.

Now, as I'm trying to figure out what to post, I realize it's thirty-six hours later and I still have not recovered from the mental shock.

Note to self: The toddler, she has arrived.