Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Answers atcha soon.



I'm loving reading your questions, guys! Thank you! Keep 'em coming through tomorrow if you've got any more.

I'mma start answering them in a post tomorrow night -- my first of 6 nights locked in a Florida (woot!) hotel room with a sleeping Doctor Harper (as she calls herself sometimes) starting at, oh, 7:30. Lots of time for typing when you're sitting quietly in the dark, holding in your pee!

Off to pack.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Preguntas?

A couple of my must-read blahgs (here and here) have done this recently and I'm nothing if not a copycat. Wait, that's not really true. I'm nothing if not... lazy? Yes, that fits better.

Oh. What's "this"? As my dear old friend Michaela once said, "I love it when people ask me questions about me." (This was after we asked if she got nervous at interviews and she said duh, no.) So -- ask me some questions! Like, pretty much anything. Just not geography OR geometry related. And if it's really scary or disturbing I probably will ignore you and then phone the police, but might as well ask?

 Examples: Do I like Murder She Wrote or Matlock more? (Don't make me choose between my children.) Or: What did I major in or why are my feet so small or why do I mainly call my child Jones?

Post 'em in the comments section (anonymously is fine) or shoot me an email: amykcowan@gmail.com.

Don't be shy! I'm not.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Donutty

FB and Twitters friends saw this pic today, but I have to post it because then I'll be able to find it one day and be happy.



It was kind of a weird day because she woke up happy, but then turned unhappy, then she started a hacking cough, but then we played outside for an hour and she felt happier but still lots of coughing and then rinse repeat, back and forth, up and down, Jekyll and Hyde.

But post-outside-time and pre-nap, I let her sit without any pants on and eat straight out of a box of Stew's donuts. She couldn't believe her good fortune and kept smiling back at me. Probably to make sure I didn't change my mind. It was awesome.

Almost as awesome as tonight, when we were having a pre-bedtime tea party and she said, after downing a big sip, "I love tea!" Before running away to get another cup for me to fill. Which is just so rad to me because she's never said she loves anything! (Like, yes. Love, no.) And it was so genuine and earnest. I love tea, too, Harper bug! But I love you a lots more.

Some Monday morning things

1.) Last night, while shampooing Harps' mullet, I got something called an icepick headache. Basically, for 2ish seconds, I got this incredibly painful jolt of pain above my left eye. Incredibly. Even though it was suddenly there and then suddenly gone, I was 100% I was 5 minutes from death (no, really) and knew I had to get her out of the bath and safe in her bedroom before I croaked. cc's out of town, so me dropping dead while she's in a bath = very not ideal.

What was formerly a leisurely splash time, became a frantic race to get her rinsed and dry and pajama'd and behind her bedroom gate. I got it all done in record time (all the while, holding my phone near for a quick 9-1-1 call) and raced downstairs to Dr. Google. And then, yeah, I realized I'd probably make it till morning.

But seriously! These things are insane. Mmm, icepick through my skull. Yum! Reading forums of people who get them is hilarious because they all went through something similar the first time they got one. (Can this please be my only and not just my first? ...)

2.) I'm making some frands! Got hooked up with a newcomers' playgroup (through an awesome mom who found me forlornly playing trains at the library one afternoon) and am having playdates with some of those ladies, in addition to moms from H's future nursery school (where we do a 1 hour class together on Wednesdays.) Just a few weeks ago, I was wondering how I'd ever get into that nice groove where you can have a cup of tea with someone else while your toddlers maul each other and huzzah! It's happening. Relief!

3.) I bought HJ a yellow bikini for our Florida trip this week (more on that later). Is that inappropriate? A 2-year-old in a bikini? I really don't know, but I could not stop my fingers pressing the purchase button.

4.) I'm still upset by the back of a book of hers that says "Some things are happy, some things are sad, but everything's FUN!" Many things about that sentence are wrong.

5.) My new favorite thing Harper says: In the morning (5:00) while she's standing at her gate waiting for me to get her and she sees me. "Oh! There you are! Good morning." I need a recording of how she says "morning"... it's so flirty? And a little...smug, like she knows it's not really morning when it's pitch black outside.

Off to start another week, with my very tiny boss.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hot wheeelz

After she begged and pleaded, I bought Harper this hot pink convertible (knock-off brand) Hot Wheels a couple months ago at Goodwill. It semi sucks.

The thing gets stuck on any and everything and she just can't get a good run out of it. And she's tried. But then, after a joint branch clean-up session around the yard (give a toddler "work" and they will go nuts) I decided to move the car to a new locale. And wee! Hilarity ensues.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Feeling sort of bad because

Yesterday I signed up for our new semester of Music Together. We're still in the middle of this session, but you know -- 15 bucks off if you get in early for April yada yada. (Have I mentioned that MT here is literally twice the cost of MT in Denver? Oh, Connecticut.)

And I picked a different teacher, one I tried out during a makeup class a couple weeks ago. A teacher that was hip, played the guitar like a rocker, and let me, you know, talk to my child when she needed to ask me something.

In stark contrast to our current teacher, who, when I quietly answered a question Harper quietly asked today ("What's that say?" about a sign on the wall. "Music Together," I whispered back) bore her beady eyes into my skull and admonished: "Mama, please just follow along with me and don't get distracted."

Oh. Okay. CRAZY LADY.

She takes all of the fun out of it for the parents. All. Sucks it out. Yum yum yum, gone. Yes, she's pretty good with the kids (just pretty) and yes, she really really really cares. I can see that. But holy sweet Jesus. Enough is enough, sister.

(Also, she refers to me as "Mama Amy" which...no. Please do not.)

So yeah, I signed up with this other lady and felt just peachy about it. Imagined cozy afternoons of guitar strumming, minus the lullaby lectures. Until today, when Gypsy Teacher Lady told me these classes are her "life's work" and then Harper asked to kiss her goodbye and then she told Harper "I love you" and ... and then I felt a little bad.  Maybe a little more than a little.

(p.s. We're still changing teachers.)

(p.p.s. I'm heartless, I think?)


Monday, February 20, 2012

It was my birthday and now, sigh, it isn't

First, thank you for all the birthday wishes! They made me grin. Second, I had a really nice birthday weekend! Clay's mom was in town, which allowed me huuuuuuge amounts of solo time (I got my nails did and went shopping and to the library and and and!) and she also scrub-a-dubbed my house up. Worth its weight in gold! And Harps had a total blast with her CiCi, so that's a gift to me, too!

cc (confusing, I know) came home early on Friday and gave me the purtiest necklace of ever (I'm seriously a total lady now that I'm 30) and we ate pizza and relaxed and I read nice messages and listened to nice voicemails and then I slept late late late the next morning. Joy!

Saturday afternoon, after Harps fell asleep for her nap, I dressed like this:

I still want to be Clarissa Darling when I grow up.

And we zipped into the NYC to eat scrumptious eats like this:


I really didn't know what this was -- except awesome.

But before the official sup, we walked around TriBeCa and shopped and drank coffee and held hands and had a totally for real, leisurely date. I climbed a ladder at a mystery bookstore to scan the shelves and we people-watched some crazies and shared a scone and talked about non-Harper things 60% of the time. It was perfect. We ate at Marc Forgione and my mouth was haaappy. We'd watched him win the next Iron Chef show and couldn't help but check him out a couple years later. Good stuff, yo.

Then we looked at books again and I bought a hardcover of Mary Poppins and we shuffled through the rain and zipped back, singing to Aretha in our heated seats and soaking up the last bits of date time. (All made possible by the MIL -- thank you!) I opened a bit more birthday cheer in bed (mind out of gutter please?), then put on my headphones and watched a Brit mystery. My feet hurt in that nice way, when you've trudged through the city and been busy doing good stuff.

We (he) got a bee in our bonnets Sunday night and did this to her playroom wall:


She yelled "GREEEEEN!" when she saw it.

We (okay, he) also painted our bedroom an almost-black/very dark gray color. And I love it to pieces. We've got a bit more to do, tho, so no picture reveal yet. But wee! Let's just say we're not afraid of some bold, or rather bold, up in hurr.

Oh and. If your heart wasn't fluttering from the birthday and paint tales...check this. My best friends just hangin' on the steps before work. Yeah, 30. It's a good thing.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

So




Last night in my twenties.

Feeling happy / spicy / peaceful / strong / me.

Bring it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The day after



I had a really nice Valentime's (I was about to yell at you YOU WATCH 30 ROCK, RIGHT?! but then I remembered I haven't watched any this year and so I'll go hide under a rock) with my two lovies. It was especially nice because all day I could tap into feeling happy and lucky with my life right in that moment, cozied up in a booth sharing an egg sandwich with my girl, walking over the river together holding hands in the cold, all 3 of us smooching/smushing lips together at the same time, pretty orange tulips, groovin at music class in new heart tights... Wouldn't mind reliving that day a few more times in this lifetime.





Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday

How'd it get to Sunday again? Time is moving fast lately.

So my back is on the mend, mostly better save for some residual soreness/tenderness/fragility. As Harps says: "Sore bum! Oooo hot!" Because I've always got a heated bag on it. I'm also hot, obvs. cc was able to work from home on Friday, which eased the day along, and I did a lot of Advil and lying flat and heat. (It's just too much to do ice in the winter, ah.)

And I cried a lot about my birthday. KIDDING. If I worried you with my aging worries, don't worry -- I'm just a lady in touch with the bittersweetness of life moving along. Glad I'm not stuck at 18 (I am MUCH HAPPIER now, oh boy I am), I think it's just important to breathe in the changes and accept that it's something to get older. Not bad. Just something.

We had a good weekend, laying low after our busy one last. Got a lot done around the house. (I feel like I'm always saying this, which would have freaked out 18-year-old me. Why in the hell is there always so much to do in a house? Meh. It's not that bad, Former Me.) Took shifts with Harps so we each got some extra sleeps. Ate ice cream, watched PBS kids in the wee hours, went swimming, met a potential mom pal at the library, read books in the pink beanbag, folded lots of cloth napkins.

Oh and I also had an eye doc appointment. I've been without contacts for months on end because, well, I've been too lazy to get that changed. (Also health insurance hassles.) In the middle of the appointment, the doc's all: "So, did you do vision therapy as a child? You know -- wear a patch and stuff?" ... Excuse me?

Apparently (and no one has ever caught this before, which kind of sucks) my left eye is lazy. Lazy, I tell ya! Sorry for the outburst. I always thought "lazy" meant wandering, but that's only one way it can manifest. With milder forms like mine, you wouldn't know unless your vision is tested. (And then your mild, but weird symptoms make sense.) In my case, my right eye does most of the work and somewhere along the way my left eye took a vacay. I mean, it works and I use it, but it doesn't do enough. Or something.

I guess no matter how strong the prescription, I can never see 20/20 out of it, which explains a lot. Why every doctor gives my left eye a different prescription, trying to get me to see out of it and always failing. To me, my left eye is way worse (it's always blurry and out of focus) and I chalked it up to... bad contacts/glasses for the past, oh, 20 years. But I guess the prescription for my left is the same as my right?! Mind blown. And since depth perception is affected, it also explains why I always run into the left side of door frames. Over and over. Sorry, shoulder. Lazy eye!

I was semi-frantic to the guy. "Should I wear a patch?!" (It's a good way to make friends as the new mom.) And I guess it's too late for all that. But he gave me some exercises to do, probably just to appease me. Clay has been teasing me for caring, but blergh! So annoyed! My eye doesn't work right and no one caught it. Blergh!

None of that was interesting to anyone but my parents, probably. Sorry. 

Oh, but! There's always Harper in a cowboy hat:


Friday, February 10, 2012

It's Friday morning and I'm

She has better form than I do, no joke.

 Sitting next to Harper, who's eating watermelon for breakfast. Which she requested by yelling "WA-MELON!!!!!!!!!!!!" We're sort of in a phase this week where things are requested via screams? Working on that.

Dreading her two-year appointment happening around 10. No shots, but there will be a finger prick and in my experience, that's often worse. (Picture a gushing finger, no tolerance for a band-aid, confused and terrified over where it's coming from...But maybe an additional 12 months of maturity will help ease that?)

Figuring out how I'mma make it through today with my back thrown out. I did something yesterday and it is bad. The actual injury is on my left flank (ew) and left lower back, but I woke up early early morning with my entire back in painful spasms. cc had me get out of bed and lie on the floor for awhile (could this have been a ploy to get the bed to himself mmmmm) and it did help release the non-injured parts of my back. So my right side is feeling okay now. But left side? Send help. Have a feeling I'm about to realize just how frequently I pick up my lady.

Realizing I'm going to be 30 a week from today. I alternate between feeling a warm "this will be great!" and sobbing in the car.

Eating 4 Trader Joe's Donut O's. And they didn't even give me a tum ache? I'll blame that on the "healthy" ingredient list. (Who makes donut holes with whole wheat flour?) (I don't know, but it works and they are delicious.)

Looking forward to naptime when I'll start another Inspector Lewis. Thanks to my mom, who had to break up my Midsomer Murders habit a bit, I'm in the flush of new obsession. Especially with that lanky James Hathaway fellow. Why again am I dreading 30? I was born 90.

Reheating my tea for the first time. It'll take at least 2 more tries before it gets finished.

Happy weekend, loves. My frozen back and I wish you funz.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

A little party for my little lady

I've got a few minutes here, while HJ is watching Curious George and trying to eat a crayon. (She may be 2, but she's still a nut.)

Last weekend, we threw HJ a cozy brunch party at my mum's house to celebrate the big 0-2. I made quiches and salads and cinnamon rolls and a couple cakes and we popped balloons and opened presents and played with new toys and watched the big kids put on many "parades" and smiled a bunch.

Here's what it looked like:

Harps and cousin Libs focus on the dollhouse.

Must...not...break...contact...

Opening presents, surrounded by the cousins.

Vintage toys rule.

You want to hire me, right?

Showing Big Grammy her new stuff.

And this, Ben, is how the farmer gets down.
My best, best girl and me.

Thanks for keeping me company while I do this whole mama thing with my biscuit. Onto year #3! <3

Monday, February 06, 2012

My big girl is two

When I'm not typing on a phone, I'll say more -- but for now, Harper J turned two and it was fun and she's such a smart cookie bumble nut.

Also, how sweet is this pic of Harps eating birthday cake for breakfast while my Gram reads her a book (in a pink bathrobe)? They'd been reading together on the couch when H spotted the cake and wanted a little. She scooted up on the chair, then called over: "Read a book, Big Grammy, please? Again?" Be still.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Kitchen



Harps and I had a big cleaning day yesterday. Our whole house is hardwoods (good for an asthma bum like me), but that means major sweeping and vacuuming. It's one chore (can adults call them chores?) I don't really mind, because I love watching all those Cheerio crumbs get sucksucked up, but it's still hard to keep on top of. To get our kind-of-huge bedroom done yesterday, I had to uncover my pile of cheapy Target necklaces and a box of Q-tips to keep her occupied while I heaved and hoed.

And we did laundry and put away clothes and swiped some sinks and the like. But then we came downstairs, and the whole hub of everything, the first thing anyone sees when they walk inside, was crazy messy. My kitchen. And I just couldn't face it yet.

So we went to the park instead. Then we came home and rested. Then we had music class. And by the time we came home, it was almost time to make dinner and the dishes were still filling the sink (and my counters). So I rolled up my sleeves, handed her a bowl of frozen blueberries, and got to work.

Of course, it only took about 10 or 15 minutes. And it was actually kind of soothing. And she "helped" and it made the evening chug along. So why had I waited so long? Why do I always make the kitchen clean-up my personal Everest?

The tough thing, in my defense, is the kitchen is right under her bedroom. So I really can't click and clack during nap or ni'ni' or she'll...let me know. She's got white noise going, so I can heat up food and do some light work in there, but not like big pan washing or lots of banging around. Plus, after a super long day and after cooking dinner, it's 8:00 and I am not in the mood to do more work. Usually, I do the bare minimum: Put up the food, gather up the dirty dishes from around the house, toss old food into the trash, maybe do a quick sweep. But a real clean? No.

So! What do you guys do? How do you stay ahead of the kitchen? Am I alone in my terror of oatmeal-crusted bowls? It's okay if you find my methods horrifying and think I'm hopeless. (But please pretend to convince me otherwise?) xo