Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Let's all agree that "potty training" is a completely embarrassing phrase to say out loud, putting on blast just how far you've come from the days of sleeping-till-1, brunches made from micro greens, another nap at 3, and then drinking an artisanal beer or something.

Last week after my dance class, I asked the owner what age kids can start.


"Oh! Great. And I assume they need to be potty trained?" (Wince. I carried a watermelon?!)

(Extra strength silence, look of disgust, etc. etc.) "God. Yes."


All that being said, we're doing...that right now.

And it's been pretty breezy. I'm basically housebound and grounded -- and my house looks terrifying for it -- but there aren't any crazy stories (and if there were, I probably wouldn't want to tell on her to the Internets...probably).

Part of that is we haven't ventured out into the scary Westport world yet (and I'm sure there will be adventures then, oh I'm suuuure) and part of that is because I waited till she was ready ready ready. I mean honestly, I'm dragging my feet even now because...diapers are easy. And I'm tired. And truthfully, I'm just not ready for her to be an un-baby yet. But it was time.

So my biggest p'training tip? Watch for signs of readiness. Then ignore them and wait six months. They'll nail it.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Summer is so nice. Let's keep it summer longer.

cc has summer hours on Fridays and can be with us for much of the day, so our weekends are feeling longer/lusher/lovelier. Friday we went to the ocean and flew our kite and swam, we all went shopping on rainy Saturday (Harper no joke LOVES to shop... dangerous), today there was pool swimming/ice cream eating/sushi slurping/walking-along-the-watering. (Oh and! America's Funniest Video watching. So 1990s Sunday night family bonding of us.)

She's so worn out by the end of the day, I can get her to sleep at 7:30 if I pull my act together. Magical.

("Wow! Insta-Hang! Wow!" is what cc's saying re: an infomercial right now.)

Oh! I also forgot we watched the opening ceremonies (Opening Ceremonies?) on Friday night and delighted ourselves with our "I thought Abe Lincoln was American?" etc. commentary. And Bob Costas/Matt Lauer's North Korea joke killed it. And sure, of course doves should ride bicycles. We were also WTFing about the huge Ralph Lauren logos on the costumes. (Costumes?) Harper just kept asking where all the "running and jumping" was.

Oh! I also got to watch a former high school classmate (played soccer "with" her, too tho -- mostly that entailed camps and tryouts/conditioning every summer, since once fall started I was JV'ing it up hardcore on a different field and she was dominating Varsity...) race on the women's Olympic cycling team this morning. She made a real play to medal (came in first for the Americans, but we got beat) and it was so crazy to see her chatting with interviewers pre-race and then speeding along on camera all zip zip. My town's super small, yo! So that was fun.

And now my dog's asleep and cc's trying to talk me into buying a house on an island, and I need some Mexican chocolate ice cream all up in hurr.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Life's a beach (sorry)

So I finally got our town beach sticker yesterday, after signing away my parental rights to any future children, donating all the blood in my body, and saying Rumpelstiltskin three times. Really, tho -- you need a copy of my lease?! And car registration info?! And my child's birth date?! What about, say, a piece of mail and a handshake?

However, it's 35 dolla for the sticker and 30 dolla per day without, so I tap danced for it.

Then we went to the beach and she was so beside herself with manic glee, I felt guilty for taking the two weeks to get it. Of course, she's currently obsessed with singlehandedly removing every piece of seaweed from the ocean, so... she's probably just upset I cut into her work hours.

It's fun having an ocean (or sound) beach that is actually swimmable. I'm used to standing up to my ankles, shivering numbly, and then running back to the burning hot sand -- and rinse repeat rinse. Here, Harps "swims" up to her armpits and I've even been known to duck under. (When she's not looking, obviously. Going under is not permitted behavior.)

I used to love being at the beach all day, but now I feel like my skin is getting crunchy under the disappearing ozone and the sand, the sand, the sand in my grapes! I think 1-2 hours is a nice little visit before we strip off the suits and run around in oversize tshirts under the comfort of a roof. Hence, the beach sticker; we can come and go and come and go and my wallet isn't mad. (But my future kids might be.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Maybe my favorite picture ever.

Doesn't Harper look like the Princess in Super Mario Bros. 2? She's about to fly after that kite.

Tho when I call that her "princess dress" (she wears it for a chunk of everyday), she yells at me. "It not a princess dress! It a dress-up dress!" As my mom would say to her, "Don't be such a square, Harps." ("It's not a leaf, Grammy! It's a MAPLE LEAF." I fear the teenage years, people.)

So today was pretty great. We've got a new sitter who we met last week, loved, and started today. (And she's a preschool teacher. Dude.) She'll be coming about 4 hours a week (for the summer) and it totally blows my mind I have a few hours to myself. My-self!

I made sure the house was primed for success: Put out a special treat for HJ (crazy cookie sticks you dip into chocolate and strawberry frosting) and set out a craft (glue and Q-tips and dried pasta/beans for glueing) and made sure there were other delightful things sprinkled around. They were gluing as I kissed her goodbye and she literally yelled "Bye bye Mommy!!!!!"

Don't let the door hitcha!

So. First, I got a sweet tea. And I parked and sipped in cc's truck while I read my Anne Tyler book. Then I got my guts up (is that a saying?!) and went to a dance class at this studio literally within walking distance of my house (and nothing is within walking distance to my house -- except this place). I have no idea why I haven't gone before -- I stare at it everyday and obsess over their online schedule and really, really miss dancing. I guess it's just hard to make the times work and hard to take that first step (ha, step). Like -- will I have the right shoes/clothes/payment form. (Certified money orders only. Or maybe only coins.)

Some places are all real leotards and tights and sh*t. Some are sweatpants and no bra. You feel like an idiot if you're in your Groton-Dunstable Regional High School tee while everyone else is pulling on their Capezio. And vice versa. But I'd found a couple pics online and I Sherlock'd it out (yoga pants and a tank top) and brought along my worn-in ballet shoes. First class was free, so that was easy. And people were smiley and kind of old. Also a bonus! (There were high schoolers, tho, too. It was a bizarre mix. I blame it on the summertime?)

Anyways. Not to bore the non-dancers, but I had the time of my liiiiiiiiiife, Patrick Swayze. We did a warm-up to songs from Chicago and I had tears in my eyes I felt so at home. Pitiful! But then I became a normal person again and just had so much fun. And was really out of breath. And mad that society has decided chunky yoga pants should be worn for everything. Bring me some tights, sista!

Oh, dance. My firstest love.

*rubs Ben Gay all over and falls asleep at 9*

Sunday, July 22, 2012


That's my kid trying to sit inside a bowl.

Good weekend over here. Visited the big as$ library sale a couple times and scored some treasures, had an old HS friend spend the night and chatted it up, ate sushi and Magnolia cupcakes and Shake Shack, did manymanymany crafts with Jones and blew bubbles and chased my dog around. Watched cc and HJ leave on a bike ride, discovered the best grocery store in the world probablydefinitely (Fairway, you have my heart forevermore), slept in, played Just Dance 3, almost hit cc in the head a few times whacking whiffle balls he pitched me. He just doesn't ever want to admit my intense athletic skills, people. (No fine, I don't really have them -- but I do want him to admit that I'm, surprisingly, not particularly unathletic either.)

I didn't do much cooking this week and want to make up for it this. Got cc to bookmark a million things in my Ming Tsai book and that should help me choose some new stuff. We've got a couple music classes, maybe a playdate or two, a few hours of babysitting, and hopefully some ocean time.

Still jonesing for the citylife a couple times a week, but I think I'm getting into the rhythm of this place. Happy weekaweek!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sitting next to my back-home-again-cc

Inspired by my dear friend Mandy, I've been giving Harps lots of outdoor tubbies in an aluminium bucket/bin (I'm missing the actual word here, but am too tired to care)... She's increasingly wary of the actual tub, so this is a seriously good solution to get the areas soaked and, at least partially, scrubbed. Good enough for government work.

What a ridiculously HOT summer, non? Thankful for our central air (never had that growing up), but bummed we have to limit most of our outdoor play to early morning raspberry picking and late afternoon soaks. It's just so steamy otherwise and there have been massive afternoon storms, too. George is not a fan.

Just ordered a book called The Preschooler's Busy Book for more ideas to keep us, well, busy inside. There's already lots of crafting and playdough and dance parties and such, but girlfriend is constantly asking "What's next?!" and I'ze gots to keep up. Whew.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Can I just give a shout out to the iPhone? If it weren't for that sucker, I'd have a million (and a half) newborn pictures of my kid and nothing else. Hearts.

This has nothing to do with the nakie raspberry pic above, but remember that book He's Just Not that Into You? (Of course you do.) (I actually went to a taping of that guy's show because a friend was on it and I was her guest? A story for another time.) Do you think he'd mind if I made a similarly themed book about mom friendships? I'll pay him a few of the dimes, maybe.

It's just that I've uncovered so many different rules/themes/hints while I navigate these rocky SAHM shores and maybe I need to share them with the world. Or maybe I'm not quite ready yet, seeing as I'm always scratching my head at the weird things that are always happening.

Had some pretty blue days last week, moping about a couple friend things and feeling oh-so-sorry for myself... and today I feel a galaxy away from how I was feeling then. Because once you realize all o' the sudden "oh! she's just not that into me!" you can just relax and move onto the nice peeps who are into you, with the nice emails and get-together offers and so on and so forth.

Sometimes I fight too hard to make friendships work that aren't even that awesome in the first place. I get this idea that we're meant! to! be! buds! because maybe we had a few fun times and meh. It doesn't always work like that. As cc once said to me about a bumpy friend situation (that lasted much too long - I need to give up much sooner!): "She might be your best friend -- but are you sure you're hers?" Tough to hear, but mighty true.

It's hard, tho. Just like in the romance world, it's hard to find an even mom match. Someone will be super into me and I'm lukewarm. Then I find someone who's (seemingly) perfect and they'll already have 12,000 friends and 4 kids and just don't need a new pal. Wah wah.

But bottom line, I feel so much better tonight. It all seems kind of silly now -- the sighing and tearing up and head shaking. Not sure why I go through these cycles now and again, but it feels good to come out the other side kinda laughing at myself. Hearts!

(btw, my husb just linked to this very insightful NYT article about the difficulties of making new friends as adults. How timely for moi.)

Friday, July 13, 2012


I accidentally just typed blogger.OM which, quite honestly, is the opposite of anything Blogger. Has everyone else abandoned ship for Wordpress long ago? I'm frustrated by this thing 79% of the time.

Anywho. Friday! Yeah!

I'm lo-ving life these past few days because I finally gave up/gave in/gave money and got some help up in here. My husband and my mom and my friends and probably even George had all told me to, but it felt like laziness. Or something. I'd kept the house at an okay level of clean (they're not gonna take me away to star on Hoarders, but I'm also not getting a Good Housekeeping seal of approval), but lately it was feeling even more overwhelming and yick. And I wasn't wanting to do the household things I really do like (cooking) because I was drained from keeping the rest of the ship afloat. 

Oh and our yard was just... a hot mess. We've been away a bunch and it's been so hot and it's just a tontonton of grass... and ivy-covered walls and all sortsa other encroaching green things. The idea of "lawn people" makes me feel all Westport and not-me, but let me tell you -- when those guys pulled in on their rider mowers, it made my heart sing. So now we have access to this big, crazy yard again and Harper and I found a giant mess of raspberry bushes (vines? brambles?) we didn't know was there and it's a new, fun activity for the hot summer hours. Or the very early morning hours... as she woke up at 5:15 this morning, begging to go pick "red raspberries peeeeze!" So we pulled on our boots and did just that. How Laura Ingalls.

And the cleaners oh, the cleaners! They worked and worked and worked and scrubbed and it just feels so incredibly fresh and nice and organized in here. Like, it cleared up my head in a way I forgot a clean house could do. The day after, I was suddenly crossing things off my to-do list I'd been avoiding and cooking a pot of beans/skillet cornbread/kale and snuggling my dog and staring at the shiny surfaces. I really can't believe how good it's made me feel. (Is that sad? I don't know or care.)

I'm on a help-is-flipping-amazing roll now and serendipitously just got an email from a friend for a sounds-very-wonderful daytime babysitter rec. She might only be available for the summer (Montessori teacher), but hey! I'mma grab her. A few hours to myself plus a clean house plus a lawn not up to my knees? Heavenly, luxurious* heaven. (Time to go walk my dog. That one's still all me.)

*Anyone (other than Matt) remember Bobby Trendy from the very, very, very old Anna Nicole Smith show? (I watched that...?!?!? Oh, college and its...substances.) He said everything was "luxuuuuuuuuuurious." It was awesome.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just a pic

Stole this pic from cuz Amanda of Jones on the 4th on my Gram's porch. It's so saucy, I love it. And you can kind of see her left browner eye, right bluer eye thing. My little hammy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Funny of-the-moment Harper things

Because I love to look back on it:

- Lately calls cc "Clay Clay". Zero idea where this came from, since I almost never call him Clay... 

- Instead of the usual toddler "NO!" she likes to say delicately: "No, not quite..." 

- Has pretty amazing puzzle skills. We've got a set of 4 mini 12-piece puzzles (just loose pieces, not with a board) and she can do them entirely by herself, very quickly. I'm mostly impressed because she's faster at putting them together than I am. (I'm admittedly terrible at puzzles, but still.)

- Uses this really weird, high-pitched, sweet voice when she's asking for something she wants. "How 'bout a show?" 

- Turns lots of things down because they're "too" something. For example. We bought her a gross strawberry lemonade thing the other day during some travel. She took a sip and said: "No thank you. It's too tasty." Or we gave her some raspberry sorbet. "It's too raspberry-y." Or ice cream: "It's too messy." (I swear I feed her good things, too.) After an unfortunate bath bomb incident at my mom's house (we thought it'd be fun, but it turned the tub green and fizzled and she freaked out), she wouldn't take a bath the whole visit. "It's too painty!!!!" she'd yell.

- Mostly thinks of herself/refers to herself as "Baby"... She'll say Harper, too, and tolerate that. But nothing else. When she's in a silly mood, anything you say she'll correct. For example, my mom pointed out her new work and said "That's my new place of employment!" and Harper says "I not place of employment, I Baby!" 

- Along the same lines, if you tell her she's such a big girl she'll yell "No! I so little! I so small! I a baby!" It's pretty much the opposite of any other toddler. (Or at least ones without baby siblings.)

- Adores Finding Nemo. And rather heartbreakingly will narrate what's going on. "Nemo missing his daddy. Nemo in the fishbowl and daddy swimming with the turtles. Daddy so sad." 

- "I can't like it!" is a favorite one after trying some food. 

- Love her unique memory. On our trip to Maine, we popped in our new Music Together CD. This fun song (our first time hearing) came on while we were in a Boston tunnel and she lalalala'd along. We didn't hear it again for another week, when we were tooling around Portland. On it came and she yelled: "Just like in the tunnel!" 

- Will tell me "You're right!" after I say something obvious like "It's lunchtime" or "I'm tired." 

Okay that's it for now. Gots to run. 

Sunday, July 08, 2012


I love her.

In other news, I'm sitting in the dark typing while Jones drifts off to Randy Newman on my iPhone. It's our last night at my mom's and so I'm just rolling with the bad sleep habits that have developed over the past week. I've got a few things to undo once we're back in the CT, but won't help to worry about that now.

The combo of a very vivid imagination + increased verbal skillz + 3 different sleeping rooms over 1 week + a scary recent event (to be explained in a bit)  = HJ waking up from a dead sleep yelling things like "Mommy! A ghost man is coming in my window! He said boo! He get me and I so, so, so scared!" Oh dear.

So yeah. Things were funky sleepwise already, but then on the 4th -- after a really nice/steamy day of parading and hotdogging and cousining -- a serious thunderstorm hit while we were all piddling around my gram's house eating leftovers. It was loud. Like, loud loud loud. The first big boom made us all laugh nervously and check in -- upstairs crowd yelling down to downstairs crowd. Then pause, pause, pause... Then a boom/crack/lightning flash that felt so insane, words can't really do it justice. Well, maybe they could if I weren't brain fried and hunched over in a dark room.

Harps was downstairs watching (of all things) America's Funniest Vids on my mom's lap and I was up a landing of stairs in the kitchen eating an omelette. She screamed and screamed and I sailed down the steps and grabbed her and ran back up the stairs. We all gathered in the kitchen, away from the windows. And then forced my cousin Ben out the door. To check on the burning smell and to see what in the hell just happened. Harper was terrified. Crying and screaming and shaking and inconsolable. I was so jealous of my cuz Amanda who could just start nursing her toddler. Instant tranquilizer.

Ben couldn't see anything, but when the rain finally stopped, Amanda and the babies and I headed outside to poke around. Sure enough, we found a deep hole in the ground -- 5 feet from the screen door opened to the room where Harps had been. Yep. She was 10 feet from a lightning strike! Weeeeeee! Also? Ben and Amanda's car (a couple feet from the hole) was completely wiped out -- computer dead, wouldn't start, vroooom F. And it had a flat tire. Did the lightning hit the car and go under ground and up thru the hole? Or through the hole and up thru the car? Let's call Mythbusters!

Super, super scary. We were all shaken and punchy for a long time after that. Oh and Harper has now developed a serious love thing for America's Funniest. She calls it the "Falling Down Show" and now requests it when she's feeling anxious. Doobie doobie doo!

So that was that.

It's been a very nice week, tho. Lots of warm weather and feet-in-the-ocean and ice cream (and coconut cake and an Ina peach/raspberry cobbler I made and handmade potato donuts and oh F I've got work to do at home) and relaxing and reading (my mom has the most impressive self-help library you can imagine -- I always delve into 2 or 3 tomes while I'm here) and strolls and porch sitting. I feel really rested and summerfied.

But! We miss cc and George and our little cottage calls us back tomorrow. Check ya on the flip, Maine.