ten things i didn't know until last night

1. I own three unused pregnancy tests.
2. Tampons are kinda like rocket ships! And pads are like stickers!

3. Self-tanner is uninteresting to a three-year-old. Which is proof that God must love me after all.
4. My jewelry box is reachable.
5. My watch is not indestructible.
6. It takes a lot longer to put stuff back into dresser drawers and bathroom vanities than it does to empty them. I'm guessing.
7. Free makeup from CVS: Easy Come Easy Go.
8. Razor packaging is child-proof. Thankfully.
9. Wet bars of soap can be squished into all sorts of crevices.
10. A few hours out alone while Phil was home with the kids was actually worth the clean-up.

Ocean looks great in mascara and lip gloss, no?


working on forgiveness.

Obviously there are many things I want to instill in my kids. One of the biggest for me is teaching them how important it is to forgive when they are wronged. And not just to forgive, but to forgive swiftly so that bitterness doesn't have time to take root.

About three dozen times a day Ocean and Iris will bicker and fight, and every time I make them apologize, hug, say "I forgive you" and "I love you". Usually forgiveness comes quickly and it's amazing to see that instantaneous shift in their attitude toward one another once they both know they're back to being best friends.

Today Ocean tried to help Iris with something, which he often likes to do. As Iris enters the awesome I do it myself phase she desires his assistance less and less. This was one of those times. He made the attempt, got shot down rather rudely and immediately burst into tears. I sat down with him on the couch and told him to go ahead and cry until he felt ready to talk. He sobbed for a good 3 or 4 minutes before he sniffled, "Iris hurt my feelings."

I asked Iris to come over and talk to us. She came running, totally oblivious to what was going on.

"You havin' a hard time, buddy?" she asked Ocean. I gently told her that the way she yelled NO at Ocean had hurt his feelings and that it would be nice if she would apologize. She offered a very genuine, "I'm sorry Ocean!" But he grunted and shook his head... and wouldn't accept her apology. Hmmmm. New territory.

I sent Iris to play and continued to hold Ocean. I said, "You know, buddy, sometimes I have a hard time forgiving someone when they hurt my feelings. And sometimes I even have to ask God to help me forgive because it's so hard to do. Is it okay if we ask God to help you forgive Iris?" He nodded. So I just said a little prayer for his heart to be able to forgive his sister. A minute later he jumped off my lap and started to get into a toy, but paused, turned to me and said, "I have to say something to Iris." He ran to her, gave her a hug and said gleefully, "I forgive you Iris!"

This could have been one of the hundred daily battles that I choose not to fight and this moment would have been lost. My kids antagonize the hell out of each other (and therefore, me) all day long, but it is so beautiful to see the purity of their love for each other during moments like this.

My friend Lindsay reminded me recently that even through this tumultuous time in our lives, when Mommy and Daddy go to the hospital two full days a week, and Daddy feels tired or sick a lot, and Ocean and Iris can undoubtedly sense the stressful circumstances, those two little crazy people have consistency in their relationship with each other. Because no matter what changes happen, or how often Phil and I have to be away, or who is watching them, they are always always together. They have each other. And that will be a bond that they always share.

I can't look at them these days without thinking about that. Even when they're fighting. And especially when they hug and forgive each other.


everything and the kitchen sink.

Since this is our week off of chemo I thought I'd pretend to be normal for a moment, skirt my household responsibilities and BLOG!

Phil and I were on WTKA this morning talking about multiple myeloma. It was fun getting back on the air, seeing how it's been about a decade since I dabbled in broadcasting. Now I dabble in making tasty grilled cheese sandwiches, wiping butts and building awesome Thomas the Tank Engine tracks. Which is super fun of course, just a different kind of fun. Never fear, because we did our best to rock the cause and Phil will probably stop back by during OSU week to talk a little more.

I took some clothes out of the dryer last week only to realize that someone had crayons in their pockets. Complete. Disaster. All three pairs of my jeans, most of the kids clothes and some serious bedtime loveys were damaged beyond repair, it seemed. I called my mom gasping, "Crayons! Dryer! No pants... Heeeeelllllllllllllp!" After talking me down she reminded me about Lestoil which worked beautifully. I took it a few garments at a time, and just finished the batch over the weekend with my BFF Lindsay. (Don't worry, concerned citizens... we were outside on the porch. Lestoil fumes are nothing that two pregnant women should be breathing.)

Iris's second birthday is coming up in about ten days. Last night I asked her what she wants for her birthday and she said, "Mimi make me a cake!" Shocking, isn't it, that:

1. She knows someone has to make cakes and they don't just magically appear out of thin air before you put them into your shopping cart.
2. She knows that someone isn't Mommy.

Of course this could be due to Ocean's recent obsession with asking me of everything he puts into his mouth, "How did you make this?" Usually, lately, the answer is I didn't. Either someone else made it and brought it to us (Thank you, loved ones!) or it's, like, a granola bar and I have to explain who Kashi is and why she isn't exactly one of my friends.

No matter... Iris will be getting pre-made cupcakes from Whole Foods because that's how I roll here in the myeloma age, folks. She said she wants a Thomas cake, so I'll probably just stick one of her many Thomas the Trains on top of her cupcake and call it a day. A very happy birthday that is. Either I'm a terrible mother or I'm a very tired- but very resourceful- genius.

In non-birthday news, yesterday I was rinsing out a glass at the kitchen sink and suddenly the water stopped coming out of the tap. Interestingly, I could still hear water running. Or rather, spraying. I turned it off and opened up the cabinet and immediately said a very bad word because all the random, useless crap I hide underneath my kitchen sink was soaking wet and I just don't have the time to sit and dry all of that, people. This happened a few months ago to the other hose under there and Phil's dad was able to fix it for us (the guy who plumbed our house when it was built a year and a half ago wasn't exactly thorough. Obviously.) so Phil decided he was going to do the same thing his dad had done. Because I typically swing the hammer around this homestead, I got nervous. But he and Ocean went out to get the parts they needed and started the job. Towards the end of the project some assistance was required so I immediately put out an A.P.B. on Facebook for plumbing help and Jill, my coupon comrade and coffee companion, sent her husband Kevin over stat to help assess the situation. Long story short... dude totally fixed our sink with my hair dryer. Not kidding. The universe keeps trying to give us wet willies but our friends keep coming through. Booyah, universe! Shout out to Jill and Kevin... you guys totally saved the day my sink what's left of my sanity.

While all of this was going on, I was trying to get ahold of Comcast to get our rates lowered. We already have the most basic of the basic cable packages. I think they call it the cheapskate package because it just includes the networks and my beloved, can't-live-without-Curious-George-and-Clifford PBS. Plus somehow HGTV snuck itself right on in there too, which is always a fun distraction from laundry in the evenings. Our internet though, basic as it is, was still ridiculous. We also recently decided, since Phil has begun working from home and needs a phone line, to get rid of our expensive cell phones and just get an old fashioned, honest-to-goodness house phone. So when I got through to Comcast I told them I wanted to cancel our internet. Naturally Alfonso started in on the hard sell and I stuck to my story that it's just too expensive, Alfonso, and the economy is terrible here in Michigan and have you even heard about Pfizer and the Big Three and we want- no NEED- to cancel our internet. It didn't take long for him to lower our payment by almost $20, and he offered us digital phone service for $15 a month with no set-up fees. Which will save us roughly beaucoup bucks a month. All I'm saying is, Alfonso is my new homeboy. And also maybe you should call your cable company like NOW and tell them you want to cancel and just see what they say? And if you do get your rate lowered, let me know. We'll run a little Spilled Milk cable company recession experiment.

So there you have it. Crayon-free clothes, a lower cable bill and a working kitchen sink. What more could a girl ask for?


a teensy update

Gosh, life sure has gotten in the way of blogging lately. My days are full of choices: Eat or blog? Sleep or blog? Breathe or blog? I'm still alive, so blogging has been the clear loser here.

I've been consumed with all the cancer... yet still, life marches on. Iris is saying things like, "Are you so cute, little kitty? Yes you are!" and "You're my best friend!" and "Is it awesome?" And Ocean is so into Spiderman that it's almost scary, especially because he has no frame of reference for it, and thinks the guy in the suit is Peter Piper.

The new little nugget is just over 16 weeks along, and is starting with the fetal acrobatics, though not as intensely as my other two were at this point. I'm taking that as gospel that I will have one laid-back child. Pray for me. I forget that I'm pregnant most of the time, which is a good thing right now I suppose. Ocean is very serious about naming the baby Socka. We will see about that.

As for me? I'm tired. I don't even have the energy to pretend I'm not. I asked Ocean today if he could play quietly at my feet while I closed my eyes for a minute and he said, "Sure Mommy. Look at this! Did you see that Mom? Look, Mom!" Naps just aren't in the cards right now, and may never be again, I'm realizing.

But none of that really matters too much. The kids, antagonistic as they are to one another, are generally happy. Phil is on the road to health. I am plugging along. And we're doing okay, all of us. So in the grand scheme of grand schemes, I can't really complain.

I hope you're all well. Or, as Iris would say, Awesome.


my precious peeps

When I go in to get Iris out of bed in the morning she says, as soon as I open the door, "You're kidding me."

We can't call Iris anything but Iris. Not funny, smart, fast, cute or sweet. If we refer to her as anything other than her name, she insists, "NO! I'm Iris!"

When you tell Ocean anything that he doesn't agree with, he responds enthusiastically and insistently with "Sure."
Me: Ocean, Iris is saying no because wants you to stop doing that.
Ocean: Sure she doesn't.

Me: Ocean, you need to take two more bites before you can be done.
Ocean: Sure I don't.

Me: Ocean, it's time to go to bed.
Ocean: Sure it's not.

Me: Ocean, I don't want you going outside without a coat.
Ocean: Sure you do.

Here's a scene that unfolded the other night while we were in the playroom. I had a tummy ache and was laying on the floor, and the flower tattoo on my lower back was apparently exposed. Ocean was playing football and wearing his helmet, and Iris was brewing something in the play kitchen using Ocean's Memory game.

Ocean: Mommy, play football!
Me: My tummy hurts.
Ocean: (sympathetically patting my stomach) Oooooohhhh, I'll take care of your wittle puffy tummy.
Iris: I'm makin' soup!
Me: What kind of soup?
Iris: (comes over to us) Memory Soup! Whatcha doing, mom?
Me: Laying on the floor.
Iris: (looking horrified and tugging at my shirt) Cover up your flowers! COVER up your FLOWERS!
Ocean: (throws his football at my rear end) BUTT CHECK!
Ocean: (grabs the football) Here comes nothin'... (punts it across the playroom)
Ocean: I WON THE GAME! Iris, I won the game, you little genius!
End scene.


a modern day fairy tale to send you off into your weekend.

When two people who've been married for five years and make pretty adorable children together and like each other enough most of the time have a cancer crisis and need to make decisions around what to do once chemotherapy probably sterilizes one of them, they do what any rational, not mentally ill people would do.

Half of you are probably thinking, "Hooray!" And the other half are probably thinking, "Hooray but... what the hell is wrong with you?!" So to answer your questions: Yes, we are crazy. No, in fact I do not know what I'm doing. Yes, we have thought about the long term and short term problems that this may present. No, a fear of the future cannot and will not rob us of our present joy.

It's sad that I feel like I need to defend this choice, but it comes because I've already had to do it a few times. So just to put to rest any doubt or worry that anyone may have about how we'll manage with everything we have going on, let me explain.

It is a luxury to sit down and have a discussion with your spouse about if and when to have the next baby. It must be fun to have a few months or a year to plan it, time it just right and execute said plan. That, however, is a luxury we just didn't have. We're still very young. We knew we weren't done having children. Those who know us well know we've wanted to adopt but that option became highly unlikely with an incurable cancer diagnosis. The doctors said treatment in a month so bank your sperm. We said let's give it a shot this month. And it worked out. And even though the timing may seem less than ideal to some, we are elated. Because the baby will be coming at a time when Phil will be on the upswing from his transplant. Because no matter what happens, we will never, ever regret having a third child. And because, really, who wouldn't want another one of these?

So I'll be 12 weeks on Saturday and I've known for eight whole weeks now! Which is why I haven't been posting much because I'd probably give it away with all the "Barfing Again" and "I'm soooooooo tired I could just zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..." Honestly, though, I've been feeling very well considering the stress, and being at the beach for the two roughest weeks was a major plus. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

There are several of you out there whom I haven't yet seen in order to tell in person and for that I apologize. Let's just say I'm at the point where hiding it is nearly impossible and I actually had a nurse at the hospital on Tuesday declare, "Oh wow! You're pregnant!" (I guess my philosophy of not making assumptions about pregnancy until the baby is actually crowning isn't universal.) So I hope this will remove some of the awkward Is she pregnant or did she just eat a HUGE breakfast internal debate you would be having with yourself the next time you saw me. You're welcome.

Lots of love to you all, and lots of baby updates to come I'm sure. Should we get a gender poll going?


*cricket, cricket*

I'm posting a lot more over here these days. Ideally I'd love to combine both blogs but I don't see it happening. Phil is under the impression that each blog may have a different audience. He's right, but it makes my life more complicated. So I just hope you all will join me there occasionally and hang tight over here also. I'll have more posts coming at the end of the week. Promise!


fragments of funny

Many ridiculous things have been going on and if I currently had the ability or desire to form a cohesive thought I'd probably have a more clever way to present them. But really I just want to get them written down so I can throw away all of these durn post-it notes. So here they be.


Ocean and Iris were chatting on the porch in their swimsuits. 
Iris: [points at Ocean's nipple] What's that?
Ocean: It's my mole.
Me: It's your nipple.
Ocean: It's my nipple.
Iris: Ooooooh! Nipple!
Ocean: Yeah, it's for the milk.
Iris: Milk?
Ocean: Yeah, for my baby.
Iris: [looks horrified, probably because she never liked nursing anyway]


Iris calls lasagna Zanana.


When Ocean doesn't hear you he asks, "What you said?"


Any item bearing the label "Spot Clean Only" is practically an open invitation for one of my children to urinate all over said item. Thankfully, I don't pay attention to labels. In other words, Ocean's stuffed zebra will never be the same.


Ocean: [yaaaaaaaaaaaawn]
Iris: [looking disgusted] Excuse you. Ex. Cuse.


My mom: Ocean, I was watching you run around on the beach earlier and you just looked like such a big boy!
Ocean: Maybe it's the sunglasses?


more pictures.

Iris and my dad. She isn't enjoying this vacation as much as I would like. In other words, she screams every time we try to take her down to the beach.

Naked lunch:

Ocean and I in the pool:

Phil and I on our 5 year anniversary date (it was Thursday):

Ocean doing a shark imitation at the aquarium:


beachin', yo.

We made it to the beach, and- as expected- it's gorgeous here.

Here are Ocean and Phil in the pool:

And the kids having their morning cup of tea before hitting the surf:

Let's dominate some sand:

Ocean flying his kite:

Phil, Iris, Ocean and my dad, discussing the fishing:

More to come.


it's 5 am and i'll be going back to bed just as soon as i tell you nothing of importance. things seem much more pressing at this hour.

From the files of Captain Obvious: I haven't posted much lately. It hasn't been for lack of things going on... in fact there have been many times I wanted to sit down and tell you all about my session with a hypnotherapist, or share all the excruciating details of my food poisoning incident, or tell you the heartwarming tale of Iris smacking the shit out of a 3-year-old boy who was picking on her and making him cry. All good stuff. Just... not enough to fill up a post. But get me in the middle of the night, boy, and I'll blog your face off about some seriously inane crap.

So it's ridiculous-thirty in the morning and Ocean woke up about an hour ago and had a moisture situation which needed to be handled and so I dealt with it ever so swiftly only to hear a package of cookies beckoning me into the kitchen. Because they are healthyish cookies, and also because I have the self-control of something that has no self-control, I obliged. And then I realized why Matt's Cookies are a little healthier. The packaging is so obnoxiously loud that everyone knows what you're up to. There is no sneaking a Matt's cookie. There's practically a built-in alarm on the packaging. For a second, I swore I must be up inside the cyclone. It took me longer than it should take any one person to close the package back up after eating just one cookie and I'm pretty sure I heard the neighbor's dog verbally chastising me for being a glutton. At that point I thought I should eat something a little better for me, or at least something that wasn't going to rat me out, so I selected a Brown Cow yogurt. If you've ever had Brown Cow, you know that tongues of humans and angels are powerless to describe it. If you have not had a Brown Cow, you should try it post-haste. (But the frugalista in me must tell you to wait until they go on sale, and try to get your hands on a coupon while you're at it, 'k?) At any rate, I rapidly consumed that little slice of delicious and headed back to my bed when suddenly I had a stomach pain which, over the next five minutes, grew into an ache that can only be described as Oh sweet heavenly beings, please not food poisoning again. So I quickly exited my bed and drank some water and turned on my computer and now I'm feeling much better. Better enough to tell you that...

...we are going to the beach on Saturday for two weeks. (Not so fast, potential home invaders... there will be house guests galore while we're away. Ninja house guests with nunchuck skills.) I made a couple of trips to various grocery stores tonight in order to stock up on some things for the trip and while checking out at Meijer there was a couple behind me in the age range of Old Enough To Know Better and they were making out and possibly having sex too. At least I'm pretty sure that's what was going on; I was afraid to look directly at them for fear I should become impregnated and really, I think I'd take a pass on their DNA. I started to get annoyed but then I remembered my secret weapon: 172 coupons. They could make out all they wanted (or give me dirty looks) while I completed my transaction and I could save over a hundred bucks on what ended up being a $32 out of pocket sale. So basically we were all winners at Meijer tonight.

And on that note, and at the sound of the coffee maker coming on (which means Phil will be awake and chatty in T-minus 20 minutes), I'm going back to bed. Have a good day! Blogs from the beach to come.


"what the flip?" friday

I don't get it...

90% of children's books. They suck. And the suckier they are the more my kids want to hear them.

The huge moth in our spare bedroom. How on earth did he get in? And how long has he been there? 

My son's recent fascination with zebras and fish-faces. 

Heated political debates over the existence of public libraries, public parks, public transportation and public education. Oh, no wait. Heated political debates over those things don't happen. 

How it is possible that I spend roughly a hundred percent of my time looking for stuff. Most recent example: it took me 4.25 minutes to find the lid to the peanut butter jar.

Berry picking should be FUN for children. FUN. So why did my youngest stand in one spot of the berry patch sobbing, Mommyyyyyyyyy.... Mommyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! with a berry basket tied to her waist while it took me two hours to pick a quart of raspberries?

Vibrating mascara. Like I need any more help poking myself in the eye.


watch out, american idol.

I've discovered that my son is a lyrical genius. He's just started singing these songs that have themes and melodies and rhymes and he completely makes them up. I thought to grab a pen for this one:

I remember when you were brave
I remember when you were smart
I remember when you were nice
I remember when you were heart
I remember your cuddles
I remember your snuggles
I love you when you share
I love you when you care
I remember you and me
I remember our family

I can't even be horrified by the lyrics because that rhyming is phenomenal. I think I asked if the song was about me but I don't think he answered me, or he may have said that I'm a terrible mother and only a shell of the person I used to be. Either way... rhyming!

I grabbed the camera in time to record this gem. 

The lyrics:

to watch another sky
somebody painted the sky yellow
and the sun went down
and they paint the sun green
so it can be night
in the sky

Seriously, you guys, he's only three. It's like preschool poetry. I only wish I could come up with stuff this good.


we teach proper names for both body parts and plants, but there appears to be some confusion here.

Iris was running around nekkid after her bath this evening and suddenly stopped short in the hallway, grabbed her crotch with both hands and shouted gleefully:

"It's my hydrangea!"


so little to do, so much time. it turns out.

My goal: To complete every item on every possible to-do list before Phil's treatment begins.

Sounds daunting, right? Yeah, it looked bad from my end too... until I put it on paper and realized there were exactly three things on it.

1. Get the brakes fixed on my car.
My car is making a horrifying sound and it gets worse when I put the brakes on so I'm guessing that's what's wrong with it. However, I'm not that kind of car expert and I'm a bit out of practice anyway. Making plans to take it in somewhere, and soon.

2. Return a bunch of crap at the mall.
I was able to go to the mall yesterday alone [Hallelujah Chorus] because Phil declared it his Birthday Weekend, which, hey, whoop it up all you want to birthday boy, but then there was the subsequent fallout, which included headaches and exhaustion and looooots of naps and hydrating. And while I'm all for hangovers parenting waits for no one, whether or not tequila is involved and I'd missed my Saturday morning coffee with friends because of it which I'd normally be cool about but then the rain happened and the kids and I were cooped up all day and I'm going to go bloody nuts if I don't get out of this house right. this. second. So I put the three of them down for naps and clocked out for a couple of hours.

So I was able to get to the mall in order to make several returns of busted/ill-fitting garb and, AND cashed in a Victoria's Secret free gift! card and got myself a pair of Victoria's Secret cheekies panties, though in the days of yore we used to call them thongs. And change the name all you want to, but they are still just as uncomfortable. But, hey, free.

While at the mall I stopped in to see my favorite eyebrow threader but she was out of town. With great trepidation I agreed to be waxed instead and suddenly my brow doth feel a wee bit nekkid. Either she took a little too much off or I've been walking a fine line between Brooke Shields and Wookie for sometime and just never noticed. Maybe you be the judge? (Pointing at my eyebrows, not pretending to shoot myself.)

"Audrey! Audrey! Look at me!"

3. Go to the dentist.
I'm going to the dentist tonight. I flossed 365 times last night so I'm pretty sure that means I can say that I floss on average once a day.


i'm inspired.

Okay, so apparently these Mommy Business Cards are the thing to have. I decided to take Becky's idea of a Family Contact Card and tailor it to my children, who are little wandering nomads. I'm going to print these on stickers and stick them to my kids' backs the next time we go to the zoo, the pool or Millpond Park. (I break out in hives just thinking about trying to keep track of my kids there.) Ocean and I have had a few talks about what to do if he gets lost ("FInd another mommy, because all the mommies are friends and we help each other") but the reality is that he'd rather eat peanut butter than talk to someone he doesn't know. (I know, I don't get it either. Peanut butter is delicious.) And Iris... well, she might actually tell you her name if you ask, but she's more likely to yell MOO! and then fly away on her broomstick, cackling wildly as she disappears into the night.

All that to say... here's my solution to losing kids who may just not want to be found:



Five things I shouldn't tell you guys but I can't help it because I'm an over-sharer by nature.

1. I got a steam cleaner today and gave my upstairs carpet the once- or thrice-over. I can't begin to describe the color of the water in the reservoir.

2. I ate a pint of Ben and Jerry's for lunch.

3. It takes a lot to embarrass me, and children never embarrass me... but my kids actually succeeded at the park today. I promptly took them home and put them down for naps. It was 10:07 am.

4. I bought my children plastic spray bottles at Target this afternoon so they could spray the hell out of each other in the yard while I watched from the porch. (It could have ended badly, but we all had a great time.)

5. I'd never heard of a Mommy Business Card until last night. Does anyone have these? Because I've clearly missed this boat, I decided to design my own Mommy Business Card but I had way too much information that I needed to include so I decided to make a Mommy Brochure instead. So here's my rough draft but it's pretty close to being ready:


it's a zoo.

This week we went to the zoo with my friend Danelle and her girls. Danelle is mommy to one of the girls in my dance class. The good one. This one:

(See that look? She's not only horrified at the behavior of the other children, but also at my complete lack of control/discipline/composure. I'm asking her to teach next year.)

Danelle is also an incredible photographer, it turns out. Looky looky!

Ocean insisted upon wearing his rhinoceros shirt in order to impress the rhinoceros. Iris wanted to see pigs and kitties. When we rolled up in there we were met with some rambunctious polar bears and seals which delighted the children, but it turns out Ocean was much more excited about the inanimate objects he saw. Mommy! Look at that stick! Wow! Do you see that berry? A SPOON! You see alllll those wheelchairs?! Ooooooh.... ROCKS!

I only lost track of a child once. Ocean darted away and went missing for probably 8.3 seconds, and that's when I think I peed my pants slightly. It's hard to keep track of two small kids in large crowds. I was exhausted by the end of the morning just from the energy it took to keep tabs on both of them. But it was a good exhaustion, especially because I got to see monkeys. Monkeys!

Here are the four children being so sweet:

Anyway, we had a great time and here's our tribute to the rhinos who, by the way, weren't all that impressed with Ocean's t-shirt. Go figure.


dancing machines. sort of. not really.

I've been a bad blogger. Bad, BAD. In my defense, we've had a lot going on. Also in my defense, I'm lazy.

This week I've been teaching dance to a pocketful of five- and six-year-old little girls at our church's Camp Creation, which is an arts-based vacation bible school type deal. It's very awesome and it's like a huge honor to be asked to teach but I don't think the kids got that memo because they look at me like I'm speaking Martian when I say things like Stop rolling around on the floor and let's line up so we can dance... girls? Girls! Let's line up and... let's make good choices! Those are not good choices! DO you guys even want to dance? No? Well then why the hell did you take a dance class? Except I don't say hell because they are little kids and it's church and I mostly just cuss in the written word.

Here's an artistic rendering of my class. You will probably have to click it to make it large enough to fully absorb the horror.

In reality, the girls are very sweet. I wasn't prepared for the difficulty I would encounter in getting them to listen and stay on task for an entire hour each day, and I really can't blame them for acting their ages. If I had been prepared, I would have thought to offer bribes.

Other things going on:

1. I'm meeting with a realtor next week to try and get our house sold already. Once that happens we'll have to make some decisions around where we want to live. 

2. We were going to cancel our annual beach trip on account of the possibility of Phil beginning treatment but decided that it's best we live our lives as though the myeloma isn't there, otherwise we'll always be putting the focus on the disease and/or putting off the things that are important to us. So we'll be heading to the NC coast in about seven weeks and I am resisting the temptation to begin packing.

3. My children are still kind of adorable. See?


bring the pain

I did something to my neck. Not something cool, so have no fear... I think a rabid chimpanzee ate one or two of my vertebrae. It happened long about last Sunday morning as I was- brace yourself, this is good- getting out of bed. Initially I thought it was a pulled muscle but upon further review I believe I may have slipped/ruptured/screwed up a disc. I know, I'm thinking the same thing you are: How freaking old are we who live in this household, anyway?

So after a trip to Urgent Care, thirty hundred phone calls to my PCP and buckets of Flexeril and ibuprofen I still cannot look up, down, left or right. I also cannot pick up a toddler or a sandwich unless I want to be bedridden for the remainder of the day. I am, however, having some very messed up dreams, so that's something.

The good news is I get to go to Little Rock, Arkansas tomorrow for a whole week. Did you hear that? A WHOLE WEEK. Can't wait.

Thank God for Flexeril.


oh, no doubt, you'll always have my heart.

The first time I saw No Doubt in concert I was probably 15 or 16 years old. My older brother and I drove to the best venue in Detroit-- St. Andrew's Hall-- for the Tragic Kingdom tour. The album had just dropped and they were still virtually unknown to the masses. Which was great for us.

We were packed in with a few hundred other third wave ska enthusiasts, standing room only, and we were in the front. The show was incredible. The band members were a cohesive unit, all moshing and jumping and playing a show. Gwen's abs were amazing. Tony sweat on us a little bit. At some point a fan threw a t-shirt onto the stage, which hit Gwen in the face mid-song and wrapped itself around her head. The music stopped. You could have heard a pin drop. She lowered the microphone and removed the t-shirt from her head. Everyone just kind of stood there for a minute... then, without a word, she put the t-shirt on!, the music started right where they left off and the crowd went nuts. And that's when I fell in love with No Doubt.

My sister called me on Wednesday night. "Dude. No Doubt and Paramore are coming to Detroit on Friday. Wanna go?" Besides the fact that it was No Doubt, which made my answer an automatic Hellz Yeah, I love me some Riot and All We Know Is Falling so, uh, yes please.

When I told Phil, and mentioned that the last time I saw No Doubt was probably nine or ten years ago, he kind of laughed and said, "What does that say about No Doubt?" That they're still relevant. That's what. My sister and I debated on floor seats but just weren't up for the moshing/rowdiness that I remembered from No Doubt concerts past. So after determining that you just can't put a price tag on the experience we purchased some awesome level two seats on Ebay and all systems were go. 

I forgot one thing.

No Doubt is no longer the No Doubt of the Beacon Street Collection era. They are Gwen Stefani and those other guys. They are, like, stars now. And they're almost 40 and I'm not 17 anymore and they were wearing costumes and ohmygoodnesswherethehellisthemoshpit? So it goes without saying (to everyone but me I guess) that I slightly overestimated the rambunctiousness quotient (zero) and slightly underestimated the number of attendees who hadn't even born yet when Gwen got hit in the face with that t-shirt so many years ago. Yes, everyone there last night either needed supervision or was there to supervise. We may have been the only people our age who were there to drink beer and rock out. And rock out we did.

As for the concert itself... it was pretty awesome. It made me want to be a rock star. It made me want to do lots of sit-ups. But mostly it took me back to my teenage years of seeing a band that I loved, leaving a concert voiceless and drenched in sweat, and being an honest-to-goodness fan of something great.

And I think that's why I love No Doubt so much. Their music is a big part of my memories and their fun punk/ska style got me through my teen-angsty phase relatively unscathed (well, if you don't count a few misguided years of bleached hair, over-plucked eyebrows and lots of red lipstick, that is).

Ska may be No Doubt's schtick now but they'll still rock your face off.

And Gwen's abs still look amazing.


it's difficult to argue with kid-logic.

On crying wolf--
Ocean: Owwww! My foot! OUCH!
Me: What happened?
Ocean: (laughing): Nothing! I was joking.
Me: [some long-winded explanation about how we should be honest so people believe us when we actually need help.] Does that make sense?
Ocean: Nope.
Me: [some rephrased, long-winded explanation about how we should be honest] ...so that when we really need help, someone will help us instead of thinking that we're just pretending. Does that make sense?
Ocean: (pause) No it doesn't. If you need help, if you get hurt, you GET help. See that?
Me: Good point.
Ocean: Ouch! My hand!
Me: I'm glad we had this talk.

On our visit to Grandma and Grandpa's house--
Me: Ocean, what was your favorite part of the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa?
Ocean: Five!
Me: Okay. Iris, what was your favorite part of the weekend?
Iris: Green!
Phil: Wow, guys. Worth the drive.

On when I used to be awesome--
Ocean: I have a cool motorcycle. (It's a Big Wheel.)
Me: It is cool.
Ocean: Do you ride a motorcycle?
Me: No. I used to ride a motorcycle a looooong time ago with my friend but not anymore.
Ocean: (gasp) That's awesome, Mom!

On being ice cream buddies--
Ocean and I were eating ice cream on the porch after dinner. I was lost in my thoughts and glanced over to see him gazing at me.
Me: What are you thinking about, bud?
Ocean: You, Mommy.
Me: What about me?
Ocean: You're my best girl. And... and... I just love you.

On planting and growing when mommy can't keep a plant alive but wants to risk it for a hydrangea bush--
Me: So first we have to dig a hole for the hydrangea, and then we have to put it in the hole. Then I need your help to fill the hole with dirt.
Ocean: And then we pray.


a small glimpse into my life. and a slight indication as to why the future often terrifies me.

After I removed Iris's wet diaper, my agile little ninja did her twist-and-launch maneuver, catapulted herself off the floor and ran shrieking across the living room. I caught up with her and said, "Iris, let's put your clean diaper on before you pee on my rug."

Iris smiled at me.

Then she peed on my rug.


where i were

Besides having the never-ending plague over here, we've had quite the month. I'll spare you all the phlegmy details and instead fill you in on Phil's high school reunion this past weekend.

Here I am with my date, Andrea. Isn't she sweet?

The reunion festivities kicked off at a bar on Friday night and thankfully Andrea, who is the wife of one of Phil's closest and oldest friends and has also become one of my most favoritest peeps, was there to hang out with. I don't know if you've ever been to someone else's class reunion but it's... strange. Right after this picture was taken, we got hit on by a couple of 21 year olds. It was awkward. And weird. By the way, Kevin, Andrea's husband, watched the whole thing happen and didn't come over until after they left. To laugh at us. Did I mention that Kevin secretly reads my blog? Oops... not so secret anymore. Sorry Kev. (Payback.)

At the stroke of midnight our coach was preparing to turn into a pumpkin, but our husbands were not ready to leave so we bounced. However, as we made our exit we realized that it was practically typhooning outstide. (Yes, I realize that I accidentally typed outstide instead of outside but I'm leaving it because it was exactly that... a TIDAL WAVE of rain, pelting my face and my hopes of not having to wash my hair the next morning.) I took off my heels, rolled up my jeans and we made a three-and-a-half-block run for it.

Got back to Phil's parents' house where my children were nestled all snug in their pack-n-plays/whatever and Mama B. and I chatted for a little while before I headed off to bed.

The next morning my hair was curly. Not surprisingly. But it was a delightful day nonetheless. We headed over to see Chantelle, Phil's high school sweetheart (oooooh... scandalous! Not really.) who is like the sweetest girl and has the sweetest family and every time we see them they are so sweet to my kids and it's all very sweet. So the better part of our day was spent visiting and catching up with them, and then we headed back to drop off the kids and head to the Loons baseball game at Dow Diamond.

Now friends, Dow Diamond is something to behold. If you look very closely at this picture

you will notice the awesome chemical plant in the background, spewing loveliness into the beautiful blue sky. So when the fireworks started, all I could think was This can't be good. I named this firework Super Dioxin:

The lovebirds watched the fireworks until the grand finale. And when I say lovebirds, I mean Phil and his friends. After the first one sent a smoldering ash a mere 15 feet from my chair I bolted for the safety of the pavilion and watched the rest of them there. Very carefully. I'm a pansy. I was only thinking of my children.

Here's the crew after the game:

Karen, who was there when Phil and I got engaged; Kerianne, who organized the entire reunion; Phil; and Chantelle.

After the fireworks ended it began to pour. Again. The timing was impeccable in terms of the baseball game but it meant that once again we had to make a run for our car. And my hair was like, WTH. Seriously?

We got up on Sunday, celebrated Father's Day with a yummy breakfast and looooooooots of coffee, packed up the car and headed back to Ann Arbor. Thanks be to Mama and Papa Brabbs for taking such good care of my children; and mad props to my flat iron for coming through like gangbusters this morning.


more fun at the brabbses. or is it brabbs'? or perhaps brabbseses? one can never be sure.

Iris had been in bed for about 15 minutes when we heard her on the monitor: "DeeDee! Dropped it!" (DeeDee is her pacifier.) Ocean said he wanted to go give it to her. Phil went with him to supervise and as they were coming back down the stairs Ocean exclaimed, "I did it! I saved the day!" Phil replied, "You're like a hero." Ocean said, "Sometimes I drop my binky and you're a hero, dad."

Me: (running around like crazy trying to get dinner ready)
Ocean: (rubbing his eye) My eye is all blinky.
Me: It's probably because you're tired.
Ocean: No, it's because you poked me in the eye, mom.

Ocean: (sitting on the potty, and a little distressed) The poop won't come out of my penis!
Me: Poop comes out of your bottom. Pee comes out of your penis.
Ocean: Pee comes out of my penis? Awwwwww... that's so cuuuuuute!

Last night Ocean, Phil and I were playing an intense game of Memory. Iris was entertaining herself by walking on the coffee table. Once I noticed what she was doing I called out, "Iris, you need to sit down. We don't stand on the coffee table." She said, "Yes, Mommy," sat down and, wide-eyed, looked at Phil and said, "Did you see that?!"


weeping and gnashing of teeth, or funny stories? how 'bout funny stories.

I'm tentatively back online.

My hard drive was replaced.

I still have no idea if any of my data can be recovered.

So to change the subject, I will tell funny stories.

The kids and I walked to Jefferson Market today to get a muffin and as we were sitting outside amongst all the neighborly chit-chatting someone said something like, "Yeah, this baby came out with black hair." Ocean's eyes got huge and he yelled, "MY POOP IS BLACK!"

This morning on the way back from The Soccer Practice That Wasn't (as in, Ocean decided to play on the playground instead) he was getting tired and cranky. I was doing a pretty good job of ignoring the whining when Iris piped up: "Chill out, Ocean."

Ocean was eating an apricot and he started vigorously rubbing his head. When I asked him what he was doing he replied, "I got juice on my hand. So I'm wiping it in my hair."

Iris woke up from her nap before Ocean and I went to go close his door so she wouldn't wake him up. She was talking loudly and Ocean yelled from inside his room, "Stop it, Iris!" Under her breath Iris said, "Shush, Ocean."

We've hit a picky eating stage with Ocean. Trying to get ideas for the types of foods he is interested in, I asked him what his favorite food is. "Artichokes," he answered. He's never even had artichoke.

A friend's baby was at our house and was babbling and cooing at Ocean.
Ocean: She's talking to me!
Me: What did she say?
Ocean: Bashafristracka.
Me: And what does that mean?
Ocean: Rocket.

Every night when he gets in bed, Ocean asks, "How was your day? Who'd you play with?" As you tell him all the things you did, he counts them on his fingers.

This is Iris's bedtime routine. After we rock and sing a song I put her in her bed and she says, "Sit." I sit on the floor next to her crib and she says, "Hand." I hold her hand and say prayers. When I say, "Thank you, Jesus," she says "AMEN." As I stand up to leave she calls out, "Thank you!"

My sister was holding six balls. Ocean was trying to count them but kept saying she had five, because that's currently his favorite number. (Ten more minutes at the park? How about five. Three years old? Nope... five.) We told him to touch each ball as he counted. Which was working great until he touched the purple ball twice. It went like this--
Ocean: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven! FIVE!

Also, Ocean calls his mouth his little hole. As in, "That bite of broccoli won't fit in my little hole." And he points to his mouth.

And, just because I can't help myself, Phil liked Bride Wars better than The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

The end.


i am trying to be brave.

The hard drive on my computer crashed.

I'm trying not to throw up until I find out just what, if anything, can be salvaged since I'm the genius that didn't back anything up. (Videos and photos from the births of my kids until now, important church/ministry documents... my CVS SPREADSHEETS!)

If you're a praying person, please plead for mercy on my behalf.

And please excuse me for the next few days until my hard drive is replaced; it's too hard to blog from an iPhone.



this has nothing to do with anything. unless you're a lobster. or an ear. i guess.

When one has taken Nyquil, the words crustacean and eustachian sound very similar and one might spend a lot of time thinking about how they could be easily interchanged and how funny it would be if your doctor said something like Your crustacean is inflamed. Then later, when the Nyquil fog has worn off and one goes to blog about it, they might realize that it's not really that funny.

So instead here are my favorite quotes of the week.

At the park: "I learned a very valuable lesson, mom. If you jump off a swing you could land on your face."

At Mother's Day brunch: "You have something on your shirt. I noticed it while I was checking out your boobs."

On the phone: "Yeah, but Los Angeles was full of crazy people. You have to remember that there's no one out here in Clearwater but Scientologists."

Happy Hump Day, friends.


i don't even have a speech prepared...

The amazing Bex bestowed this super-rad award upon my blog. See how shiny?

So now I'm supposed to tag seven other insanely wonderful (wonderfully insane?) folks and then we all write ten things about ourselves. Sounds like fun, eh?

Here are the official-ish rules:
You must write a post saying that you received this prestigious award and link back to me so everyone knows I think you're the bestest. Choose seven blogs that you love and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with “Honest Weblog.” Then, in your blog, list ten honest things about yourself.

Here are my award winners:
1. Andrea at The Good Life
2. Amy at Matron Down Under
3. Steph at Grace x2
4. SuperTiff
5. Jobi at My Life As Me
6. Amy at Roboranch
7. Cassady at Healthy Economic Savings

And now for my ten things. Ahem...

1. I drink whole milk. I love it.
2. Phil and I didn't get married because we were in love. (And no, we weren't pregnant either, smart-ass.) We got married because we had the same values and goals for our lives. And Phil recently revealed that he married me because he knew I wouldn't let him be a slacker at life in general. Damn straight. Apparently according to our pre-marital compatibility tests we are one of the most compatible couples in the universe. You'd never know it by the way we bicker.
3. I would sleep until 10:00 each morning if I could. Instead I have to get up at butt-thirty every day.
4. My brother is a Scientologist and he just quit his job to go work for the Church of Scientology and I really haven't talked to him in a very long time and I'm kind of worried. So if you hear from him let me know. Wow, that wasn't really a fact about me at all.
5. I love going to dinner and the movies by myself.
6. In high school I was the the psycho jealous girlfriend. (Sorry high school boyfriend.) Now I am the wife who encourages guys nights and would pay money to hear her husband say another woman is attractive. (He won't.)
7. I love my kids so much that it physically hurts me sometimes.
8. And other times I want to send them to live with their grandparents.
9. I think my feet are pretty attractive. You know, as feet go. Maybe because they are the only part of me that didn't change (too much) after having babies.
10. I played with Barbies until I was 14 years old.

Okay supa-seven! It's your turn...


are we still talking about houses?

Our house has been on the market for what feels like eleventy months. We're averaging about two showings a week now which is good, right? WRONG. I'll send my children to your house for a day and you can see just how clean it stays.

We don't exactly need to sell it; we love our neighborhood and our location. And of course we love the house. But we have this crazy dream of buying a lot of land with some friends and making our own neighborhood. Plus, in the long run it's probably wise to be rid of our current house so we're trying to see if we get any bites. So far lots of nibbles, no takers.

In the mean time though I've had my sights set on this beauty:

It's a 100 year old farm house on 107 acres. It has a couple of barns and a couple of other out buildings and I lurve it. It's also right across the street from some good friends of ours. Phil says something to the effect of Yeah, we could just tear it down and...

And I had an aneurysm.

Me: You don't just tear down a gorgeous hundred year old farmhouse! You renovate it. You don't do your thing and tear it down.

Phil: I like tearing things down.

Me: See, this is just another example of how I'm like Jesus*. Jesus is all about renovation, rehabilitation and restoration my friend.

Phil: No, the fire burns away the imperfections. Burns. Destroys. Then we build a new house.

Me: No, Isaiah, actually the fire of which you speak is a purification whereby the bad shit is burned away and the entire person emerges cleansed and whole. Or you might say, renovated.

Phil: But we're new creations in Christ. The old has gone, THE NEW HAS COME.

Me: But you're in the same body, dude. You look exactly the same on the outside. It's just your spirit that has been gutted. So to speak.

Phil: Whatever. That house is built on sand and it must come down!

Me: You're the antichrist.

Phil: That's the nicest thing you've said to me all month.

*I'm not at all like Jesus. I just like Phil to think I am** when we argue.

**I'm not fooling anyone.


notable notes

I've been racking my brain trying to think of something worth writing about lately, but there's just not much happening 'round these here parts. Which is a good thing when you consider the last five years of my life. So I figured I'd do a random round-up of the last week's most notable notes.

Notable Note #1:
I found Orla Kiely! My Target had been seriously lacking in O.K. merch, but I check every time I go, just in case. And look! Look at what I found!

They coordinate perfectly with my oh-so-adorable tea towels that I won over at Becky's. I now drink four different cups of coffee a day. Hahaha... haha........ ha... ahem.

Notable Note #2:
Yesterday I sliced my thumb open whilst attempting to pull the pit out of an avocado. I've done that little trick for years and this is the first time I stabbed myself instead of the pit. I clearly remember a moment where I thought I might die. (But also it's plausible that I tend to over-react a little bit in situations such as this, so my account may be slightly unreliable.) Since this is the first time I've ever been stabbed I wondered, How does one know if one should go get stitches after being stabbed? I decided to wait it out and I'm glad I did because it turns out that a Band-Aid is doing the trick just fine. So my advice is, if you ever get stabbed, skip the long line at the Emergency Room. Band-Aids, dude.

Notable Note #3 through #903:
I took like 900 pregnancy tests last week even though I knew there was no possible way I could be pregnant. But when you're 27 days late it's like, I dunno, could I just have forgotten or something? It turns out weight loss can prevent ovulation which can make you miss a period. (There's your lady parts lesson for today.) And I definitely have lost weight, albeit unintentionally. All the stress has not been good for me. But the cookies are helping me pack the pounds back on. (Thanks, cookies!)

Notable Note #904:

Notable Note #905:
I have a lot of really cool people in my life. Really cool. I have a hard time keeping up with everyone and everything but I am very appreciative of my f r i e n d s. (If you didn't get a letter, it just means I ran out of letters. Or I don't know your blog address. Or you don't have one. Which means you need to get with the program, slacker. I mean, if you're reading this you can pretty much be assured that you're really cool. Seriously, love you.)

Notable Note #906:

What is the line between letting kids be kids (destroy stuff) and teaching them to respect their belongings (not destroy stuff)? I tend to err on the side of the former but I'm wondering if that's not entirely as cool as I originally thought. In other words I've been cleaning a lot of crayon off the walls lately.

Notable Note #907:

My kids have swine flu. I mean a cold. Or allergies or something. Actually I'm not entirely sure what it is, I just know there's lots of snot and whining and naughtiness. Naughtiness is a symptom of swine flu, right? (I'm just kidding, CDC, we really don't have swine flu. Please allow me to continue my delayed vax schedule. Danke.)

So, that's all the news that's fit to print (or non-news, as the case may be definitely is). Hope you guys are all healthy and happy.


we have a new porch pet. apparently.

Ducky. The Squirrel.

I kid you not.

He's been visiting us every day on the porch. It turns out he likes cereal. And responds to commands such as Get Out, Come Get Some Cereal and I Don't Think So, Bro. And my kids like him enough to name him after their favorite stuffed animals/lovey-things.

As long as he stays outside we shouldn't have any problems.



I had a squirrel in my house today. This squirrel to be precise.

The kids were asleep, the door to our porch was open and I was inside, sprawled on the sofa enjoying the breeze when I heard a little scurrying sound. I peeked around the arm of the couch and locked eyes with this brazen little dude who was chillin' in my kitchen, about three feet from me like, Oh, hello. Didn't see you there.

We stared at each other for a few seconds before I pointed at the door and yelled, "GET OUT!" He rolled his eyes at me and waddled back out the way he came. I grabbed my camera off the counter to get this picture of him on the porch.

Moments later I was walking past the door again and he was sitting there, looking in at me. Aren't you gonna invite me in?

"Dude, seriously, go," I mouthed through the glass.

"Fine. Whatever."

This is the most kick-ass squirrel I've ever met. I think I might leave him a bagel tonight.


and also, i can't figure out why iris smells like curry today.

I have a few more Oceanisms and, to keep it fair and balanced, we'll begin with an Irisism. (Oooh, that was very fun to type.)
Ocean woke up the other morning after Iris had already eaten her first breakfast. I asked Ocean if he wanted some breakfast, and asked Iris if she wanted to help me get it for him. She glared at me, popped her pacifier out of her mouth and, chucking it across the room, screamed, "I hungry too!"
Last night Ocean and I went to the store. When we got out of the car at home I had on my person three grocery bags, my keys, my purse and a collection of random cups and toys that had accumulated in my car. Ocean was holding a receipt and he tried handing it to me to carry for him. "Ocean, you need to carry it. I don't have any more hands," I said. "Ohhhhhhh," he replied knowingly. "Because the birds took them."
Ocean was getting dressed this morning and poked himself in the nipple.
Ocean: I have milk in my breasts to feed Iris.
Me: You don't really have breasts. You have a chest and those are your nipples.
Ocean: And they're full of PEE!
We were sitting on the porch today at lunch time with my friend Amber and her daughter. Phil stopped in for a bit and Ocean was showing him his game of throw the imaginary poopy diaper away. Ocean bumped his arm and said, "Crap! That hurt!" Phil just raised his eyebrow at me in disgust and judgment. All I'm gonna say to that is, people in crap houses full of crap shouldn't throw crap. In other words: pot, meet kettle. (But about 5 minutes later I'm reasonably certain that I accidentally taught Ocean how to deal drugs. So suddenly him saying "crap" doesn't seem so bad.)
And here's a special installment I'll call "I Never Envisioned Myself Saying This, Ever." :
"No, I don't want to smell it, Ocean. Especially if it's 'pppeeeeeeeeeyoooouuuu stinky.'"


march for babies

This Sunday I'm walking in the March of Dimes March For Babies on Nora and Ryan's team. I joined the team a month or so ago but because I'm the biggest procrastinator evah I'm just now posting it here.

I'm going to match donations up to a total of $200, so even if you can only give $5 it will really be like $10.

If you love babies, will you consider making a donation to our team? And if you don't love babies, there's something wrong with you. Seriously. But as a former baby, please consider giving anyway.

Thank you, friends.


hmmm... how to respond?

Gynocologist, after my annual exam: Nice to see you again.

Me: Uhhhhh...

chicago pics


laundry day

Note to self: When the baby eats lentils...

1. Put her in disposable diapers
2. Rinse the cloth diapers thoroughly before laundering
3. Prepare to pick legumes out of the washer all morning.



glutton for punishment

This is what Ocean and I do after the baby is in bed. I just don't know where all his energy comes from, especially at eight o'clock at night.


knock knock

Check out Iris's knock knock joke. And please ignore my messy messy kitchen.

how quickly we forget

I was cleaning out a drawer last night and I found a piece of paper with more Oceanisms from a few weeks ago. I had already forgotten most of them so I'm glad I wrote these down!

***Phil was missing a piece of his computer headset and asked Ocean if he had seen it. Ocean had shoved it into a tiny space somewhere and ran to go get it. Phil gave him a little lecture and Ocean responded with, "Daddy, calm down. Don't be sassy."

***Ocean was playing the "I have to go potty" game with me during nap one day. After the third time of crying wolf I sternly told him that was his last chance and he would just have to wait until he woke up to use the bathroom. He got an inch from my face and said, "You smell angry."

***Ocean and I were cuddling on the floor of his room and I was messing with his hair. He reached up and touched his head and, suddenly quite distressed, exclaimed, "Oh NO! My hair... it's... BLONDE!"

***I have a box of popsicles in the freezer that are reserved for hot days. Ocean is very cognizant of them and nonchalantly tries to finagle them for other occasions. On a particularly chilly day we were sitting on the couch under a blanket. "Whew. I'm hot." Ocean said, throwing the blanket off his lap. "Do you feel okay? Do you need me to turn on the fan?" I asked. "No," he said dramatically, wiping his brow with the back of his hand. "I need a popsicle."

***During a stressful attempt to enforce nap time (we seem to have a lot of those) Ocean raised his eyebrow at me and said, "This is a bad siesta."


chicago is a magical place.

Last weekend I went to Chicago to visit my best friend Lindsay for our birthday gift to ourselves/each other. It. Was. Fabulous.

My friend Jamie made me a mix CD for the trip so on Friday morning I fired that bad boy up, stopped for a super duper gigantic mocha and headed down I-94 with nary a car seat in sight. Ahhhh... freedom. I totally rocked out to Coldplay, Ingrid Michaelson, Barenaked Ladies, Brandi Carlisle and not one but TWO songs from the Once soundtrack for the entire 4 hour drive. Methinks Jamie nailed my taste in music.

I got to Lindsay's place where she was finishing her packing, and I got some play time in with Ayla, who covered me with stickers, and Annabelle... who took one look at me and immediately fell asleep sitting up in her high chair. I'm hella entertaining.

We took the train to our hotel, checked in and decided to do Michigan Ave. We stopped at the Bean and took pictures, because this is what you do when you go to Chicago. We totally lost track of time and had to book it back to our hotel to get ready for Second City. When Lindsay took off her jacket she had one of Ayla's stickers on her back which was freaking adorable. Miraculously we got to Second City early enough to get awesome seats and we straight up laughed for the entire two hour show. It was quite possibly the funniest thing I've ever seen. And let's just say I fed an olive covered with hummus to a woman dressed as a Russian gymnast as she walked across the bar at which I was sitting. You kinda had to be there.

After Second City and several drinks we went to this great little restaurant called Quartino for tapas and more drinks. It was at this point in the evening that I walked into a revolving door. Twice. It may have been Shiraz-related. Or it may have been klutz-related. Or a combination of the two. I'll let the maître d' be the judge.

On Saturday we had a spa day at Spa Space. Highly recommend it if you're ever in Chicago; Jerry did my massage and Camille did my facial and I wanted to stick both of them in my pocket and bring them home with me. Lindsay's wonderful husband brought us some lunch and some champagne, which we drank once we got back to our hotel. For dinner we went to Karyn's Cooked, which is a fabulous vegan restaurant. After dinner and of course more drinks we pretty much walked around looking for a building with a view of the city. We found a few options but all had crazy wait time so we opted to go back to our hotel. On the walk back we passed a homeless man who basically had the most hilarious quote of the entire weekend. Dude didn't even hit us up for cash... as we walked by him he just said, "Y'all could be jeans models. Both of ya."

We went to bed pretty much right away and woke up the next day, had breakfast and took the train back to Lindsay's house. After a quick walk to the popcorn store to get a bag of Chicago Mix for the family (and a separate bag for my drive home, which my family never knew existed until NOW) I said goodbye to my BFF and her beautiful family and headed back to Meeechigan.

I listened to my new Imogen Heap CD, which I picked up at Borders after the spa on Saturday, all the way home:
"Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth.
Mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut-outs.
Speak no feeling, no I don't believe you.
You don't care a bit. You don't care a bit."

Good stuff.

This was the most fun trip I've taken since our beach vacation last September. It had more to do with the company this time than the location... but the location was pretty sweet too. Linds has the photos and as soon as I snag them from her I'll be sure to post them. I just wish I had a picture of the revolving door incident(s).

Thank you again, Linds, for an awesome weekend! And you really could be a jeans model.

happy easter

This picture is totally unrelated to the resurrection but it's hilarious.

Those are not her Thomas the Train underpants, obviously, but she sure does know how to rock 'em.

And here's Ocean telling a story. He likes to "read" from his hands while he makes it up.