who's bad?

I almost love this photo of us. I say almost because I did that dumb hand under the belly thing us prego ladies always tend to do. I know why we do it. We want that clear distinction that there is another kid in the shot. Here he is! We also want to show the round shape of the belly instead of looking like we are wearing a tent 13 people could hide underneath. We think it's more flattering in the heat of the moment, but it is not.

The problem with this pose: it's not a natural place to put your hand when you are not pregnant. It draws the focal point of the shot to the last place we want attention: below the belly.

Yeah, it's basically looking like a Michael Jackson crotch grab.
I can see myself looking through a photo album with my children years from now.
Yes... and this is where mommy is doing the crotch grab in front of the temple.


"Did we have peaches for breakfast?"

I have a master list of things to do before #2 shoots into our lives. Set up the crib, wash baby clothing, get diapers, tour the hospital, etc. I did not expect to cover one of those items at 3am this morning.

6 contractions within an hour and off I go to see the maternity ward in my new town's hospital. They are not painful and I hear it is a common experience, so I am only partially worried. I check myself in and get wheeled to the proper floor. That feeling of uncertainty turns my face flush as I roll down sterile hallways that echo squeaky shoes from a sweet nurse pushing me along.

I get a magnificent room, a delivery room, and put on that little gown that was so familiar and about 3 years ago. This brings back a lot of memories of a process that isn't the most comfortable of experiences. I am sure this is not that day, but it is closer than I care to think about. My stomach flips and I take a deep breath.

Situated in the bed with wires and monitors and a thin sheet, I wish for my bed. I want to be back at home nestled in my blanket, touching feet with my husband just as our toddler sneaks in next to me at 5am.

They catch a few small contractions over the period of about 3 hours on their graphs and send me on my way. A long morning with no sleep and no answers, just a routine part of the Mommy Pregnancy Game. My chips are different this time and I don't remember how to play, so I will just drink more water and keep bluffing. Pretending to know how it's all going to go down, trying to remember all the rules I memorized last time around.

I get back into my own bed and have a sense of calm that my womb is still a safe place. After My Hero feeds our Piranha breakfast so I can rest, I hear little feet stomp back into the room. The door flies open like a hurricane bursting through. I hear him whisper "tip toe, tip toe, tip toe". He butts my head climbing into bed, such a bull in a china shop. The cold, peach pulp remains on his cheek press against my forehead. I smile at the whiff of fresh summer fruit his breath expels. His sticky hands pull up the covers and we snuggle close.

All my boys are safe today, they are all here and well.



I am not a big shoe person. I can wear a pair I really, really love for years and not think much about it. I think if I was a man I would have a larger shoe selection, I always find tons I adore in any shoe store. Here is a shoe I would have if I was a boy.These next ones are unisex and I was smitten with them in person. Specifically the brown ones with yellow laces. Something about colorful laces appeals to me. These would be awesome in the fall with a nice pair of casually loose jeans; just a little bit of the laces peeking out. Those are by Fluevog, the next ones are London Fly.

And of course in the skate selection how could I miss:


girls girls girls

Brooke made my day a while ago and nominated me for a thinking blog award. Part of that nomination requested that I post blogs that make me think. I will get to the list, hang on until the end of the post.....

Improving is one of the things in my life that inspires me. I have been thinking about my character lately and what I want to work on to be a better me. Part of that process includes remembering past weaknesses I have worked on so I can celebrate how far I have come.

5 or so years ago I had a really hard time making and keeping girl friends. It took me time to realize why this was so. It also took me time to realize I like having friends, so I needed to change.

I used to think I had to be good at everything, but more importantly....the best. If someone was really good at something- I dunno- say knitting, I didn't think we could be friends if it was a skill I lacked. And I would be jealous I did not posess that talent and find things about her that were imperfect, giving off negative vibes left and right. I was too uncomfortable with who I was to truly celebrate the talents and embrace the beauty of what makes the other person who she was. I was unaware of my own talents and thought they had to match/ surpass those of everyone else I met to be worthy of friendship. It was a lonely and unhappy way of thinking.

I decided to stop looking at my deficiencies compared to others. I ended the comparing, taking notes, and feeling low. I started really evaluating who I was, what I liked to do, and what I was good at. I learned to be comfortable with these gifts I was blessed with, even if they might not be the norm or what other people would desire. I started to realize they are gifts that might not put me on a stage and earn lots of money, but might be gifts that help other people. They make me who I am and they were given to me for special purposes in my life unique to me and my path. And it might not be a super long list, but they are solid items I can be happy about while also striving to develope others. It makes it okay to be not as good at certain things, and even okay if someone else is better.

Once I knew this about myself, I started seeing other people with clear vision. I was so happy to meet someone who was an expert at something I would never think of trying to do. I genuinely started to enjoy every little detail I would learn about what ingredients made up the people I would meet. I loved how different my new friends were and got to learn from them, appreciate their skills, and just love them.

So...as many of them have started to blog, I get to see their personalities and talents unfold unto the public. I am proud to know each of them and their personal buckets of blessings they were born with and developed in their lives. They are all so unique, awesome and beautiful and still get to inspire me at a distance with their blogs. I am so glad I was the better me when I bumped into them so I could appreciate them.

Lindsey She really should have a cooking show, cook books, and a cafe to share her mad cooking/ baking skillz. Her photographs and awesome writing voice would add much to her success.

Kristy I don't think there is a friend I laugh more with. Oh and the jewelry the girl can make...

Gabby Innovative and creative beyond imaginable combines with specific and unique style.

Adriana Amazing writer, deep thinker. As for cooking, Mike is still talking about a meal she made (fish stir fry) 5 years ago.

Liz M So fair, will never let conversation turn to gossip and always has fun mommy tips. Oh yeah, the bargain hunter- the girl really does love a good deal.

Laura F Always so positive and a total babe! She so inspires me to work harder at being fit. So stoked for her new, very own business.

Erin S She is always so calm and another great one at cooking/ baking. I love how involved she is in music and aspiring to make a family band. If a human could be a mermaid it would be her.

Laura B Thoroughly dove into parenthood with a giant love for teaching her kids and loving it. I enjoy following her preschool site to help me with ideas for Zane.

Sara Hilarious! Such a way with words, getting to know her better through her blog has been entertaining.

Lisa Her passion for fitness and athleticism reminds me of that piece of me I ignore sometimes. Love her flare for music and zest for travel.

Jenni When she arrives at a party, everyone greets her and whatever she brought equally. Everything she touches related to food turns to edible gold. She has a way for handling things well and reminds me of Snow White. I survived Mike's MBA and a new baby because of her advice/ example (she did it with more kids).

Joanie So bright and funny and real. I love how conversations take different turns and how she sees things from a different angle.

Erin W Someone once called her 'such a cherub' and I can't summarize her any better. Such a spiritual light, but also wildy sarcastic.

Audrey Funny and sociable, no way it's going to be an awkward gathering if Audrey is there! Another great cook, I still have tons of recipes from her I am intimidated to make.

Kathryn I wrote a whole post about this lovely friend here; so genuine and generous.

Denise She said once in comments she would be a great pioneer woman. It is so true, I love that she knows that about herself. She would do anything for anyone.

Amanda The singing voice of a magical bird, her children are so lucky to have her lullabies.

Tania You know she has thoroughly researched something when she makes a decision, so you can skip that process and call her for advice on anything under the sun.

Alysha I stopped wondering where all these different outfits were coming from and quickly learned she was WAY ahead of the fashion trends, over it, and on to the next before I even knew what was going on. I really think she should be a celebrity stylist.

Thoughtful Package

My new neighbors across the street got this month's thoughtful package. I lined the paper bag with a plastic loot bag leftover from an old kid party and filled it to the brim with chocolate chip cookies. I put our names and phone number on the card. That's about as crafty as I get on the fly.


Good Charlotte

During recess in 3rd grade I tried to follow a boy I had a crush on into the bathroom. I am not sure why I did it, I just wanted his attention. I wasn't really aware or interested in what goes on inside the boy's bathroom and how their anatomy is different. I was just boy crazy and that makes a girl, even at that age, not able to think for moments at a time.

A teacher caught me and I had to sit against the wall for a week during recess. It also meant I would not be able to participate in the monthly 'fun' activity. It was just a dumb movie and popcorn so I wasn't that upset about it. If it was a pizza party, I imagine I would have found a way to get out of the punishment.

The movie I missed was Charlotte's Web, but I finally saw it for the first time this weekend. I loved it. My favorite part was when they just get to the fair and Charlotte is sizing up the giant pig in the stall next to Wilbur. It is a much larger pig and is more likely to win first place instead of Wilbur.

"Should I worry?" he asks.

"Of course not," the spider calmly responds, "what good would that do?"

I am totally adopting that logic.

Charlotte, you rock.
I wish I knew you in 3rd grade,

I could have used that advice all these years!


Rule of 85%

When I was once learning about Time Management during college and work days, a wise manager told me to only schedule 85% of my day as there will always be things that come up I will not be able to plan for.

I did not take that advice today. I scheduled every single hour of the day. That made for a crabby, non-flexible mommy. And a little boy who had a crap day.

I did get the bulk of the things on my list done within the timetables I planned, but reflecting back I would have changed things first thing this morning and scheduled less.

I'm enjoying the gift of hindsight. It will make tomorrow's decisions and attitudes a lot better.


I also remember working with a dysfunctional team to identify ways they could be more cohesive. One of the questions designed in the Team Evaluation Process asked what the team did for fun. I thought it was an odd question until I found no one on the team had an answer for that question. I also realized the more successful teams in the company knew one another pretty well and got together for lunches or something other than work on a regular basis.

Some weeks I look at the calendar and ask myself what I scheduled with my family (and son) for fun. Those things are as important as the mundane errands and meals I never forget to plan and execute.

Tomorrow's priority will be fun; I will build a schedule that allows for it.


of goldfish and fishnets

I often hope that because I had my own little career I will be able to relate a little better to the office politics and hours my husband puts in. I will appreciate that meeting scheduled for 4pm because I had plenty of those that meant deadlines and getting home at 8pm that night. I totally remember that life, working hard to build/ keep your reputation and to get things done. To not be the guy they all complained about at review time who left at 5pm every day and took too long to return emails or voicemails. The guy who didn't balance it well and never got promoted. Never wanted to be that guy, nor married to that guy.

And even though I twirled with the corporate dance, I still have blank moments as a housewife when it's all faded and gone from my memory. Moments when I am in the middle of a phone conversation telling my husband about how I burned the grilled cheese when he suddenly has to go. Even though I know logically he truly does have a meeting in 2 minutes or his boss has walked into his office and is giving him the stare-down to drop what you are doing to converse now, my mind ignores the logic.

The quick 'have to go' always leaves me hanging with wild imaginations. I sit on the couch with a dead phone and imagine what must really be going on in that office. I think just then the office stripper makes her rounds to offer free lap dances for all high performing workers. She is given strict direction to bypass the slackers sitting on the phone. It's like the rule of sleeping the night of Christmas Eve, you didn't want to be passed up.

Yeah, so each abruptly ended phone call leaves me seeing the same long-legged Playboy Bunny strutting through his office as he staightens up in his seat, sneakily placing the phone down. She always wears fishnet stockings, red lipstick and really bouncy, blonde curls.

Sometimes being a housewife can make you a little, oh......shall I say CRAZY?


Sometimes I have feelings or thoughts about something I need to not write about here. Especially when it's about someone else's life that doesn't directly affect me, but still evokes much of my thought and contemplation. While writing usually helps me sort through where I am with a concept and I move on without too much more consideration, I still need to filter myself in this public space.

So some days it's better for me to not post because my mind is filled to the brim with someone else's life. Some days it's better to look at old pictures, and those I can always share!

So cheers to that messy day in the winter of 2006. A day when we played spaghettiO's peek-a-boo and stayed inside all cozy and warm. I am glad I photographed those days, even if the clock seemed to be on slow motion and it was such a regular day. I love looking back on what a regular day used to be and how the simplest new tricks emerged daily from this little, silent character.


It's fun to have kids!

You get to take silly pictures of them while they sleep.


watch out here she comes

I must have cursed myself when I wrote about my recent joy and love for my ladies, because I have become the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Mom. Just imagine what that character would be if it was female. Simply insert 2 of his heads right under the cute little neckerchief. If only I could be a Fembot version and the girl parts could expel marshmallows to reduce their puffery. Or perhaps there could be a team of Boob Busters so these parts of me would not take over a city. It's getting to be a bit much. And it's not over, there is more to come. We should all be scared.
It's really like shopping for jeans when looking for something to contain the third trimester bosoms. In and out of 4 stores that cannot help me. It's not like I am looking for three-legged pantyhose people! I just need a freaking bra, ONE BRA. In desperation of a quick pick-me-up I stopped by a make-up counter for a new pressed powder. Maybe I can put more effort into dressing my face to take my attention away from The Blobs. Maybe it would help me forget these two whom have consumed what was left of my torso.
I stepped into the last fitting room of the day, 6 hopefuls in hand. Not. A. Single. One. Would. Do. I let the tears of frustration and fatigue drop onto the wobbly shelf below and broke out my new pressed powder before facing the long, poorly supported walk back to my car. Naturally, I passed dozens of teenage, happy B cups taunting me.



So we choose the Telegraph exit off the 24 and fumble right into a Buffalo Exchange. We continue on and see a girl with long dreadlocks riding a bike with a basket on the front. She passes a Whole Foods that tries to mask itself as a less commercial hub with trees covering the sign and rainbow murals painted on the windows. Not like the starchy one in my 'burbs filled with high-end SUVs.

The run-down shops rub shoulders with the trendy ones. Homeless loitering, crazies pacing with cigarettes, hippies smiling, normals walking, college kids talking, and us. It's a nice mixture of nothing you could put your finger on. It reminds me of a cross between my old college town in Tempe, AZ (before Hooters, etc. moved in) and Park Slope, Brooklyn (minus the yuppies and light on the lesbians). The place has character and a lot of restaurants you probably could not find anywhere else (but Chipotle, which is forgivable). I will probably skip Fat Slice next time and try something better.

I move the car as DHC spins into the air and out my open window; one of the replacement CDs I just bought at Amoeba. Funny, this band began on these very streets. I always wondered what the scene was like when Tim Armstrong approached Elyse, sitting on a curb outside of campus, and asked her if she could sing. She would sing in this band he would put together, but not be part of. I was parking among such curbs. An ironic moment that makes me smile. Fair trade for never going to CBGB's before it closed down.

Another Amoeba and a pause in Rasputin, essential pit stops on our path. 'Is there a Cocteau Twins fan in the house?' a dull voice spews into the intercom as I pass the LPs. Another bright stitch woven into a feeling of community I sense in corners of every shop and nestled in each crack of the sidewalk. I want to park the stroller in a corner and start to knit a scarf, I just know someone would bring be a cup of warm tea. But I would prefer brownies because! of! the! sciatica!

Then there is the campus at the end of the street. It is like walking on coveted territory. I feel more intelligent just taking space on the perfect rows of brick while passing grand, unique buildings. It makes me wish I had not leaned on such a typical, easy college plan for myself.

Of the many sites explored this week with visitor #1 of many for the summer, this was my favorite day. As for those sea otters and Pier 39, although a necessary stop for the first-time visitor, I might have to bring forks to stab my eyes out upon each repeat trip. It's the new Empire State Building in my life.


we finally meet

I finally made the effort to step inside the doors of Amoeba this week. I knew from the bricks and mortar it held much excitement. I got a parking spot right out front of the neighboring McDonald's where many angry bums loitered. Not quite the crowd I am used to seeing outside of music stores, but I was not deterred. Fed the meter, strapped the whiny boy into the stroller, adjusted my maternity skirt and went in.

We were met with the traditional bag check-in, only it was a major operation manned with at least 4 guys. All of which had tattoos that immediately reminded me I am missing out on some good concerts this summer.

The Peg Perego led my way, pulling me down a ramp into the arms of magnificent rows of used CDS for $3. They were not in order and someone was wiggling the more I stood in one spot. I strolled along, completely aware we were the only wheels in the joint. The girl with black, thick bangs and lots of black eye liner smirked at my son. That made me feel less clumsy as I knocked into people making my way to the imports.

It's exactly as I hoped, but better. Rolling along ROCK labeled rows I found bands I forgot I loved, new ones I have vaguely heard of, and only a few I despise. I took a moment to flip through the ones I know and found pleasure discovering Ivy has 2 CDS I don't own; I never knew those existed.

I could really spend a lot of money in a place like this. It's a collector's paradise. A million little treasures of hidden happiness someone took a moment to order one day knowing someone like me would pick up and appreciate it's rarity, lack of availability. Even though I don't purchase them, I am satisfied to know where to go when I have a specific list. It's like knowing where to find an old friend you really miss. Stickers on cases that read "no longer in print" indicate this is the Mother of All Music Stores. I have not been fully smitten by San Francisco, but I am head over heels for this store and all it contains. It's really deserving of a kid-free trip so I can have proper perusing.

I replace two CDs: one a roommate stole and one my son broke in half.
I put the new releases back on the shelf, I can find those anywhere.
They were not worthy of The First Amoeba Purchase Experience.