Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The long awaited, much anticipated....

Lola Malizia 001 copy.jpg

Lola, you're here!
I don't know all of the details yet, but Aunt Julie sent out this gorgeous photo of you and broke the news. Thanks Julie. I've never been so happy to read an email.

Lola, you are just beautiful.

Congratulations Kelly and Joel.
We love you.

Monday, June 18, 2007

3 More Days

Dual demonstration of the inherent nostril flare.
Three more days until we move.
It's happening again.
I'm freaking out.

But, I'm not going to talk about it anymore.

Things are starting to look bare around here. Our voices are echoing louder now that the walls have been stripped. And if I bump into another box tower in the morning I am going to scream. I just want them all out. I can't stand the clutter and I hate the anticipation. I want it done. As soon as we get the keys to the new house I'm taking over a load of boxes.

I wish we had enough money to hire movers. Ah, the joys of being rich....

I'm having dreams of decorating the new place. It's always fun to decorate. It'll be interesting to see what our new style ends up being. Mod will have to go. I just don't know what the replacement will be.

Every day I ask Audrey if she wants to move into a new house. "Yes" is always the answer. That's good. I don't know how else to prepare her except talk about it a little bit each day.
We've decided to let her say goodbye to the old house before we move out and have the new house somewhat put together before she arrives. Most of her room is already packed away. I just don't want her to see it completely empty.

Plus, I don't want her around when I burst into tears because everything, suddenly, becomes so real.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

The Daddy...

You are a better father than I ever imagined you would be. You are good at so many things, but at being a father, you rock. Watching you with Audrey brings me so much joy. She adores you. I do too. We have the family I have always wanted.

Thank you.

my man, he's wild.
  1. You're not afraid to change a diaper and often volunteer to do so.
  2. There's not a day that goes by that you don't hug, kiss and tell your daughter that you love her.
  3. You pick boogers.
  4. You clean up poop from the bathtub.
  5. You tickle.
  6. You dress her in the funniest outfits.
  7. You hold her hand.
  8. You'll do anything to make her laugh.
  9. You rock her for hours.
  10. You don't hesitate to jump into a laundry basket at your daughter's command.
  11. Mornings are Father-Daughter Time.
  12. You go down the slide together.
  13. You'd let her eat Cheerios for every meal.
  14. You even do her hair.
  15. You'll do anything to stop her from crying.
  16. You tell me each day that you don't know what you would do without her.
  17. I don't either.
Happy Father's Day

step on a crack, break your mama's back

!kiss attack!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Great Advice

Good Advice
Poem: "Advice to Myself" by Louise Erdrich, from Original Fire: Selected and New Poems. © Harper Collins Publishers, 2003.

Advice to Myself

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.

Perfect timing to stumble across this poem. I love it.
Happy Friday everyone.
Pursue the authentic this weekend.

Some of you should be getting some mail from me. It's long overdue.
I have launched my photography business. The website is still on hold until I can get the funds. But, the promotional materials are in the mail! Whoo Hoo!

If you'd like the materials and you don't think you're on my mailing list already...leave me a comment and I'll shoot you an email, gladly.

6 more days until relocation. Yikes.

Thursday, June 14, 2007



Before Bed:
(Tim is sleeping and I tap him on the shoulder.)
Me: "You know how people say that the reasons you fall in love with someone are usually the exact reasons you end up hating someone?"
Tim: "Yeah?"
Me: "So, what do you hate about me?"
Tim: "I don't hate you."
Me: "Okay, well, what made you fall in love with me?"
Tim: "You were strong and independent. You weren't like other girls. You could do anything. You're good at everything."
Me: "So, you hate me because I'm smart?"
Tim: "I don't hate you."
Me: "You hate that I'm a nag. I know that."
Tim: "Yeah, you nag, but you're usually right."
Me: !!!! (Hallelujahs in my head.... but nothing coming out of my mouth.)

I'm just tucking that one away for when I really need it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Making Her Mark

Every box has her mark.
At first, she grabbed the Sharpie. She probably would've been fine, it just made me a little nervous. So, we switched to the washable marker.
She made sure her mark was on every box.
Now, if she could just lift them and move them to the truck...

Monday, June 11, 2007

25 Months- a day early.

Surely, Shirley Temple picked her nose too.

No matter how consumed I become with stress and anxiety, the minute I glance in your direction I breathe more deeply and more confidently. As long as I have you, my world will be brighter. I keep telling myself it will all work out, everything will be okay and when I look at you, I actually believe it.
I'm hoping that the next few weeks will not be too hard on you. This is the only home you've known. I'm sure there will be an adjustment period, but we'll get through it. You are extremely resilient. You don't seem to mind the state of disarray around here, or the growing towers of hastily labeled boxes. It's funny to think that you won't have memories of this place. You'll only have pictures.
Speaking of pictures, here's one for the baby book:

<span class=
I mentioned that Audrey is now terrified of her own pee. This is her solution.

It started about 4 days ago. I had put some big girl panties on her and told her she could have a tattoo if she peed in the potty! She was excited. I was excited. Tim was excited.
Well, about 20 minutes pass and we hear an ear-piercing scream from Audrey's bedroom. I rush in to see what has fallen on her. She's standing there, screaming her head off, legs straddled around a puddle of pee. She was terrified. She didn't stop screaming until she was safely in the tub. Tim, he's awesome, he just kept saying, "It's okay honey, it's just a little pee. It's just a little pee." I couldn't stop laughing. I was so relieved that she wasn't hurt.
So, needless to say she hates big girl panties now. She continues to straddle her diaper and cry every time she pees.

Audrey, we're either getting closer to being potty trained or this is a huge setback. I'm not sure which. Either way, it sure is funny to watch you waddle around bow-legged in a pee pee diaper. I'd video tape it if I hadn't packed the camera away.

Go Midwest!

<span class=

Meeting someone for the first time is always awkward. Meeting someone off the internet is doubly so. When you meet someone in person you automatically size them up without even realizing it. You listen to their voice, observe to little twitches in their facial expressions, and read their body language. You can immediately get a good sense of what they're like. When you meet someone online you don't have any of that information. You have their written thoughts and that's about it. It can be rather intimidating.
Luckily, when OH, THE JOYS prefaced our meeting by saying I had nothing to fear, she was right.
Still, I was a little nervous about meeting her. After all, she's like famous in Blogland. What would we talk about?
Of course we talked about the kids, our jobs, husbands, but sometime right before we ordered food, we discovered that I was from Indiana and she was from Illinois. We both simultaneous threw up our fist in a very proud manner and said, "Go Midwest!" At that point, I was no longer nervous and very glad we'd met for lunch (although I had breakfast).
It's amazing to think about how many times we must have brushed shoulders or crossed paths without even realizing it.
The internet is crazy, but I love it. I'm all about personal contact and interaction, so much so that I remember saying years ago, "I'll never get internet service or own a cell phone. Technology is ruining the world." I still believe that...somewhat. But, I've also learned that the internet can be a catalyst for making friendships and reaching out in ways you could never do otherwise.
Oh, and for the record, yes. She is as funny in person as she is in print.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Biscuits are Calling!

Moon Bros Architects
I think every relative has called today to see if they could hijack my baby. No way! Saturdays are our most favorites days.

This morning Audrey lay in bed with us and the first words out of her mouth were, "I play basketball, Momma!" Shocked, I said, "In your dreams? You played basketball?" and she said, "Yeah." Then, she toddled off to go get her grocery cart. We don't ever watch sports, let alone the TV. Where did she get such a crazy thought? Who has she even seen play basketball? She is a giant baby. Maybe it was a premonition.

A Saturday morning ritual is breakfast at our favorite little joint. We were a little late this morning, so the parking lot was unusually full. Tim said, "I can park right here, can't I?" (A spot over from the dumpster.) I said, "I think you're fine."
Tim: (In a saucy voice) "I know I'm fine. Thank you very much!"
We get out , Tim looks down and his face becomes a little unsure, "Well, it's on a yellow line."
I look down. The line is yellow on my side too. We both look up, scan the parking lot and laugh. They are all yellow lines! Audrey grabs my hand and says, "I wanna eat a biscuit."
Okay then!

Once inside, while waiting for our food, I grace the bills with stamps. (Yes, I know we're the only ones left that actually write checks these days.) Anyway, I was writing the return address on the envelopes and Tim says, "Hey, didn't you clean out the postcard holder?"
"Well, didn't you find some address labels in there?"
"Yeah. I threw them away."
"WHY? We could use those! You wouldn't have to write out our address."
I stare at him for a moment. (You see? The absent-mindedness is going around.)
Finally, it hits him. "Oh yeah, we're moving."
We laugh again and I point out that he has it, too. His response is that we both just have too much on our minds lately.
I'll say!

Oh, did I tell you that I finally got to meet OH, THE JOYS! ??? More about that later.
Also, Audrey is scared of her own pee.

Friday, June 08, 2007

More of the Absent-Mindedness

Bagel, anyone?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

And so it begins...

And it begins...
Well, I packed 6 boxes this afternoon and then had to stop for crying. What the hell is wrong with me?
We don't even know if we have the house definitely, or not. We could be homeless! (Drama Queen)
So, I abandoned packing and found comfort on the internet. I returned some emails, processed a photo order, Flickred and read some blogs (which resulted in crying.)
I am a mess. I think I am just a ball of emotion right now. I never realized what a Security Freak I am. I can't deal with everything being up in the air.

I was at the dentist's office the other day, thinking about nothing but moving and stressing over money. I picked up the March issue of Real Simple. I absent-mindedly flipped through the pages while pondering over storage space. We'll have to buy large armoires for every room. How can we afford that? I flipped another page and saw a photograph of a jar full of change. The title: "What's the most surprising financial advice you've ever received?"
I was meant to pick up that magazine. I was fated to read that article. I even felt a little calmer and more positive. I did feel a little guilty walking out of the office with it though.

Here were some of the more creative bits of advice (paraphrased)-
  • Each time you are intimate with your spouse, put a dollar in a small box by the bed. By the time you've been married 20 years, you can take that luxury vacation you've always dreamed about.
  • Live on cash only.
  • Spend extra money on making memories, not on material things.
  • If money is your only problem, it's not a problem, just an inconvenience.
  • Marry rich.
Okay, if Tim and I tried that first one, we'd only be saving like $2 a month. All the more reason to try it, right?
The second one? That one I totally aspire to. Tim and I have already decided it will happen.
The next two hit home. I want to live by those words. I want to internalize them, make them mine. A simpler life- that's what I want.
The last one, that's just funny.

Moving reminds me of the day my family and I left our childhood home in Indiana. My little sister and I were in the back seat with a parakeet between us. My father put the car into gear and started to back out of the driveway. At that moment, my mother sobbed in a way I'd never heard before.
I didn't understand that feeling until today. It's not only this house that I'm leaving behind. It's six years of memories. It's baby feet timidly climbing up the stairs. It's the familiar sound of the toilet filling or the crickets chirping. It's the window seat where I've always changed Audrey's diaper. It's the bedroom floor where I slipped and laughed which ended a heated argument between Tim and I. It's the backyard where many friends have joined us in building bonfires. It's the window, to my left, that I've stared out of for so many hours. It's so many things.

Two things happened this afternoon that made it alright to begin packing again.
  1. Audrey, after walking in from day care said, "Where all the phones go?" I said, "They are packed in that box. Right there." And then she said, "We're moving to a new house!"
  2. The lyrics of a Cat Power song: "What comes is better than what came before."
Side note:
While packing tonight, Audrey kept getting in the way. Tim got very frustrated and said, "Audrey, you're driving me nuts." In her attempt to repeat it (as she repeats everything these days) she said, "It's driving in my nuts!"
This came a week after she told her daddy, "My penis hurts."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Twice in One Day!

I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning.
(Backyard. Taken at 2:30am this morning, b/c I couldn't sleep. See number 5 below.)

Hello again.

I'm sad. The appraiser just left our house. I have been so busy that I've put off thoughts of moving. We are m-o-v-i-n-g. We really are. And I'm sad. I'll miss this house. It was our first home and we'll have been here 6 years. I single-handedly redid the master bath, just like I wanted it. Tim has painted every room. (Including three that are almost exactly the same color b/c he can't go to Home Depot without grabbing the same paint chip. That's another story.) Everything matches. Everything has it's place. This is home. Now, we get to start over.

I know. I know. I was the one that stuck the sign in the yard, but damn. I didn't think it would sell that fast. I have been ignoring the fact that we have to pack up an entire house in a matter of two weeks. I'm also not willing to fathom how we're going to fit all of our stuff in a much smaller house that we're going to be paying a lot more for. Who said life gets easier?
At least we'll be able to walk Audrey to school. I won't have to worry about her getting beat up in the girls' bathroom either. Oh, and most importantly, we'll have neighbors that have kids!
Needless to say, the move is for the better. I just can't bring myself to get excited about it, yet.

I have about 10 boxes that I brought home from school. Those? They won't even take care of my closet. Downsize. Minimize. Hello, Yard Sale!

I'm writing this post while taking a break from cleaning and organizing. (Again, just refusing to start boxing up the past six years of my life!) Anyway, I was working up a sweat. And then I started thinking, "I just had my period two weeks early. Now I'm sweating. Is it really hot in here or is it just me? Wait. Yesterday I started sweating after one cup of coffee. What's wrong with me? Oh, no. What are the signs of menopause? Could I be.....nah. Shit. I'd better look it up."
So, I googled it. Here, for your entertainment. After reading them, yes, I think I exhibit every one of these symptoms. See? I just talked myself into menopause. I'm going through menopause. I can't pack!!!

The 35 Symptoms of Menopause

This list of common symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause was developed from the real-life experiences of hundreds of women. All symptoms were experienced by numerous women and were either cyclical in nature, or responded to treatments (both traditional and alternative) known to address hormonal imbalances.

Click HERE for the credits to the women who developed this list.

  1. Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling (see note)
  2. Irregular heart beat
  3. Irritability
  4. Mood swings, sudden tears
  5. Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
  6. Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
  7. Loss of libido (see note)
  8. Dry vagina (see note)
  9. Crashing fatigue
  10. Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
  11. Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom (see note)
  12. Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
  13. Disturbing memory lapses
  14. Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence (see note)
  15. Itchy, crawly skin (see note)
  16. Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons (see note)
  17. Increased tension in muscles
  18. Breast tenderness
  19. Headache change: increase or decrease
  20. Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
  21. Sudden bouts of bloat
  22. Depression (see note)
  23. Exacerbation of existing conditions
  24. Increase in allergies
  25. Weight gain (see note)
  26. Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
  27. Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
  28. Changes in body odor
  29. Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head (see note)
  30. Tingling in the extremities (see note)
  31. Gum problems, increased bleeding
  32. Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
  33. Osteoporosis (after several years)
  34. Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
  35. Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, 'whooshing,' buzzing etc. (see note)

Last Night at Dinner

Trying to tell a story:

Me: So, this guy was in front of me at the post office. He was having a hard time explaining what he wanted. He didn't speak well English.

Our Friends plus Husband: Bah hahahahahahahahahahahaaaa! Bah hahahahahahahahaha!

Me: (Speaking quickly to try and cover it up and turning bright red.) I meant to say "...speak English well." I mean, "He didn't speak good English!", "His English wasn't good!", "You know what I mean!"

That should have been the end of the story.

Why do I bother?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I am no longer The Boss.

I don't really see the point. Do you?
(If she looks a little confused, she is. We never use the comb. I think she thought I was joking when I said, "It goes in your hair. Like this!")

This morning:
I am in bed, sleeping soundly. Tim has gotten Audrey out of bed and plopped her next to me. I feel her lean in near my face.

Audrey: Mommmmmma! (Pause.) Mommmmmmmmmy!
Me: Uh-huh? (Eyes still closed.)
Audrey: No. No say uh-huh. Say, "Yes, Audrey."
Me: (Laughing inside.)
Audrey: Mommmmma! (Pause.) Mommmmmmmmmmmmma!
Me: Yes, Audrey.
Audrey: Get up Momma. Get clothes on Momma. Get up now!

There is a new Boss in the house. The battle for power begins. I hope I have the strength.

Happy Birthday to the Funniest Man in the World aka my hubba hubba. He stayed home today. Yay!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Brotherly Love

Ballground, Georgia

I had the awesome opportunity to photograph three brothers. The youngest, nicknamed "The Trumpster" for his thick comb-over, being four months old.
I could have spent all day with these kids.
During the photo shoot, I spent most of my time trying to win over the one and a half year old. He was shy. I was just starting to get in good when he decided to take an afternoon nap. He's the one on the far right. See? He sort of gave me a smile there!
The oldest was so sweet and helpful. His mom told me that he spilled the beans about the surprise Father's Day photo shoot. Oops! His mom asked him if he'd told his daddy about the pictures. His reply was, "No way - I just told him your friend came over to take pictures of us for Father's Day. But, I didn't tell him what the pictures were of." His mom said, "He was so proud of himself!!"
As he should be. As far as he's concerned, he totally kept his end of the bargain.
Making the trek out to Ballground wasn't as awful as Lucy, their mom, made it out to be. It was gorgeous country- rolling hills, wild turkey, and a rustic downtown strip. It's good to know that you can drive just an hour out of Atlanta and be in the country. Did you know I'm a country girl at heart? That's right. I have an affinity for towns like Ballground. They take me back to my roots.
My favorite shot of the day was probably this one.
Snails and puppy dog tails, for sure!

Lucy, you have some amazing kids. Next time, I'll bring Audrey. She'd love to play in the dirt with them.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

River of Puke

Yes. That is what we've been swimming in.
I think everything I own has been doused with the vile liquid.
Poor Audrey.
And I really wanted to meet the House of Joy.
Something wonderful did come out of the sickness though. Audrey with glazed-over eyes, inbetween Ralph Machios, looked right at me and said, "You're a good mommy."
It doesn't get any more gratifying than that, folks.

We've been doing laundry all day. Tim's parents have just arrived to watch Audrey so that we can go out to dinner in celebration of Timmy's birthday.

Whoo Hoo! 32!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Together Again

...and the parents rested.
We had a visit with the Tennessee Dwellers. Actually, they are all asleep in the room across the hall as I type this.
I love seeing these girls together. It makes me sad and happy at the same time. Audrey doesn't play with anyone else quite like she plays with Bug. I only wish we were able to visit with them more frequently. I hope they remains friends for years upon years.
They walked and talked with each other long before they knew one another. They laughed and hugged each other several times before coming into the world. They knew were friends before they were born.
Together Again.
I am so thankful that I had a friend to be pregnant with. We often called each other for comparisions (before and after the babies), did some major maternity shopping, watched breast feeding videos and much more. I hate it that they are no longer right around the corner. On the other hand, it makes me much more appreciative of the time we do get to spend together.

As I watched the girls chase each other around the house, bounce while hysterically laughing in the crib, dance, eat side by side, swing on big girl swings, have their own conversations and fight over a book, I realized that nothing beats knowing and trusing someone for years.
You can have your arguments. You can have your own opinions. You don't have to like everything they do or say. The trick to being a best friend is to just be there.

Share experiences. Share thoughts. Share time. Share laughter and tears.
Holy crap! This is a hippie-fest!

I'm sorry. I just miss my friends and they haven't even left my house yet!