Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Before I was a mother

Christopher had his six month well baby check yesterday. He weighs 18 pounds, 13 ounces and is 28 inches long. He is a healthy happy baby.

I wrote about our visit on Deep South Moms.

"How do I read this again?"

The nurse at our pediatrician's office had turned away from the scale where my naked son lay to ask someone at the desk behind her how to figure out his weight. It wasn't a fancy scale. Just a normal move the weights into balance scale.

I flinched a little at her ignorance.

You can read the rest of the story here.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Was there a time you weren't here?

Six months. I feel as though we can finally do a little celebrating.

Nothing has been easy since Little Bird came to town. The first two months of his life were agonizing for me. I thought I had made a terrible mistake in becoming a mother. I couldn't feed him like I should. I couldn't get him to sleep like I should. I was bound to the house as though an ankle bracelet was hidden just under my sock.

Last week, he and I traveled across the country together. Just the two of us through airports and on planes.

That's saying a lot for someone who let a friend come over one day just to let the dogs out into the backyard. Because I could not leave my room. The walls would have crumbled in on me and the floors collapsed had I left my room with the baby.

But now we are mobile. Slings and Mei Tai and a Moby. We travel. We shop. We play. We walk. We sing. We dance.


I am no longer just I.

There is me, and I am still her, but there is us.

A family.

I've always wanted a family.

Little Bird. Christopher. Mr. Kickypants.

Thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for being my son.

I'm sorry that I fed you apples and filmed it for the world to see. That will happen though, you providing entertainment. You were so cute in your disgust; I just had to share.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The best day

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A little kindness goes a long way

Last year, I sat in the airport scanning the faces of women with laptops. Surely there was a way to tell if one of them was heading to BlogHer. I didn't get up the nerve to ask any of them like some people, but I was curious nonetheless.

This year, I did see a blogger on the plane from Atlanta to San Fransisco. One row up and on the opposite side of the plane sat Lawyer Mama. I made my way over to her aisle and leaned over the large man sitting beside her to tell her hello. At the time I felt a little rude, but after her post on flying etiquette, my guilt is assuaged.

She told me she was sharing a taxi into the city with her cousin (who I wish I could link to, but I can't find her). I had not traveled with a car seat, so I was going to take the BART. Stephanie offered and insisted to take my suitcase in the cab with them. I thought that I could handle it, but she was so kind to even think of asking; I let her. And man, was I glad I did. The hotel was several blocks UPhill from the BART station. I would have had a horrible time getting that suitcase up the hill while wearing Mr. Kickypants and also carrying the diaper bag and laptop bag.

I know she didn't think it to be a big deal, but I did. It was one of the kindest things anyone did for me all weekend.

That's the way I think of BlogHer. The kindness of strangers, who aren't really strangers because you either know them online or share enough in common that there is always a conversation to be had.

Someone else was above and beyond kind to me as well. Lara, who writes Notions of Identity, stepped into the pack of hyenas hungry to get their Zivio and got the rep to hurry one along for me. All because Christopher was getting really fussy in his sling, and I was having a hard time just holding a place in "line". It was a harsh crowd, and I was really getting swamped. Enough so that I had to turn around and tell some woman not to touch my child again and to stop pushing us. Ridiculous.

But in the midst of all of that was Lara. She probably didn't think it was a big deal either, but it was. She didn't know me, but she chose to help me. There isn't a lot of that mentality in the world. Those who have it still are true gems.

I didn't get many cards this year, probably because I didn't go but to two of the parties and didn't stay long. Knowing my mom and my son were back at the hotel made me want to get back there as soon as possible. A little linky love to those people I did get to meet and talk with even for just a minute. I enjoyed those minutes very much!

Andi at Poot and Cubby
Kat at LA Blogger Gal
Nina at Nina Moon
Leticia at Tech Savvy Mama
Lia at Freitas Family Follies
Kelcey at The Mama Bird Diaries
Becky at Miss Priss
Maggie at Magpie Musing

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why TNT isn't going to save the puppies

I came across some interesting comments yesterday while catching up on my blog reading. There were plenty of people talking about how they were avoiding Twitter or skipping posts that were about BlogHer because they weren't there and didn't want to hear about it. Some seemed to be saying it in a joking way, others not. You know how it's hard to tell sometimes what the intent is behind the written word.

What I found interesting was the sentiment that BlogHer was a giant waste of money, and if people had not gone, then poverty would have been eradicated. That all the money spent on parties and swag could have done so much good in the world were it not wasted on bloggers who wasted the money to go in the first place.

Of course the logic of this transfer of funds is quite faulty. To think that TNT would have sent several thousands of dollars to feed the children if we had all said NO to attending the party they sponsored is just cotton candy social justice. It wouldn't have happened.

They sponsored that party because they want people like me to tell you how much I like the show Saving Grace. And because they were so lovely and gave me some nail polish and a yummy sandwich, I'll oblige them. It's a good show, and I buy it off iTunes to watch because we don't have cable. End pitch.

It was tempting to leave a comment justifying my decision to attend the conference. Justifying the choice that I made with the money it took to attend. I didn't. And I won't attempt to justify it here either because it doesn't need justification.

Everyone has decisions to make with what they are given be it money, time, or talent. It's called stewardship.

We will never live in a world where people have the same amount of stuff. It doesn't work that way. We will not ever be equally beautiful. We will not ever be equally healthy. We will not ever be equally artistic. We will not ever be equally popular.

If people don't learn to be alright with that, then they are going to spend a lot of their lifetime being very bitter. If you ask me, that's a sad decision to make. But I'll respect it because I would like to have the same respect for mine.

My decision, by the way, is to continue supporting valuable organizations and people in need and attend conferences like BlogHer that enrich my life. Thankfully, good stewardship allows me to do both. For that, I am grateful.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Just to see you in the flesh

I don't quite fit in.

My mother agrees. Neither of us have ever quite fit into a group. We have friends, but not a group of friends. In fact, our friends tend to have their own groups, and then us. There must be some explanation for it.

It's not that I don't like my friends' friends. I do. They have lovely friends. It seems though, that I'm just not thought of in a group situation like that.

I'm not a joiner I guess. I don't get asked to join, and I don't seek out joining. I'm happy with my friends from all different groups. I wonder some times why I am that way, but I don't worry. Wonder, not worry.

This quirk of mine makes attending something like BlogHer a little tricky.

Last year, I let it stress me out. It bothered me that I didn't know where to sit for lunch because the 10 people I wanted to talk to were all at 10 different tables talking to several other women that I didn't really know. I didn't know how to handle it.

This year, I chose to not let it stress me out. I ran into people I knew and chatted with them when I could. I sat with people I didn't know and worked on getting to know them.

I chilled out.

It was so much better.

I think I had expectations last year that were unreasonable. I thought that these online relationships that I cherish so would blossom into real life relationships with honest to goodness friends who chat on the phone and what not.

Really, though, I don't think that is what BlogHer was all about. It didn't create stronger bonds with these women who I read and adore. It didn't turn my online friends into real life girlfriends like Susan.

What it did was give me an opportunity to simply bask in the realness of these women who are already an important part of my life.

I got to see Kristen's beautiful baby bump for myself.

I got to watch Slouching Mom hold my son and make him coo and giggle.

I got to skip a session with Kristie again.

I got to snark snark with my favorite angel, Mamma.

I got to share a smile in person with Jennifer who always makes me smile online.

I got to hug Jenny's neck and tell her I was so glad the seal lived.

I got to hang with a gaggle of DC Moms who I have fallen hard for because of their writing, but also because of their friendship with my friend.

I got to just mention to Amy that I saw her post about her flight and was sorry she had such a hard time. I didn't even need to introduce myself; it was just nice to say in person that I was glad she had made it.

I enjoyed just flitting around with Christopher, seeing whomever I happened to see.

I skipped a lot of the parties, wandered around alone a lot, and actually? Had a marvelous time, and am feeling quite recharged about blogging. I believe, that is the point of attending a conference in the long run, isn't it? The recharging?

Edited to add:
Once again, I hear in my head what I'm saying without having actually said it. My point should have been that getting to see the bloggers who I read and care about is a bonus. But blogging is an actual form of communication. I didn't start emailing personal notes to a bunch of people I met, nor did my phone bills go through the roof. I just kept blogging. Reading and writing.

So what I meant was that the friendships I've created have tended to stay online with the exception of getting to see people at BlogHer. Real life was just in contrast to online.

This of course does not apply to anyone whose house I have attended a BBQ at or whose daughter I have shared ice cream with.

I hope I got that right this time. I so loved seeing everyone. That is really the main point.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I have no idea what time it really is

Still here. San Fransisco is lovely of course. The weather is California perfect.

It's 7am and Christopher is in the middle of his morning nap. Because he woke up at 3:30am. Tomorrow, when our flight leaves at 6am, I will be glad that I stayed on Eastern time. Four hours ago, however, I was not enjoying it.

I have met some fabulous people and like last year, have a slew of new blogs to read and share here. And there are new ideas that are brewing in my mind. Things are exciting again, and that is the beauty of this conference.

For now though, I give you Mr. Kickypants in our new sling that was part of the amazing swag bag from the SVMoms Group. My stars, can those ladies get good stuff!

*Photo by Carla Duharte-Razura

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bye bye now

The bag is packed.

The baby is sleeping.

The phone is charging.

The alarm is set.

I'm headed to BlogHer in the morning, and I'm a little tired just thinking about the travel.

Maybe Mr. Kickypants, my momma, and I will see you there. If not, you will be missed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Shoo Shoo dee Boo

When I'm not busy being a slacker, I still manage to get a review up over at Props and Pans. You should go by and see what Christopher and I thought about his new pair of Shoo Shoos.

While you're there, you could enter to win a pair for your child.

Go ahead, I'll still be here when you get back.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Due over

A trip to the Farmer's Market.

Planting some mint for iced tea.

Practicing rolling on the deck.

An afternoon swim.

Eating peas for the first time.

These are the things I did with my son today. Things that I wouldn't have done if I hadn't lost the baby due on this day last year.

Amy said it very well yesterday.

For Carter and Christopher, we are very grateful.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Skipping the chit chat

I have a much different attitude about BlogHer this year. Last year, I considered myself a mere peon in the blogosphere. While I am still a mere peon, there are things I've realized over the past year that change my attitude about that peon status and how I will interact with people.

The fact is, most of us consider ourselves peons, and in numbers terminology, we are. I think that it's safe to say that most of the blogs I read get less than 500 hits a day. I know mine does. It gets around 100 per day. Of all the people reading blogs, that is a tiny tiny number. Of course, they are the 100 most intelligent, good looking people out there, but that's beside the point.

The next thing I've learned is that even bloggers who have hundreds or thousands of readers aren't any more confident in a real life situation than I am. Bloggers who I considered celebrities of sorts would have much preferred to be talked to like a friend last year.

The thing that has drawn me in about blogging is that you get to know people in depth. I've never been good at small talk. I would much prefer to sit down and have a real conversation with some one than to have to make chit chat. It doesn't matter if I've just met you, I want to talk with you. I want to feel like I know more about you at the end of a conversation. And that's what happens with blogging.

That very thing that I love about blogging makes meeting bloggers in real life a little daunting. Because chit chat is appropriate for a certain amount of time in real life. However, when you are meeting someone in person who's blog you've read, you know things about them that go far beyond chit chat. And if they haven't read your blog, then there's a disparity there.

I think though, that skipping a large part of the chit chat is just what I'll do this year. Last year, at one of the cocktail parties, I had a great conversation with Tanis. It was a situation where I read her blog and had laughed with her and cried with her - sobbed over my computer actually - reading about the death of her youngest son. When you have shared that with someone, it's hard to just stand there and talk about the weather. So we didn't. And it was comfortable.

It didn't happen that I made lots of new best friends that I talk to everyday and email all of the time. I still mainly keep up with people on their blogs and just see them in real life when I get the chance.

I think that is the part that I didn't quite understand before - real life is different than everyday life. Long distance relationships are hard to maintain. Blogging makes that easier though.

I'm excited about BlogHer. Both in SF and in Greensboro. Maybe even in DC. Because I know now that it's about meeting people, sharing ideas, and getting to share some of your own. And if you meet me there and want to skip the small talk and get to the skeletons, scars, and scrapes in my life?

Feel free. I'm looking forward to getting to know you.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Feeding baby Bird

Still loving the eating thing.

What I can't seem to find out is do I keep feeding him rice cereal after I start introducing vegetables? Do you keep adding to the diet or switch things off?

Just think of this as a reverse advice column. Instead of writing in for me to give you advice, I simply post my ignorance for all to see and solicit information from the masses.

Oh, and I finally remembered to put a bib on the little dude. Here he is sporting one from his Aunt Lorraine. He loves to eat his bibs almost as much as his cereal.

Shut up and file

Seriously. Just because I cannot for the life of me understand what you are trying to say to me in English doesn't mean that I don't know that you are ridiculing me to your fellow nail techs in Vietnamese.

And yet I tipped you anyway.

It wasn't even a fabulous pedicure. And the chair? Had a cue ball sized massage thing going on in my butt crack.

Next time? You had better offer me wine like the woman sitting next to me had. I don't care if it comes in a plastic cup or not.

I can certainly understand you when you say "white" or "red."

Calling all the locals

Did you know that BlogHer is coming to Greensboro in October?

Surely there are more than the two bloggers I know of in NC in order for BlogHer to deem Greensboro a logical stop.

Are you out there? Anyone?

Wanna go to Greensboro in October?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

How not to sell your house

I am not a Realtor. I might like to be someday, but right now, I'm not. I'm just a girl looking for a new house because my husband wants to move.

Here are some of the highlights of my search and some of the things I've learned. All of these photos are lifted right off the realty website. Some people might say I'm a thief. Cheater, cheater, sneaker.


I don't want to see pictures of your stuff. Like these. Here are some pictures of people's beds. Not their bedrooms, just the beds. I'm not buying your stuff. I want to see the house.

If a listing says "contemporary," it's wrong. Contemporary means about 30 years old. It means 1980's construction with lots and lots of wood, very little windows, and apparently, painting everything down to the basketball goal a monochromatic brown.

Just how many fake animals do you see in this room?

See this tiled countertop? The owners did this themselves. And it's covering up something much worse underneath. Cheap fix. Bad fix.

Then there are the pictures that make you think, "If this is what was worth showing, I hate to see what wasn't worth showing." For example:

And the are pictures that you just don't even know what they are:

But my favorite is this house. The one that comes with the old people. And their dog.

Who took that picture and thought it was a good idea?

There could be a whole other blog just for totally bad real estate listings. I see a new project in the making.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It's a full moon where I live today

All I have to say is that it's a good thing I was wearing my Snoopy panties today. The ones with "Snoopy" in bubble letters across my behind. The ones I could have tossed out after I turned 30.

It's a good thing. Because otherwise I might have been desperately embarrassed upon finding out I was walking through Kroger (I really have to stay out of that store) with my little gray skirt tucked into the back of them.

But I did have on my Snoopy panties. So that made it all good.

I was wondering why that old man seemed to have the exact same produce list as I did. And why he was so damn happy about it.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

You must have the wrong number

Usually when our phone rings, I check the caller ID before answering it. If it is Wife #1, I don't answer. Not because she has demanded this of me, but because I don't have anything to say to her, and I know she's not calling to talk to me. Plus, getting screamed at isn't high on my list of things to do.

Today though, she and Kevin were going around about something or another when she started saying ugly things about me to him. When that happens, he simply hangs up the phone. Then she calls back. And calls back. And calls back.

To those of you who have tried talking to me on our home phone: That is the purpose of our incredibly crappy voip service. Because we used to have to track how many times she would call after being asked to stop. Well, that, and for recording her voice messages. They are real treats, let me tell you.

Usually I don't care what's going on with the phone and those two. Kevin will take as much as he wants and then cut it off. He's a big boy and can handle himself.

What I do care about is the phone ringing time and time again while our baby is trying to take a nap.

So I answered it. I told her politely that the baby was sleeping and that she needed to quit calling at this time.

I doubt that she heard it though. I doubt that she heard anything for the yelling she was doing, telling me that she would like to speak to her husband.

The last time I answered the phone and she screamed at me that she would like to speak to her husband, I was snarky and told her she had the wrong number. Because the only man in at this house was my husband.

Today, I simply hung up after telling her that the baby was asleep.

Snarky used to be amusing. People who are so easily riled are easy targets. I learned that growing up with a big brother who loved to tease and was really good at it. The less reaction I gave, the less fun he had. Wish I had learned that before he convinced me of the toilet monster's existence.

Now, it's just sad. Not in a pity sort of way, because I wouldn't waste good pity on such a subject.

Or perhaps she did hear me. Because she hasn't called back.

I'm thinking that it has little to do with my request though, and far more to do with the simple fact that I answered the phone. In my own home. Heaven forbid that I ever do that again.

For right now, I'm just enjoying the silence and the fact that Bird is still snoozing away undisturbed.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Today, Earth is short a mother and a wife. A writer and an amazing woman.

Today, Heaven gained a very strong soul.

Rest in peace, Andrea.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I'm already a good cook

This is what we've been doing. The first 30 seconds says it all.

We think he likes it.