Tuesday, March 31, 2009

five and a half

Amy and Dave

Tomorrow I will be thirty-five. Damn I'm getting old. Maybe I'll get some Botox and a pair of Spanx. Actually, I'm going to see Hans because he can always work some magic and make me feel divine.

My little sister, Amy, is five and half years younger than me. It makes a big difference. She isn't getting wrinkles yet. She can still count her grey hairs.

When Amy was first born, she was my living doll. She was a beautiful child, all curls and smiles. She flourished in the lime light of our little family. At five and a half, I thought she was my personal miracle. I loved her dearly.

Amy, Dave and Charley

And then my brother was born. What can I say? Eight-year-old girls can be fickle creatures.

It was many years before I rediscovered the magic that is my little sister. Lost years.

I have worried about the age difference between Thom and the new baby. Will they play together? Will they be close? I have come to the conclusion that it may take time, maybe years, but they will have their own unique relationship. I won't be able to choreograph it, it will happen on its own, organically. He already sees her as his own personal miracle. He keeps reaffirming to me that she will be "his baby".

He has called dibs on all night feedings which sounds fabulous, if only it worked that way.

As for Amy and I, well, five and a half years is only a measure of the time we didn't get to spend being sisters. I think we have more than made up for lost time.

Monday, March 30, 2009


The weekend was a blur. A Bike speeding, children running, cake eating, ink smudging, pool splashing blur.

Our print making class on Saturday was a ton of fun and extremely tiring. Who knew carving lino prints was so much work? Our instructor was Jesus Cruz. You can see his amazing work here.

And here is my first attempt at block printing. I wasn't totally happy with it, but I enjoyed the process and I am excited to have another go at it.

It was also the Redlands Bike Classic this weekend. Professional road bikers competed in several races throughout the weekend. We had a blast standing on the sidelines and cheering them on.

We celebrated Ben's grandma's ninety-second birthday. We told her about our baby girl. She has been asking for years when she is going to get a great-granddaughter. I can't tell you how happy we were to grant that wish.

Redlands Bike Classic Weekend from April Meeker on Vimeo.

Friday, March 27, 2009


anahatna katkin

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader - not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon. - E. L. Doctorow

anahatna katkin

How do I describe to you how I feel? I never realized how parched I was. I didn't realize that my soul felt dry and fragile. I was happy. I was wishing, but content. I had Sugar Daddy and Thom. Things were okay.

liquid sky arts
But now it is raining. And my soul is soaking up each new day with a thirst like no other.

We got a video of the baby's heartbeat yesterday. She is nestled, safe in her loving mother's care until she ready to come to our waiting arms.

I am going to spend the weekend with family. Tomorrow we girls will make art all day until we are dizzy. We will talk about life and new babies and how the Lord works in mysterious ways.

I'll meet you back here on Monday.

Ben: Thom you will have so many things to teach your little sister when she comes.

Thom: (Thoughtful for a little bit) Dad, I'm gunna need a chalkboard.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

more fun with dick and jane

My great-grandfather was a elementary school principal. My father happened to go to the school that he resided over. The same school, incidentally, that I went to some thirty years later. The school itself was built around the turn of the century. It had ornate brass hardware and black and pink penny tiles in the girls bathroom. They tore down my school last year to make way for a new fandangled building which will have automated sinks instead of the charming little asterisk knobs for cold and hot water. I am bothered by the fact that the town I grew up in has so little respect for historic buildings.

And I can guarantee they aren't using Dick and Jane readers anymore. They probably threw those out like so much trash. Little did they know their worth. A vintage Dick and Jane reader sells for hundreds of dollars now. The same readers that I learned to read with. The same readers that I wrote little hearts on and doodled my name.
Most people that learned to read with Dick and Jane are my parents age. But my little town didn't more out of the fifties until the early nineties. And so I have a soft spot in my heart for Dick and Jane and Sally and Spot and what was the cat's name? Fluffy? No Puff.

I started a little project yesterday and I'm almost finished.

I pieced the top and I'm crocheting around the edge. My scallop edge isn't as "scallopy" as I'd like but it'll do.

It's not as girly as the other things I've been making for our baby, but it will match our new stroller that Ben ordered. It came this morning and I was able to assemble it even with my melon brain.

I was so proud of myself I took myself out for sushi.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Today I am happier than a squirrel with a doughnut.

Today I discovered a nest in the center of my rose tree with a baby bird in it.

Today my son sat next to me and I played with his hair and read him a book.

Today I bought sparkling lemonade and fresh flowers at the market.

Today I ate my lunch in the sunshine and fed small pieces of my sandwich to a bird with one leg.

Today I planted petunias in my backyard.

Today my mother asked me about having a baby shower.

Today I kissed the boys and told them I love them.

I have big plans for tomorrow.

we met with social services. . .

and I'm still smiling.
We meet with the social worker yesterday. This will be our third, yes third, homestudy we have done in an attempt to adopt. She heaved a thick folder into our laps and stated that we need to have all the forms filled out pronto.

We have three sets of fingerprints, which will bring my grand total to ten. I will have been fingerprinted ten times, so I guess that robbery I was planning is out of the question. See's Candy, you lucked out.

We will also have a foster parent class (that should be twelve hours of pure brilliance) and a CPR class to take. We have a billion forms to fill out and questions to answer to the best of our ability. We have two more personal interviews wherein we will sit directly in front of our doey eyed social worker and she speak in a soft, caring voice and ask all sorts of personal questions and pry into the neather reaches of our relationship. She will intermittently jot down notes on what kind of people she deems us to be and I will most likely have drink Pepto directly from the bottle before the interview is complete. We also have the home visit which will be a treat in and of itself.

Here's the good news.

I'm getting a baby. Did I tell you that? At the bottom of this massive stack of paperwork is a baby girl. And I can't wait.

I'm not sure how I'm going to make it through all this with my melon brain, but I'm going to give it my all. I'm going underground for a few weeks. My nose is to the grindstone. My shoulder is to the wheel. I'm burning the midnight oil.

I found this anonymous quote and it made me feel so much better about my current mental state.

Some people think only intellect counts: knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by, knowing how to identify an advantage and seize it. But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion and empathy.

Monday, March 23, 2009

fun with dick and jane

You know after you eat a bowl of watermelon how there is always a little chunky juice and seeds floating around?

That's what my brain is like these days.

I lost my keys three times last week. I swear I have pregnancy brain. Is that possible?

Jenny has had the patience of Job. Our conversations go something like this:

Me: So I ran over to. . .

J: Trader Joes?

Me: Trader Joes, because I needed some berries for the. . .you know. . .

J: Salad? Dessert?

Me: Chocolate dessert thingy for what's their names birthday.

J: Caron and Michelle.

Me: Yeah, what time is that again?

Seriously. I'm having a really hard time with ye ol' noggin. I have a friend that bought herself a Nintendo DS so that she can play a game that is supposed to help exercise your brain. I was thinking that I might try something like that until I realized that the chances of me remembering to actually go buy the game are slim to none. I'm functioning on a Dick and Jane level over here people.

And now I think I will go downstairs and have some watermelon and watch my brain float around in the bowl.

See April. See April eat watermelon. See April leave dishes in the sink and blame it on her pregnancy brain when questioned by her husband.

P.S. I'm also eating for two.

Me circa 1976

Friday, March 20, 2009

encounters of the weird kind

I was nestled on the sofa Monday morning, happily eating my Kashi cereal, when a stranger came down the stairs and asked if I had seen the really cute baby bedding by Petunia Pickle Bottom.

I froze, like a deer in headlights, with my spoon hovering above the bowl dripping milk. I wasn't exactly scared per se. The stranger looked exactly like my husband.

But I knew it wasn't my husband because of three things. Let me break it down for you.

1. This person had apparently been shopping.
2. This person had been shopping for expensive things.
3. This person used the words bottom and cute.

My husband does not shop for anything but camping gear. He is extremely suspicious of expensive brands. He does not use words like cute and bottom.

I have a theory. I think that aliens beamed up Sugar Daddy and Carson Kressley, performed some experiments on them, and inadvertently put them back in the wrong body.

This theory was solidified yesterday, when I received a package in the mail from Layla Grace.

Sugar Daddy told me to wait to open it until he got home. This is what was inside.Talk about a shock and awe campaign. I am befuddled. Delighted, but befuddled.

And I'm a little worried about my dear husband walking around in Carson's body. I mean it wasn't a very fair switch if you ask me. Ben really got the short stick. So to speak.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

heads up

I decided to go off caffeine. Then I came to my senses.

In about eight weeks I am going to be so sleep deprived that I will require a caffeine drip. After Thom was born I was so sleepy that I actually ran into the side of the garage when I was pulling the car in. Caffeine=function.

But I did want to do something to make myself more healthy. So I started drinking Yogi Detox tea. It is an herbal tea that is supposed to rid your body of toxins. Each little tag has a saying or a fortune. Here's what mine said today:

I carefully licked my finger and dabbed up all the Girl Scout Cookie crumbs before taking this photo, least you think I sit home and eat cookies all day. But the plate looks so very lonely without them. Damn those, Girl Scouts and their tender morsels! They are irresistible.

The past few days have been full of nothing but happiness. Every time I tell someone about our baby girl the happiness bubbles inside me anew.

I always knew that people learn and grow in times of strife. What I am starting to realise is that happiness teaches you how to look at the world in such a way that you see cheery things everywhere you go. Happiness breeds happiness. I guess this is something I have always known, but right here, right now, it is real and tangible.

It really is all about perspective. Oh the things you can see when you are looking up! This cherry tree stole my breath away. I snapped and photo and dreamt of having such a tree in my own back yard.

Today, as you go about your daily business, don't listen to anything that is down or depressing. Look up. You will see something amazing. I promise.

irene suckocki

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

thailand- take two

I got together with the Thailand girls last Saturday. We were minus four. Amy was in Chicago for St. Patrick's. Sabrina is racing on the World tour and the two Aussie chicks, Jo and Clare, for some reason couldn't drop everything and catch a flight to the States for the weekend. We missed them, but we had a blast.

I'm the one in the smashing red macintosh that I got on sale at the Gap for a mere $25. My word, I do love a bargain!

P.S. Did I tell you I'm getting a baby? And my peach tree is blooming.


Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people. -Allan Beck

A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot - Allen Beck
A girl is a person who screams at the mouse and smiles at the wolf.
- Shyam Kapoor

Little girls, like butterflies, need no excuse. - Robert A. Heinlein

tuscany studios

I was about half in love with her by the time we sat down. That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty. . .you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. - J.D. Salinger

I love being a girl. Don't you? -April


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

a nod from the universe

I received a letter that I want to pass along. I hope that it inspires you to listen to the still small voice that guides us all through life.

Hi, April-

This is a bit weird- but I just wanted to share with you that your wonderful singing bird bracelet was part of one of those whole chain of synchronicities that sometimes happen to us all. You know, the kind that are profound and feel so special and like a nod from the Universe, a reassurance that all is as it should be and you are on the right path... but if explained to someone else, the series of things would not sound at all profound or particularly connected. They are just little occurrences that, when they come all grouped together, open up a whole new faith in possibilities.

I just came across the green branch/singing bird quote for the first time this week (and I thought, initially, that it related to my love life until other things happened and then I came upon your bracelet and the description). And at the same time I'd come across the fabulous attached photo with that great saying on the tattoo and the little girl who is adopted from China. And there were all of these other things that came together and reminded me of how possible my long-held desire to adopt might actually be.

Stumbling upon your listing for your singing bird bracelet which led to reading your blog just tied all of the cool synchronicites together and made it all feel so special. So I just wanted to say that, even though I am not in the market for the bracelet at this moment, it, along with what you shared in your blog, has meant a lot to me. And I wanted to pass this cool photo on to you as way of sharing something back.

Enjoy- and thank you for putting your work and thoughts out there for others to find (or to be led to, as I tend to think in this case).


Singing Bird Bracelet

The final little quirk in this story is that I am currently working on this very bracelet for another customer.

Monday, March 16, 2009

dispatches from cloud nine

My eyes fluttered open to the pink light of the rising sun. And then the happiness washed over me like a warm bubble bath. I'm going to have a baby. A baby girl.

And my son will get to have the sister he always wanted. I rolled out of bed and onto my knees. I really had to go, but first things first. I needed to thank the Lord. Again.

The crafting has begun. Emily taught me reverse applique yesterday. Why have plain onesies when you can embellish? Everything is better with pink. Don't you think?

I have a burning desire to share my happiness with everyone I know. I thought of taking lemon scones to all the neighbors but it seemed like too much work that might cut into my crafting time. I also thought about climbing to the top of our slope in the backyard and twirling around and singing "The Sound of Music", but I'm sure my neighbors already think I'm a little strange. And they wouldn't have dared eat any of my scones after a stunt like that.

So, I've settled on spreading a little joy to all my blog friends. I give you this.

This is how I feel today. I hope he infects your day with a little laughter and joy.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Dearest friends,

Please excuse my absence. I have found myself, as of late, smack dab in the middle of a miracle. As it turns out, miracles are a little like tornadoes. If you stand in the center of a tornado, there is no getting out until the storm calms and the dust clears.

As with every miracle, there is an angel involved. This miracle that has been taking place is unusually large and it called for a very particular kind of angel. My angel is an tall Australian artist with beautiful blond dreadlocks. This is Emily.

Emily will carry around a little piece of my heart until my dying day.

The week that I posted our adoption profile online, Emily spoke with a dear friend who's daughter was expecting a baby. There are a lot of crazy, amazing little details that happened but in the end the sky cracked open and my little family stood under a shower of blessings. We have been dancing in the rain ever since.

Our little girl is due May 19th.

Tell me. How do you thank someone for a gift so significant? How do you put into words the love and gratitude you feel for someone you just meet? How do we begin to express the wonder we feel at the selflessness of a birth mother? We haven't found a way.

We lay in bed and look at each other. How can this be happening? Why are we so lucky?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the gutless wonder writes again

Dear Linda-

I have been coming to the post office twice a week, every week for a few years now. Why is it that you insist on acting like you don't know me? Why is it that you ask to see a business card proving that I am, in fact, Secondsister Jewelry every time I ship internationally?

I know that I may look different from time to time. On occasion I do come in, sweaty, with a bandanna on my head. Sometimes I look like a frumpy mother of twenty with my hair pulled back in a sharp bun, apron and no make-up. I can also look like I just stepped out of a fashion mag with sixties eyeliner and platform wedgies. What can I say? I'm an eclectic kind of gal.

And I do tend to wear sunglasses. I mean this is sunny Southern Cal. However, unlike in the movies, wearing sunglasses does not prevent people from recognizing me.

I know, that you know, exactly who I am.

And would it kill you to make a little small talk? Are you not at all curious as to what kind of jewelry I'm shipping? Where I all of a sudden acquired three little Mexican kids? If I'm having a nice day?

I understand that working at the post office can be trying. What's that people say about "going postal"? And I know you must be bitterly disappointed that your crush on Dale didn't come to anything. (Don't think I didn't notice) I'm pretty sure you just aren't his type. He likes women who, you know, smile and all.

I usually try to work it so that I end up in Dale's line, but I have a plan for you Linda. Next time I come in I will be sporting a black eye and greasy matted hair. I will fill out the customs sheet to declare that I am shipping one bloody toe and a few loose teeth. Value? One gold crown worth $45. I will be showing the photo ID of my good friend Metre, who is fifty-two and African -American. I will look you strait in the eye, hand you a ball of dirty wadded up dollars and tell you that no, I'm not shipping anything flammable, hazardous or restricted.

If then, dear Linda, you still have nothing to say to me, well, I'll let you be, and rest assured that you are, in fact, a lobotomy recipient.

Much Love,

April (you know who)

For more letters from the Gutless Wonder, click here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

my name is spring

I've always hated my name. It sounds like a calendar girl name.

"And here's Miss April wearing only cherry bloosom pasties and a fig leaf!" Ug.

My parents were planning on naming me Heather until my Grandpa showed up at the hospital and decreed that being born on the first day of April, my name should be such. My grandpa was a sailor. Maybe he had fond memories of a certain Miss April who had covered the wall over his cot.

Whatever the case, I have never liked my name. But I do like what it means.
The girl's name April \a-pril, ap-ril\ is pronounced AY-prill. It is
Latin origin, and its meaning is "to open". The month as a given name; often used to symbolize spring, the time when buds open and flowers appear. Abril (ah-BREEL) is the Spanish form.

Rosa calls me Abril, which makes me happy.

This is my time of year. My birthday is coming, spring colors look the very best with my compexion and the birds are back.

I do love birds. I've said it before, if I were a rich woman, I'd have a sunroom filled with various types of finches. And I'd have someone to care for them. In the afternoon, I'd take my iced drink and a good book and lounge amoungst my finches and read. To me, that would be heaven.

Aren't these photos amazing? They were taken by a brother/sister team in Japan. Maybe when I'm old, I'll take up bird watching. Do you think I could take my little dog along with me?

The best thing about Spring is promise. Promise of new adventures, gorgeous gardens, fun holidays and babies. As the Miss April, I would like to request all of these this year. But I'd be thrilled with just a baby.

In other news, I found my Easter dress. It is a Baraschi sheath embroidered with, of all things, birds. It's sooooo me. I just need to find a little green shrug and a pair of fabulous pink heels to go with it. And it's high time I made myself a pair of earrings. I'm thinking light blue topaz dangles.

If only I could embroider like this. The things I could make!

Hello Spring. I'm glad you came. Stick around for a while.