Thursday, April 30, 2009

Music Playlist at


d.s. brennan

I am entirely convinced that the Earth's revolution has slowed way down these last few weeks. Do you notice it too?

Time is ticking by so slowing that the vegetables in my garden haven't grown at all since I planted them. Each day is equivalent to two.

I am waiting. Waiting for someone to come out of somewhere.

Having completed all the preparations for the baby, I'm turning to myself. I had a facial. I scheduled a massage and a day with Hans. I've been sleeping in and running all the errands that will be difficult to do once the baby arrives.

Least you think I'm living a rock and roll life style over here, you must know that I am spending this morning chipping away at the Mt. Everest of laundry sitting in my hallway and scooping the dog poop off the lawn. As much as I try to live the high life, my feet are firmly grounded in the everyday muck of motherhood.

And I like it that way.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

nobody likes the purple chiclets

Right now is literally the first time I've stopped moving today. I'm a little tired. Too tired, in fact, to make dinner.

So we went out.

Ben choose one of our regular haunts, a colorful little Mexican restaurant right on Highway 101. I had tortilla soup. Ben had pozole and Thom ordered a hamburger.

Thomas particularly likes this restaurant because they have Chiclets at the cash register. Only ten cents. What a bargain.

After much deliberation, Thom settled on red.

"That's cinnamon." I told him.

"I know, I've had them before and I know I like red." he said in between bounces. Thom gets pretty excited over gum.

"Look, there are purple Chiclets!" I mused to no one in particular.

"The purple ones are gross, nobody likes them." Ben warned. "Don't get purple."

But purple is my signature color AND there is the little matter of Ben's reliability.

You see, my husband is effected gravely by the "Knowitis Allis" bug. Everything that comes out of Ben's mouth is stated as fact. He's very believable.

"It will rain today."
"The law is in our favor."
"You make a right turn in two blocks."
"That will give you gas."
"That country is falling apart."
"That film was made in 1957."
"You actually wear a size D bra."

This is my life.

The hard thing about it is that for the most part, he is usually right. And Knowitis Allis isn't necessarily a bad thing for a lawyer to have.

There have been plenty of times, however, that I have caught him red handed. And this makes me suspicious. Very suspicious. So I question him quite a bit.

This is why I went ahead and got the purple gum that is my signature color.

I popped all four pieces in my mouth and chomped away. It tasted like old lady lavender talcum powder. Ben was delighted to see my sour face. I spit it out.

From the back seat Thom asked "What color did you get Mom?"


"Did you like it?"


"Told ya you shouldn't have got it."

He's just like his father.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

this ain't your grandma's embroidery

I'm ready. The nursery is done. The stroller is sitting by the front door. The clothes are all washed and put into her drawers. Diapers- check. Lotion- check. Bum balm- check. The bags are packed. Check, check, check.

And yet. . .

I can't be done. I must be doing. . . something.

So there is this little embroidery project I started. A custom lampshade for the nursery.

If you know me at all you know that I must, MUST be doing something creative or my leg starts to shake and my fingers fumble. And it get irritable in the most inconvenient way.

Have you seen these books? Are you aware that embroidery has made a huge comeback thanks in part to Jenny Hart. All the cool people (a.k.a. stay-at-home wanna be crafters) are doing it.
My next challenge. Crewel.

I used to facilitate several book groups but I find that book groups breed contention and so I've given them up. I can't listen to one more person complain because the book had a swear word or touched on a politically charged topic.

I'm going to start an embroidery group. Who wants to join? We will meet at my house once a month. I will serve rich chocolate desserts and we will give out free therapy to each other. This will be our first project to set the tone for the group.

If you can't fly with this, you best stay home.

P.S. I'm up four runs and down three pounds!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

the good news is. . .

I love National Public Radio.

And that's about the most political statement you'll ever hear me make publicly.

I don't talk politics with most people. Political opinions are just like all opinions and you know what they say about those.

I love NPR for several reasons. First, I love that there aren't annoying commercials for plastic surgery or pest control. Second, I think they give reliable world and domestic news even if it does have a liberal slant. And third, I love that they specialize in human interest stories.

Quite frankly, I've had enough news lately regarding the state of the economy and international relations. I'm sick to death of hearing about Iraq. I'm sorry if that offends you. I think it is a little like living next to Niagara Falls. After a while, even the most sensitive person doesn't hear the roar anymore.

I love that NPR features stories like the one I heard a few days ago about a lake with 45 letters in it's name, in Massachusetts called
Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. The entire story was about how a couple signs in the town had misspellings in the name. It may sound boring, but it was in fact, very interesting. FYI- the name is Native American and it means, "You fish on your side, I'll fish on my side, and nobody fishes in the middle."

Today on All Things Considered, they did a story on Sam Maloof, who is a 93-year-old icon in the furniture design business. Sam is a delightful man and listening to the interview brightened my day considerably.

My good friend Andre the Greek was so sick of hearing depressing news that he started his own website called the Glee Report that only features good news.

However your political views may fall, tune into NPR while you are taxing the kiddos around or working or, I don't know, buffing the calluses off your heals. I guarantee you will learn something you will not soon forget.

Did that just sound like a commerial? I hope not.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

these boobs were made for cuddling. . .

And that's just what they'll do. One of these days these boobs are going down a size or two.

I haven't worked out for almost three weeks. Three weeks people! I've been slowly gaining weight over the last year or so and now I find that I am a solid fifteen pounds over weight.

It always goes to my boobs first, then my belly and arms and thighs. Ug.

I actually allowed myself to think (get this) that it is okay to have a few extra pounds on when you first get a baby. It's nature's way of making a soft cuddly place for the baby to rest.

It's a great theory and it works well, IF YOU ARE PREGNANT.

I've got four weeks to lose some weight and I'm getting serious. Really. This time I'm serious.

As of last night I am down 0 pounds and up one peppermint Oreo. Let's see what today brings.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Sugar Daddy was off with the Search and Rescue folk this weekend to climb rocks and practice hero work. Thom and I stayed behind to find fun to be had.

We kicked off our weekend on Friday by having Thom's blood drawn for a routine anemia check which, I'm sorry to report, lead to another trip to Mc Donalds.

After Thom was tucked in and sleeping soundly, I gathered up all my embroidery thread and headed to the fluffy comfort of my bed to watch Little Dorrit on the lap top and get organized for a rather ambitious embroidery project I am starting. I search the house for all errant needles and put them in the little wooden cylinders, ready to be used at a moments notice.

I love organization. I wish I was better at it.

On Sunday evening Thom and I headed over to Jenny's house for a casual bar-be-que. I found that I was feeling a little peevish after a weekend of single parenting and so I took out my angst on the Hurst family. I went from one child to the next, needling them and teasing until I got some kind of response. Andre and Jenny know me well enough to just let these moods take their course and they happily offered up their children and each other as victims.

Sugar Daddy returned home later that night, swooping in like good heros do, to save the day and play with Thom until he was tuckered out and reaching for his bed.

One weekend down, four more to go until B-day!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

my green girl

Jo is opening her own online shop. She asked me to come and take some photos that she can use to build her site. Our little model, Sam, was very cheerful and accommodating and didn't make any outrageous demands or throw any tantrums. It could be because he actually eats. In fact, he tried to eat every prop in site.

Jo, who is my go to green girl for all things eco-friendly, will be selling biodegradable diapers and organic baby items. I will be sure to let you know when her shop is up and running. She has sold me on the idea of using biodegradable diapers. I hope they don't leak. I can't hang with that. I will be her first discerning customer.

After our amateur photo shoot, we ate tuna fish sandwiches and grapes on a blanket under a shady tree. Our five-year-olds graced us with a acrobatics display which included many daring tricks, much showmanship and one hurt ankle.

I would also like to tell everyone withing the reach of my blog that Sam, who really doesn't like anyone but his parents and his nanny, loves me. We are snuggle buddies.

I wonder if Amelie will like him as much as I do.

Friday, April 17, 2009

you just can't take me anywhere

My mother used to say that. "I just can't take you kids anywhere." I realized two things yesterday. One, I really have never grown up, and two, she was right.

My sophisticated neighbor Denise took me to lunch at the Four Seasons for my birthday. I arrived before her and I was awestruck with the gardens. I couldn't help myself. I crawled around in the flower beds snapping photos with my iPhone. The gardeners looked on, dumbstruck that a guest would do such a thing. It didn't deter me. I've been called a señora blanca loca before.

We sat on the terrace overlooking the golf course and the bay. I sipped my diet coke in the shade of the yellow and white striped umbrella and hummed a little to myself. Denise was pleased that she could please me.

"Aren't we so lucky?" I asked with eyes closed to the sunshine.

"You mean to be eating lunch here?" Denise responded.

"To live here. To live in this amazing place? I mean look around you. This is paradise."

Denise looked around as if to consider the idea. Obviously she has spent more time in paradise than I have. She is accustomed to the good life.

On the other hand, paradise isn't just sprawling gardens and fancy silverware. It's having a soft place to fall. It's friends that laugh at your jokes. It's pink baby cheeks and family cuddles on a Sunday morning.

I don't think I'll ever get over that fact that I live at the beach. Every time I turn onto the coast highway I loose my breath. I think I will forever be crawling through gardens and yelling for people to come see the starfish in the tide pools. Hopefully, my paradise will always include people, like Denise and my friends and family, who humor me in my childish behavior.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

spilling the beans

The decision is made. What sweet beans to spill.

The girl's name Amelie \a-me-lie\ is a variant of Amelia (Latin, Old German) and Emily (Latin). The meaning of Amelie is "industrious, striving; work; rival; laborious; eager."

Brooke is a family name that is near and dear to my heart.

Ben is calling her Elle. Thom is calling her Ellie. And me? I'm calling her Birdie.

I held a green bough in my heart and a singing bird has come.

The nursey is almost finished. Hopefully I can give you a little peek into Amelie's room this weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

just a spoonful of sugar. . .

janne peters

Yesterday was a little rough. We were hard at work on our home study and feeling the pinch big time.

Thomas had his doctor's appointment to fill out his medical record. He ended up with four shots and a cheap little board book as a consolation prize from the nurse. I've always hated when the boy has to have shots. I used to cry when he was a baby. Yesterday, at the height of weakness, I whispered promises in his ear as the tears rolled down his cheeks. We ended up at McDonald's for a Happy Meal followed by a not-so-healthy dose of Easter candy. Please save your judgements for mothers with a stronger constitution than myself. I should have made Sugar Daddy take him.

We also had our first foster parent class. Ai yi yi.

How did it go? It was mildly excruciating. They started off the three hour class by having us write our names in marker on a large blue card. We were to also draw a picture of something that was important to us. Our "name cards" will be displayed each class.

It is a wonder to me that these people, who are teaching the class at the most remedial level, are going to be willing to hand over foster parent certification to people whom they obviously deem to be idiots.

Stanley drew stars on his name card to signify that "Dancing with the Stars" is important to him.

I can't tell you how happy it makes me that there is a little sugar baby waiting for us at the end of all this paperwork. It makes it all go down just a little easier.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


For those of you out there, waiting to exhale, let it go. Let it all out and breath deep the sweet air of today.

I'm sorry to keep you waiting.

Last weekend will go down as one of the best in our life.

The when, where and what to wear of our meeting ended up to be very inconsequential. As is turns out, we have known this girl for ages. She is family.

She is a pint sized American sweetheart. She's a pink beach cruiser on the boardwalk, a vintage JuicyFruit commercial, the girl next door that all the boys plan to marry some day.

Did you know that peace is the only emotion that Satan can't duplicate? He's got love and happiness down pat. He can fool you into believing just about anything, but peace, well, he can't touch it.

As I sat across the table from our birth mom, I was wrapped in peace. I know she was chosen to carry our child. I know that we are bound together by forces we may not understand until we die. I know that I will love her, and her family until I take my last breath and beyond.

These are tough times for so many people right now. I feel a little guilty for our happiness. I feel like a child with a huge lollipop while the other children look on. I want to share my sweetness with everyone. I want everyone to take a big lick and know that God is good. Miracles happen. Hang onto your faith and work towards peace in your life.

Here's a few pics from Mayberry (a.k.a. North Ogden):

Friday, April 10, 2009

blessed are the curious

Tomorrow is going to be a memorable day for our family. Tomorrow we meet the amazing girl who is granting us our hearts desire. I am so curious to see her in person. I am curious to see how I feel in her presence. I hope I don't burst into tears and do the ugly cry the entire time.
Wish me luck.

I am equally curious to see what our daughter is going to look like. Will she have light or dark hair? Will she look like me? (Don't be skeptical. It happens more often than you'd think.)

Personally, I hope she looks just like her birth mom who is a classic American beauty.

Tracy Raver is a photographer in Omaha Nebraska. I never thought I'd wish I still lived there, but Tracy makes it tempting. I'd love to have her photograph our little sweetpea. Her sister (see pic in previous post) also does infant photography.

If you are wondering what to get the baby who already has everything (sorry girls, I just can't help myself) there is always a little knitted munkin hat or swaddler used in these pictures available through Mad About Color.

I feel like I am stepping into our future this weekend. It is supposed to be raining and overcast in Utah, but everything looks bright to me.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

the giving camellia

I have a beautiful camellia plant growing in a pedestal pot on my patio. It is in full bloom right now and everyday it produces a new huge flower. I have become very fond of this plant in particular. It really seems to strive to please me and all it asks for in return is a little water and a shady place.

I want to be like that. I want to ask for very little and make those around me happy just by being me. I think I have a long way to go.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

spring break

Spring break.
Three boys.
Kung-Fu fights.
Pillow wars.
Strawberry waffles.
Blanket huts.
Feats of strength.
Secret hand shakes.
And one ladybug feeling a little too loved by his mother.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

the course ahead

On Friday we are boarding a plane to Utah. We have several items of business to take care of while we are there.

First and foremost, we will get to meet our birth mother face to face. I am so excited and nervous I don't know what to do with myself. I am searching for the perfect outfit that says "I will make a great mom for your baby". Tell me, what does that look like exactly? If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Please note that Lee jeans and Rockport shoes are out of the question. As are scrunchies, most sweater vests and any item with a Disney character on it.

Second, my father will be turning sixty-three. I swear he is more active now than he was at nineteen, when this photo is taken. His hairline hasn't changed a bit, but he only has a few black hairs left. His left ear still sticks out a little and we girls of the family think it is charming. Happy Birthday Daddy-O.

And then of course, there is Easter. Hopefully this year Thom will lighten up his game a bit and let some of the younger kids find an egg or two. Last year was a little embarrassing. I'd like to find a good recipe for hot cross buns to make for Sunday dinner and a really great tie for Sugar Daddy.

Today I should be getting the wash done and looking for a kennel for Finn, but instead I am going to the beach to play in the sand with my ladybug. There is not that much time left. . .

Monday, April 06, 2009

new shoes

"Are these shoes on sale?" she asked.
"The leather ones?" she added.

The sales clerk was from the Bronx. She said nothing but maneuvered her large bottom around the desk to look over her glasses at the shoes. She snapped her gum twice and replied, "Yeah, those ones are half off too. Yous should get two pair fa that price."

And so she did.

Acrylic nails clicked wildly on the cash register. The woman from the Bronx tilted her chin to get a better look at the customer. "You gots a little one at home?"

"No." She replied. "My baby is due May 19th."

"Is that so? Yous must carry your babies up inside. My girlfriend was like that too. Cept she got really big in the back, if you know what I mean. Yous look really good."

"Thanks" she said. "I work out."

With that, she took her little blue bag, with the new shoes inside and walked out into the sunshine.

Friday, April 03, 2009

twigs and buds

I have been spending more and more time in my garden these days. Teasing each plant back to life. Talking to the vegetables. Puttering.

I feel anxious when I look at the buds on everything. They are shiny chartreuse babies. So vulnerable to weather and pests. So full of promise.

I realized today that maybe it isn't the buds I'm anxious about after all. We still have six weeks until our little girl arrives. Waiting isn't easy.

We bought a package of ladybugs to keep away the aphids. Thom loves to buy ladybugs and always begs to keep a few dozen in his bug catcher. Its a small price to pay for a couple days of pure boyhood fun.

I have decided that the boy will be my ladybug. We have six weeks left of pure one on one time. I'm keeping him in my bug jar. I just hope he fairs a little better than the less fortunate ones, loved to death by a boy, in the confines of a plastic bottle with a magnifying lid.

Check out these twiggy pretties.

This wall decal is available through Janey Mac:

I love these little twig bobbies by The Sparrow's Nest.

Elizabeth Scott's twig interpretation: