necessity is the mother ... of a three year old

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Yesterday was a doozy.  

Morning traffic was a beast.  The work day was intense.  I left early (despite my ghastly to do list) for my biannual skin check.  (More on skin cancer later, but suffice it to say, I'm a melanoma survivor.  Get your skin checked.)

Work calls after the doctor.  Picture me at a crowded Starbucks, with a finger jammed in one ear, phone pressed tight to the other ear, trying my best to hear my the voices on the other end of the line.

So, at said Starbucks, work call finished and iced coffee in hand, with a critical eye on my watch (T minus time to pick up J from school), I made an executive decision.

It's time for a pedicure.

I didn't even *start* to relax until about halfway through.  I had to put my phone down (including work emails) because the battery was almost dead.  That was good.  Then, I had to read Vogue.  I had to get the paraffin wax treatment.  (It's the best.)

I keep a pair of flip flops in my car for dire situations like emergency pedicures and uncomfortable heels.  If I had been thinking ahead, I would have brought them with me into the nail salon.  I did not think ahead, and I had worn Toms yesterday.  

No problem, right?  You can walk to your car in the foam flippers that they give you after a pedicure.

True.  You can.  And you know what else you can do?

You can walk from the nail salon to the liquor store next door to buy a nice bottle of Pinot Noir in your foam flippers, and then walk from there to the car after.  

Did I do that?  Yes, I did.  

Was I embarrassed?  Not even a little.  I had a problem (sad toes, bad day) and I was fixing it.  I was multi-tasking.  And you know, divine providence would not have put that nail salon next to that liquor store unless it was just meant to be.

OK, maybe that's taking it a little far.  But by the time I got home and D and I decompressed about our days with a glass of wine, the headache had subsided and my toes looked great.

So, if necessity used to be the mother of invention, I think that necessity is actually the working mother of a three year old.

Hope you find a creative solution today.

Talk soon,
Heather

save bunny! save bunny?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bunny is a big part of our family.

He's Jack's consiglieri.

He is present for all important family activities.

Like...




Is that a baby in a bar??  Not really.  Well, sort of.  Longhorn Village cocktail lounge, to be precise.
A surprisingly nice place to have a cocktail.  Or a Sprite, if you're 3.


Observation:  Bunny and I must be pretty tight because his ass is in my face.

So, you will understand my horror when I realized this morning that we had a Code Grey on our hands.
All I have to say is this:  Thank God that Mom taught me to sew.

Hope your mom taught you something that makes you a total lifesaver today.

Talk soon,
Heather

PS:  Is the movie reference in the title of this post too obscure?  I hope not.  They all love him.  They think he's a righteous dude.

orange you glad he wore a different shirt?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Knock knock

(Who's there?)

Orange

(Orange who?)

Jack has like five shirts that he likes to wear.  This is NOT one of them, but he wore it the other day.

Orange you glad he wore a different shirt?

We sure were.


Kudos to Mr. R for getting Jack to wear something other than the Cubs shirt, the Saints shirt, the LSU shirt, or the Superhero shirt.  (Related:  I need to get Jack some Bates, Orioles, American University, and Chesapeake Bay stuff, STAT.  This kid's gotta represent.)

Hope you do something outside of the box today.

Talk soon,
Heather

i hope the sky is listening

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Photo courtesy of the talented Betsy

It's been raining for the past few days in Austin.  We're in a serious drought, so the rain is awesome for the scorched earth and thirsty plants.  And for the diminishing (but still beautiful and boat-able) lake.

It is not, however, so good for Jack and his buddies, who missed their regularly scheduled Tuesday Splash Day and haven't been able to rock the playground time as much as they would like.

This morning, on our way to school, Jack pointed an admonishing finger at the sky and said sternly, "You stop that raining.  Jack and his friends need to play."

He couldn't see my smile in the front seat.  I paused and said, "Well, how do you think the grass and the trees feel now?"

With his chin to chest, all pouty-like, he responded, "Better... But Momma, I told it to STOP.  So I can play."

Is it too early to wonder if he will be President?

Hope you feel empowered to give orders today.

Talk soon,
Heather

trees, tears, and elevators

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

We've gotten into a pretty solid book routine at bedtime.  I read Jack two books and then tell him it's time to get into bed.  Then, he cons me into "a last one in bed."  So, we read a third book while he's under the covers.  I kneel on the floor and lean in with the book.  (He's got a tough life.)

The other night, he insisted on a book from the top shelf of his bookcase which incidentally, is where I put books that we will grow into.  I have vintage hardbacks of things like The House at Pooh Corner and Robinson Crusoe.  I look forward so much to reading those with Jack, but never want him to grow big enough that it's time.  (Freezing time.  Isn't someone working on that?)

Anyway, the other night, Jack insisted on "that one!  that tree book!"

He was pointing at this:



I tried to talk him out of it.  He insisted.  We sat on the couch and read it.

About halfway through, I remembered why my first instinct had been to try and read something different.

It's beautiful and heartbreaking.  It's simple and complex.  It's sweet and devastatingly philosophical. 

(In short: I was sobbing.)

Jack looked up at me and said, "Don't cry, Momma."  

(SOB)

I was recently talking to a friend who isn't sure she's ready to have a baby.  She's scared of losing herself.  And I totally get that.  I mean, it's a real fear.

In response, I said this: 

It's like, all your life, you've been living your life and things are awesome.  You believe that you've taken the elevator to the top floor -- house, marriage, family, pets, etc.  Life rocks.  
But then, you have a baby.  And you realize that there's another floor above you.  So, you take the elevator one floor higher.  And when you get there, it is SO MUCH BETTER than where you were before.  And so many people you know are there!  And you wonder:  How the hell did I ever think that what I had before was the best it was going to get?  THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER.

She teared up.

I didn't mean to make her cry.  I was just sharing what I feel to be true.

Shel Silverstein didn't mean to make me cry.  Hell, maybe he did.  I'll never know.  Either way, he was sharing what he knew to be true.

Ain't life grand?

Hope you can enjoy some truth today.  Even if it makes you cry a little.

Talk soon,
Heather

P.S.  Just to end on a happy note, wasn't Shel Silverstein a bad looking dude?


things that make you go WOO WOO

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Durel and I have a new favorite thing:  THIS NOISE.

Because, hello.  The passion.  The expression.  The emphatic arm.

Hope something makes you really stinking happy today.

Talk soon,
Heather

turning japanese I really think so

Monday, July 8, 2013

I could go on and on about all of the cool things that Jack likes to eat.  But that would be ridiculously annoying.  So, here's the list of what he does not like to eat:  
  • macaroni and cheese
  • eggs

Other than the fact that if the laws of quantum mechanics and nutrition were inverted, that's pretty much ALL I would eat, um, that's just weird.

Last night, Mom and Dad and Jack and I went out for sushi.  Mom is on a low sodium diet, per her doctors' orders.  It's a challenge.  (Salt is delicious.)

Anyway, Mom really wanted a cheeseburger, and Dad was pretty much on board.  (Cheeseburgers are delicious.)  (See also:  Cheeseburgers are salty.)

So, I chose a moderately risky roulette game to decide the matter of food.  Trying to be a good influence and all.  It shook down like this:

Me:      Jack, what would you like to have for dinner?  Sushi or a cheeseburger?
Jack:    SUSHI!!!
Mom:   Oh...OK, then.  Sushi it is.
Dad:     Wow!  OK.  Sushi then?
Me:      YES.

We had a great time.  Mom and Dad were happy with the choice, in that way that you know you've made the healthy choice and then it rocks.

And as for Jack?  


He got lost in a fog of miso seaweed deliciousness.

Not so lost, however, that he couldn't DEMOLISH a ridiculous amount of them.


He ate that entire bowl of seaweed salad.  And half the soup.

On the way out, I took him over to the sushi bar and taught him to say "arigato" to the sushi chefs.  It was so cute that my heart may or may not have splintered into a quadrillion pieces.

Hope you have a day low in sodium and high in satisfaction.

Talk soon,
Heather

Zen and the art of crab eating

Friday, July 5, 2013

Every Father's Day, we had a crab feast.  

Granddad would drive to Rock Hall early in the morning to get a bushel of Number Ones.  We would all go to the house in Worton and sit in the shade of the huge evergreen trees in the backyard.  It was the only time I remember using the back door of my grandparents' house, and it felt special.

The picnic table was covered in several weeks' worth of the Kent County News and the Cecil Whig.  There was a fancy dancy crab mallet holder in the center of the table.  It even had a spot for the roll of paper towels, which is imperative.  The grown ups drank beer.  I have no idea what I drank.  Probably ginger ale.

We would eat crabs until we were full.  But you know, that's pretty hard with crabs.  So, I'll say that we all ate crabs until we were tired of picking them, tired of washing our hands when we had to get anything other than a crab, etc.  Tired of Old Bay getting into the increasing number of nicks and cuts on our fingers, because crabs, well, they get you.  Even when you're from Maryland, born and raised.

Granddad didn't ever get full of crab.  The rest of us would have cashed in long ago, washed our hands, gotten something fresh to drink, shaken off all of the Old Bay crumbs that had accumulated everywhere, and come back outside to hang out.  Granddad just kept going.

He was methodical.  He opened every single leg, even the ones that usually "aren't worth it" to me.  He got every single piece of meat out of every crab.  He enjoyed it.  It was sort of Zen to watch him eat crabs, now that I think about it.  He wasn't fast.  It was not gluttony.  It was thorough, measured, enjoyment.  

At some point Mom and Grandmom would give in to the realization that they had to pick the rest of the crabs, so that someone could use the crabmeat.  Someone had to make soup or crabcakes or something, and you know ... "those crabs don't pick themselves!"  Someone would always say.

* * * 

This year for Father's Day, Durel, Jack, and I were in Houston.  PapaDu and Dustin drove to Kema in the morning to get crabs.  Then, the Bernard men boiled them with seasoning and "groceries" (sausage, garlic, celery, mushrooms, pure deliciousness) in the driveway.  Then, we put our own spin on the Father's Day tradition and ate them.  

They're going to hate me for posting this.
But it was so awesome.
D, I kept it small.  Does that help?
It's a little different.  Plastic on the tables instead of newspaper.  Shrimp in addition to crab.  Groceries in addition to just crabs.  (I love that, maybe the most.)  A new backyard.  A new tree (or lack thereof) to sit under.  A new back door to use.

And a new person to partake.


Jack did not pass Go.  He did not collect $200.  He sat down and started eating some serious crab.  As fast as Donna and I could pick it, he would eat it.  He easily ate 4 or 5 crabs' worth of meat.  And that's really saying something.

Granddad was so proud.  I could feel it.

Hope you feel some love from above today.

Talk soon,
Heather

joining the ranks of greatness

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What do these people have in common?


Sir Paul McCartney


Sir Winston Churchill


Charlie Chaplin

Jimi Hendrix



Babe Ruth



Jack


Yup.  They're all left-handed.

Which is clearly a sign that Jack is a genius who is destined for greatness.   We just have to wait and see if it's with a baseball bat, guitar, diplomacy, or a bowler hat and humor.

Hope you dream great things today.

Talk soon,
Heather (also left-handed)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

necessity is the mother ... of a three year old

Yesterday was a doozy.  

Morning traffic was a beast.  The work day was intense.  I left early (despite my ghastly to do list) for my biannual skin check.  (More on skin cancer later, but suffice it to say, I'm a melanoma survivor.  Get your skin checked.)

Work calls after the doctor.  Picture me at a crowded Starbucks, with a finger jammed in one ear, phone pressed tight to the other ear, trying my best to hear my the voices on the other end of the line.

So, at said Starbucks, work call finished and iced coffee in hand, with a critical eye on my watch (T minus time to pick up J from school), I made an executive decision.

It's time for a pedicure.

I didn't even *start* to relax until about halfway through.  I had to put my phone down (including work emails) because the battery was almost dead.  That was good.  Then, I had to read Vogue.  I had to get the paraffin wax treatment.  (It's the best.)

I keep a pair of flip flops in my car for dire situations like emergency pedicures and uncomfortable heels.  If I had been thinking ahead, I would have brought them with me into the nail salon.  I did not think ahead, and I had worn Toms yesterday.  

No problem, right?  You can walk to your car in the foam flippers that they give you after a pedicure.

True.  You can.  And you know what else you can do?

You can walk from the nail salon to the liquor store next door to buy a nice bottle of Pinot Noir in your foam flippers, and then walk from there to the car after.  

Did I do that?  Yes, I did.  

Was I embarrassed?  Not even a little.  I had a problem (sad toes, bad day) and I was fixing it.  I was multi-tasking.  And you know, divine providence would not have put that nail salon next to that liquor store unless it was just meant to be.

OK, maybe that's taking it a little far.  But by the time I got home and D and I decompressed about our days with a glass of wine, the headache had subsided and my toes looked great.

So, if necessity used to be the mother of invention, I think that necessity is actually the working mother of a three year old.

Hope you find a creative solution today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, July 25, 2013

save bunny! save bunny?

Bunny is a big part of our family.

He's Jack's consiglieri.

He is present for all important family activities.

Like...




Is that a baby in a bar??  Not really.  Well, sort of.  Longhorn Village cocktail lounge, to be precise.
A surprisingly nice place to have a cocktail.  Or a Sprite, if you're 3.


Observation:  Bunny and I must be pretty tight because his ass is in my face.

So, you will understand my horror when I realized this morning that we had a Code Grey on our hands.
All I have to say is this:  Thank God that Mom taught me to sew.

Hope your mom taught you something that makes you a total lifesaver today.

Talk soon,
Heather

PS:  Is the movie reference in the title of this post too obscure?  I hope not.  They all love him.  They think he's a righteous dude.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

orange you glad he wore a different shirt?

Knock knock

(Who's there?)

Orange

(Orange who?)

Jack has like five shirts that he likes to wear.  This is NOT one of them, but he wore it the other day.

Orange you glad he wore a different shirt?

We sure were.


Kudos to Mr. R for getting Jack to wear something other than the Cubs shirt, the Saints shirt, the LSU shirt, or the Superhero shirt.  (Related:  I need to get Jack some Bates, Orioles, American University, and Chesapeake Bay stuff, STAT.  This kid's gotta represent.)

Hope you do something outside of the box today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Thursday, July 18, 2013

i hope the sky is listening

Photo courtesy of the talented Betsy

It's been raining for the past few days in Austin.  We're in a serious drought, so the rain is awesome for the scorched earth and thirsty plants.  And for the diminishing (but still beautiful and boat-able) lake.

It is not, however, so good for Jack and his buddies, who missed their regularly scheduled Tuesday Splash Day and haven't been able to rock the playground time as much as they would like.

This morning, on our way to school, Jack pointed an admonishing finger at the sky and said sternly, "You stop that raining.  Jack and his friends need to play."

He couldn't see my smile in the front seat.  I paused and said, "Well, how do you think the grass and the trees feel now?"

With his chin to chest, all pouty-like, he responded, "Better... But Momma, I told it to STOP.  So I can play."

Is it too early to wonder if he will be President?

Hope you feel empowered to give orders today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

trees, tears, and elevators

We've gotten into a pretty solid book routine at bedtime.  I read Jack two books and then tell him it's time to get into bed.  Then, he cons me into "a last one in bed."  So, we read a third book while he's under the covers.  I kneel on the floor and lean in with the book.  (He's got a tough life.)

The other night, he insisted on a book from the top shelf of his bookcase which incidentally, is where I put books that we will grow into.  I have vintage hardbacks of things like The House at Pooh Corner and Robinson Crusoe.  I look forward so much to reading those with Jack, but never want him to grow big enough that it's time.  (Freezing time.  Isn't someone working on that?)

Anyway, the other night, Jack insisted on "that one!  that tree book!"

He was pointing at this:



I tried to talk him out of it.  He insisted.  We sat on the couch and read it.

About halfway through, I remembered why my first instinct had been to try and read something different.

It's beautiful and heartbreaking.  It's simple and complex.  It's sweet and devastatingly philosophical. 

(In short: I was sobbing.)

Jack looked up at me and said, "Don't cry, Momma."  

(SOB)

I was recently talking to a friend who isn't sure she's ready to have a baby.  She's scared of losing herself.  And I totally get that.  I mean, it's a real fear.

In response, I said this: 

It's like, all your life, you've been living your life and things are awesome.  You believe that you've taken the elevator to the top floor -- house, marriage, family, pets, etc.  Life rocks.  
But then, you have a baby.  And you realize that there's another floor above you.  So, you take the elevator one floor higher.  And when you get there, it is SO MUCH BETTER than where you were before.  And so many people you know are there!  And you wonder:  How the hell did I ever think that what I had before was the best it was going to get?  THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER.

She teared up.

I didn't mean to make her cry.  I was just sharing what I feel to be true.

Shel Silverstein didn't mean to make me cry.  Hell, maybe he did.  I'll never know.  Either way, he was sharing what he knew to be true.

Ain't life grand?

Hope you can enjoy some truth today.  Even if it makes you cry a little.

Talk soon,
Heather

P.S.  Just to end on a happy note, wasn't Shel Silverstein a bad looking dude?


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

things that make you go WOO WOO


Durel and I have a new favorite thing:  THIS NOISE.

Because, hello.  The passion.  The expression.  The emphatic arm.

Hope something makes you really stinking happy today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Monday, July 8, 2013

turning japanese I really think so

I could go on and on about all of the cool things that Jack likes to eat.  But that would be ridiculously annoying.  So, here's the list of what he does not like to eat:  
  • macaroni and cheese
  • eggs

Other than the fact that if the laws of quantum mechanics and nutrition were inverted, that's pretty much ALL I would eat, um, that's just weird.

Last night, Mom and Dad and Jack and I went out for sushi.  Mom is on a low sodium diet, per her doctors' orders.  It's a challenge.  (Salt is delicious.)

Anyway, Mom really wanted a cheeseburger, and Dad was pretty much on board.  (Cheeseburgers are delicious.)  (See also:  Cheeseburgers are salty.)

So, I chose a moderately risky roulette game to decide the matter of food.  Trying to be a good influence and all.  It shook down like this:

Me:      Jack, what would you like to have for dinner?  Sushi or a cheeseburger?
Jack:    SUSHI!!!
Mom:   Oh...OK, then.  Sushi it is.
Dad:     Wow!  OK.  Sushi then?
Me:      YES.

We had a great time.  Mom and Dad were happy with the choice, in that way that you know you've made the healthy choice and then it rocks.

And as for Jack?  


He got lost in a fog of miso seaweed deliciousness.

Not so lost, however, that he couldn't DEMOLISH a ridiculous amount of them.


He ate that entire bowl of seaweed salad.  And half the soup.

On the way out, I took him over to the sushi bar and taught him to say "arigato" to the sushi chefs.  It was so cute that my heart may or may not have splintered into a quadrillion pieces.

Hope you have a day low in sodium and high in satisfaction.

Talk soon,
Heather

Friday, July 5, 2013

Zen and the art of crab eating

Every Father's Day, we had a crab feast.  

Granddad would drive to Rock Hall early in the morning to get a bushel of Number Ones.  We would all go to the house in Worton and sit in the shade of the huge evergreen trees in the backyard.  It was the only time I remember using the back door of my grandparents' house, and it felt special.

The picnic table was covered in several weeks' worth of the Kent County News and the Cecil Whig.  There was a fancy dancy crab mallet holder in the center of the table.  It even had a spot for the roll of paper towels, which is imperative.  The grown ups drank beer.  I have no idea what I drank.  Probably ginger ale.

We would eat crabs until we were full.  But you know, that's pretty hard with crabs.  So, I'll say that we all ate crabs until we were tired of picking them, tired of washing our hands when we had to get anything other than a crab, etc.  Tired of Old Bay getting into the increasing number of nicks and cuts on our fingers, because crabs, well, they get you.  Even when you're from Maryland, born and raised.

Granddad didn't ever get full of crab.  The rest of us would have cashed in long ago, washed our hands, gotten something fresh to drink, shaken off all of the Old Bay crumbs that had accumulated everywhere, and come back outside to hang out.  Granddad just kept going.

He was methodical.  He opened every single leg, even the ones that usually "aren't worth it" to me.  He got every single piece of meat out of every crab.  He enjoyed it.  It was sort of Zen to watch him eat crabs, now that I think about it.  He wasn't fast.  It was not gluttony.  It was thorough, measured, enjoyment.  

At some point Mom and Grandmom would give in to the realization that they had to pick the rest of the crabs, so that someone could use the crabmeat.  Someone had to make soup or crabcakes or something, and you know ... "those crabs don't pick themselves!"  Someone would always say.

* * * 

This year for Father's Day, Durel, Jack, and I were in Houston.  PapaDu and Dustin drove to Kema in the morning to get crabs.  Then, the Bernard men boiled them with seasoning and "groceries" (sausage, garlic, celery, mushrooms, pure deliciousness) in the driveway.  Then, we put our own spin on the Father's Day tradition and ate them.  

They're going to hate me for posting this.
But it was so awesome.
D, I kept it small.  Does that help?
It's a little different.  Plastic on the tables instead of newspaper.  Shrimp in addition to crab.  Groceries in addition to just crabs.  (I love that, maybe the most.)  A new backyard.  A new tree (or lack thereof) to sit under.  A new back door to use.

And a new person to partake.


Jack did not pass Go.  He did not collect $200.  He sat down and started eating some serious crab.  As fast as Donna and I could pick it, he would eat it.  He easily ate 4 or 5 crabs' worth of meat.  And that's really saying something.

Granddad was so proud.  I could feel it.

Hope you feel some love from above today.

Talk soon,
Heather

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

joining the ranks of greatness

What do these people have in common?


Sir Paul McCartney


Sir Winston Churchill


Charlie Chaplin

Jimi Hendrix



Babe Ruth



Jack


Yup.  They're all left-handed.

Which is clearly a sign that Jack is a genius who is destined for greatness.   We just have to wait and see if it's with a baseball bat, guitar, diplomacy, or a bowler hat and humor.

Hope you dream great things today.

Talk soon,
Heather (also left-handed)

 
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