Friday Confessions

I’m coming clean.  Admissions and deep thoughts for a Friday afternoon…

1. I dislike Sandra Boynton books.  Intensely. I’m sure I could write them myself in 6 minutes. Maybe 4. The artwork is another story – that is something I cannot do.  But the words? Do you realize that the woman has a degree in English from Yale? Sometimes, for fun (which probably speaks volumes about me and my marriage?) my husband and I have Sandra Boynton Slams, kind of like Poetry Slams, where we speak in Sandra Boynton-esque prose.  It cracks us up every single time.*

Boynton's Super Cute Hippo from her website. Click the photo to go there.

Boynton’s Super Cute Hippo from her website. Click the photo to go there.

2. I don’t really get the amber teething necklaces. I’m not against home remedies or alternative therapies, but I just think they look and seem a little silly.  Then again, I tend to not accessorize my children. But somehow these necklaces seem a bit like those Magical! Therapeutic! Magnetic! Bracelets! you see at the mall.  I’m not buying it.

3. I once mommy-judged a woman feeding her child a pop tart for breakfast. I then realized that my child was eating a doughnut at the time.  Lesson learned.

Donut with Sprinkles

4. My son’s 3rd birthday is approaching.  Sure, I’ve scoped out Pinterest and Garnish for cute ideas. I’ve considered paper straws, jute, twine, mason jars, personalized labels, buntings, colors and themes.  But you know what? Ain’t nobody got time for that. I believe that kid birthdays should include three things: running around, pizza and cake.  Because that is what kids like – at least mine.  Maybe someday we’ll add a pinata, because he also likes candy and hitting things with sticks.  Sandwiches shaped like dinosaurs? Personalized juice boxes?  He’ll be too busy running around, jacked up on sugary frosting to give a damn.

Whack me!

5. We got a wonderful new kitten.  The kids adore her. When she meows, Pickle gets down on his hands and knees and asks her, in all seriousness, “What is wrong, kitty?” and then tries to comfort her, yelling, “It’s okay, kitty, I’m right here!  I’m right here, Honey!” Sweet exchanges between kittens and small children? Cuteness overload. Plum tries to catch her so she can “pet” her – which mostly means giggling and attempting to whack her with an open hand. Luckily kitty is fast.

She is a positive and cuddly addition to the household for sure.  However, I have had a few moments (like this morning, collecting and dropping off her stool sample at the vet – fun!) where I have realized that there is yet another little creature in the house I will have to feed, and cuddle, keep well, and wake up worrying about.  Sigh.

Fast friends

Fast friends

* In all fairness, I have to admit that Boynton’s website motto, “Trying to Think of a Motto Since 1973” has knocked my dislike down a few rungs. Damn you, SB!


Things I Love Thursdays (One Day Late)

Thing I Love: IKEA Landet Farm and Animals

We have lots of great toys in our house. Lots. And with a recent birthday (Happy 1st, Plum!) we got even more.  On one hand, I am so very grateful for our abundance and loved ones’ generosity.  On the other hand, I’m kind of ready to purge some of the abundance.  My house is only so big, and we are slowly becoming overrun by small plastic pieces, music-making toys and STUFF.

But this week’s TIL is a keeper. No plastic, no batteries, just imagination, play, cute furry beasts and everything wraps up into a neat and tidy package. Thank you, IKEA! And thank you to Aunt S. and Uncle M. for sending it!

IKEA's Landet

IKEA’s Landet Farm

IKEA Landet Animals

IKEA Landet Animals

IKEA Landet Farm

IKEA Landet Farm – Everyone tucked in tight!


Note: I may be Swedish, but IKEA doesn’t know me. I just love this toy.

Kid Fibs

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Time for the lying to commence!!!

But really.

I’m not anti-Santa. I think Christmas is magical and amazing and twinkly and all of that good stuff. I hope I can help to create magical, warm, lovely memories for my children. But I do ponder the dishonesty inherent in the holiday as we talk about Santa, and as parents all across this nation plan elaborate adventures for their Elves on Shelves (who, if you look at Pinterest for more than 4 seconds, you will note no longer hang out on shelves, but go hang-gliding, go skiing, and have other crazy adventures. I’m going with “Paws for Claus” this year and telling Pickle that Lula kitty is watching his every move and reporting back to Santa. Much easier.)

Long before I had children, a friend, who is a father of three, mentioned that motherhood involved a hearty dose of well-intentioned, creative dishonesty. Back then, I didn’t know what he meant, but I do now. Though my preference and default is honesty, I do find myself lying to my son on a regular basis. Every day. Sure there are the whoppers like Santa, but there are the little lies, too. These include:

  • After hearing for the 45th time that my child wants/needs/must have donuts – “I know you want to eat 3 chocolate dunk dunks (aka munchkins), but they don’t make any after lunch.”
  • After placing a bowl of beef and barley soup in front of him – “You will love this! It is ELMO soup!” (Note: Admittedly, I stole this trick from my mother, who served us soup called “Muppet Soup”. When I was creating a family recipe book – sometime after my 30th birthday, mind you – I asked her why it had that name. She responded, “So you would eat it.” Oh. Duh. Yes, it took me 25+ years to figure that out.)
  • As my son complains of a bellyache 30 minutes past his bedtime – “Here, let me teach you some belly fixers!” And I proceed to show him some yoga-ish moves that he can do lying down on the floor or, even better, in his bed. To my credit, these moves are vaguely related to something I read once in Self or Real Simple that had something to do with some sort of old wives’ tale about helping babies pass gas. Or something. Very scientific! (Note: Another recent revelation was that my mother’s proposed cure for bedtime bellyaches was lying on my stomach, very still in my bed. Are you beginning to see a pattern here? She was a clever one…)
  • When I am asked to watch a 3rd episode of Yo Gabba Gabba – “Oh no! I think the TV is broken!” More like, “Oh no! My spirit and sanity will be broken if I have to watch that whiny Brobee and his modeled-after-an-adult-toy buddy Muno for 4 more seconds.”

There are a million lies we tell our kids for convenience, to save or protect them from the truth, or just to avoid saying, “Because you can’t/Because I said so/No” one more time in a day. But honesty is the best policy, I know. And I’m sure that someday soon my kid-fibs will bite me in the bum. Until then…

If you sit too close to the TV, you’ll go blind.
Potatoes will grow out of your ears.
and finally,
Your face will get stuck that way.

Things I Want Right Now…

… besides world peace, a nap and a lottery win…

There is no good reason for me to want this ridiculous rabbit door knocker from Anthropologie.  Who uses door knockers anyway?  In my neck of the woods, a better question would be, “Who uses the front door anyway?” But I like this thing.  I’m beginning to think I have a thing for bunnies (see my post about nursery decor).

Swinging Hare Door Knocker from Anthropologie

I found this when I was looking for nursery items.  I love it. Oh etsy, you are such a time suck. I love the brights and the almost unorganized look.  They’re squares… but are they? How did they make this work?  I want a big one of these for my bed.

Sadie Baby Quilt by GoodWishesQuilts on

Why didn’t someone think of this before?  Sculptural AND practical? Yes, please!  Spread your butter, spread your jam and don’t worry about it getting on the table.  The MoMA store  has such interesting items – it’s worth a browse.

Standing Knife from

Resolve Revisited.

At the end of 2011 I dedicated a post to my New Year’s resolutions.  I’m revisiting those resolutions here and giving myself grades for each one.  Self-assessment = brutal = ouch.


1. Use up bath products

The good stuff:  I threw away my self-tanning products.  (Okay, perhaps I threw them away in anticipation of this post, but it still counts, damn it.)  And while I was under my sink, fixing a slow drain (please, no applause,) I got rid of some more stuff.  Sigh. Sometimes it is just so hard to part with things. Even things you didn’t really want in the first place.  Years ago – YEARS, people – I received a big box of high-end hand soaps and lotions.  I never really used them because they weren’t my kind of stinky.  I’m sure they smelled great to someone, just not me.  But I couldn’t make myself throw away bottles of $30 hand lotion.  Until today.  Goodbye stinky expensive lotion.  I tried to make it work, I really did.  We just weren’t meant for one another.

The bad stuff: I bought these giganterous (new word, I like it) buckets o’ shampoo and conditioner at Target when they were on sale so I’m not using up my old shampoos and conditioners like I could be.  I also realized that I have about 40 mini-perfumes in my drawer.  Many moons ago I went through a buy-a-lot-of-mini-perfumes-from-eBay-phase.  Not one of my better phases.  I haven’t really worn perfume since 2008 – I just kind of stopped.  Wait, that is about the same time I stopped wearing cute, uncomfortable underwear AND it is the same year I got married.  I am sensing some unfortunate cause and effect here but that is a post for another day.  Anyway, I don’t know how I am going to work my way through those tiny little bottles of smelly.

Grade: B-


2. Freeze Something

The good stuff: I did freeze a bunch of things in prep for Miss Plum’s arrival.

The bad stuff: A lot of it is still in the freezer dying a slow death.

Grade: B


3. Make something.

The good stuff: I MADE A BABY.  FROM SCRATCH. (With hubby’s help, of course.)  That has to count for something.  I made a blog.  I made some neat Shutterfly books (okay, I’m stretching here), and I started writing a children’s book.  A rhyming children’s book.

The bad stuff: The sewing machine sits, alone, unloved, unused, weeping quietly.

Grade: B- (saved from a “D” by Miss Plum!)


4. Read something.

The good stuff: I did read some books.  I don’t remember what they are (except for “The Hunger Games”) but I did read some.  Clearly, I should read better, or at least more memorable books, eh?

The bad stuff: Magazines aren’t books.

Grade: B


Overall:  First, I am much chagrined by the fact that I have the most to say about my bath product resolution.  Ouch.  That is sad.  Second, based on the first half of the year, this gal ain’t graduating with honors.  But, all things considered, I am making slow-but-steady progress.  Next week I will revisit the topic with my mid-year resolutions.  Any suggestions?


I’m not big on resolutions.  I suppose I subconsciously make a “lose weight’ resolution every year… or week, really.  But that’s never really happened (except in 20 pound chunks here and there – which I quickly put back on with some bonus pounds), so I’m vowing not to make that resolution again (and again and again).  I did feel a sort of head-nodding relief when I read Tara Parker-Pope’s recent article in the NYTimes Magazine, “The Fat Trap”.  An interesting read.  It helped me feel at least a little bit validated that perhaps what I’ve always felt about my own weight struggles are true – that in order for me to lose and maintain that loss, I have to eat much less than other people my size and exercise twice as much.  It doesn’t seem fair, and I’ve said as much to my doctor, but it seems to be true.  My Mama Pajama was right, “Life isn’t fair.”

(Aside: as I’ve gotten older, I’ve pretty much figured out that my mom was right about most things. Even about wearing comfortable underwear.  So annoying.)

So this year I’m going to make some resolutions that are easier to keep – things that are sort of on my to-do list anyway.

1. Use up bath products.  I know this seems silly, but honestly, I have a lot of half-used, and still good hair products, shampoos, lotions, and the like.  I am going to first clean house (see my Exorcist Needed post) and throw away all of my self tanning products because I finally realized after 12 years that I am not meant to be tan, and I am not dedicated enough to slather/spray/goop myself every morning or every other morning to become so.  I am then going to throw away anything that has made it through 3 moves (aka anything over 7 years old – yuck).  And then, I’m going to knock those bottles down one by one!  I am not looking forward to having to use up the “Scrunch Spray” I bought when I thought that enough goop could make my straight hair “wavy”, but resolutions aren’t supposed to be easy.

2. Freeze something.  Baby is coming in 10 weeks.  I am going to plan a few menus, and cook up a storm.  When Mr. Pickle Pumpkin was born I didn’t eat enough, and I didn’t eat well.  It is a little thing I can do to take care of myself when Baby Plum arrives.  Plus, I was lucky enough to receive a perfectly sized little chest freezer for Christmas from my parents. Please, no comments on my extreme level of excitement relative to receiving a freezer for Christmas.  The lameness factor is not lost on me, just let me revel in my little icy joy.  Great posts on prepping a freezer for a new baby can be found on Annie’s Eats and elephantitas alegres.  I’ll be using some of their recipes for sure!

3. Make something.  I have a lovely sewing machine.  I have fabric, and all sorts of sewing accessories.  I am capable of following directions.  I am in desperate need of a creative outlet.  AND I have a Home Ec teacher for a mother, and she is always just a phone call away.  I’m going to make something.  Perhaps starting with something simple, like little decorated cloth diapers for my sister.  They are made by sewing a piece of ribbon onto the diaper.  Straight lines.  That’s it.  I have a degree from the Ivy League, I should be able to handle straight lines.  Should.  Expect more  posts on my sewing adventures…

4. Read something. I have a toddler, a full time job, and will be welcoming a baby in 10 weeks.  I’m not under the illusion that I’ll be crossing a bunch of to-read books off of my list.  What I would like to do, however, is always have a book going.  It may be that I read only one book in 2012 – one. slow. page. at. a. time.  But I love to read, and books are good for me.  So that is resolution number 4.

Things I Like Thursdays

TIL #1: Catia Chen

I love these.  I’ve had the site bookmarked for years, and at different times different paintings have spoken to me.  They’re a little whimsical, a little dark, and a lot lovely.  And they’re not super expensive.  Perhaps I’ll get one for myself…

Maybe this one?

"day in the park" by catia chen

Or perhaps this one? (Yes, I do feel kind of like this sometimes…)

"paperplanes1" by catia chen

(As always with TIL Thursdays, Catia Chen doesn’t know me, I just really like her work.)