Thursday, January 31, 2008

Celebrate Good Times. Come On!

The prodigal AutoBot has returned. From where? He's not talking. (He's tight grille-d.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week, my Sunday rest.

Dear Bumblebee,

Why did you leave me? What did I do?

Did I lavish too much attention on you? Did my repeated and rather incessant attempts to transform, to master your puzzling intricacies put you off? Minute after minute. Day after day. Week after week--for the very short, yet impassioned, time that we had together? For that, I cannot, I will not, apologize.

But did I fumble too much? Was I too awkward in my advances? That, I do regret. But I am only of the four and a half, and although I do apologize, wholeheartedly, I cannot redeem. Is it in my nature. I wish it weren't, for a deeply fear that my love paraded as abuse, and that, misunderstood, I have lost you.

Or maybe you heard another call. Perhaps from the AllSpark? Maybe you missed your fellow AutoBots and felt the longing for them that I now feel for you. For that I am sorry. For now that you have left me, now that I have lost you, either because of my own transgressions or your own loss, I know the pain of being torn from something that you love most. For I, like Rumi's reed, sing my song of separation.

Please hear my lament and return to me.


Eternally sorry and sorrowful,


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Move over Marcel Marceau: There's a New Mime in Town

It started with an abandoned cardboard frame. (Imagine an unhinged triangle.) I grabbed it and made it into some clamping crab claws. Then Finn grabbed it and made into . . . say it with me now . . . a gun. And we were off.

It's a heart.

It's a steering wheel.

It's a . . . frame?

Real creative, mama.

(My favorite: Finn bumped the two ends of the frame against each other and gave me this hint.

Finn: "It's what you do after you get married."

Me: . . .

Finn: "Dancing!")

When we exhausted the prop chest, we moved into unassisted charades. Bear would whisper "an action" to Finn. He would act it out. I would guess. I can't say I got all his interpretive clues--it is his first go at the fine and respected art of miming.

I mean, who wouldn't confuse skateboarding with synchronized swimming?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Traveling Companion

I work at home. There is no watercooler to gossip around. The office politics can be vicious and one-sided, but they don't flare up too frequently. And although I'm a dutiful handwasher, possibly bordering on obsessive compulsive, I don't so much have to worry about rubbing up against the germs that cube-mate Sheila's first grader brought home from school and generously gifted to her, her family, and each one of her coworkers, like some kind of art-hour macramé craft project.

(Do they do macramé in first grade? Maybe not. But they should. You could demonstrate some fine motorskilling there.)

So when I get on, say, a plane or stay in, say, a hospital for two days, well, those germs just start hopping about fleas on a dog, or a toddler on a toy you've told him you're going to sell on ebay.

They're real friendly like. In fact they were so very friendly and needy that apparently I had to bundle them up and take them home with me.

Which is all just a fancified and laborious way of telling you, I feel like crap.

But even though I felt like crap, I also felt it was my duty to get a start on those resolutions that I haven't even had the time to bore you with. Because there's no better time to feel guilty and inadequate than when you're feeling sickly. (Or so it works out in my head. I tend to kick myself when I'm down.) It's a traveling show of self-deprecation and martyrdom. Book the matinée while there are still seats.

So I headed to the gym. Because that's a good idea. I started with the theory that I'd elliptical through and beyond these germies.

I ended up feeling rather dizzy and nauseous. And, you know, a whole lot crappier.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just Flew in from Texas. . . and Boy Are My Arms Tired

I slept through the better part of this weekend. Late morning wake ups, multiple naps, early bedtimes--I sampled liberally from the whole snooze menu.

To catch you up, I spent last week helping my mom out. She had surgery and I felt, at the ripe age of 37, that I should jump on down and help out. Yes, it did take me upwards of three decades to figure out that I could actually be helpful in these post-surgery situations, that people out there in the great blue marble might actually need me. And although I don't know if this was a particular case in point--mom is not always easy--I did head down and give my best.

And yes, I am a slow learner.

So I am behind on my blog posts. (Texas, as you may be aware, is connected to the Internet. You may know it. My Luddite mother does not. You go to her house, you go old school on the blogging. Pen and paper, my people. So please allow me a few days to transcribe.)

And I'm exhausted. Hence, the Festival of Nod.

I don't know if it was a week's worth of family drama. (Oh, hi family! Didn't see you there. You know by "drama" I mean "fun!" Right?) Or if it was me trying not to do too many things at once and not so much succeeding at that. Or if it's just the toll of repressing my fears about mom in surgery. Or if it's a psychological weariness born from me trying to forget a particularly, let's say, revealing moment. And leave it at that. Next paragraph, please.

I will have to tease out the cause later, because, I just noticed from glancing out the window, it's rather dark outside. And I have to go to bed.

Feeling Mightily . . . How Do You Say?

Finn: "Mama, you're unbrained today."

Me: "Sorry, I'm what?"

Finn: "You put my milk on your placemat."

Me: "So I did."

Finn: "And my fork is upside down."

Me: "So it is."

Finn: "See, you're unbrained."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Not to Turn a Mountain into a Molehill

It started innocently enough: my sister asked if I wanted to see a building implode and I said yes. I mean, who wouldn't? It's all snap, crackle, pop, and tumble. Isn't that really the way you should start any Sunday morning? By blowing everything up and starting new?

What she neglected to tell me were the details: the butt crack of dawn (five freakin' a.m., my people!) that we had to greet in order to see said building implode, the bitter cold we'd have to endure, and the disturbing pop of chargers we'd hear before the building started its inward collapse.

I should've listened to my mother. I should've worn socks.

The building, formerly known as the Montague, was most recently a hotel, available by the hour (if you get my meaning, wink). In addition to playing refuge to those in need of a "quick nap," it also housed a small bat population that I hoped sensed the building's imminent demise and found new digs yesterday. (We didn't see them this morning.)

But more than sunrise, cold, bats in the bellfry, or the jolting, jitterfying pre-show, what we didn't expect was the emotional resonance of watching this building, just 10 or 12 stories really, collapse. It made us both think about watching the Twin Towers fall, which we both only saw on TV, not in person.

Certainly, this event was planned: most of the interior had been gutted, the windows removed, the streets cleared out. In a two words: safe and controlled. But on a very, very (I don't want to underemphasize this), very small scale we could extrapolate to what it must of been like to stand in front such the Two Towers and hear, smell, and witness that destruction, to see such a stalwart icon, something so solid, so part of your experience just vanish in a puff smoke and a pile of rubble, too small and too easily dismissed.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Don't Ask.

Bear: I'm not taking any responsibility whatsoever for you touching the bottom of a hot pan.

Me: . . .

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sometimes It's about Finding the Right Question

"Finn, what do you want for dinner: stew or mac-n-cheese?"

"Not eating."

"What do you want for dinner? Stew! Mac-n-cheese!"

"Not eating."

"What do you want for dinner? Stew? Mac-n-cheese?"

"Not eating."

"What do you want to not eat for dinner: stew or mac-n-cheese?"


Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Little Realist.

"You know, Finn, I like hanging out with you."

"You can't hang out with me all the time."

"Why not?"

"Because, mama, that's not the way the world works."

Still, Still!, Reading that Memoir

I used to be a big reader. And by "big," I mean lots, loads, oodles, gobs of input.

In undergrad, por ejemplo, I'd read a book a day. In grad school, I wasn't so much with the novels, but I'd easily clear that many pages, and more and sometimes in Spanish, French, and Italian. (And sometimes, drunk! Gotta multitask, my people.)

After I left the hallowed halls, what, five years ago?, I kind of left the bookshelves behind. Sure, I've read my share of Harry Potter and a smattering of True Literature (I could count 'em with my ten fingers and wouldn't even have to borrow the toes). Not quite the literary intensity of clearing the opus of Umberto Eco in 15 weeks. And then writing a thesis on it. (Did I just go elitist and cocky? I may have.) My reading has gone light--both in quality and quantity. (Yes, I did just imply that Harry Potter may not be quality reading material. Fun, yes. Literary, no.)

Now, if you're used to my writing style, you're probably waiting for the: "Until now." And then a line or maybe a graf about the literary revelation I had last night. How I read Moby Dick and Ulysses in one night and then submitted an article to Parenting magazine that compares both to my recent survival of toddlerhood.

You standing on that rug? Let me just pull that out from under you.

Nope, no such epiphany today. No, last night I read more of Eat, Pray, Love (yes! still!) and decided I wasn't going to let my academic past haunt my good-time present. As I was chomping at a memoir (that word would usually be delivered with a heaping cup of snark) and wishing I had some bon bons to munch along with it, I realized I wasn't so much missing the bon mots. I was Reading for Pleasure. Not to write about it or to teach it or to be one book closer to being "Well Read" or really for information. But for Pure Pleasure, for this thing called Personal Enlightenment.

And I realized, I likey! And, with Elizabeth Gilbert's help, I also realized that I don't have to feel guilty or apologize for who I am today, for what I read or what I enjoy, or for where I find my wisdom.

(Although an article about the Dick, Ulysses and the two-year old sounds intriguing. Don't steal it.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Daily Streudel

Hot pork roast stew, crusty bread, a glass of Madagascar Vanilla iced tea, and the promise of a snow-filled morning. Nothing better than hanging with my homies and enjoying the end of a long, gruelling, and stressful day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Again with the Writer's Block

Yes. Writer's block. One writer. One block. And it's mine. And you can't have it. Unless I decide to give it to you. Which I suppose, technically, I could. But then, what would I have? Because I sure as hockey sticks don't have an idea about what to write.

(But I may, may, I say, know for whom I will vote!)

Decisions are being made over here. Bear and I just finished watching the Nevada debate, with civic attention and deliberation, and only a wee bit of heckling. (Oh, they couldn't hear it. Stop your reproachin'.)

And you know, after watching several hours of candidates and pundits say this and evade that, I'm struck by the similarities between this debate and my early parenting strategies:

  • Don't want us to play with an issue? Distract with another shiny issue. And hope no one notices that they've been shelved.
  • Offer choices, but limit options to things you really like to do or make you look good. ("Charmed or Buffy? No. Well, we don't have to watch TV. I just thought you'd like to watch TV." "Absolutely no combat troops in Iraq. No combat troops. In Iraq. Well, obviously we would position troops in Kuwait.")
  • He who shouts loudest is desperate and, you know, really, really loud. Which is sometimes all you really need.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Daily Streudel

"What was the favorite part of your day?"

"Eating chocolate . . . . going to school."

" Yeah . . ."

"Wait--I have one more. That makes three favorites."

"It does. What is it?"

"Cuddling with you."

"Like, right now."

"Yeah, now is my favorite."

"Me, too."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday Nite, Or Day 13 of Blog365 and I Really Can't Think of Anything Else to Write about So You Know This Is Going to Be a Good Post

It's about 8:40 p.m. on Sunday night. I've got my PG Tips steeping and I'm about to settle in for a couple (or several) hours of work to get me prepped for Monday morning.

I drink too much tea.

Bear's about to cue up the DVR because it seems in our full sprint into 2008, we forgot to watch much to any TV. Damn us. (Or, "How committed you are to supporting your fellow writers!") And we had worked so very diligently in 2007 to accumulate as many programs as possible. Heroes. Pushing Daises. The Office. My Name Is Earl. (More Bear than me). Friday Night Lights (more me than Bear). Project Runway. Top Model marathons. (I may have to delete that admission tomorrow. We'll see how I feel about confessing that in the morning.) There was not an episode of Charmed missed.

We filled whole days with TV. It was my white noise while I worked, the blanket that kept my brain warm when it faced the soul-numbing reality of the blank screen.

And now, 13 days into 2008, the programs are dropping off the DVR, unwatched. The Halliwell sisters are, or are not, up to their usual antics with my witness. I have no idea who's leading the investigations on Law and Order. Seriously, I don't even know if the writers' strike is over.

(Is it over?)

Instead, I've been soaking in satellite radio and discovering new voices. (Cold War Kids! Amy Winehouse! I found out I really do like Interpol!)

So the Halliwell's have been abandoned for the Hallowed Swells of Music.

(Yes, I did just write that. And I'm not even going to press that backspace button to make it go away. As much as we both want me to.)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Two Views at an Art Opening

1. Stand in front of art. Gaze with purpose. Chat with purpose. See. Be seen.

2. Escape to stairwell with a gaggle of girlfriends. Transform banister into space ship. Explore new worlds.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Some Days You're Pulling Streudel Out Your A**. And Then There Are Days Like These.

In chronological order, because there really is no other way:

1. Got a comment! On a post! From a new reader! And I only had to pull out the caps lock once.
2. Finn drew his first house, with a door and windows. (Eyes on the escape route, my friends. The door is small.)
3. Bear had an opening at Byron Cohen Gallery. May have sold some shit. Saaaweeeett! (Translation: Excellent work, chap.)
4. Finn read me a book. A Book, I tell you. Sure, it was What Is a Princess? (forgive my gender-socializing apology. That was uncalled for, I know.) A book!

I'm Opening Comments

I've had a request to enable comments on my posts. You'll find that opportunity at the end of each day's (OMG, EACH DAY! This is taking the piss out of me) blogpost. You know, where it says "0 Comments." As in none. As in I don't have any.



I'm going out on a limb here, my people. And so help me, if you don't comment and don't comment nicelike, I'll . . . I'll . . . I'll TURN THEM RIGHT BACK OFF.

You've been warned. With the caps lock on.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I Just Want Him to Know Love Is Beautiful . . .

Finn may not be so easy with the dropping off at school, but he's not much into the picking up either. There is no Run for Mama Rescue Hug. Nope. My child does not own that consistency of character. Instead, he takes one look at me, and runs away. He is passionate about not going to school and equally passionate about not leaving it.

We've learned to live with that. We've adjusted our expectations and we don't set ourselves up for failure. We don't show up five minutes before the chilluns head outside and we give ample warnings. Slow waves, knowing nods, finger countdowns, verbal cues, buggy eyes, stronger gestures, smouthed commands.

And then, we give up diplomacy and just strong arm him and run.

Today, though, he was playing with his Girlfriend. Yes, Finn has a Girlfriend. A steady. (We even had to create a Mii for her.) She's in another class and he doesn't get to see her often, even though the chatter about her at home is rather incessant. We just couldn't motivate ourselves to break that up. So we waited, chatted up the teachers, and commiserated with some other parents that couldn't get their kids to exit the playground.

Finally, I saw an opening. Finn was on the jungle gym. Girlfriend was triking. I went in for the grab. As we walked toward the door, I asked Finn if he wanted to say goodbye to Girlfriend, maybe give her a hug. He thought that was a good idea, but . . .

"Mama, you ask her."

So Finn and I, hand in hand, walked over to Girlfriend. She almost ran me over with the trike. (A sign of future mama-girlfriend conflict, I'm sure.) After I swallowed some juicy expletives with a smile, I asked if Finn could give her a hug. Sure, she said.

Yes, a little creepy on the mothering there. I know. I was playing wingman. To my son.

Later, sensing my "liberal nature," Finn asks if he can sleep with Girlfriend. Bear chokes down a laugh and tosses me a mock see-what-you've-done-now look.

"Maybe you should date first," I say.

Did You Know?

You may have seen this. (I'm slow to the 'Tube.) But in case you haven't, allow me to present:

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Secret Perk of Blog365 #1: Highly Annoying to the Hubbin!

"You gonna read my blog. Like, ever again?"

"I read. I read. I just don't remember where I left off since you write like every damn day."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

You Go, Grrl!

I don't know that I'll vote for Hillary Clinton in the primary, but I'll say this. When I was a little girl and the boys would say they were going to be president when they grew up, I would say I was going to be a teacher or an archaeologist or a soap opera star.

Tomorrow, there's some little girl that when her turn comes around, she'll say, Me too, be-atch!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Put Your Hands in the Center and Say, "Everyday!"

Finn started it.

He put his hand in the center of the table, Bear and I quickly piled ours on top of his, and we took a family vow to have cracked-pepper ribeyes, pommes frites, and bacon-topped spinach salad every day for the rest of our lives.

Okay, maybe every other day.

Have I mentioned that my hubbin is the supreme ruler of the cast-iron skillet and, ergo, my tummy? And, uh, well, you know. (Insert blushing emoticon.)

How Do You Hold a Moonbeam in Your Hand?

I thought we started the morning well. We watched some morning cartoons, Finn had first and second breakfasts (the kid believes in breakfast), we headed off to school, and spent the car ride talking about the humorous implications of farce done well (or, what a thigh-slapper that Willy Wonka is. "'Member the turnover, mama?" "The somersault?" "The sobersalt! Now that was funny!")

We got to school, handed over a brand new, dayglo orange toothbrush to the teacher. Hugged. Kissed.

And then came the rain. The complete torrent: tears, crying, clinging.

Now, Finn's been going to preschool, and quite uneventfully, for about two years. So this isn't in his standard portfolio of morning behaviors. Sure, he's had school melts before (my child ain't perfect) but to the tune of, like, once a year (I guess we're due) and in the presence of teachers who quickly swoop in and solve the crisis for me.

But today, no such rescue. I was left to PARENT MY CHILD ON MY OWN.

It's difficult to comfort your child and back out of the door at the same time. Because, when it comes down to it, your leaving is the problem. So we talked about what he could. We read. We bargained. But still the rain came.

So I did what any parent would do. I ran for it. I walked him over to his teacher, with big, pleaful eyes--imagine Antonio Banderas' puss-in-boots--and I ran. Out the door. Into the car.

Yes. I feel incredibly guilty, rather useless, extremely ineffectual. You get the idea. I understand the manipulative powers of Four and a Half, but still, crying child is crying child and that don't get no easier.

So I sat in the car for a good 15. Thought about going into to rescue him and then thought about Finn as a 12 year old, excusing himself from school with a "tummy ache." And yet I still entertained the idea.

I called a couple of hours later and learned that Finn was in good hands. One of his classmates patted his head, reassured him, and read him a story. One of his Four and a Half classmates.

Dear Four and a Half: How I love you. In all your faces, in all your moods, in all your wonder. You are magic. You are beautiful.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sometimes Finding a Streudel Is Akin to the Pulling of the Teeth

I can't--and I won't! I won't!--say this was a bad day. If you've been reading this blog, you know I've had far worse. This just don't compare.

But some days, my people, all the cliches have to come out. And today was one of those pulling-teeth, herding-cats, there-must-be-a-silver-lining-here-somewhere days. It just was. And the drone that was Finn's whining and fussing and just plain being Four and a Half puts a big blotter on trying to tease any semblance of silver.

Oh--you haven't meet Four and a Half?

Sometimes it is joyous and wonder and has very funny things to say. With unlimited encores. Unfortunately, what's funny once is always funny on the eighth go 'round. But Four and a Half is persistent and will have laughter if Four and a Half wants laughter. Even if Four and a Half has to provide the laugh track himself. Which he will. With unlimited encores.

Four and a Half likes voices. Sometimes Four and a Half is an 70-year-old Jewish grandmother. Sometimes Four and a Half is a dead ringer for Peter Lorre. Sometimes Four and a Half is a monster truck. Four and a Half doesn't discriminate. Four a Half is an acoustic chameleon. And Four and a Half has exceptional endurance. Four and a Half never, never, tires of performing or perfecting any of his many personalities.

Today, Four a Half was Mr. Hyde with leaf blower. All day long. And he showed us just how "persistent" (re: obstinate and stubborn and all those other synonyms that mean obstinate and stubborn) he can be.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Daily Streudel

It was a sloppy pour, but it was cheap and poured at home. Guinness is on sale at Costco: 20 bucks for an 18-pack.

And that's my Daily Streudel, my people. Cheers and check that foamy 'stache.

Skip. Tie. And Sliiiddde.

Are you sitting down? I hope you're sitting down. Because if you're not sitting down, you're going to wish you were sitting down and then you'll probably sit down because you're so wanting of the sitting down.

(Can you tell we cleared the whole disc of the Best of the Best of the Electric Company? I would you think you could tell. Tell me. Can you tell?)

So, because of our binge viewing of EC last night and also thanks to the Dora the Explorer workbook I bought Finn yesterday (Verbs! First Action Words!), my child can read.

You read me right, my people. Finn can read.

Okay, so it was just two words--skip and tie--that he sounded out. On his own. Without prompting. (And while I was editing yesterday's post to include EC's Whedon connection.)

But, folks, it's two words. And as we all know, every journey begins with not just one step, but two. Because that first step could've been an accident, or some lucky footwork, or the beginnings of the Electric Slide, which is fun, but is decidedly not a journey.

Friday, January 04, 2008

It's a Word. It's a Plan. It's Letterman.

Hey you guuuuyyyyssss! Today's daily streudel: The Electric Company. On DVD.

And what, as I'm sure you're wondering, did they drop on the disk for the previews? Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen's Undeclared. It's about the beauty of rediscovering something from your childhood and finding that it's being marketed just for you. And it's about finding a kids' show--from 1971--that's way groovier, and socially relevant, than that doof of a purple dinosaur. It's about love of chair.

(But what about Naomi?)

[Addendum: After we finished our five-episode walk down the electrified memory lane, we learned that the Electric Company's head writer was Tom Whedon, who also wrote for the Golden Girls and Benson and bestowed the decisive sperm to the conception of Joss Whedon. And so alas, my fascination with things Whedonesque started so much earlier than I thought.]

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Called Out by Four-and-a-Half

"Mama, you were right. Sam turned into my friend again."

"I told you. I told you. I told you."

"Mama, that is taunting."

"But I did. Tell you."

"Mama, that is still taunting."

Yes, I Actually Do Feel That Strongly about It

Inkey and I have been having a little, uh, discussion about the nature of stockings. The Christmas kind. Those that hang-by-the-chimney-with-care kind.

She has rules about stockings and their giving potential, and I suppose, as a good friend, I could let her have her misinformed rules about stockings, their price limits (boundless!), and capacity (infinite!). But I'm too good of friend just to just let that go.

Stockings can be stuffed with precious treasures. I'll go there. Who wouldn't like to find an iPod or Planet Earth DVDs in their stocking?

But the key words here: stuffed with, in. In the stocking.

If it don't fit in the stockin', my dear, dear friend, it is a small gift.

Now to concede a point, as Inkey has so justly pointed out, I am not the arbiter of all things stocking. I have no degree in neither stocking nor Christmas. (Did I just double negative? I have a degree in neither stocking nor Christmas? I grammatize. Back to point.) But I do offer this argument, from, I think we will all agree, an established resource on stockings and their acceptable uses: Santa Claus.

As you'll remember from his biopic (Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, as reported by Romeo Muller who also wrote The Twelve Days of Christmas, Noel, The Wish That Changed Christmas, and The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold, and therefore obviously knows of what he speaks), Kris Kringle (aka Saint Nick, who'll argue with a saint? Please.) employed the covert nature of the stocking to distribute toys , in direct defiance of Burgermeister Meisterburger's despotic outrage against the as-yet-established celebration of Christmas.

Stockings, filled with furtive treats and trinkets, let me repeat, filled with furtive treats, saved Christmas. Plainly and clearly, that is what they are: furtive and filled.

(I expect we'll be hearing from Inkey soon . . .)

P.S. A note from Webster:

stocking stuffer
Function: noun
Date: 1948

: a small gift suitable for placing in [emphasis added] a Christmas stocking

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Daily Streudel

Listening to Pandora while I worked, discovering the Cold War Kids and old Radiohead, and decidedly NOT catching up with any set of the Halliwell sisters, the New York Missing Persons Squad of the FBI, or the elite Las Vegas surveillance team charged with maintaining the security of one of “Sin City’s” largest resorts and casinos.

Be Silent No More

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Feature! New Labels! New! New! New!

So, the newness of this post caught your eye? Those loud, exclamated claims of novelty, of fresh surprise.

Well, I am proud to announce a new label for smabmouth--and one that you'll be seeing a lot of in the 365 to come. It shall be named: Crisp Apple Streudel.

This new label and the content that will ensue honors honor a commitment I made with Inkey over at the Marsh, namely to call out our favorite thing or event each day. (Some folks might just call this kind of a commitment a "resolution." I shy from that word. Or I embrace it a little too vigorously. It's a complicated relationship.)

This commitment was born from an evening ritual Finn and I have. After teeth are washed and books are read and the husband has made his exit to do whatever hubbins do in between books and bed (perhaps he Wiis?), Finn and I settle under the covers and talk about our favorite moments from that day. Sometimes we add in a very not favorite moment, like, today, when we tried to start a fire in our fireplace and forgot to open the damper. Certainly lives up to the name, that damper, because when it's not in play (or in play?) it fills the room with smoke and, you know, dampens . . . the . . . uh . . . spirits. Right'o.

So bad news: we spent the next hour airing out and freezing down the place that we had so joyfully warmed up. Good news: smells like campfire in here. (Or that could just be more bad news poorly spun.)

So on to the streudel for January 1, the streudel that will act as symbol for all streudels to come:

While Bear made a wicked lamb pie, Finn and I played board games--in the same pajamas that we woke up in.

Happy New Year

My mom calls last night to wish me and the fam Happy New Year.

At 5:15 p.m.

A good seven hours before this time zone would actually ring in 2008.

I told her that that kind of advanced planning reminded me of when I was a kid and she'd tell me to get ready to go to bed at, like, 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

Her response: "Close enough."