Sunday, December 31, 2006

C'est moi.

So: Jen. She's the one who lured me into this whole blogging gig, and for this I'm eternally grateful because it's been one of my favorite things in 2006. I tagged along behind her into the blogosphere, and I suppose it's appropriate that I now find myself thieving the list she sent me today.

I also find myself (inadvertently, I swear) copying many of her responses. I always feel a little awkward when we're in the middle of a conversation and I realize that I've exclaimed, "Ohmigod! Me too!" after almost every thing she's said. Sorry, Jen, but it has been fun to find a kindred spirit.

Anyway: here are my answers, on the last day of this year. What are yours?

1. What is the last alcoholic beverage you drank? A sip of Trey's wine last night.

2. Do you follow college football? With a small degree of fervor, yes. We've just kicked off the countdown: only eight more months till the new season begins!

3. How many miles does your car have on it? 44,000. At least, until we resolve our longstanding mommy-friendly minivan vs. testosterone-fueled SUV debate.

4. Who was the last person to send you a text message? Trey, with the flight information for his last business trip.

5. Last time you went swimming in a pool? July, with the kids at the Y.

6. Are you happy? Yes. Yes, yes, yes.

7. Where was the last place you went shopping? Books-A-Million in Huntsville, Alabama; a feeble eleventh-hour attempt at Christmas shopping.

8. How do you feel about your hair? Frankly, I'm disappointed. I feel that it's not living up to its full potential. Maybe it's still nursing a grudge about that spiral perm in 1988.

9. Where should you be? I should be in Houston today, and I'm really sorry that we're not, but it is good to be home.

10. Last thing you ate? Pizza from Marco's; Trey's request upon returning to the big D.

11. Do you wish you were someplace else right now? Right now, I'm happy to be sitting in our little brick house. Next week, I might pine for a quiet sunlit room with a dune view, but at this moment, I'm satisfied.

14. AIM or MSN? Neither.

17. Who do you like right now? Trey's boss, for giving him an iPod Shuffle that I can't wait to borrow. Or steal. Same diff.

18. Favorite NFL team? I don't have one. I have a fleeting interest in the Titans because of their quarterback, but I've never gotten very excited about pro football.

19. Do you watch the Olympics? Intermittently. Love the pomp and circumstance and enjoy the inspirational stories, but lack the attention span to follow the events with any consistency.

20. Last restaurant you went to? The Purple Cow in Little Rock, Arkansas. Fine dining and a hip crowd. Five milkshake-saturated thumbs up.

21. Who was the last person to call you? Mme. Mulliez

22. What's your sign? Taurus

23. Do you have a favorite number? Since elementary school: 147. Please don't ask me to explain.

24. Last time you did volunteer work or made any donation? Too long since I volunteered my time anywhere; two weeks since I wrote a check to the Shriners.

25. What do you spend the majority of your money on? Food: Whole Foods, Central Market and a thick stack of take-out menus.

26. Where does most of your family live? Texas.

27. Are you an only child or do you have siblings? I'm the oldest of five children that span three marriages and 21 years.

28. Would you consider yourself to be spoiled? By my parents: no. By my better half: yes.

30. Got any guilty pleasures? Chocolate anything after everyone's asleep. And continuing my quest to read every last page of the Internet. During waking hours: the massage chair at Whole Foods.

31. Do you drink beer? I might have three sips in a calendar year. I'm pretty sure the last time I drained a longneck was when we were social chairs of the Chicago Texas Exes.

32. Have you ever experienced true love? This day and every day.

33. Did you ever collect Beanie Babies? Never.

34. Ever ordered anything online? Sure. Diapers, books, clothes I'll never return.

35. Myspace or facebook? Neither.

36. Do you have T-Mobile? No.

37. What is your favorite class? I utterly adored J312, my first journalism class, which the then-university president opened at my hysterical demand.

38. Smoke weed? I was always petrified that my mom would swoop out of the sky and scream at me if I did. And then when I finally did throw caution to the wind once in college, I couldn't figure out how to inhale, so I just coughed myself silly. Loser.

39. Do you usually fall for the "naughty guys or bible boys"??? How about the nice boys with the dreamy eyes and the great sense of humor who aren't really sure how they feel about organized religion?

40. Were you an outcast in high school? Probably. But I was content in my little clique of yearbook nerds.

41. Last time you saw your parents? My mom: three days ago. My dad: about three months ago.

42. Do you have any talents? I can balance things on my head.

43. Ever been in a wedding? Only two. One forest green velvet-and-satin frock and one fuschia silk ensemble. The first wedding was no fun at all, and the marriage ended in divorce. The second was an absolute blast, and the happy union produced my two beautiful nieces.

44. Do you have any children? See that luminous picture at the top of this page? Our pride and joy.

45. Last movie you watched? A Good Year. Twice. Neither time was by choice.

46. Are you missing anyone at the moment? Family and friends who are too far away. And Chely, who tries mightily to bring some order to our cluttered, dirty house every Wednesday.

47. Did you take a nap today? No. This will be rectified tomorrow.

48. What was your high school mascot? The Vikings. Before that, the Bulldogs. The Mustangs, the Saints and, if memory serves, the Raiders. Six years: five schools.

49. Ever been on a cruise? Yes, for our honeymoon.

50. Favorite vacation spot? So many great choices, but I'll single out Nerja, overlooking the Costa del Sol.

52. Do you have any wealthy friends? I'm not exactly sure how to define that, but I suspect that the answer by most standards is yes.

53. Ever met anyone famous before? A few minor run-ins. Nothing too wow.

54. Favorite actor? No all-around favorite, but I just saw a bit of Broadcast News, before Trey wrestled the remote away from me, and Albert Brooks slays me. Honorable mention goes to Bill Murray in Rushmore.

55. Favorite actress? Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility and Howards End.

56. Are you multi-tasking right now? Hmm. I can't remember what I was doing when I started this post two days ago, but I feel confident about answering yes. But right now the kids are napping and I'm enjoying the peace and quiet.

57. Could you handle being in the military? Please. I couldn't even handle being a military dependant. Quarters refused to bounce on my freshly-made bed.

58. Are you hungry or thirsty? Always.

59. Favorite fast food restaurants? I'd say Chipotle if only they had a drive-through. So I'll split my vote between Steak n' Shake and Chick-Fil-A. With a nostalgic nod to Portillo's.

61. What is your average cell phone bill? Not a clue. Bad wife.

Do you own a camera phone? No! I did before I sent my last cell phone swimming at Schlitterbahn, and I miss it more than I thought I would.

63. Ever had to take a sobriety test? No. Not even when I was stopped for unlawful clinging.

64. Do you believe in Karma? Firmly.

65. Can you speak any other languages? Tourist-friendly tidbits of French, Italian and Spanish. And vestiges of high-school Latin.

66. Last time you went to the gym or worked out? Technically, I went to the gym when we joined the Y in June. However, I was fully clothed and it was just part of the facilities tour. And I doubt that an occasional sun salutation counts as a workout, even if I'm left sweaty and breathless by the effort. So, next question...

67. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Oh, gad. I doubt there could be more than a half-dozen pairs scattered around the house, and they're all at least a year old and scuffed beyond being presentable. Note to self: try harder in 2007.

68. Do you have a photo hosting site that you use? I'm a Shutterflier.

69. Last place you drove: Marco's, for our pizza dinner.

70. What is your college mascot? Bevo.

71. Ever been to Las Vegas? No. It seems like a place I should visit at least once, but just the idea of it overwhelms me.

72. Do you wear socks when you sleep?? Only rarely, when I remember to slather lotion on my cracked heels.

73. Have you ever bought condoms? Yes. Because the Franklin Six isn't alliterative.

75. What do you think is your best feature? My... wrists? I don't know. I'm working on the whole self-acceptance thing, but it's slow going.

76. Have you ever been gambling? Once, but I failed to see its entertainment value.

77. How old are your parents? Loud-and-proud 60, and approaching 63.

80. Favorite place to be? Hand-in-hand with Trey, anywhere in the world.

81. Ever been to NYC? Only for an afternoon, courtesy of the Cobbs. I'd love to go back.

82. Favorite sit down restaurant? Can't think of a local favorite right now. If I could eat anywhere casual today, it'd be Wishbone in Chicago, across from Harpo Studio. For a finer dine in the Windy City: MK on Franklin St.

83. Ever been to Disneyland? World, yes; Land, no.

84. Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Does Gromit count?

85. Last thing you cooked? I'm sorry: what? Sprechen sie deutsch?

86. Hows the weather? Chilly but clear.

87. Do you e-mail? Not as often as I used to. Hence, this group communique to those who care.

88. Last letter/piece of mail you received besides junk or a bill? Christmas cards, which I adore.

89. Favorite store? Froggies 5 & 10 on Knox Street. I hate, hate, hate shopping for myself.

91. Last voicemail you received? An appeal from the Arboretum to renew our membership.

92. Do you drunk dial? Not anymore, but Spencer routinely makes heavy-breathing calls from my cell phone, which is almost as embarrassing.

93. Stupidest thing you ever did with your cell phone? See 61.

94. What is the best city in the state that you have lived in? Well, I wish I was in Austin... at the Chili Parlor Bar, drinking mad-dog margaritas and not caring where you are. (No, actually, I'm not Guy Clark, but I do share his love for my college town.)

95. Favorite band? They're freshest in my memory, so I'll say the Dixie Chicks. But I also like Barenaked Ladies, Wilco, Indigo Girls, the John Mayer Trio, the Laurie Berkner Band, Javelin Boot and a whole host of singer-songwriters.

96. Last time you were sick? Last week.

97. Are you bored right now? No, just frustrated that my response time and my computer are both slower than molasses on a winter morning.

98. Last concert? The Chicks. It is so rare that I have a ready answer to this question.

99. Do you watch reality tv? Not unless you count The Daily Show. Which is, by Jon Stewart's proud admission, fake. So, no.

100. What are your plans for tomorrow? We have every intention of cleaning the guest-room closet. We probably won't. We're much more likely to veg around the house in our pajamas, cook a vat of black-eyed peas, watch some football and call Mimi to wish her a happy birthday.

Et vous? Your turn...

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Ever have the realization that your house is just so... wrong that you can't imagine another five minutes, let alone five years, stuck in the place?

Really, what was I thinking when I chose that butter-hued paint for the den? Of course I never got around to sticking anything up on the walls, so the uninterrupted expanse of yellow eerily glows in such a way that I might be inspired to pen a sequel to that Charlotte Perkins Gilman story one day. The dated black tile floor puddled beneath it certainly doesn't help matters. And that twee closet of a master bathroom? Please; let's not discuss it.

At least, that's what I thought two weeks ago. Tonight, the yellow walls look sunny and cheerful. I could kiss the dark floors that forgive and repel every insult hurled at them by our wrecking crew. And our cozy bathroom? Well, if I tried to fling my hat in the air, I might smack my elbows into the shower door, but I can certainly manage a tiny twirl with a giddy grin on my face.

After eight days, three hotels, the generosity of two relatives who invited us to crash in their homes, and approximately 2,300 miles spanning nine states, we are finally home. It's never seemed sweeter to me.

Please don't misunderstand me: the trip was great. We had adventures of both the planned sort and the surprise variety. We lit candles and sang carols on Christmas Eve, and watched the kids tear into their overstuffed stockings the next morning. We treasured moments spent with our grandmothers and tried to memorize every detail of their interactions with their great-grandchildren. We laughed lots, cried a little, threw an occasional tantrum and snapped nearly 700 pictures of most of the aforementioned.

But Dorothy, you were so right: there's no place like home.

My bed... MY BED! beckons me, so I'll make an honest effort to go back in time and scribe some of our more remarkable road-trip memories tomorrow. But before they fade away forever, I'll share a few thoughts from today's journey.

This morning, we awoke to the now-familiar repertoire of Carter pulling back the heavy curtains of our hotel room to reveal the sun, and explaining to us in a tone of wonder and urgency that, because the sun was awake, we should be, too. Today's sun was barely visible through the haze of clouds and rain that rolled into Little Rock, Arkansas while we slept, but that didn't stop Carter from rousing us from bed.

In short order, we forged a plan: showers. Breakfast in the room. Repacking and, somehow, restuffing the already-stuffed Suburban. Peppy morning beverages. And before we embarked on the last leg of our journey home, we'd take a fascinating, educational field trip to a special place that would, we were confident, entertain and inspire our three young citizens.

Yes. The William J. Clinton Presidential Library. As we pulled into the parking lot, I felt reverent, even a bit tearful. I'd seen the pictures that made the structure look for all the world like a double-wide trailer home suspended in the air... but in person, it truly was a thing of beauty. We learned afterward that its design was an homage to the six Little Rock bridges that span the nearby Arkansas River as well as the Clinton administration's role in building a bridge to the 21st century.

I'd be happy to dreamily describe the grid of glass panels comprising the facade, which struck such a contrast against the dark and stormy sky. The rush and thunder of the fountains leading up to the front door. The fascinating exhibits and interactive displays, the funny handwritten notes and the columns of archived material, all within reach of everyone who enters the place. The recreated Oval Office and Cabinet room. The gifts and artifacts and personal mementos.

But really, you should go see it for yourself. Unless, say, you've got the crazy notion that you'll be able to see anything of any importance whilst chasing almost-two-year-old twins and a four-year-old, all of whom are stir-crazy, rebellious and rambunctious after a week of travel. No, then you should either find a babysitter or try again when they're of voting age themselves.

And so we bid the Clinton library adieu and promised to return another time. Then we hit the road hard. Miraculously, the kids all napped, even as Trey and I high-fived each other when we crossed the state border of Texas. As the sun was setting wide and crimson ahead of us, we caught our first glimpse of the Dallas skyline. We cheered even louder when we pulled into our driveway.

The car doors swung open. In short order, so did the front door. The boys tumbled into the house, thrilled to see that Nana had stopped by earlier in the day and arranged toys under the tree.

But Katie, who'd protested the drive the loudest and crankiest, stuck close to the car, undeterred by the night chill, as Trey and I scurried in and out of the house with armfuls of luggage. "Katie, sweetie," I called for the eighth time, "please go inside! Aren't you happy to be home?"

Trey studied her for a second and said, "I think she must have Stockholm syndrome."

Well, we'll deal with that tomorrow. Tonight, we're home.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Don't know when I'll have wireless access again, so I'll try to make this quick before I hit the hay...

In the past five days, we've rolled through four states (TX, LA, MS and Alabama: where the skies are so blue), one major holiday and multiple boxes of Imodium (consolation prizes for those who've been unlucky enough to contract some strain of our stomach bug). Gastrointestinal woe notwithstanding, we've had a wonderful time and are genuinely pleased with ourselves for having made the trip.

Tomorrow morning, we'll bid adieu to our temporary dwelling at the shiny new Embassy Suites in Huntsville, Alabama, where we've been grateful guests this week. Once we pack up our many belongings and stop by Nanny's house for one last round of hugs and kisses, we'll be on the road again... but off the itinerary. Instead of dashing back to the Lone Star State as planned, we'll steer our rented Suburban toward the West Virginia-Ohio border for an impromptu visit to Trey's grandmother.

Not quite sure how our wee traveling companions, who have so far weathered all of this change and chaos remarkably well, will react to this detour. Not positive that we have enough DVDs, cargo space, clean laundry or good humor to see us through an extra 900 miles standing between us and home. Not convinced that the back half of our trip won't be compromised by squeezing an extra day into our schedule.

And yet: there's no doubt that this is the right thing to do. Grandmother's health and stamina have been deteriorating in the three-plus years since we last saw her. Then, we visited West Virginia with a not-yet-crawling Carterbug. Now it's time for her to meet her two youngest great-grandchildren. Time, too, for Trey to see places and faces fraught with meaning and memory that have been much too far away for much too long.

So, we'll take this path, and see where it leads us. And we'll report back as we're able. But for now, we'll sleep.

Love, Amy

Monday, December 25, 2006

To you

For best effect, please imagine for a minute that I sound exactly like Nat King Cole. Ahem...

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire;
Jack Frost nipping at your nose.
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know that Santa's on his way;
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.
And every mother's child is going to spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two;
Although its been said many times, many ways:
Merry Christmas to you.

Happy holidays to you and yours... with overflowing love and warmest wishes from us and ours.
The Franklin Five

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Humpty Dumpty

For the last few days, I've been walking on eggshells around this house and hoping that The Sick Child's illness might be contained. And not just hoping, mind you, but taking reasonable and measured steps, I thought, to sequester the nefarious germ. These steps have not been limited to manically washing my hands until my knuckles crack, regularly hosing the house down with Lysol, trying not to inhale quite so frequently, and fighting tooth and nail to keep S and K from licking every single thing that C puts near his mouth.

It's not been easy, but I patted myself on the back for my militant stance and felt that our collective outlook was probably pretty good.

And then last night, I cracked. Fever, aching, chills, nausea and general malaise were but the precursors to gastrointestinal woe. Up to this point, I thought I'd felt and expressed a pretty full measure of sympathy for my firstborn's state of comfort, but now I can say with empathy: you poor baby boy. Because THIS is the PITS.

No way should you have to use a gentle tone when asking that the volume on the TV be lowered; all I wanna do is whine, too. Forget what I said about sharing space with your siblings! Honey, I don't want anyone touching me, either. A popsicle for breakfast? Orange looks like it might settle my stomach for a nanosecond; which flavor do you want? Oh, sweetheart: you had an accident? Don't worry; it happens to everyone. Really. And just for the record, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do today.

Because, of course, I still do. And that sucks.

When I realized that I wasn't going to be able to get through the day without help, I called all the king's horses and all the king's men for back-up. Nevermind the fact that he's got an overflowing desk, a full agenda of meetings and calls, and deadlines that must be met before we theoretically leave town: my knight in shining armour stormed back to the castle, stopping at the drugstore and Central Market on the way with munitions for the pantry, fridge and medicine cabinet. He put me to bed, fed the muppers lunch, put them to bed, then left our quiet house and raced back to the office.

And we all lived happily ever after. Well, a lot happier, anyway. I'm wishing on the second star to the right that this bug is banished from our small kingdom posthaste...

Monday, December 18, 2006


If you're a worker bee in corporate America, then you probably kicked off this morning with a mental countdown of how many days (hours?) you must somehow slog through until your well-earned holiday break begins. If memory serves, you will have platters of cookies and an assortment of decorative tins brimming with flavored popcorn to power you through this limbo time.

You may also have the joyful or dread-filled (depending on your circumstances and general outlook on life) countdown until the eagle lands and official confirmation of your holiday bonus arrives on your desk and into your eager bank account. Oh, gentle reader: I hope you are richly rewarded for your tireless hours of personal sacrifice and blood, sweat and tears.

It's hard to hear stories of pie-in-the-sky bonuses and then work up any enthusiasm for a measly slip of paper emblazoned with dear old Uncle Ben's picture. Truth is, even amidst the lucky Joes and Janes at Prestigious Global Investment Bank, you know there's one unlucky schmoe who's gotten stiffed. And then this scene plays out in the middle of downtown. Sad.

Alas, my days of holiday bonuses are a dim memory now. I also don't qualify for overtime or hazard pay, both of which might be applicable today. I noted on Friday that Carter was running a fever and generally feeling crummy; I was convinced that this was a direct result of his four-year shots. And then Saturday morning arrived and brought with it the Cha.

Cha is the euphemism my sister Sarah inexplicably uses for the runs. Funny name; unfunny and most unwelcome visitor to our home. At first, I hoped against hope it was a fluke. Then, I recalled that nearly every conversation I've had with any parent in the Metroplex recently had included a reference to their house being plagued by one day of fever, followed by one day of Cha. Ugh.

"Oh, sweetie," I consoled my miserable wailing child, doubled over with stomach pains. "I know it's awful. But it will all be over tomorrow. I promise."

That was Saturday. Now it is Monday, and still there is the Cha. I am a LIAR in the eyes of my firstborn.

I am also seriously slacking in my holiday duties. I feel guilty admitting this, but I was counting on using every minute of Carter's bonus day of school today to tackle the things on my to-do list that were utterly neglected during our housebound weekend. Instead, I am running defense against three small pooping creatures who can't reliably wander more than a few feet away from le bidet. Even shopping on-line is a major challenge with cranky and restless muppers underfoot.

The one thing I can work on is addressing Christmas cards, and so I am in bits and pieces. Since all we did was sit down and smile for Jen (seriously, we didn't even bother cleaning the house beforehand), I don't think it's bragging to tell you that they're just gorgeous and make me smile every time I look at them. If you're the patient type who can wait until the mailman arrives with your very own copy, then don't click here. Otherwise, enjoy these bonus shots of our happy quintet, set to a cool tune.

Side note: somehow I have misplaced the file that I created last year with everyone's addresses in alphabetical order. Relying on my memory is always an iffy prospect, so if you're not sure that I have your correct info, please let me know!

Love, Amy

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Snap happy

And on the seventh day, the blogger rested her weary typing fingers and made space for cute husband to post a sampling of the fun Franklin5 pictures he's taken recently. The forum is all yours, big guy:

The first three are from yesterday, the last four are from our self-inflicted "photo shoot" prior to the arrival of Dallas' fave.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Au courant

Do you know the thrill of stumbling across something so new and cool and funny and chic that you're briefly tempted to keep it all to yourself, but you just can't help sharing your discovery with the world?

Last year, my mom unearthed this little television jewel called Seinfeld. "It's about nothing," she raved, "but it's hysterical! You should really check it out!"

After gentle prodding, I eventually determined that she was AWARE the episodes she was watching were a good ten years old and thus not newsworthy, but her enthusiasm remained undimmed. And so I tried to feign interest when she called to say things like, "So they all go out for soup. But George wants bread for his soup. And then he gets banned from the soup line! It was hilarious!"

Well. I know how she feels now. Because I have just discovered this fabulous stuff called "coffee" that's served in many unique and delicious ways at this adorable place called Starbucks! And I am so excited that I just have to share my revelation with you, my closest friends.

Oh, I know you're thinking, "Coffee? Well, I tried it once when I was in junior high school, and: bleah. Plus, it burned the roof of my mouth." Trust me: I used to feel the same way! For years! But it turns out that when you take the icky coffee and blend it with stuff like peppermint, chocolate or pumpkin, and maybe frappe it with some ice and top it with a dollop of whipped cream, it makes this yummy little pick-me-up.

And here's the fun part: it actually DOES pep you up! I'd heard this rumor for years but had never experimented myself. I have to warn you that it seems to have a mildly addictive effect, to the point where I frequently find myself staring into space with my mouth slightly open, pondering what errand I can run that might put me in the vicinity of a store with a drive-through. Great news, though: there's one on just about every street corner.

Confession: I haven't had a chance to check the nutritional info on these little drinks, but how bad could it be? It's only a beverage, after all. So feel free, as I do, to reward yourself with a side of baked goodness, like, say, a slab of holiday gingerbread. It's bedecked with chunks of real ginger and slathered with cream-cheese frosting.

You're welcome.

P.S. To her credit, I should add that shortly after I birthed the twins, my mom accurately predicted that I would become a java mama, despite my protests to the contrary. I was complaining about being tired (go figure) when she said, yep, you'll find that coffee is your new best friend when you're a mother of three.

Her face got dreamy for about a second, then quickly brightened as she added, "And cigarettes! Oooooh, you're gonna LOVE cigarettes!"

Thanks, Mom.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The 411

32.8: Carter's weight, in pounds, at his four-year check-up yesterday.
40.25: Carter's height, in inches.
3: Number of vaccinations he braved.
102.3: His highest temperature today. Poor little guy.
16: Times he watched his "There Goes a Fire Truck" DVD whilst crashed on the couch.
.25": The depth of the groove his healthy siblings have worn in the floor running laps as he vegged.
8:15 a.m.: Time the babysitter called to cancel for this evening, thus quashing our last date-night opportunity of 2006.
6.5: Days remaining until we drive to Dixie for Christmas.
327: Things to check off my to-do list before we leave town.
90: Absolutely gorgeous holiday cards sitting in a box by the computer, waiting to be addressed and mailed.
180: Number of times I have spied the card box out of the corner of my eye and mistaken it for a big box of chocolates. (Thanks, Jen.)
1: Pink line in the result window this morning. (Insert sigh of relief here.)
8: Nights of light, beginning tonight. Happy Chanukkah!
60: Fingers and toes Trey just washed.
5: Diapers we have left in the house, so I'm off to the store...

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Into every life, a little rain must fall. Even if it's a typhoon of your own creation.

When it inevitably does precipitate, and you think you just might drown from it, there's no relief quite like having a good friend offer you shelter, a big thirsty towel, a cup of hot cocoa and some reassurance that you're going to be a-okay. And after a moment of quiet reflection, you can see that she's absolutely right. It's just water falling from the sky.

Thank God for Shigeta Applewhite, is all I'm saying.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Frosting on the cake

SO much more to say than time to say it: the Chicks concert, the arrival of the aforementioned baby chick, Carter's birthday party and all the fun and frivolity that it entailed. But I'll keep it short and sweet tonight before I lay down my very weary head.

To great fanfare and a filthy house, Trey returned from Chicago a few hours ago, just in time for bath- and bed-time, and minutes before I had a toddler-sized meltdown of my very own. After a fair-sized struggle, we got the terrible two to bed and then turned our full attention to our tow-headed firstborn.

The last book had been read when Trey looked at the clock and said, "Carter, it was just about this time four years ago when Mommy realized that you were about to be born."

"That's right," I said with a catch in my throat as I held his hand and peered into his sea-blue eyes. "We were just Amy and Trey that night, but at 3:17 the next afternoon, we became your Mommy and Daddy. You were seven pounds, nine ounces and absolutely perfect."

"Mommy?" Carter said, with a rapt expression on his face. "Did you hear the noise I just made with my mouth?

"That was spit."

Sweet dreams, my funny boy who steadfastly refuses to let me take anything too seriously. We'll see you in the morning, when you're four.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The thing with feathers

"I hope for more love, more joy and laughter;
I hope you’ll have more than you’ll ever need.
I hope you’ll have more happy-ever-afters:
I hope we can all live more fearlessly,
And we can lose all the pain and misery.
I hope, I hope, I hope... "

After such lofty global aspirations, is it terribly selfish and shallow of me to hope, hope, hope that a calm and capable sitter lands on our doorstep tomorrow night so that cute husband and I are able to attend a cool concert together?

Well, then color me superficial because I wanna go to this show! Love their tunes, don't want 'em to just shut up and sing, and utterly adore cute husband for sticking out his political neck at the office to nab us seats in the corporate suite.

So c'mon, exceptional household staffing agency: send us a winner.

P.S. Tonight's title is borrowed from another Emily.

P.P.S. While we're being serenaded, two of our dearest friends will be winging their way home with the most darling chick, who is hope personified, for their nest. Travel mercies are appreciated...

Friday, December 01, 2006


Well, that didn't last long: what little snow had lingered overnight is all gone. (In the interest of full disclosure, a fair amount was ingested by the children this morning. Snow! It's what's for breakfast!) Still, I'd spied one tiny pile of crumbly white stuff in a cool shadow of the backyard about a half-hour ago, and that's now melted clean away.

Hopefully we'll get a certifiable snowfall before winter is over, considering that the season hasn't actually begun. I think the muppers suspect that this was just faux snow, as Tracey R. so aptly described it, and they're waiting to be impressed by a real show of nature. (Don't wanna register? Go here. I love this frosty bean picture.)

Also, visit Jen's blog for a hilarious wintry video. Substitute a slender but stubborn slick of ice for that thick coat of snow, and supply Working Guy with nothing more impressive than a Calphalon spatula, and you've got an idea of how Trey's morning commute began.

Along with the snow goes NaBloPoMo, which officially ended last night. (Sayeth the Internet: thank God.) As predicted, my participation disintegrated pretty early on in the game. My first slip-up was due to technical difficulties, but all subsequent lapses were purely mine. For almost every weekend of the past month, I did start writing posts that never made it past the draft stage, and they're still saved in my Blogger files, so don't be surprised if a few pop up in the archives at some point.

And so we bid adieu to another month. Now the countdown begins: one more week till the big guy turns 39. I swear that it was yesterday when we sat down for a nice dinner at Louie B's on Sixth Street, and he ordered his first legal bottle of wine. And then we spun under the Zilker tree. Crazy kids.

It's also one week and one day till we celebrate the little guy's fourth birthday. I swell with pride and awe for about one-tenth of a second, then am shocked into the realization that, holy crap, I've got a ton of work to do to get the party started. Like, just as an example, let other people know that there will BE a party.

But first, there's another party to prep for: it's Trey's company fete, which requires that I don some sort of festive frock and try not to embarrasss him for a few hours. Much to do to prepare body and mind before tomorrow evening, so off I go...

P.S. After much whining and many earworms, Shigeta has finally provided us with a new batch of her random thoughts. Go, read, comment!