Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

If Tripods Weren't So Damn Heavy I'd Have One Of Them In My Big Purse, Too

I still haven't figured out a way to take a photo of myself without the dreaded "self-photo chin" that inevitably accompanies holding your arm out to take the shot. But I thought I should still post this shot of John and me, taken during our Outstanding Anniversary Dinner Without Kids, since it's far more recent than the four-year-old image of us I posted last week.

[Edited to add:]

Christine, since you asked:

The hostess took this one, but failed to tell me that my hair was trying to eat my face at that very moment.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Quick Math

F: Mom, how old will you be when I'm 10?

K: Let's see...I'll be 42.

F: And how old will you be when I'm 42?

K: I'll be 74.

F: And how old will you be when I'm 81?

K: Finney, I really hope I'm still alive when you're 81.

F: I hope so too, Mom, because I don't want to be an 81 year-old with a dead Mom.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Six Is The Iron Anniversary, So Maybe I'll Order A Steak

Some people are lucky at cards.

Some people are lucky in Vegas.

I got lucky in love.

Every day I thank my lucky stars for my husband.

Happy 6th Anniversary*, John.

*It's really tomorrow, but I won't be blogging about anniversaries as I'll be--thanks to Grandma Emely and Opa's childcare services--sipping down a gin martini and sharing a childless meal with my hunk-o-burning love.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

She(en)a Is A Punk Rocker, Now

Really, what says toddler punk more than a pink CBGB shirt and a Patti Smith haircut?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Now, Why Didn't I Notice This Sooner?

John very astutely pointed out that we are now the parents of Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore.

Monday, September 18, 2006

In The Bag

I'm probably dating myself by admitting this, but the first thing I thought of when I got tagged by Karen to do this post was Ally Sheedy's character in The Breakfast Club, unloading her bag-lady purse in front of the other Breakfast Clubbers, inviting them into her world of basketcase misfittedness, compulsive lying, and excessive eye makeup. (OK, it was actually the second thing; the first thing I thought was, "How cool! I got tagged by somebody! Now that sounds like a lot more fun than working on this here writing assignment....")

By the way, have you seen Ally Sheedy in the film High Art yet? Outstanding.

So, here's what's lurking inside my $9.99 Old Navy purse (which I wish I would have bought five of, had I only known how great it would serve me--with its comfortable yet stylish strap, oversized main cargo bay and hot pink interior--over the last six months):

  • A VIP postcard invitation to my friend's sister's new store's Grand Opening Celebration
  • A black reporter's notebook given to me after I spoke at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges state conference in LA this spring
  • Six pens
  • An Optimus 2-Speed Micro-37 Microcassette Recorder and tape, just in case I have to conduct an impromptu interview
  • One hairbrush
  • Two hair clips to get my annoying hair out of my face, already
  • Four tampons and one panty liner, all kept in a nearly 20-year-old Christian Dior silver beehive print mini cosmetics bag given to me by the very fancy mother of an ex-boyfriend, which I keep largely because of its retro, 80s-logo fanciness
  • My expired passport, issued on April 10th, 1989, which I pulled out of my parents' safe deposit box. I'm 19 in the photo, have horribly peroxided '80s hair, and no idea yet about the mindblowing things I'm about to see and do on a two-month backpacking trip through Europe
  • One size 4 Huggies diaper *
  • A two-ounce container of Verbena scented de-luxe luxury body creme that I bought on a whim while grocery shopping at Ralphs
  • One pair of Stussy sunglasses **
  • One pair of Spy sunglasses **
  • A single penny
  • A travel pack of WetOnes Antibacterial Thick Moist Towelettes in Fresh Scent (that expired, now that I look closely at them, back in April 2005) *
  • My wallet/checkbook holder, which never closes properly--not because there's so much money in there that it can't be contained, but because I've managed to stuff a "slim" solar-powered calculator in the change purse that sets everything off kilter
  • A single tube of flavored Bloom lip gloss that's no fewer than six years old
  • A miniature Chap-Ice key lime lip balm that John brought home for Finn from the dentist but I had to take away from him after I found him eating it like candy

So now, in the interest of passing the meme torch, I tag Shannon, Pat, Jody and Samantha. And no, gals, this doesn't make us bag ladies.

* When Finnegan was just a baby, I seemed to have my shit together a little more in the parent-on-the-road department. I would never have left the house with just a diaper in my bag, like I often do now with Shea. I would have had at least five diapers, 20 wet wipes, a few plastic bags with which to considerately dispense any, uh..., offensive offerings, diaper rash cream, the works. My bag would have been stuffed and it would typically take me three times as long to get out the door each day, but I'd have been prepared, man.

** My mom is probably laughing hysterically at the fact that I still have not one, but both pairs of sunglasses she gave me for Christmas last year. I am, admittedly, the worst at keeping sunglasses on or near my person and can no longer in good conscience own expensive eyewear because I inevitably lose them. These were purchased at a parking lot sale with the full disclosure that I would probably not have them six months from then. Now that I've written about this, I'm sure to lose them both in the next week or two.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Can You Tell I Have A Deadline Next Week And No Time For Clever Blog Posts?

Yeah, I figured. Good thing I've got some cute kid photos to distract.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Now that Shea's fitting into her 18-24 month/24-month/2T clothing, I just spent the better part of two hours packing her baby clothes into a giant plastic bucket that's now neatly stowed away in the garage. And while they brought back lots of snuggly memories and made me realize just how much she's grown, I didn't ONCE get even a single whimsical longing for another baby.

If anything, they made me hope that whatever newborn gets to use them next -- whether a friend, family member or stranger -- tries to take it easy on his or her exhausted mother and father as they find their way through the thick forest of new parenthood.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

Spoken Like A True Boy

After watching the classic episode of Spongebob Squarepants where Squidward tricks Spongebob and Patrick into believing that it's actually Opposite Day and everything they say and do should be opposite of what they would normally do (which, of course, backfires exquisitely on him):


K: Do you know what opposites are, Finn?

F: [With a look that's a little more than slightly resentful that I've interrupted the precious relationship between him and the television set]: Ummm....Idaknow.

K: They're when things are different from each other, like up and down and hot and cold. So, what's the opposite of open?

F: Closed.

K: Good. And what's the opposite of old?

F: Not old.

K: Right. They call that young.

F: Oh yeah, I get it. So, Mom, what's the opposite of Oreo's?

K: Well, I don't think Oreo's have opp...

F: Barbie!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Just One Of The Reasons Why September Is My Favorite Month

Technically it's still summer around here,
which means it's still warm enough for this... lead to this, without a second thought:

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Other Famous Finnegans

1. Finnegans Wake: This novel took James Joyce 17 years to complete (which he finally did two years before his death), and is often cast as one of the most difficult-to-decipher pieces of literature of all time. Some consider it one of the best. Some, back in the day, took it to be Joyce's big F-You joke to the literary world. Notice there's no apostrophe (funny, that).
2. Finnegan's Irish Amber: Ale produced and distributed in Northern Minnesota. The company donates 100% of its profits to at-risk youth and working poor in the state. John regularly wears his Finnegan's t-shirt, which makes the following awkward admission on its back: "Mom...Dad...I'm Gaelic." Nice.

3. Finnegan, the donkey on Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks. It's funny to watch Finney snap to attention in the millisecond between when the characters call out the donkey's name and when he realizes they're not addressing him as he loafs on the couch.

4. A super cool toy store in Portland, Oregon. After Finn was born I contacted them online to see if they could send me one of their business cards or other printed business material for Finn's keepsake box.

They kindly obliged. A month later, I received a shopping bag, a business card, and this name puzzle in the mail, which they said had been sitting in their back storeroom gathering dust for years and were happy to send to a good home. How nice is that?

5. Finally,
Christian Finnegan weighs in with snarky pop-culture commentary on VH-1's "Best Week Ever" program. I don't know much more about him other than that he looks much thinner in his Web site photos than he does on the program. Not that I'm pointing any of my own still somewhat chubby postpartum fingers or anything, but I'm afraid if he had more celebrity clout he'd be risking a Bloat Watch alert from the Fugly girls.

Know of any others?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Big Men On Campus

Today was Finn's first day of school. He's in Pre-K now, which is just another name for preschool that focuses on preparing the kids for the rigors of modern kindergarten. He quickly picked out his preferred seat in the story circle, found his cubby hole, and began to covet the numerous puzzles strewn across the large puzzle table--hearts shooting out of the top of his head all the while.

Just a year ago, I brought Finn to his little preschool--gel in his hair by request, same as today, to mark the special occasion--and took his picture in front of the September calendar. This year, though, as I took the same picture, it was pretty clear that he posed for me not as a timid newbie, but as an alumni on a campus that he's grown comfortable with, surrounded by teachers and students he recognizes and loves.

specially this one.

Yup, Logan and Finney are in the same class again and couldn't be happier about it. As soon as they made the connection themselves (it's not the same as being told by their Moms all summer long, apparently), they scampered off to the playground, professing their undying love to one another as they climbed to the top of the jungle gym.

"You're my best friend." "You're my best friend." They were so matter of fact about it, as if they were confirming their next dental appointment.

My heart crumbled from the cuteness of it all.

Monday, September 04, 2006

See, I'm Not The Only One Who Seeks Creative Reader Input

The powers that be over at Motherhood Uncensored requested motherhood-themed Successories posters (you know, those super cheeseball motivational posters with airbrushed stock photography and go-get-'em credos) from her readers this weekend.

Here's mine.

(You, too, can make one here.)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

Sweet monkey butter, baby Shea's 16 months old already!

Lately, John has taken to calling her Sweet & Sour, since her little girly moods seem to swing from saccharine adorable--kisses and hugs, sweetness and rainbows--to raging cranker--biting her brother and clawing at your face and eyes. And the screams, by god, have only grown more sophisticated and noxious as she's transformed from a chubby infant into a sprinting toddler.

"Sweet and Sour, changes by the hour...," we sing to her during her meltdowns, which have lately included throwing herself on the floor and flinging her head backwards to express her frustration/dissatisfaction/general disgust at the unrefined humanity of it all. Thankfully, her mood quickly changes from stinky back to stellar when presented with the appropriate snack/book/bottle/lap and we're soon reminded of just how much fun kids can be and why we wanted two of the little buggers in the first place.

During the Sweet times Shea becomes chatty, showing off her newfound vocabulary that now includes about 30 words--many of which are even recognizable by people other than John, Finn and me. My favorite new word she's mastered is HAPPY (I have no idea where she picked this up; maybe it's her interpretation of my favorite word: coffee), which she says over and over again, like a self-instructional ticker-tape mantra reminding her to Remain in Light.

"HappyHappyHappyHappy," she sings to herself as she walks from room to room, looking for the next toy to stand on, book to look at for three seconds then throw on the floor, or snack to poach from her brother.