Monday, March 30, 2015


I think the most genius parenting/life moment I've had in recent weeks has been reigniting my love of podcasts.  I downloaded iTunes onto our new Christmas Gift Computer (thanks again, Bob!), and immediately went about capturing all my old favorite podcasts from my bus riding days, as well as some new ones recommended to me by friends (Dear Friends, See! Eventually I get to your recommendations, even if it takes me months).  Now, I have something to occupy my brain while tending the various chores of my days, without exposing Mads to too much "screen time" as the crunchy mamas tend to call it. (No more binging on Supernatural and Pretty Little Liars; the baby is paying attention.)  Among those new podcasts is One Bad Mother, recommended by my friend Selena, who though not herself a mother, still finds the podcast entertaining, which is a gold star review if there ever was one.  I like One Bad Mother because it's funny and irreverent; each episode begins with a disclaimer, "Do not listen with your kids; there will be swears."  Of course, I do listen with my kid, which maybe we can count as a fail. 
What's with the genius/fail thing you ask?  Every episode of One Bad Mother includes the two hosts as well as listener call-ins telling of their genius parenting moments and failed parenting moments throughout the week, followed by laughter and the most supportive thing a person can say to a parent, "You're doing a good job."  I love it so much, I decided to share a couple of my own genius and fail moments from the past month.

Mads is over the whole sitting in grocery carts thing.  He's got boots, and they were made for walking.  Of course, walking around big box stores with a toddler is exhausting.  Not only do I have to be hyper-vigilant keeping an eye on him (how quickly he disappears around corners if I turn my head for even a split second), but anything that catches his eye on a bottom shelf gets touched, picked up, inspected--meaning not only do I spend the day tidying my own home after his inventories, but our neighborhood Target as well.  Or, I did until I made the very simple request, "Martigan, can you put that back where you found it?"  This may not work with every toddler, but mine has always been rather fastidious (like his Mama and Papa).  Typically, I only have to repeat myself once, if that, and he will put whatever thing he picked up back on the shelf, exactly where he found it, which garners much praise from his parents and curious strangers alike.  Hurrah!
It only took me 19 months, but I have finally ritualized nap time, and to great success.  The tart cherry juice I give Mads twice daily has extended his naps from 30 minutes to an hour-and-a-half, some days even two hours.  But the pre-nap routine has made getting him down in the first place so much smoother.  Mads knows what to expect, and he's even an eager participant.  Hallelujah.  Now, if only bed time was as easy.
FAIL :-(
Twice this past week, I have called Martigan a "little shit," within his hearing.  And, though my husband has made many a request that I stop this, I still have not retired calling my son a "turd."  (In my defense, usually I say it semi-affectionately?)

One Sunday this month, after being out in the morning doing laundry and errands, we came home and commenced a lazy afternoon.  Wolfman and I finished watching The Winter Soldier, and when it was over though Wolfman left to be more productive during the rest of our daylight hours, I decided to be lazier still and finish part II of Comanche Moon (I deserve this one thing: Karl Urban as Woodrow Call, I thought). When, in the midst of Comanche Moon, Mads began to fuss at me, to climb into my lap uninvited, to tug at and stick his hand down my shirt, I assumed he was just bored or antsy or being a jerk.  I refused to nurse him (my body; my rules!) and insisted he sit on the floor and play with his toys, to which he threw a massive fit.  It wasn't until the credits began rolling on my mini series that I looked at the clock and realized it was WELL past Martigan's dinner time.  He was trying to nurse because he was hungry.  I felt like shit (though Wolfman seemed less concerned about this than the turd thing).  Daylight Savings has fucked me up once again.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


 We're always the last ones in the neighborhood to mow our lawn, and this year will be no exception.  Today, Mads and I are barefoot and walk among wild onions and the tiniest wildflowers.  Spring can't quite make up its mind as to whether to stick around or not; some days are to-the-bone cold, some days the warmth turns hot in cars, under the windshield.  North Carolina is a finicky, flighty kind of place when it comes to weather.  As a finicky, flighty kind of woman, I can sympathize.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

February Joys & Favorites


Though we don't really do Valentine's Day big, Wolfman never fails to bring me home some chocolates.  Considerate and a cute butt?  How'd I get so lucky?
We made a brief day-trip to Pittsboro, and it was a lovely way to spend a gloomy day.
It snowed! (A couple times, actually).
Favorite Shops: Rocket Fizz and Duck Donuts. Rocket Fizz is a candy and soda pop store franchise out of California.  Our Rocket Fizz was recommended to us by our friends the Wiests, and once we visited for the first time I realized Santa Claus did a lot of our stocking stuffer shopping at Rocket Fizz as well.  This place is just plain fun.  Our first visit, we spent a little over $30 on candy and specialty sodas (a bacon chocolate soda for Wolfman and maple soda for me--which tasted exactly like carbonated maple syrup).  No regrets. 
The Rocket Fizz Knight
Duck Donuts is a North Carolina franchise, hailing from the Outer Banks (Woot!). My grandma happened to see it from the passenger seat of her car as she rode home from a doctor's appointment with my grandpa and demanded at once, "Turn the car around!"  We take donuts seriously in this family, and "cake donuts made to order" are words I have been waiting to hear my entire life.
Favorite Treats: Marich Chocolates coconut curry cashews and Welch's PB&J snacks.  Wolfman found the Marich cashews for me at our first trip to Rocket Fizz (and I have since been back expressly for just them) and the PB&J snacks we came across at the Family Dollar next to our Laundromat.  They're a perfect laundry day treat.
If you can't tell, most of the PB&J snacks were gone by the time I thought to snap this photo.
Favorite Beverage: Benjamin Vineyards Scuppernong Grape Juice.  Ingredients: scuppernong grape juice.
Favorite Acquisitions: Early in the month, and completely unexpectedly, Wolfman gave me this little sketch of our family drawn by a regular customer at the cafĂ©, Pete "The Greek" Galifianakis (uncle to Zach).  It's based upon a picture of the three of us taken way back when Mads was still so new, which Wolfman carries with him.
Also, I bought myself a yellow Valentine's Day dress (Wolfman loves me in the color yellow) for $8 from the Butterfly Exchange at BeYOUtiful Butterfly in Cary as well as a couple pairs of funky leggings on sale (two for one!) from the boutique.
Favorite Movie: Death Proof.  After watching Double Dare a couple years ago (because I am such a hardcore Xena fan), I, like Quentin Tarantino, fell madly, deeply in love with Zoe Bell.  There are a lot of reasons I love this movie (like Kurt Russell's busted face), but lets just simplify it to Zoe Bell and her insane car stunt for the sake of keeping this blog post short.  Honorable Mentions: Pumping Iron and Starship Troopers. (Unlike last month, this was a good one for movie watching.)
Favorite Music: Uriah Heep.  When Wolfman picked up that Camel album I was listening to on repeat last month, he also picked up Uriah Heep's greatest hits on vinyl.  Every November, Wolfman and I attend the Carolina Renaissance Festival in Huntersville, which ushers in a time of fancy and fantasy for me--we build fires in our hearth, put stews and soups to bubble in our crockpot, fill out flasks with brown liquor, and I read the next installments of my big, fat, epic fantasy sagas.  Uriah Heep is one of the bands that fits perfectly with this theme for me.  I think Matrim Cauthon and Zeddicus Z'ul Zorander would dig Uriah Heep.
Favorite Television: Grounded for Life.  Easily one of the most underrated sitcoms ever, it's now streaming on Netflix! Watching Grounded for Life is like drinking a red slushee and eating an order of French fries with mustard--that's what comfort food was for me in 2001, when this show first aired. We also spent the month of February re-watching a lot of Bob's Burgers and The Cleveland Show, two favorites; laughter is the best medicine for the February doldrums.
Wolfman's Favorites!

 Favorite Television: Danger 5.  It makes sense that Wolfman would be so fond of this Australian, pulp-inspired, cartoonish World War II spoof; watching this show is a little like what being dropped inside his head might feel like.

Favorite Internet Thing: Lars Andersen's archery.  After he came across this video, he excitedly showed this to everyone he knows.  This video reinvigorated Wolfman's love of archery.
Martigan's Favorites!
First time: Mads drove a coin-operated car at the mall for the first time this month.  Truly, he would've been satisfied just sitting in the thing.
Note the black eye. Our little bruiser.
Favorite Food: Whole bananas!  I don't know why it took me so long to give this boy a whole banana (as opposed to slicing one up for him), but he loves it!
Favorite Books: Martigan has really been loving the baby's first words kind of books in our collection, including The Baby's Catalogue by Janet and Allen Ahlberg, which I enjoyed when I was a wee one (our copy has crayon scribbles all over it, contributed by yours truly back in the 80's).  I have to admit these are not always my favorite books to read him--they can be a little tedious, especially upon repeating. But, I try never to refuse to read a book to him--he's always loved books, and I want that to be a lifelong love.
The Disney Baby My First Words book was a Christmas gift from our friends the Breatons.
Favorite Pastime: Much to Mama's chagrin, Bubba loves getting into the game and records cabinet.
Caught in the act.
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