Wednesday, January 27, 2010

2:42 a.m.: Bosco's Benediction

Laying, eyes closed
trying to focus my mind's eye on any random happy thought;
trying to figure out
how to pull the train of midlife with it's heavy cargo,
trying to understand the nature of the beast of life,
and coming up empty.
Sighing. Sleep is not simple.

My Saviour hops up on the bed.
Finding the sweet spot,
his body nestled above my right shoulder
and the pillow,
his nose nuzzling my neck,
he purrs his benediction:
"sleep, sleep, sleep,
you are loved
this is what matters
because you worry about everyone else
I will take care of you"
When my breathing slows, and calms
his purring quiets and he himself heaves a last
contented sigh.
His paw reaches across my chest and comes to
rest on my heart.
I am loved.
This is what matters.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

the important stuff

Joe-Henry has been hitting so many milestones lately.

Blowing his first bubble with bubble gum.

Driving me crazy by telling me to look at all the bubbles that have followed. And their greatness.

You know, the important stuff!

So it's only natural that he would tell me, upon first rising this sunny morning:
"I think it's time I learned how to make fart noises with my armpit."

To which I replied: Let's concentrate on tying your shoes, using a napkin instead of your sleeve/pants/furniture, and advanced butt wiping first.

Then I'll teach you how to make fart noises with your armpit.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Aimee, over at Greeblemonkey is having a photo contest, like she usually does every month, but THIS month, for every entry she is donating $1 to Unicef for Haiti relief. I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

The theme is "inspiration". I wracked my brain and tried to think of my favorite pic of JH, because he is a constant inspiration to me. I thought about finding one of Charley, because I'm constantly inspired by his music and love. I looked at pictures I've taken of cats, of flowers, of beaches.

I finally came up with this. I love these little tiny flowers coming up through the cracks in the sidewalk. They persevere, they grow despite the odds, even when it's cold. They keep coming up, keep growing in a harsh place, and bring a little beauty to those who take a minute to stop and look.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Heading South

We're heading down to see the in-laws in California this weekend, and even though I woke up with "Here Comes The Sun" in my head, I'd already used that here before, so this is my second choice. And HELLLOOOOOO, it's Lesley Gore! It doesn't get any peppier than this!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Best Haircut To Hide Jowls"

Someone typed this into Google, then wound up at my blog.

Of course, someone else typed in "I'm juicy inside" and landed here too. So, uh, yeah....

Older moms, UNITE!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

So Cool

Last night, as on many nights, Joe-Henry and I had some iPhone time together. He has my old phone (which was Charley's old phone), and I had my phone, and he played one of his thousand games, and I played Bejeweled Blitz because yes, Mr. & Mrs. Internet America I'm an addict. In the old days, everyone gathered in front of the radio. This is our radio.

Anyway, instead of Madden 10, or Jelly Car, or the horrible and entirely inappropriate New York Nights (another post on it's own, for now I'll tell you that the age guidelines are WRONG), he played me a concert on RealPianopro. It was soothing and beautiful, and even though I have to BEG him to practice piano for reals, he enjoyed making music. Relaxing, creating, entertaining his mom.

I give myself a hard time about not being better at a whole laundry list of things. I don't engage him enough in this or that, I'm not more positive in the way I try to guide him to do things on his own. Don't get me wrong - I'm not laying awake at night beating myself up for this. I think EVERY parent does this to a certain degree. And since I"m in such good company, I sleep pretty soundly most of the time, thankyouverymuch.

He's discovering great music every day too - through games. The last song we downloaded was Little Eva's The Locomotion. He has great taste in music, and I love hearing him sing along. We give him coupons to be turned in for things he wants, and he can spend them any way he wants, but when they're gone, he has to wait until the next time he gets coupons. (Of course, we can "gift" him if we want.)

As we both started to feel tired, he opened up Bloom. I'd seen it once before, Charley had shown it to me a long time ago. But last night was an epiphany. Created by Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers, it's an ambient, interactive music box. It's visually simple but hypnotically beautiful, and sooooooo relaxing. I think it should be a required app if you have trouble sleeping or are under stress. I begged him for a turn, told him to close his eyes and he was asleep within two minutes.

I HATE paying for apps, but this one? Completely worth the 3.99. I think I'll even be able to use it at work. I'm excited to see what the students I work with think of it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

HeadSong Friday: Loves Me Like A Rock

Haven't done HeadSong Friday in a while, but I woke up with this song loud in my head this morning. When JH was little, he's sing this song so loud, and my favorite line he'd misquote, was "She loves me like a rocka pages!".

Saw this a while back on PBS, and loved it. Paul Simon is a National Treasure. And Stevie Wonder?! With the Dixie Hummingbirds?! PERFECTION.

To all you Mama's out there: Go Mama Love!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Last night, I had one of those "aha" moments while talking to JH. Not the good kind of "aha", but the "HELLLOOOO?! have you not been listening to him?!" moments.

About a year ago, JH developed a mad crush on a girl in his class. He told a friend. The friend told the girl. And ever since, the girl has treated him differently. When he talks about her, he says "she hates me now", or "she's really driving me crazy".

But last night, getting ready for bed, he said in the most serious voice, "Mom. Please help me. I don't know what to do. She is really mean to me, and I'm trying to be nice." Then he burst into tears.

"She doesn't like me because I'm different. She's seen me in shorts. She's seen my bumps on my leg."

I navigated us away from that place, knowing in my mother's heart that it wasn't true. I know this girl, and I'm pretty sure that she just doesn't know what to do with the fact that he had a crush on her. And now he doesn't.

Anyway. I got him to the place where he could practice saying what he needs to say. He came up with the perfect little speech, and he wrote it down.

"Please stop following me at recess. I don't like it and it hurts my feelings when you say mean things to me. I can choose who I want to play with, and I don't have to say I'm sorry for that. If you don't stop following me and saying mean things to me, I'll have to tell a recess teacher, because you aren't listening to me."

He wants to wake up early to draw her a picture of flowers. Because he really, really wants to be her friend.

Sigh. And it only gets more complicated.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk

Do you know what I love about being the mother of a nine year old boy? Besides nagging him to do every little thing? Because yes, I complain, but also, I love doing it. I must. (sshhhhhh.... I'm "acting as if", because then maybe if I actually DID love nagging, I'd become more effective at it. or something.).

I love the quality conversations we have. The state of the world is discussed, along with the state of, well, everything else. All topics are covered. The kids in his class, the best vs. worst brands of bubblegum, how to build the most perfect interactive video game, and of course my favorite topic, Ways In Which I Can Be A Better Mom.

Way #1: stop being so grouchy

There is no Way #2, because if I stopped being grouchy I would be perfect.

A typical example of our discussions is as follows. This is the first conversation I had in the New Year, and I think it bodes well for my intellectual growth in 2010.

JH: Mom, who's your favorite Stooge?

Me: My favorite Stooge?

JH: Yeah! Larry, Curly or Moe?

Me: I think Larry does lovely, understated work, and has always been under appreciated. I'll go with Larry.

JH: But Moe is the leader, and he's so funny! And Curly makes those hysterical noises!

Me: Yes, but without Larry, Moe and Curly would probably kill each other. Also, I like Larry because he's pretty quiet.

JH: But he's not the funniest.

Me: Nope. Not everyone is funny. And that's okay.

JH: No it isn't.

and.... scene.

Do you see why my brain is in danger of melting and running out both my ears?

So this is why I vow to get out more in 2010. To seek the stimulation of grownups and talk about important things. Like politics and melting ice caps and OMG The Bachelor...

on the other hand, we haven't gotten to Shemp yet. And what about the Marx Brothers? I can't wait to find out what he thinks about Harpo!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

the hat

the hat
Originally uploaded by anniemcq
We got this hat for JH because they came with those cool fingerless gloves that have the mittens on the end. He really wanted those. He wasn't crazy about this hat because it has PINK in it. He wanted a brown one that had fringe running from front to back right down the middle because it looked like a mohawk.
Because he's a badass like that.
But it didn't have gloves that came with it, so this is what he got.
Because I'm a mom like that.

I caught this pic after a recent snowstorm when he and some neighborhood friends were building a snowman in our front yard. I LOVE the color, and I love, love, love that boy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Nook of One's Own

With Christmas behind us, I continued to Feng our Shui. We moved the tree out of the corner of the room, but I didn't want to put back all the mismatched boxes, and DEAR GOD THE TOYS, so I decided to try to make a cozy space for the boy. Of course, since the advent of the Wii, I despaired of ever getting him to play with anything else, but over the past couple days something miraculous has happened: while helping me clean his room, he's discovered some old toys. He thought it was okay for me to move his Thomas Trains (really? Nine is too old for Thomas?! Okay.... sniff...) into a less accessible spot, but he was having a blast playing with his airplanes, busses and cars. We had this ugly white shelf downstairs, so I moved it up, put a runner and a lamp on it, and threw some old pillows I found at goodwill in the corner. I got some cool recycled magazine baskets at TJ Maxx, filled them with some legos, some paper and art supplies, some cars and planes, and the boy was so excited to have a cozy little nook all to himself. There's a little empty spot there for a few more books, so who knows - maybe he'll even READ!

Bonus: The cats love it!