Jun 29, 2008

A moment of affection for THE FURRY ONE.

You just know Brady is thinking, "What the...? Dear God, help me." We're having a thunderstorm right now, and I'm going to try to measure Brady's tongue. I'm guessing at least six inches clearing her mouth. I won't take a picture though -- that would just be mean.

Jun 28, 2008

No more ginger vodka for Mommy.

Grace has a thing about blankets. She loves to cover up and feign sleep, then sit up and announce, "I'm awake!" She also puts her dolls down for naps, face down, then piles on so many blankets that I can only conclude she's trying to smother them in some passive-aggressive fashion.

She's quite convincing.

This is EXACTLY how I felt when I woke up this morning. I blame Shelley and her cool shot glasses she made of ice. Yes, I know I'm too old to be doing shots, but throwing down the ice glass after each one was so fun.

And this is how I spent the rest of my day (inside), while Grace and John went to the park and to Jake's third birthday party.

Jun 27, 2008

Happy dog

We've almost convinced her it's fun to be outside even without eating mulch.

Jun 26, 2008


Grace and Julian have a strange relationship. When they're together, they don't particularly appear to enjoy each other's company, but they always ask about each other, and put them in a bed together and they sleep like all is right with their worlds and they are exactly where they belong. I'm not sure if it's a brother/sister thing or a potentially scorching romance, but either way, Julian is a gentle soul and Grace could clearly benefit from his influence. And he's a gifted musician, which is totally HOT (to her, not me).

"Seriously, my hand tastes SOOOOOOOOO good!"

"Dude, your hand? Who's yummier than I am?"

Jun 25, 2008

Where we'd go if we were homeless.

If we weren't already in love with our neighborhood enough, turns out this park is a ten-minute walk from our house. Rolling hills, a new playground, tennis courts -- it has EVERYTHING. After about an hour and a half, Grace will leave with a feeble protest; any briefer visit will bring a full-on atomic meltdown. All good things must come to an end, but try explaining that to a hungry, tired almost-three-year-old. (29 days!)

Look at her hair go!

She's pretty fearless on this wall. Still working on the vertical one.

She looks like a model for this playground equipment, no?

The way Grace walks assures me she has no self esteem issues yet.

"I'll take my snack at the picnic table, Mumsie."

Jun 22, 2008

Out with the old.

I grew so tired of this faux-wood stapler pilfered from a Chicago ad agency almost twenty years ago. It depressed me. Guess where I got the sleek new one? Uh huh, STAPLES. What, like you've never been overcome by a bout of shallow consumeritis? I'm not embarrassed to admit, it brings a twinge of joy every time I use it. Is that so wrong?

Jun 21, 2008

Ready for doggie rehab.

She looks so happy, you'd never guess she's an addict, but that's how it goes with addiction, right? We don't know what the first six or seven years of her life were like, but I suspect at some point she had to fend for herself, because she will eat ANYTHING THAT FITS IN HER MOUTH. Favorites: poo, dead animals, mulch, grass, crayons, seashells, and (turn away if you're easily grossed out), used tissues and tampons from the garbage. (That last one she does when she's feeling neglected or is sequestered in a room. You know, she's acting out.) My father calls her a junkyard dog.

There are other idiosyncrasies, of course, which is why she was on sale at the Humane Society for just $35. She's an escape artist. She went through several screens with previous owners, and she can jump a five-foot fence. She's obsessed with UPS trucks and can distinguish one from a FedEx truck from blocks away. She's not after the UPS man; she just wants to get in the truck and sniff the boxes, which she has now managed to do twice.

If a complete stranger comes into our house and sits down, she will immediately make herself at home on his/her lap, and at 45+ pounds, that seems a bit presumptuous. She loves beer and chocolate and will climb all over me trying to help herself to either.

She is ever vigilant and must position herself so that she is facing the door -- any door -- at all times. When I was pregnant, before I was showing, she became extremely protective of me at the dog park, squeezing between me and any dog that came too close. Oy, the DOG PARK. She must sniff and pee on the entire perimeter before playing with the other dogs. She is not a fighter, but now and then she'll find a dog inexplicably annoying and bark, bump, and bully it until I have to take her home. She won't be humped -- she just sits down. And when there's a fight or things get a little too heated, she barks and tries to break it up like she's the self-appointed dog park police.

Anyway, we love Brady like crazy but are considering staging an intervention around the whole scavenging thing. (Ohmigod, have you seen the show, "Intervention," on A&E? It's totally addictive.)

Jun 20, 2008

Crazy little monkey -- in action.

I farted around with iMovie this morning until I figured out how to do this little video. It's rudimentary, but hey, it's got music!

Crazy little monkey.

Pictures of Grace have been scarce lately, partly because she had bronchitis and felt like crap (not that her suffering has kept me from photographing her before) but mostly because she had pinkeye and looked sort of, well, high. And when she's healthy she's never still long enough for me to snap a shot. Last night she looked so cute in her jammies I decided we'd have a little photo session before bed. Not a good idea; she got so wound up she babbled incoherently to the animals in her crib for over an hour.

She loves her duck(s) more with each passing day, and now she knows there is a school ducky, a home ducky, a purse ducky (for public emergencies) and a "whisker ducky," the one with a thread hanging off his beak. Yesterday she requested a clean ducky. Cheeky monkey.

This is how I will remember her at this age -- a blur.

Bottoms up. She loves somersaults, but rarely considers where she'll end up.

What I would give for that hair. A few days in the sunshine and it looks like she just got highlights.

If you think she's tuckered out here, you are so, so wrong.

Jun 18, 2008

The things that really matter.

I've gotten some grief over the bruise post -- not because I was immodest enough to share a picture of myself in my underwear, but because of what one friend, who shall remain nameless, referred to as my "granny panties." Apparently he would have preferred to see me in a lacy black thong, or something at least a little fancier than blue cotton. I feel I should defend myself here, because it's a Victoria's Secret bikini, not some gray polyester number that goes all the way up to my waist and sags in the bum. It may even have been a low-rise bikini -- I'd check but I'm doing laundry. Of course, this is the same person who complimented me on my photo in the bathroom, pointing out, "Your hair doesn't look as greasy as it usually does." And, as long as I'm on a rant, he ended an anecdote about running into a friend of his ex's by muttering, "Thank God I'm skinny." You know who you are, and why I love you so much -- because we think alike, but you actually say it all out loud.

Jun 17, 2008

Fashion over function, baby.

Here I am standing barefoot in front of one of the sinks in the master bath. Note how the top of the sink hits me precisely at boob level. I am five feet nuthin', and don't expect to tower over anything, but I have to stand on my tiptoes to wash my hands. I'll admit the bathroom is stylin', but it's not the most user-friendly place in the house for me. (It's a dream come true for John.) I'd need a step stool to wash my face. And Grace's bathroom sink? She'll need a ladder to brush her teeth, once she's ready to do that without one of us pinning her down and forcing her mouth open.

(For the record, I was wearing pants when I took this picture.)

Jun 16, 2008

Sorry about the underwear. Really.

This might be the most spectacular collection of bruises I have ever had. It looks as if someone took a length of rebar to me, but they are actually the result of switching file drawers from one cabinet to another and resting the drawers on my thigh in between. Clever girl. And this picture doesn't do them justice. They're so bad, they actually itch. Really, there's nothing quite as sexy as deep purple and green bruises on winter white thighs, right?

Jun 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I seem unable to get a card to my father on time for anything lately. He's just too forgiving -- I know he'll love me no matter how scattered or self absorbed I am. Of course, that's why he's the perfect dad. Here are a few pictures I love from back in the day.

On patrol on the Nathan Hale in 1965, with facial hair no less. I thought that was illegal or something.

I love how my brother Ed is looking at me like he's pretty sure I have completely ruined his life.

If I were my dad here, I'd be hoping my angel had an empty bladder.

Jun 14, 2008

I see the future and I'm very afraid.

Grace climbed into bed with me the other morning, which is preferable to me having to get up, so I let her watch a little Sesame Street. She kicked back like she'd been doing this every morning for years, and of course she looked so cute I jumped up to get the camera (which sort of blew the luxury of being able to stay in bed). So one minute I'm thinking she looks so adorable, and in the blink of an eye my brain projects forward to teenage Grace, lounging in bed watching TV with a soda (diet) in one hand and a bag of chips in the other. But I can't imagine her teenage vocabulary, so I picture her tossing aside the empty bag of chips and demanding, "More chips." I'd stare at her until she gave me a surly, "PLEASE."

Jun 10, 2008

A lot of alliteration for anxious anchors placed in powerful positions.

(Name the movie.)

I had dinner with friends tonight at Lolo, a tapas place on Alberta. We spent most of our time breathlessly anticipating the return of Ella, of course, but we also talked about our kids and concluded that because of them our four food groups have been reduced to the following: caffeine, salty carbs, sweet carbs and cocktails.

Sort of like the four C's of diamond quality: carat, cut, clarity and color. Or the six P's of preparation: prior proper planning prevents poor performance. But you know all of these. Who doesn't?

Jun 9, 2008

It's going to happen.

These are the exactly sixty rejections I have received from agents regarding my novel. I was going to spread them out on the floor or a wall for impact, but that seemed defeatist and doesn't reflect my state of mind. I'm proud of how hard I've worked to get rejected so many times. I wrote a book. That was the easy part. Then I figured out how to seek representation, which, it turns out, is much more difficult. But I haven't taken any shortcuts. I haven't let myself succumb to the humiliation of being so roundly and consistently turned down (much). I keep querying, and more important, I keep hoping.

I sputtered back to life yesterday after more than a week of being sick, and while I cleaned the kitchen, did laundry, scoured the bathroom and hung some blinds, I couldn't shake the feeling that something good is going to happen soon with my novel. I'm putting it out there, and I hope you'll join me in my (uncharacteristic) optimism. If you're willing, perform whatever personal ritual you do to help a friend: say a prayer, light a candle, talk to the spirit, raise a toast or just send positive thoughts my way (and toward New York). Or go to your local bookstore and ask if they have Soft Landing by Laurel... SOMEONE... in stock, and have all your friends do the same. (I learned in business school they call this "pull through" vs. "push through" marketing. WHY DO I REMEMBER THAT?) Even a supportive comment here will get you an autographed copy. That's what a good mood I'm in.

Jun 6, 2008

Salmonella. Not nearly as fun as Salman Rushdie.

And I hear he can be a real stitch after one too many vodka gimlets. Honestly? I wouldn't recommend it.

Jun 2, 2008

Too much information, clearly.

File yesterday's contribution under "Laurel sharing a bit more than necessary while whacked out on Vicodin," unless you are a fan of other people's tedious medical experiences. And Happy Birthday, Dad!

Jun 1, 2008

Morphine, Dilaudid and Zofran, oh my!

That was the drug cocktail I got in the ER this morning to stop the barfing and the cramping, which I swear was worse than labor. And a saline chaser for dehydration. It was delightful. Even though I got stuck with a paramedic trainee who took about twenty minutes to start my IV, the people who made me feel better were, once the drugs kicked in, my very favorite people in the world, which I told them repeatedly. This friggin' virus kicked my sorry ass. It's because of all the ants I've been killing, isn't it?