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2008 May

A Girl and Her Horse

May 12, 2008

A Girl and Her Horse

And by her horse I mean the one that she rides at riding lessons. Not literally her horse. Though she wishes Toby was her horse.

(Comments are off for now. Trying to thwart the mad influx of spam that is bringing the site down repeatedly. If you are using wordpress and have not upgraded take it from me you should do it now. Yes, RIGHT NOW. You will thank me. And so will your wallet.)

Posted by Chris @ 10:39 pm | Comments are closed.  

Signs of Summer

May 9, 2008

Little Boys.


Scraped knees.


Buzz cuts.


Rosy cheeks.


Dreamy eyes.

Posted by Chris @ 9:00 pm | 44 Comments  

What Bear? You Ask

May 7, 2008

Bear in My Yard

This bear. Right before it picked up my garbage can and stomped on it so all the garbage came flying out. I am so tired of cleaning up garbage every morning. Tonight I took the black bag out of the garbage can and put it into my van for the night. It should smell delightful in there come morning. I am trying to decide if the trade off is worth it. I guess I will know in the morning.

Nice Earrings

Hello there, bear.

This is the “girl” bear. See her earrings?

We also have an untagged bear that comes to visit us. That is the “boy” bear according to my daughter, the ultimate authority of boy/ girl signifiers.

My blog has been down behind the scenes since Monday. I guess it had been sleeping around and not using protection because it contracted a silent but deadly STD. There was much gnashing of teeth and rending of clothing.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I read all of them but unfortunately many were lost in the antibiotic/ Lysol frenzy. So if your comment has disappeared don’t take it personally.

Posted by Chris @ 11:58 pm | 91 Comments  


May 5, 2008

I was out early this morning running, or more accurately flailing my limbs and gasping for air. For about 20 seconds I got what it is that people like about running. The sun was shining, may hair was flying behind me in the breeze. In the shadows you couldn’t see that my grey roots are showing and I looked to be about 6ft tall with spindly long legs.

I had borrowed my 7 yr old son’s ipod, because I don’t have one of my own. And as I was making my way back home the R.E.M. song Driver 8 came on. For a moment I was 19 again running along the Charles River.

Only back then I was was carrying a walkman and I would have to stop and flip the cassette over at some point. I would be running home to a crowded apartment where I would likely be handed a cigarette and a beer before I even reached the couch. We were in that weird place of our lives. Not still children, not yet grown -ups, though we often felt we were. We had little real world responsibilities. Our lives were a completely blank canvas and most of my friends had no idea what they wanted to do next week, never mind for the rest of our lives. College majors had not yet even been declared for the first time.

I remember one afternoon my friend Katie and I were talking about what we imagined our lives to be twenty years in the future. You know, when we were old. We reasoned we would both be married and have a kid or two (Turns out I was always an overachiever.) We wondered who our spouses would be. Where would we live, other than next door to each other, of course. What we would be when we grew up– all the way up. Somehow it didn’t seem incongruous to have deep life discussions in between rounds of bouncing a quarter into a glass of warm beer.

I’m not sure what I imagined my life would be like all those twenty years ago. But I don’t think it was this. I couldn’t have imagined the juggling of conference calls, baseball games, or the very idea of email. I had no idea what a crockpot was or that I should buy stock in granola bars and string cheese.

Today I ran up the driveway, the music of my freshman college year playing in my head. I grabbed the baseballs that were laying in the front yard. I paused before I came in the back door to pick up the garbage that the bear had once again strewn all over the yard. I could hear loud laughter inside, punctuated by squealing. I closed the open door on the minivan, saying a small prayer that the battery wouldn’t be dead. I entered the kitchen and was promptly shot by a Nerf gun. A little boy skates by me in the kitchen on his roller blades, his t-shirt proclaiming “I’m Mom’s Favorite,” which at the moment he definitely was not.

This is thirty-nine. This is what I am going to be when I grow up. Nothing like what I imagined.

And yet, it is pretty fucking amazing.

Posted by Chris @ 6:58 pm | 95 Comments  

Learning to Ride

Learning to ride

She has decided that she rather likes having a person push her around on her bike rather than using the training wheels. So much less effort involved on her part.

Posted by Chris @ 12:05 am | 28 Comments  

Being a Child is Serious Work

May 2, 2008


There is so much blank paper to color. And so little time.


Puppers the stuffed dog looks on. He has a boo-boo on his tail, hence the Dora bandage wrapped around it.


But not so serious that you can’t color in your teeth.

Posted by Chris @ 4:06 pm | 41 Comments  

Far, I’ve been traveling far

May 1, 2008

I exceeded bandwidth last month. Oooops.

When I was in college I spent a summer in western Africa studying art. The culture shock was, well, shocking. Some things were hard to process because there was no framework for which to put the experiences into. And so some of the memories sort of hang out there in my brain, alone, until something triggers them and pulls them back to the forefront of my memory.

The other night we were watching American Idol when Neil Diamond came on. My older children groaned a bit. “Do you like that music?” one of them asked.

Rob answered, “Well, I don’t particularly love him. But your mother does. Ask her to sing his repertoire.”

I had to admit that Neil Diamond holds a special place in my heart.

On my last day on the African continent, ever since I have yet to go back, we were back in the city in our hotel room supposedly resting before our flight left. You have to remember that this was in the days before digital music, digital cameras, laptops, heck CDs were not even popular yet. So for this entire summer no one in our travel group had any access to music, news, messages from home.

The television had nothing on to watch other than state run programs that weren’t in English and a non-stop porn station. My friend Katie and I had turned it on and stood there gaped mouth until I finally turned to her and said, “I don’t even know what that is that they are showing.” She didn’t know either. Until they showed us a different camera angle. At which point we squealed and covered our eyes. Ah yes, back in the innocent dark ages when hard core porn was not available in everyone’s living rooms 24 hours a day.

The clock radio that was in our hotel room that last day was not so much a radio as it just played music in a continuous loop. There were several “channels.” I can’t remember what was playing on the other channels, but we preferred Neil Diamond over all of them. The song loop came around a few times and then one of us, not sure which one, began singing along. Next thing you know we were singing as loud as we could, and about as well as a typical American Idol contestant, which is to say not very well at all. We sang and danced and jumped on the beds through the loop a few times; eventually the hotel staff knocked on the door and told us to be quiet.

We listened to the loop a few more times and tried to sing along more quietly. But Neil Diamond demands to be belted out with overly dramatic enthusiasm.

Since then, Neil Diamond has always held a special place in my heart. I still know all the words to those songs by heart. And when I find myself scanning the radio in the car and one of them comes on, I have to stop and sing along. LOUDLY. (also badly and to the utter embarrassment of my children).

This would be why on Tuesday night you could have seen me singing karaoke style in my family room to Neil Diamond. And also why when it came time to vote one child said, “Well, I’m not voting for you that’s for sure.”


Over at Parenting, my 10 yr old son has written an ambitious list of 101 things to do this summer. I share part of the list we have decided to do as a family.

At Work It, Mom! I have a roasted cauliflower recipe that I tried out to mixed children reviews. The adults in the house loved it.

Posted by Chris @ 9:06 am | 31 Comments