What I Wore This Week: The HFM Edition

{Jacket: thrifted, Shorts: J. Crew, T Shirt: Gap, Shoes: Top Siders, Necklace: Target}

I told myself that if I didn’t wear this jacket sometime soon I had to get rid of it, so I forced myself to wear it. I liked it. And a necklace plus a jacket made a plain old t shirt plus shorts far less schlubby. Layering is one of the things I have to make myself do but it makes a big difference.

{Dress: Kohls, Belt: Target, Shoes: Hive & Honey}

I’m pretty sure that rayon floral dresses are not sweeping the runway in Milan, but this makes me look really skinny in person, and it’s super comfortable, so you will pry it from my cold dead hands. Also, it looks awful in this picture, for some reason. Also, I put a belt on it, so I feel like I get extra gold stars for that.

 

{Dress: Lands End, Shoes: I can’t remember}

I liked this dress in person a lot and I felt like it was a good stand in for a polo dress which I cannot wear because me plus giant shapeless bag is a disaster.  However, in this picture, I am not so sure about this one. It makes me look wide in the downstairs and also like I have no neck. Hmmmm. Maybe a different belt than the navy one that came with it. A wider white one?

 

{Dress: American Eagle, belt: Target, Earrings: Target, Shoes: J.Crew}

I LOVE this dress. But I never wear it because it’s one of those things that I like to try on in front of mirror and then think “Oh, no, it’s too short” and then I take it off. But it’s so cute! I finally made myself wear it and I got compliments all day, although I may have shown the cashier at Target my underwear.  Several times.  Please note I took that belt off and on about a hundred times and then finally I just made myself wear it.  And someone told me I looked “fabulous”! So that was awesome.

Also, please note, it is really short. And it’s a size Large. And I’m 5’1″.  I’m just curious….where does this thing hit on someone who’s 5’10”?  Very odd.

{Skirt: Old Navy, Shirt: Gap, Necklace: Target, Shoes: Franco Sarto}

You see that towel there, in the foreground? Every single picture I took, the camera focused on those towels, so all the shots from this day are blurry. OF COURSE because it’s the most flattering thing I wore all week.

In other news, I am so far from understanding “this is flattering on me because of this” it’s not even funny. You could have knocked me over with a feather when this turned out to be the outfit that looked best on me.  Especially because I wore this shirt with shorts last week and it looked so bad I didn’t even take a picture. Sigh.

This is also known as the day that Eli came down with Hand Foot and Mouth Disease, so I needed to wear something I could do a lot of sitting around in.

{Shorts: Target, T Shirt: Gap, Shoes: Top Sider, Earrings: Target}

I’m not even going to detail the white shorts quest I have been on because it’s going to make you realize that with that time back I could solve world hunger, world peace, and invent cold fusion.  These shorts are ok.  The waistband gaps in the back and the pockets show through, but they fit me well. I like how they’re longer and a bit looser.  This outfit greatly resembles one of my favorite pictures of Jackie Kennedy and how can that not make you happy? Plus these earrings, while hard to see, are one of my favorites.

This is also known as the day my other child also came down with Hand Foot and Mouth Disease, so, more sitting around.

 

 

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What I Wore This Week: It Was Hot, Then It Was Freezing Cold

{Dress: Gap Outlet (current), Shoes: Franco Sarto}

I love this dress with the fire of a thousand suns.  LOVE LOVE LOVE.  Which is so confusing, because had I not hauled ass to the outlet to take Erik shopping for Father’s Day, I would never have found it.  This indicates the necessity of trying things on, and having someone else there with you to tell you that things look good.  People. I have neither the time nor the inclination for a bunch of trips to the mall.  I haaaaaaaaate the mall. I am a total online shopper.

The best I can do, I think, is to promise myself that a few times a year I will make myself go into a store and try things on.  I should probably do it more than I want to, but what can you do.  Life must be lived, and not at the mall.

On the plus side, I have totally figured out what dresses I should be wearing.  (Hint: Not shaped like a bag.) so maybe it will be easier to find good ones from now on. I just wish more dresses had real waists, and I could find more wrap/shirt dresses/any dresses at all not made of stretchy material.  There’s a lot of jersey out there right now.

{Dress:  Banana Republic (old), Shoes: Franco Sarto wedges}

This dress is ok.  It probably needs a belt, but the day I was wearing this it was 100 degrees outside, so I wasn’t really in the mood for a whole lot of extra shazaam.

{Dress: Land’s End Fit and Flare, Shoes: J. Crew (old), necklace: Ebay}

Everyone should buy this dress, it’s so great.  I wish they had the navy still available online, but if I find it in the store I am snatching that baby up.  Anyway, this dress.  SO flattering, comfy, cheap, nice heavy fabric that doesn’t seem like it will pill but not so heavy it drapes weird, doesn’t look like a swim cover up but feels like pajamas, love the color, don’t have to wear a cami under it, covers your bra straps, flattering but not tight and doesn’t look like it’s trying to do weird flattering construction stuff on purpose, love love love.

{T shirt: Gap outlet (current), Skirt: Gap (old), J. Crew necklace (Ebay), Shoes: Hive & Honey}

I bought this skirt at the Gap outlet and it physically pained me to pay $20 for a t shirt not on sale at the outlet.  HOWEVER.  Then I remembered that this right here is the exact reason that I do not let myself buy a bunch of random crappy $7 Target t shirts, so that I can buy the ONE GREAT t shirt when I find it.  Again, if I had BEEN IN A STORE, I would never have found this, and it’s my new favorite thing, so that is kind of annoying, but what can you do.  Also, if anyone else sees any navy striped t shirts ever, holler.  They are really hard to find.

Also, let’s be honest here.  Those are some hot shoes.

{Capris:  Gap (old), T Shirt: Gap Mason Crew, Sweater: Eddie Bauer Outlet of all places, necklace: J. Crew (ebay),Shoes: Top Siders}

This makes me look a little boxy, I know, but part of that might be the camera angle? It’s also freezing ass cold here. I am exercising my god given right to wear pants.  PANTS IN JUNE I WANT MY MONEY BACK CALIFORNIA.

 

I Made This: Outdoor Chalkboard

So. I am not an in-the-house chalkboard kind of person.  One, because I hate chalk dust, and two because we had no place to put a chalkboard.  But my kids LOVE to draw and color and do all that stuff and I thought an outside chalkboard seemed like a  really fun addition to Driveway Kid Zone, especially in some kind of giant scale.  Sometimes when things are GIANT they are more fun, no?

Anyway.  I finally this summer sort of figured out that my husband can handle these projects I conceptualize if I lay them on him one at a time, in a very calm and organized fashion. One per weekend. He really can’t deal with “we’re going to go to Home Depot for little pieces of 8 different things I have going on” but he responds well to “We are going to make an outdoor chalkboard. I need you to go get the wood and a can of black paint. Here is what I want it to look like and here is a list.”

So.  This is one piece of plywood which was $45 at Home Depot.  We brought it home on the roof of our car, it would not have fit in the trunk.  The standard size of large plywood fits perfectly on one section of fence, so we did not cut or saw anything.

Erik screwed the unpainted piece of plywood into the vertical supports of the fence using some kind of bolt.  I originally had all these fancy plans for making it removable for the winter, but I think what we’ll do is just unscrew it before the first time it’s supposed to rain this fall and store it in the garage.

After the plywood was screwed to the wall, I rolled on two coats of plain black exterior latex paint in a flat finish.  It’s not chalkboard paint because 1. chalkboard paint is not rated for outdoor use 2. chalkboard paint is really expensive and 3. I’ve always found that plain black paint works perfectly well in lieu of chalkboard paint.

And it does! Writing on it you would never know it’s not chalkboard paint. I will say that a regular chalkboard eraser does not erase the chalk off of it very well, but a dishcloth dipped in a little water works perfectly well.

Once our children get over their terrible cases of being 5 and 2, I envision some killer games of drinking pictionary during Friday night Happy Hour.

 

Senor Pants: What We Did That Worked

Remember when I said that someone I know was having some…uh, issues?

Well.  Times got desperate, I am not ashamed to say, and because desperate times call for desperate measures, we started just throwing things at the wall, metaphorically, to see what stuck, and a few things worked, thank the baby Jesus, and it’s SO SO SO AWESOME to be enjoying my five year old, finally finally finally!, so I thought I would share a few of our techniques just in case you are also too busy parenting to actually read a parenting book.

First of all, please be aware that we already do ALL THAT STUFF that everyone does, with the time outs and the choices and all the other things that everyone always wants to tell you that you should be doing. I am not that clueless, and I have brothers and sisters. I can give choices with the best of them, ok? So that stuff is already on board. This is the other extra stuff that worked.

1. Eli hasn’t napped since he was three, so I just sort of gave up on any kind of quiet time, but now we’ve decided that he still needs a half an hour rest period every day. I am not even sure who this rest period is for, but as soon as Katie gets up from her nap, Eli goes in for his.  He does not have to sleep (and although occasionally he does fall asleep most of the time he does not), but he has to be quiet and he has to stay in bed with the lights off and the shades drawn. If he talks, the half an hour starts over.

2. No screens of any kind except TV.  So this was a huge one.  First we tried no violent games on the Kindle Fire. We tried to limit Ipod time.  We tried using video games as bribes.  We tried limiting them to a certain amount of time or a certain time period of the day. None of it worked, and Eli just got more and more and more obsessed with the stupid Ipod and Kindle, and then he started beating games that Erik and I couldn’t even play, and seriously, playing video games was all he ever talked about.  It was all he ever wanted to do, and still we were SO reluctant to cut this out entirely, because seriously, this child has not stopped talking for two and half years.  He literally never stops talking. Sometimes half an hour of Ipod time was the only quiet we got in a 14 hour day, and we needed him just to STOP TALKING, we really did.  But as an experiment borne of pure and true desperation we cut it out the screens and it made all the difference in the world, immediately.  Immediately.  To the point that it wasn’t worth going back to it, even for that half an hour of precious precious silence.  So the screens “went to work” with Erik and they are not coming back.

3. No more violent tv shows.  So somehow we had drifted from Pingu and Shaun the Sheep into Transformers and super heroes.  We probably do watch more tv than we should, still, but at least this is not people blasting each other sabers all the time, or whatever. I know we can’t keep this up forever, but it does seem to help the behavior so we try to be pretty picky now about what he can watch.

4. Cramming food into him all the time.  So you all may or may not know that Eli had all those issues with Failure to Thrive and food allergies and falling off the weight charts.  He has never been a great eater.  He is very skinny. I bribe him to do things using celery. He’s no longer gluten free (thank you jesus!) but his increased appetite caught us a bit unawares because he has never been that child who eats big meals or gets hungry all the time, and then suddenly, bam!, he was that kid, and we didn’t realize that he needed to eat a lot more than he was eating.  Now I try to cram food into him all day long, especially in the stretch between lunch and dinner.  If he falls off that blood sugar cliff, holy cats look out.

5. Energon Cubes.  We tried all kinds of reward systems, sticker charts, buttons, all kinds of things, but it wasn’t until Erik hit on the energon cubes chart that a reward chart actually worked for Eli.  Ironically, energon cubes are what the Transformers eat, or absorb, or whatever.  We have a chart with twenty squares on it on the refrigerator, with little magnets that you can slide around on it.  He earns points for doing good things or for chores, and he loses points for being a dillhole, and he has responded really well to the sliding scale aspect of it. I’d say once every two weeks he gets to 20 and then he gets a reward.  A dad date or to rent a movie on Amazon or something like that.  If I get the feeling that he’s sort of losing hope of getting to twenty, I will start giving them out a bit freely for things, and we had to work really hard in the beginning to go in the kitchen and actually move the slider because Erik and I tend to be a bit bad at threatening or promising things and not carrying them through, but now it’s a very established system and it works wonders. I love that unlike stickers, you can take things away. I also try to keep certain ideas in mind because when he loses a cube, he tends to go into “WHAT WILL I DO TO GET IT BACK?” hysterics and I like to have some answers ready, just stuff like “clean up your toys” or “wipe off the baseboards.”

I am a little ashamed of myself that it took me this long to figure out some of this stuff.  But I am mostly over it because although this child is still five years old and is a stinker much the time, he’s no longer just unbelievably awful all day long, and it has made all the difference in the world.  I am just so relieved and happy and GLAD to have my wonderful funny beautiful amazing boy back.  I really am. Even if he has been talking without a pause for breath for two and half years.

 

 

What I Wore This Week: In Which I Go To A (Pretend) Fancy Meeting

{Old Navy Perfect Tee, J. Crew gauze skirt (similar), Target necklace, J. Crew wedges}

Let’s just say that this was “that” week, if you know what week I mean, jellybean.  This skirt was perfect, it’s pajamas in skirt form. I adore it.  This is my “Seriously? Taking care of two children while I have cramps is my least favorite thing to do of all time.” face.

In other news, I made that pillow behind me on the bench out of an old skirt, and I will be requiring a gold star from Maggie Cheung for that.

{Gap skirt, Gap t shirt, Target necklace, Target belt}

This was my least favorite outfit of the week.  I look like some of crazed German governess.  Anyway.  I really wanted to wear this skirt and I tried to make it work but it just would NOT work. Wide belt, skinny belt, necklace, whatever, boo.  I think what this outfit really needs is a fitted white polo shirt, tucked in, like this:

I am outlet malling it this weekend and a white polo shirt is on the list.

{Dress: Gap (similar), necklace: Chaps, Wedges: Franco Sarto}

I love this dress. This is one of my “instead of buying a maxi dress which is going to look terrible on you buy something in the same general idea but shorter” dresses.

{Skirt: Old Navy, Ribbed Tanks: Old Navy, Necklace: Target, Wedges: J. Crew}

On KW: {Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (similar), Hat: San Diego Hat Co.}

This was my favorite outfit of the week. It was comfortable and cute and it fit the uniform colors but still branched out and the necklace kept it from looking like just random t shirts thrown over a sloppy skirt and I LOVED LOVED LOVED it. I have decided that it is totally ok to wear a t shirt or tank over a poofy skirt but the t shirt cannot be too long and the skirt cannot be too poofy, as you can see.

{T Shirt: Gap Mason Crew, Skirt: Target, Necklace: J. Crew via Ebay, Flip Flops: Target}

I like to think of this as the day the internet dressed me.  I put this skirt on and I put the t shirt over it and I FOUGHT tucking it in. I did not want to tuck it in! I did not want to wear the necklace! It all seemed so loud and short and tight and fitted! And then I took a picture and it looked great.  Stupid internet.

Anyway.  When I first started this project, my main concerns were that I would look like a dumbass and that people would notice that I all of a sudden looked crazy different.  No one ever said anything to me, but in my mind it was SO OBVIOUS that one day I was wearing a pair of ugly green ill fitted bermuda shorts, worn out flip flops, and a faded purple t shirt two sizes two big for me, and the next day I was wearing jewelry! and heels! and skirts! and OMG WHAT WOULD PEOPLE THINK?

People have noticed, but only in a very nice and sweet and complimentary way.  I think most people have really short memories. No one is comparing what I am wearing now to what I wore before, at least not out loud to me. I don’t think anyone really cares that much, actually.  I do get a lot of compliments on my clothes now, so that’s nice.  And mostly I don’t think about it anymore.  Sometimes, though, like with today’s outfit, when it seems like TOO MUCH OMG I AM TRYING TOO HARD PEOPLE WILL NOTICE ME I just pretend I am going to a fancy meeting. I could totally be going to a fancy meeting right after preschool drop off! I totally could be! So I just pretend and there you go.

Libraries I Have Known and Loved

My childhood library, the first library I can really remember, is the Beaverton Public Library, in Beaverton, OR.  Rumor had it that before it was a library, it was a grocery store, and I think that’s probably right, since it had a distinctive grocery store entrance with the double glass automatic doors and that ribbed rubbery entrance step at the front doors.

For a long time, after my parents got divorced, I’d take the bus here after school and sit and wait for two or three hours until my dad came to get me, after his work day was over.  I was supposed to be doing my homework, but I was actually sneaking over to the grown ups section to read all the V.C. Andrews books.

I did love the children’s section at this library too, though.  They had all the Betsy Tacey and Tib books.  They had all the Happy Hollisters books.  They had all the Carolyn Haywood books, all the Anastasia books, and every book by Louisa May Alcott.  This library would serve me well when I got my first bookstore job and it turned out that actually most people do not share this encyclopedic knowledge of children’s literature.  I remain to this day one of the only people I know who has read Eight Cousins.  Not to mention every single Happy Hollister book.

The Beaverton Public Library still used those metal strips in the inside of the book, and I can still remember the rectangular boxes the librarians had to sort of mash the spines back and forth over when they’d check out the books.  I was always cutting my fingers on those stupid metal strips.

I’m not sure this is entirely accurate, but the way I remember it, one of the first things that my mom did after my parents got divorced and my mom got a Portland address was to take me and my brother and sister to the Multnomah County Library.  This is an immense gray old fashioned kind of library right smack in the middle of downtown Portland.  We didn’t actually go there very much, mostly I was still a Beaverton Library kind of girl, and then in high school it was super uncool to hang out at the library, but it was my first encounter with a library with stacks and that sort of blew my mind.  You give them a note? And they go and dig around and bring you back a book? Crazy pants.

The Multnomah County Library also had all kind of neat old library stuff, like a music room with record players and headphones and a rare book room with the big huge Audubon books.  All kinds of weird stuff, paintings you could check out and tools.  I always wanted to check out a painting but we never did.

BFF Sara had a library card at the Lake Oswego Public Library, so we’d end up doing a lot of school projects here, but mostly I remember that this is the library where Sara once had an epic fight with her mother because her mother wouldn’t let her write a paper on Hitler.  She ended up choosing Angela Lansbury instead, and I still think this (FINE! IF I CANT WRITE IT ON HITLER THEN I AM WRITING IT ON ANGELA LANSBURY!!!!) is one of the funniest things of all time.

The first school library I remember is the St. Mary of the Valley library, which is just the sort of library you’d expect to find at an old dignified half convent Catholic school. It was tiny and crammed full of books from floor to ceiling and also contained an ancient crabby nun who shushed us all the time.  We had this strange project in 6th grade where a guest lecturer came and taught us about the library and then told us that our assignment was to catalog every book in the entire library.  Each of us.  Every book. Mass chaos ensued.  We all spent a lot of time in that library. I am not sure anyone actually finished. At the end of it our teacher told us that she couldn’t believe that none of us had thought to split up the job.  We were all pretty dumbfounded at that statement.

This is the library where I first started checking out lurid biographies of the saints’ lives.  Maria Goretti made quite an impression on me, I must say. This is also where I discovered the Romanovs, and I spent the next ten years pretending I was an heir to the Russian throne and declaring my intention to name my future daughter Tatiana.

There was some debate over where I would go to high school, but I ended up conning my parents into letting me go to the cool catholic school, downtown, St. Mary’s Academy.  The whole school was on a hill and the library was on the outer edge of the building, and we’d hear trucks lose their air brakes all the time and come squealing down the hill, horns blasting the whole way down.

For some reason the only other thing I remember about this library is spending an inordinate amount of time writing a history report on perestroika and the fall of communism.  I believe a much tattered copy of Time Magazine with Gorbachov on the front was quite influentual in that epic work.

Halfway through high school I moved to Chicago to live with my mom.  I really was pretty miserable for those last two years of high school, but I could walk from my mom’s house into downtown Naperville, which meant whenever I wanted I could go to the Gap, Walgreens, and the library.  Access to cheap makeup, rayon dresses, and free books? I enjoyed these things.  Mostly, though, I think I checked out cds, which were in the basement of the library.  I think this was the time when to copy a cd you needed two cd drives.  Remember that? You’d put one cd in one drive and the other cd in the other drive and then copy it. Funny.  To this day I think I owe my extensive and possibly complete collection of Cowboy Junkies cds to this library.

The other cool thing about the Naperville Public Library was that they had a bunch of window seats around the edge, so you could go get a book and sit on the carpeted ledge next to the window for as long as you wanted and your mother COULD NOT FIND YOU.  Best library ever.

Then I went off to college (at UCSC) and I don’t remember much about either of the libraries I spent most of my time in.  The main library was this immense thing with big wide staircases and it was steaming hot in there all the time and as you climbed up and up and up it got hotter and hotter.  I can remember being in there and being surrounded by all these books I wished I could have been reading, and instead having to force myself to finish astronomy homework or slog back into Tess of the D’ubervilles and it just felt like I was doing it wrong. Which quite frankly I probably was.

The UCSC Science Library was really close to my apartment freshman year and so I spent a lot of time in there, “studying”.  It was a fancy new science money building surrounded by redwoods with these gorgeous modern red window frames, and full of deep cushy chairs that rolled, so you could push two together, and I fell asleep in those chairs every single time I was in that library. I spent more time sleeping in that library than I did in my own bed, probably. And I think that this was perhaps the first time I really noticed anything about the architecture of a building and how it made me feel and what I thought about it.

When I moved to Ann Arbor to live with Erik, we lived in a little apartment right downtown and we’d walk into work every day because we couldn’t afford the $600 a year parking pass that you needed to park on the Michigan campus.  We’d walk by the library everyday.  That was a nice library. It was the last good library we’d belong to before we moved to Sacramento and I did not appreciate it at all.  I do remember that when you requested books, you had to get them from the librarian, and I did not care for this system in the slightest.  I always felt like they were judging my stack of books.

Oddly, I walked by the Ann Arbor Public Library on my way to work at a different library, the Hatcher Grad Library.  It’s a beautiful big old strange building that sits right on the diag, and the innards of that library are so convoluted with elevators and the stacks and hallways through various places that I never gave anyone directions, I’d just walk them to where ever they were trying to go. It was impossible to explain how to get anywhere, and the stacks were open 24 hours a day and were full of homeless people. And there were three different sets of elevators and I was absolutely convinced that one day I’d either get stuck in one of them or else plummet to my death in one of them.  Never did though.

There are 13 libraries at Michigan, (seriously, it’s a huge school) but the Grad library sits right in the middle of all the action so Erik and I would have lunch together all the time, we’d go get hot dogs at Red Hot Lovers or ice cream at Stucci’s and then we’d walk home together at the end of the day.  It was really lovely. Except when the weird dude was in the diag screaming about Jesus and the end of the world.  But I still look back on those days as a time I didn’t really realize I was just so lucky to be having while I was having it.

The other thing I loved about that library was that my office was right around the corner from the children’s stacks, and I had an hour lunch break, so if it was rainy or Erik was busy I’d go get a book from the YAF section right around the corner and read it for an hour.  I started in the A’s and by the time I left there I had made my way through the entire section, although I never checked any of them out. Ironically I don’t think I even had a library card for that library.  No, I did. Never mind. Anyway, I’d feel worse about messing with the library system except I always reshelved them in the right place and I don’t know that anyone was desperately lining up to check out Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm from the grad library stacks.

Then when we moved to Lincoln, I got a big wake up call.  I have seen worse libraries (foreshadowing) but I was not especially enamored of the public library in Lincoln.  For one thing, they charged 50 cents to request a book, which I thought was a wretched policy, and the library was always surrounded by a certain unsavory population and I don’t know.  The whole thing just felt…off to me.  I did not get that feeling of “Oh yes. The Library. Here I am now.” that I always have gotten when I found the library in all the other places that I have lived.

Although I have said it before and I will say it again.  Given the choice between Redding, California and Lincoln, Nebraska, I would choose Lincoln in heart beat, without a second thought.

The library in Lincoln was not great, it did not feel like my spiritual home the way many other libraries have to me before and after, but I will just say that as soon as we moved to Redding and I got a look at THAT library, I knew that we had to get out of there as the earliest available opportunity, and I realized that I would never move anywhere again without a viable library system.  Never ever ever again.

Libraries and good health insurance.  Two things you never really appreciate until you try to live without them. And I learned that lesson the hard way. And so every single time I take a child to the doctor or I walk out those sliding glass doors with a giant stack of books I requested, I feel gratitude like you would not believe.  And I hope I do for the rest of my life.

The Happiness Project, KWE Edition

I think I always knew, intellectually, that certain people must be happier than others, and that it must be nice to be one of those people, but until I saw it happen before my eyes, until Katie Dubs arrived on the scene, I never really understand it the way I understand it now.

I have never known a happier person.  She just…came out that way.  I tell everyone she is the happiest person I know, and she absolutely is.  Joy oozes out her fingertips, I swear, and although she REALLY doesn’t like it if you take her blanket, and she is far from a pushover, she delights in life in way that endlessly amazes me.

The way she feels about this donut?

This is the same way that Katherine feels about puppies, Shaun the Sheep, her brother, cats, trucks, swings, elephants, horses, ducks, her cat piano, her dad, ice cream, pancakes, bottles of milk, swimming pools, horses, tutus, babies, flowers, brown bears and what they see, cake, Elmo, puddles, dinosaurs, blocks, carrots, slides, sand, the shoe aisle at Target,tissue paper, her special pink blanket, headbands, sunglasses, the musical stylings of Katy Perry, pretend tea, baby strollers, sidewalk chalk, butterflies, Hello Kitty, and also everything else on earth.

I was not lucky enough to be born beaming sunshine out my toes.  I have my moments of happiness, but I didn’t get the happiness gene, I don’t think.  And I’m ok with that, mostly because I like who I am, I really do, but also because aside from BEING one of the happiest people on earth, I have known nothing greater than getting to parent one of them.