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PB&J

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Under Pressure

I’m writing on my iPhone on the most inspirational seat in our house: the (closed lid) master bath toilet, soothed by the rhythmic serenade of my trusty breast pump. Since my failed comeback in January, I’ve let Perfect become the enemy of Good. No time to edit and fine-tune publishable posts in between diapers, scooter rides, and teleworking, so I simply haven’t written anything at all–even I can admit that birthday cards, thank you notes, and to-do lists don’t count (long-winded agenda at the conclusion of this post notwithstanding).

I know others can relate. We can’t carve out 30 minutes for a real conversation, so we don’t pick up the phone. What starts as a single flowerbed intimidatingly besieged by wood sorrel becomes, over a summer, the Jungles of Borneo. A spare hour to sweat at the gym is realistically impossible–so we eat sleeves of vanilla Joe-Joe’s on the couch and search the Facebook Law Mamas group for “best bra not Victoria Secret actually fits”. WHAT I’M THE ONLY PERSON GO AWAY.

So, here’s to short posts about nothing at all in my attempt to embrace Good and tell Perfect to eat me. I’ve even thrown in a photo of the Jungles of Borneo (in Reston, Virginia) to hold myself accountable for my other outstanding obligations. It feels nice to flex my fingers now and then and write for another set of eyes or two, lest I continue to subject Kenny to the following refrigerator dry erase board to-do list in the name of “writing”:

1) Hang blackout curtains Suspend diurnal textiles
2) Weed yard Render perimetral parasitic flora asunder
3) Mail Dad’s birthday gift Dispatch offering for paternal celebration of nascency

He thanks you all in advance.

“fjdakljfkldaj fjkdlajfdla;”

test quote post

funny simon quote here

PLAYLIST: Snowzilla

Almost four days in, we’re trying to enjoy these snow days half as much as Tian Tian.  Join in as PBJlistens to Snowzilla.
 

PLAYLIST: MLK’s legacy

 

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Join in as PBJlistens to MLK’s legacy.

[Sleep]: No You’re Never Gonna Get It

When I catalog the universe of experiences critical to my day-to-day happiness, a full night’s sleep tops the list every time.   Continue reading “[Sleep]: No You’re Never Gonna Get It”

PBJlikes Minted

As Valentine’s Day approaches, you might be on the hunt for a thoughtful token for your honey, your child, or a grandparent.  We’re not a big chocolate-and-flowers couple (“Every day should be Valentine’s Day!”–> it’s dorky cuz it’s true), and have been trying hard to steer away from stuff.  I do love gift-giving, though, so for our first Valentine’s Day as parents, I surprised Kenny with this Heart Snapshot Mix photo print from Minted.  It took a bit of doing, as the design calls for 30 different photographs–and you’ll want to take care where you place them via the drag-and-drop tool, because some of the images overlap (and you don’t want to cover up Baby’s charming mouthful of sweet potato in the shot of her first foray into solids).  But the end product will probably grace your walls for some time–and if you position it directly above the changing table, it might spark some entertaining exchanges about puppies, facial hair, and Duck Face with your toddler.

Minted Heart Collage Transfer filter

Note: I also recently gifted this print to dear friends for their daughter’s 1st birthday, and they were smitten.  It’d make a great gift for a (relatively) new baby, too, if you can get your hands on enough maternity/newborn pics to fill the collage!

PLAYLIST: David Bowie

“How you turn my world, you precious thing.”  Click here to join as PBJlistens to David Bowie.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

We finally put away the Christmas decorations this weekend. Don’t judge. (Okay, fine–judge me and we’ll call it even.  I know how many servings of simple carbohydrates your toddler had for dinner last night.) (The same number that mine did.)

The conclusion of the holiday season always triggers a period of mourning for me.  I begin listening to Mariah Carey in early October and, by Thanksgiving, have fully committed 1/3 of my daily caloric intake to sugar cookies.  Come January, the act of carefully wrapping up and stowing away our many ornaments and mementos is–perhaps melodramatically–funereal in tone: Oh, Happy Santa, how I will miss the painful din of your percussive swan song!  Your dissonant and crudely abridged rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”!  Your faint redolence of battery acid!

After my mother died, my sisters, father, and I sifted through countless boxes swathed with masking tape and her half-cursive scrawl:

“EYES, TEETH, AND FABRIC TRIM” (I can explain…)

“GARLAND AND GERMAN GLOCKENSPIEL” (my malapropism-prone mother was actually referring to a Weihnachtspyramide, but–yeah, I think I’ll give her a pass on that one)

“CAJUN SANTA AND MINI PIROGUE” (I am proud to call the cast of Swamp People (very) extended family)

We each claimed items that held special meaning–knowing that, over the years, we’d probably ship Happy Santa on periodic cross-country field trips to share his irresistible charm.  Like most family heirlooms, they are worth little and everything.  When I hang up my yellowed felt stocking, I can clearly hear three pre-pubescent sisters in matching red velvet dresses wailing “Mele Kalikimaka” in the backseat of a Mazda station wagon.  My mom’s circa-1994 foray into puff paint fashion birthed dozens of aprons stiffened by 3D poinsettias, and I know they’re still shielding many a silk skirt from butter and flour.  I feel truly fortunate to share DNA with women who, years ago, understood and acted on the need for a Christmas hedgehog made from pine cones.

This year, my dad mailed me a gold-rimmed china plate inscribed with “Christmas 1980” (the year I was born).  It is intricately painted with tulips, roses, and the questionably idyllic scene of a Victorian-era estate with what appears to be an arthritic dachshund frolicking on the lawn.  Over the phone, my dad confessed that he hadn’t the foggiest idea who gave us the plate–but he did remember that Christmas.

He and my mother had been living in Brazil for less than four months with their new baby.  My mom flew back to New Orleans so that the grandparents could fawn over me, but my dad was stuck on an oil barge in the middle of the Atlantic–until his boss radioed in on Christmas Eve to say they had a ticket waiting for him back on the mainland.  That 27-year-old engineer caught a helicopter to Rio de Janeiro that night and landed back home in Louisiana on Christmas morning.  His bride and his best friend picked him up from the airport.

“When I got in the car, the radio was playing, ‘I’ll be home–‘”.  Dad’s voice cracked, and the line went silent.

“It was a magical Christmas,” he quietly squeaked.

I’m keeping the hedgehog.  I’ll share Happy Santa.  And I already treasure the plate.

 

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