1. I accompanied Julia’s second grade class on their field trip to a local museum earlier this month, and people, it was incredible. Not only did she want to sit with me on the bus, she held my hand most of the way and in front of her friends! My beating heart blew up like a balloon and bulged from my chest like a lovestruck cartoon character. It’s doing it even still! But that could be because I had spicy tacos. Also, I’m drinking Diet Coke again. (I know.) It’s okay to feel disappointed in me. The dangerous chemicals have eaten away the part of my brain that cares! Okay, not really. Actually, I care very much. I’m just more disappointed in my weight gain, but not quite as disappointed as I am in my ability to keep Phoebe out of the litter box without shouting, “NO!” It seems I’m only capable of 236 gentle redirections before I blow up and loudly use the n-word. (I follow it up with a “thank you,” though, if that counts for anything.) And anyway, it worked. She got out of the litter box and sat in the cat water dish instead.

2. Lucy was in a great mood this morning after a particularly rough night, so I said to her, “Wow, you’re being very kind today. Where’d that come from?”

“I don’t know,” she shrugged. “I just put it on this morning like clothes!”

Gosh, wouldn’t it be great if we could all put on kindness clothes?

3. Today I’m wearing black nail polish. (Not metaphorically.) I hadn’t been out in the world more than twenty minutes before I was asked if I was “feeling dark” and, “going through a Goth phase?” This could be yet another look I’ve had to learn the hard way that I cannot pull off. (Toe rings!) (Choker necklaces!) (Ironic t-shirts!) (Platinum blonde hair!)

4. The pathway leading to the doors of my house was looking pretty bad.

Jungle Path

But now?

Better

Not too bad!

Looking good, right?

Helping

Helpers

Thanks to my helpers.

5. “I missed you all year when I went to school.” – Julia, from my homemade Mother’s Day book which also included a list of 10 Things That Don’t Make Sense in the World

So, what would you tell me?

Over the summer, we didn’t have television service. We just couldn’t afford it. Who watches T.V. in the summer, anyway? Instead, we played outside and read books. But then, the air grew cold and I knew the chance that I’d go all Jack Torrence was pretty high without it.

All work and no T.V. makes Leslie a moody girl.
All work and no T.V. makes Leslie a moody girl.
All work and no T.V. makes Leslie a moody girl.
All work and no T.V. makes Leslie a moody girl.

We still can’t afford it, but Jack Torrence didn’t make it out of “The Shining” alive and I value my life. You see, I love television. I can admit it. I realize some people couldn’t think less of me after this acknowledgement. I also love fast food and pop, use Splenda and, sometimes, choose not to buy organic. And for some, this is where my post probably ends. But if you love television or maybe just me, you may care to stick around for the ten shows I’ve set my DVR to record. Here they are in no particular order.

1. America’s Next Top Model. Tyra Banks is a genius and not unlike the dudes that came up with World of Warcraft, because this show is addictive. I know this because I’ve lost an afternoon or two after flipping to an ANTM marathon just for something to watch while I fold clothes.

2. Sister Wives. I’m completely intrigued by this show. Polygamy? I just don’t get it. I think I’ll have to watch it until I do.

3. The Big C. This is my new favorite. You’d think a show about cancer would be a big bummer, but it’s not. And you might not think it has anything to do with you, but what parent hasn’t considered how their presence or absence effects the people they love? This show speaks to me. I love Laura Linney and the theme song.

4. Community. If you want to know how funny this show is, consider this: Joel McHale isn’t the funniest part. That’s saying a lot.

5. American Idol. Oh, I know. Most of America is totally over it. But I love American Idol and I will always watch it. And fantasize about how I’d probably be a star if the show existed when I was a kid.

6. The Office. You know a show is good when they can get someone like Kathy Bates to do a sitcom.

7. Hell’s Kitchen. I love Gordon Ramsey, especially when he yells. I’m not sure what that says about me.

8. The Ultimate Fighter. This show records the same night as America’s Next Top Model. Dave likes to believe that I watch it with him as a sacrifice for our relationship. Don’t tell Dave, but the truth is, I’d watch it anyway. And I have a rock hard crush on GSP. I just watch it with Dave so he’ll sit through ANTM with me.

9. United States of Tara. It’s about a crazy family. They might be crazier than mine. There’s not much I can say that about. And, it has a great theme song.

10. The Soup. This is the second time Joel McHale is on my list. Because he’s my boyfriend. And CHICKEN TETRAZZINI!

Revelations

by Leslie

It’s the last day of 2008, so I thought I’d take a moment to share with you some things I’ve learned over the past year.

  1. Having two children isn’t twice as much work as having one. It’s more than that. Much, much more. And that much more if you have a puppy, too. Particularly if the puppy weighs more than your grandma.
  2. Having another child doesn’t double the love in your heart. It’s does more than that. And though less than a year may have passed since that child came into your life, it won’t feel like it. It’ll feel like she’s been a part of you forever.
  3. Being an only child may not be as awesome as you thought it was, because siblings are useful and parents are a handful.
  4. A good grandpa is impossible to replace.
  5. So is a good husband.
  6. Even though you’re trying to save money, there are some things that are still worth paying for. Like fabric softener and lean meat. Also, dog obedience training. Or counseling.
  7. Forgetting to feed 27 hungry cats is a mistake that’ll make you understand the victims in any zombie movie.
  8. Four-year-olds are smarter than you thought.
  9. Fish are ridiculously fragile. You can kill them with a hard stare.
  10. True friends are easy to discern. They read your blog, adopt your sock monkeys and rave about your buckeyes. They’re willing to invest in anything you put yourself into. And some days, that’s the very reason you choose to get up and live.

Happy New Year, readers. Thank you for being you.

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