Friday, July 30, 2010

Favorite Things Friday

1. Birthdays. today is my mother-in-law's, and I love her. we had a cookout at their house to celebrate, it was great hanging out with family.

2. TCM (Turner Classic Movies). they do a "Summer under the Stars" month where all of August is a specific actor per day. Bogie and I have picked out one film per day that we'd like to watch for each actor, I'm excited for the month of August! We made a list and everything, of each day, which actor it is, and which movie we're going to watch. We get to start with Basil Rathbone and end with Clint Eastwood. I love old movies.

3. Sweatpants. I found a pair of capri sweatpants on clearance, and when I got them home and put them on they were SO comfortable that the next opportunity I got I went back and got 3 more pairs of them (in different colors, of course). If I'm going to be puked on all day, I jolly well deserve to be comfortable!

4. Checklists. There is nothing more satisfying than having a list of items to accomplish, and crossing them all off! Sometimes I even write down something I've already done that wasn't on the list just so that I can cross more things off. Or I think of quick things that I can accomplish and write them down so that I know my list will be at least half finished by the end of the day.

5. Organizing. I love being able to get organized, and finding things that will help me do that (like little plastic bins to hold odds & ends, and cupboards in which to put them!). I wanted to get organized before D was born (THAT didn't happen) so I'm slowly but surely getting there now and it makes me happy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Little Blue Notebook, Part 1

I always have a pen and notebook with me. Even though I don't really write anymore, and I haven't sat down and read a book through for months, I still keep a little notebook in my purse because I always have ideas in my head for poems, stories, names, novels, I also see things that amuse me, hear phrases or quotes I want to remember, a good song that I want to find out the name of, you get the idea.
And thus starts the first part in a series, in which I will write out for your amusement (and my own) excerpts from my little blue notebook. There are some poems, some quotes, some random observations, it's a little stewpot of literary shenanigans. Everything will be written out exactly as I scribbled it down, in the moment (line breaks, punctuation or lack thereof), even though it will take everything in my power not to edit myself. Seriously. I typed out the poems below and literally had to stop myself about 9 times from editing them! I can't help it, it's a compulsion. That is not to say that I won't use the same writing later on and edit it, but you have been warned! oh, and all writings are the copyright of Carla Langley, of course.


The girl beside me
is journaling to her heart's content
Out the window in front of me
a man in a Lexus picks
his nose
Ella Fitzgerald and Macy Gray
play back to back
while a two-year old stares at me
shoving her straw under her top lip
so it sticks out like a bad bee sting
An ambulance sirens by
while a line forms
for the caffeine
the hiss of the steamer
nozzle drowns out Enya
as Martha informs
her clan that Shelly got
another divorce
and the girl in the
green apron smiles
"and will that be all
for today?"


Neverending Story

in the middle of the book
if I have to put it down
I am unsettled
to finish the story
left hanging
like General Lee
before a commercial break


When I was little, my imagination took over everything. Whatever it took to keep me occupied. I'd go walking through our woods in a storm and I was Molly Catherine Shanahan, the beautiful widow mourning for her husband, for he'd recently been lost in a storm at sea.
Riding in the car with my mother I would stare out my window and there beside me was myself, galloping across the hills and fields on a gleaming red stallion, melting into the horse as we thundered through front yards, clopped across intersections, and sloshed through kiddie pools, stopping to catch our breath only when the van stopped. When we ran out of field we veered onto the road, sparks sizzling from Stardust's hooves in our frantic race to outpace a 1992 Dodge Chrysler minivan.
When we got to the grocery store I became Princess Allessandra, in disguise with my head Lady in Waiting as we desperately tried to lead a normal life away from the castle. Princess Allessandra's Will was thwarted when she chose delectable Oreos and was sternly advised by Lady Carol to put them back or else. Being born into a life of privilege does have its downside.
At home I clicked my plastic horses along the countertops, pausing to snort nervously as ants the size of my hoof skittered past. I wheeled on the formica, tearing away towards the pink ceramic watering hole where I could take refuge behind Hippopotamus Bob, Guardian of the Lake (or, a plastic hippo sitting at the bottom of our kitchen sink in 1/2 inch of water). I would sail majestically through the air as I leaped over saucers and forks and climbed mountains of dishtowel. I was no longer a 4 foot tall freckled girl holding a black plastic horse and talking to herself, I became the racing sensation and National Champion of Kitchentopia, testing my skills against the tricky terrain of the Plains of Counter and the Hills of Dishrack. My skills were further tested when my highly trained and free-spirited self was ordered to wash the dishes, "since you're in there".


Friday, July 23, 2010

Favorite Things Friday

Happy Friday everyone!

1. Brian Roberts is back! This makes for a very happy hubby. and he'll be even happier if they win. Go O's!

2. I accomplished several of those obnoxious, must-be-done phone calls. Only one left and that has to wait until Monday.

3. Lately D has started giggling whenever I lay him on the changing table. I won't even have gotten to his onesie yet, much less the diaper and he's chuckling away. the boy likes to be naked, what can I say?

4. Smoothies. with my new blender blade (thanks to Bogie) I now have a working blender again, and I made smoothies for dinner. fresh strawberries and pineapple, and frozen strawberries and raspberries, with a little bit of water to make it blend. yum!

5. Our toybox. not only is it a gorgeous piece of hand-crafted oak (thanks, wonderful father-in-law!) but in just 10 minutes my living room can look amazingly clean after I throw all the toys in there and shut the lid. sweet.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Today we discovered

...marker caps fit onto the ends of markers as well as the tops, and can be stacked together in a tower (and subsequently knocked over with much yelling and cheering)

...sisters are an endless form of entertainment

...ZaZa can growl like a Wookie (see above)

...hats on babies are really fun

...hats don't stay on babies very long with 2-year olds about

...pillow forts are only inferior to box forts and sheet/chair forts

...the phrase "please don't whine" has no impact whatsoever on the intended target ("leave it alone" and "stop that" included) matter how deeply your husband is sleeping, he will instantly wake up if you try to change the channel, even though he's been sleeping through the first half of the game can never have too many notebooks

...inexpensive, spontaneous gifts are incredibly fun to give

...teething rings are superfluous when mommy has fingers/hands/arms/shoulders

...that just when you think no more drool can POSSIBLY come out of such a tiny being, he throws up on you can never have too many clean tee-shirts (see above)

...accomplishing something you've been putting off for a while brings a deep sense of satisfaction and happiness

...purchasing a potty seat can bring a sense of glee (no more diapers!) gloom (baby's growing up) and grumpiness (oh, joy. potty training) all at once

...drooly hands make for FREEZING hands when nursing commences

...screaming into couch pillows is kinda fun. and therapeutic

...even if you don't get one, nap time is a glorious time

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Murphy with a vengeance

he's a trickster, that ol' Murphy. Although technically I think Murphy's Law is "whatever can go wrong, will" I think Murphy has a little sister whose name is Irony and therefore creates a tiny clause to her big bro's Law that states "as soon as you declare something To Be, it changes" (or rather "I will change it". She's a brat, that Irony)

So not only did D sleep from midnight to 5 am straight last night (he hasn't really done that for a few weeks) but he proceeded to take an hour and a half morning nap. This allowed me to take ZaZa upstairs and completely clean/organize/rearrange both of their rooms. Since D's still in his Co-Sleeper with us in our room, his room upstairs kind of became the catch all for things I wasn't sure what else to do with (the air mattress, his old bassinet, a carseat that he's not big enough for yet, empty tubs from when we moved, you get the idea). So now the glider and footstool are in his room, the crib's all set up with the sheet and dust ruffle, both wardrobes are up and all of ZaZa's "hangy-up" clothes are in there. I even put together the shelf that I was going to use for our other nightstand and put it up in his room to hold his lamp and the Childcraft books from my grandmother. All I have left to do is put the rest of ZaZa's clothes in her dresser, which Pop-Pop painted to match her pink and brown room.

not only did he take that long morning nap, but about 30 minutes after ZaZa went down for her nap in the afternoon, he was ready to sleep again and they BOTH SLEPT FOR OVER 2 HOURS!!! I didn't even know what to do with myself. I actually ended up making some important phone calls that needed to happen anyway, but I was so happy with myself for all the work I did this morning that I could have sat on my tushy the whole nap and not even cared (or guilted myself about it afterward with all the productivity I could have accomplished if I weren't so lazy. yup, I do that.)

so perhaps I should employ the use of Beatles' lyrics more often? Bogie would say it's because I finally listened to him and both swaddled D and had our ceiling fan on. I've swaddled him for naps on numerous occasions and he never slept that long for me, and since we always have a box fan on in our bedroom I didn't see what difference the ceiling fan would make. Perhaps Bogie's right and that's what D wanted, if it works I'm not complaining, although I kind of hope that maybe the teeth are about ready to pop through and that's why he's sleeping better.

and now that I've said all this, Murphy and his bratty sister are busy plotting my doom.
What's in store for tomorrow, I wonder?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm so tired...

...I haven't slept a wink
I'm so tired
my mind is on the blink
I wonder should I get up
and fix myself a drink...

you'd say I'm puttin' you on
but it's no joke
it's doing me harm
you know I can't sleep
I can't stop my brain
you know it's three weeks
I'm going insane
you know I'd give you everything I've got
for a little piece of mind...

I'm pretty sure the Beatles wrote that with some unrequited Love in mind, but it works well for a teething baby too! Especially since it's been about 3 weeks of this nonsense. half hour naps during the day, waking every several hours at night, can't put him down for 5 minutes to eat, drink or even pee. It's all the inconvenience of a newborn without the constant sleeping or offers for help. awesome. This is the point in time where I wonder how the heck I thought I had it rough with just one. I long for those days. I love my kids but too long of a stretch without any kind of break makes for one grouchy mama. and that's no fun for anyone. unfortunately his bumpy little gums don't show any sign of anything white or sharp, so there's no end in sight. poor boy. I wish I could do something to make him feel better, even if it meant still losing sleep. I hate seing him like this; my cheerful, chill little Champ all stressed out and in pain.


...I'd give you everything I've got for a little piece of mind...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I forgot...

...about 5 things Friday. So I'm doing 5 Favorite Things Friday on a Sunday. It's like Christmas in July. except not.

1. Books. the smell. the feel. the type. the way a well-written story sucks you in and makes you so much a part of its world that you can't hear your husband asking you a question. and the way you don't even realize you're crying at the sad part until you hear yourself sniffling. Books rock.

2. my camera. I looooove taking pictures. and telling stories with pictures. I will post pictures on here as soon as I figure out how to do it. mmmmm, photography.

3. watching ZaZa make D laugh. He thinks she's the funniest Being alive, and she cracks up at him because he's giggling. it's too cute.

4. Tylenol. infant formula for teething babies, extra strength formula for headaches. the two may be related.

5. Bogie. his hugs. his kisses. the fact that he and I made two super cute kids. the fact that he's really good at math and can help me because I am most definitely not. I heart him.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Everyone's Sleeping but Me

cue the lyrics from Queen: "Lazin' on a sunday afternoon..."

For the purposes of this blog and to maintain some degree of privacy (and because nicknames are fun), I'm not using my family's real names. Henceforth (that's right, I use that word in normal conversation) my husband will be Bogie (after his favorite actor, the great Humphrey Bogart), my daughter will be ZaZa, and my son will be D until I can come up with a good nickname for him.

Bogie worked last night, so he's still asleep, ZaZa went down for her afternoon nap about noon and D just fell asleep as well. I have been completely alone for a good 45 minutes! No whining, no requests for juice or cheese (girl loves her some cheese!), no spit-up on my shoulders. Now, I could fold the laundry, empty the dishwasher, or stuff diapers (we use cloth diapers and they need to be restuffed after washing) but I'm not going to. Instead, I'm going to write in my new blog and eat fudge grahams for dessert. Did you ever have those chocolate covered graham crackers? They're awesome. We used to get them as a treat growing up and I just discovered that our discount grocery carries them, they have become my go-to dessert item. (yes, Mom, I ate lunch first and no, I won't eat the whole pack)
Since I'm pretty sure D's nap won't last very long (he's teething), this is kind of going to be a stream of consciousness post that may end abruptly.
Not that I have a whole lot to talk about anyway. I have some ideas for future posts that I've emailed to myself, but they'll require more time to write and will have to wait until evening when at least one kid is in bed for good.
I miss writing. I used to do it all the time but haven't really done anything since college. same with my guitar, I haven't touched it in a couple years except to loosen the strings so it wouldn't warp in storage when we moved. All that's going to change though, because I need constructive activities to keep me from going crazy-go-nuts on my family now that I'm laid off. (yes, 9 days after returning from maternity leave, I was laid off from the job I've been at for almost 5 years. yes, I realize the economy is bad, blah blah blah, but that takes some balls. and not the good kind).
in summation: I shall be writing (more than just this blog, I have a cute notebook and matching pen all ready to motivate me to write poetry again) and playing guitar again.
I have a fun little book that is full of ideas for poetry (it's called "the Pocket Muse") that I will be using often, plus the little notebooks I keep in my purse to write down ideas, quotes, and observations. The writing may have stopped but the notebooks never did!
I'll need to invest in some new strings and build up callouses again, dig out my binder of music and learn some new songs, I've heard some fun ones on the radio I'd like to try.
and as is usually the case, the exact opposite of what I thought would happen has happened. Yesterday ZaZa took an almost 4 hour nap and D took several naps averaging 30 minutes a pop. ZaZa is now awake, about 2 hours after I put her upstairs. D is still sleeping over an hour later. Go figure. She's just chilling up in her room, playing with her toys, so I think I'll leave her there for now and enjoy my "me-time" for a little bit longer. Maybe watch some TV if I can find a channel that's not airing something about a soccer game...?

and maybe just one last fudge graham.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Here we go

I've read other blogs often enough, and goodness knows I have plenty of thoughts of my own, so I thought "why not start your own?"
So I did.
I've been wanting to start writing again for quite a while, and although it's not going to be poetry or anything (or maybe it will be. helloooo Creative Writing with Professor Nez) I definitely think this is a good compromise between no writing at all and pen & paper (which let's face it, I can't write fast enough, I need to be writing again, and this way I can share it with you!) I like to share what I write, aside from the inner purge of thoughts and feelings it's rather the point of writing in the first place, at least for me. Although even if I couldn't share, I would probably still write because there's nothing like the cleansing, peaceful feeling of having gotten every thought that's been springing around in your head out of there, onto paper. of course I had lots of good ideas for posts earlier today, while doing laundry or getting groceries, but now that I've actually created a blog and have a place to put those ideas they're escaping me. They'll come back. They always do. Usually just as I'm about to fall asleep and I think "this is a great idea, I should get up and write it down" and then I don't.
So to end my first post (maiden voyage? initial thoughts? C and I just had a whole conversation about the phrase I wanted to use there. I still can't think of it) I will borrow from a dear friend's blog and do "5 Favorite Things Friday"

1. I love the way my daughter asks for peanut butter crackers by chanting "keeka bullah? keeka bullah?" while swaying back and forth and looking hopeful. kisses ensue. and crackers too, of course.

2. When both babies are asleep for the night and C and I can sit back, eat some late dinner, and crank the Orioles game way up. It's very much an "all's right with the world" moment.

3. Root Beer Floats.

4. My son's brand new giggles. He's just starting to laugh at things, it's amazing.

5. Bones reruns.