Dear Big Girl:

You love to party. Today I abused that fact. I needed to pick up my computer from the geniuses (if they are so genius, why did they pick the MALL as their location?). So, I tell you that we are going to a party. You were so keen on going to a party that you took party hats, 22 of them, to show and tell today. Surely there is SOMETHING at the mall that a toddler will think of as a party. Not. One. Thing. This is where my travel history has tainted me, baby. It seems, everywhere other than Austin, Texas, has small children just like you. San Antonio. China. Italy. Dallas Airport. Hamilton Place Mall. But, not Austin. Keep yer dirty childs at home or the four establishments in town that do not train their waitstaff to groan when you walk through the door.

Sufficed to say, you noticed that the party was absent.

Then you wept. You didn’t whine. You wept. I let you down. I didn’t mismarket; I lied.

Fear not wee one, for guilt feeds my creativity. I know I am stating what is obvious to you.

When we arrived home, we partied with the supplies at hand.







We even invited some little friends.

Thank you for holding me to my promise, sweet baby. I am happy to slow down and party with you anytime.




Dear Universe:

The wee one has taken a sudden interest in her baby dolls.

Tonight she was cradling a baby in her arms and swaying back and forth as she soothed it.

“You safe, baby. You safe from all the cars. You safe in my arms.”

“What is your baby’s name, honey?”

“My baby’s name is Mama. Mama is safe in my arms.”

I sure am. 

And, I feel proud that she sees in her parents what should be the parent’s primary roles. Safety. Comfort. And instilling a mortal fear of moving vehicles in parking lots.

I started praying about a year ago to be able to hear Your message through all the noise in the world.

Clear as a bell.



Dear Internet:

Is it bad that I cherish sick days?

I do not wish my baby illness or any discomfort.

But, when those days inevitably arrive, I am grateful to soothe her. Cuddle her. Calm her.

It feels very good to make her feel better.


Mama P

Dear friends:

WARNING! Mom-forward-alert!

There are some of you, like me, who are in the middle of a stressful spot. One of the things that I wish I had more time/patience for is order. You have expressed the same frustration. Clean house, clean mind. Right? But, I have had other, more important, things to do.

Giggling. Tickling. Playing ball. Practicing new words like fun, silly, rainbow, pink, mamushka and love.

Song for a Fifth Child

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Anytime you want to have a playdate in my filthy home or yours, just call me.



Dear Universe:

How is it that spider goats have come up in conversation multiple times in the last 3 days?

Perhaps because they are conversation worthy? Goats. Big goats that have genetic material from silk spinning spiders spliced into their own sequence. You know. The usual.

Let’s take it a step past this idea.

How about we take the silk protein from our spider goats and implant it into human skin to see if we can make a bullet proof human? Yes, sir.

I love me some science, but I am going to go back to watching the tube for the night.

I love goats (despite their devil eyes). I love spiders (they work hard).

But, stop messing with me.


Dear parentals:

Tiger Mom? Free Range Children? The jury is still out for me. But, I can relate to the following statement:

I have replaced exercise with extra coffee.

The person with whom I have this in common is Samantha Bee. Yes, that one. She is awesome. And funny. And also somewhere between Tiger and Free Ranger. Please enjoy her take on summer breaks and parenting over at The Wall Street Journal:

A Long Summer for ‘Weary Tiger’ Mothers
Seventies parenting resembled crate training—now, we’re actually expected to watch our kids


Water P. Chestnut the 4th

Dear Stephen:

You may not be aware of this, but I love you. Your voice talents on Pocoyo have made it possible for me to consume many a meal as my toddler watches an episode on my phone. Your personal vehicle is a black taxi cab. You were the best part of V for Vendetta. Ok, that isn’t saying much. But, we feel similarly about this fine and insane country in which I reside.

The official and unofficial national anthems make me cry and fighter jets startle me as well. And, of all the rivalries to document, you chose Auburn/Alabama.

And, yes, I know I will have to get rid of this lady if we are to spend any quality time together.

Love always,


Dear Internet:

You warned me. I was craving the role of mother long before I accepted that role formally. I read mommy bloggers (and, no, I do not take offense nor do I intend to make offense with that term) before I probably should have and they ALL warned me. Friends warned me. Family members warned me. Strangers I accidentally ran into with my shopping cart in the produce aisle warned me.

When you go back to work after you become a mom, you will feel as if you are failing both roles.

I am not failing. I am doing pretty well, I think. And I tend to waffle on my opinion of myself. People have told me that I am doing well. Some of these people are contractually required to tell me this (my parents and friends for whom I protect dark, dark secrets), but some are not and I believe them. However, I still FEEL like I am failing. At work, I cannot keep my mind off The Bean. At home, I worry about the work responsibilities creeping up like Tribbles as I limit my obsessive email checking.

Scooter loves her school and is thriving in ways I never imagined after only two weeks. Hello potty training! I am getting used to working for an entity after four years of working for myself or my family. And, hey, I am good at it. A little rusty, but good. I am still foundering at unpacking after the move, but home is starting to feel more like home. I am not sleeping enough, but that is also steadily increasing as I knock out big task items and become accustomed to the new routine (and the freaking security lights outside my window).

I don’t have a big revelation in this post. This is just a shout out to the mommies (and daddies) who struggle to balance.

It is hard if you stay at home. It is hard if you go back to work. All you can do is get together with friends, vent steam and move on to the part of the conversation where you discuss how rewarding it is to parent your child regardless of your path.

For instance, how mind blowing it is to observe your toddler learn to trust the buoyancy of water:

Le sigh. Instant dose of serenity, energy and motivation for this mommy.

Failing to fail,

The P

Dear Routine:

I have missed you. I am glad you are making a return to my life. Glad isn’t the right word. I am more than delighted; I am thankful. I am thankful for so many things. But today, I am thankful for you. And, the popsicle. And the sanity that routine, and popsicles, bring to my life.

Coffee and popsicles on the back porch will most certainly be part of the routine. Rest will also be part of the routine.



Dear Wee One:

You loved school at the end of day one:

The start of day three? Not so much.

There was much screaming and flailing on your part. There was vast amounts of sensitivity and professionalism on the teachers’ part. I got all shifty eyed and felt guilty.  Then, I got over it and thought of ways to make the journey to school a distracting adventure.

I think we should bike to school. We are so close to school, that I could throw you there with a little strength training. BUT, there is no gate out of our complex in that direction. The hike to the gate and back is more than I think a toddler and a sleepy mommy can manage.

What about a bike?

Easy. Go buy one (or better yet, make my bike nerd go buy one for me).

Where would we hide it?

More difficult. Luckily, there are some suggestions today (in addition to the bike nerd’s home he shares with his patient wife and toddler) on ApartmentTherapy.

Ye ole cogs are a turning in the brain matter.



Dear Spud:

Yesterday, you attended your first day of school. How did this happen? I know that time moves forward in slow motion for you. But in my mind, I just weaned you (actually you weaned me, Miss Control). And now, you are going to school. Quite happily, I might add. And I am doing pretty well, too. I like missing you and rushing over to pick you up.

Your spoken language is a mystery to me sometimes. But, last night’s conversation over dinner was clear as a  bell:

Mom: “Baby, sit down in your seat.”

Spud: *blinks*

Mom: “We sit down at the dinner table. Sit down or you will get a time out.”

Spud:*looks away wistfully*

Mom: “Sit down. One”

Spud: *pulls her shirt away from her tummy so she can look down and observe it fully*
             “Neena pretty? Neena cute?”

Mom: “Yes. Pretty and cute, but you will still get a time out. Sit down”

Spud: “OK, mama.”

What else did you learn at school today?



Dear God:

Thank you for the Internet.

You are awesome, indeed. God. Beluga Whale. Mariachis. All of you.



Dear self:

I just wanted to remind you that this terrible (no good, very bad) day is nearly over. Remember colic? It passed. The two’s will pass, also. And, you can disinfect the tub, buy printer ink cartridges, scoop the litter, stain treat the six pieces of clothing from lunch, assemble the table and the other million things a little later. For now, go outside and play fetch with your daughter and dog.

But, watch your step because Luck is NOT a Lady today.

Deep, sustaining breaths!


Dear Suzy:

Congratulations to you for finishing your UFO. Congratulations to me for stumbling across it.

Paper starry night


The Paper Admirer

Dear Colleen:

Thank you for starting my birthday morning off with delicious cinnamon rolls and coffee! It set the day for the proper course. When I return the favor, I will be making you THIS:

It is from one of our favorites:

Also check out my pal, Molly, as she is as awesome as you are (and she is giving away cool stuff).

Yours for evah and evah,





Dear Molly:

Congrats on the 100th post! I am glad SOMEONE I know was blogging while I was too busy to do so. Your work is inspiring. And, it looks good on my blog.

Molly at rocks her casbah!

Check my girl out:


Dearest friends:

Did this really happen? Probably not exactly. I am a paraphraser and a creative one at that.

After a discussion of expenses increasing, specifically groceries:
“Would you be interested in going in on a cow?”
“Where would we keep it?”
“Dead in the freezer.”

After a friend choking a mouthful of water into my clean laundry :
“What the hell just happened?”
“I dunno! I was drinking my water when it simultaneously went into my nose and down the wrong pipe.”

Regardless, I really did nearly pee my pants.


Dear Sir Borenstein:

You and your friends are SO cool. 1994 cool. Which, as we all know, is the coolest of the cool.

I love magic!


Dear Conan:

Today I treated myself to listening to 24 minutes of your commencement speech at Dartmouth. I was multitasking, BUT You had my attention. What you said is so true:

“…disappointment leads to clarity, which leads to conviction and true originality.”

Thank you for sharing your disappointments so publicly with us over the last two years. It has been a pleasure to watch you excel, despite the circumstances. You are truly Teh Awesome.



Dear AndOtherAdventures:

As you know, I like to pretend shop. I find things that I would purchase as gifts for my friends if I had the budget. Rather than curse my budget, I send a link (if online) of the gift and and say, “don’t you wish I had more WAM?” Walking Around Money is awesome.

For my bookishest friend, I would give this sassy purse:

Willis the Pilot has a cool thing going on.

You are welcome.