Archive for February, 2006

tales of the small people

When I got home last night Claire was flat on her face on the rug, roaring with grief. This is unprecedented; she is usually happy as a lark with Blanca. Blanca, meanwhile, was in the kitchen wrapping Scotch tape around a broom. She saw me, smiled, and pointed up. I looked up.

Claire’s Dora the Explorer helium balloon, a trophy from Ada’s party, had escaped from its string and was bobbing cheerily among the rafters. Did I ever mention that we have 25-foot ceilings?

I hoiked Tony’s ladder in from the fire escape and, armed with Blanca’s sticky broom, I fished for and caught the escapee. Claire was delighted. Hours later she would still run to me and say: “You fixed the balloon! It’s all better! I’m so happy!”

I want all her problems in life to be that easy to fix.

Two stories about Julia: she had a nasty skin infection above one eyebrow, and the doctor gave us an antibiotic cream. “It was hard to rub it in,” said Jeremy after his first attempt. “She’s so curious she keeps turning her head to look.”

And: while we were moving all the furniture around, Jeremy was hitting one of the useless particle-board Billy bookshelves with a hammer (I love Ikea, but you have to buy the solid furniture – the cheap stuff is awful). Julia nursed contentedly through the banging hammer, but when Jeremy dropped a small piece of wood, making much less noise but out of rhythm, her little chin quivered and she started to cry.

I cuddled her and she was placated. She is easily comforted, a merry and industrious little person, fond of standing on her strong wobbly feet and gesturing and declaiming, as if at Hyde Park Corner. But it kills me that it was the anomaly, the arrhythmia, and not the loud scary banging noise that bothered her.

I keep wanting to say that she is a subtle baby, but I’m not exactly sure what I mean.

ada turns three

BFF! or at least until war breaks out over the scooter.

Julia with her Uncle Seth, who is working with her on her Latin.

ten years today

…since we hooked up. We call it the one night stand that went horribly wrong. Six years since we got hitched. Best. Wedding. Ever.

He’s nice. I like him.

We deposited the short people with Jamey and Carole and went to Range. He had the goat’s cheese ravioli and the lamb shank; I had a venison and pear puree appetizer, then halibut with olive tapenade and a rather wonderful cabbage and broccolini melange. He had a date and orange ice cream sundae. I had a chocolate bergamot souffle with Earl Gray creme anglais. Clever! We drank a half-bottle of Fiddlestix pinot noir, then went next door to Borderlands to play with Ripley. We bought some books, mostly so they’ll let us keep coming in to play with Ripley.

Now that’s my idea of a date.

me too

C: I like elephantses.

i love beer

I keep telling people it’s good for my milk production, but really? I just love beer. Jamey’s been making homebrew stout and my friends, it is the business: it would make each one of you lactate. And if you really loved my kids, you’d lactate.

We had dinner with the S’mores and the O’Sullivans, and then Jeremy and I packed the kids into the Maclaren Twin, the two of them folding neatly into its beautifully-designed carapace. Jamey watched and said “I love your little family!” We walked home along 24th and up Mission, and it was a warm sweet San Francisco night, and Claire enjoyed the stars.

happy birthday to me!

I am thirty-five years old. I’m married with two little kids and a giant-ass mortgage. I have a demanding full-time job and a bad-tempered cat, everything in my house is lightly sheened with baby blurp, yogurt or kibble, and I’ve never been happier.

I called Mum and said “Congratulations! I’m AWESOME!”

Only one tiny thing is needed to complete my happiness: a Swedish Warmblood mare, six years old, 16.2hh, bright bay with a white blaze and four white stockings, a trot that levitates, a huge jump and a kind and willing disposition.

I shall call her Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper.

Oh, and justice for Iraq, Palestine, Israel and Darfur, regime change in North Korea, Australia and the USA, and real action on Aids in Africa.

And a book contract.

And some chocolate.

Maybe lots of chocolate.

I am a woman of simple pleasures.


We moved all the furniture around. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves?

the gels

Julia has this long, cooing gurgle that just slays me. She was doing it to me and Blanca the other day and there we were, two grown women, completely slain. She finishes it off with the sweetest imaginable grin, all: “How about that cooing, huh? Am I a rock star or what?”

Claire and I had an interesting conversation.

C: I’m fat.

R: Okay. Fat is good.

C: I’m really fat.

R: Huh. Are you sure? You don’t look that fat.

C (casually): Fat’s hiding.


…said her first word this morning:


That’s my girl.



Today is a write-off. This morning burly men swathed my house in tarpaulin and started ripping shingles off the roof. I hope they were the guys I hired. This afternoon I have to see the dentist about the work I was so thrilled to postpone last year, after I got pregnant with Julia. I hate dentists almost as much as I hate vacuum cleaners and being woken up by the contractors. Poor me. Where is my fentanyl lollipop?

working mom shorthand

Back at work full time. Sleepy, bewildered. I love the J-Church, a totally civilized way to get to work. Kids awesome but loud. Watched the Werner Herzog film Grizzly Man. Protagonists eaten by bears. Should have been called Grisly, Man. Reminded the cat Bebe of terms of our agreement: she can eat our bodies, as long as she waits until after we are dead.

three thousand words

alarums and diversions

Jeremy: When I woke up this morning, I opened my eyes and there was Claire. She was standing next to the bed with this huge armful of toys. She’d been watching me sleep and when she saw my eyes open she got all excited: “Are you awake???”