I beg to differ...

on 22 October 2010

I told Chris what I was going to blog about and he insisted that I not.  Surely, our lives have not come to the point where we have to blog about poop.

But I have to share the conversation I just overheard and since it's poop related...I have to differ from my husband--our lives have precisely come to this point.

Upon Smelling Something Foul Emanating from my Son's Diaper:

M: Pew!  You need a change!
M:  C'mon, let's go get you out of that nastiness.

Upon Removing Befouled Diaper from my Son's Nether Regions:

M:  Holy COW!  Kid!  It's half your size!
M:  Yep, it stinks.
Chris:  Oh good grief!  Son, you just gave BIRTH!  That's HUGE!

After the Boy has been newly diapered and is trotting away:

Chris:  I had no idea we would be grandparents so young.  It's a 2 pound poop baby.
M:  Chris, I changed him, you get to unclog the toilet!

30 minutes later, after picking up our freshly smelling child:

Chris:  You're five pounds lighter, son! 

And that about sums up the week that was.  For all it's exhaustion, it's also marked the return of humor to Burnstopia.  Chris and I are doing more laughing together which is nice after the gloom-fest that was Brunswick.  We were supposed to go to a church sponsored Fall Festival this evening but we're begging off and staying home.  We're having waffles for dinner and putting the Boy to bed early.  There will be Battlestar Galactica and open windows with cool crisp air.  There will be fresh cookies and cold milk.  There will be cuddling on the futon under flannel blankets. 

What are your plans for the weekend?

This Space Intentionally Left Blank

on 20 October 2010


Remember back in June or July when I said I was going back to posting on a regular basis?  That was nice, huh?


I'm bone dry on stories right now.  I'm tired.  I'm frazzled.  I'm feeling a little like Jo in Little Women when she finds out that Amy is going to Europe with Aunt March instead of her and she goes a-ranting to Marmie and among other things says, "Why wouldn't Aunt March prefer Amy?  I'm ugly and awkward, I always say the wrong thing!"

I found this great blog called Dinner a Love Story and it's inspired me...I'm trying to plan and cook and keep myself accountable for putting a decent dinner on the table 5 or 6 nights a week.  And between that and well, everything else that I'm working on, I just don't have a whole lot of energy for the blog.  And then there's trying to come up with something intelligent to say and that's a WHOLE lot of energy that doesn't always come so easily.

So I'm going to post a few pics of my favorite little boy and otherwise I might lay low for a while.  There's nothing wrong, there's just nothing going on much either.  Believe me, when something happens (like Chris getting a job) I'll let you know.  Until then, I'm going to be trying some new recipes (Pioneer Woman's corn chowder this week) and trying to work on some projects that have languished.  I might even post some pictures of the success stories.

I spent Sunday evening watching some Band of Brothers and knitting socks for my boy.  I love it.  I know, it's bloody and gory and the language is sometimes questionable, but I love it all the same.  I love their sense of duty, they had a job to do and they did it.  They were often cold, hungry, wounded, sick, scared, lonely, and totally dependent on one another.  And sometimes they complained, but mostly they just did the job they had to do.  I suppose I need that reminder, that life is life, you can't think about it too much.  You just do the work in front of you and try to help those around you.  Keep your head down and hang tough. 

Behind Every Great Boy...

on 18 October 2010

...is a Nana and Popper.

I love watching my boy with my parents.  Partly because I never thought I would get married and have a family.  But partly because of the mutual adoration.  He lights up like Christmas time when they come over, every knock on the door, he assumes is his Popper and he chimes "POPPER!"  But they light up too, full of whatever mysterious gift he has under his skin.

It's pretty universal.  My sister and her youngest come and spend Thursday afternoons with us and it's the same affect every time.  He walks up and smiles and Sherry's face lights up.  Joshua walks in and the Boy cheers, "-OSHUA!"  He's happy just to chase and be chased for the next hour, he runs and laughs hysterically which in turn, cracks all of us up.

I wish I could bottle his magic.  I wish I could shrink him down and put him in my pocket to keep with me where ever I go, or to loan out to those in need of magic.  For now, I'm putting this up on my fridge...

System Down

on 11 October 2010


I turned off my computer on Friday and didn't turn it back on all weekend long.

I've been in this restless funk where I feel like I never seem to have enough time to do everything that I need to do.

(And for those of you who think, "Duh, M.  That's called LIFE."  I would just like to say that I'm generally good at prioritizing and getting everything done that I need to get done...and even time to do a few things that I only want to do and don't need to do.  So this whole time-shortage thing is a little new and unsettling development.)

Anyway, so I thought about the elements of my life that seem to suck a lot of time and the computer was number one on the list...so Friday I shut it down.

I even went so far as to turn my phone off...I didn't keep it off because then I felt guilty about being so unreachable.  But, that's a whole different kettle of fish.

Anyway, it was nice.  I had whole buckets of time.  I did some picking up and putting away and reorganizing. 

(I'm getting serious about our food storage and coming up with a Burnstopia Emergency Plan--what our family will do in case of an emergency...I know, I'm a little late coming to the party on this one, I should have come up with something before the Boy got here, but you know...better late than never.) 

And I realized something about marriage and men and women in general.

(Also, there are a whole lot of parentheses in this post.  I wonder what that says about me...)

Men and Women just see things totally different.  I'm speaking specifically about a living situation.  Chris' tolerance for clutter and mess is a lot higher than mine and the truth is, it's not that he's lazy and doesn't want to put things away, he just doesn't SEE them the way that I do.  So I spent a good part of Saturday morning just putting crap away or throwing things out or shuffling things around so that they fit better.  And I have to tell you, when Chris gets a job and I get to quit mine, I'm going to d a whole lot MORE of that because I saw all kinds of things I could FIX.

Anyway, so then I worked on some socks for the boy and I've got 2 separate pairs started and almost ready for heels.  I was able to do some odds-and-ends shopping for Chris and the Boy.  We were taking care of Hogan Dog so we went for some good family walks and played with Hogan and laughed at the Boy and the Dog and it was all lovely.  I got caught up on bills and our finances organized.  And Chris and I still had time for a little BSG fest.

All told it was a good weekend.  Which is more than I can say for this post.

Silas Marner

on 08 October 2010

Gradually the guineas, the crowns, and the half-crowns, grew to a heap and Marner drew less and less for his own wants, trying to solve the problem of keeping himself strong enough to work sixteen hours a-day on as small an outlay as possible.  Have not men, shut up in solitary imprisonment, found an interest in marking the moments by straight strokes of a certain length on the wall, until the growth of the sum of straight strokes, arranged, in triangles, has become a mastering purpose?  Do we not wile away moments of inanity or fatigued waiting by repeating some trivial movement or sound, until the repetition has bred a want, which is incipient habit?  That will help us understand how the love of accumulating money grows an absorbing passion in men whose imaginations, even in the very beginning of their hoard, showed them no purpose beyond it.

  • George Eliot

I don't know why I am consistently and frequently surprised by the brilliance of George Eliot.  I've had enough run-ins with her formidable mind that I ought to expect it by now, but again and again, I pick up one of her books to read and find myself having to set it back down again and sit back in order to absorb what she's just taught me. I am NOT one of those people surprised to recognize so much of our own society in that of 19th century novels.  The words we choose might change, but the issues and experiences remain the same.

A mash-up

on 06 October 2010

Chris found this amazing DJ who creates these mash-ups of different songs and videos.  You'll find his work here.

It's more entertaining than this post will be!  For the record I really like the Annie Lennox Why mash-up but the U2 one is very very good as well.

Hereafter lies your Totally Random Update also known as an M Shaped Mash-Up:

  • First week of work was ok.  Not too bad.  I'm out of practice, but it's like muscle memory, it's coming back.
  • The Boy does NOT like the working.  He and Chris give me a ride in to work since I don't have a parking sticker yet.  We get close and he starts to chant, "MamaWork.  MamaWork.  MamaWork." And then they come back and pick me up 4 hours later.  He and I have lunch together and then I put him down for his nap.  Normally, we have a 15 minute cuddle in the rocking chair and then I lay him in his crib.  Basically from day one, he's cut me off from the cuddling.  He sulks and turns his back on me and asks to be put in his crib.  So I do.  And last week I spent several days in tears because of it.  I'm over it by now, but it was a hard week.
  • I realized that my problem is that I want to be loved.  Loved by my child but also loved by basically everyone I come into contact with.  Which wouldn't be a problem except that not every one is going to love me.  It's just not possible.  And it turns out, after the experiences of last weekend that I'm right.  It's not possible for everyone to love me.  I was mad for about 30 minutes but now I'm over it.
  • I made 2 loaves of bread this weekend.  A big fat loaf of cinnamon-raisin bread for my men folk and a loaf of plain cinnamon bread for me.  I ate cinnamon toast all weekend and let me just tell you, I have big plans for mind-blowing french toast by the end of this week.
  • Chris and I finally hung up pictures in our bed room.  I'm so happy it's a little pathetic.  
  • I've been working on knitting these luxurious wash cloths (for ME).  They are thick and soft and simple and 100% cotton and very pretty.  My fingers are killing me.  
  • My feet are cold.  My feet haven't been cold since last February and it's wonderful!  I know.  Am weird.  It's ok, I've accepted that fact and moved on.
  • The Boy spent the bulk of Saturday sprawled across my lap.  Just because he could.  I'm pretty sure he was laying on my lap so that I couldn't get up and go anywhere.  It was awesome.
  • Chris was offered the job from the interview last week.  He turned them down.  It's not the right offer at the right time.  I know it sounds like we're being picky, and we are because what we need right now is to prove stability.  What we DON'T need is another time-limited job on his resume.  So now we're waiting.  Well, and we're applying for more jobs.  He had a decent conversation with one of the hiring people at another organization last Friday, and hopefully that will yield an in-person interview this week.  
  • I finished the Gift of Asher Lev last week.  I cried.  Again.  But this time around it was less sad and more angry...He's a bigger man than me, is that fictional Asher Lev.  But it's still SO very good.  I heartily recommend it for anyone.
  • I started Silas Marner this week.  I've never read it before.  I love George Eliot and I defy anyone to read Middlemarch and NOT love George Elliot.  So it should be fun/interesting to experience a different work.
And with that, you have now been thoroughly updated.

Island of the Humorless

on 04 October 2010

I had the privilege of interacting this weekend with someone who apparently is a native of the Island of the Humorless.

Privilege is a bit of a stretch.  Let's just say, if it wasn't an obligation I wouldn't have ANY interaction with ANY of the natives of the Island of the Humorless.

I have to say, I'm not sure how someone grows to adulthood with absolutely NO sense of humor, and because I can't see how such a total absence of humor is possible in normal human development, I can only understand it by believing that they come from some island, isolated from all that is quirky or funny or cheeky and surrounded day in and day out with serious things.

And now that I think of it that way, I kind of feel sorry for her.

What offends me, is not her rude and self-righteous treatment of me, but rather the fact that I am surrounded by people who, by rights, shouldn't have a sense of humor right now, but DO.

The woman I work with, her daughter has leukemia, she's the chair of a department that is hemorrhaging faculty and staff, they face serious funding issues, and YET--she has a great sense of humor.  She laughs and teases and takes everything in stride.

My brother just got back from Afghanistan.  He saw and had to do things that were serious and seriously grim.  You know what?  He still has a sense of humor.  He told us the Perils of Drinking the Milk in Afghanistan and it was disgusting and hilarious.

My best friend Samwise, she has to move, she's the leader of the young women in her church, she works part time, she's re-certifying as a dietitian and she's raising the roundest little redhead that I've ever snuggled with.  Her own history is chock full of hard times and yet, YET, she's got a sense of humor you ought not to fool around with if you're drinking anything because it WILL come up your nose.


Maybe I'm approaching this the wrong way.

Maybe a sense of humor is a gift.  A talent.  A skill to be practiced and developed.  Maybe it's not something we're born with, something inherent in our DNA.  And maybe it's just not something that happens to be in this particular woman's skill set.

Which also makes me feel sorry for her.

I've just never encountered anyone quite so humorless before, someone so incapable of hearing the nuances of playful banter.  And it's this total want of humor that reduces someone like me, who relies on my wit and humor and charm to win people over, to a lump of human flesh totally devoid of desirability.  It's an alarming feeling.

And so to console myself I made a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread and have been eating toast all weekend.  Because when one is obliged to interact with the humorless, it's best to have a piece of toast first.

Welcome to Wherever you Are

on 01 October 2010

I fully confess to being a West Wing fan.  I love it.  I've been watching the series from beginning to end lately while I clean or knit or do dishes or relax in the evening after the Boy is in bed.

There's an episode in season 7 titled Welcome to Wherever you Are.  The implications are that things are so frantic the last 10 days of the campaign that they don't really KNOW where they are.

It's been such a crazy summer and it's all winding down to a sleepy fall.  It's been sort of a weird adjustment.  You get used to going 90 miles an hour with your hair on fire and keeping up with all kinds of personal, work, familial, church and fun obligations that when it all stops you feel like you've hit a wall and it takes some time to re-orient yourself to having, well, time.

Chris and I find ourselves feeling a little blue.  It was a really good summer, chock full of family time and adventures and crazy hair-brained schemes.  And now we're settling down to real life again.  It's nice too, but different. 

Normally, I would make a plan.  I would pick some new projects, new books, make new goals etc.  And then get to work.  I'm reticent to make a plan just yet since nothing is settled.  I keep telling myself.  Maybe next week.  Maybe we'll know more next week.  And in the meantime, nothing much gets done.  It is a very strange little funk I have arrived in.

Given the current fluidity of my life, you have to be a little impressed I managed to post this week, right?  Or maybe not.