Driving fast at night

Did you know that you can buy books that give suggested playlists for any occasion? I think it's a fun idea, but I have a couple of problems with them. One: if you're spending money on something like this, either your musical library/experience is way too small or you don't have enough friends with good taste. Two: you're trusting someone whose tastes you don't even know and might be nothing like yours. So it's kind of a weird paradox for me: I'm attracted to the idea and I also hate it. And maybe that's just because I love making my own playlists and I have such strong opinions on what kinds of songs go together. And, as you may know, I like posting my playlists, maybe more for me than for you, dear reader. I like looking back and seeing what I was listening to at certain times. So here's my most recent, for driving fast at night.

Mr. Brightside - PlayRadioPlay! (you have GOT to check this guy out if you like Death Cab for Cutie/Postal Service, he sounds just like them)
In Your Room - Depeche Mode
The Figurehead - The Cure
All of This - Blink 182 (with Robert Smith)
Stripped - Depeche Mode
Stars - Dubstar
Shadow of the Day - Linkin Park
Liar - New Order
Rhapsody - Siouxsie and the Banshees
Acrobat - U2
Stay (Faraway, So Close!) - U2
The Last Day of Summer - The Cure
Bloodflowers - The Cure
Home - Depeche Mode

All my rebels

Not much going on around here at the moment....but I wanted to post these shots. I did a little "photoshoot" a couple weeks ago because I was making photo boxes for our moms for Mother's Day. I wanted a rock and roll picture for the cover, so I dressed the kids in their rebel wear and set them up. I love how it turned out. Some people think it's morbid that I have a black skeleton onesie for an eight month old baby, but I think it's funny. Nathan's a chiropractor, after all.


Soon the most used word in my vocabulary will be "Because."

A conversation with Judah in the car last night.

Judah: Is the moon full?
Me: Yep, just about.
J: It's going down.
Me: Nope, it's going up right now.
J: Why's it going up right now?
Me: Because it has to rise before it sets.
J: Why's it have to rise before it sets?
Me: Because the earth is spinning. (I try to give him accurate answers when I can.)
J: Why's the earth spinning?
Me: Because Jesus made it that way. (This is the standard answer in our family that stops all the whys)
J: Oh.
Me (to Nathan): Yes! It worked!
J (after a pause): Why's Jesus made it that way?
Me: Uhhhhh......
Nathan: For his pleasure.
J: Why for his pleasure?
Me (to Nathan): You get to take it from here.
N: You know how you like to play baseball? Well, Jesus likes to create things.
J: Oh!

And then there was silence from the backseat. Wow, I'm gonna have to try Nathan's technique.

Nearing completion

A year ago today I was five months pregnant, Judah was perfecting his escape-artist techniques, and we were moving dozens and dozens of boxes into our new home. What a difference in a year. Micah's eight months old, Judah stays in bed fairly consistently, and the boxes are FINALLY all emptied.

The last part didn't come about until a few weeks ago. The picture above is what one wall of our front room looked like for months and months after we moved in, because I was waiting for a bookcase to be built. I don't know what happened, but between moving into our last place and moving into our current place, my library grew exponentially, and I discovered that I now have a completely unconscionable amount of books. I had no idea what was going on. Two bookcases used to be more than enough. Not anymore. So Nathan built me a third. Yay! He and Jeff installed it, and then the alphebetization began. It involved several days and a lot of floor space.

In process.... and please, don't anyone go thinking I'm a Nazi because of the book in the center. It's a really good book, and I thought it was hysterical that Payasa decided to park herself overlooking a book called Maus (mouse).
The three bookcases, filled and, in some places, double-decked. As I started to fill the top shelves of the third case I considered donning my bullet-proof vest, because I began to realize that we would need a fourth bookcase, and that Nathan was going to possibly murder me out of frustration. I could only fit up to Rowling on the three cases. Nathan was very kind about it, however, and just sighed and suggested that I throw out or give away some books (and I totally forgive you for saying that, Nathan). Fortunately, I have a very kind, generous brother-in-law, and Jeff knocked another bookcase together inside of a couple hours. It has yet to be installed, but when it is Edith Wharton and Oscar Wilde and John Steinbeck and Sue Townsend and all the rest can come in from their exile in the garage.

And then. Then Barbara up and moved to South Africa. And, bless her forever, she asked me if I wanted to babysit part of her library for a couple years! Nathan sighed again and agreed, and a few hundred more books (and two of her bookcases) made their way into our bedroom. I'm having so much fun with her books already! It's like Christmas every day around here.


Strawberry Fields Forever

Is this one nutty looking bug, or what? It looks so menacing! But in the past couple days Jude and I have seen several of these beetles wandering around our yards, and they seem harmless, just happily going about their business, looking for places to hang out. I talked to Ashlee this morning and found out there's an actual infestation of these going on right now in Southern California and Baja. She directed me to What's That Bug? for more info. It turns out they're sort of like stink bugs, but won't hurt you and don't smell as bad as actual stink bugs. Unfortunately, they have a nasty habit of wanting to be inside, which means you may find them in your house.

But here's the best part: they eat garden pests!! So, if you see these little guys wandering around, work up your courage, fight your urge to kill them with a stiletto, and trap them somehow, then transport them to your garden! Word has it they'll eat the sow bugs right up.

I'm off to go hunting....


There's a parable here somewhere

One Tuesday at MOPS our leader, Mina, brought in strawberry plants for anyone who wanted them. I bravely took one, thinking I could probably manage to at least get it in the groud before I killed it. So I took home my little baggie with its root and three leaves and planted it in the raised planter in front of our place. And lo and behold, it didn't die!! It even began to flourish a little. Soon I noticed a couple blossoms on it, and one showed signs of turning into an actual strawberry. Judah and I kept an eye on it to see what would happen and it steadily grew bigger and turned into a nice little red berry. Voila (or wah-la, if you prefer, hee hee)! I had grown something. People, I can't even keep an avocado pit alive, so this was kind of a big deal. Judah loved it too, and liked examining it, and one day we were sitting around and he said, "Should we go check out the strawberry? See what it's up to?"

So the berry was red, and we were waiting for it to ripen a little more. We were making big plans to cut it up into three pieces so we could all have a little. Then one day I picked it up to test it, turned it over, and to my shock and horror this is what I found:

The sow bogs were having a feast on MY STRAWBERRY! Judah and I were very disappointed. And I don't even know how to get rid of these bugs. Any ideas, anyone?

Farmer Kristy I am not.


A quiet morning

To make up for the other day, I suppose.

It's been cloudy and almost cold the last couple days, a nice reprieve after last week's 100 degree plus days. When Micah woke up at 8:30 this morning (don't be jealous, other moms, he was also up at 2:00 and 5:30) I took him into our bed to feed him. We lay there together for quite a while, me looking out the window at the abandoned hummingbird nest in the tree outside our window (which I mistakenly thought was a tree of heaven, but is actually a Hawaiian Schefflera, or umbrella tree), Micah smiling at nothing much. Judah was on the floor playing with one of his recent favorite "toys," a silver bead garland that he ripped off our tree at Christmas. He was quietly hiding his cars in it, I think. After a while Micah sat up and began to look around, and then his discovered my belly button. He touched it with one finger and laughed. What was going on in his head? I always wonder.

Eventually we came downstairs and Judah ate his oatmeal while Micah played on the floor, then Judah and Payasa played together for a while with a long piece of bright orange embroidery thread, and then Judah and Micah settled on the floor together and explored their Little People farm. It was so nice, so peaceful. I imagine that it will only be more of this as the boys get older. Right?

Please don't tell me if I'm wrong.



It's been one of those days. Which is kind of how almost all my days have been since that magic day Judah turned three (more on that later) and his sweet little head turned itself inside out and he forgot all his language skills except for the word NO and an inhumanly long scream. I thought two was supposed to be the hard year.

So I was having one of those days, and thank God for MOPS because I got to leave my boys in the nursery for a sizable chunk of the morning. We got home after having lunch with my mom, and I finally put both boys down for naps, and then put myself down for a nap since I was dizzy falling-over exhausted.

And then the unwritten rule kicked in. The one that says that the gardeners hired by your landlord to maintain the hideously ugly, drought-resistant shrubs in your backyard will show up ONLY during naptime, bringing a leaf blower (seriously? for a tiny backyard?), a metal rake, a hedge clipper, and a huge trash can that they will repeatedly, for some unfathomable reason, have to bang against the side of your house. Right below the kids' bedroom windows. And have you ever heard the sound a metal rake makes when applied to bricks? It eats my soul. So of course both boys woke up. And who can really blame them?

And to add insult to injury. They decided that today was the day to prune the podocarpus, Second-Ugliest Tree Known to Man, just when it was starting to leaf out and get shaggy and look halfway decent. Now it's back to the shorn, stubby look. So pitiful. We also have the First-Ugliest Tree Known to Man in our backyard: a huge sago palm that's probably worth, like, $9,000. I find it interesting that the sago palm's Latin name is cycas revoluta, which is oddly close to the word revolting. Exactly how I feel.