August 29, 2009

Green Thumbs

Our little seedling garden started its transplant to the "big" garden today, and James' green thumbs have officially sprouted. He loves "planta the seeds" and the "dirt dirt dirt." He loves his daddy. And I love his daddy too.

On the way upstairs to his bed a few nights ago, he gave me a big kiss...afterwards he said, "I kissa that Mommy." That doesn't really speak to the green thumbs theme, but I had to include it before I forgot.

Stella girl is officially a big girl. She likes football. She is out of her baby car carrier, uses a highchair in restaurants, and is in her Britax rear-facing big girl carseat. She's starting to babble, and I swear she said "da da," but I refuse for her first word ALSO to be "dada", so I am stubbornly pushing for "mama." I just keep trying.

I love this picture, because I have a very similar one of Jason and James.... I just have to find it....

August 19, 2009


There's a favorite episode of Sesame Street where Grover is doing a spoof on "Streetcar Named Desire," screaming up in his muppet ways, "Stella! Stelllllaaaa! Stelllllllaaaaa!" We've always thought it was hilarious, of course.

Tonight, over the baby monitor, I hear James in his crib....."Stellllllaaaaaa! Stelllllaaaaa!"

My little Tennessee Williams. I love that boy.

August 17, 2009


I buy the giant box of Goldfish now. I load James into the grocery cart at Publix, and proudly place the giant Goldfish box in the front with him, as if to scream "hey hey, I have a kid, and here's his Goldfish." Sometimes, I take Stella to Publix too. For good measure... she's just now sitting up well, so I can kinda prop her up, as if to say "heck yes, she's old enough to eat Goldfish. And she loooooves them."

The more kids, the more Goldfish I need. Simple math.

In truth, 8:42 each night rolls around, and you will find me curled up on the corner of our uncomfortable, yet practical, stained sofa from Haverty's, with my latest book, and a Pier One ramekin toppling to the brim with orange, delicious Goldfish.

And then, once that is polished off... I go in for seconds.

Some nights, the ramekin is settled all cozy on the end table, snuggling up to a nice cold bottle of Blue Moon or Killians. Heaven.

Fish ARE in heaven.

The moral of the story: fish are not fat. But Goldfish will make you fat. (Just ask my thighs). I'm going on a Goldfish-free diet... once I polish off the last giant box. Should be done by Friday.

August 15, 2009


Two babies, only fourteen months apart, yet lightyears apart in temperment....

My big boy Scorpio, and my dear Capricorn.

August 11, 2009


Sitting on the back deck with James is becoming somewhat of a tradition. We rock and chat and see how many things outside he can name. I love his babble, his attempts at sentences. Today killed me with the giggles.

"James, do you see the trees?"

He says, "Trees. Yes. Trees.
Dine-saur. Eyes." Close, but not quite. At least, I hope our yard does not have dinosaurs. It might, though. We have a fairly high part out back.

I ask, "Do you see the sky?"

He responds, "Yes. I see it. Sky. I see it. Puppy. Tail."

By the way, I am quite impressed by his use of 'I see it.' Almost as impressed as when he says, 'Tickle Dinosaur' and 'Mommy, sit down.'

"Oh, James, " I finally say, "Do you see the clouds - the pretty clouds?"

He looks up to where I am pointing and crinkles his nose. He looks at me, back to the sky.
I say, "Clouds, James. Do you see them?"

He looks puzzled. Again, I repeat, "Clouds?"

Finally, he looks at me, shakes his head and says,

"No. No. No. Clowns. No clowns. Sky."

Smart boy. Right-o. There are no clowns in the sky. That would do me in.

August 10, 2009

Party Planning?

Our son is almost two.

And that means a new birthday party. Sigh. I used to love parties - cocktail parties where I had all evenings after work to shop for napkins and Bacardi. The operative love word being "cocktail," and oh yes, "Bacardi." And now, I cannot even figure out how to order party plates from Oriental Trading. Maybe I need a party planner. Ha ha ha. Do you find a party planner in the same building as a vacation planner? Do those people "really" exist and have offices, or are they just urban legend? Even funnier than a vacation a planned vacation. Another sigh.

Anyway, this year's party for James is going to be much smaller (er, cheaper) than last year. Although I still think I will splurge on the cake. Sweet Stuff Cakes gets some free advertising here ( and James' fabulous 1st birthday Monkey Cake and mini-moneky cake. Both cakes were adorable, and both cakes were delicious. I polished off James' mini-cake last year (cut me some slack, I was 7 months pregnant with Stella).... but even now, I am salivating thinking of the next creation.

This year's theme by default is "DINE-SAUR! Dine-saur eyes! Dine-saur nose! Dine-saur "Corns!" Dine-saur ears! Dine-saur feet!" Everything, everything... dinosaur.
I am emailing Elaine at Sweet Stuff Cakes now. At least it's a step (er, stomp stomp stomp [to keep with the dinosaur theme]) in the right direction.

James' First Birthday, October 25, 2008

Cut me some slack. Only two short months later, we must have Stella's big one year bash... on New Year's Eve. I vote for champagne and hors dourves! I think sophistocated, sweet Stella would agree!

August 9, 2009

Babies are Not Collectibles

Our friends just announced the arrival of their second baby boy today (congrats to Jay & Jenny!), and instantly, I had to give myself "the" talk.

I have to give myself this little chat every few months, usually when someone I know has a baby. A new baby's arrival sends me flying back to... those precious few hours, when our new baby (James or Stella) was literally, uh, new. And I remember holding James and Stella, all toasty warm and fresh and delicious, just like a loaf of bread. When I think of this feeling/smell/moment, my internal clock starts going tickticktickticktick, and I can feel my eggs trying to leap from my ovaries. Down girls.

Hence, "the" talk.

Babies are not collectibles. Babies become people, and for the most part, people are annoying, so why have more babies. We have two very healthy, sweet, wonderful babies, so why do I need more babies? Babies babies babies. No!

Where would we put another child? We'd have to buy a Yukon or Escalade or some other equally as obnoxious and impossible to park vehicle that we could not afford. And a crib? Both kids are still in cribs....would we actually buy a third? And where would this third kid go? The guest room would no longer be a guest room..which means we'd have even less help and guests than we do now... And diapers - the diaper budget would be in the two hundreds each month. And potty training - potty training three children? And more sleepless nights? Babies babies babies. No!

And breastfeeding! Oh, the humanity! Again? Really! Meredith, could you possibly breastfeed another child? Babies babies babies! No!

And the nanny...the poor, dear nanny we have ....she would run into the street screaming upon the news. Not to more child means that we would be officially outnumbered. And that thought makes me nervous.

Babies are not collectibles.

See? I'm better. The Atwood baby shop is officially closed. Now, on to Google to research tubal ligation surgery... but first, maybe I'll go look at the newborn pictures of my babies.

August 4, 2009

Letter to Stella: Milestone

Dear Stella,

Today, I missed another milestone.

You sat up on your own... you were on your tummy, and then you just sat up.

Your nanny told me as I walked in the door. She told me of the great news, but did so with the regretful, I'm-so-very-sorry-to-tell-you-yet-another-thing-you-missed-in-your-child's-life-look (it's ok, Staci - I still promise, I would rather know!).

And it really didn't bother me, because I figure...a stay-at-home mom could just as easily have missed such a milestone by being in the shower or grocery shopping or cooking dinner or doing whatever else a stay-at-home mother does.

But I was working, and missed it. And regretfully, it probably will not be the last time I will apologize for missing one of your big days, Stella. Just ask your brother.

I missed his first sit up event, his first tooth, giggle, smile, step, standing up. I did manage to catch him crawling, but it was only because I was home sick with a fever. For a court appearance, I most recently missed "Muffins with Mom" (which I still say was a ridiculously contrived event at your brother's school). Please hold the muffin-top jokes for a later day. Nonetheless, I have the sad picture to prove I wasn't at Muffins with Mom. The very sad picture of your dear brother, wearing a frown and sitting in front of a half-eaten muffin, alone....without mom. Ah-hem. Muffins without Mom.

Milestones without Mom: Making Memories in the Hours Between 5 and 7. That'll be the title of my book someday.

I remember when your brother did the same move you did today. Although, I missed that one also. Not because I was working, but because he did it in the crib. I walked in the room - and there he was, just sitting up on his own, plain as day. I digress.

But dear Stella, let me tell you what I will not miss. I will not miss weekend manicures and pedicures with you, shopping for clothes and makeup. Walks in the park or the mall, coffees, lunches and general girl time. I will be there for all your plays, sporting events, and banquets, your band performances and important pre-prom moments (all of these are contingent upon you actually wanting me there, of course). When you are getting married and having babies of your own, I will be there.

I work now, so twenty (or less) years from now... I won't have to. At least, that is my master plan, dear girl. To be there when you really want and need me, not just for the day-to-day stuff that I am missing now, and which Staci covers exceedingly well (and probably better than I could, or would, for that matter).

Some may say the day-to-day stuff is what "matters," and to that I say, maybe so. Prove it.

But I find comfort in the fact that I work hard now, so I can come stay with you, dear sweet Stella, for three weeks when you bring your new baby home (or stay forever, like your Mia would like to!). I can be there whenever you call, no matter what time of day, and I won't have to "go" for a client, a call, a draft of something-or-another. I work hard so you and your Bubba will have college and clothes and experiences that I never had (and I had some good ones!).I work hard now, so I can buy our family a ski chalet in somewhere snotty like Aspen or Breckenridge, or a vineyard in Italy... or hell, a simple cruise to the Bahamas.

'Dems big dreams, I know.

So for all the "milestones" I may miss my dear Stella... I say, Don't Worry.

I will be there for a million more. Hang tight, sweet baby girl. There are brilliant manicures in our future, sitting in a spa somewhere with mountains and wine and sunsets. I know, I have to wait only 18 or so years... but I'm patient.

I hope you can be too. :)

I love you,