Friday, April 28, 2006

"Ma'am, They're Coming Out All Day Long"

Posts, that is. I think this is a record.

Shortly Before She Gave Us Everything She's Got

Oh, cherubim and seraphim, are thoust mist child?
What a sweet pungent face,
What hands, what mouth, what expression.
If you were able to speak what would
thoust sayest to us-est?

Would thouest perhaps deign thyself to alert us to the everloving rush of partially digested food about to rupture from your innards?

Glory be to your father,
who had the pleasure of coddling you
during this
living room rupture,
whose lightening fast reflexes
enabled him to clamp his thighs
together and gather the aromatic mixture.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I'm All Agog!

Some of you have already been alerted to this strange resurfacing of events. But I felt it was my duty to alert the public:

Leggings are being sold at Nordstrom under the guise of being "sleek."

If you are over twenty your heart probably just skipped a beat in fear. You remember them the first time around--you even wore them!? Perhaps. But it's not over.

Color me frightened.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Last Week of April

Around our house, the last week of April usually means the last week that I enjoy the "summer." Here in Phoenix we have two seasons: summer and summer extreme. What the rest of the Northern hemisphere refers to as autumn, winter and spring is our summer. We are coming to the end of said summer and entering "summer extreme." Summer extreme lasts from May to October--five to six months long. This is as long as winter is in the Northern states.

People in Arizona like to tell others (and themselves) that summer extreme is "only three months--June, July, August--and even June and July aren't that bad and then the monsoons are here in August and that cools everything down!" Don't listen to them! Summer extreme is almost half the calendar year. They like to make themselves feel better. They tell themselves that the dry heat is better than the humidity (which, frankly, is true) and that summer extreme is really only "summer" and things Aren't That Bad.

Garrison Keillor once described how Minnesotans prepare for winter. He described the mental preparation of knowing you were going to enter a long, dark tunnel and emerge at the end sometime in May. Just as those Minnesotans are emerging from their tunnel, I am entering mine.

To which I say in a small, whimpering voice that asks for mercy, "Summer Extreme, bring it on!"

Friday, April 21, 2006

Christa Joins the Backyard Cavalcade!

Dawn breaks across the Hanson backyard. Buddy and Tiny arise to another sun-bathed morning. Buddy moves to the rocks. Ahhh, very warm indeed. His very own spa treatment.

Meanwhile, Christa is allowing the desert sun to awaken her and dry out those soaked Seattle bones. "I can hardly wait to see Stella," Christa muses to herself. Suddenly, she hears some baby talk in the back room. Stella is slowly welcoming a new day with Auntie CJ. Knowing that Christa has traveled all the way from the North to see her, Stella erupts with her most welcoming gesture--The Lip!

The Lip is not used to coming out first thing in the morning. Yet, who is this person that is staring at her so enthusiastically. Such smiles and love--this must be an enemy? Stella knows not how to read other people's emotions or intentions. She merely detects Something Different.

We proceed to the out of doors. This is somewhat of a novelty for the citydweller CJ. All this animal activity! Dogs! Birds! Kittens! Junebugs advancing! This is Stella's normal fare. She's right at home. We are used to the morning antics of Buddy and Tiny. They growl and fight over their similarly proportioned food stuffs. What hilarity. We drink coffee and eat sausage. Stella partakes of the thumb. It is a normal day here--except for the presence of that New Person. We shall see how Stella makes room in her daily activities for--

Auntie CJ!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Time for an Intervention

First, look at this face:
Have you ever had a friend that just can't get enough of something? Perhaps it's drugs, alcohol, Member's Only windbreakers or maybe good old fashioned appendage preference. Stella has adopted an obvious predilection for her thumb. It's still cute, don't get me wrong. It's cute because her thumb is still so tiny and relatively clean and lacking in a pruny sheen that comes from too much time in moisture. Her thumb is about 1/2 inch long and she's always finding time to spend with it.

While breastfeeding: "I'm eating. No problem. I'll sneak my thumb in here just for a little taste."
While playing: "Hello, Lobster. Hello, Octopus. Let's play Ocean. I'm a whale and my thumb can be some plankton. 'Boy, I'm hungry. Wish I had some plank--wait. Here comes some! Yum!'"
While eating pears: "Thanks for the pears, but there's nothing like thumb!"

I'm not too bothered by this preference. As I said, it's still cute. I've even tried the thumb. It is a smooth little delicacy. And if nothing else, she's learning how to multi-task.

Now, the thumb:

Monday, April 17, 2006

When Friends Part Ways

I recently had a falling out with one of my favorite friends. We used to spend a couple nights a week together. Then this friend started showing up with all these problems, malfunctions or "issues." This was disturbing. I don't enter friendships wanting to fix people. I don't like having to work through things. It's just not, I don't know, well, yes I do. It's not fun. I started this relationship looking for fun. And it just wasn't fun anymore. Whenever this friend showed up I was immediately excited, anticipating their arrival, then things would quickly unravel. I was starting to be disappointed all the time.

I decided to call it quits. I canceled my friendship by writing a "Dear John" letter. Now my friend doesn't visit anymore. And to be honest, I don't miss them that much. It's funny, too, because for a while I was telling everyone about this friend.

Want to know what the letter said? Of course you do:

Dear Netflix,
Thanks for all the scratched DVDs.
I know how to quit you!

I would've called them to tell them this, but you try and find a customer service number on their website. Impossible. They left me hanging in the middle of "24" season one. I'm stuck in limbo at 8:00 a.m.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Natural Order

A funny thing happens once you have a child--people no longer come to visit you, no one calls to see how you're doing and no one invites you to parties anymore. Let me explain: people come to visit Stella, people call to see how Stella's doing and people invite me to bring Stella to parties.

Now let me say that I don't feel sorry for myself. I can remember feeling bored with talking about myself on numerous occassions. For example, I remember being in college and hating those seasonal small talk questions that you got at the beginning and end of every semester.

Let's play a game called "Guess the Semester and Whether it's the Beginning or End."
1.) "How was your summer?"
2.) "What did you do over Christmas?"
3.) "What are you going to do over Christmas?"
4.) "What are you going to do over the summer?"

I think that regardless of your education level you don't need me to tell you the correct answers. But if you do, don't be embarrassed to ask me.

I digress.

Now I can talk about Stella. Her life is much more interesting (and by interesting I mean that we can talk of developmental stages met!) than mine. I already know how to eat solids. In fact, I take eating solids for granted. I can also sit up. And hold things! But somehow this is much more interesting when learned for the first time.

Above you see Stella eating. Her Grandma Go Go was feeding her. Cool. See, if I posted a picture of myself eating that wouldn't be very cute. And if my food was all over my face you might worry--or think I needed a ghostwriter.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

My Husband is SO Committed to the Environment

While driving to church on Sunday I said, "What are your thoughts on us becoming a one-car family?"

"I think it's possible. We basically drive this one car together all the time. I only use the Honda to drive to work and to ASU."

Thinking in my head, "Cool. One more thing to eliminate from our life. Less stuff. Rad."

Then Jamie announces, "I could always get a scooter."

"Yeah, that would be cool. They go about 400 miles on one gallon of gas. And they're cheap to insure--if you have to insure them at all."

That was Sunday, April 9th. The photo at left? Tuesday, April 11th. I know the Rolling Stones sing a song entitled "You Can't Always Get What You Want" but they haven't met my husband.

ha hA HA!

My sister. She's so clever:

RE: Like Mother, Like Daughter

On Apr 11, 2006, at 15:34, Christa Hubbell wrote:

Really, I didn't know you fell asleep sucking your thumb in front of the mirror...

Oh yeah? Well, you're coming to visit soon. You'll be sleeping on my couch--all vulnerable and unconscious-like. And I have a camera.

P.S. Did you know you'd be on the couch? It's comfortable--and closer to Stella than the bed at Dad's house.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Relative of the Week: Buddy

Our first dog, and therefore Stella's (even though they both preceeded her) was Buddy. He is Stella's favorite. Everyone loves Buddy--no one knows how sneaky he is. Stella gets a huge kick out of Buddy. She smiles and squirms with glee when he comes around.

Buddy really likes Stella, too. He likes to lick her face. I'm sure this aspect of their relationship will develop the more food that Stella eats. And when we look over and see him licking her sweet little face, we'll try to forget that we catch him eating cat turds in the backyard.

Like mother, like daughter

while she plays
Stella gets tired.

She doesn't hold back.
She gives right in
and takes a nap.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

November 27th, 2005

When we returned home from the hospital after Stella's birth we experienced those surreal moments of being home with your first child. Everything is new and wonderful and heartbreakingly real.

Before Stella, we talked about going the entire winter without using our heat. We'd done it in the past. In fact, our first year in this house we didn't have heat or air until mid-April because our unit broke and the warranty company was stonewalling us. After that, we realized how relatively easy it is to go without heat here in Arizona.

(Caveat: Some of you that aren't from around here might think this an incredibly easy feat. "Arizona winters? Isn't that an oxymoron?" NO! It gets cold at night. Outdoor plants freeze and die because it gets cold here. If you doubt me check it out.)

In our new parent hubris we brought Stella home at the end of November and put her to sleep in her little bed with her little clothes and no heat. The next morning her little hands and toes were ice. We both got up and went in to change her diaper. She was a cold little thing. We experienced our first parenting mistake and decided we'd use the heat this winter at night. We didn't want our little munch to get cold.

I like to look back on these pictures of her first days home. There was so much that I was feeling. And I love this picture of Jamie with his new daughter. The look on his face is so sweet and awestruck. I've been lucky to have both of them. Jamie has made life as a first-time mother so pleasant. He doesn't worry or pester me with questions about Stella's well-being. He doesn't freak out whenever she cries. He helps out when he's home and the older she gets the more enchanted he becomes. I can quite honestly say that Stella has been the best bonding experience for us as a family. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Speaking of Relatives...

Yesterday I was talking to CJ Hubbell, formerly known as Truckbutt due to, shall we call it the "capacity of her diapers" as a wee one. She asked to speak to her one and only niece on the telephone. I put the phone to Stella's ear as she was babbling away to herself saying things such as, "Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah! Gagagagagagaga! Bbbbbbbbbbb (with some spit bubbles throughout)." As soon as she heard the voice of her sweet aunt she paused and her eyes widened. She had a look of recognition and she raised her head to look knowingly at the ceiling fan--her constant companion in her desert home. Ceiling Fan: the object which reigns on high and is the source of all voices that come from nowhere. "Yes, Ceiling Fan? I hear you. I love you, too, Ceiling Fan. See you soon!"

Monday, April 03, 2006

Relative of the Week: Grandma Kelly

When I say fried chicken, fried okra, pineapple upside down cake, molasses cookies, banana cookies, red velvet cake, homemade noodles, what do you think of? Well, I think of one Martha Awl Kelly, Grandma Kelly, Marty Kelly, "Have a Party Marty," Silver Sneaker Scorner, Aerobics Attending, everyone's favorite cabana-singing woman. Here she is:Yesterday we spent a lot of time in the car with GK. Stella was sung to and snuggled and ga-ga'ed over. She loves the attention as long as you don't get all up in her grill. Because if you do, she summons The Lip in order to repulse your love attack! She's got boundaries, people. Respect them. And yes, she is "always eating." And yes, she's been known to "sleep a lot." And on ocassion she wants nothing to do with your coffee breath and schmoopy talk, but it's nothing personal.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Wherein Words Fail

HA. One might think I'm about to expound on the wonders of life. Lo, the treasures of parenthood, marriage. Yea, the glories of the desert in the spring or the overwhelming feeling that you get when you discover you have new email.
No, I am going to say how cool is the internet. There is a tool out there where you can track where the people are who read your site, what site referred them to yours and how long they stayed. (Alas, people come from far and wide and stay for not so long. Is it me? Dost my stench offend?)
In the last few weeks I have had international visitors:
France, Holland, Spain, Greece, Australia, Brazil and even Canada! ("Oh, Canada...!") Granted these people take one look and move on, but still. Greece! Not to mention the many people from around the US. I know, for instance, that one person in Seattle, WA on a Holland America ISP read for around forty-five minutes. Yes, perhaps they came and left the browser open while they left and went to a meeting thus accounting for the length of time because I don't know if I have forty-five minutes of interesting information. However, if that person is reading now: do you suddenly have that hot flush to your cheeks of being discovered? Did you just have a birthday? Are you...pregnant?
And if you're reading and you want to know about this, how do you say, technology, I can tell you...but you musy ask!