August 29, 2006


The most amazing thing happened to me today. I got COLD. At first this sensation of being 'not-hot' startled me. I had a moment of panic as I stepped outside this morning- thinking, "Oh no! I'm...I'm...chilly! What do I do?! Sweaters? Pants? Scarves? Does Ezra need his puffy jacket and maybe a hat? Socks? Sneakers?" It was like I'd forgotten how to function if the air around me wasn't a sizzling 105 degrees. (It was a cool 70)... I stood motionless in indecision.

I recovered quickly and realized this cool air I was feeling was not "bundle up" worthy, but it was the kind of weather I had been constantly hoping for... silently begging the weatherman each night to fill my TV screen with something other than triple digits and dancing suns. "Looks like it's gonna be another scorcher out there!" has become my LEAST FAVORITE expression in the English language. I would rather hear "Those terrible radioactive monsters have broken free from their cages and are in your neighborhood!" than hear "Looks like it's gonna be another scorcher out there!" one more time.

I stood on my front porch and gazed up at the sky in disbelief. I had forgotten what cool air felt like. Seriously. I suddenly felt like I lived by the ocean again... I could almost hear the waves and smell the salt. I breathed deeply and felt truly thankful. I scrapped my plans of bookstore hopping and headed straight for the little park down the street. This was the first time Ezra and I had been able to go to our neighborhood park, because it had been so hot that the metal slides threatened to melt him before he got to the bottom.

The sky was full to the brim of those huge, bulbous clouds that make me feel really small. The sun cut through them every once in awhile and the rays instantly warmed me up just enough before they disappeared again. The park was completely empty. The grass was wet with dew and the sand from the playground stuck to Ezra's shoes in clumps.

The little park was so quaint and it fit the mood of the day perfectly. It is just a little patch of land tucked away in the back of my neighborhood... obviously not top priority on the City's Parks & Recreation agenda. Maybe it was the backdrop of the weather that made me feel so nostalgic, but I fell in love with this run-down little playground from the moment we stepped foot on it. The slides are crooked and rickety and have obviously been there since the 50's when the neighborhood was built. The swing set is old and twisted and I could see four different colors of chipped off paint layers clinging to the metal. I thought of the moms before me who had lived in this neighborhood and tried so hard to keep this park nice and shiny for their kids- rallying together to paint the playground again and again and again...and again. But now all the equipment is a dull metal color, and it probably wouldn't pass the safety code inspections even if you smothered everything in bubble wrap. There are bolts and screws sticking out of things and unrounded edges are everywhere...

And we loved it.

We had a blast. Who needs plastic "safety fortresses" for playgrounds? Give us metal and rust and danger! We laugh in the face of danger! ha ha ha!

This neighborhood is full of people who have lived in these homes for 30 or 40 years of their lives. They are older and their kids are grown and gone. But there are also people like us moving into this neighborhood, and it's an amazing mixture of the old and new- the next generation stepping in and bringing new life to things. I'm beginning to understand the solemn weight I felt as an elderly woman walking her dogs stopped to wave and smile at Ezra as we were all outside working on the lawn yesterday. She paused and looked me straight in the eye and said simply, "Welcome to the neighborhood" before she continued on her way. Something in me felt that this phrase held some deep truth in it and I concentrated on the weed I was pulling while blinking back unexpected tears.

Maybe I'll be the next mom to rally forces and re-paint the old playground. Maybe it will be the mom who lives next door. Either way, our kids will enjoy that park just as much as the kids before them did... sliding and laughing and climbing up towards the sky... unaware of the life they're bringing to tired places.

August 28, 2006

This Kid's Head should be Minted on a Coin.

"Old McDonalds Had A Fry"
(A story, in pictures)

"Oh mom, aren't I so cute today in my little sailor outfit? Don't you just looooove me? I'm such a good boy!"

"Gasp! What's that over there?!"
(mom whips around to see what Ezra is pointing at...)

(Ezra, checking to make sure the coast is clear)

Ezra to self: "He he he. Works everytime. It's all mine! mwa haha!"

(Ezra makes sure that mom hasn't spotted the DAY OLD MCDONALDS FRENCH FRY he has found in the driveway.)

(munch munch munch.) "mmm... It's just as good as new..."

Did you miss me?


The internet!!

It's finally hooked up in the new house!

What a concept!!

I have been internetless for a hundred jillion days now, and I thought I was going to go crazy. I kept thinking of all the good blogs out there I was missing out on being able to read, and my life became a series of "If I had the internet, I would totally write a blog about this or that" and I found myself having dreams about TYPING. Yes, TYPING. Click. clickity. click. I have missed that sound. I have missed Bleubird Vintage. I have missed the cute little noise my mail program makes when I get a new email. (bloop!) I have missed being able to google things like "how do I own rose bushes without killing them?" or "how do I play the piano?" or "Are pickles really made out of cucumbers?!" (You learn something new everyday.) Not long ago, I was struck by the realization that I had never heard of a "pickle plant" or a "pickle tree"... and so I began to research where these mysterious sour vegetables were coming from...
(true story.)

We were recently given an AMAZING old green wall piano by some random guy whose house we went to look at when we were house-hunting. We walked in to his house and we both were like, "Woah! Cool piano!" and he was all, "Do you want it?" and we were all, "Do ducks have feathers?!?" Here's a pic of it:

It's green and lovely and actually in TUNE. (for the most part). Chris plays it very well and I love how it fills our new house with pretty music. I'm learning how to play "Chopsticks" and "Mary had a Little Lamb".... So, I fill the house with quite different sounding music than Chris does. My music sounds like our piano is being poked to death by a tone-deaf six year old, and it makes Ezra whimper and roll on the floor. I can only get better from here, right?... Right guys?.... Where are you all going?.....

We've been working on the house a lot and it's been a crazy couple of weeks. I'm going to do some "before" and "after" shots, but I'm going to only do one room at a time because they aren't all painted and finished yet. Here's the office/guestroom (AKA Rebecca's room, or Cameron's Lair)

(hint hint).


...and AFTER:

What do you think? That green couch is a sofa bed. That's why it's our guestroom. So we can have GUESTS.

I love this room. I love this house. Come stay with us! Come stay with us!! If you hurry, you'll be able to enjoy that yummy "new carpet" smell!

("New carpet smell" is a Limited Time Offer Only.)

August 16, 2006

Home Sweet Home


May I have your attention, please?


(Well, more like a home-payer-off-er...)

This is crazy. We're so excited. We've spent lots of time in our new house already-- painting and tearing up carpets and making the place shiny and new.

(Side note to all you single ladies: Having a painting contractor for a husband is quite handy. You should try to find yourselves a nice painting contractor and settle down with him. Trust me. You'll thank me later. *end side note*)

Chris is working so hard on the place and doing a great job. (Oh, and watching my husband work? sexy.) Did I say that outloud just now?

We will keep you updated by posting "before" and "after" pictures as the work progresses so you can see the transformations.

I've started packing.


All of my kick-knacky things are in boxes and the only other hassles will be clothing and dishes. I'm thinking of just throwing 1/2 of my clothes into the moving truck, and then throwing all my dishes in on top of that, and then throwing the other 1/2 of my clothes on top of that. See? Padding! For the dishes! I'm a genius. (who just had to spell-check for how to spell the word "genius".)

Anywho- thanks for all the encouragement and support while we were going through the process of finding a house. You all were right: It all works out for the best. Thank goodness God knows what He's doing... otherwise we would have ended up in a leftwards-leaning, semi-crumbly old treehouse with a south-bound foundation and a lack of functional appliances.


August 14, 2006

Cuteness Overload

Ezra washed the car this weekend.

He missed some spots.

Disclaimer: Please don't click video below unless you are able to withstand extreme amounts of cuteness. Video may not be suitable for those with low tolerance for adorableness. If you suffer from nausea related to acute cute-o-phobia, please consolt your doctor before watching this video. Side effects may include Melting Heart Syndrome or the Mooshy Feelings Disease. (also known as MFD).

Also, how great is this face?

We close on the house tomorrow at 10:00AM.

Number of boxes packed: 0
Number of my panic attacks: 1.5
Number of husband's panic attacks: 435 (million).

August 10, 2006

I need a Hobby.

Today was a great day. And not because Ezra behaved like an angel all day (he didn't), or because the weather cooled off finally (it did no such thing), but for an entirely different reason all together.

Today, I found these at my local thrift store:

Buzz was a whoppin' 99 CENTS, and Kermit was even LESS THAN THAT. Can you believe that?! I've been wanting to get Ezra a Buzz Lightyear toy for a long time, but they are always so dang expensive. I'd rather spend my money on diapers and cheese puffs than on expensive Disney crap. But today, as I perused the isles of the thrift store, I saw Buzz lying face-down on the grimy tile, and my heart leaped into my throat. I swooped down and grabbed him and slowly turned him over. I went to push the buttons on Buzz's chest to see if he worked, and the world seemed to be in slow motion.

"To infinity, and BEYOND!", he hollered.

"He works!" I gasped. Then Ezra started gasping too. I all but ran up to the counter to pay for him before anyone else could snatch him from my kung-foo grip. On my way up to the register, I spotted Kermit out of the corner of my eye. I had this exact same Kermit doll when I was growing up. He's from 1976 and he's in great condition. So I snagged him too. I was probably all flushed and out of breath as the lady rang me up, but I don't care. All this for under two bucks?? That's what I call THRILLING. The highlight of my week, even!

(Someone needs a hobby...)

Ezra loves Buzz, although they seem to have a very tumultuous relationship. Ezra will push Buzz violently to the floor, then quickly jab him in the eyes, and finish off with a heel kick to Buzz's helmet. Immediately afterwards, he will scoop him up in his arms and give him a tender *kiss kiss* on the lips before starting the process all over again. This reminds me too much of the emotional ups and downs of my old highschool relationships, so I tell Ezra to be gentle with Buzz because he is just a fragile, blossoming flower, and Buzz's heart is not to be toyed with. His high-pressured space wings are OK to be toyed with, but not his heart.

Today was 108 degrees again- making this something like the 35th consecutive day in Oklahoma City where the temperature was above 100 degrees. Yarf-o-rama. Now-a-days, I would gladly welcome a tornado with open arms. It would be like a huge circulating fan whooshing through here- bringing gusts of cool, refreshing air and possibly some flying cattle. And, believe it or not, if I had to choose between FLYING CATTLE and one more day of this ridiculous heat, I would take the air-cows in a heartbeat.

So, needless to say, we've been spending a great deal of time indoors lately. I pass the time by plucking my eyebrows or playing trains with Ezra... and also by taking pictures of Ezra doing cute stuff. So, here's the story of 'When Ezra met Buzz' :

How do you do, Buzz? I'm Ezra!

Double Eye-jab!!

Allow me to help you up...

Hi-yah!! Heel kick to the throat!!

Don't cry, I still love you.

I'll teach you how to fly, Space-Boy! Take that!

*tender kisses*

Buzz? Buzz?? Are you alright? Buzz!!? Answer meeee!!

(Quickly flees the crime scene)

I obviously have waaaaaay too much time on my hands. Anyone want to teach me how to knit or something?

August 9, 2006

The Miracle on 19th Street

We've done it. After 18 months of trying, (and many bribery attempts), we've finally done it. We've finally convinced Uncle Joel to change Ezra's diaper.

In what turned out to be the most recorded event of the evening, Joel proved himself to be an able-bodied diaper changer, much to the surprise of all the guests present. Perhaps most surprised by the sudden change of heart were his loving parents, Ted and Claudia, who had joined us all the way from Brazil for our little dinner party.

Last night, Joel's mom cooked up the MOST DELICIOUS Brazilian Feijoada feast, and the leftovers are in my refrigerator. This makes me the luckiest human being on the planet.

Congratulations on your first diaper change ever, Joel! Here's to many, many more! mwah ha ha!

August 7, 2006


We're having some people over tonight for a big dinner, and it has actually motivated me to clean up around here. Or at least, it has motivated me to give the place an "appearance of clean"... meaning: don't move the magazine pile under the coffee table because it is strategically placed to hide the dust and graham cracker crumbs underneath it.

We only have 6 days left before we close on the new house.

Have I started packing, you ask?


Have I started thinking about packing?

Not even a little.

Am I stressed about not thinking about packing, you wonder?

Not at all!

Knowing me, however, I'll instantly morph into a basket-case after I sign the contract and they hand me the keys to the new house. I'll be running around like a chicken with my head cut-off, throwing piles of clothes and dishes into my car and making 56 trips a day until all our stuff has been moved. I'm really, very goal-oriented and goal-motivated... But not until the goal is inches away from my face. This is how I was in school, as well. I'd have months to do a paper, but I wouldn't start it until the night before it was due. I'm what you might call a "procrastinator". A "dilly-dally". A "dawdler". A "lazy bum". Unless of course, we're talking about packing my bag for the hospital when I was pregnant with Ezra. My bag was all packed and ready to go when I was about 3 months pregnant. You know... "just in case".

(nerd alert.)

August 4, 2006

The Making of a Mall-Mom

This morning I took Ezra to the mall by our house, but we went at 9:00AM before any of the stores were open. (They open at 10:00.) And it....was....GLORIOUS! Why haven't I done this before?? It was like a big clean, shiny, empty, air-conditioned wonderland where I was free to window shop as Ezra ran pell-mell up and down the corridors- giggling and gasping and forgetting to watch where he was going as he ran into planters and people alike.

We rode escalators up and down and up and down and we played in the fountain. We pointed at gumball machines and pounded on the windows of Victoria's Secret until the employees came out from the back office to see what the commotion was all about. (Emery: *blushes*... *dies*).
Apparently, my son likes to scream and yell at mannequin ladies in their underwear... (I foresee trouble.)

The mall was empty except for a few power-walkers and the most precious old people I've ever seen in my life. I had great conversations with some of them as Ezra did laps around the gumball kiosks, and everyone was smiling brightly and extremely friendly. But, the best part of ALL of this was when I blindly rounded a corner as I was chasing after Ezra, and there, before me, was an OPEN, thriving Starbucks... calling my name and whispering sweet-nothings into my ear.

Heaven on earth, people. Heaven on Earth.

I fear that I might become a regular there. You know, one of those people that visit the mall before the stores are even open... I'll make new "mall-mom" friends and we'll roll our eyes at the people who are rushing through the doors at 10, while we're already casually sauntering out of them. We'll make T-shirts that proudly say: "Mall-Moms Do It Before Ten", and we'll steal all the best parking spaces. (The shady ones by the front door). We'll never speak publicly of our undefiled Mecca, and we will all understand that we belong to a sacred club that can only be talked about in hushed, respectful whispers. This is gonna be awesome.

Mall-Moms Unite!!

In Which Ezra's Love for Spaghetti Becomes Painfully Clear...




What up foo?


August 1, 2006

The Cleaning Dichotomy.

I'm getting so anxious to move into the new house. If all goes to plan, we'll be moving in 14 days. Suddenly, however, 14 days seems like an eternity from now. Like it's NEVER GOING TO GET HERE. EVER. (never!!)

I'm losing my motivation to keep the house we're in now clean and tidy. If Ezra throws a chunk of bananna onto the floor, I think to myself, " need to pick it up... We're moving in two weeks anyways, right?" And all those dustbunnies in the corners? "Ehh... No need to sweep them up. We're moving in two weeks anyways, right?" I don't want to actually clean anything because I know I'll be doing the last big massive clean as we move our stuff out.

Meanwhile, the bananna chunks turn black and start smelling like the bottom of my garbage can, and the dust bunnies become larger than the huge clothes piles I've heaped onto the bedroom floor.

I'm stuck between the 'now' and the 'not yet'. It's a dichotomy that threatens to bury my family and I alive in dirty laundry and massive towers of Junk Mail. (The mail that says: "Mr. Emery Noorton, you've just won!" or "Mr. Emery, an offer you can't refuse!") I don't know why all the junk mail people think that I'm of the male persuasion, but they do.

So, I guess I'll just continue to kick crumbs under the couch as I walk by instead of picking them up and throwing them away... and my new definition of "dusting" will be when I wipe off the computer screen with the front of my shirt.

Afterall, it's only two more weeks, right?

My Article

My article was published today by the Burnside Writers Collective and you can view it here. It's under the "General" articles section.
Also, you can see my bio here. (It's at the bottom.)
This is a great website, and you guys should check it out regularly... It's got great articles, and it's updated on the 1st and 15th of each month. I'm so excited! Go take a look!