Christmas Songs That Suck

If you are in the United States, you have been hearing Christmas music since probably the middle of October, except for those few stalwart stations that refused to play it until after Halloween, (which is still a month too damn long in my opinion). By the time the blessed day arrives, we’re sick of most of the music.

To be fair, there is a lot of crappy christmas covers to go around. Everybody and their brother wants to get in on the holiday cash cow share their personal favorites with fans. Justin Beaver, New Kids On The Block (and I came of age with NKOTB!), Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child, Aqua…

Its been a long time since we’ve had a Top Ten Tuesday around here and this it a perfect opportunity to vent about the songs that suck.

Continue reading “Christmas Songs That Suck”

Top Five Best and Worst Things About a Playdate

I hosted a playdate today (yesterday). Several of my friends came over with their daughters T and S. Our kids are all within a few months of each other, so its nice to watch them socialize and grow up together.  Especially T, she and the Wee One look so similar, it’s really cute.

Five Worst Things About Hosting a Playdate

  1. Injuries. Toddlers step on and hit each other. They also take toys while mother’s patiently emphasize, “Share. Can you share?”  The injuries are always accidental, of course, particularly at this age.
  2. Its tiring. In fact, I was so tired yesterday that I didn’t get this post complete. So today becomes Just As Well Wednesday.
  3. Messing with naptime. Naptime is hard to coordinate between three toddlers, and the more you include, the harder it gets.  Someone always sleeps through part of the playdate, and another one goes to sleep in the car.
  4. Diapers. The aroma wafted through the living room for several minutes as we played “Rock Paper Scissors” guessing whose child it was.  We all changed their diapers, and realized it was probably gas. Now that I think about it, I bet it was my friend. 😉
  5. You’re playing hostess. Does anyone need anything?  I vacuumed yesterday; was that enough? Is T putting eating something from my carpet that she couldn’t be? Is T’s mom thirsty? Should I make more coffee? That is just it’s own challenges; I’m not yet close enough with T or S’s mothers to be like: Too dirty for ya? You’re welcome to clean.

Five Best Things About Hosting a Playdate

  1. Friends come over and play. I remember getting to go to other people’s houses and play with their toys. Even if I had the same thing, it was like completely new at someone’s house. Now, having other kids come over, I get to seem them rediscover a toy we have. The Wee One sees it, too!
  2. Its nice for me to have someone come over. Even though I’m playing hostess, I’m not doing it alone.  Someone else is entertaining the Wee One. I have time to make coffee and I know she’ll be fine. Actually, this is awesome. I get to hang out with a friend.
  3. Its relieving to be at home if case something happens. If there’s a blowout or mess on my shirt, I’m at home so I can take care of it.  Though the Wee One didn’t nap, we had her crib and we tried to nap. And I still got to play with friends!
  4. I have usually cleaned/organized in preparation of their arrival, and its nice to have a clean house when they leave.
  5. They share a sweet moment like a hug. Toddlers hugging! Squee!

Top Ten Favorite Memories of the Wee One


The Wee One has just finished her first full week as a one year old, and in honor of that, I’ve been thinking about (and now I’m going to share with you) my top favorite memories of her this past year. They’re in no particular order.

  1. The first time I saw her. Of course, right? I had no idea what to expect, but I did think she’d be wailing. She wasn’t. She was chill from the beginning.
  2. Sleeping with her. I was NOT going to be a bed-sharer with my baby, but I did. She didn’t like her bassinet, I didn’t like her sleeping in the swing without the buckle (she was swaddled), and it just worked for us. When it stopped working, we changed it, but I loved doing it and would advise any new mom not to worry about it if they’re doing it.
  3. Seeing her smile at me first thing in the morning. This was one of the best parts of sleeping with her.
  4. Realizing she wanted to face me. Again, when we were sleeping. She wasn’t trying to nurse, but she’s a snuggly bug. It helped me trust that we were forming a strong bond.
  5. Camping with her. We camped in the lower Cascades the weekend of her 6 month birthday, so she can brag about that. The night was a little rough, for me as least. I was afraid of her crying and bothering the other campers, so I sat up with her a lot of the night and nursed her. It was uncomfortable and tiring. But the next morning, we put her into a goose down jacket and she and I sat next to each other in a big camping chair. I drank coffee and smelled the morning woodsy goodness, and it made up for the crappy night.
  6. Realizing she twirled her hair. When he hair finally got long enough, she started reaching for it and pulling on it.  I’ve noticed she wraps her little thumb around it. She also twirls my hair sometimes when I’m rocking her to sleep. I love this, because I’m a hair twirler (as are my mother and my aunt) and I used to twirl my mom’s hair, too. #generations #family
  7. How she slept on my chest the first month. She was just a little pumpkin seed, a lumpy sock, and she loved sleeping on me.
  8. Hearing her get excited to see a mirror. Even today, when I go shopping, I just park her in front of a mirror and she has the best time.  I wish we all were so gleeful at the sight of our reflections like she is.
  9. Wearing her. I first put her in a Moby wrap when she was probably a week old, maybe a little older. (We were kept in the hospital a few days longer than normal since I had such a hard time.) It was super cold, so we were only out there a few minutes, she was really bundled up, and the wrap was over her face for the few minutes we were out there. But I pulled it back at one point to show her the sunlight. But wearing her is like getting a hug the whole time.
  10. Our bedtime routine. The four B’s: Bottle (or breast), Brush (teeth), Book, Bed. Every time. I let her take a turn holding the toothbrush and then we sit down in the glider and first I read her the story and then let her “read it to me,” flip through the pages. We rock and talk. Then, I turn off the light and turn on the white noise machine.  When I turn the machine on, she automatically puts her head on my shoulder: she knows what’s going on.  Sometimes she sings along with me and hums while I hum. When I’m done singing, I tell her “mommy loves you,” kiss her, and put a cross on her forehead before I leave. I love it.

Thanks for walking down memory lane with me, as I so often as you to do where the Wee One is concerned. 🙂



Top Ten Ways Going Out as a Mother is Like Going Out As A Tween


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by cigars and a whisky flight. (Oh yeah, and it’s the Wee One’s first birthday today!  I lost my baby today and gained a toddler!)

Last Monday, a girlfriend and I went out and had so. Much. Fun. I mean, so much fun, and since then, I’ve been thinking about how similar going out after baby is to going out in junior high and early high school. Unlike previous Top Tens, these listed in the order in which they come up in a night.

(Note: This was in the early to mid 90’s, so we didn’t have the internet or even ubiquitous computers. We had landlines and cassette tapes. And acid washed jeans.)

  1. You dress differently. In youth, since I was going out, I wanted to look cool. So I would wear the one shirt that was a little tighter/lower cut, the one I wouldn’t normally wear. When I go out after baby, I’m not worried about access to my boobs, and I knew I wouldn’t get any spit-up on my clothes!
  2. You wear makeup, usually badly. In junior high, I wouldn’t wear makeup really, and when I did, it wasn’t put on very well. It wasn’t always even mine own make-up! I have found that post-Wee One, I wear make-up so rarely that I’ve kind of forgotten how to put it on.  When we went out, my friend was wearing perfume – she got in the car and she DIDN’T smell like baby wipes. I was like, “What is that weird aroma?”
  3. The first few minutes together are spent telling stories about how you got away. In junior high, the story may involve what you told your mother or what you had to go through to get a ride. After baby, you’re dancing around bedtimes and evading separation anxiety, so it can be hard to leave the house. My girlfriend’s daughter has strong separation anxiety right now and her husband distracted the child as my friend slid out the door. She said she could hear the baby’s wail as she went down the hall. On her way to the car, she tore her pants.  “But I worked so hard to get out, and I couldn’t go back in and have to leave again, so fuck it.”
  4. Once you get out, you go to a place you wouldn’t normally go. In junior high, we would go places our parents wouldn’t want to hang out, maybe even places we weren’t supposed to hang out. This time, my girlfriend and I went to a cigar bar, a place I used to go with fervor, as you well know, and I haven’t gotten to do as much since the Wee One came along.
  5. One there, you tell everyone you meet that you got away. Not that we would do this in junior high, but there were several references to it amongst the group.  When my girlfriend and I went out, we told the hostess at our restaurant, our waiter, then later, a bartender and a couple of strangers that we were having a girl’s night out.
  6. You eat what normally wouldn’t or couldn’t. I feel weird drinking alcohol when I’m out with the Wee One, unless it’s wine and I’m in an Italian place. When I was a freshman in high school, I would go with girlfriends to Applebees and we would all order virgin strawberry daiquiris. We felt so cool drinking those, but we wouldn’t try to do it in front of our parents, who would look at us sideways.
  7. You scream with laughter. As much as we loved our families as kids, and as much as we love our babies now, we felt free in a way we normally weren’t.  We felt joyful and full of life, and that was our way of expressing it.
  8. You talk to lots of people. When you’re finally out on your own in JH, you’re the one doing that talking, not your mother. Your opinion is the only one that matters. AB, you can suddenly make conversation with anyone about anything and stand there and talk for as long as you want! Which wasn’t always a good thing, as it might lead to #9
  9. Get talked to by someone inappropriate. In JH, it was the creepy guy in the food court who kept smiling at you when he refilled his soda. This time, it was a guy at the craps table who thought he was slick in asking about my friend’s husband. (Now that I think about it, it was probably the same guy.)
  10. Come away from it feeling very much alive. Both then and now, you laugh for days afterwards and hold on to the memories for a long time.


Be Happy

First of all, today is my birthday. 🙂 This year has been fantastic, mostly because – no, entirely because – the Wee One was in it.  This time last year I was gargantuan and having trouble breathing on my waddle to the bathroom.  Today, as I was crawling on the floor putting a new duvet cover on, my little girl was literally screaming with laughter. Screaming.  She made me jump a few times, actually, it was such a surprise.

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Top 10 Best Posts of Creo Somnium


These are the ten bests posts I like on this blog, though not necessarily the ones looked at most often. They are in no particular order.

  1. Last Words to my Dying Grandma

    It just so happens that this post IS the one most looked at. I look at Google search terms, and find that people google things about “death” “dying family member,” or “dying grandmother.”  But it made this list because I wrote it immediately after it happened, and I can remember it so clearly when I read it. That’s actually a common theme of the posts I chose: they all call back memories so clearly or in such a unique way that I love them.

Continue reading “Top 10 Best Posts of Creo Somnium”

Top 10 Best Doctor Who Monologues

I’m a Whovian, and I’ve been rewatching the series.  Not really closely, ’cause I’ve been with the Wee One, but I’m preparing to watch Cipaldi’s doctor, the 13th. (I know; I’m behind the times.)

As I rewatch it, I’m reminded of the monologues that gave me shivers the first time I heard them, and that I still go back to hear again. They reflect details of the Doctor’s history and add meaning to already interesting characters.

  1. “He was being kind.” At minute 1:40, it starts.

2. “He’s like fire and ice and rage.” This story arc is my favorite, as I’m sure I’ve said before, and there are several good speeches from it.  This is just a few lines at the beginning of the clip, but with the background score its powerful.

3. “Will they thank you?” Start at 0:44. This isn’t a monologue, really, but the delivery of this character, Baines.  I don’t think he blinks once and the way his volume fluctuates is powerful.

4. “Let someone else try first.” The speech starting at 0:40. It took me several viewings of the 11th Doctor’s stories to buy into them, but over time, I have come to appreciate that Matt Smith is a masterful speech maker.

5. “If I believe in one thing, I believe in her!” The Doctor is communicating with a mute Satan, so it’s just him talking. I couldn’t find a clip with the whole speech, and this is just the last part, but it’s cool.

6. “I watched it happen; I MADE it happen!” Again, this isn’t technically a monologue, but it’s basically Eccleston talking to a trash can with a whisk, and he carries the scene. When I first started watching Doctor Who, I started with his season and gave up many times because it seemed so hard to take seriously. This episode and this scene in particular is what really hooked me.

7. Start at 1:55. The Bill Nighy speech about Van Gogh ranking as an artist. It was beautifully written, and especially so moving because of the actor who played Van Gogh – he was fantastic, and watching him, you really got a sense of his agony and the majesty and pain of the person, so you have an idea of what the words meant to him. It’s one of the better stories, in my humble opinion, of Smith’s tenure.

8. Rose Tyler – The Parting of the Ways “You don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand. You say “no.””

9. It’s just a few lines, but the Jack Harkness speech in The Parting of The Ways.

Jack: Rose…you are worth fighting for. [kisses her passionately, turns to the Doctor] Wish I’d never met you, Doctor. I was much better off as a coward. [kisses him as well] See you in hell.

10. Martha’s “Bones of the Hand” dialogue with Nurse Joan Redfern. It was good to watch Martha stand up for herself against someone who doubted her capability.

Martha: Human. Don’t worry. And more than that, I just don’t follow him around. I’m training to be a doctor. Not an alien doctor, a proper doctor. A doctor of medicine. Joan: Well that certainly is nonsense. Women might train to be doctors, but hardly a skivvy and hardly one of your color. Martha: Oh, do you think? Bones of the hand. Carpal bones, proximal row. Scaphoid, lunate, triquetal, pisiform. Distal row. Trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, hamate. Then the metacarpal bones extending in three distinct phalanges. Proximal, middle, distal. Joan: You read that in a book. Martha: Yes, to pass my exams!

Other Whovians out there? What do you think?

10 Best Things About Traveling Solo With A Baby


This one is going to be hard to write.

The Wee One and I are flying to be with my folks over the Christmas holiday, and then flying to be with Cohiba’s family over and into the New Year. This is not normally how we do holidays, but this is the way it has to happen this year. She and I leave on Friday, and I’m quite anxious about the trip out.  In light of that, today’s Top 10 Tuesday focuses on the good things about being alone with a baby when traveling (flying).

Because, flying with a baby, even with a partner, is a feat.

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Wee One’s Christmas List


Inspired by a letter to Santa from a 10 month old baby, this week I am imagining what my Wee One would like for Christmas.

  1. Mirrors. She loves mirrors. She geeks out whenever she spys her reflection in something, and I hope that she always looks upon herself with such glee.
  2. A piece of yarn. She’ll hold it over her head, twist her hand around to watch it fall, put the end of it in her mouth. Its precious.
  3. An iphone. I rarely let her play with mine, which only increases the attraction, I know. Hence its place on her wish list.
  4. A go-go-gadget extendable arm. Something that will allow her to reach the little things like candles and keys and machetes that mom puts a little too far away.
  5. A disembodied head. Something with hair she can pull with impunity, a mouth she can fishhook, and eyes she can gouge.
  6. Paper. Lots of paper to crinkle and eat.
  7. A cord. Any kind will do: computer, vacuum, TV.
  8. Buttons. She just recently found them (sewn onto a shirt!) but I think she would like to see more. And maybe off a shirt, so she can just look at the whole button on its own.

Okay, only eight. But she’s only nine months, so to her, this is a lot. And In case anyone wonders, Santa will not be bringing her any of those things. Not because of any naughtiness but just because there are better things waiting. 🙂