Monday, November 18, 2013

Bye. See you.

When anyone opens the door to go outside, Ivy says, "Bye! See you!" And because every time she says it, someone does in fact exit the apartment, she's started to use the phrase to get rid of any unwanted presence. 

Like when she's playing in her room, and Stephen or I pop a head in to check on  her, she'll say,"Bye! See you!" and shut the door on us. 

She alternates between favorite parents. She'll track down me or Stephen depending on the day, cuddle next  to the preferred person, and if the not-preferred person tries to join the party, she says, "Bye. See you." And pushes them away. 

If we tell her to eat her dinner,  she says, "Bye. See you."

If we ask her to pick up her mess, she says, "Bye. See you."

So. There's that.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Look, Mom!

I'm writing a book. More specifically, I'm writing the text for a picture book.

The talented illustrator Megan Geilman asked if I would be interested in a collaboration, and my first thought was "No. Too scared." Because I am scared. I'm scared of disease, I'm scared of tarantulas, and I'm scared of publishers. So scared that I haven't submitted anything for publication since college graduation. Without professors to hold my hand or student workshops to validate my work, it's become remarkably difficult to feel confident in my writing. It's a big, lonely world after school, and for the past three years I've been hiding from rejection. But it's time to be brave. So I'm writing a book.

It might take a while. Publishers might hate it. We might print off copies for our families and call it good. Or we might start a kickstarter campaign, release an app, or take advantage of any of the other many options the internet has made available. Regardless I'm writing a book and that's really scary but also really exciting. And the more sketches Megan sends me, the more exciting it gets.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The plague on modern marriages

I'm cheating on my husband.

Sorry. That was a cheap trick to grab your attention.

I'm not having an affair.  But I am being what one might call unfaithful.

Here's the thing. I am working on a long, tedious project that requires three to four hours of my time every day. I don't like to spend those hours in silence, and the work is menial enough that I can have the television on and not have a decrease in production or quality. These circumstances and subscriptions to both Netflix and Hulu Plus make for some hard core binge viewing.
I spent a couple of weeks devouring Scandal, with no ill-effect on my marriage. Stephen doesn't much care for Olivia Pope or her overly-edited, overly-acted show. But then I ran out of episodes and needed a new show.

At first it seemed like the happiest of happenstances that I should stumble on The Good Wife in my streaming "recommendations for you". Four seasons, with twenty-three episodes episode per season. I was set for months. But there was an unforeseeable problem: The Good Wife is a really great series. So good that I took to watching it beyond working hours. And since Stephen is my husband and cohabitates (fun fact: not a real word) my apartment, he noticed that The Good Wife is a really great television series and started bingeing (fun fact: not a real world) with me. Which was great! Spousal bonding! Shared interest! But. I still have this project that requires three to four hours of my day and I still like having the TV on during those hours. I try to fill the time with other shows, but there is only so much current watchable programming and I burn through that pretty quickly.

I just can't stay away. Guiltily I hit play over and over again, watching two, sometimes three episodes while Stephen is at school. Sure, he can catch up on these later, but it's not the same as sharing reactions to the shenanigans of the Lockhart and Garnder crew together. I  know what I'm doing is wrong and I know I need help.The show maybe be The Good Wife, but I am not.

Monday, November 4, 2013

you want to take my picture cuz I won't remember

Historically the Stephen and Meg Walter Family have not been fans of being photographed. One time my parents framed a picture and gave it to me for Christmas. It was a picture of me surfing in Hawaii. A fun memory. A really thoughtful gift. But I cried when I opened it because I thought I looked absolutely wretched. And Stephen would rather get diagnosed with lupus than be in front of the camera. So we have all of four photos of us as a family. Until now. My dear friend Rachel  managed to take not just one, but twenty photos that I can stand to look at and actually like. It's a goshdarned miracle. 

Friday, November 1, 2013


If Ivy could speak more than two words at a time, she'd probably tell you that she had mixed feelings going into Halloween, but now that she's eaten M&Ms for breakfast and a Tootsie Pop for lunch, she's decidedly in the Pro-October 31 camp.

Her real hang-up was the costume. 

At first she was okay with it.

Then she thought about it.

And after some reflection, Ivy decided it just wasn't for her. It could be that the hat just wouldn't stay on straight. It could be that the pig suit adds ten pounds. It could be that I didn't even think to ask her which animal  she would like to emulate on Hallow's Eve. If I had asked, these would be pictures of her as a frog. For the past week she's declared "I Fra!" (I'm a frog) and bounced around the apartment yelling, "Ribi!" (Ribbit).  But I didn't ask, and Ivy found that upsetting.

Sure, I felt bad about my total disregard for her opinions and preferences, but we had places to go and people to see and very little time to get Ivy on board with pigdom. So I resorted to the  oldest trick in the book. "Ivy, you look soooooooooooo cute!" I said over and over while showing Ivy her own reflection. 
"I Pee Pee!" (piggy), she finally said. Flattery works every time, on every one. 

Then of course, Trick or Treating was the best thing to ever happen to her. The dogs. The other kids. The decorations. She had to take it all in at every house, spending an excessive amount of time staring at the candy, talking to the puppy, or trying to invite herself in to strangers' homes, so all in all we made it to about ten doors in an hour, the spoils of which have kept my little fra on a sugar high all morning, and she's been ribbi-ing from one room to the next. What a great holiday.