I’ve started getting in the tub with Rainbow. It’s great.

It started the way it did with the other boys: my sore feet hanging over the side of the tub to soak. Grimacing a bit when he peed in the tub, rationalizing that a little diluted baby pee never hurt anybody. The cold I’ve developed sealed the deal: the warm water was awfully compelling, and I took the plunge.

As with the other boys when they were babies, he was so excited when I got in. Giggling: You’re getting in TOO??? and making room and handing me toys. It’s so sweet, and it’s so much more immediate and natural to play with his bath toys when I’m right there with him. He loves having the warm water poured on his back and tummy and hands, and he has a car that we zoom around the tub.

I think there was a tiny part of me that was a little worried that F would be ghouled out if she knew I took baths with him, but I realized that’s ridiculous. Not that everybody should bathe with their babies if they don’t feel like it, but that’s the kind of Mama I am. I like to take baths with my babies, especially at the end of they day when we’re both kind of worn out, and I think it’s healthy for babies to learn that there’s nothing gross or shameful about nakedness.

It’s nice.

it could only end with a bath

but it was totally worth it.

Yogurt + banana chunks + spaghetti = happy little baby.

Today, a one year old Rainbow.

His party will be Sunday afternoon. He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s going to have something pretty tasty put before him on that tray.

the day before

Embarrassingly, Daddy J and I thought today was the 26th for the first half of the day. I dressed Rainbow in his special one year old t-shirt, we wished him a happy birthday this morning before three-fifths of the family headed off for work and school, and Daddy J posted happy birthday wishes to the babe on Facebook.

But, yeah, it’s the 25th. Ha ha ha.


This time one year ago, we were about to eat dinner with the big boys and head upstairs to watch a movie, and F was thinking about heading to the hospital. After the movie, I was still upstairs talking to the boys when Daddy J came up, having just listened to his voicemail from the social worker.

Everything’s okay, don’t worry, it’s all okay. F is in the hospital. Whatwhatwhat?? It’s all okay. He’s being born. We burst into action, packed with a fury, and got about two hours of pseudo-sleep before our morning flight.

Rainbow came a few days early, but he was big and ready to be here. Peachy and vigorous and magnificent.

Two years ago I’d have wanted to swat the adoptive mama in this story, or at least wanted to cringe and run. We read and heard all these great adoption stories, but I kind of secretly knew that it would never happen to us like that. It wouldn’t really work out so well, if it worked out at all. Prospective birthparents would meet us and run, various awful problems would arise during the pregnancy and adoption, it would all be a bust.

But he’s here, almost one year old, and it’s been just too blissful for words. I don’t know what to say that’s not cliched or cloying, but it’s just been… wonderful. We got to know F and J and feel very comfortable with them, they got to know us, and Rainbow is home with our family.


Random Kindness

Just found out that it’s Random Acts of Kindness Week, Feb. 15-21.

I’ve never participated in this before, although we have donated and helped out in Ward’s honor and it is such a great feeling to do something nice while thinking of him. I’m trying to think of things to encourage the boys to do to mark this week, and hope to make it a yearly event for us.

book reviewing

****Spoiler alert!!!****

I want to talk about a couple of the Barbara Kingsolver books I just readThe Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven, so, um, quit reading if you might want to read them someday and haven’t. They’re a great read, so you really might want to pick them up.


SO, I just finished Pigs in Heaven. I didn’t realize that it involved the same characters as The Bean Trees until I started it. Which was good, because I was all anxious about what would happen to the characters at the end of the first book, and bad, because I was all anxious during the whole second book about their fates.

Those of you who have read these books: It occurred to me that Taylor’s cluelessness is in artistic opposition to her tough-girl attitude. I got so annoyed with her actions, especially with the adoption, but is she supposed to be this blend of naivete and grit? Is that the deal? Being not worldly, and yet still brazen enough to fight to live in the world?

The mangled adoption aspect, obviously, was hard to read. It was a pretty big pill to swallow that a young adult would think it was okay to “adopt” a baby just like that, not to mention the paperwork stuff they finagled. But, I guess that’s just part of Taylor’s dual character, perhaps? Dumbass/smartass?

I wonder how often Native American adoptions by non-tribal AP’s happen nowadays? Anybody know? Is it super-rare?

I enjoyed reading the argument about keeping the tribe intact; I had never had those issues presented so clearly.

I’m also wondering if life on the res is really like that, because it was pretty darn idyllic in the book. Anybody know? The extended family closeness? The awesomeness of the Stomp Dance??


Not because I don’t love you, but because life is in fast-forward right now, I present:

The Bulleted Updates

(…erm… can’t see how to create bullets…)

Make that:
The NUMBERED Updates

1. The Ball was magnificent. We worked away on Friday and Saturday (some of the ladies late-ish into Friday night, even) and got it all decorated and bid sheets made and tables set and Whew. The wrap-up meeting is coming up, but preliminary estimates look like we netted $35 thousand, which is GREAT, and should build a house for someone in our community.

2. My dress fit, at any rate. The entire look I’m a little uncertain about. I’m kind of afraid to look at the pictures, honestly. I sort of knew the flower for my hair was too big, but I really wanted to wear it… At one point I confided in a friend that I felt like maybe it was all a bit much and overdone, and that I sort of felt like a tranny, and WITHOUT BATTING AN EYE she said something very close to, Oh, but that’s just how you ARE, that’s how you DRESS. You look great, but I would never wear something like that MYSELF.

Errrrrhhhhhhmmm… I think I need a stylist.

3. Valentine’s Day was probably the BEST EVER this year. Except that Daddy J got sick. But that didn’t happen until the next day, so the day itself was AWESOME. We saw Avatar at the IMAX, and I loved it so much I just wanted to pop all throughout. Visual treat, moving story, all full of positive yearnings and loveliness. (O! How I loved the phosphorescent forest! O! How I did!)

Then we went to dinner at the Opryland Gaylord (cue Butthead: Uh-huh-huh-huh… You said, “Gay Lord) (Yes indeed, The Commodore and Rockinrolla have discovered Beavis and Butthead, heaven help us) and I just delight in walking around that hotel, as we did with the Louise Mandrell event. Just fairyland delight, everywhere you turn. We went to bed in our lovely room early-ish, and I left Daddy J sleeping the next morning to go to my Ultra Magnificent Valentines Treat: a facial at the super-posh spa there. O! the decadence and utter perfection of the whole thing! O! THIS is why I envy the super-rich: they can get super-deluxe facials whenever they want.

And Daddy J got flu-y symptoms and we went right home, so that was no good.

(He’s still fairly sicky, but on an upward trend.)

4. Rainbow is just the smartest little trick in shoe leather (to channel my Grandma Newton.) He now waves (with both hands!), knows how big the baby is (SO big!), walks all over the place, ANNNND stacks blocks now, instead of knocking them down immediately like Godzilla. (The stacking thing made me cry today. He just up and DID it.)

5. The Bread Machine has been seeing a whirl of activity of late. Turns out the big boys love fresh bread, and since they eat a lot (ahem) it’s nice to have something very wholesome on hand for them to munch on. I made a loaf today with 1/3 soy flour (protein bonus!) and fruity baby yogurt, and
Rainbow thinks it’s pretty darn nomtastic.

6. The Part Time Job from home via computer is going quite well. It means that I don’t have so much free time to blog, because I jump on the puter to work as soon as Rainbow goes down for a nap, but the cash flow is a good thing.

Whew. I hope you’re doing well. I’ll post some pics of my youngest little man soon.

Who will be ONE YEAR OLD on the 26th.

rolling on

Things of late are so rich and varied and mostly-delicious, I feel like I’m living in a decadent, perfect bread pudding with the occasional soggy raisin.

The Fishmaster Commodore is in the process of applying to Rockinrolla’s school, which is the same high school Daddy J and I attended, and which is an easy walk from our house. I think he’ll love it and thrive there, although the prospect of saying goodbye to his current school, which I love, is very sad.

(A temporary goodbye: I’m pretty sure Rainbow will go there in third grade.)

Ball planning is going quite well. Rainbow spent Monday night again with Grandma L so that I could work on ball stuff Monday and Tuesday, and I missed him so much that I had to stay up reading just to get tired enough to fall asleep.

(Barbara Kingsolver! Loving her! Warm, unpretentious, subtly stated gems, and totally making me want to go live in Arizona for awhile.)

But I did get a lot of very necessary stuff done. Tuesday was a MAJOR WORK DAY for the ball, and we all were in high gear, so it was a huge bonus to get up early and get going on stuff. And I know I’m totally spoiled with all the grandparent babysitting. No one ever cares for that boy who isn’t smitten with him. I just get sad when I’m away from him.

***whine… whine… sniff…***

And have been basking in our time together since he came home.

Anyway, the ball is going to be GREAT. Donations have piled in, the place will beautiful, and it looks like the weather will cooperate.


Rainbow is quite the walker. Walky, walk, walk. Also, quite the finger food eater. He’s all into cheddar soy cheese slices and banana chunks at the moment.


Daddy J turned 39 on Tuesday.


Although, I think he and I are both not so disturbed about aging right now. I don’t like the extra effort I need to put into keeping in shape (bleh) but Daddy J’s been doing it, and is in awesome shape, getting pants taken in and looking really fit and muscular and awesome.

Age, schmage.

We’re laden down with gifts and pressed in close with loved ones.


I was wondering today when my last visit dream from Ward was. It seems like it must have been months and months ago. I wonder when/if he will visit me again and press his cheek against mine, and when I’ll hear him laugh, and when I can run my fingers through his curls.

I wonder if the window is closing because death (Death) is further away. When the memory was fresh and the wound was open and I’d so recently spent time with Death in the room, maybe all the signals and touches and visions from Ward came through better. They were more familiar: I’d just seen them in true form. (I’d be more likely to catch snippets of spoken French when I was just returned from a trip to France, right?)

I don’t think he’s backed off on purpose; I think that if I wanted/needed him close, I’d feel him close. He’d respond to me. I know it.

But I still do miss him, of course. Still pull up the memory of that cool, creamy cheek on my face when I hugged him.

Wonder what he’s doing tonight.

trivial, totally

So, each of the last few years the ladies on the Habitat board with me have tried to get all matchy for the upcoming ball. It’s one of the reasons I love it so ridiculously much – it sometimes feels like I’m back in college or high school with fun girlfriends who all want to wear the same colors to a big event as a show of sisterly solidarity.


Anyway, this year the colors are black and silver. Silver is a bit iffy with my coloring; sometimes it works, but I kind of need a tan to pull it off. I bought a very beautiful silk gown (on clearance) from J.Crew with gifted Christmas shopping money that is simple and elegant and my favorite color: a cranberry/wine red.

It’s prettier than it looks. The shoulders have this nice pleated thing going on, and the color is just gorgeous. I have this enormous wine red flower clip/pin that I was thinking I would affix in my hair. I haven’t had my hair done for an event in a long time, but it seemed like a great idea to put it up in a twist, leave the heavy bangs and some tendrils, and then clip the flower to the side of the twist like a senorita.

So, there’s that. Elegant, simple, and my favorite color ~ but not the matchy colors that will make me look like I’m part of the Habitat team.

I bought this one, too, which I adore and which was kind of an ebay splurge:

I love it, love it, LOVE IT. Love that black lace over the nude stretch satiny stuff, love the cummerbund in wine red, love the swishy skirt. The colors are close enough to make me matchy with the girls, which is certainly a bonus.

However, it won’t zip up. I bought it in the size that ought to fit, even with my SAHM’s squishy tum, but, alas, no. That cummerbund just ain’t happening. The zipper makes it up to there and that’s all she wrote.

I tried on various boned and painful foundation garments yesterday at a department store and decided that’s not the ticket. Not that I’m anti; it’s more that they just don’t work with the cut of this dress. So I thought I’d stick it in the closet to see if I end up losing weight before next year’s ball, with vague plans to ebay it at some point if that falls through. But friend D came over today and went wild for it and just insisted that I make it work.

So, I’m thinking that my big wine red flower pin will come into play, covering up where the waist had to be let out in the back. A big red flower on my back…? Pretty, maybe? The seamstress who (handily) lives right behind me is coming over tomorrow while Rainbow naps and we’ll see what the deal is.

This may all sound like a silly little fluffernuthin, but it’s fun for me. I love the whole thing. I love that the ball is smallish and manageable and I get to be a part of it, I love the charity it raises money for, and I love getting all fancy with my friends once a year. And it’s great that if dress #2 falls through, I have an excellent option with dress #1, so I’m not even stressed about it.

Ball planning is coming right along, by the way. The decor is going to be somewhat modern and cool, if I do say so myself, and I can’t wait to do my favorite task: coming up with the catchy and silly titles and descriptions for the auction bid sheets. With the vigorous efforts of committee members, including some new, vivacious, and charming ladies on the team, auction offerings are going to be varied and valuable.


I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Chemo Angels and Senior Angels are wonderful, wonderful programs.

I wrote to someone via the Chemo Angels Card Angel program and it was incredibly meaningful to me. The Card Angel program isn’t that demanding – just a card or letter about every week. There is also the regular Chemo Angel program where you send small gifts as well (which I did on occasion anyway) but I was leery of committing to that since I don’t get to stores a whole lot to buy little gifty things.

I know I’ll do it again when my schedule clears up a bit, but right now, with a project I have started, taking care of wee Rainbow, and writing F once every week or two, I think I will postpone committing an Angel program for a little while longer.

But: They are in need of volunteers. I got this message from the Angel administrator:

Due to the tricky economic times as well as the recent holiday season, quite
a few Angels have had to resign during the past few months. We are in
serious need of new volunteers. Please help us spread the word! Tell your
friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers — anyone you feel would make a
great volunteer. We need Chemo Angels, Card Angels and Senior Angels. Send
interested parties to our website, or .net to apply.
Thank you so much!

If you have time to commit to writing to someone weekly, this is a great experience that I don’t think you’ll regret. Click here to learn more.

oh, hi!

Days are flying by nowadays, for good and active and purposeful reasons.

The boys are wonderful, the outdoors is snowmelty, some of the animals are playing with fire.

(e.g. Karen SHARPENED HER CLAWS on one of my favorite oil paintings.)

How about some videos?

Here we have Rockinrolla playing with a brother-loving Rainbow:

And here’s my walking man, a couple of days ago (note the proud smile):

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