Blog a la Cart

Month: April, 2012


I typically fare very very poorly during times of transition. HOWEVER! I have not once ugly cried during this moving process. Nary a tear has been shed!

James is thanking the Emotional Stability Gods.

And I’m thanking our dear friend, Tine, for all of her support. From the use of her truck and husband and babysitting skills and organizational expertise and rogue supply of prescription pain killers, we survived Saturday’s proceedings and James slept very very soundly despite a very very sore back. Also, Courtland’s babysitter is single handedly responsible for boxing and sorting and organizing the entire house in preparation for this weekend. And my mother, who is always my rock, and entertained my children and dug up plants and berries and flowers and schooled us on how to manage our perennial garden beds. I don’t know what I did to deserve these amazing women in my life, but lord knows I owe them my sanity, my marriage, my gardens, and a stiff drink.

While James and I are typically a great team, our first born personalities take hold during tasks such as say, moving an entire household, and we have very different ideas as to how and in what order such tasks should be accomplished. It was best for all involved that we had friends running interference on the power of birth order. Admittedly, James and I were left unattended for a brief hour Saturday morning and during that time there was one altercation involving a couch and a doorway built for a family of twigs. The couch suffered some tearing, but both our egos are still intact. And by that I mean, I told you that the door was too narrow, JAMES.

I’ve reached a point of exhaustion, so I’ve been anticipating a meltdown of epic proportions as is typical when I am in a state of flux and physically and emotionally drained. Fortunately, I have yet to exhibit any 3-year-old-esque behavior. Given that meltdowns are of a frequent nature in our household thanks to a one Miss Addison Weeks, James is well-equipped to manage the impending fall out. We’re both hopeful that I won’t require a 15 minute time-out and some “thinking” time in my bedroom.

I’d like to believe that’s because despite all of the madness, and the disorder, and the upheaval, and the busy, demanding kids, I know that all of this is absolutely worth it. Somehow, even when I’m up to my eyeballs in bubble wrap and packing tape, all I need to do is step outside on the back porch and listen to the stream running through the property, and everything just relaxes. I feel all the tension fall from my face. My eyes soften. My cheeks slack. And I know. And that’s all I need to then step back inside and keep going. I absolutely know how disgustingly and nauseatingly lucky we are. I carry that gratitude with me everywhere I go.

In fact, I feel so fortunate that I find the corners of my mouth breaking into stupid grins of delight while performing the most inane of tasks, like say spraying bug repellent down the poop hole as a wasp makes his way up the shitter. I kid you not. Good news? Toilet is now reinstalled so there is no risk of wasp intrusion via the plumbing. Whew! We can all breath a sigh of relief and go back to grinning like the stupidly lucky idiots that we are.

Last night James and I lay in our new bedroom, our heads tucked up under the slanted roof, gazing out our sky light at the rising moon…

I feel like I’m sleeping tucked inside the bow of a sailboat.

I feel like I’m camping.

And there we were. Reliving our childhoods as we laid the groundwork for our children’s.

Sisterly Love

This weekend we will somehow move all of our material possessions to the farm with this motorized babe and busy preschooler in our midst.

Wish us luck. Or send rum. Preferably Goslings.

Long Term Relationship Barbie

I don’t know how I missed this Internet meme, but thank god that balance has been restored in the universe. The original image can be found here.

Yesterday evening, I texted with Kaki’s FGM (Fairy Godmother) about her homecoming with baby and the joys of one’s milk arriving…. what? You thought all the biological mayhem stopped after baby was delivered? Have you not read all my oversharing from spring of 2009 and summer of 2011? I suggest you check the archives for the full scoop because the fun doesn’t stop with baby being born – you’ve got to birth a placenta, constrict your uterus, rock mesh undies filled with ice and padding, toughen up your nipples to a baby’s suckle, and experience the engorgement of milk coming in, all on approximately negative hours of sleep. We tend to forget to talk about the aftermath, probably because we’re so sleep deprived and drunk off a raging imbalance of hormones and maternal love that we block it out long term, but the first few weeks postpartum are even more outrageous than the weeks prior to baby’s arrival. I repeat, Month 10 is worse than Month 9. And that’s saying a lot given the discomfort of the final weeks of pregnancy.

ANYWAY! Right, so milk coming in… may I recommend padding your bra with cabbage leaves? I may. Want to know the perfect homecoming gift for a new mama? A head of cabbage. And a gallon of ice cream.

You’re welcome.

In G’s text she commented, “This shit is glamorous, yo. Have you seen the pic of ‘Long Term Relationship Barbie’? Pretty much.”

And if that doesn’t sum up the household of every new parent, I don’t know what does. It just needs a poopy diaper, a dirty burp cloth, and a milk stained nursing bra to really drive the message home. Something like this or this, perhaps.

Note: The artist who created the original image for the meme above is Mariel Clayton. Her work is extremely provocative and disturbing, so be warned before clicking over and taking a look. I personally find it brilliant. Horrifyingly, nauseatingly brilliant.

The first of many…

And so it begins. The onslaught of school portraits.

Despite a positively pitiful, nay, comical selection of back drops, this photo of Sunny is quite endearing. Posed, but sweet. Staged, but cute. I mean just check that expert hand fold.

Her teacher commented that it looks as though a flower is blooming from her cranium. Hey, it was that or the recent “four braid” look she’s been rocking like a deranged hippie.

Blossoming noggin’ it is!

(Dress: Ode Kids Gabby; Headband: Crew Cuts)

Home Is Where the Cart Is

On Saturday, we will become fulltime residents of Vermont.

During the past four weeks of home ownership, we’ve torn out cabinets. Ripped down a wall. Demolished some tile. Removed a toilet. Repurposed a cabinet as a sink vanity. Laid down a hot pink floor. Reinstalled a toilet. Reconstructed a wall. Repainted the entire downstairs living rooms. And, thanks to the urgings of those with better judgement and sense than us, paid someone to remove a very large tree dangling precariously over some power lines and Addison’s new bedroom.

If left to our own devices, James may very well have turned into the Wicked Witch of the East. Flattened by the offending tree in a brazen effort to DIY Tree Removal.

Home ownership suits us (and our idiotic DIY impulses) quite well.

We may bring the house down in the process, but we’ll blame YouTube. This haven of all things Home Renovation has become our primary source of education and know how. I now feel fully prepared to repair a flange and install a wax ring before reconnecting the toilet.

Words I never thought I’d utter, let alone perform. And yet, here is evidence of said flange/wax ring/toilet reinstall.

Please note how smashingly James’ complexion compliments the new floor.

So how did this all happen? How, mere days after declaring a year sans pomp or circumstance, did we lay eyes on this little Vermont farm and fall stupidly, joyously, irrevocably in love?

For this I blame my little sister. She was an easy target in childhood, so why not now, as a grown adult? She’s the reason I have a tattoo and a soft spot for setting the table. And now she’s the reason I own a house.

In fact, she is often my reason. The rational calm to my lack of impulse control. The quiet ying to my booming yang.

I think I’ll keep her around….

On the heels of the holiday season and this post, Kimmy forwarded me an email from her lab partner on Cape Cod regarding a home for sale in Pownal, Vermont, the neighboring VT town to Williamstown. The sellers were dear friends of her lab mate and were circulating a flyer about their home in the hopes of a private sale. Kimmy said that the house looked adorable. The description lovely. She had to pass the information our way.

James and I thought, “What’s the harm?” It never hurts to look around, as ONE DAY, we’ll want to own our own home. And it sounded like this couple was worth getting to know given that we live in such a small, tight knit community. It didn’t hurt that anytime we mentioned their name, people would declare, “Oh I LOVE Jackie and Tim!”

I made the phone call, and a day or two later we were touring the house. The whole drive out (and by WHOLE DRIVE OUT, I mean the 10 minute ride four miles north), I bemoaned the commute declaring that I would never EVER be up for this ride every day. Dirt roads? So not my thing. Sure, we could look, but man, never ever ever.

HA! Ha, ha, ha.

Because then we arrived.

To this adorable home surrounded by garden boxes and mountain views…

To this swing set that is the stuff of preschool dreams. And to those chickens free ranging…

To this babbling stream that you can hear running from just about anywhere on the property. For a girl who grew up by the sea and is now committed to living in a land locked mountain valley, this is worth gold…

To this barn…

The barn we’d always dreamed about having, complete with wood shop for James, craft room and photo studio for moi, and chicken coop and livestock stalls for my collection of additional dependents. Sheep for my knitting problem hobby. And Momar is making claims of pony gifting. My girls may be THOSE girls. Pony girls.

And this view…

It was at this very spot that James and I paused. Turned to each other. And in a moment of total clarity and mutual understanding said, “Shit.”

Shit indeed.

There was no unseeing what we had just seen.

The whole thing. Our dogs. Our girls. Here. In this place. Our family. Fulfilling all the dreams that we had dared whisper when envisioning a life together. Curled up in flannel sheets as two stupid college kids, making plans to move back to this place where we had fallen in love so that our children could grow up surrounded by its majesty. With views. And land. And babbling brooks. And towering sun flowers. And hills for sledding. And fruit trees. And barns. And muddy boots. And dirty finger nails. And a sky filled with stars. And noisy frogs. And chirping birds. And peace.

A safe harbor. In the mountains.

And here it was. Right in front of us. All we had to do was figure out how to make it happen.

And so we did.

And we’re finally ready to move in and truly call her our own.

Cartwheel Farm.

We’re home.

Currently Reading

I was a Women and Gender Studies Major. I give this post two very enthusiastic thumbs up. 5 Reasons You Should Major in Women and Gender Studies:

It’s not so much a career choice as it is a life choice; you’re adopting a new perspective that you’ll use in every relationship, every job, and every circumstance.


As though I needed one more reason to swoon over Zefron.

Stick a fork in me, folks.

As always, thanks to my lil sis for getting this on my radar.

Beautiful Baby Brie

We’ve taken a pause from the moving madness to soak up this beauty.

Courtland’s Fairy Godmother delivered Gabrielle early this morning. Two weeks ahead of schedule.

It’s amazing how new life has the ability to stop time in its tracks while simultaneously reminding us that life plows ahead, outside of anyone’s control. Unplanned. Unpredictable. And utterly breathtaking.

Welcome Baby Brie. We are so happy that you’re here.

Currently Gawking

How much do I wish I were this baby?


Instead I’m surfing the crimson wave and rocking the corresponding hormonally-induced migraine. Admittedly, watching this provided some much needed relaxation in the wake of one crazy busy, sleep-deprived albeit mighty productive weekend. Operation: Become Vermonters is in full effect.

Speaking of Dora

Wait for 1:29. It’s worth it. Promise. Almost as great as this video. But honestly, it’ll be tough to ever top that gem.