Wednesday, April 30, 2008


A conversation between the bride and her sister at the wedding I photo-assisted last weekend:

S: (taking the bride's hands in hers and appraising her) Wow. You look like...Barbara Bush.

B: ...I look like Barbara Bush?

She drops her sister's hands. She looks at me.

B: Wow. She said I look like Barbara Bush???

S: No, no. Who's that...Laura. Laura Bush.

B: What???

S: You know. Stately. Very dignified.

B: I look like a Bush?

The makeup artist: I think you look like Jackie O. Very sophisticated and classic.

S: Yeah, classic. You just look so classic. I'm not used to seeing you in things like this. You're normally dressed in the latest fashions and ..well, .a bride isn't supposed to look like a fashion model. Not that you don't look...

She takes a huge swig of her champagne.

S: I'm going to stop talking now.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

13 Months

I promise I'm not trying to be one of those people, the "my kid is somthinmonths old" when they are 3 and a half, but 13 months just has more brevity than one year and one month. But such a month!

You're being so cute lately I can't stand it. Other people can't stand it. Strangers look at you and then at me, as if to say, Good lord woman, did you know this child is so cute? I'm going to have to lie down! And I look at them as if to say, Try being in the presence of this cuteness 24/7. I love my job, but the overtime? Whew!

Honestly, folks like to stop you in the grocery store all the time to chat.

"And what's your name, sweetie?"

And we both grin stupidly at you and then there is that weird pause during which I realize you aren't actually going to respond to this question so I pipe up.

"And how old is Miss Harlow?"

Again, your interpreter speaks up.

"What did you do with your shoe? Why is mommy carting you around all sockless like a hillbilly down from the cricks and hollers?"

I'm starting to feel like that mute interpreter in There Will be Blood, doing his best to keep the conversation going without Daniel Day Lewis strangling him with that mustache.

"Did mommy forget your bow?"

And my favorite:

"What big eyes you have, Miss Harlow."

All the better to see that you need to get your bow-lovin, shoe-elitist self out of the way, my pretty.

You've been a clingy monkey of late, no, clingy piglet as the sound you make when I try to put you on the ground sounds just like a squeally little pig (not unlike your early, early days when latching on sounded like piglets at the trough.) Sometimes you go to daddy, but usually you just throw up your arms like you're reffing the superbowl - your cue for me - and your little body is melded into mine. Sometimes it makes me groan and sigh as I heave you onto my hip and try to stir dinner with one hand or chop vegetables or online shop (a one handed feat in itself). But more often it makes me feel like I won the lottery. See, I totally have you pegged as a daddy's girl. You don't know it yet, but you have a seriously cool dad who who is just a puddle at your feet. He has way more patience than I. He planned your first tea party when you were in the womb. He builds you furniture and just laughs when you scream and wail (I would laugh but I'm usually trying to find a way to get the boob to you while you are strapped in your carseat). And one day the two of you are going to have tea parties in the mid-century modern tree house he built for you and drive to Bonaroo and be little hipsters together, and I will miss that ache in my low back as I bent over a a thousand times to scoop up my little ref.

But right now my back is seriously torn up.

So, to recap:

You can basically sprint as long as you are gripping someone's pinky. See torn up back, above.

All of a sudden you have a vocabulary. It's mostly Chinese with a few grunts and dog! thrown in for good measure, but you've got something to say, and the Chinese government is listening.

You are medaling in Nippolympics 08. Here's how this works. Left nipple stays on left boob. Same goes for right. It will not work any other way, so please, PLEASE, stop trying.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Elvis Costello

What with my newfound obsession of photographing artfully clumped cathair on a baby rattle, I have forgotten there are other things to write about. Like, I have a husband! We do stuff together! Like Tuesday, when we went out on the town and I left the house in 3 inch heels. There is no photographic documentation of this, so here are some word pictures.

Taut, silky calf. Pink and white striped peep-toe heel. Smokin hot...

As in the pain radiating through my achilles and blossoming in my lower back as I stood for 2 plus hours at the Elvis Costello concert.

Sadly I never actually laid eyes on Big Mama, RJA and SAM who were mere feet from us next to the Wall of Sound, but I understand that they were similarly gussied up and crippled from sexy shoes, ugly drunk people and old age in general.

Getting old sucks.

There's also that thing that happened late last night that I swore to Caleb would never, ever end up on the blog. Because some things should remain sacred, I will honor his wishes.

It's going in the screenplay instead.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

B is for...

Ball - Harlow's favorite word. She even uses it in context!

Bear - also running neck and neck for favorite word. It's more like behwuh and is the audio equivalent of riding a unicorn across a cotton candy rainbow. It's that cute.

Blue - also used in context. Once. Refuses to repeat it.

Bubble - according to Laura, used it in context when watching her blow bubbles with Diego. Also responsible for the crushing guilt I felt 0.5 seconds later that I wasn't there to hear it.

Bath time - once a fave. Now inexplicably not fun. At. All. Lots of crying, flailing. Caleb speculated that she had a nightmare about bath time. I slapped him with my loofah.

Bread - what mama made from scratch! That's right. I ruined the first batch, the second batch came out looking like a giant clownfish-shaped blob, but it was not bad! Not bad at all. Check it:





Monday, April 21, 2008

Mothers Acting Up

Did you know that Mothers Day was originally founded as an act of peaceful protest? From Wikipedia:

In the United States, Mother's Day was loosely inspired by the British day and was imported by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War. However, it was intended as a call to unite women against war. In 1870, she wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation as a call for peace and disarmament. Howe failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace. Her idea was influenced by Ann Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who, starting in 1858, had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors. In parts of the United States it is customary to plant tomatoes outdoors after Mother's Day (and not before).

When Jarvis died in 1907, her daughter, named Anna Jarvis, started the crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, on 10 May 1908, in the church where the elder Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday School. Grafton is the home to the International Mother's Day Shrine. From there, the custom caught on — spreading eventually to 45 states. The holiday was declared officially by some states beginning in 1912. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother's Day, as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war.

Nine years after the first official Mother's Day, commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become. Mother's Day continues to this day to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.

So after you're done eating out somewhere, come meet other mamas in front of Mothersville and get your parade on!

Memphis Reclaiming Mother's Day Parade
Hosted by Memphis Mothers Acting Up (MAU)

Sunday May 11
3-6 PM in Cooper-Young
(Meet at Mothersville, parade to celebration at
Peabody Park)

Around the world, mothers and others are uniting into a gigantic, educated, noisy and powerful lobby to reclaim the original peaceful purpose of Mothers' Day and mobilize for the wellbeing of all children. Memphis Mothers Acting Up invites you to be part of this exuberant revolution. Active local mama leaders will be honored by Memphis MAU during the
celebration. Please join with us in celebrating exemplary mother leadership right here in our home city!!

Kids of all ages, mothers and others are welcome. Costumes, festive hats, stilts, strollers, skates, bikes and trikes

When mothers lead, generations follow!

For more info, visit

Saturday, April 19, 2008


There's been a sad, inevitable return of late to talk of leaving Memphis in our circle of friends. I don't mean to sound exclusive; if you live in Memphis, I'm sure your circle of friends probably talk about the same thing. It's what we do when we're not eating BBQ and talking about being extras in The Firm.

So it came as a surprise to me that when my parents announced we were all taking a spur of the moment trip to Florida, I heard myself saying no. This coming on the heels of the guy that came up to my window and asked for money - as I was parked in my driveway. While I usually plot for ways to get the hell out of here, there actually were several things going on this weekend that we wanted to check out. And not only were there fun activities, Saturday delivered on its promise of being one of those achingly gorgeous spring days that helps you forget about the crime, the perpetual threat of violence, the idiot mayor and makes you just smile with pride at your frilly pink azalea bush.

Thursday I had my very first photo assisting gig with the extremely talented Jake Morrow.We spent six hours shooting a ridiculously beautiful couple in love in locations around Memphis that I had never seen, let alone heard of. I also scored some gratis cheesecake and wine in addition to the lighting lessons, so I was pretty much floating when I got home. My next gig is a wedding next weekend! And speaking of my photography, I have some really exciting news that I will be sharing soon...


After a quick trip to the first farmers market of the season, the fam headed over to Harbor Town so I could attend my neighbor/friend/trainer Kelly's boot camp. While I was getting my ass kicked, Caleb and Harlow explored the grounds of Maria Montessouri and enjoyed the festivities as today was their annual regatta fundraiser. The school is on Mud Island and overlooks Wolf River lagoon, so the students can sail and kayak. I have to admit, one look at the boats on the water and the smell of hot dogs in the air I was already envisioning walking Harlow to her first day of school. The place is kinda ridiculously charming.


As we walked in to the regatta, a little heartbreaker of a boy wheeled up and planted a sweet kiss on Harlow's cheek. Welcome to Montessouri! We were introduced to the founder of the school by an old family friend I hadn't seen in ages, and then we bumped into friends Shannon and Brian whose son Max goes to MM. Shannon pointed out the garden where the kids grow food that they harvest and then eat every Wednesday. Adorable. And green! Even better, Caleb ran into some friends working the event who announced that one of their live musical acts had to drop out, so Caleb booked a show! We ate a burger, showered up at home and headed back to the regatta so Caleb could entertain the masses.






While Harlow is her daddy's number one fan, she lost it for The Warbles. We had to drag her off the stage.


Thursday, April 17, 2008


cheesecakes, originally uploaded by medusahead.

For some people, the idea of cake and cheese is just simple.

It is Ben and Jerry.

It is Tom and Jerry.

It is Rogers and Astaire.

It is poTAYto and poTAHto

It is right.

It always seemed kinda gross to me. I guess it's a texture thing. Hey - I have a weird food thing! Well, I did until tonight. This slice of caramel apple cheesecake at the Cheesecake Corner downtown, bought for me because I was such a good little worker bee at my very first photo assisting gig - more on that later - has done converted me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Plague

Harlow and Daddy, originally uploaded by medusahead.

Awww, right?

Uh uh. Don't buy it.

We're in the middle of a plague, y'all. This sweet baby has gone and made God mad this week. We have yet another ear infection or the same epic one that just isn't going away. She's on her third round of antibiotics, this one not giving her diarrhea but still messing with her stomach. There's been crying from midnight to two for several nights now, even the magical boob failing to quiet her for long. Stupid meds. Or maybe it's the brand new incisor poking through. Oh wait, it's just Fifth Disease.

Exactly. What is Fifth Disease? Nirvana for a hyprochondriac, for starters. Sounds appropriately exotic and sightly sinister but doesn't deliver too much in the illness department. You basically get lots of snot, lots of coughing, and a weird red rash on the body that manifests like gin blossoms on the cheeks, giving Fifth its nickname of "Slapped Cheek" Disease. It's known as Fifth disease as it was the fifth of the six childhood rash-related diseases to be identified, a funfact that makes me really depressed for the medical personnel involved. All that possibility and the creative juices just sputtered and died after four?

Butter Sandwich

yummy muffin, originally uploaded by medusahead.

My apologies for turning this into arty farty food porn site of late, but come on.

You wanna eat my muffin, don't you?

Monday, April 14, 2008


muffin, originally uploaded by medusahead.

This morning I made my very first batch of blueberry muffins from scratch. There are very few things that bring out my lack of confidence like baking does. It called for weird stuff, like yogurt and lemon zest. Apparently the weird stuff worked. They weren't the best muffins ever, but not bad for a first try. To Harlow, they were the best muffins in the world. She was a head to toe smeary mess of blueberry and dough. She wanted them in her mouth, on her face, smooshed between her fingers, on her clothes, on the dog. I could smell the lemon zest in her hair when she buried her face in my neck and flung her arm around my shoulder. I want to bake everyday for the rest of my life to get thanks like that.

I love Polaroid

scanner, originally uploaded by medusahead.

At the rock n romp yesterday, we sat on a blanket in a backyard that felt like a mini Central Park. I brought my Joycam. Somerset brought her mask, so it only seemed fitting we document it. I snapped her picture, and for the next three minutes we watched her face appear in the alchemy of chemicals and polaroid magic. It made me so happy to watch her discovery of a photograph that didn't automatically appear at the back of the camera. Then it made me sad to realize in a few short years, when Harlow is old enough to appreciate the wonder of an image appearing in a polaroid, there won't be any left.

Save Polaroid.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

mama shoes

mama shoes, originally uploaded by medusahead.

Pretty shoes. Pretty light. Pretty film. Dirty scanner.

What to do with all those baby spoons

spoons, originally uploaded by medusahead.

Friday, April 11, 2008


To the squirrel I killed today with my volvo:

I am sorry. I did not mean it.

To the spider on my dashboard that I killed today:

I am not sorry. I totally meant to kill you, and I would do it again.

Stupid spider. You made me kill that squirrel.

To the cat that pissed on my new(ish) rug. And bedroom carpet. And pile of recyclables:

I called the Cat Lady today. I told her that my daughter is allergic to cats and we're looking into relocation for you. It was a white lie. She's allergic to something.

I think it's to cats that piss all over the house.

To the restaurant that took an hour to bring our food to our table (the table which consisted of 2 toddlers, me, and a pregnant woman with the shakes she was so hungry:

Pregnant ladies are scary when they are denied food. Do not ever do that to me again.

To the house keys that always manage to unattach themselves from my car key:

The two of you have got to get over yourselves and work this out. Seriously.

To the husband who had to come home from work early and let me into the house:

I am sorry.

To cocktail hour yumminess, no rain, less pollen, pretty shoes, dusk, grown up conversation:

thank you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Baby Shoes

In my cleaning frenzy I stumbled onto my old Polaroid Joycam and a bunch of expired film. This is what I saw today.

Life Choices

First as a customer and then as co-owner of Mothersville, I wanted Memphis to know what an incredibly special and unique resource they have in this store, a.k.a. The Store that is So Much More than a Store. We were thrilled to learn that we had an opportunity to move into a larger space, a space that would allow Mothersville to join forces with Trillium Womancare, that would offer a community space that could host playgroups in a space larger than a sardine tin. Plans were in the works to join forces with a certain local graphic design company to make the physical space so arresting passing cars would be helpless against the sheer awesomeness of its physical presence.

And then we got some really unfortunate news.

I would go on about it here, but why bother when it was done so eloquently here.

Monday, April 07, 2008


I was a silly domesticant today. Target. A lovely outing/playdate at the zoo. Cooked dinner (chicken tagine) for the fam. Baked cookies. Played with photoshop. All in the name of procrastination.

Berri White's Great Escape

We had a bit of drama yesterday.

Berri White escaped.

Harlow sleeps with Berri White every night. He does not have a sexy bass to lull her to sleep. He does, however, have a yummy ribbon bowtie and a body made out of soft nuzzly fur that makes the transition to the land of Nod pretty seamless. (If Barry White has a body made out of soft nuzzly fur, my apologies to him and to my readers for a very icky mental image).

But yesterday Berri White escaped.

He was not in the crib.
He was not in the car.
He was not in the rocker.
But he could not have gone far*.

The sweet baby grew fangs
And started to bellow
We gave her The Rabbit
She said Go to hell....o

She gave up the fight
and settled for the bunny.
And that's when we found Berri White
in our bed. That was funny.

I didn't put him there.
He begged me to say nothin.
I guess Berri White
got enough of Harlow's lovin.

*I tried to work in Yar here but then I was afraid Kristy might kill me

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Ice Cream of the Undead

Just beyond the house kitty-corner from where I grew up lay the remains of a forest that was being cut down and developed for a new subdivision. Every Saturday I awoke to the familiar sound of chainsaws (ironically still a comforting sound to this day)and my buddies and I (it's not that I was the only girl, I just preferred it that way)descended upon this strange new playground. We ran through the skeletons of the new homes, stole the metal "slugs" out of the houses and tried to use them as coins in the candy machine, and fashioned forts and Death Stars in the remaining swath of forest that lay between us and the new neighborhood. It's not surprising that this little corner of my childhood is usually the setting for most of my dreams.

So last night I'm surprised to find that the subdivision has encroached upon my old neighborhood. There's a few stores that now appear closed, and from the look of them, closed for decades. I peek inside a hat shop that's covered in dust and hatboxes. It's ugly, a little out of the way, but with some love and some gutting, it could totally be a new Mothersville. I find myself in a long hallway that adjoins the hat shop to a little strip mall. It's quiet, but there is a light at the end of the hallway. Lo and behold, it's an ice cream parlor. A vegetarian ice cream parlor I'm curtly informed by one of the tattooed hipsters behind the counter. In fact I'm a bit out of place here as everybody working and seated at the few tables are tattooed males in their late 30s. No one seems eager to help me as they all appear absorbed in whatever one does at a vegetarian ice cream store. I leave the store and run to find Caleb.

It's dusk out, the leaves starting to blow. I find Caleb, and as we make our way through the hat shop and long, dark hallway, I tell him about the hipster vegetarian ice cream store and what an excellent neighbor for Mothersville it could be.

The ice cream parlor door is open but strangely, all the lights are out. I flip a switch, and all the employees cover their eyes and ask me, with a strained politeness, to turn the lights back out. I find this weird but I comply, and Caleb and I step into the dark ice cream parlor. This time, all attention is on us. Well, on Caleb. I can' help but notice he fits right in.

"Can I help you?" asks a beared dude with a tattoo of a coiled serpent on his arm. He stares at Caleb. "Hey, what's your name?" he asks, still not exactly friendly, but laser focused.

Caleb grips my arm. "This really doesn't feel right," he whispers. I just want some ice cream, but I can't deny that this does feel kind of spooky.

And then a clock from somewhere starts chiming. The lights are suddenly turned on again. The patrons seated at the tables put down their spoons. The employees take off their aprons. Guys that were in the kitchen file in behind the counter. And they are all staring at us.

"How old are you?' asks the beared guy again. Caleb's hand is crushing my arm.

"We need to leave,"he hisses into my ear. The hairs on my arm start to prickle.

And then it hits me. They are all dead. All of them. And they really don't want Caleb to leave. I reach into my pocket where I find a snake. I grab its tail, ready to use it if we have to fight our way out, but the bearded guy is looking at me now, and the snake sinks its fangs into my hand. I try not to cry out. I fling the snake onto the counter. He doesn't flinch.

Caleb pulls me out of the store and we run down the long hallway into the faint light at the end. No one gives chase.

I wake up.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Paper + popup + typography+The Boswell Sisters = perfect for a rainy day

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Spring at the Memphis Pizza Cafe

more cousins

Blind Tennessee Tina, World's Cutest Harmonica Player

more bday pix

Harlow had her one year checkup on Tuesday. She clung to me like a rhesus monkey while the Doc poked and prodded her, but otherwise she kept up quite an enthusiastic discourse with the babe in the mirror. We're down to 75% in weight and height and 60& for head. So no big noggin scan for you! He said when I'm ready I can start with the milk/weaning. I don't know if I am. She just figured out the sign language for nursing and it's pretty nifty to know EXACTLY what she wants because she asks for it. Would seem a shame to take it away. Or maybe I am just scared of the hormones and the way my boobs are gonna look sans push-up bra when its all said and done. Oh good god that gives me the heebee jebees. But the fact we're both coughing and sneezing and not sleeping and nursing around the clock? The thought of weaning doesn't seem so bad.

I guess she got the memo that she is one because the jibber jabber is constant. The motoring around the house is constant. The blowing kisses, kissing me, trolling for zerberts and...wait for it...playing the harmonica - well collectively they are about to send me into paroxyms of cute overload.

She plays the freakin harmonica. She doesn't always use the correct end, but my clever girl makes up for it by providing the "hooooooo" noise herself. I'm gonna post video of it soon because it's like rainbow kitten puddle of ice cream cute.

And speaking of are the cupcakes from the party.

more bday pix

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Technical Difficulties

Because it is this blog's birthday with its fancy schmancy 40,000 hits, I remembered that I always forget about checking my own hit counter. (With 4 readers it doesn't really seem a pressing task). So I checked it, and now I  suddenly feel like I am back in high school. After March 3, when I inexplicably had 50 -something hits, that little graph that goes up and down and up and down took a nosedive and crashed at the bottom of the chart. It says that I've had one hit since March 3. One? My mom and my mother in-law read my blog daily, and as for my other 2 readers...well, that just doesn't make any sense. Unless it does. Maybe I'm just being paranoid. Maybe I'm an April fool.

Speaking of high school and birthdays, we ventured out to last Saturday to meet Caleb's family for dinner. As we climbed out of the car in the drizzle and cold, a gaggle of girls, I'm gonna put them at about 11 years old collectively, giggled and shrieked and tottered on heels and shorts toward their parents' ride. Their faces were a miasma of day-glo pink and orange, their shorts disturbingly so for being eleven and outside in the cold. I hugged my baby girl closer, and I watched her watching them as they passed.  It reminded me of a story about my dad when he was a junior at Rhodes. He and his roommate had smuggled a cat into their dorm and decided it would be fun to introduce it the statue of the Lynx on campus. My dad held kitty aloft. This sweet, domesticated baby stared into the eyes of its fierce, tribal ancestor and promptly pissed itself. 

Always stay one, I whispered into her ear. She found my nose and smiled.