Wednesday, February 20, 2013

You never know when your greasy self will be sitting outside, talking to a fireman.



I crawled behind the couch, squinting at the carbon monoxide detector. It shrieked in my ear.

"Great."

I hit the reset button, but it kept on beeping- not constantly, about every 5 seconds.

"Ok Syndil, what do you think?"

"....."

"Good idea. Google will know what to do."

I opened the kitchen windows as I passed by, and turned the furnace off. Then I opened the front door, and hit the lock button on the screen, to keep it propped open.

Syndil shivered as a gust of 20-degree air blew into the room.

I braced her on my hip as I leaned in to type.

"Ok, google, what should I do?"

"Why are you googling this? Call the Fire Department and get out of your house!" Google answered.

I called 911, and explained that I wasn't sure if this was an emergency. They said they weren't taking any chances.

We bundled up, and headed outside. Syndil in her snow suit, me in my pajamas and Kurt's brown hoodie. Because I'm classy like that.

I could hear the sirens long before they pulled up. They made quite a few wrong turns, and I listened as they wound their way through the neighborhood.


"Maam, would you like to wait in the engine?"

I should have said yes. It would have been a lot of fun.

My neighbor ran over to see if we were ok. That was really nice.

"Syndil, remind me to bake him cookies."

In the end, it was just an old detector. But our stove is "unacceptable", so they are sending someone out from the gas company, to officially demand that we get a new one.

"Also, remind me to call the landlord."

As they were leaving, one of the men asked if I could come and dust his house, because ours is one of the least dusty homes he has seen.

You guys, I haven't dusted since we moved in a year ago. What does that say about the rest of Pittsburgh??

And then they all stopped to admire our porch screen. For about 3 minutes.

"It is such a good quality door! Look at this thick glass!"

"And see how it holds open like that? It is so well made!"

"Let's try to figure out who makes it!"

Bemused, I watched them crowd around it, searching for a logo.

And then they left.

Moral of the story? Take that shower you've been avoiding. Even if you don't plan on seeing anybody, you never know when your greasy self will be sitting outside in the light of day, talking to a fireman.




Saturday, February 16, 2013

I've never known fear like this before.



Syndil's sharp little tooth terrifies me. Nursing is really scary right now.

 


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I reached down inside myself, found a smile, and put it on my face.



Blearily, I opened one eye. Blinked. Blinked again.

He was still there.

"So, yes? You'll come down?"

What..? Why wasn't I still napping?

"Helena, come on. I've already mixed the dough. I just need your help for this next part."

Confused, I sat up and looked around the room. It was still daytime. I checked my phone. One hour since I had crawled into bed, hoping to get some uninterrupted Z's.

"Wait, so...cookies?" Was that what we were talking about?

"Yup, it's all ready! I'll meet you down there!"

I crawled out of bed, and put my slippers on. I thought about pants, but...no. Too tired for pants.

Stumbling into the kitchen, I saw Kurt carefully scooping cookie dough out of the bowl with a tablespoon, evaluating it, and then meticulously emptying it onto a cookie sheet. He paused, looking closely at the tablespoon. Then, shaking his head, he took a regular spoon, and scraped any leftover bits of dough into the little pile of future-cookie. Then he went back for another tablespoon.

I watched in silence for a minute. Our differences had never been so clear.

"It said I could use a rounded tablespoon, so I'm hoping this is right. I want them to be big."

"Sure....I'm sure it's.........fine."

I was completely engrossed by this display. He was scraping another tablespoon clean, getting every last bit off and into that perfect little pile. It was so.....irritating.

"...and then we can drop them off at people's houses! Like that old couple that haven't been to church in a few years. Remember them? They are really nice. We could swing by, let them know we are thinking about them. And then we could head over to..."

I tuned back out, thinking about my nice warm bed upstairs. 'This will be really cute in retrospect.' I mused. 'But right now, I kind of want to kill him.'

Syndil screamed happily from her swing.

He scraped out another precise tablespoon of dough.

I really wanted to punch him.

"So, what do you think? Will these be ok?"

I looked into his eager eyes, and realized that he was nervous. Was it because he had next to zero experience when it came to cookies? Or because he was trying so hard, and afraid I would shoot him down before storming back off to bed? Am I that scary?

Probably all of the above. Especially the scary part. I sighed deeply, silently. Then I reached down inside myself, found a smile, and put it on my face.

"Yes! These will be great. You did a great job. But, they are a little close together..."

I helped him move his perfect little piles apart, so that it wouldn't turn into a single, perfectly even mass of cookie all across the sheet.

After that batch went into the oven, I mixed up the chocolate chip batter.

"I just picked up 3 bags," he said, apologetically. "I didn't know which ones would be best. It seemed like it would be quicker than doing them from scratch."

"Yeah, these look great."

He watched closely when I scooped the dough out with my fingers, measuring it by sight.

"Whoa Syndil, mom has a crazy technique! Look at that, she's just eyeballing it!"

I sometimes forget that he grew up with only a single brother. Things that I took for granted are new and foreign to him.

And when it came to the peanut butter, my awesome rolling-the-dough-into-balls technique? Blew his mind.

I felt like a master chef, sharing my secrets to a captivated novice. It was electrifying. Almost made me forget about the nap I was supposed to be taking.

Almost.

When they were cooling, we stood there munching, burning our tongues on the steaming-hot chocolate bits. Syndil watched from her swing, pretending to chew along with us.

After we divided the cookies out into plates covered with saran wrap, we looked at the leftovers. Tons of peanut butter, some chocolate chip, and only 3 of his large, tablespoon-size chocolate chunk cookies.

We each grabbed a chunk, and as we finished Kurt said, "You know, we are going to have to fight over that last one."

"Nah. You can have it."

"No. We are going to fight over it."

"It's ok. I don't mind. It's all yours."

"NO."

I looked up, surprised at the intensity.

"We are going to fight over it."

He stared me down.

I blinked. He didn't. I swallowed. He kept on staring. It was...intense.

".....ok. yeah. we will."

Satisfied, he grabbed our daughter, and headed towards her carseat.

"Now, go put on some pants."

Yes, sir.

I'm still not quite sure what that was all about.

But that cookie? Is mine.

Right after I nap.


---------------------------------


How sacred are your naps?

Does your spouse do anything adorable, that secretly drives you crazy??

And am I really that scary?


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Why I named my daughter Syndil.





My daughter, Syndil Willow

Some of you have asked how to pronounce it. It sounds just like "spindle", without the "p". Sin-dle. Or Sin-dil.  And it means "Strong, beautiful child of Helena."

That's the official meaning.

Well, it could be. There is no meaning, actually, that I've been able to find. It is too new. So I think that means I get to make one up. Maybe "Gassy child who loves feet." Or "Strong of heart". I'm open to other suggestions.

Most people like it. Some people hear "Cybill" or read "Sydney." Which is not a big deal. And a lot of people, mostly old ladies, look at me like I'm crazy.

So, where did it come from?

I've always liked it. I first heard it when I was a teenager. I told my mom about it (we were always talking about baby names), and she loved it. She was a fan of unusual, pretty names, and this one was both.

She died when I was 19.

It has been in the back of my mind, and the top of my list ever since.

I'm so glad Kurt liked it, it meant a lot to me. She would have loved any name, I'm sure, but it made me feel close to my mom to use it.

And Willow just sounded perfect with it.




A few days after we named her, Amber, my sister, mentioned something that surprised me.

"You know, Syndil Willow sounds a lot like your favorite word."

".......Huh. Yeah, it does. But I swear I didn't name her after the word Windowsill."

"Sure you didn't."

You guys, I really didn't. Yes, Windowsill has been my favorite word since high school. I love the way it sounds. The hollow W and O sounds. The delicate "Sill". To me, it is the perfect word.

(Whatever, I'm not that weird. You have a favorite word too. Right?)

...and yeah. Syndil Willow does sound a whole lot like Windowsill.

But it is a coincidence.

And that's it. that's how I came up with her name.

----------------------------------------

So how about you? How did you come up with your kids names? You can write about in a comment here, or do it on your blog and link it up to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

Also, any suggestions for what Syndil could mean?

And what is your favorite word?


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

These brownies are just a delicious side note.



This is a Wordful Wednesday post. Because sometimes pictures need a thousand words.




"Hey Kurt, I made you a brownie." 

"Wait, "A" brownie? Not a whole pan?" 

"...It's been a rough day." 

-----------------------------

Yes, if you follow me on Instagram, you have already seen this photo. Such is life.

Have you ever done something like this? And did you regret it? Because, my biggest regret about the whole thing happened the next day, when I realized that if I had hidden that last brownie? I could have been eating it right then. Sometimes being a kind, sharing wife has its drawbacks...

And no, I don't think this is why I haven't lost all the baby weight. I'm thinking it's mostly genetics. And the fact that I've been looking at my Jillian Michaels DVD's and thinking "I should really start that," since October. These brownies are just a delicious side note.

-----------------------------

By the way, I am hosting a giveaway on the Life in the Pitts Facebook page right now. It's for Valentine's baby leg warmers. Have you entered? Here is the link!




Sunday, February 3, 2013

So this is what it's like to be a mother.



"Dear Father,

Please take every thought or wish I've ever had for my own health, safety, and happiness;

and replace it with a prayer for my daughter,

that she will live a long, full, and happy life."

It is my plea every night, and my prayer every morning.

.....So this is what its like to be a mother.


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