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our morning

Been laying in bed for the past hour with Jude asleep on my chest, dogs at my feet. Watching the wind blow the rain through the trees outside. Trying to remember if the doors are locked. Thinking about all the laundry I need to do today. Need a drink of water and the toilet. Bum is going numb. Worried my child will never nap during the day in a normal bed, or sleep through the night without a swaddle. I’m going to have to swaddle my 30-year-old son, unless he finds a wife who’ll do it for him, but if she puts up with the swaddling she can’t be normal, right?


Let it be known that on this Friday, November 25, on the day of his two-month birthday, I awoke to discover that Jude had slept seven and a half straight hours. We’re now both wide awake at 6:30a, but I’ll take it.


the last 24 hours: a list

1. I am sick. 

I am also pregnant. 

I’ve decided pregnant sick is the worst kind of sick, because a) I cannot take anything strong enough to treat my symptoms, b) I’m worried about the little kiwi, and c) I already feel kinda off because I’m growing a human being.  Temporary solutions are going to involve hot tea for my throat, a little bit of caffeine for my headache, and hugging the humidifier that we just picked up at Bed Bath and Beyond.

2. That humidifier?  $100 Sharper Image machine.  We just picked it up for $20 because it was a display model, and one of the only ones left in the store.  I call that a win.

3. We’re about to start remodeling our kitchen.  May 9th, to be exact.  We’ve been saving for a while, and we realized that if we didn’t do it before little one arrived, it might never get done.  And it NEEDS to get done.  Bad.  I’m fairly certain the previous owners let their dogs use the kitchen drawers as a chew toy.

4. Speaking of the kitchen, our new microwave arrived today!  Get this: it’s a drawer.  Instead of having one built-in above the countertop, ours will be built in below.  It’s still in the box, but we’ve decided it’s remarkable.  We’re like the Jetsons.

5. On our way home from the doctor, we heard that Snoqualmie Pass was closed at exit 34.  We live at exit 32, so ours is the last exit you can usually take when the pass is closed.  The Pass is typically closed because they’re doing a controlled avalanche, but apparently the one today came unexpectedly.  Skiers were trapped, a car got buried…and all of this resulted in a 3 mile traffic pile up.  This never, ever happens.  There are usually several semis parked on the shoulder, but this was unreal.  We had to drive the last half mile on the shoulder just to get off the interstate.

6. I’m falling in love with this humidifier.  I’ve been sitting by it for the last hour and a half, and it’s turned my dry, hacky cough into a slightly less painful wet, hacky cough.

7. At the moment, I’m quite irresistible.

you are NOT getting those shoes

 This year I got $100 cash for Christmas.  I usually get gift cards to a few select stores that I frequent, but not often cash, so 100 bucks…pure freedom, right?  I decided to finally make good on my threats to buy a few new pair of shoes, and on Monday I trekked over to the Bellevue Nordstroms to check out some TOMS. 

For those not familiars, TOMS Shoes is a company that makes simple, comfortable shoes, and for every pair sold, a pair is donated to a child in need.  They call it the “One For One” movement, and it seems like the company has exploded in the last several years.  Every twenty something I know seems to have a pair, and they’ve gone from the simple Argentinian alpargata design that they started with to wedges, boots, and a wedding collection. 

Here, watch this:

So in summary, TOMS is a great company that takes American consumerism and uses it for good.

And they sell shoes at Nordstroms.

So anyway, I shot over to downtown Bellevue on Monday after my Seattle Humane Society shift.  This meant that I was wandering around in my uniform, smelly vaguely of dog and puppy treats, and covered in hair and fur.  No big deal, though, because it’s Monday night, so surely the mall won’t be crowded, right?

Oh, it’s the Monday after Christmas?  I forgot.

The place was packed, and by the time I trekked to the shoe department I was starting to doubt my decision to leave the house at all.  Women were all over the place, tossing boots in the air and bustling about with four and five bags tucked under their arms.  I quickly found a display of TOMS, though, and was promised that someone would be by to help me shortly. 

“Shortly” might be an overstatement, because it probably took ten minutes for a salesperson to free up.  I stood by my shoes, waiting for help, refusing to move should I lose my place in line.  As I loitered by the table, a young adult, probably early twenties, approached the table with her mother.  I think the first thing I noticed where their coordinated black velour sweatsuits.  The girl picked up a pair of TOMS and said, “Look, mom, I need a pair of these, too.”  They’d obviously already done a bit of shopping, judging from the pile of bags in their hands.

“Oh, no, you are NOT getting those shoes,” said the mom.  My eyebrows went up, but I continued to stare straight ahead, not acknowledging that I could hear their conversation.

“Mom, why not?  I need a pair of flats for when I go to the bar.  I’m not wearing heels,” said daughter. 

“Uh, because their ugly, that’s why.  You can’t wear those to a bar,” retorted mom.  I continued to stand, now a bit awkwardly, wondering if they realized that I was, in fact, hoping to purchase a pair of these atrocities.  They had continued back and forth for a minute or two when a salesperson finally approached.

“Did you need a size?  What can I get for you?”

“I need these red TOMS in an 11,” I said, resisting the urge to look at the mother daughter duo.

The clerk walked away, and mom immediately burst out laughing.

“Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe I did that,” she laughed.  “Here I am trashing these shoes, and you want to buy a pair.” 

Well, duh, I thought, that’s why I’m standing here, but I just smiled and assured her it was okay.  Daughter, though, immediately saw an ally.

“These are great, right?  I mean, I can totally wear these to a club, with jeans and a cute shirt, they’d be perfect, right?”

“Yeah, that would look great.  They’re super comfortable…” I trailed off, but mom picked up.

“How old are you?” she asked, putting her hand on my arm.

“I’m thirty,” I muttered.  I hadn’t said the number out loud since my birthday in October. 

“Well, I’m older than that,” she proclaimed, obviously refusing to share her true age, even though she’d just asked the same of a complete stranger.  “I can’t wear those, right?”

“Well, I don’t know, I guess that’s up to you…” again, trailing off.

“But mom, I’m not you,” daughter pipped up. 

“No, you’re not.  See, if it were me I’d be looking at a pair of shoes like THAT.”  She pointed to a pair of tan boots with three-inch heels that probably would have hit her mid-thigh.  Me, about mid-kneecap.  “I was wearing a pair of those when I picked up James.”

Who is James?!

“Well, mom, that’s not what I want.”  Daughter looked at me again for support.

“You know, for every pair  of shoes that’s purchased, they donate a pair to a kid in need.”  It’s probably safe to assume they hadn’t picked up that tidbit, right?


“Oh, really?  Well, I guess that’s nice,” said mom, clearly still not a fan.

It struck me in that moment that these two, like many other shoppers, had no idea that they were potentially changing the lives of children in other countries by purchasing a pair of these shoes.  In some countries, a pair of shoes means that a child will be able to go to school, will be safe from a number of life-threatening parasites and illnesses, if nothing else will get a small measure of self-esteem from being a little more clothed than they were before. 

But also, TOMS are great for clubbing.


“Well, I guess it’s up to you,” mom finally conceded.  They wandered a little bit, and by then the clerk had returned with my size.  I tried them on and got ready to leave.  Daughter made eye contact as I turned around.

“Good luck,” I smiled, and started to fight my way back through the flying boots and crush of bags.



This morning Cooper was adorable. Or at least as adorable as 70+ hound dog can be. He was darting back and forth through the house, occasionally turning to look at us and see if we were following. He followed Bentley, pawing at his head, and even put up with Finn nipping at his heels.

And then Joel left, and took the little guys with him, and from the bathroom I watched as Cooper slowly deflated. First he followed Joel to the door, then when the door shut and Coop realized he wasn’t tagging along, he slowly wandered into the bedroom with his tail and ears dragging. He stared out the window for about five minutes before dragging his lanky body into the old chair and flopping his head over the armchair.

I’m certain he was pouting.

And it worked, because for a moment I considered trying to sneak him into my tiny closet of an office.

Then I realized it would be hard for me to get anything done with a miniature horse trying to sit in my lap.