Favorites List–February 2012

What did people do before Google?  I am very sure I could not survive without its magical ability to conjure up answers to my searches for new material to read, things I want to buy but hardly ever need, and answers to nearly every question I type in (save for “what should I do with my life?”  It’s not God, folks).
In any case, here is a list of what I’ve been reading and coveting this month.  Now you can read and covet, too–luck you.
I love Donald Hall .  Love, love, love his poetry and anything he’s written, really.  And I love his wife, Jane Kenyon.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t drive to his town in NH one time.  Don’t worry, I stopped short of actually finding his house.  That would be weird and stalker-ish.  I do have SOME boundaries. 
Really, really wanting to buy this couch cover for my living room makeover.  Also need to convince my mother to give me one of her couches that she’s had for 20 years but no one sits on.  I think I can give it a new life!  My mother doesn’t agree. ;-)
Craving this buttermilk chicken.  Sent Torrey to procure chicken drumsticks today, YUM.
Big fan of this essay on parenting.  Thank you, thank you, for this dose of reality.
Currently reading this book.  And my love affair with Julia continues. 
Dying to try this flour combination from the Littleton Grist Mill, which is driveable from my parents’ vacation home in New Hampshire, but you can order it online, too.  Have heard it’s a good alternative to all-purpose.
How adorable is this?  Thinking about buying it for Liam’s room (just don’t snatch it up before I do :-)  
Listening to this CD over and over and becoming more and more fascinated with Carole King. 

Life Lesson #1: Seltzer Can Turn Into An Ice Bomb

I was trapped in my house with a potty training toddler over the weekend.  Granted, a very sweet potty training toddler who told me I was a beautiful mommy on several occasions (melt), but still: POTTY TRAINING.  It’s draining.  Despite the fact that Liam picked it up really quickly and is doing very well, it was still tiring—maybe because of all of those sprints to the bathroom.  At one point Liam literally yelled at me to “move faster!”, kind of how I would imagine a drill sergeant might bark at me if I were ever to join the army.  I’ve never moved so quickly in my life.
When I finally managed to escape the madness go on a little excursion with my sisters sans Liam, this is what I found in my car.  My first reaction was “did it SNOW in here?!” but then I realized: I had left a seltzer can in the car (along with approximately 540 crushed animal crackers on the floor, an entire library of Sesame Street books, receipts dating back to 2005, and more straw wrappers and napkins than you can count).  It’s been REALLY REALLY COLD, and apparently sub-zero weather turns seltzer cans into ice bombs.

Please don't try this at home

Luckily, Theresa offered to drive us to the supermarket.  But imagine what we found when we got to her car?  I’ll give you one guess.

Yes, it’s a water bottle. And yes, it cracked. Kate was the only sane one among us, so we made her dispose of it.

Seriously, what is wrong with us?  I’d blame Liam distracting me, but clearly the whole compound is afflicted.
To make ourselves feel better after our obvious lack of judgment, we ordered iced coffees from Coffee Express on the way to the supermarket.  Which we promptly drank half of and left the other half in the car to freeze.  Are we sensing a pattern here?
At least I can console myself that the potty training was a success. ;-)

Preschool: The Dramatic First Chapter (complete with weeping)

So, we just submitted an application for preschool. As in, an application for preschool for my baby who I swore could never leave me until he was 98 years old. Be prepared for lots and lots of crying if he is actually accepted, because right now I’m in complete denial. I keep saying things like “we’ll decide when we get the letter back from the school” and “there’s no rush making a decision.” You know what that means? I’m only in the first stage of grief. I’m sure my hand will start shaking uncontrollably when I have to write the check (well, that’s an emotional AND a financial thing, because heck, preschool is apparently worth the actual cost of your firstborn child).

Look at this face. Could you send him to school? Me neither. Come on, Liam, let’s go snuggle under your Mickey quilt and watch Winnie the Pooh again. I’m sure we can keep doing this forever.

Don't you just want to kiss him?

The flip side of this is that I’m actually hoping he DOES get into this school, because from everything that I can tell, it’s amazing. Liam is obsessed with musical instruments (obsessed like, he’ll give you a musical instrument the second you enter our house, instruct you how to hold it, and then proceed to conduct you in a song of his choosing) and this is a preschool based in a music conservatory. Lots of attention, lots of focus on the things he loves. What’s so hard about sending your child off somewhere new is that you don’t know if they will approach learning or communication or nurturing the same way—but I guess that’s part of the whole learning process, right?

Now I’m off to inspect Liam’s elbows. I’m seriously concerned his baby dimples are starting to disappear. WAHHHHHHHHHHH.