Category Archives: phoebe rant


I am my mother’s child in many ways, however I pride myself on knowing my right from my left.  That being said, living here for six months is going to mess me up in ways I did not anticipate.


Sure, they drive on the other side of the street here, the wrong side.  But that is nothing.


The light switches.  To turn them off, you switch them up.  I know,  crazy!


Despite the millions of doors making everything more fire safe, all doors open in.  Want to enter a shop, push.  Going out of a building?  PULL.  I was always under the impression that reason all doors open out was so if there was a fire, people wouldn’t crush each other trying to get out of the building.


there will be more to this series, i am just too confused to remember right now.


for your viewing pleasure, mette getting a frozen yogurt and oreo treat while yarn shopping with me last week.


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Some days

Some days they are so tired the battle to bedtime is just that, a battle.  Then, because they are so tired, the battle continues long after everyone has lost sense of reason.  Tired little bodies fighting the fight because they are too tired to let go.


Then, some days, the battle to bedtime is equally long, perhaps made longer by lack of napping, but the end battle is swift and strong.  Incomprehensible whining from beneath the covers as you  give one last kiss and walk away, and then, silence.  Followed moments later by the unmistakable long slow breaths of slumber.


It is important to remember the swift nights, because the long battles will make you forget.


good night my loves, I’ll see you in the morning light.

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Forgive Me…

For not posting the post tonight I have been writing in my head for a few days, but allow me to geek out for a minute.

Tonight while I was cooking an amazing dinner, amazing because I can get REAL Thai ingredients here, like fresh kafir lime leaves, I made kick ass curry for eric and I, as well as the best mac and cheese ever, again, thanks to the rockin’ cheddar cheese here (I will weigh 200 lbs. if we don’t get gym memberships soon) eric came into the kitchen asking if I was ready for a treat.


At 8 Top Gear is on. Live. No stealing it a day later from the Brits or worse yet, waiting months or years for it to come on BBC America. Just straight up, it’s on network tv, tonight. In my living room.

So yeah, I’ll be upstairs with a glass of wine and my three loves, jeremy, hamster and captain slow.

more tomorrow,

thanks for understanding.


Filed under phoebe rant

Oh, the piles

She says with her hand dramatically flung across her forehead.


Piles of crap.  Or at least I wish they were crap.  Then I could just straight arm the whole counter and throw it all away.  That would really simplify matters right now.  I have been throwing away stuff left and right and we still have way too much stuff.  I opened the medicine cabinet in the back bathroom which we don’t use.  It was full of stuff that I am pretty darn sure was here when we moved in while I was pregnant with Otto.  Into the trash that all went.  Along with the contents of a few closets.  I’ll admit, I love getting rid of stuff, but this is crazy.  We are renting the house out while we are gone so in addition to packing the things we will need to take, I also have to make room for the renters to store their stuff.  Plus, I don’t want weird stuff lurking in cabinets.  Like I said, it is a good thing, but wow, I am really looking forward to living in a small flat with no crap!!!!

With any amount of luck, next week at this time we will be enjoying a lovely meal courtesy of Virgin Atlantic Airlines on our way to London.  Between now and then, there are a lot of piles.  And Lists.

Lists of things to do.

Lists of things to take.

Lists of notes to make.

Lists of things to give to people.

Lists of Lists.

I know, I should not complain.  This is an amazing opportunity and we are so lucky to  do this.  I am also not trying to do all of this packing and schlepping with a small baby as two friends have done in the past year.  Otto and Mette are old enough to play on their own and let me get stuff done.  It would be really rough around here otherwise.

As it is, it ain’t pretty.

I broke down and vacuumed today.  It had been quite some time.  It’s the last time I will do that before we leave.  I will save the mopping for closer to our departure.  No matter how I try, laundry eludes me.  I now have packed away all my clothes I am not taking, eric is close to that.  In order to maintain a sense of what is where, I have to be on top of the laundry.  HA!

Side note, Eric has 47 (!) pairs of socks that he is NOT taking to London.  The boy loves him some socks.  His response, “you knew that when you married me”.  True, I did.  It still cracks me up.

We are getting close to being ready.  I still have a bunch of stuff to do, but I seem to have a timeline to get it done.  But as I sit here in bed I see four suitcases in the bedroom where I continue to pack and repack them and then weigh them to see if it will all fit.  My dresser is stacked with clothes to be packed and a few that I may want to wear this week but don’t want to take.  My vanity has been emptied but the top has three dop kits, make-up, soaps and kid stuff.  Then there are piles of washcloths and small things I will pack if there is room.  Eric’s dresser is filled with clean clothes and stuff I don’t know what to do with just now.

And then there is the emotional part.  Today was Otto’s last show and tell at preschool.  This is his last full week.  When we get back it will be summer vacation and then he starts Kindergarden.  How did we get here!!!  He seems to know that he is leaving.  He wants lots of playdates and getting him to leave his friends and walk home after school gets a little harder each day.  He really loves Kinderfolk so much.  As much as I know this spring will be an amazing experience for him. I also and sad that he will miss half of the year there.  What a great experience this has been for him.  I am looking forward to Mette going for the next two years, I am not ready to be done there!!!

Now I am going to continue getting the house ready by working through the gin in the freezer!!

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Two weeks

I think I live on a roller coaster.  Going into this semester we knew it was going to be busy and stressful, but we had no idea just how much craziness lay ahead of us.  Thankfully.  Ignorance is bliss sometimes.  Eric programmed and ran an 70 year retrospective film festival at the theatre (you know, that little business we owned and lived above while newly wed).  He also was getting the London trip ready to go which was not unlike herding cats.  Then there was a trip to London to further nail down details.  Oh yeah, and he has a new hire in Film and was teaching a full load.  Committees and new majors popping up at every turn further added to his plate.  Then in October his grandfather took ill and passed away.  We all headed to Florida to pay respect to a man who helped shape eric into the man he is today.  His passing slowed us all down while we dealt with the sorrow.

One month later I had what should have been a one hour surgery with a few days recovery.  It turned into a three and a half hour surgery and overnight stay in the hospital that two weeks later I am still recovering from.  This was not the plan.  During this time, my grandmother passed away.  I was fortunate to travel to see her just before the surgery and was well enough to travel to the funeral this past weekend.  It was a difficult funeral for me.  It was wonderful to see my family all together.  I loved introducing Otto and Mette to great aunts and uncles they had never met.  The whole visit was wonderful, but marked with a sadness I have not been able to shake.  My grandmother really meant a lot to me.  In fact, over a year ago when I first created a wordpress account, I used the name “washyourhandsforsupper” which is what she said to us every day before every meal we ate with her.  It is phrase I can hear in her voice in my head every time I start a project.  It seemed fitting for a blog handle and still does.

My normal way of dealing with stress and grief is to clean.  Somehow physically cleaning the world around me scrubs away the sorrow.  And while there is no shortage of things for me to clean, in fact every turn of my head reveals opportunity, I am not well enough to do it.  I still can’t stand for long and I really can’t lift anything.  I also tire so easily there is not enough time for satisfaction.  I am using all the energy I have to pack things away before we leave.  Carefully packing and rearranging the contents of suitcases to allow for maximum cramming of stuff.  The house has to be cleared of personal items on counters etc… and closets, dressers and medicine cabinets emptied so the renters who will be here while we are gone have a place for their things.  Somehow each day that passes I manage to add as many things to my to-do list as I cross off.  That doesn’t seem fair, but it’s true.

And then there are Otto and Mette.  They are awesome.  For example, tonight Otto wanted to sleep in a t-shirt, underware (had to be solid black, no prints) and socks, so he could look like dad.  Honestly, I almost peed my pants following him in his outfit from the bathroom to the bedroom after bath time while trying to repress laughter.  His ideas of what to wear and why are fantastic.  The boy goes through at least 5 outfits a day assuming the rolls of various people.  Luke, soccer player, firefighter, construction worker…. there is no stopping him.  Meanwhile Mette goes through dress after dress after dress.  Her obsession with ballet continues.  We have been watching the Nutcracker a lot lately.  Otto wants to dance with her and seems interested in ballet as well.  I think it would be awesome if he took dance class too.  I am looking up classes for London and will for sure sign them up when we get back to the burg.  A local dance teacher and her students came and did a demonstration at his school last week and he LOVED it.  A spark is growing….

They have both been amazing, playing games together and occupying themselves while I try and get stuff done around the house.  Mette is really starting to understand the complex games Otto wants to play and their games together have become much more involved.  As of tomorrow there are two short weeks before we leave for London.  Everyday when we walk Otto to school I am reminded that these are the last two weeks of preschool for him.  When we get back he will be getting ready for Kindergarden.  I will admit to wanting to dig my heals in the ground and stay here forever.  If only the kids would cooperate.

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This has been one hell of a week.  And it is only Wednesday.  I am having a hard time coming up with the words to write this post, but I feel like something needs to be said.  Even from the morphine, percocet haze I seem to exist in for the moment.

On Friday night I got a call from my mom that my grandmother had been taken to the hospital, things didn’t look good but more information was needed.  My mom and I planned on going down there soon to see her, we just weren’t sure when.  On Saturday morning my mom called and said she didn’t want to wait any longer, was I free to join her today?  Of course!  She picked me up an hour later and we were on our way.  I am so glad we went to see her on Saturday.  It was the last time I got to see her.  She was still able to talk and even shared some short stories with us.  At one point she looked at me and said, “oh Phoebe, I am so glad you are here”.  That was all I needed.  I was so glad to be there too.  Knowing that these would be her last days, my mom’s brothers and sisters began the journey here to see her.  They came from Washington state, Texas and Florida as well as other parts of Pennsylvania.  In one days time all five children were there with her.

I had to come home to tend to children and have surgery of my own, but my mom was able to stay there with her siblings until the end.  Yesterday morning, surrounded by her children, she passed quietly into sleep.  My mom called me soon after to tell me.  I got the news, sitting in a hospital bed of my own, thinking of her and all my family.

My grandmother was an amazing woman.  She was so kind and sweet.  Every nurse loved her, they wanted to come and visit her when she took ill.  Her presence will be missed by many of the lives she touched on a daily basis.  I keep remembering the funny nursing bra stories she enjoyed sharing with me since I have had children.  I am so glad she was able to experience some great-grandchildren and even more glad they were able to meet her.

It will be a long time before I begin to feel better about this.  But it is good to know her journey ended peacefully.  We are all better for knowing her.

Next week would have been her 88th birthday.  I think we will have to have some pie to celebrate.  She would have liked that.

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Staying Small

There are so many songs and stories about wanting children to stay small, never grow up, keep this moment forever.


I don’t really understand that sentiment.  I love them small, sure, we all do.  But more than that, I love each new development.  Each new milestone.


I love watching them turn into people.  People who I am looking forward to watching go forth into this world and kick some ass.  -these kids will, I know it.


But this morning, with my two little ones, snuggled in my bed watching Ivanhoe (what, you don’t do that on jammie day???, silly you) I had a moment where I wanted to freeze time.


A moment where I wanted life to stay just like this.  Where animals are “amimnals” and oatmeal it “eatmeal” and triangels are “triangle-angles”.


A moment where my kisses heal all wounds.


A moment where life is complete right here with our little family.


And then we made jam together and sang silly songs and I was back to watching them grow and learn.  Together.  Laying on the living room floor, sharing a bag of pretzels, telling each other silly stories.


How could you not love this moment?

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