so the fish said...
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This May Be Where We Leave It

The redbuds are in full bloom and the iris and peonies are coming soon. The backyard frogs are warming up for a long night of love songs. After a day of bike rides and running and playgrounds the children are having a frankly ridiculous dance party in the back yard accompanied by the music blasting from our living room. The calendar is obscene and I am thrilled to be going to work tomorrow. There are troubles too, of course, and hardship and woe, and I am luckier than I could ever have imagined.

Miss you, love you, thank you.

State of the Union

My baby is five. Sure, he still says "lemember" for remember and "bigtar" for guitar but I know he's just humoring me because I have to buy him new shoes every three months and despite my best efforts he insists on learning how to read. He could happily eat nothing but meat all day every day with maybe some frozen peas thrown in for variety. He remembers every single thing that has ever happened to him since birth, as near as we can figure, and he uses it against us on a regular basis. Five. My baby. Five.

My not-baby made a chocolate cake with two kinds of frosting and decorated it pretty much entirely by herself. I figure tomorrow I will just teach her how to drive and then she can dispense with this whole parenting facade and get herself an apartment, except that she will have to come over every morning so I can strap the velcro on her shoes which she refuses to do for herself.

I bought a minivan. I know, I know, but I hate how much I love it. I'm working on developing some sort of minivan-mom gang signs that we can flash each other when we pass in the elementary school carpool lane. Something that means "yes I'm driving a minivan, but only ironically" or "we win cupholders" or "maybe you should put your latte in one of your many cupholders before you flash minivan gang signs next time." I'll host several convenient training sessions once I have them finalized.

Third or Maybe Fourth Sort-of Annual Cactus Fish Christmas Card Exchange

Well! That was a very brief blog resurgence, wasn't it? The good news, however, is that I just ordered my Christmas cards. No, wait, the good news is that Chris just ordered our Christmas cards because he designed them. Twice. The first design was great but it was also $102 for 50 cards and I told him there was no way in hell we were paying that and he'd better get his virtual butt over to Costco right quick and start over. Which he did, because he loves me. Or maybe just because we are both pretty tired tonight and he didn't have the energy for a fight. The better news than that is that since Chris did the cards this year I didn't have to, and it is usually my job and not my tippy-top favorite holiday task. But the other good news is that Costco cards are pretty cheap and once you order 50 it is even cheaper to add on a whole bunch more and that bunch more are going to you nice people, if you would like to have them. Just in case you haven't participated before, here's how it works:

  • If you want to exchange cards with me, leave a comment on this post and I will email you.
  • Please for the love of god do not put your mailing address in my comment section.
  • No lurkers. Sorry, lurkers, I love you, I truly do, but you aren't getting my address unless we have had some level of two-way communication over the years and I feel reasonably sure you aren't going to run over to my place and steal my kidneys.
  • If you request a card from me, you have to send one back. Fairs fair.
  • I'll do Canada, but anywhere else takes too damned long. Sorry Europeans! And Aussies! And everyone else!
  • I won't do do Canada, get your minds out of the gutter.
  • While supplies last - I'll post a follow-up once I think I've maxed out my available cards, but please forgive me if I run out before I get back here to beg for mercy.
  • How impressed are we that I remembered how to do bullet points? Very impressed indeed.


We started making gingerbread men on Thanksgiving morning before Owen was born. We turn on the parade, cut out the cookies, decorate with homemade frosting, and have eaten enough to be in a full on sugar crash by the time Santa gets to Macy's. When I told the kids today that we were going to be making gingerbread men tomorrow, I was met with a resounding and stereophonic "Do we have to?"

And then when I announced that I would be making cinnamon rolls (from scratch, mind you) for breakfast tomorrow, Mia said "But why?" and Owen said "Ew, gross." And then they both said, "Do we have to eat them?"

Yes, yes you do. And you have to make gingerbread men as well. I'm making your childhood memories here, goddamit, now smile and have fun.


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, my dear old friends, and may all of your children participate in your family traditions without whining.

Let You Entertain Me

What are you watching?

I'm watching Sons of Anarchy season whatever they are on now and Dowtown Abbey season 2. Chris and I are caught up on Walking Dead and working our way through a backlog of Mad Men. We watched all of The Booth at the End over the summer. Otherwise, we watch a couple of shows that we mostly hate and sometimes, like last night, get sucked into some sort of Intervention marathon and stay up entirely too late watching something we will never watch again.

We have cable and Netflix streaming and Hulu and Amazon Prime and there must be something better out there with which to pass the mindless hour a night between when the children finally fall asleep and we head upstairs ourselves, but we haven't the foggiest what it might be. So tell me, what's good? It doesn't have to new, in fact we both like to have an entire series of something available in case we like it.

Oh, and you will notice a total lack of comedies on my list. That's because I have no sense of humor. You can recommend them though, and I'll pass the ideas along to Chris for the nights I'm out.


Sometimes it is fine, really, almost totally fine. And other parents and other kids have it so much worse, and really it is fine, and probably totally normal, and developmentally appropriate or at least he will likely grow out of it but really nothing to worry about. Except that maybe it is, something to worry about I mean, but how am I to know, I'm not an expert.

And that, my friends, is borderline. And we are, so many of us, trained not to raise a stink for anything less than egregious. We mind our manners. We wait and see. But sometimes even the most reticent among us have to stand up and say, or really, stand up and yell, wait, this isn't right. This is my kid, and this isn't right.

Which is why Owen - challenging, trying, sweeter than a chocolate factory Owen - has both a full speech evaluation and an (almost unbelievably unrelated, but I assure you that it is) ENT appointment to determine whether he needs to have his adenoids removed coming up in the next month. And Owen loves teachers, so the speech thing is no problem, but man does he hate doctors, bringers of throat cultures and shots.

Poor thing. But I'm the mom, and something, somewhere, isn't quite right. Not quite. Borderline. Sorry, baby, but it is my job to stand up and yell about it.

Go Turkey Go Turkey Go

I started running in mid-August. And then I went on vacation and then I started running all over again at the beginning of September. I did Couch to 5k via a handy dandy iPhone app and lots of full-blast Pandora and I hated almost every minute of it but lo and behold, by the end I could run 5k without stopping or dying along the way. And after that I added some distance so that I've actually run 5 consecutive miles a couple of times now.

None of this is all that interesting, except that I have been trying, off and on, to be a runner for about 12 year now, and in all those 12 years I never once managed to put three miles together. I never managed it because I wanted to be fast. I couldn't just run a mile, it had to be an eight minute mile. Never mind if I hadn't exercised in a year and smoked a pack a day. And as soon as I ran one mile I started planning how I would run a marathon. I never, ever made it to a race of any kind. I would burn out, or break my foot, or get pregnant, or something else would happen and I would give it up cold.

And then yesterday, I ran my local Turkey Trot. My goals were to finish and to run the entire way. And I did. I put together some 10-plus minute miles and I high-fived my kids and Mia made me a sign and I ran every step of those 5000 meters and finished just over 32 minutes and I hated every single second of it. But I did it. And now that it is over I am overly proud of myself and feel the need to brag. A lot.

Now, did I ever tell you about that time I got an A in Calculus?

So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

Meet the Fish

I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.

World's Most Beautiful Child


World's Most Handsome Child


Other Important Things

Clive Owen

Clive Owen
Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend

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