One Year

Someone in our house celebrated his first birthday over the weekend.

Someone who had a rough start:


Someone who had to constantly be held NO MATTER WHAT or else there would be some SERIOUS FUSSY:

Baby AND Kitty

Someone who needed the vaccuum running to help calm the colic:

No lie.

Someone who, despite all this and DESPITE still not sleeping very well after one whole year, pretty much has stole some hearts  around here:





That someone had a birthday.

With a cookout

And a candle

And a (rather unpopular) cupcake

There was also a mama that loves him, who, with his Daddy, decided that they would take the plunge, see how becoming a parent would change them as people, come what may. A mama who remembered throughout the day how she brought him into the world, who felt sad about things not having gone the way she had dearly hoped they would, who felt sad about his 72 hours of suffering on a cold, cold blanket without any arms being allowed to hold him, who cried because of that. who worried about his future and what the future holds, just like every other mother throughout history. Who walked him to sleep with his little downy head tucked under her chin, enjoying the heavy, still weight and soft, tickly hair. Who put him in his little bed at 8:57 and thought some more about his birth at 9:03 one year before.  Who, despite all the ups and downs and rockiness of the past year, would not trade him for the world. Who is glad he is the child given to her to love and protect and cuddle and help raise into the best person he can be.

Happy birthday, Baby Miles!  Your mama loves you very, very much!


Sunday Edition, Konglish Style

I, too, am usually going with coffee.

You Say N-velope, I Say AHN-velope: A short story and a play in one act


Mrs. Fussy Crankypants has a beautiful friend who is a nurse and who lives in China helping people who need medical assistance and especially women and infants because she wants so very much to show to them a God who is loving and who loves them even in the midst of the Very Large Difficulties that are face daily by people in rural and/or poor urban China. Beautiful Friend is far from Fussy or Cranky, as far as Mrs. FC can tell.  Mrs. FC would like to be Beautiful Friend when she (meaning Mrs. FC) grows up.

Mrs. Fussy Crankypants’s beautiful friend is married to a charming Chinese man. Mrs. FC just assumes he is charming because she has never actually met him but cannot imagine her beautiful friend marrying anyone who was not charming.  Beautiful Friend and Charming Man are soon going to be adopting two boys from Ethiopia and Beautiful Friend asked Mrs. FC to send children’s books in English because they are hard to come by in China and/or are ludicrously expensive for people who are dependent upon the kind gifts of others to do their work.

Mrs. FC, being given the heroic task of braving used books stores in search of adequate literary entertainment for infants, came away the victor, albeit quite a few dollars in the red.

The Story:

Mrs. FC decided to lovingly package the various entertaining and winsome books she had bought for Beautiful Friend and Charming Man’s little soon-to-be baby boys and to take the package to the post office to find out which manner of shipping would be the most cost effective. And by cost effective, she means cheapest.

When Mrs. FC lived overseas, her family and friends would send little presents via surface mail, which took several months but was very cheap.

Mrs. FC hates going to the Post Office. She loathes it. She would rather clean the toilet than go to the P.O. Ok, no she wouldn’t but she is allowed to utilize hyperbole when talking about this topic.

And the reason she detests the P.O. is because of the one postal employee whom, without fail, is always the one to assist Mrs. FC in all of Mrs. FC’s postal needs. And by “assist” she means “stand at the counter and snarl in a short, surly fashion”.

Imagine Mrs. FC’s dismay to find, upon having a one-sidedly polite discussion with Mrs. Never-helpful PO Employee, that the surface route has been cancelled for international shipments (although she believes that it may still be available for domestic shipments, but she would not swear to this since Mrs Never-helpful did not exactly say that).  Apparently, ships do not sail the seas any longer.

And so, using burning hot pliers to wrench the information from Mrs. Never-helpful’s mouth, Mrs. FC learned the god-awful sums that she will have to pay to ship these entertaining, whimsical and educational books to the adopted children of medical missionaries in China and don’t you THINK that there would be some kind of discount for that?

The Play:

Mrs. FC prepares to exit the P.O. feeling rather po’d herself. On a whim, Mrs FC asks about the flat-rate international envelopes available and how much they cost.

Mrs. FC: How much are the flat-rate envelopes?

Mrs. Never-helpful: uncomprehending silence

Mrs. Never-helpful: Please?*

Mrs. FC, slowly, but trying to be polite in a I’m-trying-to-be-polite-but-not-ACT-like-I’m-trying way: How much do the flat-rate envelopes cost for international shipping?

Mrs. Never-helpful, forcefully and with condescension: The N-velope?

Mrs FC:  silence

Mrs FC, with forbearance: Yes. 

Mrs. NH: It’s (insert rate here that Mrs FC can’t remember because she was too irritated at having her pronuciation questioned by a woman who gets paid to dole out information only when absolutly pushed to do so DESPITE the fact that Mrs FC helps pay her salary). But you can’t send books in them N-velopes. They are just for documents.

Mrs. FC, with even more forbearance, not bothering to disagree despite having received many things OTHER than documents in international flat-rate envelopes: Yes. I know. Thank you.

Exit Mrs FC Stage Left in disbelief and irritation.

The End


*Translation: Huh?  Reader, the people in my city quaintly use the word ‘please’ instead of ‘excuse me’, ‘pardon me’, ‘what’ or ‘huh’ when they do not understand something.

Just so happy

pumping his little arms and legs up and down, up and down, excitedly, as if the surfeit of happy energy could be dispersed into the thin air around him with a huge grin splitting his little face.

oh, to be so well-pleased with the world .


Weekend Edition, Konglish Style

That Day


That day when…

…you had a huge file to get done

….when you had promised to be intentional about providing the amount of interaction the little guy needed with your whole mind and attention focused on him, not elsewhere

…you grabbed pieces of mulch out of chubby little fingers headed mouthward numerous times before giving up and going back inside

…you finished lunch at 4:30 (and Chinese take-out at 6:30? Why not?!)

…the cuppa you brewed at 4:45 p.m. to chase away the tiredness still stood cooled and undrunk at 8:52 p.m.

…you finished the enormous file after hubby came home to play with the little guy, hunched over your computer pushing the Chinese take-out in in between sentences

…after being bled on by a little mouth that got cut, you realize that the diapers are still on the line and need to be brought in and fluffed

….and after the diapers are brought in and being fluffed, there are still the poopy cat boxes to clean out and THAT DARN CAT (applicable to all 3) has peed over the edge again in the box that is too small for her big arse to fit in all because she needs to mark her litter box. and they are ALL her litter box.

…and after the diapers are fluffing and the cat boxes are cleaned, the little guy is all fresh and clean from his bath and waiting to be nursed to sleep.

and you nurse him (whilst enjoying the calm stillness that finally descends upon him as he falls asleeep, for once still and quiet, his red little bow mouth still pouty from the evening’s ouchy)

and, after all this, you realize


there is no ice cream in the house


That, my friends, is a crying shame.


This my freezer it hath not. Oh, the misery.

For my little guy


I wish I could make it better
when you fall and bump your sore little mouth
adding insult to the injury of impending teeth


I wish I could make it better
when you are so tired but can’t sleep
All I can do is hold you


I wish I could make it better
when your heart breaks


casual cruelty
stinging disappointment
the death of your pet
the rejection of someone dear
the loss of a hope or dream or expectation


All your pain


I wish I could make it better
as easily then as I can now


with a kiss
and a cuddle
“oh, look! what’s the kitty doing?”


I can’t
It makes me want to cry and hold you closer
take you into my heart to be safe


safe from slings and arrows
outrageous fortune


I can’t
But I will love you with as much strength as is in me
Which is a lot
when it comes to you


I can’t make it better
But I will be here
by your side


My dear one


My beautiful boy


I love you



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