All the Pretty Little Horses

Hush-a-bye, don't you cry,
Go to sleep-y little baby.
When you wake, you shall have

All the pretty little horses...

Blacks and bays, dapples and grays,
Coach & six white horses.
When you wake, you shall have
All the pretty little horses...

I've come across many versions of All the Pretty Horses -- above are the lyrics I like to sing. The words and melody of this lullaby are gentle and peaceful, but its history is terribly sad. The authorship of this lullaby is attributed to an African American slave who was not allowed to tend her own child because she was required to tend the children of her master. It's a bittersweet song and I think the sadness comes through in the melody...

Here's a link to a version sung by Judy Collins if you'd like to hear a bit...


Baby Loves Art

I bought this wood block print by Mariaelisa Leboroni a few months before Baby Bloom was born. I framed it and hung it over his changing table because I was charmed by the funny owls. I liked it a lot and hoped the baby would like it, too. Well, he does! From the time he was a week old, the changing table has been one of his happiest places in the entire house. He stares endlessly up at those owls. He laughs, coos and kicks his legs with such exuberance that I am sure, one of these days, those owls are going flutter off the page and hoot in happy response to his eager invitation!

If you are as charmed by these owls as I am and you happen to be in the SF Bay Area, you might want to flutter your way over to Castle in the Air in Berkeley. They are currently hosting an exhibit of work by Mariaelisa Leboroni. (You can also see a few more prints by Mariaelisa Leeboroni if you click here...)

Baby Bloom's other favorite bit of eye-candy is this bird-mobile. Remember these birds? Now they hang above the bed where Sweet Baby sleeps. In the morning, when we wake up, I find him sucking on his little fingers, quietly staring up at this colorful mobile...

A happy way to start the day! Chirp!


I Love my Hair

Have you seen this clip created by the folks over at Sesame Street? It's wonderful (and so darling!)



The Littlest Baseball Fan

There has been much joyful screaming, yelling & cheering in our house over the past few days. Every time the Giants score a run and we start to cheer, the baby cries. Could it be, some how, that a tiny Phillies fan has wiggled his way into our midst? (or maybe we're just making a little too much noise...)



As if the fullness of the soul did not sometimes overflow in the emptiest metaphors, since no one can ever give the exact measure of his needs, nor of his conceptions, nor of his sorrows; and since human speech is like a cracked tin kettle, on which we hammer out tunes to make bears dance when we long to move the stars.
-- Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)

At the end of August my brother came to visit us from Seattle. While he was here my brother & I visited the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. We went specifically to see an exhibit created by Maira Kalman called Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World.) As a whole, it was a marvelous exhibit, but one piece especially caught our eye. Both my brother and I stood in front of it for the longest time. The piece consisted of the above Flaubert quote written in Maira Kalman's distinctive script, displayed across a large section of wall space.

The beauty & poignancy of these words took our breath away...

Do you have any favorite quotes which make you sigh? Which take your breath away?


If I were a Feather Bed

If I Were a Featherbed
by John McCutcheon

If I were a featherbed in your house so fine,
I'd wrap my arms around you tight, keep you warm in the wintertime...

And if I were a woolen rug a-sittin' in your front hall,
I'd reach right up and I'd tickle your toes if you stepped on me at all...

If I were an old banjo, felt your finger on my strings,
I'd play the sweetest little song that a banjo e'er did sing...

If I were a hair ribbon and my color it was blue,
I'd be ten times as beautiful because I'd be wearing you...

If I were a drop of rain trickling down your chin,
I'd run right up and kiss your lips, and kiss them twice again...

If I were a breath of wind on your cheeks as you walked by,
I'd pick you up upon my back and teach you how to fly...

Another favorite lullaby...
Here's a link in case you want to hear a bit of the melody...

Sweet Dreams...


Good News (and a little flab)

Good news -- we finally got the pathology report results from Mr. B.'s surgery... Benign, benign, benign! Thank you for all your good thoughts, wishes & prayers. He's home now from the hospital sporting a gigantic scar across his abdomen and vows he'll be back on his bicycles in a month (or so...)

Meanwhile, thank goodness for the distractions of a fat Buddha baby who needs tickling and a sweet 7 year old who needs hugs and stories (favorite book this week? Doris's Dinosaur by Rosemary Wells.)

Now for the flab... My Sweet 7 year old announced to me the other day that, because he is my first-born, he is my "first-best-boy" and that, because baby is second-born, he's "second-best." I insisted that they were both my "first-best" but that baby didn't have any freckles. Little Mr. B. has 9 beautiful freckles, each one sweeter than the next. Little Mr.'s response to me? "Yeah, I have freckles and baby has flab." I nearly fell off my chair laughing!


Sometimes Things just Happen

Over the 11 years we've been married, Mr. B. has had 3 cycling accidents, one of which landed him in the hospital with a punctured lung, 4 broken ribs, broken bones in his hand and a knee which required surgery to remove pebbles & grit (he's also fractured his ankle twice... but that was small potatoes.) His mother and oldest brother scold me for "allowing" him to continue cycling. I wish he would stop, too. Every weekend (and twice a week during his lunch break) when he goes out on his bike I say a little prayer. I visualize cars giving him a wide berth. I imagine him maneuvering safely to avoid every root & rock, and then I put it out of my mind or I'd go insane with anxiety. My husband loves cycling and I would never deny him this pleasure.

There's a quote in one of my favorite books, The Passion by Jeanette Winterson: You play, you win. You play, you lose. You play. Her intent behind these words is to say life is a gamble and unless we take risks, we are not fully living our lives.

But once again, my husband is in the hospital, and this time he is not there because of a cycling accident. Wednesday evening he called me from work at the usual time. I picked up the phone expecting my husband to tell me he was on his way home, but this past Wednesday he called to tell me he was having acute pain in the center of his abdomen. He said he'd wait half and hour to see if it would abate and then try to drive home. A half hour later he flagged down a co-worker who happened to have training as an EMT. His coworker did a quick assessment and called for an ambulance. At 11:30 at night, after a CT scan, my husband called to tell me the hospital would find a spot for him in the surgery schedule the next day. I thought to myself, "Surely he must be joking." One minute he has a stomach ache and the next minute he is being scheduled for surgery.

Now my Mr. B. is recovering from surgery and we are waiting for pathology results to find out what we're dealing with. Things are a little difficult around here and I hope you'll keep my husband in your thoughts...

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
-- Albert Einstein


Oh, Rats!

What were we up to at 10:30 this past Saturday night? Let me tell you.

It seems Charlie the Rescue Cat is quite the hunter. A few weeks ago, I came downstairs on a Sunday morning to discover a partially-consumed baby rat. A week later, Mr. Bloom stumbled across Charlie consuming a similar tasty snack. Then, on Saturday night, in marched our little hunter with yet another prize, but this time the prize was still alive. We sprang into action. The cat dropped his rat, brave Mr. B. captured it by putting his foot on it's tail and I grabbed a box to contain the beast.

Once the rat was was safely in the box (and Charlie complaining loudly & giving us dirty looks for stealing his prize & spoiling his fun) we had to decide what to do with it. Neither of us could stomach ending it's life, nor did we want to return it to the wilds of our gardens. Mr. B. said he would take it to the forested park down the hill. I suggested that, if he had fun taking our little friend on a moon-light stroll in the park, afterward they could go for an ice cream cone, and maybe for a boat ride on the bay or a trip the zoo. Mr. B. did not think this was at all funny.


Quote: Dr. Seuss

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

I ran across the above quote a few months ago & thought it was pretty great. The quote came to mind again because we've been on a Dr. Seuss kick around here with repeated readings of The Lorax & The Butter Battle Book. There are many other wonderful books by Dr. Seuss, but these are 2 of my favorites and, of course, they elicit the best discussions...

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

What's your favorite Dr. Seuss book?


Tinkerbell and Wendy

Faith, trust and a little bit of Pixie Dust...
-- J.M. Barrie

If you read my blog regularly you may have noticed my small obsession with all things related to Peter Pan. Imagine how my eyes lit up when, on the night Baby Bloom was born, a nurse came into the hospital room and she was wearing this hospital-scrub shirt.

Even more delightful, the nurse's name was Wendy! Thank you Wendy for giving Baby Bloom his first bath 3 months ago today & happy 3-month birthday to you, Baby B...