These are pretty unrelated and tend toward the silly. I blame society and the fact that I am in a silly mood. The fact that I am in a silly mood and not a sour, irritable mood can be ascribed to my lovely new supplements which are making my brain much nicer. Be sure to take a look at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.


For the last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling tired. Very, very tired. The brain has been foggy, the get up and go  non-existent. I chalked it up to making people. Turns out, my iron levels are super low. Baby Cubbedge has been sucking my life force right out of me. Le sigh. Fortunately, my iron supplements aren’t upsetting anything, and I thought I saw color in my lips this morning. Hurrah!


My daughter loves Jamiroquai. She says that Jaykay is her buddy. I’m not worried about her love for Jamiroquai, but am unsure if Jaykay is the best buddy figure for a four year old, though I can see the appeal. Particularly the hats.


Speaking of Philomena, a couple of days ago, in what I imagine to be an attempt to get in touch with her roots,  painted herself blue and took off most of her clothes.


It took a while to clean up.


My bury my head campaign on Facebook and blogs is working. I pay attention to the news and talk about it with Will, but I have studiously avoided all bloggy things that are poorly thought out and basically exercises in know-it-all-ism. My stress levels are down and when I do stumble across something really stupid or mean I utter a mild(ish) oath or two and move on.


Who steals French tip nail pens out of manicure kits? My lovely husband, sacrificing a substantial amount of man-cred, purchased a kit for me last night and brought it home. I got all my nail stuff out when I noticed the pen wasn’t there! Quel domage. While I recognize this is clearly a problem white people have, I was still pretty upset. Where will the madness end?


I do think it’s pretty awesome that Gloria Steinem herself is annoyed that the powers that be are making it as hard as possible for Democratic delegates to keep their children on the Democratic National Convention floor. Apparently, the babies must be issued credentials. The problem is that when the mothers try to get credentials for their nursing infants and tots they get the runaround. Granted, Ms. Steinem is fairly cynical in her take on it, but it was a refreshing bit of sense from an otherwise played out ideologue.







This month has been…hard. It’s July in Savannah, so my backyard looks like this:

We all got sick, and my house during my never ending illness looked like this:

Okay, so maybe not this bad.

And that  brings me to what I am thinking about today. Order! Yes, I am a very, very disorderly person. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people who thrives on mess. I like routines because they make me feel calm. I like a reasonably clean house because it keeps me calm and able to do things besides worry about whether the health department is going to come and shut me down. What is a girl to do?

A girl is to bite the bullet and realize she is a grownup with other people relying on her to provide a semblance of order and beauty in their lives.

At the beginning of July  I realized I had no, and I mean NO, order in my daily grind. The dishes were piled up in the sink (no dishwasher-thanks, retro kitchen!) the laundry  strewn throughout the house and dinner while usually there, was a source of strain. Frustration, hormones exhaustion and chaos all contributed to my feelings of inadequacy.  When I managed to pray it seemed like the Holy Spirit was tugging me toward establishing order in the home and embracing this life I’ve chosen. So what happens? He gives me tons of energy and a a hearty dose of perseverance? Nope. We all got the flu.

I sat on the couch and watched cartoons with my daughter for five days. I struggled to stagger over to the sink to wash a few dishes, but upright just wasn’t in the cards. I was completely helpless. Will was out of town on business and he was still getting over the virus from the pit of hell. The filth  piled up. And do you know what I realized? I realized that, if I’m an at-home wife, it’s mostly my job to ensure a very few things get done every day, barring emergencies. The husband must help, to be sure, but providing the basic framework of order is a job that falls to disorganized, slightly slothful me.

I know, what a revelation, right? So, while lying in my bed of contagion, out came a  notebook to list the stuff that had to get done on a daily basis so my kitchen wouldn’t end up on Hoarders, and so I’d have things like clean pants. To my surprise,  the stuff that had to get done every day were really basic. Dishes/kitchen tidy up, bed making, at least one load of laundry (including putting it away) and making sure meals were on the table. I had read this many times at Auntie Leila’s, who is my guru, but it didn’t really sink in until I realized how unhappy I was because of my environment. I’m a very visual person. Too much going on around me actually makes me feel physically overwhelmed, to the point of needing to retreat to dark silence and do deep breathing. Anyway, I figured that if I can do these few things every day, the rest of what needed to happen (daily exercise,  walks with Philomena,  fun, learning, prayer, all that good stuff) would fall into place. Because you know what? The disorder had unleashed itself on every aspect of life. I didn’t do anything that I actually wanted to do. I  spent my time trying to stay afloat. Life should be more than drudgery and trying to keep on top of chaos. The time for picking up my cross of dishes and daily tidy up had come.

I’m a little over a week into this wild new life of cleaning up immediately after every meal and getting the laundry done daily. Will helped me dig out from under. It took a solid week. Please bear in mind that all through this he was doing dishes, taking the trash out, keeping the child occupied and doing a great deal of grocery shopping while studying for and taking the bar exam. Stars in his crown. The difference in the quality of day to day life here is HUGE. I mean, HUGE. It’s starting to feel like home.

With this new- found  order comes the freedom to create beauty. Order comes in lots of different packages-overflowing bookshelves are glorious to me and a menace to the sanity of other people.  My house will probably never grace the cover of Dwell. For one thing, people live here. For another, we’re not pretentious hipsters. I’ll never be a neat freak.  I’ll stay up too late more often than I should. But my house doesn’t smell. I have pants again. Philomena has daily cuddle and play time and isn’t saying things like “Mommy, why is this bathroom not clean like my friend’s bathroom?” I now have the freedom to do little things to beautify the house. You know, great big fancy things like hanging the pictures on the actual walls and putting a jar of marigolds on the table.  And when Baby Girl arrives, she will rejoice, secure in the knowledge that Mommy keeps the floors relatively crumb-and-therefore-palmetto-bug-free.



Courtesy Cakewrecks, but really, my friend Erin took this picture.

That’s right! We’re having a gril!

Perhaps you were wondering about the gril. When we found out Philomena was on her way, my mother went to a bakery to pick out a cake for the baby shower, at which time the sex of the baby would be revealed via cake. It was, I should point out, a delicious cake. Unfortunately, the person in charge of decorating lacked a certain facility in the English language. Lovely Erin noticed first and broke out her mad photographer skills and sent it in to Cakewrecks. So, when we found out that Baby Cubbedge 2.0 was a girl, I knew how I’d announce the news.

Yesterday we went to the birth center. I love this place. You know it’s awesome when the local Amish Mennonite population goes there. The ultrasound was beautiful. At one point her little face came into view and we oohed and ahhed. Her little fingers were visible and all present and correct. She looks healthy. She has Philomena’s nose and my grandmother’s instep. Her due date might be pushed towards November-it depends on the measurements plus the calculated due date.

I really didn’t think I was nervous about the ultrasound. I was wrong. The night before I didn’t sleep too well. I was worried something was wrong with the baby. All the “what-ifs” of pregnancy surged around, preventing anything liek decent sleep. But, God is good, all the time, and He sent me a little reassurance. I had a dream about her. I had gone to bed thinking the baby was probably a boy. Many, many friends and family members were convinced it was a boy. I really didn’t know. Well, in my dream, there she was in all her girly glory. Now, I genuinely didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl. “Congratulations, it’s a child,” was what I was hoping for. I just wanted to find out because I’m incredibly impatient and wanted to a) stop calling my child “it” and b) decide whether to get a bow tie or something pink and ruffly. Lo and behold, my dream was right. She was a girl, no doubt about it. She was healthy. We’d love this baby, no matter what, but golly it’s good to know everything is all right. 



This blog has been a source of frustration to me lately. While I love the idea of writing, the reality of my life is such that I frequently lack time, brainpower and motivation to dig deeply and produce anything more than the equivalent of a Facebook status update. I was wondering what to do with it, what direction to go in, what I was actually interested in after all when it hit me: I’m interested in producing the tiny occupant of my belly, in enjoying being pregnant for the first time in far too long, and in various other mumsy type things. The outside world, while certainly on my radar, is at the moment, ceasing to fascinate. So, for the foreseeable future, I’ll just write about the stuff that is going on in my life and what I think about it. Boring? Probably, but it’s what I’ve got at the moment. Besides, I have friends and relatives who would like a look-in on life with Philomena and Baby Cubbedge 2.0.

So here is a typical pregnancy post. Enjoy!

Yesterday we decided to go a different mass. We’ve been to this mass before. It’s at a good parish in the suburbs. Some friends go there and there are doughnuts afterwards. I was absolutely certain mass began at 10:30. We left at 10:27, resigning ourselves to being late and probably forced to sit in the cry room. I should mention that the two cups of tea I had already had were doing nothing to get rid of the fogginess, and I was teetering dangerously on the fine-edged sword of capable. But, I was fairly cheerful(ish) as we drove along, thinking we’ll get a terrific homily, stop in the adoration chapel and have donuts in addition to Jesus.So we get to the parking lot and there is no one there. I waddled in to the vestibule to grab a bulletin and lo and behold, I read that mass was at 11:30. Not 10:30. I felt betrayed. Philomena would whine. I didn’t know if I could handle a whine. Bravely suppressing a sniffle I waddled back to the car and told Will, suggesting that maybe I needed a cup of coffee. He responded by flooring it in the direction of Sonic.

Meanwhile, from the back all we could hear were the plaintive whines of Philomena, who, having noticed Mommy’s increasing irritability at nothing, decided to amp up the volume. She’s funny like that. I became quieter and quieter, knowing that if I spoke, I would go from Irritable, Watch Yourself Mommy to Big Bad Mommy. So we corrected the whining and pulled in to Sonic.

‘I’m a little hormonal today, honey.” I said to Will.

“Yes, dear,” he replied and then ordered coffee and juice. Sometimes that is the best response.

The carhop came out, bearing our liquid sanity on a tray. She was cheerful and blond, and then proceeded to morph into Southern Mother Teresa.

“Hi, ya’ll. Here’s the juice for the little one. My goodness, what a beautiful hat, sweetheart! Here’s your drink, sir, ‘and a straw. Now, here’s the coffee. How much cream do you want? Three? I knew it was three. Sugar? Let me just tell you, the coffee is really strong today, so here’s a little extra for you. And we didn’t have any stir sticks, so I brought you out an extra straw. Have a blessed Sunday!”

I started to cry. For real. Not just a few wispy tears. I was snuffling, tears were flowing freely, and I said “That was the nicest thing anyone outside my family has done for me all week! She’s so nice! She gave me extra cream! I think maybe I’m a little hormonal!”

Will wisely gave me a little hug and said “Drink your coffee. Maybe you’d like to write to Sonic and thank them?”

I nodded yes. Because the Sonic lady was the best person in the world.

I don’t have the brain power at the moment to work on anything coherent or profound, though I find my literary brain aching for some exercise. That will come in time. For the moment, all I want to do is expunge the following from my mind.

ImageI’m not sleeping very well. At night I jerk awake every hour or so. It’s usually noises, or heartburn, or Philomena, or all three. This morning I was awakened by a band playing reveille at the local army base. God bless America.


The worst of the sickness is beginning to fade. That being said, I can’t go in the kitchen in the morning. The new vinyl  flooring has this lingering odor that refuses to let my nausea abate. So, I sit in the dining room, relying on my husband to bring me either coffee or peppermint tea. He does a good job.I am genuinely surprised how hard it is not to go to my office every morning to make the things I usually like to have to make mornings happy. Black tea still tastes horrible to me. The texture of eggs makes me want to run and hide. I miss those basic things. I wouldn’t change anything, mind you. It’s just awfully inconvenient for an at-home mom not to have the run of breakfast time.



I’m about to embark on a scientific study of which version of Pride and Prejudice is the best. I’m also thinking of writing an analysis of certain Austen heroes and their often bizarre effect on young women. My premise is that romantic girls (of whom I was one) romanticize the story lines, and ignore or don’t see the underlying character flaws or criticism inherent to Austen’s work. She was very proud of her creations, but she certainly never regarded her heroes as epitomes of manly wonderfulness. They were human, and that’s why the books are so good. A careless or an immature reading can set young women off on the quest to find Mr. Darcy, often with disastrous results. Instead, I think the actual characters, understood as the text actually says,can point us in the right direction in terms of treating our potential romantic conquests as real human beings with real flaws who may not end up with the major cord BBC ending-happy, yes, but not unrealistically so.


Did you know that smoothies are God’s gift to the mothers of preschoolers? They are. How else can you get a picky, non-vegetable or fruit eater to eat two servings of strawberries, bananas and yogurt in one sitting without tears and a fight? We’ve discovered a new coffee place nearby that serves reasonably priced, really good smoothies, and now I am no longer worried  Philomena will develop scurvy.

That’s all, folks. I need to get the little one outside for a walk. Happy Tuesday!

Christ is Risen!




At my house, Easter Monday is a nothing day. After getting ready for Easter and facing the spiritual juggernaut that is Holy Week, we can stop, rest, and think about the resurrection with some degree of recollection. The knowledge of it is the backdrop of the mind, and all the little chores of day to day life play themselves out against it. The resurrection lends a richer color to a day off.

Lent this year meant a number of sacrifices not chosen by me. You see, two weeks into Lent we found out to our huge surprise, that baby Cubbedge the second is on the way. Once the general shock and sense of unreality began to wear off (it still seems completely unreal), the marathon of exhaustion, morning-afternoon-and-night sickness and heartburn became my sacrifice. It’s quite something, to have some good sacrifices set aside for Lent, only to realize that now, in my state of general discomfort I had physical suffering to offer up, as well as the humiliation of not being able to take on things like waking up early, sticking to a schedule or even being able to get through morning and evening prayer . I have a feeling not choosing my Lent was much better for me. Relying less on my own fantastic initiative and more on the mercy of God and the leading of what prayers my husband wants to pray has been very freeing. Weakness isn’t so bad, after all.

Thanks be to God. Christ is risen. I am pregnant. God is good.

Seven Quick Takes

It’s been a great, big, long week here at Nouveau Chez Cubbedge. We’ve been painting, fixing electrical things about which I know nothing, and generally going completely mad. When one thing was repaired, another thing broke. When I needed quiet, I was assailed with to-do lists (not from my husband-he knows better). When I wanted to check out a little March for Life coverage I was reminded that there are still people who think eugenics is a great idea (seriously). When I sat down to dinner tonight I realized that, apart from mass on Sunday night, and a hardware store run or two, I haven’t been out of the new place since we moved in. Blogging has been on the back burner for so long, though I had to do something. And so, in honor of my dwindling sanity, I give you this week’s Quick Takes.


As I mentioned in my last post, our last place was tiny. It was also downtown. Downtown Savannah is a truly excellent place to live. It’s beautiful, vibrant, and there is always something to do. The problem wasn’t so much the city-dwelling aspect as it was the lack of space or anything green to look at on a hot day. For some reason our street was the only one without purposeful shade. It gets incredibly hot here and last summer I discovered that, even if Philomena wanted to walk to our beautiful park to play in the splash pad (which may or may not be turned on), it was a ten minute stagger through the desert, but with the sensation of drowning in a warm sponge. We spent a great deal of time on our tiny front porch with bowls and buckets of water. Charming and fun,  but not something I want to do again. This brings me to…


…our new house! We moved to a suburban neighborhood that is still very much in the city limits. We’re now homeowners via the charity of relatives. It’s a 1950s ranch style house with three bedrooms and a sunroom. It’s got lots of nifty 1950s details (including chrome cabinet handles), everything in the house works and the unfortunate paint job is now going away. But, the best part of all, better even than the increase in living space, is the back yard.


The yard is big, and fenced, with lots of flowering trees. It’s got room for a vegetable garden, the flower beds are in place and are crying out to be weeded and loved. The other day a friend brought her three year old over and for the first time I was able to tell the children to go outside and play. This summer I’ll be able to watch Philomena in her paddling pool and in the sprinklers.


Philomena has adapted beautifully. The first few days she couldn’t go into the backyard at all without getting nervous. All the open space was a little overwhelming. She clung to me and Will, and we’d gently show her the places where the flowers would be in the spring, and where the bird feeder was. Eventually she started running around playing tag with me. Today she dragged out her play food, a bucket and her daddy and stayed outside playing chef. She didn’t want to come in.


The paint job in the house was unfortunate. Stark white walls with battleship periwinkle woodwork in all the rooms, except where there was deep lavender trim. As of now, the living room is finished, the dining room is half finished and the hallway is next.


In spite of the great blessing of this house, there are still a number of worries in my little family.we’re still job hunting, still wondering about God’s will for us, still wondering when we’ll have the means to treat the IF problems. There is even the worry that assails me from time to time, what if this house wasn’t God’s will for us? What if, in the words of that fish headed admiral in Star Wars, it’s a trap? It still takes an effort of the will to know this is where God has placed me, and I’m in His hands. I reassure myself that my family has sought to do His will in everything in the last year especially, and this is what He has given us. I’m happy about it, and very grateful, but the anxiety comes and goes.


I have a few ideas floating around for posts. The HHS malarkey has had me reeling this past week, but there’s been no time to formulate thoughts. The most coherent ideas I’ve had are something along the lines of “Oh expletive,” and “They can’t do that! This is AMERICA!”  As you can see, my mind isn’t quite clear yet. Soon, my friends.Soon.

Be sure to head over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.