In which I ponder my horrible fate and consider getting a RelaxMan


Well, that whole “sleeping” thing was nice while it lasted. Not that I had been doing a ton of it anyway. The baby keeps waking up in the middle of the night to yell for no particular reason (as my husband commented at 3:48 AM, “She seems to have lost her association of ‘darkness’ with ‘shut the &%*$ up'”). For a while that bothered me, and I wished that I could go ahead and not be jolted from peaceful slumber by the shouts of a 13-month-old dictator, but it’s all moot now, since I’m going... Read More

Yaya meets St. Anthony

My mother-in-law, Yaya, is Baptist. Well, currently she attends Joel Osteen’s church, but the official denomination that she would claim to be a part of (and in which she raised my husband) is the Southern Baptist church. Friends sometimes ask if there’s been any tension between us and Yaya since my husband and I converted to Catholicism in 2007, but there really hasn’t been. Occasionally my husband will try to start a good-natured debate with her about doctrinal differences, but she’s never interested: “I love Jesus... Read More

Best of Yaya

By popular demand, I’ve put together a “Best of Quick Takes about Yaya” post collecting all the times I’ve referenced my mother-in-law in 7 Quick Takes. December 5, 2008 Matlock has become a verb in our family, specifically when used in the phrase “getting Matlocked.” When Yaya is in town, one of the activities that we can all agree on as fun and not offensive is to watch reruns of the 1980’s show Matlock, which we record on our DVR specifically for this purpose. What has happened more than once, however,... Read More

Yaya’s hurricane preparedness tips

When I called Yaya on Friday to ask if she’d prepared for hurricane Ike, which was headed right for her Houston-area home, she announced, “I sure did! I bought six bottles of wine and a bag of turkey wings.” It was with colorful language that she noted from a patchy cell phone connection this morning that a better plan would have been to have bought a generator and fresh water. My prayers go out to Yaya and everyone else who is without electricity (and will be for the immediate future) in the wake of hurricane Ike.  Read More →

Stories from Yaya’s house

I’m packing up to head down to Houston this afternoon to spend the weekend at my mother-in-law’s house. Yes, that would be Yaya. Imagine me taking slow, deep breaths as I type this in an effort to remain calm and not start freaking out about the 436,841 things that could possibly go wrong. Since I’m busy packing up the entire contents of our house and trying to cram it into our minivan (at least that’s what it feels like — traveling with three under four is no small feat), I’m going to re-run a post I wrote for... Read More

Being stung by scorpions in bed: some people are bothered by this idea, others are not, and never the twain shall meet


Yaya and I had another go-round about scorpions today (although this time, thankfully, we were talking about theoretical scorpions and not actual scorpions that were being shaken in cups in front of my face). It all started when I explained to her that that it keeps me up at night to ponder the following data: In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that a few weeks ago a nice friend at a baby shower told me that when she lived in France they had scorpions in their house and this never happened to her. At first her statement shattered... Read More

Listening for the answer

Last month my mother-in-law had a little spiritual crisis. I’ve mentioned before that she has always had a solid, common-sense understanding of God and Christianity. But a series of events last month led to a sort of dark night of the soul. Her real estate business had been slow for a while, and a run of bad luck in January left her with very little income for the month. A lot of the people she knows believe that financial prosperity is a sign of God’s blessing and, indeed, it seems that they have been blessed in that department —... Read More


A couple Fridays ago my husband and I snuck out for a much-needed date night at our favorite hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant. When I walked into the restaurant, where the owner and his assistant craft every meal from scratch, I actually got shaky: I’d had such a crazy day that I didn’t get a chance to eat lunch, so I hadn’t eaten in almost twelve hours. I am a pasta-holic anyway, and in my extreme low blood sugar state I whispered to my husband that if anyone came between me and the three-cheese meat lasagna there was going... Read More

A scorpion. In a cup. In my kitchen.

My mother-in-law is in town for the weekend. This morning I walked downstairs to see the children dressed smartly, the table set with our nice china, and my mother-in-law serving up a lovely Eggs Florentine dish with the aroma of buttery homemade croissants wafting all through the house. Kidding, kidding! It’s not that kind of house. My mother-in-law is in town, but the rest of it is just a little fantasy I wanted to indulge in as a sanity-preservation technique. What actually happened is that I walked downstairs to have a cup with a scorpion... Read More