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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014
The chocolate is very important ... (12/13/14)
So it's my first Christmas as a mommy, and of course I'm going to go ahead and turn that into the perfect opportunity to have a small-scale philosophical crisis.
I'm also pretty sure Lois Lane isn't real ... (12/06/14)
Today, as proof that I do occasionally think about serious things and not just how many zombies I could run down in my Jeep should the necessity arise, I'd like to offer some musings on what I do for a living.
Be brave, and practice your balance ... (11/28/14)
A couple of weeks ago, I took the plunge and did one of the most scary things a person can do ... I took my baby on a plane trip.
From the digestive department ... (11/22/14)
Well, friends, I have officially one internal organ less than I did the last time you heard from me.
Let's all pause while I wave my flag ... (11/01/14)
In case you've recently returned from Mars or something and haven't noticed, we have an election coming up around here.
Five more minutes, please ... (10/25/14)
I have a little list running in the back of my mind, of all the things about me that I thought would magically change once I became a mom.
On public tragedy and the beauty of bacon ... (10/18/14)
There's no way to sugarcoat this: I've spent the week wading knee-deep through the muck of a rape trial. All day, every day.
And you can't make me ... (10/11/14)
The early part of my week was marred by a few terror-filled days in which I believed I was going to have to go to the dentist.
I think she may have eaten some ... (10/04/14)
So exactly a week ago today, I was sitting on the ground in a parking lot in St. Louis, smeared with poop and tears.
The cookies were so not worth it ... (09/27/14)
When my family first moved into town, I was 6, just about to start first grade. At some point (and honestly I can't remember if this happened in the first or third grade -- it's all a blur), my mom decided that I needed to make some nice, wholesome friends and enrolled me in the Girl Scouts.
To the diaper bag, on the double ... (09/20/14)
Yesterday, my little girl peed all over my hands while I was changing her. And you know what I did? Nothing.
I can't be blamed for the ice cream... (09/13/14)
So at the beginning of this week, I decided to swear off sugar. Since then, I've had a slice of lemon ice box pie and also shared a pint of peach cobbler ice cream with The Police. Oh, and a sweet tea from Sonic. As you can see, it's going very well. Sugar is practically a thing of the past...
Yes, I really am that person now ... (09/06/14)
So mostly what I do around here (and by around here I mean in this column) is funny. Maybe not knee-slapping funny, but sort of chuckle funny, observations-about-life kind of funny, and wow-so-many-strange-things-happen-to-that-rather-odd-girl-kind-of funny.
Now taking applications ... (08/30/14)
So owning a home is a great thing, right? You get to put your money into something that's actually yours every month, and you're not just throwing it down the endless black hole that is rent, and plus the American Dream and picket fences and puppies and apple pie and blah blah blah.
I mean, really, who cares? (08/23/14)
When I was growing up, there were things about my mom which had me continually perplexed. And I don't mean things like refusing to let me get dreadlocks or subsist entirely off of bean burritos from Taco Bell.
Time to take a deep breath ... (08/16/14)
Time for a real life update from the Harris house. We had our perfect little cocoon of a family life shaken up a bit a few weeks ago.
I might as well add in a donut ... (08/11/14)
It's currently the end of the week, and I have to tell you -- it's been a humdinger. Raise your hand if you've ever taken a look around one day, felt that you are incredibly tired and tried to figure out why, then realized you have not had an evening, afternoon or even hour or two free since you're not sure when.
Hunka, hunka burnin' peanut butter and chocolate ... (08/02/14)
So, The Police and I joined the rest of my family last week on what was our first Griswold-style vacation since Zoe arrived.
You're killing me, Smalls ... (07/19/14)
I have a little morning routine that I follow quite strictly, once I get to the office each day. It helps me get my brain into gear and my eyes fully opened, because I just never have been one of those people who is productive in the first part of the day.
I wonder what color that makes the noise ... (07/12/14)
Buckle your seat belts, friends, while I follow a long and convoluted train of thought to the point I'm trying to make today.
Out riding fences for so long now ... (06/29/14)
A first for me and Zoe is officially on the books now: The Police and my parents went out of town for five days, and she and I fended for ourselves.
We interrupt this program ... (06/22/14)
I talk (or write) a lot about keeping it real, and I try, but I think every now and then we just need to break it on down a little further.
This is a pretty blatant mommy story... (06/15/14)
So we're attempting to teach Zoe sign language. I realize that if you've never heard of this before, it probably sounds completely insane, but give it a Google. Baby sign language is a real thing, and a really cool thing at that. Basically the idea is that babies, starting at around four months old or so and stretching until they actually begin to speak coherently, are able to understand a lot more than you think they do about the world around them...
Bippity, boppity, boo ... (06/11/14)
I want to talk about my refrigerator. I'll wait while mostly everyone turns the page or clicks away ...
I'll try to be quiet (06/01/14)
Raise your hand if you've ever had an experience not turn out the way you'd pictured it. Now raise your other hand if that experience had to do with kids in some way.
But at least there were pretzels ... (05/25/14)
I'm sitting in the waiting room at the vet's office with my littlest dog, Ellie. Ellie has grown some weird and disturbing-looking knot on the top of her head, and while it doesn't seem to bother her in the least, it's really creeping me out.
The red ones are my favorite... (05/18/14)
The Police and I went out to lunch last Sunday with two good couple friends, and along in tow were six children under the age of five. Six. Six. And had our full crew been there (we were missing one couple), it would have been seven. Now, I don't know if you have ever tried to eat a meal in a restaurant while surrounded by SIX kids under the age of five, but wow. ...
And now I know... (05/11/14)
In my memory so far, Mother's Day has always been a time of flowers and pretty cards and gift certificates for manicures and all kinds of woman-y stuff, and telling my mom thanks for always being there. And at the time, I meant it. I really did. But I had no idea. I just had no earthly idea what I was talking about...
Come on ... it'll be fun ... (05/02/14)
So I'm turning 30 in a few days (more on that later) and am currently experiencing a small existential crisis (more on that later, too).
May your light break forth and your rightness go before you ... (04/28/14)
Being a new mom brings around a lot of food for thought, a lot of dreaming and a lot of concern. This beautiful daughter that I have now will need a lot of things over the course of her life, and I want so much for her, but there's one thing I want more than anything else.
I still don't wash the dishes ... (04/20/14)
So this week started out with a Monday morning 40-minute Search Frantically For The Car Keys session. Because why not, am I right?
I think her first stop will be Zimbabwe... (04/13/14)
Well hi there. Not like it's any big deal or anything, but I did kind of, you know, have a baby a few months ago, and this is my first week back on the job, and it's all a little overwhelming.
It's sort of a pregnancy opus ... (01/26/14)
At 38 weeks, my child-bearing journey is coming to an end, with the biggest and most important journey of my life about to start ... and on that note, some recollections ...
At least I had nothing to do with it ... (01/19/14)
I'd like to preface my actual content this week with a little update: My doctor told me yesterday that we may be getting to meet our little girl a week or two early, at which point all the other thoughts I've ever had basically left my head for good.
Just some thoughts and such ... (01/12/14)
I'd just like all of you to know how much mental anguish sometimes goes into putting this little bit of writing together every week, and how much I love you because I keep pushing myself to do it because what I really love is the interaction with people that it produces.
And they didn't even tell me their names ... (01/05/14)
Let me just tell you something. If you've never tried to travel by air while 8 months pregnant ... well, just don't do it. If you have, can we start some kind of support group? I'll bring the cookies.
Yo, Adrian ... pass me that inhaler ... (12/15/13)
Know how it feels to discover something about yourself that surprises you? I'm not talking about deep and meaningful things, I'm talking about things like realizing that although you've looked down on country music with scorn your whole life, all of a sudden it makes you tap your foot.
Pardon me while I get personal ... (12/08/13)
I mentioned this briefly a few weeks ago, but for those of you who missed it, I've been homebound for about three weeks now, per doctor's orders.
Maybe I'll wear one of those furry hats, too ... (12/01/13)
So this weekend wrapped up Black Friday and officially kicks off the Christmas season (for those of us who had the self-restraint to wait, that is).
And you'd better not ask me to smile pretty ... (11/24/13)
Raise your hand if you love having your picture taken. Yeah, I didn't think so. Neither do I.
Now I need another tissue ... (11/17/13)
I'm sharing something with you this week that I've been holding on to for a while. Well, actually, only since October, so I'm not sure whether or not that qualifies as a while.
I pulled, and I even used my bootstraps ... (11/10/13)
I have a confession to make, friends. Even though it's November and the season of thankfulness and everyone and their brother is using social media to share all the things they're grateful for every single day, I have just not been feeling it.
And you haven't seen the last of me, either ... (11/03/13)
OK, right now I want to talk about something I've talked to you guys about before. Because apparently, unlike Earnest T. Bass, I DO chew my cabbage twice.
Like sharks and algebra, for example ... (10/28/13)
Let's talk about things that are intimidating. Naming your kid, for example. That's intimidating.
Hey, at least the roof is still on... (10/20/13)
So last week, I tripped over a gigantic crack in my living room floor, and now we may just need to burn our house down and start all over. ...I exaggerate, of course, but what I am talking about here is one of those real life home improvement spiral-of-death-and-disaster type situations that we all find ourselves in from time to time. Of course, we were super thrilled that this one occurred when we are less than four months away from bringing a new baby home. Perfect timing. Really...
Sugar and spice and everything ... well, you know the rest ... (10/13/13)
I'm almost a little surprised to say that as of this weekend, we will be more than halfway through our journey to meet our little girl.
I'm going to need to get a bigger soapbox ... (10/06/13)
So if you've spent the last week practically anywhere except for maybe living among the penguins in Antarctica, you're aware of the fact that our country is currently experiencing a governmental shutdown.
So basically, I'll be prepared for my dotage ... (09/29/13)
So I have a few pregnancy-related observations. Basically, I've summed them up thusly -- being pregnant seems to be a lot like getting old.
What I meant to say was ... something else (09/22/13)
This week, I decided to revive an old trend started up by a friend of mine several years ago. He called it "No Negativity Now," and it means that you take a pledge to stop all negative words coming out of your mouth for 30 days.
But I promise I'm not usually grumpy ... (09/16/13)
As I write this, friends, we are mere days away from a momentous event -- The Police and I will find out on Monday whether our new little is a he or a she.
I should have let her stick with the hazelnut ... (09/08/13)
This week, I nearly killed an old friend, using nothing but a container of yogurt. Well, OK, she wasn't nearly killed, but she was nearly very seriously sickened, and it was my fault. To a certain extent.
The sunsets will wear purple, too ... (09/04/13)
I'd like to be funny today, friends, but I just can't do it. As everyone local knows, we've spent the last three days at our office up to our necks in the details surrounding the violent death of a beautiful little girl.
Don't worry, I finished the nap at home... (08/25/13)
So yesterday, I almost blew up my Jeep because I was taking a nap. It's more than a little embarrassing, but hey, if that kind of stuff isn't what this column is for, then I don't know what is.
And I still don't much care for cherries ... (08/18/13)
Now that motherhood is impending for me, I've started wondering what sort of character my child will be, and based on my own childhood history ... I'm a little afraid.
I couldn't even begin to tell you why ... (08/11/13)
So ... umbrellas. When's the last time you read that exact sentence? Anyone?
The greasy, sneaky, spiral of loathing and shame ... (08/04/13)
So let me tell you why I'm ashamed of myself: If anyone were to ask me how many times I've been to McDonald's for breakfast this week, I would have to tell them ... four.
This should be a surprise either way ... (07/21/13)
So, dear friends, I'm having a baby. Bam. Didn't see that one coming, did you? Unless of course you know me from Facebook or The Twitter or real life and have already noticed me throwing up in odd places. But otherwise ... surprise!
It's random observation day again ... (06/30/13)
I'm a nail biter from way back. Through multiple bouts of recovery and relapse over the past 20 years or so, this is one bad habit I simply cannot break, and I've come to terms with it.
And we have more than we'll ever need ... (06/23/13)
This week, I'm really excited to share something amazing with you guys. My husband recently returned from a 15-day trip to China and India. Seeing the way that so many people who share our planet are forced to live is a life-changing experience.
And now for a whole lot of complaining ... (06/16/13)
I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but as a refresher -- I'm from Louisiana. I was born there, lots of my family live there and it's familiar to me.
I also love the rain ... (06/09/13)
In a continuation of last week's idea about everyday beauty, a few more moments which caught my notice over the last few days ...
The place where the beauty comes from ... (06/02/13)
I believe in my bones that there are little, tiny, almost impossible-to-notice moments and things and experiences in life that are left along our personal roadside as gifts -- things that enrich us and make us feel more alive and happy to be part of the world.
I wouldn't have sold her anyway ... (05/26/13)
So this one time, I lost my Barbie in the lake. Obviously, tragedy ensued. It was weeks ago, and I'm still not over it.
Also, the rain stays mainly on the plains ... (05/19/13)
So here's what happened today, you guys. I had this great idea for a column. It was brilliant. Actually, it still is brilliant, just not in the current state in which it exists in my mind.
The squirrels are cooler anyway ... (05/12/13)
I'm afraid the birds don't like me. This obviously means that my social anxieties and obsessive need to be liked have reached a whole new level of ridiculous.
Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky ... (05/05/13)
Being a columnist of the genre in which I fall (if there is a genre for someone like me) has changed my life in one very interesting way. Sometimes I have bad days. Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days (name that book).
I'm also pretty sure Lois Lane isn't real... (04/28/13)
Today, as proof that I do occasionally think about serious things and not just how many zombies I could run down in my Jeep should the necessity arise, I'd like to offer some musings on what I do for a living. This little collection of thoughts is something I've been working on for a while, mainly because I love this job and at its core, it is a very thought-provoking thing to show up and do every day, and I wanted to share. ...
Maybe she'll run a marathon with me one day ... (04/21/13)
Let me start off by saying what has to be said: Our country has had a shocking, sad, exhausting and traumatic week.
Bells to be rung and spring to be sprung ... (04/14/13)
Yesterday I found a gray hair. I don't know why I'm telling you this, but hey -- I've told you that I once thought I could breathe through my ears, that I fell down in front of the Parthenon, and that I have extremely violent feelings about blue toilet water, and you've stuck with me. So I need to talk about the gray hair.
We could call it "King of the Aisles" ... (04/07/13)
I have no food in my house. Not that you care, I was just hoping to find someone with whom to commiserate on this issue.
I may have knocked some people down ... (03/31/13)
I stabbed myself in the hand with an ink-pen this morning. It's definitely going to leave a mark. Get it? A mark? Da-dum-tsss ...
If only the dog could have cushioned my fall ... (03/17/13)
I believe, dear friends, that spring may finally have sprung. Because of all the flowers blooming, the warmer breezes and the brighter sunshine, I am happy and feel like hugging a tree.
Indian folk tunes in the bathroom can be soothing ... (03/10/13)
This is one of those times when so much has happened since the last time I sat down to do this column thing that I am completely flummoxed about where to start, what to say and exactly how many details of my recent life might interest you.
Oh, and I'm taking my cowboy boots ... (02/17/13)
OK, guys. As I sit here at this very moment, I only have four more "get-ups" until The Police and I head out for Europe.
And I didn't feel like Marilyn at all ... (02/10/13)
Boy, oh boy. Let me just tell you. As I was sitting down today to face a serious case of Ihavenoideawhattowriteabout-itis, I decided to go get some lunch. And things pretty much took care of themselves from there.
I even heard violin music in my head ... (02/03/13)
Raise your hand if you've read "The Godfather." Now put it back down if you've only seen the movie and you think that's the same thing. Because it's not. While Mario Puzo's epic book is certainly worth an entire column devoted to singing its praises, I have only mentioned it because I want to take an extremely roundabout route to my actual topic. I know you're surprised...
Maybe I can go without shampoo ... (01/27/13)
Today I'm going to share with you some information that I've been sitting on for well over a month, which is monumental for me, considering how excited I am about this.
The sunrise is really so overrated ... (01/20/13)
So, I think I have finally decided on a decent New Year's resolution. Hey, it's still January, right? This is not the sort of thing that you should just rush into.
But we smell like a spring meadow ... (01/13/13)
Big news today, friends, big news. We got a new washing machine. I know, I know, the excitement is hard to bear. Take a few deep breaths. I'll wait.
Light without and light within ... (01/06/13)
It's a new year, and there are several things I would like to say.
The Smurfs couldn't protect me either ... (12/30/12)
I'm afraid of house fires. I know, I know, saying that you're afraid of house fires is kind of like saying you're afraid of spiders or the apocalypse or Lady Gaga ... everyone is.
But I wouldn't try sledding if I were you ... (12/23/12)
Well, boys and girls, it's Christmas time again. Now is the part of the column where we do audience participation: find somebody and give them a Merry Christmas kiss, hug, or polite nod (whichever is appropriate, obviously). I'll wait ...
Her name was Martoiya ... (12/14/12)
Today, dear friends, is not a day to be funny. It's a day to ask questions. And to be honest, I feel a bit pretentious by even attempting to address this issue with my own feeble and meandering thoughts.
It must be really cool to be French ... (12/09/12)
I came across something last week that piqued my interest: the Proust questionnaire. Marcel Proust was a French and sort of existentially brilliant author, and this set of questions was made famous by the answers he gave to them in the journal of a friend.
Now what am I supposed to do with all this ... (12/02/12)
Gather 'round, ladies and gentlemen, for an amazing spectacle the likes of which you've never seen.
They would also be allowed to step on my toes... (11/25/12)
Happy post-Thanksgiving everybody. I don't know about you, but in spite of the fact that I ate way less this year than I normally do (thanks to the lingering effects of a stomach virus), I still sit here on Friday feeling like one of those people in a Pepto commercial - nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach...well, you get my drift...
You can call me Maynard if you want ... (11/18/12)
Among other things, I am realizing today, all over again, that life is meant to be enjoyed. And that is in spite of any and all circumstances, both on an individual level and a societal one.
And the sun will keep on rising ... (11/11/12)
I'm going to step out of character here for a little while, friends. Bear with me. As I've said before, honesty and real-ness are important to me, and life is not always entertaining or amusing. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it takes you by surprise with a gut punch and leaves you gasping for air and wondering what the heck just happened and how you got where you are.
But I do know a lot about Shakespeare ... (10/28/12)
This morning, I had a flat tire. Really flat, as in it had two nails in it plus an extra hole. It was in a thoroughly sad condition. ... Not that I noticed.
You can also learn how to make a paper gun... (10/21/12)
Whenever I sit and replay in my mind the events of the past few days in our home, I hear along with it that chicken dance song. You know, the one that always gets used as the soundtrack for blooper reels, and such. Google it before you read this, if you aren't already hearing it in your head. I promise it will enhance the experience...
All I want in life is maid service ... (10/14/12)
It's random observation time again. I can hear you cheering now. This time I've used subtitles, because subtitles are fancy.
And flowers are always a good idea ... (10/07/12)
Today I want to talk about feminism. If this were the keynote address at a conference or a valedictorian's speech, it would begin with the dictionary definition. "Webster's defines feminism as ..."
I am totally skipping dinner tonight ... (09/30/12)
Hey guys. At this very moment, my system is struggling to digest a ridiculously big lunch, consisting of a lot of sweets. I think this is OK, though, because I had it at a fabulous tea shop and it was called High Tea, which is essentially dainty and ladylike, and masks the fact that I ate like a lumberjack.
Being a face in the crowd has its ups and downs (09/23/12)
This weekend, I'm spending a few days in St. Louis with some family and friends at a conference. At this very moment, I'm sitting in a gigantic stadium with around 20,000 other people, and I'd just like to talk about that.
A few things I hope never happen to you ... (09/16/12)
I hope you never have to stick your arm into the tank of the toilet in the public restroom at a dollar store. Because that would be really, really gross, and you may walk away from the experience feeling as though you'll never be clean again.
And my bike would be called "The Destroyer" ... (09/09/12)
It's been a while since I've offered up a "Random List of Observations" column (you're welcome, by the way). But since I'm itching to share how I feel about useless minutiae and I have nothing else to talk about, away we go.
Stop, collaborate and listen ... (09/02/12)
So today, I'm feeling all ... musical. Let me explain. Last week, I surprised The Police with tickets to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert, scheduled for this weekend. Wife of the Year, right? I know.
Instructions on catching a cold ... (08/26/12)
8:00 a.m. -- Arrive at work (OK, maybe it was more like 8:15). Sit at desk and keep sunglasses on because the light is hurting your itchy, runny, bloodshot eyes. Stare groggily into space for a few minutes.
Mainly I would miss red velvet ... (08/19/12)
The Olympics are over, and I've been left with a huge and gaping hole in my life. For the past two weeks, I have put everything on hold to stay glued to the TV every night until way past my normal granny-ish bedtime.
You can send flowers to their moms if you want ... (08/05/12)
I've been holding on to today's story for a few weeks, mainly so my brain could have time to process the trauma it incurred. But now I think I'm ready. Hope you guys don't mind me using this public forum as some sort of weird substitute for therapy. Thanks.
Shannon Spears Harris
Shannon Spears Harris is a staff writer for the Courier News.
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