Monday, April 25, 2011


NoNo last summer at her friend's Quincenero
Sixteen years ago today, I became a mom for the first time. Life changing experience would hardly cut it. There is nothing so humbling, so frustrating, or so rewarding as parenting. And this particular child has not been without her own set of special challenges. I think though, I will give you some darned cute stories instead of kvetching on her birthday.

1st story:  I was REALLY good when she was little. I didn't yell. (we didn't eat junk, I didn't swear--no commercial TV)... but we had a puppy with anxiety issues. When we'd leave, he would chew up stuff... like... you know... couches... He would strew garbage from one end of the kitchen to the other... so the 'no yelling thing' had a limit...

Henry (best dog ever)
NoNo, when I was getting her ready for bed one night, was unhappy to be going to bed, so when I picked her up and said 'let's get your pajamas on' her response was “You're a dumb dog.”

Yup... that is what she'd learned someone said when they were really mad (she was two)

Second story... (about the same age)  I didn't go out much... I didn't wear make-up often... but one night I had a work party and so I was dressing up. I picked her up when I was almost ready and she scrunched her face. I said 'what's the matter?' and she pointed. “What's that?” “it's make-up. Don't you like it?” She shook her head and said, “It's too spicy.”

I love that she could always exactly express herself, even when she didn't have the words for it.

Happy Birthday NoNo! I love you!


So tomorrow is the next ABNA cut. I don't expect to make it, but I am nervous nonetheless. I'm having a great time getting to know my fellow ABNAers better, and many of them have been out for a while, so in or out doesn't matter on THAT front. It's not like they are going to kick me out of the social circle. But at the same time, semi-finalist status would change some stuff. I think that is when people NOT participating or friends with someone participating will start to pay attention. And MAN, I'd love a little attention.

That said, I've been clear all along that Kahlotus Disposal Site is not as polished as I'd like it to be. I DO think, though, that it is ultimately salable. And I am excited to see the feedback I get on it from the Publisher's Weekly review. (real, professional feedback—an AMAZING prize)

I mean seriously--the underwear ruin this picture

Let's break this down. Wear—after a word, this implies it is what you wear to do that thing. Un—this prefix makes something not so anymore. So obviously underwear is what you wear if you want to stop being a Der. If you were NEVER a Der, it is not necessary.

Say it with me. Pants are evil! Down with Pants!


mooderino said...

Clearly this man has some kind of glandular problem. He's all swollen and puffed up. Get him to a hospital, I say (it's probably contagious).

Moody Writing

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday NoNo :) ooh those white undies look nice.

Old Kitty said...

Aww Watery Tart!! Not only have you got my attention, you have my NAKED attention too! So yay!! I have every naked fingers, nakedly crossed for a very NAKED ABNA day tomorrow for you!!!! Yay for you!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your gorgeous daughter!!!

Pants are evil! Down with pants.
Especially white pants. On really fit man! Like in the pic you have here.


Take care

Jeanne said...

Great fun post. Cute story about your daughter. Savor those comments. That is how I wrote my first book, my son's comments in a folder. We both seem to have underwear (men's) on the brain, er, somewhere anyway. I have it on my blog too for today.

Trisha said...

I love those NoNo stories, very cute :D And happy b'day to her!

Good luck for ABNA!!! and i agree, underwear is just unnecessary sometimes ;)

Hart Johnson said...

*giggles* You're too funny, Moody.

Niki-even when I yield on the underwear business, I'm not a tighty whitey gal...

Jenny-YAY for naked solidarity! *hugs to you*

Jeanne-Oh great idea! I wish I'd written more when she was little. I remember some, but know there were more.

Trisha-thank you and thank you!!!

Gina said...

Your daughter is absolutely adorable. And if all men looked like that sans pants... I'd burn every pair my husband owned!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Good luck with ABNA!

Cute picture of your daughter and Happy Birthday to her!

Too funny about the spicy makeup. :)

Hart Johnson said...

Thank, Gina! And I suppose there is something to how well men WEAR no pants, though I generaglly advocate the more nakedness the better...

Thank you, Elizabeth! I think what I love about the 'too spicy' is that is my favorite kind of description in books too--totally unexpected but unmistakable wording...

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where to start. You gave me a lot to work with.

Happy Birthday to NoNo! Motherhood is awesome, in every sense of the word.

Congrats on making it this far in ABNA and good luck tomorrow!

Un-Der-Wear?! I literally laughed out loud, making me glad my 5 year old isn't here right now because I'm not sure how I would explain to him why Mommy is laughing so hard at her computer.


Laura Eno said...

Happy birthday to NoNo and love the stories!
Best of luck to you tomorrow with the ABNA!
You're right, of course. The underwear ruins the photo. ;)

Lucy Adams said...

Great stories about when your daughter was little. My daughter, when she was about the same age told me I had "crunks" on my face. Ouch.


Megan Bostic said...

Happy birthday to your daughter. She's beautiful. I too was of the no yelling, no junk, no commercial tv variety mom. :)

And don't cut yourself short on ABNA. I am sending good vibes your way.

And that dude is smokin' hot. *sizzle*

Johanna Garth said...

Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter! Now I will know exactly what to say whenever I'm really, really mad :)

Good luck on ABNA. I made it to the quarterfinals last year and whether or not you advance the Publisher's Weekly review is truly a prize. Congratulations on making it this far and here's fingers crossed that you make it to the semifinals!

Andrew Leon said...

There's this line in The Empire Strikes Back where Boba Fett says to Vader, "He's no good to me dead." My oldest didn't quite understand that line after he saw the movie, but he liked to use it. On me. "You're no good to me, Dad!"

Terry Odell said...

Congrats on surviving .. I remember when my twin daughters hit 16. I felt every minute of those 32 years.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

GigglesandGuns said...

Best year ever to NoNo!

Pretty good day for me after the undie post. Thanks, Hart.

Beverly Diehl said...

Those tighty whities made my day.

I have no preference - when it's such a nice present, boxers, briefs, banana hammock or scarf - any kind of wrapping is fabu.

LTM said...

oh, hooRAY for underwear models! LOL! And wait... was she eating the makeup? *snort* sounds like something I might've done. (Bit a pretty strawberry decorative soap once--bleah! ;p)

GOOD LUCK w/the next round of ABNA!!! omg. I'm holding my breath!

Happy birthday to your precious daughter, and that's just the cutest picture of her~

Jenny said...

You--or should that be U?--really covered the bases for today's letter. What a great post. Happy birthday to your daughter, and good luck with ABNA!

Hart Johnson said...

Vicki-always happy to give someone a laugh!

Laura-I know, right?! teehee

Lucy-oh no! Crunks? That was for make-up?

Megan-thanks for the good vibes! I need them right about now!

Johanna-You say that around Portland, you might even find someone who knows what you mean! (I worked for McMenamin's in those days and everyone heard the story)

Andrew-they have smart mouths, don't they? Sometimes I really crave being called a dumb dog...

Terry-2 at a time!? I think I would have died by now!

Mary-*snicker* I aim to please!

Beverly... yeah, not so much a tighty whitey fan myself. In fact I have a book with a boxers vs. briefs argument *nods*

Leigh--she was using a METAPHOR--at 2! Isn't she the smartest child ever!? (and thank you!)

Hart Johnson said...

jenny-you snuck in there! Thank you!

Holly Ruggiero said...

I love the comment, "It's too spicy." That is a keeper.

So are you a nervous wreck today. How do you handle the stress?

Good luck.

VR Barkowski said...

I keep hearing complaints about the rising cost of living. Think how much money we could all save if we omitted clothes from our budgets? Okay, maybe not during snow season, but during the summer???

Bonne chance avec l'ABNA and a happy, happy birthday to NoNo!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Happy birthday to your daughter! She's just as beautiful as her mom. Does she share the same desire for naked world domination? Or is that too spicy?

Hart Johnson said...

Holly-isn't that classic? And yeah... a little nervous...

VR--no kidding! Man, I'd love to not have to spend that! (and thank you!)

Alex--aw--thank you! And she DOES think it's too spicy, as a matter of fact. She likes teeny bikinis, but otherwise is pretty modest.

Susan said...

Happy Birthday to NoNo and happy her-birthday to you! Amazing how fast the years go, isn't it? My son's sixteenth is coming up in two months, and I'm dumbfounded every time I think about it.

Awesome stories, thanks for sharing a laugh!

Jo Schaffer said...

Oh, yeah, with my first I was super careful about everything when he was little. A bit less now. (= Kids are fabulous.

And down with pants... if you look like that guy it should be mandatory. (=

sandy axelrod said...

I loved all of your U stories especially the last one. Yummy! I would also like to bestow upon you the Stylish Blogger Award which you can pick up on the sidebar on my site Click on the award and it will take you to all of the directions.

RosieC said...

Well, I'll have to go back and check the logs to see if I was ever a der. Hmmm.... :)

Happy birthday, NoNo!

Good luck with the ABNA cuts. I'll check back tomorrow to see what happens, but I've got my fingers crossed for you.

Lisa Potts said...

Your daughter is beautiful so feel free to take credit for that!

Good luck with ABNA. Fingers crossed for you.

I know it's been a while since I've seen one, but what's that dot on the totally offensive underwear? (I need to get out more often) : (

Geof said...

Down with pants? Hart, you know I want to make a joke here but I'll let it go. Besides, I am a boxers guy. =)

Ketutar said...

NoNo Pretty...
I agree... bad underwear... but half open pair of jeans would be better than nothing at all.