Thursday, December 31, 2009

You missed me, SAY IT!

Okay, so the big holiday is all over and my house is almost back to it's usual self. The bins of Christmas swag are stacked neatly in the garage waiting for JG to put them up in the attic until next year and the new "stuff" has almost all found it's place in our home. And since we made a bargain with Ladybug about Christmas gifts this year, the bedroom cleanup is on the schedule for tomorrow. For every single toy that came in the house (even the tiny ones), a toy is leaving her bedroom to make a place for it. That's a pretty good plan, if I say so myself. And I just did. We'll see what happens.


for now everyone is still pretty happy


In other news, I have been Wii "fitting" every day since we got the system this week and I am truly surprised how different I feel. And by different I mean- my butt hurts. And squatting to pick up a dropped anything is almost life-threatening. But in a good way. Like, I might even be able to touch my toes again in a few months here. I'm feeling sore, but bendy. I did a double-take when the BMI meter stopped right in the normal region. I am only 1.3 points off of being at my ideal BMI. This only is totally shocking to me because I am still about fifteen or so pounds heavier than I was before I got pregnant with Sam. So...does that mean I have been living most of my adult life (dare i say it?) underweight??? It can't be. But maybe it's these bodacious boobs I have lately. I swear they weigh three pounds a piece. I tried to Wii jog the other day (don't judge me) and had to put on two sports bras to keep from giving myself a bloody nose.

So I've been absent from blogger for a while. It's a combination of things keeping me away. The incredibly cute six month old baby snoozing in the room next-door, for one. And the big girl is getting bigger and needing me a little less, which frees up more time for projects around the house and surfing the web for things I want to be able to make, but don't have the time because I'm constantly surfing the web for things I want to be able to make. *sigh. See?

Oh and if I didn't mention that I was participating in The Great Interview Experiment (Returns)it's because I have some regrets about signing up. Mostly because after reading the blog I was assigned to "cover", I conked out like Tiger Woods on Ambien and devoured a plate of fruitcake. Luckily, I didn't die OR have sex with a Perkins waitress and my own interviewer was just hilarious and interesting enough to make it all worth giving a go.

You can view the interview I "starred in" over at Growing Up Kaitlyn. James is funny and smart and overall a more interesting person than some people. Most, actually. So pop over and enjoy us and our hilarity as we cross blogger streams with our keyboard/proton-packs.

And tomorrow, I will be posting my own interview of Blogess JQBrat. If you plan on returning for that buttery nugget... have a double shot of espresso before you click. We'll all be needing it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dear Blog,

I need to write in you more. 

Love,
Stephanie

Thursday, December 17, 2009

yesssss. stuck my finger in poop already and it's only noon-thirty.

THE DIAPER.

Okay. This is so going where you think it is, so if you prefer to keep your sausage biscuit in your belly, look away.  It's just. that. horrific.

After I dropped off Ladybug and friend at the bus stop a few miles away {yes, miles}, I arrived home and discovered Bubs had a shitstorm in his diaper.  So after I handed him to JG and scrubbed the crap from under the new wonky finger, I changed his pants and threw the dirty poo pants on top of the toilet in the bathroom for swishing.  I washed up, kissed JG buh-bye and it was about that time when Bubs started pawing at my shirt for some boob-juice and we settled down in bed for a little nuzzle time and fell asleep.

The diaper waited for me.  They do that.  And usually, I am right there swishing the poo into the crapper as soon as the fresh Fuzzi Bunz hits his sweet cheeks, but he was hungry and we were sleepy and then I just forgot about it.

Best nap ever.  We both woke up smiling and happy and he burped a milk burp when I sat him up and we laughed and Carol Carpenter sang "close to you" in the background. Beautiful.   A moment so pure and strong can only be ruined by a dog.  She came out of the bathroom licking her black wormy lips all smiles and waggy tail with this pep in her step like I haven't seen since the last time she rolled in dead things.  So I totally knew something was up. 

I know you're saying what I was saying.  {oh no she di-in}  Yes. She did. Dogface found the crappy diaper and had herself a little snack.  I kicked myself all the way to the bathroom and surveyed the mess.  Three poopied wipes (we cloth diaper and cloth wipe, and no, we aren't pretentious ass-holes about it) ((wait, does saying that make me pretentious?)) and a blue diaper were on the floor of the bathroom.  Licked. And now there was not only poop in the diaper, but also all over the lid of the toilet seat and the floor.  And Dogface's tongue.

I will spare you the details about cleaning up.  There was disinfecting involved and a whole lot of Dogface's nose poking in asking for seconds and me saying {git the eff outta town, Grossy-grosserson}.  And then there was a conversation with JG about it on IM from his work.  I'm red.

hello biscuit butt
when bubs took a nap, i fell asleep, too. and raven was busy eating shit out of his diaper.
12:15 PM
omg
are you serious?
thats so disgusting
omg. i wish i could say JK
did she eat it all?
no. i wish.
was it all over the place?
i mean, if she's gonna lick it, she might as well lick it all, right?
so. i wonder if the prunes (because it was soooo prunes) are going to be as effective for chope as they were for Bubs.
12:45 PM
hahahaha
thats funny
i hope not
hopefully she doesnt puke
1:00 PM
ugh.
that's a double whammy
poo puke
yikes

Okay, I have to totally ignore the fact that he didn't use apostrophes in his conjunctions.  I am tempted to put them in. *deep breaths*  

Okay. Here's the real kicker: Her breath actually smells better.  But I'm still thinking Santa may not bring that dog-snuggie her-highness put on the Christmas wish list this year.  

wah wah wah wahhhhhhhh.















 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

me, too.

I looked in the rear view mirror on the way home from the bus-stop and Ladybug had tears in her eyes and a red face.
What's the matter, baby?
Well, I just don't want you to die.
Oh, honey. You don't have to worry about that for a long, long time.
But I don't want you to die ever. Even when you get old like Grandma Fern.
Okay. I won't.

I lied. I will die. But it will be when she understands better. When she doesn't need me so much. I want to be honest with her. About important things like love and hate and pain. But this can wait. I don't want her to worry about me not being here. I want her to know that I'll be right next to her every time she needs me. And right around the corner waiting when she doesn't.

Her hand finds mine as we step off the curb together. Panic touches her face for a second at the park when she realizes I have moved from the bench. I'm here. I'll be here. Don't ever worry that I won't be.

Will you tell Daddy, too? To not die?
Yes.
I wish nobody died.
Me, too, baby.

Me. Too.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

ta-da.

I was really stumped about what to write about for my monumental 100th post. For the last few days I have come up with a few ideas and started a few drafts, but nothing seemed to live up to the magic I envisioned for the occasion.

Until I opened my email this morning and found this:

Hi, this is your sister, Michele!


And after the very appropriate exclamation point there was a whole bunch of information about her family and questions about mine and then a phone number for me to call her and then this:

LOVE, Michele



Okay, so you're thinking {big whoop, your sister sent you an email}. Well big-whoop to you, too because I haven't talked to either of my TWO sisters since my father's funeral a long. time. ago. Not because I was mad or anything, but because dad was the sticky goo that held the three of us together. They have a different mom and I live in a different state and I just sort of went home and put that whole part of my life away in a box with a photo and a card and shoved it "under the bed".

But this wonderful internet has brought us together again and she has been looking for me {quote unquote} and did you see that she wrote love in capitals???? She has missed me.

And so Christmas comes early for me. Because I couldn't have dreamed up a better thing to happen to me right now than re-connecting with the only two people in the whole green earth that understand what I feel about my dad.


In other news, I have a new header and blog layout thanks to JG. He was ever so patient with me last night as I looked through fonts and photos and hemmed n' hawed over colors and such. And I couldn't be happier with the final product. Except maybe if it were dipped in chocolate.

As for the content of my blog, I don't see any point to changing things or taking a new path as far as writing is concerned. Here's to hoping the next one hundred posts are riddled with the words frig and wonky.

Thanks for sticking with me.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

slapdashery

I'm trying a new diet while JG is gone on business {yes AGAIN}. It's a high protein/high antioxidant diet. Okay, it's really just frozen chicken nuggets and chocolate covered raisins all day every day. Since there are raisins involved, I feel super healthy. I think I'll toss in a sweet potato with some marshmallows on top tonight for a little variation.

*************

tonight i typed into google: {what will drinking a glass of wine do to my baby}
then deleted that search and retyped: {will having a glass of wine deform or kill my baby}
final outcome: enjoying a well deserved glass of wine

*************

shampooed Ladybug's hair again tonight with lice shampoo and, NO, i don't want to talk about it.

************

maybe i watched a Bad Girls Club marathon on oxygen and spilled apple juice on the tile two times while Sam napped instead of doing something productive. so. sue. me.

**************

cadence dropped a candy cane in the bathtub while she was bathing {pre-shampoo} and then wiped it off with her bathwaterlogged fingers and stuck it back in her face. i almost said, ick, but i was too tired.

*************

oh my, this is my 99th post and I totally just wasted it telling you a bunch of random crap. i guess i should plan something spectacularish for number 100.


*************

just squirted my face with breastmilk. that's what i get for being curious. and alone.

*************

don't tell anyone i watched trash tv today. thanks.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"my name needs more x's in it"

Because I can't help but be all sad and sappy when Jed's gone...here's another post nobody will thank me for when they get to the end.

Sometimes I read his old livejournal posts from when we first fell in love. Like this one:

{{when she's around, i feel like all my ends connect to something, and begin and end deliberately with hers. it all matches up.}}


Aww. It's so sweet and lovely. I can almost see the heart bubbles floating gingerly above each and every carefully chosen word. We truly dove into our love with fully clothed and holding our noses. I'm lame and lonley for lovey-poo-cakie-pie-hunny-biscuitass and I'm up late remembering the way my stomach seized up and plunged into my heart whenever he was nearby. Every kiss was like a key lime pie- tart and tangy and I wanted to lick the plate at the end. Our hearts were connected by soft, red yarn. Everywhere we were, we were connected by it. Our ears burned on hot telephones at four in the morning because we couldn't say goodbye. Our palms sweat together because we couldn't let go. His favorite smell was me and mine was him and we couldn't breathe in deeply enough.


And then there are the posts from before we met.

{{i think i want to go down to the courthouse and officially change my name to xjxexdx cause then i would be cool. so my whole name would then be, "xJxexdx xMxcxGxoxwxexnx xGxrxexsxhxaxmx".}}
*sigh.

And to think that if we'd met just a few months later, I could very well be Mxrxs. xSxtxexpxhxaxnxixex xMxexaxdxex xGxrxexsxhxaxmx.

I miss you, xJxexd.

ps- he comes back Friday, so you'll have to endure the mucky muck lickery goodness of my sap-sappy sloshiness until then.

Monday, November 30, 2009

When you're gone.

Tonight I'm watching television shows you'd never stop on.  And I'm staying up late with the dogs just to avoid {shutting down} and being alone on the island-sized bed.  I sneezed and nobody said {bless you}.  I cut the cheese and nobody laughed. 
You're in California and I'm not the same without you.
The toilet seat is cold every time I sit down and my underpants are lonesome on the floor of the bathroom without yours to keep them company.  I keep glancing at the alarm lights to be sure both the green AND the red are lit up.  Because you aren't here to investigate peculiar bumps in the night that end up being the cat stalking crickets.
Since you aren't here, I almost forgot my vitamin and then I really did forget to feed the fish. {I just remembered, so stop panicking. I can handle this.}
You've taken two flights today and are now two thousand eight hundred eighty-five miles away from me.
The only thing further away than you is Friday. I love you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

how old IS too old for a weiner?

One of my mom's teacher friends taught me how to juggle after school one afternoon. His name was Mr. Cutiepie and he was a swim coach at the YMCA to make extra money on the side. He was younger than my mom. By a lot. And he was a math teacher. Hot in that nerdy sweater vest and sneakers sort of way. My taste hasn't changed, although every attempt to get my husband into a sweater vest has bombed miserably... he who wears a pink bow tie to work must draw a line SOMEWHERE.
So in the quiet classroom of Pine View Middle, Mr. Hottiepants and I stood tossing fuzzy neon tennis balls up into the air for an hour or so while my mother graded papers and smoked a cigarette at her desk. He was my first and only teacher crush. He wasn't even MY teacher. I got stuck with Ms. Hamsterarm for math. She has a mole that resembled a hamster both in shape and size on her forearm. It had realllly long hair. And possibly a tail. Nowhere near as attractive as Mr. Cutiepie. He had a swimmer's ass.

But I really wanted to talk about juggling. I can do it. Not cirq du soliel well. But well enough that when people ask me if I can juggle {happens allll the time}, I can say yes. Don't ask me for a demonstration. I only got up three balls and can do a rotation just a few times. After that, I start running all over like a beheaded chicken and then the balls start dropping.

See? I'm getting to the point. Drawing parallels, people. I am busy these days. I've traded balls for babies and today someone tossed in a sick husband home early from work. The deadline for my next article is sneaking up on me and after playing back to back games of rake/broom/mop ball with the neighbor kids I barely can keep myself together long enough to spread peanut butter on a whole wheat bagel for dinner. Which I eat standing up over the sink while Sam paws at it and drools. It's the end of the day, I'm exhausted. Yet I feel like I have accomplished very little. The house is a disaster and I look like a character from the finale of any Bruce Campbell movie. In cutoffs and a Miley Cyrus shirt from Wal-Mart. {I can't believe I just said that}

So instead of worrying about all the stuff I should've crammed into my day, I'm taking a different route. Making a list of all the stuff that wasn't on the agenda, but dun got did anyway. Starting with...

1. writing a blog post kind of about juggling
2. pumped four, count em, FOUR sets of bicycle tires. {rode zero bikes}
3. ate three meals plus a bag of chocolate pretzels standing up
4. took a bath with the baby at noon to prevent meltdown(s)
5. picked up extra child at the bus {his mom knows}
6. sent exactly fifteen text messages to people
7. drove in a circle around Sanford just once to put Sam to sleep and listen to Garrison Keelor on NPR
8. washed and dried six fuzzibunz diapers
9. accidentally ate an expired hot dog
10. ran next to Ladybug's bike while she "balanced" then hurled herself into the grass a dozen times {training wheels came off tuesday}
11. almost got a photo of JG sleeping with a tissue shoved up his nostril

Damn. Everything else can wait. I've had a pretty decent day. AND everyone in the house is fed and asleep and it's only eight thirty! Holy smokes, I amaze myself. Now if I could only stay awake to tell you a little more about the rules of a highly sophisticated game called broom/mop/rake ball. And there's always the dead chicken stories. I have several of those.

*Yawn.

the post about another blog that ends up being a bad idea. or how i {stopped short} at the end of another entry.

When I sit down at my computer and log onto blogger I sometimes have nothing at all to say. I know. Stunning revelation. It certainly seems as though I am a bottomless pit of exciting and hilarious things to talk about and I know everyone is entertained each and every single time they click on my link. Say it!


The truth is, sometimes I sit here and stare out the sliding glass doors into the field and get all to wrapped up in the birds and the broken flower pot and I start making kudzu animals with my mind instead of typing. Sometimes I stare. Sometimes I stalk other blogs. Sometimes I hit refresh on Apartment Therapy every thirty seconds until something new pops up...

I am not always inspired. And even when I am pumped full of love or disgust or any other feeling that sparks the blogger flame, I sometimes think to myself. I can't write about that. It's boring. oh the irony.

Anyway. JG and I talked the other night about me starting another blog. An anonymous one in which I can write about whatever I want, how I want to and not feel the pecking of a guilty conscience telling me to hit delete or change a word or just start all over. I think I need it. Somewhere I can be okay with writing crap. Or shit. Or sexyhunkylovemonkey stuff that seriously nobody wants to read.

The possibility of been able to just go for it....don't hold back {and all the other inspiring cliches you can think of}, tra-la-la that makes me giddy with anticipation. And I can hide out. And be nobody. A nobody talking to no one. Nobody saying *hugs when I write about a bad day. Not a soul telling me they identify with my feelings; making me feel normal in abnormal situations. Nobody correcting my spelling and grammar. (hmm)

Wow. It's starting to sound pretty lame, come to think about it. And lonesome.

Never. Mind.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

for once, it's not poop

Do you remember the part in Peter Pan where Tinkerbell drinks the poison to save Peter's life and then she dies and everyone has to clap their hands furiously to bring her back to life? Did you clap? I clapped. I still clap. I'm not sure if I actually do believe in fairies or if I do it for the same reason I purposefully avoid stepping on cracks. I don't want to be responsible for a dead fairy somewhere. Or for breaking my mother's back.

My husband, is not a clapper. At least, not any more. Fairies he could live without. All because of their dust. Also known as glitter. If you really want to tick him off, give him a card with glitter on it. Or anything with glitter on it in a sneaky little package hiding the glitter. Men don't like glitter. Liberace and Eddie Izzard. Okay. I can think of two.

Women who love glitter, on the other hand, come in an array of sorts. The list begins with strippers. Closely followed by fairies. And then little girls. After that there is only Mariah Carey. In my home, there are no strippers on most nights. Nor washed-up pop stars. But there is always at least one little girl and a whole dang handful of fairy dust.

It's really our go-to decoration for things like school projects and artsy-fartsy creative time. If you're unsure what time that is, it's about the time of day I uncork the shiraz and start a batch of chick'n nuggets in the oven {my go-to dinner}. Last minute homework always looks fancier when you douse it in glitter. It's a good way to say, {we really worked hard on this homework this morning before the bus came} I also allow glitter on the fingernails and faces during slumber parties or weekends. Because my little girl is at her quietest while applying makeup. It's just so.

Like plain old dust, the fairy sort ends up on the floor. And on tables, rugs, hair and nose-holes. Sometimes it gets in dinner. And on the pets. Let's be honest, it's an improvement on ol' dog's baldy foot look. She really can't complain about the glitter.

It especially ends up where you don't intend for it to be. i.e- on the men. So this morning, I was only a little shocked when my husband yelled- clearly outraged- about glitter on Sam. Yesterday I saw a little red piece on his chin, but to be fair, all sorts of things get stuck there because it's always slathered in drool. But this time it was not stuck in drool on his neck, chin, or fingers. It was lower.

No, lower. Still lower. Oh....higher. Right there. Actually, I think JG's exact words were:

{dammit, steph, there's glitter under my baby's balls}

I really only see this as a problem after puberty sets in. Glitter, is better than dog hair. Or the other sorts of things that get stuck to balls. Like lice.

You all agree. Except you, JG. You, dear husband, will never see eye to eye with me where sparkles are concerned. They may very well be the bane of your nerdy, yet manly existence. Tiny little specks of fabulous. Marring your masculine facade and forever ruining your chances of ever cheating on your spouse. {not that you could ever find anyone as interesting or perfect as I am} I'm sorry, but the magic sprinkles are here to stay. And to help you embrace the pizzaz, I bedazzled your wireless mouse and the entire contents of your underpants drawer.

God, I love saying underpants. But now you can call them fancies.

Monday, November 16, 2009

here's your rubber thing.




While doing some research on the web about BPA-free bottles and cups, I came across this little giraffe named Sofie who is made of BPA-free "green" rubber and is meant to be a teething toy for babies. Cute, but what idiot* is going to spend $22.00 on what could be a squeaky toy for my brainless little terrier mix? I'm not joking. Twenty-two dollars.

So when I ran over a "Sofie" at Target, I immediately looked around for the idiot it belonged to. I stuck it in my cart and carried on with my shopping, all the while keeping my eyes peeled for its owner. I made it to the checkout counter with not even one stroller or baby-toting mom spotted, so I figured I would just leave it at the customer service desk because surely someone who spent big bucks on this thing would return for it.

Finders-keepers you say? Well I certainly thought for an instant about becoming the new owner of a slightly used, almost-decapitated rubber giraffe. And then I decided I didn't want anyone thinking I was an idiot** for wasting perfectly good money on what we've already established is a ridiculously cocky piece of rubber.

And then she pulled up behind me in her stroller. And I knew it was her. There was nobody else around with a baby. Her boy was slightly older than mine and was rolling in an Axiom. I have never heard of it. Maybe because I don't ever do searches for MOST EXPENSIVE STROLLER EVER. Which, when I Googled Axiom stroller....is what I just came up with! $1219.

So. I smiled at her, took it out of my cart and held it out to her.

Me: did you lose this?
Her: oh, yeah.
Me: ....
Her: ....
Me: you're welcome. i ran over it's head.

I just saved you from having to buy yourself another overly-priced "green" rubber giraffe, lady. Maybe you could smile or say thanks or something. Or maybe you should just stick it. You. Know. Where.




* If you have one of these overpriced chew toys, you're probably just cooler, smarter, and care more about the planet than I do. Or, you have too much money and you should promptly send me some of it. Thanks.

** FYI: I'm perfectly fine with people thinking I'm an idiot for doing other things.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

this is your brain on children

I watched the cheddar on my bagel bubble and brown through the door of the toaster oven tonight and thought, {i feel ya, pal}.

It wasn't a bad day.   Nothing {happened}.  No particular thing made me do it, but I cried.  While sitting and thinking of the bajillions of things I wanted to do with this peaceful quiet part of the day.  But I couldn't move.  My body refused.  My brain laughed in the face of my creative spirit, a sort of {i dare you}.  If it necessitated a brain cell, it was out.

So this is what I have left.  Fingers. Keys. The simplest of connections possible. Letters in words in an order that may or may not make sense.

As my mom would say, {too pooped to pop}.



* aren't those pointy parentheses prettier than quotation marks? i'm onto something.

Monday, November 9, 2009

things you can live without knowing. but why?

Sam is teething. Or maybe I should say he's beginning the long and terribly painful process of cutting his first little baby chicklet teeth. This morning he was so incredibly pee-ohed about the whole thing that he finally just gave up and fell asleep while "biting" my collarbone.

I'm expecting a full set of baby teeth when he wakes up from his nap. I'll keep you posted. Because I know you care. You're just waiting, aren't you?

****

I left my favorite coffee mug in the dishwasher, which I usually never do because I use it so frequently.  I usually wash it and keep it at the ready next to the coffee pot for the next morning, but last night was super lazy sunday and I didn't do my usual cleaning up around the house stuff.  And it wouldn't be really bugging me right now except that I also left my second favorite mug in the dishwasher (which is running) to keep the first favorite company and now I'm drinking out of a lame secret santa Christmas mug.   Coffee never tasted so...meh.

****

Raven has been wearing the "cone of shame" now for about a week and a half.  Her feet have never been so....hairy.  The compulsive licking is limited to only a few times a day when we free her from the C.O.S for walks and when we are out of the house.  She's stopped running away from anyone wielding the cone, but continues to ram the back of my legs repetitively.  So I have bruises all over the back of my legs. Large, long ones.  Because I bruise easily and she is relentlessly following me around as usual, but now she's armed with a purple, plastic weapon. It's surprisingly sharp.

Woe, is me. And my poor calves.

****

I apologize for the boring post. Today I just don't feel funny. Or interesting. So. Check back again after the coffee mug issue is resolved. I should be back to my usual doofy self soon.

Friday, November 6, 2009

jumping on the trampoline to prevent encephalitis

This is the hardest blog post I have ever tried to write. It's not particularly moving or emotionally revealing. It doesn't delve into the balmy pit of my soul. It just hurt to write it.

I woke up at five o'clock because my baby is convinced that this is an acceptable time to have breakfast. and then talk about deep shit like the meaning of life and poopy diapers and stuff while I lay awake wondering if i should just get up or sleep another hour. All the while, JG is rolling over and over and over and sometimes saying the eff word- so I just got up and gave the dogs the finger when they stretched and followed me to the door.
not today, dogs. not. to. day.
So I put on a pot of coffee and the chatter from the nursery dies down and all that can be heard in the house is the trickle of the aquarium pump bubbling and the cat jumping at frogs on the sliding glass door.
ahh. an hour to myself. what. to. do?
clean leftover mess from last night's pizza party? too "worky"
take dogs for early walk? too much poop.
one hundred crunches? ha. as if.
watch the sunset over the moor from the patio. woo-hoo. i feel so close to mother earth already.

I douse my sugar in coffee and head to the patio to enjoy the solitude a morning alone. And because i'm generous and an overall thoughtful type gal, I invite the cat to sit with me. No harm in a little fresh air for my feline shut-in on a quiet morning? That lasted two minutes. He first tried to leave the patio for the moor and breakfast birds and then refused to sit on my lap like the cats in the movies do. I squished him back into the house quick-like so I could still enjoy my sunrise.

sat. waited. yawned. slapped a mosquito. got cold, got bored, fetched sweater and laptop, gave dogs the finger again, resumed my patio setup with the intention of writing an inspiring blog about the sunrise.

where the hell is the damn sun?
*slap
Why are there mosquitoes out here? It's fifty-six degrees?
*slap, smack, efffff

"The dew is on the moor and sillohuettes of whipporwills streak the early morning sky..."

*whack, thwack, swat

What the hell, bugs? Through my sweater? Really?

And then, like a beacon in the blackish-brownish morning-of-the-living-bloodsuckers, a child's plaything provides a solution. A tiny Richard-Simmons sized trampoline in the yard invites me to escape the *slap insatiable thirst of the bugs of the night.

Jump jump jump. Ahh. They can't bite what they can't land on.
Jump jump jump.
I will see my sunrise yet.
Jump jump jump.
Thighs. Jump. Burrnninngg.

Hurry. Jump. Up. Jump. Sunshine.
Jump. W. Jump. T. Jump. F?
sporst. jump. bra.

Jump jump jump.
Hurry the eff up, sunshine! I just want to be awed by you in all your spelndid shine-ness! Jump Jump Jump. *SLAP

A sound from the baby monitor distracts me from my jumping long enough for a fifty-gatrillion bugs to land and attack all at one time.

Abort, abort, aborrrrrttttttt.
Splendor in the sky, mission FAILED.

Do not pass go. Do not have peaceful morning.

Thank you mother nature. For being nothing like you are on the Discovery channel.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

cute tootie





From Sam and Ladybug





From Sam and Ladybug


Thursday, October 29, 2009

S is for Stupid, duh.

Last night my family sat around the dinner table gobbling some kick-ass chicken n' dumplins I made from scratch-ish. Yes, my g key does work, but my grandma called it dumplins- so I's gonna call it dumplins.

Anyway. We nosh and gnash and glug some milks and then Ladybug starts in about her day and all the crazy boys she is in class with. Seriously. One eats his napkin at lunch time and another one called somebody a turd-nugget. I hope these kids get smarter...turd nugget? Really? Weak. I hope when Ladybug slips up she says something like horseshit.

Then she sticks up her middle finger and says that she knows it means something bad, but she isn't sure why. This is when JG and I really get a chance to flex our awesome parenting skills. So we tell her that it is just a finger. NOT A LIE. And it only means something if the person you're showing it to thinks so. Or if you intend for it to mean something more than what it is. (It's a totally acceptable digit to use when pointing. Ask my seventh grade algebra teacher.)

We're playing it cool, but we remind her that the people at school aren't as cool as we are, so she can't stick that finger up while she's at school because they will assume she means something bad and she will get in big trouble. Like, maybe even have a "crayon" taken out of her behavior box. *dun dun dunnnnnnnn

With a few more examples of how people interpret finger and hand gestures she gets it and we agree that she can use the finger at home as long as she's not doing it in the spirit of Johnny Cash.

Then the conversation moves on to bad words. And she tells us that some kid told her she couldn't say her newest favorite phrase, "what the...". No hell. Not even heck. Just a what and a the punctuated with a funny face and some cute-infused inflection. I say that kid must be the one eating the napkins because all that bleached paper fiber has obliterated some brain cells. She says the one eating napkins was Joey and he's totally her bff.

Egads. Not ready to go there.

I know a bad word that starts with S.
Shit?
*horror*
Shit is just another word for poop, baby.

Mom, I was going to say STUPID!
Oh. Yeah. That one is totally way worse.
*blink blink*
Don't say shit.


Sometimes I wonder exactly what benefits I am tossing into the gene pool. Besides striking good looks, of course.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

my big backyard

Okay, so it's not technically ALL mine, but this is what is directly outside the sliding glass door of my kitchen/living/breakfast room. 

I waited a bit after I woke up to take the photo because it was sooo foggy and whimsical and I wanted to save that all to myself.  So you get this.  A slightly less whimsical morning outside my window.

Can't you just imagine a cozy English cottage fashioned out of stone with ivy crawling up the sides?  And a couple of sheep chewin on grasses?
Ahh.
Really, there's just a playground out there. A stately, magical sort of  playground. (okay. it's just some mulch and a jungle gym. don't ruin my fantasy.)

If you peeped in at me from out here (which only a TRUE blog-stalker would do) you'd see me drinking coffee from my big purple mug at the kitchen island.  And maybe I'd be wearing pj pants.  But probably not. 

Nobody is awake here yet, anyway. I can go pantsless if I want.

This is a good morning. 


Monday, October 26, 2009

Nit Picking

Sometimes baby things are cute.  Babies are often, but not always cute.  Mine of course is the spitting image of his dad aka Ashton Kutcher (lucky me) and has already been frenched by the three year old hussy down the street. Twice.  Note to self: buy stock in Durex and Trojan before Sam's sixteenth birthday. And yes, I'm refusing to believe little boys have relations before that (still very young) age. 

I digress.

Baby stuff.  My daughter adores anything smaller than normal size.  I don't know where she got this affinity for tiny things.  It's not like I've ever swiped the tiny ketchup bottle from a hotel room service tray or eaten an entire six pack of mini muffins. Ever. So it was not a surprise to me that she said, "awww cute" after I plucked the first tiny nit out of her hair last Thursday and defined it as a baby louse.  Babies are cute. Even skin devouring bugs that induce severe gag-attacks in normal people make cute children. It's revolting and touching all at once. Sigh.

I raced to school shortly after getting the call from the somber sounding nurse about Ladybug's new "friends".  I pictured her bawling her eyes out in the corner of the nurse's station with a plastic bag tied around her head, children walking by the door laughing and throwing glue-sticks at her.  I mean. That's how I remember it going for me way back when.  Except it was rubber cement jars and the kids chanted grody girl grody girl to the beat of Sussudio .  Much. More. Brutal.

Not the case.  The crying didn't start until treatment of the little critters.  Stinky shampoo, hours of combing and hunting for dust speck sized thingies that are practically the same color as her hair.  She scoffed at both of my husband's solutions. 1. Shave head (as if) and 2. let loose a spider in her wonky-do to take care of the problem overnight.  He's so helpful in times of desperation.

A few posts ago I revealed this photo of my daughter simply for my own giggles...

Turns out, her hair wasn't actually "possessed" and through no fault of her own (more likely the fault of Crazy Hat day during the previous week at Kindergarten) she was unknowingly providing food and shelter to a small army of Lice.

*shiver*

Thursday afternoon was spent washing, combing, picking.  Friday I furiously messaged her father to help with the pest relief project and he came to drag her and "the gang" back to his house for further infestation treatment. Saturday went by and I heard nothing from them, so I figured either all was well, or they were both eaten alive in their sleep.  Thankfully....thankfully? Yes. Thankfully, she returned home with only half an army's worth of bugs on her head and I reluctantly continued to battle. Because I can't help myself, this weekend left me quite crabby. Crabby. Ha. That was funnier in my head.

I'll spare you the details and just post some pics that I couldn't help snapping.


Smiling.  She doesn't know she has hairy leg and un-pierced ear humiliation ahead of her.
Dun da dun dun dunnnnnnn.




"Look! TWO combs." woo. hoo. don't wake up the baby.



 
This was right after she read the box and asked me what pubic lice meant.  I'm all about honesty (and alliteration) these days, so I said "bajingo bugs, babe" and she made this face.

Today was the big test.  Her first ever field trip was today.  I drove her to school and we both kept our fingers crossed as the nurse meticulously combed through her shiny coif and hmmed a lot.  If she saw any bugs or nits we would have to eat the sack lunch at home and re-comb, re-pick, etc all night again. 

............And I'm proud to say that she is right this minute at Green Meadows petting farm feeding goats and pigs with her classmates. 

Farms are pretty bug-free, right?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

go mama go

Florida finally got it's fall.  Yesterday. It's pretty much over and we're looking back at the eighties again this week.  I certainly took every chance I could to enjoy the breeze.  Sam is finally seeing the upside of being pushed around in his stroller.  I figured out he just really wants to sit all the way up whenever possible.  He really loved having the wind in his fuzz yesterday and the sun on his little legs as we cruised the neighborhood on THREE walks.  My dogs each got their own personalized walk, since I am not even going to pretend like I can handle both of those dolts at the same time while pushing a stroller and trying not to step on cracks...
It was so nice and breezy when Ladybug arrived home from school that I decided to kick her butt in a stroller vs. big wheel race.  She "fell off" the big wheel (which I had no idea was even possible) when she realized I wasn't going to let her beat me like your typical alpha-mom would.  I was on the home stretch when the scream and moaning threw me off my stride and I had to look back to make sure I was still a safe distance ahead she was not critically injured.  Which, she never is.  I guess I should be glad about that, but she takes every scrape and bump as seriously as if she was just diagnosed with Brokenarm-n-leg syndrome.  Blood? Forgettit.  Fun's over if there's even a drop of bodily fluid lost. She was positive the wound was fatal. 

me: You're okay, Ladybug.
her: NOOOOOOO I'm nottttttt.
me: It's not even dripping, it's just a little scrape. It will feel better soon.
her: Noooooo. It will neh-ver fee-ee-ee-eel bet-terrrrrr.
me: You're just upset because I was winning the race.
her: Ughhhahhahahhhhhggggu-hic-hic-hic. You're making me not breathheeee.
me: I am so good at racing.
her: wahhhhhh.
me: Even butterball turkey baby was faster than you.
bbt: durrrr. gahhhh. *drool
her: wahhhhhh.
me: Say cheese. Let's remember this race forever! *chk
her: wahhhhhhh. You're being mean.
me: Aww c'mon, I'll carry your big-wheel the rest of the way.
her: wahhhhhh.
me: Ready-set-GO!
her: *limp limp limp


before the race



after my big win


Fall was such a blast, I can't wait till we get our winter week. 




Monday, October 19, 2009

to baby

Sam,

Today you are four months old and your ears stick out a little. And it's adorable because you're my baby and not someone else's. You absolutely love the Johnny Jumper we got as a hand-me-down from Miss Annabelle. You especially enjoy it now that I have taped up some magazine pictures of babies all over the door frame.
You only do that baby goat noise when you're really scared or really mad. Which is a total improvement from a month ago when you did it pretty much all the time. Now if I can just find some new ways to keep you from getting mad, at every other thing we do, that will be super.
You love having your face washed and getting your diaper changed. I think you prefer when daddy does it because he makes up ridiculous songs about poop and pee to sing and that always makes you (and me) laugh.
I'm a little sad to see your hair grow in all over your head because I was really getting to like the bald-patchy rat tail thing you had going on for a while. I guess the fuzzy look will grow on me just in time for you to get regular old hair.
This morning I stuffed your arms and head into a tee shirt that claims to be made for a one year old person, but after the normal squirming and face making, your little baby body fit just perfectly in it.
I realize I'm going to have to mop the floor pretty soon since you're rolling over and "air swimming" on the play mat every chance you get. I guess it's about time. I'll see if I can find a mop somewhere in the garage, since my usual routine of wiping only the dirty tiles probably won't cut it any more.
Baby-proofing is something I'll be leaving up to your dad. He will certainly take it seriously (not that I wouldn't) and will probably enjoy the research involved. Perhaps he will come up with some inventive techniques for keeping you from finding the light bulbs like your sister did the second she took her first step.
I made you a shirt today. Well. I should say, I made one of your shirts awesome today. I'll take a picture of you wearing it and show you when you're a grown up. Since I'm pretty sure you're going to start protesting all things mama-made eventually. I'm thinking that starts around sixteen, but we'll see. Maybe you'll let me bedazzle your graduation gown?
You're taking a nap right now and that's a miracle since you mostly want to be sleeping in my arms when the sun is up. If I thought I could hold you like that for the rest of your life, I'd go on with that routine, but I'm afraid you'll need to sleep alone at some point and the separation might be harder on me than on you, so I've been putting you down in your bed lately. You rub your blanket all over your face while you're falling asleep and it makes my heart melt. It means I have to keep the door open in your room and check on you every five minutes, though. Since I keep having to go in and pull it away from your little nose.

*sigh I love you

Anyway. I can hear you talking to your hands in your bedroom. Your hands are your two best friends these days, and you tell them all your sweet baby secrets and then try to devour them the next minute. Everything you do is worth writing down and remembering, but I'll have to save some details for myself.

Did I say I love you?

I do. Now it's time for you to rub your wet baby fingers all over my face and pull my hair.

Because children were made for humiliating...

I am really glad I get up thirty minutes earlier than everyone in my family.  It gives me the opportunity to have my "wakeup juice" and cereal in peace.  It also gives me the chance to come up with super ideas like taking photos of my daughter while she crawls out of her cave bed with awesome wonky-hair.

Enjoy a laugh at my daughter's expense.  She doesn't read this blog, so you can do so without reproach.



 in their natural habitat, the wonky-haired lulus shouldn't be disturbed during their wakeup routine




observe quietly, and use a zoom-lens to avoid wonky-breath



if you suspect you've been made, run like hell. but snap a photo for prom night on your way out.

Happy Monday. 





Thursday, October 15, 2009

here's to hoping she doesn't pick today to start reading my blog

I automatically think something's wrong when I see her number show up on the screen of my telephone. She doesn't call much. I call her. It's how things go. So when I see it's her, my heart stops for a second while I make the decision whether or not to answer.
Deep breath. Hi, Mom.
It's only occasionally something like, Grandma's in the hospital, but she's okay. She faints sometimes. Like me. It's an odd comfort sharing genes with someone who knows what it's like to lose minutes on the floor of the shower and then go on with the day. Only when you're ninety-six, you sometimes need help getting up.
So I worry about Grandma. The thought that any one of those calls could be the one telling me she didn't get up this time. Old ladies do that. The fact doesn't make it easier to say.
But what jars my heart into my throat is when it's her smart little voice on the end of the line when I answer. Because that means there's something wrong with my mother.
And it's morbid to think it, but I expect my mother will be the one I lose first next. Even at ninety-six, Grandma Fern is healthy and happy. Two things my mother hasn't been for much of my life. If you've been reading a while, you know that my father lost a long and hard battle with alcoholism the year of the terrorist attacks. That's not right. From what I know, he didn't battle at all. Let's say he just lost a whole lot because he couldn't stop drinking. Including his family and then his life.
Although we were somewhat estranged, his absence and passing is woven into the story of my life coloring who I am and who I will be. These days I pick up the phone fearful that news of my mother is sounding much like the beginning of my father's end.
On the first visit to meet her grandson, she sneaked away to the patio and smoked a cigarette just out of my grandmother's sight*. Her boyfriend watched her from the kitchen and told me quietly that she quit drinking because the doctor said she might be able to walk better if she did. I stirred a pot of spaghetti sauce and put on my best optimistic face.

oh? when?

last night.
oh.


I love my mother, but my hopes of her overcoming addiction were crushed during my childhood. Cigarettes, booze, Tylenol pm. I've watched her fall down over and over. Scraping her knees and bruising my heart. Every shot at her sobriety ended with me feeling as though I had just finished a marathon dead last. Why is it that the things people do to hurt themselves wind up torturing the ones they love even more?
We sat at a Chili's one afternoon when Ladybug was still an infant and I asked her to stick around long enough to see her grand-daughter grow up. It was the first and only time I asked her to quit drinking. She answered with a sip of her rum and diet, I don't want to live as long as grandma. A fist in my chest. And to keep myself from crying, I made a jab at her ridiculous rationale and the conversation was over as suddenly as I had begun it. I became a real-live grownup that day during lunch. I felt it happen.
I am her only child and I feel I have failed to make her happy. It's not my fault she doesn't love life. It sure feels like it is. By giving up on her own happiness my mother has shown me how to make my own. Jeez.
I didn't mean to get so serious today. Sam is growing so fast and it reminds me that time is going by even when I feel like today is the same as yesterday. My kids remind me to be here, now. We all need these reminders. So today I will indulge and get drunk on the smell of my baby's neck. I will get high on details like dimpled hands and finger paintings folded and unfolded on the bus ride home from kindergarten. I will call to share my happiness. And while the phone rings, I will keep my fingers crossed that it's my mother who answers.


*Smoking is a habit my mother thinks my grandmother thinks she gave up last year. My grandmother, sharp as a tack just plays along. Sometimes I think she's just as weary from running that "marathon" as I am.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Waking Up is Hard to Do


Congratulations, it's a PIXIE?

I found this little gem on the internet last night while I was feeding my weird yet completely innocent obsession for pinup portraits.




Okay. There are so many things about this particular find I want to address. Where. to. start. How bout the text? KOTEX says "sorry". Sorry for what? Is it their fault I had to dust off that box of tampons last week and ruin a perfectly good pair of thong underpants that I just decided was okay to start wearing again now that my butt is back to it's usual large-but-not-hugenormous self again? Did KOTEX invent menstruation? Why, KOTEX?
The lady in the drawing is hanging out naked. And smiling. Two things I don't do a whole hell of a lot when I'm menstruating. The artist was undoubtedly male. A fact that doesn't discredit his talent as a pinup artist, but maybe stains his rep as a good judge of character where the female population is concerned. Just sayin'.
And then there is the red scarf. Red, I get. We ladies are quite familiar the gimmicks used by product advertisers. A grumpy woman takes a pill and turns that frown upside-down. The young cheerleader shines at the big game, confident wearing a little white poly-blend skirt because her tampon was specially designed with her athletic spirit in mind. Even this
.

has been used as a cute play on punctuation. Period. . . Get it? Aww. Cute. Iwannabuyit.

But tomatoes? Really? Are we supposed to be hungry when we read this ad? Should I be making a marinara or buying phone book sized feminine products for my varying flow days? What were the advertisers thinking?

So the deadline for the Kotex account is today and we got nuthin.
Yeah, I just want to get this thing over and done with, so we can work on the ESPN billboard. SPORTS, YEAH!
Sporrrrttts! Seriously, what do we do about this period thing?
Let's put a hot chick in the ad.
I know a guy who draws hot naked chicks.
Call him up.
Okay. I'm hungry. Wanna try that new italian place up the street? I hear they make a mean bolognese.
Mmm. Tomato sauce.

It's a mystery to me, but it doesn't hold a candle to the one I found when I searched KOTEX SAYS SORRY to do a little more digging.






I really don't have time for this mind-blow. I have to handwash some delicates.

Monday, October 12, 2009

let me just say that I love being married to my husband...

Tonight my friend and I had an instant messenger conversation about the new living situation with her boyfriend. The situation is they live together now. The conversation started when I told her I made the world's best chocolate chip cookies and she and said boyfriend should come for dinner soon and sample some for dessert. (I have stooped to bribing my friends with food because I live far away in a town without high-rises or night-clubs. How dare I.)

me: you should bring boyfriend over for dinner and we'll have cookies for dessert
her: he'll eat all the cookies
her: he buys me cookies
her: and then eats them
her: and then buys me more to replace the ones he eats
her: and eats them
her: it's like we're married

This is when I laughed out loud. Because my friend is so stupid and naive in her presumptions about being married that it thrills me to the point of peeing pants. Sorry MyDearFriend, but you have things all mixed up.

Where cookies are concerned, there are no courtesies in the married household. Nobody buys replacement cookies. Nobody bakes replacement cookies. There is only eating of the replaced cookies that are replaced by the cookie purchaser/creator in order for more cookies to appear. Like a game. How many cookies will Mommy make?
It's like the little red hen. But with cookies.

My unmarried friends are always saying "it's like we're married" and I really think they should walk a mile in a married woman's shoes before they assume anything such. If you're not married and you kind of get the feeling like you are, I can put your single ego at ease. You're only truly married when he starts flicking boogers or scratching his balls while you're sitting next to him watching television. Or if he leaves skid marks in the toilet or "crunchy" boxers under the bed. If he's eating all the cookies and then buying you more cookies consider yourself lucky, not married.

Ocktowbrrr

It's practically mid-October and that means a few things:

Sam is almost four months old. Which is good because he's almost sitting up by himself, but rotten because he is teething. And growing. He's wearing a twelve-month size tee shirt today. Wah.

Ladybug must finally settle on a Halloween costume (for serious) because if she wants to avoid looking like a wonky-ass unicorn/zombie-ninja/princess/mermaid, she needs to bite the bullet and just pick one already.

I should be breaking out my scarves and sweaters and tights. Unfortunately, Florida hasn't received the memo about fall actually arriving down south this year and leaving the house in anything more than a tank top, skirt and flip-flops is practically a death-wish.

The handmade Christmas gifts I am making for family and friends needs to begin the the move from phase one to phase two. Phase one being an idea scribbled down on a post-it. Phase two is an actual item resembling some sort of something someone might actually like to receive.

I can stop apologizing to the dead or dying plants around the yard and house. It's fall, supposedly. Brown is the new green.


Also, Target has it's Christmas decorations out right next to the Halloween stuffs. Ladybug is less than thrilled at this fact because she's terrified of the usual life-sized skeletons and hanging grim reaper cloaks, but is absolutely dying to look at the ornaments and garlands.

Phooey for her. Maybe this will be a good year to make our own garlands? Since we can't go in the holiday corner. Hmm. I need to get Shirley fixed and prepped for the holidays. Too much to do. I can't wait.

Friday, October 9, 2009

the delusionaire

I think maybe I never had any friends. Real friends. The kind you tell your secrets to and feel confident you won't be betrayed. There are people out there who won't judge you for for leaving your husband. Or for getting so drunk you cry some nights listening to Bob Dylan records. There are people who will come back to you over and over after leaving you or will just never leave you at all. People you never wonder about. Does she say I'm boring when I'm not around?
I don't know any of those people. I think I never have.
My friendships are like dandelion fluff. They hold solid to a stem and then with the gust of a wind scatter. Some cling to each other in their path and others just drift on their own. But they're mostly gone now and I feel like a patchy-bald weed miles away from anyone who knows or cares enough to make an effort.
Phone calls reveal that what we once had in common is gone and we're just going through the motions trying to find something else to talk about. And then someone stops answering. Stops returning messages. And I'm the one reaching out for something that only seemed like it happened. Brokenhearted in a way. And it makes me feel stupid.
I care too much about this. I only started thinking about it because I'm going back to work Saturday and I realized that practically my entire group of friends will be there. And maybe I'll have to keep in mind how far away I feel when I start falling in love with all of them again.
Just to be safe.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm up. Where's my worm?

Guilt-free coffee beside me. Lemon muffins in the oven. Blogger dashboard open. And it's all before five o'clock.

With a little help from the starving birdie in bedroom number three, I am awake and giving my all toward this first attempt at creating time for so-so-me. Who knows? If it's a stellar success I may have to rename the blog something less mediocre and more inspiring. Don't hold your breath, though.
I don't have my hopes set too high for this experiment. Especially since kidface just came out and asked me if Jed was going to watch tv before going to bed tonight. ( If you're confused: she is convinced that cable tv has the power to ward off evil spirits and battle bad dreams. So we have to watch it after she is tucked in. It's for her own good, you see. We are the selfless-est parents.)

Me: (stirring muffin batter and pondering a post)
Her: (wonky-haired and sleepy-eyed) Mama? Is daddy going to watch some tv before you go to bed?
Me: (bushy tailed and bushy haired) Baby, it's very....uh....late. Too late for tv. Try to go back to sleep. Don't worry. I'll be out here.
Her: Okay, but I have one question.
Me: What is it, Ladyhead?
Her: Why are you baking me a cake so late?

After a little more conversation with my presumptuous little person, we reached an agreement wherein she reads books in her room until her usual wake-up time and I get to sit out here at the table with my coffee and pretend like I'm getting that alone time I crave. Maybe there was some muffin incentive in there somewhere, too.

So far, it's working out fine.

Atop the list of stuff to do before this precious quiet morphs into morning battles about hairstyles and unavoidable spats with the dogs about probing my calves for a morning walk, I'd like to finish my coffee before it turns into coff"eew" and get a jump on my $3 chair project. I know. Exciting stuff.

Well. One hour left before my time turns into plain old time. What are YOU doing this morning?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

hello.

So my promise to make more stuff and do more stuff has led me a short distance from my computer. I have deliberate gumption to spend more time on the things that make myself and my family reek of gladness. Hard work, but there's a balance to it and I'm slowly finding the repose I was hoping for.
Since my last post about drinking coffee I have played umpteen-hundred games of charades with Ladybug and Jed, washed my feet before getting into bed every night, lost my little dog, found my little dog, and dismantled a $3 chair with a severe intent on making it spectacular. Of course the less whimsical stuff happens, too. Ladybug's cough is just a cough according to the pediatrician. Sam's head is less patchy and more "fuzzy" now and my husband and I are getting used to sleeping in a bed that fits the entire family (pets and all).
I've focused a ballpoint pen down on paper to write things down that are a little less real. My blog is in a funk right now and I feel like I'm cheating by toting my notebook around. Secret creativity love.

Thanks to Sam, I also read The Great Gatsby again last week. During two separate naps. Paperbacks are for needy-babies' mamas. I have a stack next to the rocker handy for his next snooze marathon. It's hard to put down that darling boy when he's being so....quiet. I'm savoring every second because I know the movin-n-shakin days are creeping up on me ninja-style.

In other news,
I would be thrilled to see Fall actually come this year. Maybe asking for a real winter is too much. Dear Mother Nature, Florida here and we're still really hot. Any possible chill coming soon? We like to wear tights and scarves down here, too y'know.

I'm still on a passive search for a new/old lens for my vintage Minolta. It's on the wanna have list, so maybe like the rest of the stuff I secretly wish for it will make its way into my hands at some point when I least expect it.

Well. This is turning out to be one of those boring catch-up posts. Just like I was hoping to avoid. Maybe next time, I'll be bold enough to slap some of my fiction-in-progress on the page and offer a taste of the other stuff. If you're in the area, you can pick up a copy of Drink magazine in November and see a little nugget my bar tending alter-ego wrote about getting served in crowded bars. Or if you can't wait, stop by the Bar BQ Bar on Saturday and probe me for my secrets in person. I'll be making guest appearances there now and then to remind my friends how they ever lived without me these past ten months.

The. End.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Guilt-free Wednesday. Try it.

This is the post I started and stopped and started yesterday in between the whining and...well...read along and you'll come to your own conclusions about yesterday.

Alright. I know nobody said it was going to be easy. Well, maybe a few people said it would be a "piece of cake", but I've decided those people were either stupid or really jonesin' for cake. I'm relapsing. Back into that person I barely strangled out of my body back when Sam was just a few weeks old and I was crying every day and asking myself how the hell am I going to do this again tomorrow. I have my hypotheses about what's causing this revert back to sub-par mothering, but it's all minutia and boring.

The crying. The whining. The in-between whining and crying noises. It's maddening and with each syllable of every noise a piece of my maternal confidence crumbles. I know it's not me. But it sure seems like it is. I know that babies cry. Babies are unhappy and confused by their new environment and would sometimes like to just crawl back up into the womb for some warm, wet comfortable fetal meditation. If I could oblige, I would. I really, really would.

Sometimes I am weak. I look at him and apologize for not knowing what he wants. I cry and then he smiles at me as if he finally has what he wants. Me. In pieces. And don't everyone comment at once about how babies are incapable of manipulation. I know this. It doesn't mean that his timing isn't impeccably ironic. And when you're a puddle of mom-goo your brain is unqualified to make accurate observations about your certain scenarios. Like. All of them.



Things are pretty much the same. What's changed is my coping skills. Actually, coping mechanism. The addition of. I drank a cup of coffee today. I know. I am a sucky mom blah blah blah. Sam is probably all hopped up on some Starbucks right now and I'm being passed over for mom of the year. Truth is, I don't care what anyone thinks on the subject. I like coffee. And while some super-conservative types may equate a cup of coffee to a hit off of the crack pipe, I'm soooo over the guilt.

So. This time yesterday I was grinding my teeth and doing some worthless Lamaze breathing to get me through until dance class where I was pleased to hand off the baby to my dance mom friends to pass around and coo over. This time yesterday I hadn't showered, applied makeup or deodorant for that matter, and I had paced a rut in the backyard grass (and the bedroom carpet and the living room laminate and the tile in the kitchen....et al).

You get the point. But today I'm good. Thanks to my coffee pot. And a half-calf coffee bean blend from Starbucks. So suck-it all you perfect mom types who only drink water and carrot juice all day so you can brag about your babies' brain development at play dates. Maybe you don't need chemical stimulation to get through the trials and turbulence of raising an infant, BUT I DO.

Anyway. Coffee is not a drug. It's a vitamin.

Monday, September 21, 2009

plz send help

short post. holding baby. gassy, toothing crying. baby, not me. soo heavy. left arm burning. longer post later. *if arm doesn't fall off.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bitch-slapped by Friday.

If you find out some bad news from your doctor about your baby-making parts, I don't suggest going home and Googling any of the big words he uses during the consult. You'll end up white-knuckling your cell phone in a manic text-message session with your sister in law. Because surely the self-proclaimed "neurotic" one of the family will be the one to text you down off the ledge you're perched upon. I mean, since Google is already certain you have death "in-the-bag". Why not, right?

But, seriously. Internet searching when you're in the first stages of some new-to-you medical disaster is not what I recommend.
I celebrated my disturbing appointment with Dr. Bajingo by cruising the drive-thru of Taco Bell for some diet tacos. Yes. I said diet tacos. And I ate two, because they are delicious and em...good for you.

I also went to Target with Sam and he barfed Linda Blair style at the checkout counter. The lady behind me was creepin a little too close, apparently, because she got some on her flip-flop and I was all like...so sorry it's just hot milk here's a baby wipe...and stuff.

I arrived home in time to catch the baby swing doing it's possessed by demons thing where it works when it's not turned on and won't turn off even if you rapidly crank the switch on and off and on and off. Yeah. Weird. Made me nostalgic for the projectile puking at Target.

I stripped-down baby to his birthday suit so I could wash off the barfy smell and then ran a little sinky-bath while I held him and gathered the towel and suds and stuff. I know. Stupid. Gather stuff first, then strip baby. Hold baby over toilet should come next. I got myself peed on. Right after joking with him, "please don't pee pee on mama". Sometimes I tempt fate. That's just how I roll.

Peed on. Barfed at. Taco lettuce in my lap. Yeah. Not bad for a Friday. Oh, yeah. And I'm trying really hard not to get cancer, too. Starting today. Because all the other days I was thinking I wouldn't have to worry about it.

And sorry if I offended anyone by saying bitch
.

Have a nice weekend.

Stephanie Gresham sent an invitation using STOP FRICKIN INVITING ME! Please support her cause:

Facebook is overwhelming me. I've finally gotten over the whole "must read every single post" thing that sucked months of my life away before Sam was born. I mean, really, who needs to know every little boring update every person you ever knew posts every few minutes? Well, me, duh. But I'm over it.

Now I can cruise through and really just browse pages with little or no desire to read pages and pages back (since sometimes I skip a day or two here and there....gasp....I know, talk about willpower). Anyway. Facebook is really annoying me with these little "invitations". So let me go ahead and put it all out there, people I know on Facebook:

No, I do not want to play Farmville or Mafia Wars. Furthermore, I don't care if you just scored a bunch of diamonds or plowed a friggin corn field. Thanks, anyway.
I love animals and children. This being said, I can't click on your "support my cause" button because it will inevitably lead me to invite the rest of my friends to join the cause and I just can't do that. I like them too much. Also, I really hate the extra steps and all the questions involved once you commit to the "allow" button. It's all too much like a contract to me, so pass.
Petitions on actual paper are more effective, so although I want to help find a cure for Breast Cancer (and I really do- no joke) I think I'll sign the petition for Medical Coverage for Genetic Markers Testing for Family Members of Cancer Patients when it requires an actual signature. Call me old fashioned.
Also, I don't take pleasure in offending friends and family, but I don't need an e-hug, an e-heart, or an e-BFF. I just don't. And if you are having reservations about sending me an e-angel, please note that I posted this link on my front page today because it's falling-off-the-fence-Friday and being open about my religious preferences was the one I teetered on this week.
(I'm reserving a blog-post on the topic of religion for another day simply because I'd rather piss people off in smaller groups instead of all at once.)

So. Facebook friends, please don't take offense. I still like most of you. I am just a voyeur trying to avoid being poked by hiding in the shadows of my facebook quizzes.

Thanks for thinking of me, but please un-check that little box by my name. I'm just not interested.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dear Number Six,

Hi. Remember me? Last time we had a problem I was in the third grade. Let me jog your memory...I couldn't multiply you by anything besides my pal Number One.
Yeah. It's me.
The reason I'm writing you now is because you've recently poked your evil little head back into my life. Sure, I occasionally reach into the cobweb-covered corners of my brain to figure out how many you make when there are six of you in one place. Thirty-six is easy to remember because YOU insist on being in the answer.
Anyway. My daughter turned six recently. Go ahead and laugh- I'll confront my issues with Irony later. She was given, as a gift/cruel joke, a place mat with the multiplication table chart on the back of it. And suddenly you were back in my life.
Again.
I love my sweet little girl, which is the only reason the place mat was spared a trip to the shredder. I am a merciful woman. I know. So. If we're going to live together under this one roof, I need to lay down some guidelines so that we can get along. Don't get me wrong, we do NOT have to like each other. In fact, I'm perfectly happy loathing you and using my fingers for most of our uncomfortable encounters. I have less shame now that I'm a grownup. But if I am going to hide my disdain for you in order to bestow some arithmetic confidence in my little girl...you need to respect some boundaries.
Please don't hide in recipes while I'm teaching my baby to bake. Don't mock me in the aisles of BJ's superstore when I'm trying hard to save money by buying in bulk. ( I know you and your pal Twelve like to play with my head while I'm keeping to a budget.) I'm already dealing with a piss-poor sense of direction, so maybe you could keep out of my Google Maps page, too.
In return, I will let you exist on my daughter's place mat at the dining table. I will support her as she reads off your column and encourage her to give you a fair chance. And if you break her spirit, I will not think twice before I tell her what I've known all these long years since the third grade:

You are a stupid number and it's not important to memorize your multiples.


Six, you are despicable. Worse than even Seven. And we all know he eight nine.

Regretfully,
So-so

Monday, September 14, 2009

so-so-anthology

Sometimes we run with reckless abandon at the person we want to be in our future. Whether we're tromping clumsily down a dirt path pocked with ruts and holes or striding steadily on a perfectly paved asphalt byway, we are bound to trip and fall somewhere along the way.

My love for writing began with a pink and white diary with gold-edged papers that sounded like tissue paper when I turned them. It had a lock, of course, and was typically hidden under my bed because although my stories were fraught with invention and whimsy, I had little imagination when it came to hiding my most personal possession.

I have had journals and diaries since the pink one. It seems as though every time I moved, broke up, made up, or changed my major in college, I celebrated by purchasing a blank canvas for my new memoirs. They're all here. In my house somewhere. Some have pictures drawn in them. One was given to me by my daughter's father to pen down my new adventures in parenting, but remains only a quarter of the way filled. Appropriate- considering how many changes I've gone through since she was born six years ago. I crack one open now and then when the house is empty or freakishly quiet.

My online journals are still out there, suspended in the interweb. Although I can no longer recall the login information for any of them, I still can view them. I can see who I was. Or who I was trying to be. I can relive the moment I met my husband through an entry written five years ago. I can see myself grow up as entries caught up in boys and spats with girlfriends slowly morphed into complexities like an unexpected pregnancy and my father's death.

Today I carry spiral notebooks. A practical alternative to the tiny padlocked sort. The latest is green and has a Mother Falcon sticker slapped on the front and half-written stories and blog ideas scribbled inside. Since Sam has been born it's pages see the light a little less. I have to choose how to spend these quiet moments and more often than not, I reach for my laptop. I'm comfortable here. This blog is cozy.

I'm a writer. I write. Nobody has to read the things I put down for this to be true. It's what I've always wanted for myself. What I've been running at. Sometimes at top speed, but more frequently zigging and zagging- chased by life's responsibilities. I'm getting closer to the writer I want to be, but still I'm uncertain if I'll ever get to shake her hand.

September was supposed to be the month I posted every day. Life interrupts, as with most things I do for myself, and it's been three...no...four days? Maybe next month. Maybe never. Surely someone will be clicking and waiting for news, a laugh, a good cry. Even if it's just me.

Anyway. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

And don't forget your superpowers.

Last weekend I brought Cadence to an "old fashioned" birthday party. No Disney character printed napkins or rented bounce house. No token hungry kids running around an arcade. It was perfect.

Five parents watched as five children ran barefoot through sprinklers and made giant bubbles in a tiny plastic pool. We sipped homemade punch and ate pineapple upside-down cake. Cadence climbed her first tree and ate rock candy that she scored from a paper-mache pinata. We took pause while the birthday girl opened up two gifts (one being my hand-crafted finger puppets), and another being a paper doll set.

Nobody talked about politics. Kindergarten was the hot topic on the large breezy porch. The littlest one got soap in her eyes. Twice. And then I looked at the time and it was already late.

I certainly hope I can pull of something as respectable and truly enjoyable as that quaint celebration.

Of course, what I'm working with is a guest list of twenty-eight, two bags of Disney themed party favors and swag from Cadence's grandma, and a crap-ton of hot dogs for the grill. I'm not going to freak out and go on a cleaning spree like I usually do when we have invited guests over. NO. As part of my flow into a simpler life, I'm letting things go I usually wouldn't.

We'll use real napkins and real plates and real forks. Call me crazy. Water rolling off a duck's back. I like the idea of a party that won't end in two heaping bags of trash and a Xanax.

Come over. Eat some melon and a hot dog. Just have a good time, please.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

No Whammies No Whammies

I have a full supply of white cloth diapers washed and folded neatly on a shelf under the changing table in Sam's room. I have a set of diaper pins still in the package in a drawer close by and three pairs of those icky plastic pants.

I also have three pairs of reusable cute cloth diaper covers and inserts from three different brands I purchased while Sammy was still cookin. I used them a few times and then **poof** the covers were all too small and I was faced with what was in the bin under the changing table. And let me tell ya, after using those easy velcro tabs to secure little booty into the pants, the diaper pins were looking a whole lot like shish-ka-bob skewers and I was sure I'd impale a tiny appendix or something if I tried to figure it out.

So. We have been buying a "natural" cotton disposable diaper and I've been riddled with guilt for not figuring this whole cloth diaper thing out sooner. Also, I had not a lick of confidence just after Sam was born and was not exactly jumping at the chance to begin a new diapering endeavor while still so woozy from the shock of it all.

So now I want to make up for lost time. I've asked my mom-in-law to school me on diaper folding, but I'm still chicken about the pins. I mean, kids these days are reverting back to old-school style all over the place. A safety pin in the ear is totally punk, but one in the belly is taking hard-core to a whole nother level.

Anyway. Ryan is giving away some Fuzzibunz and Sammy and I are going to be the randomly generated winners. I can sooo feel it.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

<----- dinky caboose

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thanks for the screws, Craig.

Sometimes I have to breastfeed in public. People should get over this fact and carry on with their own public-type business. I'm not doing it to gross you out or to call attention to myself. I'm doing it to nourish my growing child. Duh.

That being said, I can now add giant home improvement warehouse to my list of worst places to breastfeed. That's right. In an attempt to get my husband motivated to help me re-seat our patio chairs, I decided to pick up a power saw at Lowes. Only men go to that store on weekday mornings, apparently. What kind of men? Construction worker-types of course! So not only was I the only female customer trolling the power tool section at ten a.m., but I was dressed in running shorts and a tank top, which might as well have been a bikini.

Hello, lookie-loos. They're called breasts and they feed my child. Ugh.

So I get this long schpeal about electric saws from an eager-to-help, but pleasant older gentleman named Craig who assures me that my brother-in-law (employed by the Dewalt company) doesn't need to know I chose the Hitachi because it was twenty dollars cheaper and pretty much the same.

Blah, blah, blah, Craig- I just want to get out of here before this little nugget in the buggy wakes up and starts crying out for nums and I have to whip out my tata for an epic suck session while half the members of Men At Work ogle and drool and contemplate a sudden craving for milkshake.

We head over to the nuts n bolts and stuff and Craig fishes eighteen screws to match the rusty one I brought in a ziplock and then we're haulin cart to the hall o' wood.

Craig: It's a four-ba-four. Should be 'nuff.
Me: Sounds good, I'll take it from here, Craig. You've been swell.
Craig: Well, not so fast. This one here'll cost ya fourteen and I can cut you a four-ba-six and it'll only be eleven. It'll just take a minute.
Me: uh. Okay. If you have a minute, sure...
It was at this point I should've grabbed my baby and walked away.
Craig: Hold ya ears, folks.

Power saw cutting my four-ba-six was incredibly loud and took an eternity to "measure twice, cuttt once". Sam woke up as soon as the first saw tooth splintered the first centimeter of wood and suddenly I'm yelling at Craig that I'll be right back and furiously searching for a section of the store not crawling with men talking about pipes and screws so I can yank up my sports-bra and silence the poor starving baby who just had brunch a short hour ago.

Plumbing and flooring were both a no-go since that's where the Marlboro Man convention was meeting. A spackle-speckled group of men in the paint department waved as I hurried my cart past and I'm pretty sure I spied "Eldin" lost near the garden center. I started to panic and quickly turned a corner into the cabinet and kitchen display area where I was at last alone.

Shirt hoisted, baby quiet. Ahh. Craig was going to have to wait.

I feigned interest in a drawer and cabinet set as I held up my son and wondered where I'd feel more comfortable doing this.

Here or Hooters?

These patio chairs are going to rule.

Monday, September 7, 2009

simpler times ahead

Possessions are usually diminished by possession. –Nietzsche

I don't need all of the stuff I have. The stuff has been slowly driving me crazy. I open a closet to put away a hanger and it all stares at me. Waiting for it's turn to be used. To live up to it's own expectations. Pleading for purpose. My daughter's room is crowded with things. Barbies that were coveted for months on shelves in stores are now cast-off to the bottom of a basket or bucket. I stuff shirts on top of shirts on top of shirts inside my husband's dresser drawers and every time wonder what would happen if I dug deep and pulled out one thing from the bottom and took it away. Would he notice? Would it be missed?

I sometimes fantasize about putting things on the driveway for the junk fairy to come and take away. Or promise myself that next week I'll post a photo of that exercise bike on craigslist. It overwhelms me. The garage is full of shit. A garage sale would practically be me moving my car to the street and putting little orange tags on everything inside it.

That's an exaggeration. We need at least two of the screwdrivers in there. And the lawn mower.

But truly, I've come to the realization that the things I was once convinced I needed are what make me feel empty today. Purchases made with the intent to make life easier suddenly complicate things when lost in a drawer or rendered obsolete. They mostly mean nothing. The special things are where I find myself. Where I find others. Memories are nestled in corners of cupboards and tucked inside drawers, but they are crowded and diminished by the crap we collect in fleeting moments of impulsiveness and frivolity.

Maybe it's because I've been using my hands to make things more these days that I have become tired of the rest. Cookies that don't come in a bag taste better and turning a pillow cover fashioned with my own two hands looks better on the chair than the others. I handed over my own creations at a birthday party this weekend.

"These are for you from me. From my heart. And my hands."

Those are the types of things I want to have. The types of things I want to give. They scream vehemence and mean more than what a television commercial can explain in thirty seconds. There's this growing desire I have to make more and do more and know more. And it means making room. Room to move and room to breathe. I can't wrap my head around it all right now. I just know it's in there. This need to leave things behind. To take my family outside and find the world again. To show my children how to laugh with reckless abandon and love without parameters.

I need simple. So I can think.