Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Now we're tackling the last work day before the break and looking forward to a Griswaldian Old Fashioned Family Xmas with the husband's parents and then a visit with my side of the family in a cabin in the Rockies complete with snowshoeing, board games and awkward moments among some siblings who haven't spoken in months. Yay!
Peace to you and yours and have a joyful holiday- whichever you choose to celebrate!!
Friday, December 18, 2009
After feeling completely out of control this week (Monday was bookclub, Tuesday was puppy kindergarten, Wednesday was a meetup with a friend who just got back into town...you get the idea), I took some time last night to get my ducks in a row: Got the xmas cards out finally and spent some time with Otto painting mats to go around picture gifts for his great grandmas. It was nice to have a night at home to spend listening to holiday music and doing something creative with my little kid. (If you can classify writing short notes and addressing cards as 'creative.' )
As merry as I'm trying to be though, I feel like I'm fighting off a certain melancholy. First, following the climate stuff in Copenhagen has me depressed. On NPR this morning someone compared it to going on a field trip with 193 children and needing everyone to agree on every little decision. Ugh. Am I extraordinarily naive when I say that I wish they could just come up with a direction and some goals?
Second, there's the whole Debtcember thing- its so hard to keep to a budget this time of year and we are really feeling the squeeze. Fortunately, all gifts are purchased or made at this point so barring any unforeseen expenses, we should squeak by. Barely. I know there are a lot of people WAY worse off and we've tried to do our part: both our offices adopted needy families and we had fun shopping for them- coats, hats, gloves, some toys and books. Donated food. Donated new hats and mittens to the local newspaper's hat and mitten tree. Feels good to give and reminds us how truly blessed we are: we both have jobs, a roof over our heads, food in our fridge and most importantly, each other.
So we're trying to keep everything grounded and enjoy the season. It will get easier next week- my job gives us from the 24th through Jan 3rd off. Paid. So really I can't complain. We'll get to see both sets of in-laws and spend some time recreating in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
I'll leave you with this- is it really the holiday season until you've seen Schweddy Balls*? I didn't think so.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Some highlights from the last few days:
We went up to get our tree last weekend. It was fun except for when the whiny toddler got all "I don't wanna" on us but we forced a little 'old-fashioned family xmas' fun on him anyway. I carried him on my back in the Ergo and it only took about 20 min of hiking to locate the perfect fir. Ruby had a good time anyway.
Earlier that morning, (which might account for some of the whininess...he HAD already met Santa so really, what else is there?) we had breakfast with Santa and got a picture taken. To me, in this picture it looks like Otto just told Santa that he wants new parents that won't force him to go up to the snowy mountains to cut down xmas trees. Santa is wishing for whiskey as I'm sure he's realizing what a long morning he's in for.
And lastly, a parting shot of Otto rocking the husband's aviators. Don't mess with him.
Hope you're all hanging on to your sanity. My holiday shopping is done (we're going minimalist this year, so it wasn't really hard) and now I've just got to get through the rest of the month. I'm with Santa on the whiskey.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Handmade Holiday Gifts: OMG y'all. Took a little trip to the local holiday market today and TOTALLY SCORED. It was some ninja fuckin' shopping. Handmade wooden domino set for Grandpa, recycled angel pins for Grandmas (and Mom), earrings for sister-in-law, scarves for daycare teachers, handmade wooden puzzles for kids...All at great prices and its not the same old shit you see in every Target. So super stoked to give everyone their gifts!!
Date nights with the Husband: We have one scheduled for tomorrow night and I am SO EXCITED. Its been a while. The plan is going out for Indian food and then ice skating. How fun does that sound?!? Squee!
Speaking of ice-skating, I got new skates! They are used hockey skates, very nice and much better than my 20 year old figure skates. I'm pretty sure I'm on my way to becoming a total badass on the ice. But I have to confess that every time I'm on the ice I have to fight an uncontrollable urge to pretty much recite every ice skating scene from Happy Gilmore.
The Holiday Season: Yeah, its commercial. And yes a lot of it is super annoying for many many different reasons. And I hate that not everyone can enjoy it because of layoffs, illness, poverty, you name it. ...But I can't help it. I love this time of year. I love the snow. I love planning surprises for people I love. I LOVE cutting down our own holiday tree. And then comes the decorating with Christmas Vacation playing in the background. Plus. PLUS. Our jobs give us from the 24th through January 4th off. Paid. Its kind of totally awesome.
Things I'm not so fond of?
BELOW ZERO TEMPERATURES. Effing brrrr. It was -17 this morning. -8 when I drove to work. THAT IS TOO COLD, PEOPLE.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This year I'm thankful for so many things...
-a healthy, beautiful family
- my job, i.e.
-a roof over my head, food in my fridge
-friends, both IRL and internet alike
And all the other little things that make life great ...hot tea, warm baths, snuggles on the couch, unconditional love of pets, sunshine, good books, laughter, long walks, kisses, starry night skies......
Happy Turkey Day!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Here's a laugh just for you. Zack Galifinakis is one of the funniest people out there and his talk show, Between Two Ferns is completely, totally, 100% awesome.
Special guest on this episode is Natalie Portman. Enjoy.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Anyway, said company are running this program where if you go online and take one of these so-called 'health assessment questionnaires' they will send you $50. They did the same thing 2 years ago and it was pretty harmless. And that $50 check was sweet. So the other day, I cleared 15 minutes and went out and entered my height, weight, drinking habits, etc. to get my free money, bitch!
Yesterday they called me ("This call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes!") to invite me to participate in an exciting new program to help manage stress.
You see, they figured I needed this program based on my answers to the online health risk assessment I completed recently. The results show that I am at moderate to severe risk of stress. (YOU DON'T SAY!) Was I interested, the velvet voiced woman asked, in having 24 hour access to a nursing help line, doing small assignments and talking with a stress management adviser over the phone periodically?
"NO!," I graciously bellowed. "That just sounds stressful! I don't need any more time constraints on my life!"
Those health risk assessments are OBVIOUSLY crap. Heh.
Friday, November 13, 2009
The food? The food is good, don't get me wrong, but you know how when you are growing up the things you have at Thanksgiving just become, in your mind, what Thanksgiving IS? They just don't have those things that ARE Thanksgiving to me. They have their own things. The things they grew up with.
My family menu growing up had a very southern influence:
-Turkey (of course) usually cooked with big thick bacon strips carefully laid over top which simultaneously baste the bird in succulent pork fat and fill the house with the best smell in the world...BACON,
-Cornbread DRESSING (crispy and cooked in its own pan-NEVER stuffed in the bird. Gross),
-creamy mashed potatoes with turkey gravy
-Candied yams with marshmallows (hello DELICIOUS),
-white dinner rolls,
-green beans with almonds and/or green bean casserole (you know, with the french fried onions?),
-and finally, pumpkin AND apple pie.
It may appear to be a little WT but its what we did. Its what I grew up with. Its what I came to think of as Thanksgiving.
The husband's family is Italian. They do things differently. AS IS THEIR RIGHT:
-Salami stuffing INSIDE the bird,
-sweet potato rolls with RAISINS in them (really, WTF),
Its not that bad (in fact, I'm sure some of you think it sounds infinitely better), but I'm always left unsatisfied, as though I haven't really had the TRUE cuisine of the holiday. I need my bacon fat and brown sugar, people.
So this year, I'm making my own mini Thanksgiving meal, just for our family. Tomorrow. I'm calling it Tiny Thanksgiving and I'm goin' all out. I'm making all the stuff we had when I was a kid- the dressing, the bacon-y bird, the marshmallows...the whole 9 yards. Maybe this way, I'll achieve a sense of satisfaction this year...a feeling that YES. I experienced Thanksgiving.
I'll also probably gain 5 lbs or so but that bacon basted bird is SO worth it. Believe that.
What things did you have for Thanksgiving when you were a kid? Do tell.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
(I'm sure I would be bitching and moaning and pitching a general fit pretty much every day if I wasn't allowed to use my right arm. However, I guess I am called upon to do things he isn't like type, cook, clean, wash my own hair, wipe my own ass, etc. But then again, he DOES do things like put toys in my purse, pull the cat's tail and clap wildly after singing the ABC's and/or repeating the "F" word*...so I guess its a tie.)
Anyhoo, we're ready for the damn thing to come off regardless. And a mid-morning's doctor appointment for something like this is a great excuse to get out into the sunshine and just maybe stop at the good coffee place on the way. :)
* * * * * * * * * *
In other news, it feels like things are beginning to equalize a little bit. The puppy is starting to get into the swing of things- she still has puppy moments, of course- but she is generally calmer and better behaved than she was 2 weeks ago. Also, she starts puppy kindergarten tonight (I KNOW! OMG THE CUTE!!) which should just further our obedience training efforts.
After a bout of illness this weekend, the Husband seems to be returning to his normal, pithy self which I am glad to see. It's no small thing either that we have had nice weather for the past week: Sunshine and temps into the 60's. We are getting a teensy tiny taste of fall after having all that snow and we likes it, precious.
*Yeah, Otto repeats a swear word from time to time and thinks he is pretty funny doing it. We're trying to be better about the sailor language in his presence but it is HARD, folks.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Here he is eating the one treat I let him have out of his pumpkin. Chocolate bar at 8pm = PARENTING ROOKIE FAIL.
And here he is about an hour before, trick or treating in the snow. Don't be alarmed that he didn't have a hat on or anything- we went to about 5 houses, all on our street and it was warmer than it looks. That or we're looking at another parenting FAIL of the night. You be the judge.
And here is my hastily compiled "Beer Wench" costume, complete with frothy mug. Which I chugged right after this picture was taken. Just kidding. Sort of.
How was your Halloween??
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Our days are unpredictable right now. Dealing with an injured little kid and a puppy and jobs and neglected friends and what the fuck are we going to have for dinner and omg it snowed overnight and now my car is buried and we're out of money until payday and you KNOW that big ER bill is coming and so are the holidays and the puppy just peed on the rug and and and...
...its exhausting. And really seems like someone, somewhere is laughing their ass off at the silly people killing themselves just to make it through the day.
But the strange thing is: its sort of fulfilling in a really weird, masochistic way. While (most days, really) I dream of being able to lounge around all day in yoga pants, eating popcorn and reading fiction, in reality I know that if I were granted that wish and my days were suddenly emptied of supermom/wife/employee-dom, I'd feel...empty. Purposeless. Are you with me? Anyone?
I'm realizing that it feels like This is what I'm supposed to be doing right now. This crazy, exasperating, exhausting, maniacal dance of day to day life. I'm really in It. Immersed. As Royal Tenenbaum says, "fightin' and scrappin' and lovin' every minute with this damn crew."
Which is not to say that I don't need more time for myself. Because I do. I know I do. There have been moments in the last week where I have felt dangerously close to completely losing my shit. But I'm reciting the old, worn out mother's mantra: This too shall pass. And it will. And honestly, I think I will look back fondly on these days.
Because along with the aggravating things, the beating-me-over-the-head-with-a-brick-things, there are also magic moments: A little boy's delighted giggle when a soft, warm puppy snuggles his legs. Meeting the amused gaze of my husband across the dinner table as the same blue-eyed boy recites Where the Wild Things Are almost verbatim, from memory. Crawling into a warm, down comforter-covered bed after a long, silent walk in the snow.
So really. If this is all a joke, I kind of feel like I might be getting the last laugh. Sort of.
I'll leave you with a crappily taken cell-phone picture of what it looks like outside my office window today:
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
On Sunday afternoon, we were all at the park having a wonderful time. It was a beautiful fall day- bright, crisp sunshine, green grass, a cute puppy rolling around in the crunchy leaves and an even cuter little boy enjoying the playground. He climbed, he swung, and we must have watched him go down that slide 25 times over the course of the hour we were there.
The last time however (you knew this 'however' was coming, didn't you?), his foot caught just before the bottom and he tumbled off the end of the slide, landing with his arm hyper-extended behind him. At first I thought he was just crying because it was scary. Then I thought he was crying because he twisted it or something. But when snuggling, breastfeeding and even (yes I went there) a piece of halloween candy had no effect and we realized that he was refusing to use the arm and screamed whenever it was moved, I knew something was really wrong.
Thirty minutes after the fall, we were at the ER and three hours after that, it was official. My baby had broken his arm just above the elbow. Its not a clean break, rather what the ER doc referred to as a "green stick" break. Whatever it is you could tell it hurt like hell and it broke my heart to see my little boy stoically holding his tears back as they took x-rays, poked and prodded and then finally splinted up his hurt little arm.
I kept him home the last two days and we had lots of Popsicles and Pixar movies which did nothing to ease my parental guilt at allowing something like that to happen. I know its not the end of the world and there are MANY MUCH WORSE injuries but I've never had a broken bone in my life (knock on wood) and here is my little guy already with a busted arm under his belt.
So, we've been dealing with a crazed puppy, and a tired, hurting, splinted little kid along with the normal stressors of jobs and bills and all that boring adult crap that comes along with being a 'grown up.' Oh and have I mentioned that I'm not on speaking terms with one of my brothers? Yeah.
Can I be a 10 year old for Halloween? Things were so much simpler then.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The action scenes = The Matrix
The characters = The X-men
The soundtrack = Forrest Gump
That said, its still kind of a fun movie.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING?!?!
Really. A toddler and a puppy? Why didn't any of you try to talk me out of it??? I hold you personally responsible for the chaos now underway in our previously semi-peaceful houshold. Heh.
Actually? It's not all bad. Ruby is too freakin' cute. And she's learning a lot. And fast. I'm convinced that the chaotic element will lessen significantly very soon. For realsies.
She has had a great start with house training...only 2 accidents since we got her on Saturday and both of those were Monday. She's already learning not to jump up and nip at us. This is the behavior that scares Otto the most and makes our lives hell when the two of them are in the same space. If Ruby is in the room, Otto is like a rat on a sinking ship- climbing to whatever high ground he can find- usually up into our arms.
Each day has been better than the last and I really do think that we will all adjust to the new family dynamic pretty soon.
Except for the cat who I am certain is plotting horrible, bloody revenge scenarios from her self-imposed exile in the basement.
(I'll try to post puppy pics soon...she's nothing if not completely, exasperatingly adorable. :-)
Thursday, October 1, 2009
So I've been busying myself with yarn-p0rn on the internets.
Socks. From Knitty.
And this. Also from the new issue of Knitty. OMG drool.
As it is, I have some delicious alpaca at home that is slowly transforming into a big chunky, fringe-y scarf of my own design. Because that's about the most complicated knitting I can stand at the moment. But it doesn't stop a girl from dreaming!
The husband and I are working half days next week to help our new puppy (!!!) adjust so maybe I'll get some knitting time in there somewhere...Puppies sleep alot just like babies...right?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The result of this is that today, my head is still pounding, my throat is still sore, but I also feel lethargic, doughy and brain dead. Win! I worked out this morning, after a 3 day reprieve, thinking that maybe I just needed to sweat it all out. Am kind of thinking this was a wee bit stupid.
* * * * * * * * * *
On the mothering front, I'm feeling a little substandard lately...work and my volunteer stuff and just plain old life has been demanding and I just feel like my nerves are frayed by the end of the day. Its so hard to be fighting with a now two-year-old who wants to do everything "AH BAH MAH-SELF!!!!!"
90% of the time, he is an absolute joy- so quick with the "love you!"'s and hugs and giggles and silliness but then we'll reach that point where we NEED to be out the door or getting dressed or picking up toys and he will just completely lose his shit. I know its totally normal but some days I close my eyes, count to 10 and wish for nothing more than just a generous helping of Patience because I can feel my blood pressure rising and the desire to just throw my own self down on the carpet and tantrum right along with my kid.
I know. I'm so adult.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Two years ago, I was in the throes of labor: sweating, panting, walking the halls...gripping the husband's hand for dear life. It was a cold, stormy day, a lot like today actually. But I was hot and very alive... and ready to get it over with already. :-)
But it was so, so worth it.
Happy Birthday, love.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
In fact, I'm getting into the spirit, doing some cleaning and organizing at home, some closet shifting- moving the Capri pants and tank tops to the top shelf, bringing down the sweaters- burning pumpkin spice candles and buying jugs of organic apple cider to combine with red hot candies (that's right- its white trash apple cider time!) for the most delicious hot apple cider ever.
Also! OMG! We got to meet our puppy this weekend! It was so very much fun and it was so difficult to choose which puppy would live with us...all 5 we had to choose from were wonderful. We settled on the little beauty below. Her name is Ruby. We <3 her.
(Just realized this might be the first time I've ever posted a full on picture of myself on this blog. Weird.)
Isn't she the bee's knees?
My father has already had the talk with me about why didn't we choose a shelter/rescue dog? Here's what I have to say about that: I was all for it. My entire childhood, we had shelter/rescue dogs. My brother works for the Humane Society. I GET it. But. This was a family decision and my husband just felt more comfortable having a dog who's past we were sure of since we have such a small child. Not to mention, the breeds we were interested in are very difficult to find in shelters. We have, however, already talked about getting a second dog-a rescue dog- when Otto is a little older. But right now, a puppy from a reliable, local breeder was the way to go for us.
And we did really love the breeder. They live up in the Colorado mountains on an absolutely gorgeous piece of land. We were able not only to meet all the puppies, but both parents and all the other dogs (I counted 11 total, counting the six puppies.) We were in her warm, inviting living room for an hour and a half, playing with roly-poly, warm, good-smelling puppies. On our way out the door, she sent us home with a half-dozen locally grown peaches. You know, just because. You tell me that doesn't sound like a wonderful Saturday morning.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I had surgery on my left leg for varicose veins. I KNOW, RIGHT!?!!? I am TRULY an 80 year old woman in a 32 (gulp) year old body. Want the deets? Of COURSE you do. (Stop reading if you are easily disgusted, have a weak stomach or are generally a pansy.)
I went in last Thursday to have a "procedure" done that I have been agonizing about for the last month. My argument with myself went something like this: "Do I? Don't I?..... Yes my veins cause me daily pain, yes I've had blood clots in them...and yeah, they are super ugly and make me feel like an old lady...But... Even though I've met my deductible, it will be expensive as shit..... and not to mention the greater question of the PAIN?!?!"
Needless to say, the vain (haha! I am so funny) part of me and the part that was tired of the first step out of bed every morning hurting like a mothereffer won out. The doctor's office, so bright and clean and shiny and billed as a 'medical spa' lured me in with their promises of 'minimally invasive' and 'very cosmetic results' and boy I was a sucker. I was told that most people just relax and "go to sleep" during the "procedure." THESE WERE THEIR EXACT WORDS.
The thing was outpatient, and done under local anesthetic. WHY this is, I have no farking idea because I was about to embark upon one of, if not THE most awful medical/bodily experience of my life and this is coming from a person who had an ENTIRE HUMAN BABY WITH (ALMOST) NO PAIN MEDS OF ANY KIND. AND many tattoos. Let me tell you- varicose vein surgery is worse.
It started innocently enough- they gave me an Rx for a Xan@x and some cream to numb up my leg (only the upper thigh and in retrospect, it didn't really seem to work. Like, at all.) No problem. Makes sense. This, however, lured me into a false sense of calm and well being that flew out the window once the NUMEROUS injections to supposedly numb my leg began. I'm talking many, many injections. Each one hurt like hell. And the whole time, I am basically blindfolded because they are using a laser on my thigh so I have no earthly idea what the fuck is going on because I can't see for shit and all I hear is the FASCINATING discussion of what dog foods are best for freaking Portuguese water dogs and they are going on as if I'm not even in the room wondering what the HELL THEY ARE DOING TO MY LEG!
Then the tugging began. As in they were literally cutting my leg open and tugging the vein out. They did this in about 12 different spots up and down my leg. It was disgusting and horrible and I am Never. Doing. That. Again. The only thing that got me through with any shred of sanity still intact was that I had the presence of mind to bring my Zune along and had KaiserCartel cranked after I realized that they weren't going to tell me what was going on.
And now, I'm left with a poor, bruised, cut up appendage that Dr. Frankenstein would be quite proud of and instructions to wear compression stockings for two weeks and not do anything that will break a sweat a solid inner conviction that freedom from varicose veins cannot POSSIBLY be worth what I just put myself through.
I think the lesson here is, to paraphrase a favorite film: Beauty is PAIN. Anyone who says differently is selling something. Like stupid varicose vein surgery.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Oh, and President Obama gave a speech for schoolkids and the world did NOT come to a screeching, zombie-ridden halt? WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!?!?!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Another school year underway, and leaves are already littering the streets- a bit prematurely due to a freak hailstorm last weekend. The temps are consistently in the 70's and I can feel Fall breathing down my neck on my early morning runs.
I spend my days as a mother, a wife, an employee, a cook, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a storyteller, a coffee buyer, a reader, a pianist. I multitask at work: One side of my brain is actually working, the other side is hatching ideas for fall knitting projects, composing a shopping list of clothes Otto needs for winter, worrying about various random problems of friends and family.
The days fly by.
Fall is my favorite time of year, though. It always feels more cleansing, more renewing than Spring does. Maybe its the conditioning growing up with the new school year mentality- new pencils, new notebooks, new shoes I probably begged for for months.
Now in my adult life that sense of 'newness' has stayed with me even though I'm at the same old job and now wear the same shoes year after year until the soles wear through enough to justify a new pair. Working for a university keeps me in tune with the school year, however, so I'm still tied to the idea of new beginnings happening in the fall.
* * * * * * * * *
The little guy's 2nd birthday is this month and OMG how did this happen?? Blowing my mind.
My birthday was fine. Really good, actually. We had a quiet backyard get-together with close friends, cake, and presents. 32 doesn't feel that different from 31.
* * * * * * * * *
I'll leave you with a new musical discovery I'm loving right now:
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
I've received some Birthday Dollars to spend as I see fit so I think that will mean new running shoes and perhaps some MP3 downloads of new music and maybe a book or two. Cheerio, all.
Monday, August 17, 2009
And so, dear friends, on Friday night we did something TOTALLY CRAZY INSANE and put a deposit down. ON A PUPPY!! Surely this was temporary insanity but I am SO EXCITED.
One of these little Golden doodles will be ours in the near future. They are only 2 weeks old now, so have some growing to do. We looked at shelter dogs and while I was fine getting a pup who needs a home, the husband maintained the position that he didn't want a dog who's past he didn't know because our kid is still so little. I get that. So we are getting a puppy from a breeder the next state down and OMG are we just peeing our pants with puppy-craziness all of a sudden.
Golden doodles are supposed to be awesome family dogs, low-to-no shedding and a good medium size. And they are SO CUTE!
Don't know if we'll get a male or female yet...there are 6 pups, 4 female and 2 male and we're 4th on the list to get to pick ours. We've got girl and boy names so we're prepared for whatever.
This feels right. It feels like its time and I'm so glad Little O is going to grow up having a dog around. Squee! Now we're just counting the days until the little barker comes home!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
2. Also reading this book. The movie was great but the book, so far, is creepily awesome. I love it.
3. It has dawned on me recently that I have the most amazing group of IRL girlfriends ever. I'm sort of weirding out about my upcoming birthday so they've decided to throw me a party. With sushi. So sweet.
4. We still don't know WTF is up with my car. Two mechanics have looked at it now and neither one can figure it out. Their advice? "Just keep driving it and see what happens." AWESOME.
5. My kid is getting big and mouthy. But he's still super cute and pretty much my very favorite person in the known universe. First s'more:
That's it for now, I guess. Just nosing the grindstone as they say.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
We had a fabulous time, sleeping in a tent (it was Otto's first time), making s'mores, hiking, reading books in the sunshine next to a river. Awesome. And much needed time away from computers, TV, Internet, xbox...all that. It was delightful to just BE.
But of course, our return to civilization was inevitable and here we are again with our crazy days of daycare drop offs, long workdays, hastily prepared meals and harried work-outs. Oh and my car is in the shop for what is yet an unknown malady. The mechanic actually called me last night to say he has no earthy idea what is wrong so he 'might have to call Subaru' in the morning to figure it out. Awesome.
Secondly, I'm sure lots of parents, go through cycles where some weeks you feel like you are totally ROCKING this whole working parent thing and then other weeks, you feel like the absolute worst parent ALIVE and are completely secure in the knowledge that you are scarring your child for life?
Guess which kind of week I'm having. Yeah. Its been a tough one.
The kiddo's started hitting me when he doesn't get what he wants which I know is totally normal but OH MY GOD it pushes my buttons and it is SO HARD not to react. I am making a conscious effort to respect his feelings and understand where the frustration is coming from but there are times, oh boy howdy, such as in the grocery store when I am just trying to pay and get the fuck out of there and he is sitting in the cart hitting me and yelling "NO MAMA!" and it is SO HARD to maintain my composure. And all the understanding in the world doesn't change the fact that I have very limited time to do these sorts of errands and sometimes he just has to come with me even though that's not an almost-two-year-old's ideal way to spend a Monday night, you know?
And I don't want to be that mother who tenses up and talks in a low menacing voice with all sorts of threats but I also don't want to be the one going "Oh honey! Oh! Its OK! Mama is hurrying little bumblekins!" You know?
What do you guys do when your kids are being little shits in public? How do you get through it without doing something you'll regret or making a complete ass of yourself and your child? How do you respect your kid's emotions and integrity AND preserve your sanity? Inquiring minds want to know.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
...and I have yet to watch any of it. My days have recently been stuffed with parties and YES I know there are worse problems to have but OMG when you have 3 days in a row of parties when you are used to maybe 1 every 6 months it is EXHAUSTING.
This morning I had the audacity to attempt a work out and my body was all "OH REALLY, BITCH? CRUNCHES? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? I thought drinking beer and eating cake was the new workout...? NO? WELL FUCK YOU!!!" And I was all "OH NO YOU DIDN'T! DROP AND GIVE ME 20 YOU CAKE EATING WHORE!" True story.
Two of the party nights were totally awesome, a going away party I co-hosted and then my husband's birthday party the next day. Fun fun fun. A copious amount of alcohol was drunk and there was plenty of food and cake to go around. Good music prevailed and the summer night air felt awesome.
Sunday, however, was a COMPLETELY different story.
The husband's cousin got married and OMFG it was the WORST wedding I have EVER been to. Seriously. Horrible. The ceremony was at 4pm. It was over by 4:15pm. The reception was at 6pm in the same room in which they'd had the ceremony. Therefore, they expected everyone to "socialize" in the hotel lobby for AN HOUR AND 45 MINUTES with no refreshments or seating. The poor little grandmas were feeling it. Hell, I was feeling it.
When we finally got into the reception to sit the fuck down, we were treated to the most obnoxious DJ in the known universe and some fantastic nursing home food. Think mashed potatoes, over cooked meat, white rolls and iceberg lettuce. Oh and make-out sessions between the bride and groom every 3 minutes. While we were eating. Barf. Not at all feeling guilty for leaving early.
The sad part is that these people (or their parents- I think the bride and groom were 21 and 20, respectively) probably dropped an enormous wad of cash for what was easily the shittiest Sunday afternoon I've spent in a long time. I'm wishing them happiness and all that but good lord people. Have a little freaking dignity. Classy does NOT have to be expensive. I'm no wedding expert, but I do know that there are plenty of websites/magazines/books with lots of information on throwing a great shindig on a tight budget.
Could be that I am just a snob and maybe this was their perfect, ideal, dream wedding complete with the slutty garter toss and dollar dance and drunk bridesmaids writhing around and screaming along to "Baby Got Back." But please kill me if I ever have to sit through anything like that again.
I'd rather get eaten alive by a shark.***
Which reminds me...where's the remote?
*** Of course, I'm totally kidding about rather getting eaten by a shark. Shark attacks are very serious things and I in no way mean to take them lightly. Really. I'd rather shoot myself in the face with a nail gun.****
****Nail guns are also very serious. I am in no way taking victims of nail guns' lives lightly. I'd rather get run over by a very large semi-truck carrying a huge shipment of dildos. Really.
Monday, July 27, 2009
I'm now able to jog 3 miles at a reasonable pace- I won't be winning a 5K anytime soon but I'm still pretty fuckin' stoked that I can do this. My body feels leaner and stronger. I have more stamina and the occasional sleepless night that still seems to be plaguing our lives feels less onerous. I don't know if I've lost weight (I simply have not checked) but my clothes are fitting better and I don't feel as jiggly, so...probably?
Our cooking has taken a largely vegetarian, vaguely middle eastern turn- lots of tabouli, felafel, hummus, grilled boneless skinless chicken breast (which yeah, I know, NOT vegetarian, but pretty different from the constant tacos, chili, and baby back ribs of last summer)...I love summer and the charcoal grilling. No soda this summer, with the exception of the ginger ale in the Moscow Mule because HELLO? Best summer drink EVER. Beer is still in the equation as well, because a life without it is simply not worth living. All things in moderation, holmes.
And so here we are, nearly to August, my birthday month. I gotta confess, I DO feel a little bit older and wiser this year. And that's a good thing. The wiser part, anyway.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I'm kind of dreading my birthday. Not for the reasons you'd think- 32 doesn't really scare me any more than 31 did. It's just that it marks the 1 year anniversary of the day we lost McHann. It was such a horrible, sad, sad day, my birthday last year. It's going to be hard not to think of what we went through on the floor in that vet's office...holding her, speaking softly and watching the light leave her beautiful brown eyes. Afterwards, we went to a park on the edge of town, sat side by side and looked at the mountains thinking about and agonizing over what had just happened. Then we went to the Buckhorn for Jager shots.
Maybe if I flesh out all this stuff before my birthday it will not be as crappy? Worth a (Jager) shot, anyhow.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
1. Microwave s'mores are sort of like nicotine gum - will satisfy a strong craving but are no where NEAR as good as the real thing.
2. I found myself looking in the mirror this morning wondering if instead of making feeble attempts to hide my dark circles with concealer, I should rather embrace them and start a whole new pale, dark-circled beauty trend. Sort of a 30-something mom meets heroin chic look?
3. WTF is up with the rule that says my hair/make-up/outfit that looks super cute in the bathroom mirror at home, looks shitty and half-assed in the mirror in the Ladies room at work? Seriously.
4. True Blood is completely, totally fucking ridiculous. And I still watch every week. "Sook-eh...Ah em Vampahr!" " Oh, Beel! Ah ken hear people's thowts! Eet sucks but ah'm so horny!" So awful, but so entertaining.
5. Why is the health care thing so contentious? Maybe I'm naive but what we have is OBVIOUSLY not working and yet people are digging their heels in, crying "socialism!" and generally being obstinate little shits about it. I don't know...I don't have any brilliant commentary...I just want Washington to work shit out so that people, ALL people have access to quality health care regardless of their financial status. My little brother having to declare bankruptcy because of his skiing accident is fucking ludicrous.
6. I can't stop listening to Bad Religion. Its the soundtrack of my summer. Especially this song.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Phew. Glad that's off my chest.
2. My mom came to visit last week. We had a lovely time excepting that 2 days into her trip, she tore a ligament in her ankle and spent the week on crutches and in pain. She still insisted on watching my kid, however, which saved us a buttload of money that we would have normally spent on daycare. She and Otto had such an amazing time together that I was glad she still felt up to it, despite her injury. Yesterday (the first day sans Nana), Otto woke up and immediately asked for her. It broke my heart a little to remind him that we had taken her to the airport so she could ride an airplane back to her home. His response was: "Mah find Nana airport. Mah go get her." Sob.
3. Back to Mom's visit, we had a great day, Saturday, shuffling around the Denver Zoo (mom was in a wheelchair) and the kiddo loved getting to see all the animals and whatnot- so much that he didn't nap until we got back in the car around 4pm. The coolest thing we saw was a baby giraffe nursing from his mom. Otto was so fascinated! And so was I, to be honest. Talk about breastfeeding in public :-)
4. I'm getting super, royally pissed off because all winter I look so forward to riding my bike to work in the summer. This summer, they are doing so much stupid construction around my workplace that I have to ride WAY out of my way and leave my house at the mother effin' buttcrack of dawn and WHY CAN'T IT JUST BE EASY FOR ME TO SAVE GAS AND GET IN SHAPE BY RIDING MY BIKE TO WORK?!?!?!? Stupid.
5. I guess that's it for now...We just keep on keepin' on...live one day at a time, enjoy the time we have together as family and the time we have alone to our thoughts because there are way to few hours in the day and OMG I'm fucking exhausted.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
So rest assured, that no news is good news and we are off busily building campfires in the mountains, going to the zoo, playing cowboys and generally laughing like bastards.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Today is also the husband's and my 9th wedding anniversary. And fuck if that doesn't make me feel old as dirt.
We met the week after I turned 16. Love at first sight and teenage angst and first times and all that. The next few years were heady, passionate, and volatile: After being attached at the hip for a year, B. went to college, I dated someone else. I went to Europe, he dropped out of school. I came back and went to a University Far Away. B. decided to join me and moved halfway across country. It didn't work out, horribly, and we didn't speak for 2 years.
Then, somehow, we reconnected. Really, it was just both of us pulling our heads up out of our asses long enough to realize "DUH we're supposed to be together so lets stop acting like idiots." We spent one amazing summer together and by the end of it, just after I turned 22, we were engaged.
And its been a crazy ride ever since. I'd like to say its all been romance and laughter but you'd know that was bullshit. I'd like to say, rather, its been REAL. The romance and laughter have been there right along with the frustration, the heartache, and the late night heated discussions. There have been fights, making up, agony and pure joy. There have been drunken trips to the grocery store at 2am for eggs and bacon, movie marathons, camping trips, funerals, weddings, countless visits with in-laws, private jokes, loving glances, meals prepared. There's been the deaths of a best friend, a grandpa and a beloved pet. There's been an unplanned pregnancy.
There's been Saturday afternoons at the movies, whispering jokes to each other and stifling laughter in the popcorn scented darkness. There's been music- tons and tons of music- songs written, guitars built, pianos played. There's been this whole new thing where suddenly WTF? we are parents and that seems totally INSANE that someone would trust us with something like this and OMG what if we totally screw up?
Mostly? There's been us. The two of us, present in our lives, doing the best we can to be together, stay together, and have fun doing it. And I think we have succeeded. Are succeeding.
And I'm one lucky beeyotch.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
So. The whole reason for our trip to TX (including the fabulous vomit covered airplane ride) was for Cemetery Day. Which is a kind of weird, yet cool thing that my family and others have been doing since the American civil war.
By the end of the war, Walton Cemetery- a small graveyard in the middle of the woods in east Texas-was the resting place of sons, brothers, fathers and others who had passed on. To ensure that the graveyard was maintained, it was decided that each year on the first Sunday in June, the families would gather there to do upkeep: Make sure the headstones were taken care of, grass cut, greedy, overgrowing greenery cut back. They would spend the morning working in the cemetery, have a church service to remember the dead and then have a big picnic lunch before it got too hot.
This tradition has evolved into what it is today-and really it hasn't changed much. We got to the cemetery around 9 am and spent an hour or so looking at graves and hearing stories from the old folks who remembered who was buried there and why. My grandmother is there. And next to her grave is a plot reserved for my grandfather, for when his time comes. All of my Granddad's family (parents and 7 siblings), are there excepting his sister Aileen who is still living. We saw the grave of his little sister Flossie- who died at age three during the great depression because she swallowed a nail. We saw a graves of little babies born and died more than a hundred years ago, and the grave of my great uncle who just died last year. We saw the graves of civil war soldiers, their headstones worn and weathered from over a century in the hot Texas sun.
Around 10, we all went into the little chapel where after some singing of old timey hymns, they got down to business- no joke. We were all given a financial report of the cemetery- how much they pay the groundskeeper, how much it cost to remove graffiti some local idiots painted on a couple of headstones. How much was spent on lawn mower repair.
After the business meeting, there was a short church service. You all know that I'm not one for religion, but I'll confess, I did enjoy the singing.
The godly stuff out of the way, it was time for LUNCH and what a lunch it was. Fried chicken, potato salad, watermelon, casseroles, cookies, sweet tea...tables and tables of food. Little kids ran in the green grass under the big leafy trees, squealing and laughing while the adults crowded around tables in folding chairs and talked of Cemetery Days past, bragged about their kids, and remembered the loved ones who lie just a few yards away.
It was a somber, yet joyful day. One spent hearing stories and looking at old, weathered faces smiling down at young new ones with pride and love. It was awesome and I'm glad we went. Puking and all.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Saturday, my kid got up at the butt crack of dawn (what else is new) and after hanging with his little ass from 5am until 8am, I was all "YOU KNOW WHAT?? I'm going out garage sale-ing. BY MYSELF." And so I did.
Garage sale-ing summary:
- Huge bag of 2T clothes, including pajamas, jeans, jean jacket, shirts
- Toddler sandals
- Little People toy fire truck
- Little people barn with huge Ziploc bag full of accompanying farm-y toys
- Dresser for our bedroom (v.v. light yellow with pink knobs which I replaced with natural wood knobs purchased at hardware store)
Money Spent: $15.00
I AM A GOLDEN GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And this amazing feat of bargain shopping domination was just the beginning. That night, we took the kid to see Monsters v. Aliens at the cheap theater and OMG we had so much fun. Not because of the movie, really (Pixar totally kicks Dreamworks' ass- the jokes were SO lame..that said, I DID like the message that Susan was cool staying giant- that its OK for a woman to take up space in the world and that she didn't need a man to make her happy or give her a sense of purpose) but rather because we were there, together, as a family, eating popcorn, sipping root beer and having a grand ol' time just hanging out with each other. Otto watched the movie for about an hour while gorging himself on popcorn, nursed for a few minutes and then promptly fell asleep on my lap. Bliss.
Sunday, we spent time redecorating our bedroom (inspired by the "new" dresser - the husband remarked that it now seems as though actual adults sleep there as opposed to two wildly disorganized college freshmen. Heh.), grilling out the most delicious chicken and making root beer floats. (Can you tell we were on a root beer kick this weekend? For a family that almost NEVER buys soda, the occasional bubbly drink is sure a treat. And I love that you can get HCS free soda at the regular ol' Safeway these days.)
So you see what I mean? There was no one, fantastic, weekend-making event...It was just...good. Happy. Satisfying. Loving. Perfect.
(Do you think I used enough parentheses in this post? Because I could totally use more.)
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Again, for the most part, the kiddo busied himself with stickers, watching PBS videos on my Zune, nursing, reading books, and generally being quite pleasant.
Except. (And its a BIG "except.")
The flight there was sort of completely, totally awful. We had a horrible night the night before we left so I was running on about 4 hours of sleep. Never a good thing, even on the least demanding of days. We made it to the airport fine, to the plane with no problem, and then ALL BLOODY HELL BROKE LOOSE. There was screaming, crying, thrashing...it was really quite funny, now that I look back at it but at the time all I could think was " DEAR GOD PLEASE LET THIS FLIGHT BE OVER AND PLEASE LET ME NEVER EVER EVER SEE ANY OF THESE POOR SOULS AGAIN OR I WILL DIE OF SHAME."
Looking back, I think it was a combination of being too tired, getting a tooth and probably ear pressure, but my child was INCONSOLABLE. Would NOT nurse/eat/sleep/play/read books/watch videos...nothing. Finally, he'd been crying so long and was so upset that he started gagging and throwing up. On the airplane. Oy Vey. He was covered in puke, I was covered in puke, it stunk to high heaven and I only had back up clothes for him. Nice.
And so, we showed up in Dallas, covered in vomit and completely depleted of the sparse energy stores we had started the day with.
The good news is, that for whatever reason, it was smooth sailing from there. We slept like we were dead that night and the kid was a completely different child the next day. Our flight home was uneventful, and dare I say even pleasant? probably thanks to the small dose of Tylenol I provided to the little nut and us both being considerably better rested. I'm not one to randomly drug my child, but I felt justified as my nerves could not handle another hell flight.
Friday, June 5, 2009
What is your current obsession?
Wes Anderson movies, Moscow Mules (for a recipe go here...so yummy for summer!), babysitting my garden, Aviator sunglasses, Pride Prejudice and Zombies...
What's for dinner?
In a world where I could have whatever I wanted?
Sushi. Realistically? Probably tacos.
What's the last thing you bought?
Cute tops at the consignment store.
What are you listening to right now?
If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Hrm...this is a tough one. Its tempting to say "back to bed," but. Assuming I were well rested, I'd have to say I'd love to be in a museum somewhere with a big cup of tea and lovely, thought-provoking art to view.
What's your favorite quote (for now)?
"You never say, 'I'm gonna fight you, Steve.' You just smile and act natural, and then you sucker-punch him. " - The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
What's your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
Converse sneaks, yo. Oh, and I love a good zip-up hoodie.
What's your dream job?
Is there such as thing as a world-traveling, full-time mom/film critic who also gets to see lots of live music? Because...yeah that.
What's your worst habit?
Chewing my cuticles.
Do you admire anyone's style?
Totally. All the time. Again, the look of any Wes Anderson movie is stylistically so great. I also tend to love old Hollywood style- the classics, like Audrey Hepburn. Nowadays? Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley has fantastic style...
Describe your personal style?
Um...Relaxed indie-rock mom with a little thrift store chic thrown in for good measure.
What are your favorite movies?
Star Wars, Rushmore, Darjeeling Limited, the Life Aquatic, Royal Tennenbaums, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Roman Holiday, The Big Lebowski, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady...
What inspires you?
My family, my friends. My kid. Movies, books, music. Nature. The usual stuff.
What's your favorite book?
There's really no way to choose just one favorite...I love Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte...my favorite book from childhood is probably Where the Wild Things Are.
Do you collect something?
Not religiously, no. If anything, I collect books and movies- I love 70's horror films and Victorian-era science fiction. Tattoos, maybe. ( I'm up to 7...)
What do you like most about yourself?
What's your go-to nail polish color?
Tag. You're it.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Ah, Journey. Is there really any of life's moments that cannot be captured in a Journey song?
Otto is going through some kind of sleep regression (probably the 18-21 month one that Moxie writes about) and we've been up a lot in the night. And you know how when you're awake late at night and the house is all still and quiet, your brain can kinda veer off into strange territory? I've been up nursing the boy at 2, 3, 4am and I've been thinking all kinds of weird shit, laying there in the dark. The past couple nights its been the passage of time and how some things can seem to take forever and some things are over in the blink of an eye. Doesn't sound that trippy in the light of day, but at 3am it will fuck with your head.
* * * * * *
This week is going by in a blur. Feels like my brain is in several places at once: At work, at daycare, at home, mentally packing a suitcase. The kiddo and I are flying out on Saturday to visit my grandparents in Texas. I'm looking forward to the heat, strangely enough. The warmest its been here lately is 63 degrees (yesterday, the high was 46) so I won't mind a couple of days being able to wear flip-flops and short sleeves.
(Although I'm actually going to do 3/4 sleeves because my new tattoo goes right down to my elbow and while I don't care if my parents/co-workers/strangers see it, my granddad has very old fashioned views about this sort of thing and he's so old that he deserves to be spared the stress of worrying that his only granddaughter is the spawn of Satan. Or something. Its just that we're only going to be there for 3 days, who knows when we'll see him again, and I just don't want there to be drama.)
I think I've got all my ducks in a row for the plane trip: books, toys, snacks, coloring books, sling, umbrella stroller, extra clothes in the carry-on (for both the kid and me), ibuprofen (for my inevitable airplane headache)...what am I missing?
* * * * * * *
Lastly, I'll leave you with some photos taken on our trip to our hometown over Mother's Day weekend. It was a chilly, clear day and we had a great time hiking and throwing rocks in the river.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
2. Puffs Plus Lotion with Vicks. OMFG, y'all. How can one of my favorite things be freaking tissues you ask? Because I've had a seriously heinous cold followed by hay fever these past weeks and THESE THINGS HAVE SAVED MY LIFE. They are so soft and something about the mentholish scent is so comforting...ahhhhh.
3. Tenacious D. Because of the awesomeness.