Wednesday, June 24, 2009

9 Freaking Years

Today is one of those rare days where the world seems just right. Do you know what I mean? The stars have aligned, the pieces have clicked into place and for what I'm sure is a very brief moment things are...magically copacetic. My family is sleeping well again, the weather is finally behaving itself and even though we are broke, we're broke together which can be kind of fun in a twisted, depraved sort of way.

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

Cemetary Day

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


Last weekend so farking awesome, its taken me until today to process it effectively enough to write a blog post. That's how great it was. Strangely, there is no one big reason but rather a bunch of little ones that when compiled together, added up to two fantastic days.

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:

  1. Huge bag of 2T clothes, including pajamas, jeans, jean jacket, shirts
  2. Toddler sandals
  3. Little People toy fire truck
  4. Little people barn with huge Ziploc bag full of accompanying farm-y toys
  5. 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

You Can Stop Holding Your Breath

We're back safe and sound, from a whirlwind trip to TX to visit with my grandparents, parents and extended relatives. The four days were full of airplane rides, car rides, warm, humid weather, fried chicken, watermelon, sweet tea, inflatable outdoor pools, and lots of visiting, visiting, visiting. For the most part, it was fabulous.

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, 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.
I'll post more about the trip, including the reason for it (Cemetary Day) sometime soon. It's a pretty fascinating tradition and I learned a lot about my heritage and East Texas this weekend that I'd like to share. Plus I have photos if I ever have time to upload them. (The 2 in this post were taken with my phone.)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Its been a while...

...since I did a silly blog meme. 'Bout time, non?

What is your current obsession?
Wes Anderson movies, Moscow Mules (for a recipe go 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?
Coconut Records

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 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?
My brainz.

What's your go-to nail polish color?

Tag. You're it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"....And the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'....

...Ah don't know if Ah'll see tomooooorooooorow!"

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.