Friday, January 29, 2010

Please let this be the end of the tunnel...

Sorry that last post was such a downer. They were thoughts that needed processing- worries that needed articulating. After writing about it and talking with friends, I'm in a much saner place regarding my son's possible debauchery in a decade or so. (I never said I wasn't kind of nuts :-) He's only 2, and I'm a good parent, dammit. It will all be ok. Right? Right.

Anyhow. Its been a horrible week. We found out a couple days ago that my little brother and his partner miscarried and lost their baby. She was 9 weeks along. The pregnancy itself was unexpected but we were all excited and already embracing this new little life. The miscarriage came at a terrible time (well, what time wouldn't be terrible): While they were in the middle of moving. So they are stuck in a hotel, a rental truck wracking up charges and she is in a lot of pain.

I feel so helpless sitting here, hundreds of miles away. They are having to go through their own hell right now and it sucks that I can't just make everything ok for my little brother. We've been in touch and I've let them know that we're "here for them" but what does that really mean when you're in Wyoming and they are elsewhere?

* * * * * * * * * * * *
(Warning; This next section might be TMI for the squeamish)

In other news, not so serious news, we had an AWESOME experience of P.I.B. last night. What's that, you ask? Poop In the Bath! Whee!! I was sitting on the (closed, thanks) toilet last night chatting with my mom about the little brother stuff while Otto luxuriated in the bath tub. Suddenly he stood up, started crying and yelling "Poop in the bath, Mama! I'm sorry!"


After assuring Otto that is was OK and not to be sad-" it was just an accident!", I yelled for the Husband to come help and together we awkwardly held Otto up while pouring clean water over him. Then I fished the turds out with rubber gloves and sanitized the tub best I could.

We all got to bed a little late, so I slept in and skipped my work out.

It totally rocked! Yay parenting!!!

(I'm sure this happens to everyone else too. Feel free to share your own P.I.B. stories in the comments. Whee!!)

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

Lastly, some fun news that I feel kind of guilty about- I'm getting a Kindle!! I've wanted one for a long time and we are getting a big enough tax return that the Husband suggested I go for it. (Mainly because I think HE wants a new acoustic guitar and doesn't want to feel guilty about it, heh.) We're still going to have plenty to pay off some bills (we're still paying for my varicose vein surgery I had in September and for Otto's broken arm) and replenish our savings a bit.

Anyhow, I've been perusing the free download-able content at Amazon and am super stoked: Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll, Conan Doyle...lots of classics for free or cheap along with cheap bestsellers (9.99 on most)...but. Even though the Kindle is now $100 cheaper it still seems so feels so indulgent to be spending that much on myself. Not totally in a bad way, I guess.

Also, I'm ordering a custom cover from Etsy (check out this shop!) which has been as fun as anything. I DEFINITELY need a cover because HELLO? Two-year old, puppy, tendency to drop things...And the proprietor of above shop is willing to do Velcro AND corner tabs for me, ensuring a very secure attachment of Kindle to cover. After much rumination, I chose the fabric below by Michael Miller for my cover and placed the order today. Squee!

So that, in a large nutshell is where I'm at. Grieving, cleaning up poop, (hopefully) regaining some sanity, and looking forward to ebooks. Its not all bad, but I'm ready for Spring in more ways than one.

I'll leave you with a favorite song of the moment:

"Love is tough. Time is rough....on me."

Friday, January 22, 2010

An Other Kind of Day

This post has been flopping around in my head for a while now, like a caught fish. Or clown shoes. I finally have a few minutes to try to release it onto the page but now that I actually try to write, I'm having a hard time formulating the words for what I want to say. So this may read like a poor (and woefully less talented) womans' Virginia Wolf-ian stream of consciousness...But here' goes...

Lately, I find that one consistent thought keeps returning to the forefront of my exhausted brain:

I hope that I can parent my child to be smart. Smarter than me.

And I'm not really talking about book smart. I am book smart. I loved school, succeeded at it...graduated college with honors and all that. So yeah, of course I want my son to be book smart but I'm not really worried about that, per say. Whether he succeeds in school or learns some other way, I know he's a smart kid.

I'm worried about the other kind of smart, what some might call street smart. Or maybe common sense. Its just that I did so many very, very stupid things when I was younger. Dangerously stupid things. And just thinking about them now has this non-believer crossing herself and looking heavenward.

An example:

When I was 15, I had this great friend named Cori. She was everything I wasn't - extroverted, sassy, confident, knew all kinds of fun make-up tricks and had "lots" of experience with boys. Me, I'd had a couple boyfriends but never made it past heavy petting, and was pretty self-conscious about my body and appearance in general.

She lived in a huge, mostly empty refurbished funeral home on main street with her uncle who had bought the place 'for a great price' and decided to live in it. We spent hours in her room (formerly the viewing room for the funeral home) putting on blue mascara, listening to Lenny Kravitz and talking about who was boning who in high school.

One night, all dolled up, we were walking on main street and a guy we'd never met, in some kind of 80's-tastic douchebag car (a Camaro maybe?) pulled up and asked us if we wanted to go to a party.

We went with him. We literally let him pick us up like a couple of teenage hookers.


It turned out to be nothing really. He drove us out to a trailer park where some people were drinking Sex on the Beach's (first time I'd ever heard of that) and listening to metal. Cori flirted and swayed her hips and blinked a million times a minute. I sat on a couch and swirled the ice around in my drink and tried not to stare at the couples in matching pocket-less wranglers making out. We stayed for a while, then once our 11:00pm curfew approached, politely asked for a ride back in to town, which some girl there was glad to do as she was leaving as well.

So it all turned out fine. But what if it hadn't? I mean, how fucking stupid is it to get into a strange dude's car like that? I know now that that same, bad decision could have lead to sexual assault or any number of other things. And for many young people, it has and does.

I did all sorts of other stupid shit as an adolescent and young adult and I am frankly amazed now that I came through it with so little scarring. Maybe I watch too many movies or read too much Newsweek, but I can't help but imagine all the horrible stuff that could have happened. Of course my parents had done all the requisite 'stranger danger' training but apparently I just didn't give a shit? I honestly don't know what I was thinking.

And, as a parent now, this (I think common) teenager-y of inability to access any sort of common sense scares the holy living shit out of me.

How do I do it? How to I grow an independent, intelligent boy with common sense? I know that he has to grow up and make his own mistakes and that I can't shelter him (and I don't want to). But at the same time, I want him to know that one bad decision can change everything.

There are reasons I've been thinking about this lately, reasons that I don't feel totally comfortable writing about here. And maybe it seems silly to be thinking about this stuff when my kid is only 2 years old. But I know that what I do NOW as a parent, will have an impact on who he becomes THEN. And while some days I feel like I'm rocking the mom gig pretty hard, on others, I'm terrified I'm going to screw it up. Today's an 'other day.'

Thursday, January 14, 2010


All the coverage on Haiti is so devastating, so heart wrenching. What the people there must be going through, I really have no basis for understanding. We've given what we can, and will do more if the opportunity arises. But seeing these images, reading the stories- it produces a feeling of helplessness and sadness and I wish there was a way to just make everything ok again for the thousands of people who are dead, injured, separated from loved ones...

You've all seen by now, I'm sure that there are countless ways to help monetarily. But just in case, here's a link to a list of charities.

I'm not a praying person but Haiti is definitely in my thoughts. I just keep wondering about mothers separated from children, husbands searching from wives, people still buried under rubble...Wishing there was more to do than just giving money, although from what the media is saying, there is of course a huge need to get aid organizations mobilized and things like water and medicine to the people that need them and money helps do that. Still. Ugh.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I saw this picture on I am Bossy and had to repost. Because OMG THE YUM*.

In related news, I've seen two (count'em TWO) new movies in the past few weeks: Sherlock Holmes and Youth in Revolt.

Holmes is rated EXCELLENT for eye candy, action, and pithy dialog. Youth in Revolt is rated GOOD for french-movie-subtitle-feeling dialog, a fun indie soundtrack, Steve Bushemi and cutie Michael Cera.

Both are rated INDULGENT for the large quantities of popcorn and root beer that were consumed at each showing. Hey, I don't get to go out to movies much so when I do, I take full advantage.

*Of course, it should go without saying that RDjr can't hold a 19th century London CANDLE to my sweet, sexy, handsomely built husband. I'm just saying that he's pretty good, you know, for a Hollywood pretty boy. Ahem.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Batteries Not Required

One of the decisions we have made as parents is that we do not want any battery operated toys in the house. (Or VERY few...Full disclosure: I think we have one little toy cell phone that beeps that someone gave us- I keep it in an emergency toy baggie for when we're out somewhere and I desperately need something that will hold his attention for a few minutes- like in line at the DMV or something.) But generally, we avoid battery operated things like the plague. We'd rather have toys that require imagination and creativity and don't beep, boop, talk, or play annoying music.

Anyway, our parents, siblings, etc. are very respectful of this wish. Otto's haul from Xmas included a tricycle, many books, a kazoo, some duplo blocks...And we got him one of these AMAZING handmade busy-books off Etsy- all wonderful, battery-less toys that require some imagination. (Although, one of the husband's brothers- who is childless- gave him an enormous foam sword. Unfortunately, this gift was 'accidentally' left at Gramma's house.)

However, every time I asked Otto what he would like for Xmas leading up to the holiday, he said "Spiderman." Without fail. I have no idea why- I can only guess that someone at daycare has been talking about Spiderman but Otto certainly recognizes the superhero when we see stuff in the stores and knows that he shoots webs from his hands. I let him watch a couple minutes of an old Spiderman cartoon (just the theme song and beginning) on the computer one day and he was in HEAVEN. And I don't have a problem with Spiderman. He's a cool superhero- has a human, flawed alter ego (unlike stupid Superman. Don't get me started), has good values and I can see why he would appeal to a kid.

The only trouble was that every age appropriate Spiderman toy I saw had batteries. They all seemed to be something like this. Not for us.

Fortunately, Santa came to the rescue and found a plush Spiderman doll on eBay that he knew Otto would love.

And he wasn't wrong. The two of them have been inseparable since Xmas morning- No batteries required. Santa's feelin' pretty good about now. Or so I would guess.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Other Side

Hello! Somehow we've made it to the other side of the holidays. All the gifts are opened and oohed and ahhed over, bags packed then unpacked, and all the seasonal beer and champagne has disappeared down someone's gullet. Now its back to the 'real world' of jobs and bills and blahdee blah blah. You know what I'm saying.

We had a great vacation, though. Despite some blizzard type stuff and icy roadways, it was nearly perfect. We spent 4 days with the husband's family in central Wyoming, sledding and eating and playing Santa and eating and ice skating and eating. I'm probably 5 lbs heavier just because of these 4 days. It was great, though, watching our kid with his little cousins and uncles and aunt and grandparents...Bliss.

Then, we went to Estes Park, CO and spent time with my folks and 2 of my brothers. It was more low-key but also really nice. And even though there was some weirdness between one of my brothers and myself (long story), Estes is so beautiful that its impossible to be anything but merry.

Here the kiddo and I are setting off on hike in the winter wonderland:

And one of Ruby's favorite things is swinging. Its hilarious.

I mean, really. How beautiful is this place?

Today was our first day back to work/daycare and its been a doozy. I want to think about my goals for the coming year but first I have to somehow get my brain out of chocolate eating/sledding/movie-watching mode and back into working mama mode. Wish me luck.