Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Ears

How have I managed to miss so many bloggable days in a row? It's not like things aren't happening around here. Today was my first day back at work since Willem was born and, ladies and gentlemen, I am here to report that it was SWEEEEEEET! Wow! I guess I'm one of those moms with a detachable heart that can easily leave her child in the suddenly capable hands of her fab husband. Of course, I did shed a tear when Willem's tiny face looked up at me from the bars of his cage, I mean, crib, raised his eyebrows and smiled like a movie star promo shot. It was hard to say that last good-bye but all of a sudden, when I got behind the wheel, I was so stoked to be free, I mean, glad to be on my way to contribute to the financial responsibilities of our family. At work, I gossiped (got caught up), sent adult-scented emails to clients, eyeballed co-workers who put on a few too many since I've been gone and nibbled on holiday edibles that have probably been there since before Christmas. I dashed home briefly to feed the little boy wonder and nibble all of his parts but without hesitation, I put him back in his cage, CRIB, and sped to the office. Now I'm wondering how it got so late in the day so fast and I still have so much to do?

Tomorrow is a big day for Willem. He's going to daycare on Tuesdays and Thursdays and tomorrow is day one. Mommy is FREAKED but it has to be done. He will be the youngest in the infant room and I only hope that the teachers protect my youngin' from the grabbing hands of other tots or this Greenville girl with be all up in their business stat. 'Nuff said.

Check out these naughty little naked lady soaps sent to me from my dear friend, Wendielu, who never updates her blog, for Christmas. They are amazing scents like almond spice, rosemary mint, gingergrass, and the most confusing essence, karma. I don't know if she made them but I would like to get some more so, Wendielu, please advise. I enjoy bathing with a collection of naked ladies so hook me up.

Well, that's all I can muster for now. I just ate a larger than lady-like bowl of homemade bolognese and must now jellyroll myself in the direction of a queen-sized mattress.

Oh, let me mention that in 2005, my dedicated husband and I remodeled our entire house, moved 3 times, gave birth to a healthy and beautiful baby boy, started a new band, and traveled to Spain for two and a half glorious weeks. Our plans for 2006? You'll be the first to know.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Price You Pay

About 4 years ago, I asked my lesbian hairdresser in Nashville to dye my hair red like hers. She was blonde, like me, and looked totally foxy sassin' around in her newly colored mop. I, on the other hand, looked like Raggedy Ann after it was said and done and have for all this time. There's nothing worse than looking at pictures of yourself and thinking "Why didn't anyone tell me?"


Today, I spent 5, count 'em FIVE hours in a salon, the longest time I've been away from my baby in the daytime since he was born, turning my hair back to blonde and the end result? Well, let's just say, I have much more salon time to look forward to but I will say, I'm well on my way and that my hairdresser is a magician. The biggest bonus of this endless day of breathing chemicals and having my hair washed four times is that daddy had to spend all of this time with baby and it was a SUCCESS! Gives me great peace of mind since I am eagerly and begrudingly returning to work on Monday. I can't believe it's true, but it is. The babymoon is over and I must head back to the salt mine. The thought of spending such large chunks of time during the day away is really tough, tougher than I expected and my stomach is all tied up in knots but a huge part of me is ready to jump back into the working world where adults linger and bad jokes are swapped and new shoes are compared and deals are negotiated and clients are swooned and money is made and all that stuff. It's going to be a tough transition but here we go, sooner than I expected. Baby also starts daycare on Tuesday and will attend there two days a week. Yet another reason to have my fur in a dander and worry about that one little Asian baby I witnessed scratching the face of a toehead while we were talking to the director of the school. My baby is unspoiled (yet spoiled by be), unscathed, unscratched, and smells sooooo good. It's all about to be very different. God, grant me the serenity...

Monday, December 26, 2005

Blonde In A Box

This was how one of my Christmas presents was wrapped this year. Was it packaged by the tiny hands of my child, you ask? As a matter of fact, it was wrapped by my husband and THAT was his SECOND attempt. Inside was a coupon in the sum of a few hundred dollars, the amount it will cost to bring me back to blonde. Being a redhead was great but it's time to return to my "roots" and have some fun, as the saying goes. The transition isn't going to be fun and I am fearful I will look more like Sinead O'Connor than Paris Hilton. Stay tuned.

GoGo came and stayed with us for the holidays but this is what happens when you share a good book with her. These were taken in sequence. She hardly put the book down...

Notice the pajama pant/puppy combo. That's her dog, Blaze, and when he lays on her lap, he completely disappears. The book, by the way, was The Lovely Bones, soon to be a movie.

And here is a picture of Willem eagerly awaiting Santa's arrival or in other words, "Go to sleep already, kid!".

Also, if you're wondering what the heck to do this New Year's Eve, you can't miss this!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Some Libido In My Stocking, Please

As promised in the childbirthing class we took six months back, I am a new mother who traded libido for a 24/7 date with a very small person. My husband was disheartened like every other spouse that day when the instructor explained that hows and whys of this cruel decline of desire. She gave a recovery timeline of a year. That was when the collective masculine gasp sucked the air out of the room and gave everyone face lifts. Honestly, it's hard to believe that what got you where you are in the first place would be removed and replaced by a hollow void but it's true. The idea of a roll in the hay is about as appealing as skinning fish with my teeth. Don't get me wrong, I love the kissy, cuddling, canoodling parts of our affectionate role playing but don't even think about second or third base. I'll take that bat and beat you with it. I know it's a protective measure installed by Mother Nature to keep our children's ages at least a few months apart but I also know that my husband wishes we were back in the dark ages where when a woman was impregnated, he could go off on a dinner date and woo another gal. I don't blame him and extend permission to him to visit as many naughty sites on the internet as he so desires (not that he needed my permission in the first place). In the meantime, I will hit the sales racks at Last Call after the holidays and see if I can muster some luster in the lingerie department. He's been a good boy this year and deserves a little "hoe" with his ho, ho. ho.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sensitive Ponytail Type

Didn't I just take my child on a two and a half week trip to another country where EVERYTHING was unfamiliar? And didn't strangers oogle, touch, tug and squeeze him? Just checking because I took him to a fun Christmas cookie decorating party yesterday and he SCREAMED and CRIED for the first 35 minutes until he was bright red and hoarse. Mothers flocked to make his acquaintance and try to calm him down but it only heightened his freak out fit. He was a soggy, limp rag doll by the time he wore himself out and I was in major need of a glass of wine and snuggle time with the little guy. We stuck around for another 45 minutes or so and he remained calm but I think he scared all of the guests. No one really talked to us.

I figured out yesterday that one of the greatest things about having a new baby is that it really simplifies the holiday shopping gift list. All I need to buy are a bunch of picture frames 'cause every family member is getting a picture of the kiddo. Merry Ho-Ho.

On the second leg of our return trip home, we had a layover in Atlanta. After the first 9 hour flight, we were tired, cranky and carried short fuses. When we deplaned, we had to reclaim our lugguage, go through customs, recheck the baggage, go through security (the part where you get naked to clear the beep), and make the long haul to the gate. Well, our beloved Snap N Go, the stroller frame that carried baby all over Spain, got left in Atlanta. Damn thing never showed up. An Indian man who worked somewhere in the airport said it would pop out on some other belt where golf clubs and fly rods appear. Daddy and I fussed and cussed about where we were supposed to retrieve it and I was just about to ask for a divorce when we both waved the white flag and left the thing behind. We were both saddened by the loss but stumbled onward. I had to now haul the 15 pound kid in carseat with my giant backpack on my person through the terminal while daddy dragged two suitcases and his carry-on behind him. It was not glamorous and I heard a woman who walked past me with her stroller remark to her husband, "That must suck." Yes, lady, it did. So now we're searching for a new stroller, a complete system with beer holders, a gun rack, and a giant spotlight. If anyone knows of any on sale (because, dang, they're expensive!), send me an email.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


I will always be grateful that I got to drag my infant son all over Spain, an event that he'll have no memory of, and I will be the first to admit that IT WASN'T EASY, people. The opportunity to go presented itself and the trip was a must do. It was practically paid for, too. This was my first time across the pond and it was a time of year that wasn't overpopulated with tourists (but no one told me that Spain has plenty of its own people on the continent). I was scared, excited, unnerved and anxious but it all played out well and we made it home in one piece and as a complete family.

One wonderful thing about Spain is that they LOVE children and it doesn't matter where you take them or when. Many times Willem found his tiny self in the arms of some foxy foreign woman gooing over him. One of the most remarkable moments occurred when we had gone to the Museo Sophia in Madrid one afternoon. We made a mad dash inside of this mammoth place to see the famous Guernica before it closed or got too late or something. Anyway, around the corner you stumble upon this amazing painting and in real life, it's breathtaking. I'm sure there's always a crowd of people hugging the perimeter of the exhibit as there was that particular day. I was making my way from one corner to the other when I was stopped in my tracks by a young, attractive girl from Italy. She freaked out over Willem, gushed over him to her friends, begged to take him from me, smooched him, cooed at him, had her boyfriend take a picture with him when all the while there's this super important piece of art behind us (nice backdrop). I soon saw my husband who seemed a bit shocked at the spectacle before him and the disregard we were having about the important work over our shoulder. I, in turn, was a bit overwhelmed by this girl's enthusiasm and began to think at any moment she was about to take off running with my child. In the end, the baby was safely back in his stroller, I was gloating and daddy was shaking his head. We heard the word "guapo" often about our baby in Spain and I have to admit, he is kinda cute. "Guapo" is now one of his many nicknames.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Scrooge Conversion

I share a holiday homestead with Ebenezer Scrooge but I'm working to convert his curmudgeonly ways. Hopefully I won't have to enlist the three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future to do it. That could get ugly.

Ol' Eb drove Willem and I to the east side of Bastrop to the Loma Alta Christmas Tree Farm last Thursday. I had a feeling that the trip would be challenging but I was determined to share with him the experience of killing our own chosen sapling in a pine-scented forest of hundreds.

As I'm ho-hoing away in the back seat with baby, Eb was looking for the landmarks for the turn. Needless to say, we ended up in Smithville and Eb was one pissed miser. He couldn't understand why we didn't just drive to the neighborhood grocery store and snag one of the dried up twigs out front instead of going on this extended hunt. After a bit of fussin' and fightin' we found the joint and bounced our way down the dirt road to the headquarters. We were greeted by a man who could easily play Ned Flanders in the made for TV movie and his Australian Shepherd, Barney. Barney had one bluish eye that Eb thought was sans vision. Faux Ned gave Eb a hand saw and sent us off into the forest. Since the hayride wasn't in commission, we stayed close to the road knowing full well that we'd have to schlep our tree of choice back to base camp. Surprisingly, Eb quickly embraced the hunt and followed baby and I into the manicured thicket. A sparrow hawk sat at the top of one particular tree that Eb claimed was "the one" because the bird was some sort of sign. I would've been game for it except that the tree was 10 feet tall and I was sure the strangely calm bird would rip our eyes out and steal the baby. We did finally manage to choose a bushy fella and, on my command, Eb begrudginly got on his knees and began to saw. About five minutes later, he was cursing from underneath the branches. Not wanting the fun to come to a screeching halt, I handed over the kiddo and made a go of it but damn thing was impossible to sever. I marched out into the road and summoned "Ned" and with little effort, he cut the tree from the ground. It was easy to imagine him with the muscle bound body of Flanders underneath his flannel and raincoat. After the dead bristles were violently shaken from the tree by a shaking machine and it was fed in to a really big mesh bag, we secured it to the top of the truck and took it home. I grinned to myself when Eb said that next year he wanted to gather up a group of friends to make the trip with us, pack some warm toddys and make a Saturday of it. One small step for wifey, one giant leap for Christmas's to come.

P.S. Baby loves the tree!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Storytelling: Part Dos

The Climb Of Our Lives - we hiked up to that castle on the island of Palma, Mallorca. There were about 200 stairs and we were half way up them when we decided to ditch the stoller in the bushes and hike the rest of the way like Sherpas hired by a 24-inch, toothless person who really couldn't appreciate the effort.

Face Melting Architecture

European MTV ROCKS!

World's Largest Vibrator

Paella Thief


I tried to download a program that would allow me to creatively post the vaca pics on my blog but because I own a Mac, that damn program isn't compatible. That's probably a saving grace because I am now limited in the amount of things I can post. Here is a tiny morsel...

Before Baby

After Baby

Popsicle Baby - it was dang cold in Madrid.

Museum Of Ham - Seriously, that's what this place was called and I thought we had lost Willem's Piglet rattle there which would have been appropriate.

European Baby - He really does look like quite the Spanish flirt, doesn't he?

Stranger Danger

Close to the tail end of our trip, I finally threw in the towel and decided to let the front desk guy at our hotel find us a babysitter so that daddy and I could go out on our first real date since the rugrat arrived. A part of me was excited about the idea of putting on some fishnets and stepping out but a huge part was hoping that every babysitter in the town of Leon was on strike or booked. Turned out that someone was willing to come sit in our modest hotel room with my beloved late that evening. Dinner isn't served in this country until 9 p.m. which is insane, so the sitter had between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. to raid our suitcases and steal my child. I was a wad of nerves all day long and nearly jumped out of my skin when she finally knocked on the door. An elderly, grandmotherly Spanish woman calmly hobbled in and I was relieved to note her obvious age range. I mean, she couldn't run that fast if I had to chase her. She smelled nice and smiled broadly as she told me she couldn't speak English so in my broken Espanol, I explained to her things about the baby. Translating my info to her would read something like "Baby very good. Sleeping 10 minutes. Diapers big. Here. Things you need. My first time out from baby. Very nervous. Need drink. Milk here. No more. Kiss him. Love him. Very nervous." She kept repeating the word "tranquilo" over and over and over. Basically she was telling me to calm down but by the 10th or 11th time she said it, I was beginning to think she was recommending tequila or tranquilizers. I managed to leave with my date for the evening out but he didn't help matters by joking about Willem being kidnapped. I had to laugh when he reminded me of the Simpsons episode when Homer lost Maggie and called the lost baby hotline. They put him on hold and the hold music was the song "Baby Come Back." All was well though when we returned and the little one was sleeping like an angel with no visible signs of trauma. I tipped her 5 euro and scooted her out the door so I could promptly examine all of his parts.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Friggin’- A, we did it! We survived a two and a half week trip with our now three-month-old son to a foreign language speaking country that legally has two-hour lunches WITH ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTES throughout. Was the adventure fun? You bet! Did I ever want to be gored in the streets by a running bull? Once or twice, but I couldn’t find any bulls.

Here’s a brief rundown of our trip…
Number of plane flights: 6
Number of train rides: 6
Number of cities visited: 5
Miles of stroller journeys: 150 or so
Number of miles in the Bjorn: 10
Number of cathedrals I breastfed in: 3
Number of women who flung themselves at Willem: 22
Number of café con leches consumed: 34
Number of glasses of cava: 40 or so
Number of times I asked for a divorce on the trip: 1

Yesterday was an 18-hour travel day. This isn’t healthy for an adult, much less a 24-inch little one yet he hung in there like a champ. Since he had gotten a stuffy nose on an overnight train ride a couple of days earlier, he was a tad more opinionated than the trip to Spain but who wouldn’t be cranky when you don’t know how to blow your own nose. Mommy flubbed the backpack diaper bag packing for the trip home and had to bum number 2 diapers from mothers in the airport. I bought European diapers in Palma, Mallorca but couldn’t make the weight conversion and ended up with MC Hammer diapers. Daddy came up with a hilarious version of Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” for diaper duty that went…

“Every where I go, people laugh at me
‘cause I’m wearing diapers made in 1983.
Can’t wear these.”

I will include a little collage of life in Spain as soon as I figure out how. Oh, and I'm REALLY tired so I need a nap before I start researching this. It's good to be home and Austin is a dang fine city to live in.

P.S. If anyone needs any tips on traveling with very young people, let me know. I think I'm close to an expert on the subject.