chaos7

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Spirited

Well hello there! Are you ready for Christmas? Got all your gifts bought, wrapped and stuffed under the tree or shipped off to family and friends? You do? Really? Yeah, well I’m screwed. I thought I had budgeted enough time the last few weeks to get everything done before heading off to see family but I’m just too pooped lately to take advantage of every minute not spent at work, doing an event or wrestling the tot to get this holiday thing under way. In those free moments, I just want to crawl under the covers and disappear. Now I’m taking my lunch breaks at Best Buy and Massage Envy and Toy Joy. Hooray for me.

The hubs and I had a crappy date night earlier in the week. We went to one of our favorite places to eat where we know the owner and like to kibbutz back and forth with him during a delicious feast but we ended up making total asses out of ourselves as we proceeded to drink too much hooch and argue. One minute I’m feeding him dessert and the next we’ve basically cleared the bar area where we were dining. Was totally easy after I yelled “DIVORCE!” in the middle of a sentence I was spatting at the Hubs. He was up for the challenge, too, I guess. He didn’t back off either. We’re so classy. I ended up storming out and the Hubs followed after paying the bill and asking the hostess, “Which way did she go (insert giant hiccup here)?” Nice. The owner didn’t charge us for any of the wine. Not sure why. I would’ve charged us double. Don’t think we’ll be going back there for a while. FYI - we were totally laughing about it all the next morning.

Over the holidays, I’ll try and get some posts up. Always much to tell during this time of the year.

Adios.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ringo Moon

This is getting serious. He even does those weird mouth ticks when he gets in a groove.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Smash Mash Crash

Pile up on the Play-Doh highway. Yes, that's BROWN Play-Doh. As a kid I never had it so good. Brown Play-Doh in 1976 meant it ended up in the yard somehow.


W made a "cupcake" with the brown stuff after clearing the collision and knowing that he loves to blow out candles, I stuck in one of those candles that relights itself after being extinguished. At first W laughed his diaper off at the mysterious phenomenon but then it started to spook him. It wasn't long before he was standing on the other side of the kitchen and refusing to sing Happy Birthday one more time and blow the candle out.

What? You don't let your tot lie on the kitchen counter in his diaper with his head resting on a dish towel while eating a Funyun? Yeah, remember those? LOVE Funyuns. Onion flavored corn chip shaped like a method of birth control. Rock!


This is what I get to hang with at the end of a busy work day. I like him way more than Funyuns.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Foodie

I just devoured the book "My Life In France" by Julia Childs and Alex Prud’homme. Such a lovely read. Her point of view of everything French is very frank yet affectionate. The depths at which she dedicated herself to French cuisine are inspiring especially considering the interesting obstacles she faced. Read for yourself. You won’t regret it.

I was fortunate enough to be exposed to the French world of food at an early age. During my elementary school years my mom was the assistant to our neighbor who hosted French cooking classes for many years. I remember fondly her open-air kitchen filled with shiny copper mixing bowls and loads of pots and pans. The essence of brioche, boeuf bourguignon and omelettes shrouded the room always. Her handmade recipe booklets created for each class littered the countertops. I remember hearing the hearty and grateful laughter of the women as they said their goodbyes after class and climb into their cars on the circular drive. This also signaled that mom would be home soon with treats for us to try.

At home, there were afternoons spent perched on stools next to the stove as mom and I made many crêpes for sweet and savory dishes. Side by side, like little robots, we'd dip the bottom side of the hot crêpe pan in batter and then rest it on the metal ring that outlined the flame of the burner. When the edges of the flat pancake started to brown and lift, it was time to gently coaxed it off the pan and onto the heap of crêpes kept warm under a moist towel. I also learned how to whisk eggs, kneed bread, pipe pâte à choux onto a baking sheet and then fill it with a homemade sweet custard topped with a melted dark chocolate after baking. Heavenly.

We also had a gourmet kitchen supply shop and deli called The Mouse Trap. There I savored exotic cheeses, olives, pates, mustards and chocolates from around the world. This was 1981 in a very small town. When I get a whiff of a certain perfume (name unknown) these days, I am immediately back in the little shop making sandwiches and running the register for the moneyed folks and food adventurous in my hometown.

In my preteen years, mom transitioned to a funny little place in Longview, Texas called The Stock Pot. It was owned by a gaggle of aristocratic, super wealthy ladies who loved chef superstars and having them teach classes. What a coup it was for mom. There she helped stuff an enormous baked Alaska in a small oven with the 6-foot 2-inch Julia Childs, cranked out homemade pasta with Giuliano Bugialli while beating off the affectionate advances of his personal assistant and towered over the smallish Wolfgang Puck. When I go home for the upcoming holidays, I will be getting all of her cookbooks, some of them signed and most of them with the stains of meals prepared long ago. I look forward to ending the year pouring over their pages and beginning 2008 with a laundry list of new dishes to try.

Bon appétit!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sprout

Monday morning as the Hubs tried to dress W for school, the tot protested and proclaimed, “I wanna wear a dress! I wanna wear a dress!” Tears streamed down his cheeks as we stared at each other in shock. I mean, I knew this day would come but so soon? Perhaps the desire originates from the makeup I let him use on occasion. He’s very good with eye shadow. My own little Ziggy Stardust.

How rapidly the kiddo is growing and his vocabulary is incredible. Listening to him verbalize his thoughts is a hoot. Latest sayings? Thoughts? Well, here they are…

“No pee pee in the bathtub.” Yes, son. You are the pee-er and there won’t be any in there if YOU don’t wee wee in it.

“No daddy (or mommy)! Go away!” This usually means you a) haven’t quite woken up yet, b) are taking a VW sized poop, c) need a cocktail. No wait, that’s me.

“C’mon daddy! Let’s play rock n roll!” Yes, this one makes the Hubs feel like a million dollars.

“That was scare-wee.” This said after falling off the bed. Again.

“I love mewsket!” Yes, you do love music.

Current songs he sings while playing the drums…
“The Robot Song” Customized from his thoughts on The Iron Giant, his current favorite flick.

“Bob Bu Da” A personalized version of Bob The Builder.

He’s afraid of it being dark in the house but not in his room. He slides his little chair under each switch and flicks them on and the house is as bright as a football field.

Word has it that W is a trendsetter at school. I was told that during the daily group sing-a-long where they chant something like, “1, 2, 3, say hello to Zeke” or something like that, W jumps up and does this wild breakdancing, donkey kick move when they call his name. Historically, the kiddos have remained seated and clapped like a PGA audience when acknowledging a classmate. W has taken it to 11. I couldn't expect anything less.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I Are Here















Hello guests and readers of my blah, blah, blah. Forgive me for my tardiness. I sometimes type away at a blog entry but refuse to post it until I have pics to back it up which is a bad idea because I sometimes can’t get to downloading those needed pics.

I know Thanksgiving is a forgone thought in everyone’s minds now and you’re probably caught in the headlights of the Christmas highway already but to recap…we had a stupendous turkey day with my brother-in-law and his fam. Not only did this mean we had to do zero traveling over the holiday but it also meant that the food was guaranteed to be divine. My BIL (brother-in-law) could be a chef, should be, in fact and the Hubs and I are constantly harassing him on many occasions with questions in the midst of culinary chaos at home. For the grand feast we contributed the Italian sausage dressing and green beans in brown butter with oregano and pine nuts and the BIL prepared the heritage turkey with Marsala gravy, mashed potatoes with walnut oil, Hudson's on the Bend corn pudding, and of course, cranberry sauce. There were also homemade biscuits and yeast rolls. This is my plate before complete consumption. Burp.














As of late, we’re still wrestling the tot at bedtime. Actually it’s way after bedtime when we finally get him to sleep. After all the months and months and months of easily putting him to bed, saying goodnight and, at worse, shedding a few remorseful tears before conking out we’ve gone to the darkest side of hell. The silver lining is that I have had to relinquish bedtime duties to the Hubs who now puts W to bed and hangs with him ‘til he drifts off. Totally works for me. I was sound asleep by 9:30 p.m. last night. This was after I took myself on a date to Asti, sat at the bar and read (see updated “What I’m Reading List” for details). I sank into a bowl of duck rigatoni, beet and endive salad and two juicy glasses of wine. Perfect evening.

Speaking of the Hubs, seems as though W is finally taking a shine to him. Yeah, so it’s only taken about 26 months and the Hubs IS his dad, I promise. He’s finally realizing that he's Disneyland on legs. “I wanna fie, I wanna fie!” he says as the Hubs picks him up and swings him through the air. “C’mon, daddie, c’mon daddie, c’mon daddie” he repeats as he heads to his room. “Daddie play guitar!” he yells while sitting behind his little drum kit just about every morning. And for your viewing pleasure here’s daddy and W jamming away now…

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The 'Ho Is Back

Let the holiday ho’-ness begin, y’all! It is no secret that I’m a slut for the red and green and Christmas songs and Rudolph and gingerbread men and fat bearded men with fluffy white cuffs that call me by name…”Ho, ho, hooooo,” and mistletoe and spiked eggnog and twinkling colored lights. But on the flipside, I loathe the gift shopping for family and friends, loathe it like a pap smear so yesterday, on my lunch break, I hoofed it to Toys R Us to do Santa’s heavy lifting. The thought of venturing in there after Thanksgiving in hopes of finding even a couple of items to stuff under the tree makes me want to eat arsenic. So I blasted through the relatively quiet store like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep and I’m happy to report that I can now cross W off of my holiday gift list. The rest of my shopping will be done online because why in the hell would I go out in my car, deal with the traffic and cranky shoppers/cashiers/salespeople, and still not find what I’m looking for when I can get it with a click of the mouse and free shipping to boot? I’m also focusing on an eco-friendlier version of gifting this year ‘cause now that I got a kid, y’all need to be saving up some resources.

So it’s day 5 or so of Operation Omit Paci and other than a few requests for the missing paraphernalia the transition has been smooth. The only true fallout from the lifestyle change is W’s need to stay up late, like until 11 p.m. last night. He just hangs out in bed with me singing songs, reading books, playing with cars and channel surfing but it’s seriously cramping my style. I had a German subtitled flick to finish last night and it’s damn hard to read on a portable DVD player with a toddler driving a pickup with a horse trailer attached across your chest. Putting him in his bed is a terrible idea as he yells and screams my name over and over and over until I go down and tell him MOMMY IS NOT MY NAME ANYMORE! And then he says, “Mama?”

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mommy The Butcher

W has always had a dreamy head of hair and as it grew, I would merely snip a little here and a little there and the overall loveliness would still be intact. In the beginning, trimming it was an adventure in my latent desires to do rockstar makeovers. Lately, he's been too defiant and combative about the much needed trim and as a result he comes out looking like the I gnawed the hairs off. I really managed to butcher his bangs a week ago so some serious intervention was in order. I took him to Bird's Barbershop as I was certain the bright lights, rock music and video games would be familiar and comforting to him. Ummm...no.

Yes, I did his bangs. So, so sorry son.















The stylist had to consciously avoid snipping that HUGE bottom lip.















"Hmmm...okay. This isn't so bad."




















I guess he preferred the Bird's sticker instead of his new 'do.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Arugula

Lordy. Where do I start? Let’s see…Britney Spears ran over another photographer’s foot? Amy Winehouse gets booed off stage? W kicks his paci addiction? Umm, yeah, let’s start with W. Way more compelling than Winehouse and Spears.

So W and I talked about a paci intervention for several days. I told him that intervention meant that the pacis go in the trash and he gets a big surprise in return and on a designated evening I presented him a toddler racetrack with all sorts of bells and whistles. His paci fell to the floor as his jaw dropped open. He gathered up the pacis I had collected and stuffed them in a paper bag. We both walked over to his trashcan and tossed them in. Simple. As. That. Sure, he mentions his long lost pacis on occasion and has been staying up in bed with me 'til about 10:30 p.m. but he also says, “Pacis in trash, pacis bye-bye.” I think the fact that we talked about paci rehab prior to paci disposal helped so it wasn’t a surprise to him that it was going to happen. Now it’s just a boy and his blankie and I couldn’t be happier.

Last weekend, our neighbors got their door kicked in and much stuff stolen. Curiously enough, we had just had a conversation with some other neighbors (they live next door to the ones that got robbed) about the abundance of break-ins in our cozy little ‘hood just the day before. After some research on our end, we found that our general area has been hit 80 times in the last month by thieves. Yeah, for real. They kick in your door, take your stuff and haul ass out. 80 times this has happened. Are we paranoid? You bet. We have since put in another deadbolt on our each of our exterior doors and installed a security system just this morning. Next up, a dog. One thing about situations like this is you really get to know who your neighbors are. We’re forming a small army. I would hate to mess with us now.

Y’all, next week is Thanksgiving. Now how did that happen?

And you know what’s better than chocolate? Boggy Creek arugula. I’m not kidding. Either on Saturday morning or Wednesday morning, get your buns in your car (or on your bike) and head over to the east side to get you some. If you haven’t been to this small farm, you have to indulge yourself. Take the kiddies, too, if you got’em. The produce is still warm from the sun and there are some free samples of different stuff to nibble. Lovely chicken coop and a tempting sand pile, too. It’s all I can do to keep from eating a whole pile of the veggies before I can get them in the fridge. Please go. It’s local. It’s fresh. It’s supportive.

How’s work, you ask? Crazy, nutso, insane. Remember that conference that we work on once a year while doing other events throughout the year? Well, last year we knocked out 80+ parties in 9 days and we’re already working on double the number of parties we were working on this time last year (cue Psycho shower scene music here). My Christmas list includes much wine and Valium.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

BFF




















We had the pleasure of hanging with Caca a little last night while her mama did an interview for a story. W was thrilled to have her in his orbit. I'm always in awe of how close they seem and the level of respect they share despite their age. I could learn a little from those two sweet spirits.

Here's a brief pictoral of last night. They are like Fred and Ethel and that also means that sometimes Caca is Fred and W is Ethel...

Here Caca looks like she'd been working at the ranch all day and now she's kicking back with her evening beverage and best bud but wait... she's expecting a call about some unfinished business! Willem looks like he's been gravedigging in that shirt.















Here she is laughing at W in a way that seems to be giving him a complex.














A dramatic moment on Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends.















Umm...totally cute.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Chhhhh-Changes

I was completely dreading the time change but that was until I realized which direction we were changing. I had it all reversed. “Hello, blondie?” And as much as I really don’t enjoy waking up with the ass crack of dawn, this little arrangement is working quite nicely. I actually have time to move at a much needed slower pace and even get a few extra things done like put away the clothes I decide not to wear to work instead of leaving the bedroom looking like a spastic stripper blew through. I get to drink an entire cup of coffee instead of gulping the scalding caffeine I so desperately need to get me out the door. I also get to serve W breakfast twice. He’s either a growing boy or got a tapeworm at the beach.

While at the beach over the weekend with a couple of the Hubs’ family (which was a glorious break from everything I do on a daily basis…oh, how the routine punishes the spirit), it was brought to my attention that W sticks out his tongue…a lot. In fact, it was mentioned that he uses it like a tail and I have to agree. See…





























"Please bring me mah snacks on the veranda, dahling."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Deep In The Belly

I sliced into this pumpkin and it shed a beam of light on my son like Skywalker's lightsaber.




















Naw. Just kidding.

See how he totally stays on task?




















Good job, W!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Little Jack White

So the "hammer, hammer, saw, saw" jelly candy bribery worked and I managed to get W in costume this morning. He just about jumped off the changing table with glee when I mentioned the sweet tooth opportunity. I had to pre-layer the shirts so in essence I was pulling only one shirt over his head and I had to pre-loop the belt so I could slip on the britches and velcro. He was almost aware of what I was making him do and started to protest but I was saved by the neighborhood street sweeper. The whole way to school he sang "Where is sweet sweeper, where is sweet sweeper, down the sweet, down the sweet..." to the tune of Farajaca.

Here are the little White Stripes. Getting them to stand together was like herding cats. Impossible.






































And this blue eyed fella is Z but the Hubs and I call him Bill Clinton because he's usually standing by the gate smiling up at you and you almost expect him to shake your hand every time he's there.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One White Stripe

The Hubs and I are simultaneously battling allergies in the worst way and having both of us suffer together isn’t the picture of “let’s cuddle in bed, share Kleenex and watch bad daytime TV as we drift in and out of sleep." Nope, it’s more like “I’m sicker than you so you see what W needs while I sip more of this hot toddy and channel surf." I usually never get allergies but something in the air has got me all twisted. It’s all I can do to keep from coughing up a lung on to my desk at work. My co-workers better love me for the personal sacrifices I make for them.

The other night in the middle of the night I awoke to a mysterious crunching sound. I listened harder in the direction of the open bedroom windows and though it was a squirrel enjoying a midnight snack but the chomping was too close. In the pitch I turned my head so both ears could dial up the sound and process from hence it sprung to wake me (some pretty fancy writing, huh?) and was convinced that the squirrel was in our room. We don’t have screens on the windows so it was a viable possibility. I looked in the direction of Hubs whose profile I could barely discern in the moonlight and sure enough, I could see his jaw working away. The “squirrel” was the Hubs chomping on cough drops like stolen Halloween candy. Took a lot of will power to not grab a pillow and gently place it over his munching head.

Tomorrow is Halloween and we are almost prepared for the ghosts and goblins to appear. W is going to be Jack White from the White Stripes while his best bud, CaCa, is going to be Meg. As we all know from the previous blog entry, W doesn't "do" costumes. Took FOREVER to find some red pants in his size with belt loops for his white belt. I did find him some britches but they are for girls…and they have silver sparkles in them. Not only is the white belt going to mentally scar the child but the girlie britches with sparkles may send him in a demonic fit. Thank goodness he’s only two and loves a certain kind of jelly candy that I have a secret stash of for bribery cases such as these. Yes, W gets candy after his oatmeal tomorrow morning.

Monday, October 29, 2007

It Takes A Village

So this is the episode where I have to give mad props to all the mommies and daddies who are the kick arse parents of the kids in W’s class at school. Can I just say that I’m the luckiest momma on the planet to have such an awesome bunch for a) drinking buddies, b) open-minded, laid back, non-judgmental conversationalists, and c) measuring 11 on the 1-10 scale of total foxiness. Seriously, we should all pose for a calendar and I bet we would sell the hell out of it. We could donate some of the money to the school and spend the rest on wine clubs.

Friday, W had his first school program. They had been studying about Africa for 2 weeks and this was the apex of all their research. A small gathering of parentals waited like paparazzi for the tots to burst through the classroom door dressed in kente cloth vests made of paper bags and painted images and anklets made of pipe cleaners and bells. It was no surprise to see W sans kente vest and bells. I can barely convince him to dress in the morning. All of his friends paraded around in costume and banged on various instruments while W promptly put his toosh in my lap and watched. “I ain’t wearin’ no stinkin’ paper bag.” Yep, that’s my boy. He takes very much after his father.

Afterwards, I took W to my workplace to finish my day and pack up while he ate the dusty candy pumpkins perched on my edge of my desk as decor. I then wrangled the sugar-hyped tot and hoofed it over to the motherland, Central Market, where everyone from W’s class noshed and kibitzed as a PG-rated group. The wine bottles lined the tables like centerpieces, the kiddos ran amok and danced to the live music and we all had some good laughs at watching them wrestle, mosh, do yoga poses and hug. Good times, good times.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Faker

For several weeks now parents have been reading about the misuse of infant cough medicine ending in some overdose cases but I have yet to read about the addiction they may cause. For example, I’m getting ready for work this morning. W is doing his usual rooting around in various drawers and reveals two bottles of adult cough medicine. He brings the larger of the two over to me and says, “W cough, need cough medicine.” He starts fake coughing and continues begging for the meds. I tell him this one is for adults and he doesn’t have a cough and stop sticking your finger down your throat and let’s watch Curious George instead. The dramatics are cued and he starts with the whining and begging and more fake coughing/choking and I’m just looking at my toddler junkie and wondering who I should call for backup…911? NA? His doc? Pest control? My imaginary therapist? I admit to using cough meds when I felt he needed it but I’m not a believer in the band aid method of curing what ails you. I believe your body should work to banish the illness on it’s own. With constant observation and care of the situation, the natural method usually works for us but I’m disheartened by my 2-year-old’s junkie-like reaction to the sight of a cough medicine bottle. Anyone ever heard of toddler intervention?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Old Cowhand

I’m pooped. Pooped from sitting at my desk all day pecking at the alphabet with my fingertips. It’s the wrong kind of pooped, too. It’s a crime, in fact. I should be pooped from jogging or housecleaning or building a yurt but I’m depressed to report that this fatigue is from non-activity, the slothfulness that is a desk job. How did this happen? It’s so wrong. If anyone with a ranch wants to hire me to run it, I’m your girl. Seriously. I’m a cowgirl at heart and THAT’S where I’m supposed to be. In the meantime, I’ll continue taking the baby steps necessary to get me there. Where there? Outdoors…with livestock…and friends, old and new…and divine food from my garden…and campfires…and starry skies…and feeling rightfully pooped.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Evolution

A few weeks ago I learned I was getting a new molar. My tongue rubbed the gummy surface in confusion and discovered the widening divot. Hello? I'm a little too old for this. I was happy with only three wisdom teeth. What I thought was a sign of evolution (I mean, we’re not wooly mammoth eating cave people anymore. Who needs all these teeth?) is instead a latent arrival that is surely going to wreak havoc about the time an 8-course Thanksgiving meal is set before me. I’m sure this is going to go poorly. I never had the other three removed and now I think number 4 is going to destroy the dental harmony. My top teeth are going to start looking like a pile up on IH-35. Sweet.

So I’m sure that anyone who lives in this part of the country and blogs will be writing about the weather here today because it’s totally writeable fodder. Yesterday, the sun shone and the air was in the mid 85’s. Bliss. Today Mother Nature smacked us with much needed rain and temps in the low 50’s. The projected high for the afternoon? Something like 58 degrees. Where in the hell am I? I opened the screenless windows of the upstairs bedroom to enjoy the coziness of the down blanket but the enjoyment turned to complete annoyance as the howling wind shook pecans loose from the trees. The machine gun popping sounds of the plump nuts hitting the balcony and roof just about drove me mental. Feeling a little sleepy today as a result.

For a complete change of scenery, check out the schonze on this here fish. Snapped it at an aquarium while on vaca.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mr. Creepers













I can hear W clapping to the Curious George soundtrack in his room. His little palms smack loudly. It’s both sporadic and meaningful. Lately he’s been spending a lot of time playing in his room, exploring, creating, and destroying. I adore hearing his sweet voice as he talks to his cars and trucks, pretends to be a cat, makes up words to Farajaca and reads to himself. These moments in the day are precious gifts.

The other night the Hubs had a gig so W and I were tandem for the evening. As bedtime drew near, I abandoned the greatly insisted upon idea of reading the same five out of 50 books he owns and turned on the TV instead. I’m the best mom ever, I know, I know. I unfolded his Spongebob Squarepants couch and we squeezed in together. This actually means that my arse end is hanging off the edge and my weight is deforming the box-shaped frame. Spiderman 2 was on. W knows who Spiderman is but not what he’s about. Since it was a relatively calm moment in the film, we tuned in for a few minutes. It was the scene where Kirsten Dunst is at a café with Tobey Maguire and she asks him if he still loves her. During this time, W moved from being wedged in the couch to sitting on my belly. Tobey says he doesn’t love her and her character is obviously pained by this. W is engrossed by the intensity of her expression although he doesn’t understand what is going on, or so I thought. She whispered, “Kiss me. Kiss me. I have to know something. Kiss me…” or something like that. W suddenly turned to me and whispered, “Kiss me.” I burst out laughing. He did it again and started to slowly lean in all slobbery lipped. The humor of it quickly reached a super creepy level and I gently pushed him back. He gave it another go and seemed to enjoy my second grader’s reaction. In an instant his attention turned to a car flying into the plate glass window of the café and I was saved by some kick ass special effects.

Seriously y’all, that intimate kissy moment gave me the hebegeebees something fierce. What’s up with this kid?



















Friday, October 19, 2007

Better Late Than Never

Can’t seem to get my blogging act together.

Many of my girlfriends are busy nurturing buns in their lucky ovens and don’t cha’ know it makes my baby makin’ machine start to churn with the urge. Granted, at the more than ripe age of 38, it’s not so much a churn as it is a chug. The Hubs and I have talked about procreating again but as we’ve learned throughout this tour of “dooty” it’s a pretty big (huge) deal. We’re not quite ready to welcome another round of sleepless nights into our world and with W sleeping 10 to 11 straight hours a night, life is pretty grand but it’s nice to think about the possibility of family member number four, talk about it, consider it a little. All of W’s baby things are stuffed in the attic like piles of promise rings so maybe, just maybe, we’ll expand our little rock n roll nest to include another band member.

W and I went to see Thomas the Tank Engine this past Saturday. We found the bright blue cartoon train anchored to a series of passenger cars and grinning eerily up at the sky, looking at nothing in particular. W was as cool as a cucumber as other children around us exploded into billions of pieces upon seeing their beloved train. The swirl of activity kept W welded to my torso. He seemed happy to be there and loved the actual train ride but, thankfully, he wasn’t buying the commercial seduction and neither was I. W’s love affair for the afternoon was in the form of my college roommate’s 6 or 7 year-old daughter, Zoe. W was captivated by her and held her hand for 3 city blocks before we had to go our own way. The boy has great taste.




















Eating ice cream, if that's what you want to call it...














My friend's husband who gets all the credit for these photos said, and I quote, "The subject line is actually what one of my friends said it looked like W was doing in this photo. That is actually you, waving a napkin in front of his face while I was taking the photo. The photo has been the source for much head-scratching amongst my familiars." The subject line:
Burping the ghost of Christmas past

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dumbo

I found out this morning that I can make an authentic elephant sound. W was trumpting in the back seat on the way to school (speaking of back seat, I encountered no drama while strapping him in his carseat this morning thanks to a squirrel who was burying pecans in our front yard, perfect fodder for distraction) and he wanted me to try. I tightened my lips, sucked in some air and blew and out came an elephant sound so real I almost high-fived myelf. I thought W was going to pass out from laughing so hard. Over and over I honked like Dumbo and W gasped for air between laughs. I guess I looked pretty stupid to my stoplight neighbors. Several had confused expressions on their faces and were probably trying to figure out if I needed medical attention. It's hard to see the kiddo in the back because of the tinted windows so I seem to be totally alone.

Most days with W in the car I'm pretty much a solo freak show.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Monster In Our Midst

We found out over the weekend that W’s favorite band is the Pixies. We put on Surfer Rosa and for 20 non-stop minutes, he ran in circles swinging the two t-shirts he swiped from the laundry pile on the couch and bobbed his head. He was intense as he bounced around in his imaginary mosh pit. He seemed possessed by the music, determined to elbow anyone in his way. I was grateful when he ran out of gas and plopped down for a drink of water. The dancing/thrashing/smashing was funny at first but then started to creep me out. Too reminiscent of teen angst already. Lordy, what we have in store for us.

W latest milestone is to defy being buckled in his car seat. He goes rigid with resistance as if I’m strapping him in the electric chair. It’s really frustrating to have to climb in the truck to secure his rigamortis frame. Today he was anti-blue or black Crocs so I chose the black ones for him. They were airborne as I was leaving the driveway. Thank goodness they’re not clogs. At the moment I can appreciate their foamy softness. What to do with the little devil…

My work hours recently changed from 9 to 5 and that’s kinda thrown things off a bit. I’m still trying to figure out how to divide the day so I get things done and take care of my mind/body/spirit somewhere therein and heckling the Hubs does not count as health care. I’m considering taking some yoga classes but the fact that I will probably die of muscular shock a third of the way through the class is discouraging. And if I don’t die in the class, I will definitely die of muscular soreness the next morning. I cancelled my gym membership Sunday after they called to tell me I owed them some money. I got so frustrated I just told them to stick their membership. What happened was that the Hubs changed the credit card number for billing but forgot to include my joint membership on the switch so suddenly I owed them $80. Fine, whatever. I can’t get over to your stinky, germy facility to work out anyway. The guilt of not going has now evaporated. Poof.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Crimes and Chaos

It’s been hell getting things back on track since my journey to West Texas. The hell being that I’d much rather be out there than chained to my desk.

I use my personal laptop for work. I have my browser set to CNN.com when Safari opens. I have since had to change it because I cannot stomach the horrifying and constant headlines about people neglecting and abusing children. Yesterday there was the 4 or 5 year old girl that authorities were hoping to identify because she was being sexually abused by an adult in a video that was found outside of Vegas. Then there was the report of the 4-month-old that was found in a daycare bathroom with its pacifier taped to its mouth. Today there’s the one about the parents that strapped their 14-month-old in his stroller so they could go party. He was found with severe diaper rash, his temp was 12 degrees below normal and was required to have 21 minutes of CPR to revive him because he stopped breathing. The mother of this child admitted to only changing his diaper once a day! Once a day, people! What the fuck? How? How can they do this? Makes me sick. I can’t read this crap at work anymore. I’ll never get anything done.

W had a true blue meltdown this morning right before leaving for school. I went in his room to put on his, yes, you guessed it, his Crocs and he flipped out. His body went stiff and he little arms were spinning like windmills. I quickly gave him the once over to rule out anything poking or scratching him. I was on the verge of being late for work so I carried him out to the truck kicking and screaming. I calmly put him in the carseat and that was like wrestling an armful of piglets. He wailed all the way to school despite my efforts to console him with an improvised version of The Wheels On The Bus. When we pulled in, I finally exhaled and gently extracted him from the truck. I retrieved the shoes he launched to the front seat and put them on him. He had settled down by this time but I was completely rattled. We hugged for a few seconds, collected ourselves and headed to the playground. I couldn’t unload him fast enough. I know this is only the beginning of the alleged Terrible Twos and, so far, it really stinks. Must do research.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Saw It Before It Was There

Last Wednesday, I was drinking sake in Marfa. That Thursday, I cured a slight hangover by building a Mongolian yurt. On Friday, my bottom lip looked like a botched botox treatment courtesy of the West Texas altitude and sun. Saturday, I was rockin' and rollin' with the guests of El Cosmico and Sunday we put the whole thing to bed. Monday, my travel companion and I filled up with on a heavy duty country breakfast in Ft. Davis and promptly sank to the bottom of Balmorrhea Springs upon impact.

This is the last 5 days in brief. We were hired to work this amazing event. What a time. Here it is in pictures.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7852978@N08/sets/72157602138131992/?page=2

More to come…

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

No Way...

Go here now. The perfect gifit for the sassy-assed girlfriend in your life.

Crocodile Rock

W asked me if I would "nurse, nurse" Jelly Cat last night. For those of you who don't know, Jelly Cat is his favorite stuffed animal. Lately W has been somewhat obsessed with the idea of nursing and I can't figure out why. Is he secretly pining for a sibling? Hubs, you want to weigh in on this (insert sound of screeching car tires, here)?

W is seriously infatuated with his Crocs. He won’t wear any other shoes. I’ve purchased a couple of super cute pairs for him from Old Navy and Piperlime.com for the fall and I bet they will collect dust in the closet. I got his first pair of Crocs in Nashville back in June. I never, ever intended on getting him a pair of those ugly, rubber colander looking things but he was putting them on at the department store by himself. That's a pretty big deal. My girlfriend was nodding her approval with that “see I told you so” look on her face as she dug through the latest Croc style for her son. They were awesome shoes to travel with this summer. Easy on, easy off. Easy wash up, easy dry. They were great for walking on hot sandy beaches and parking lots that seemed to go on forever. One evening after dinner in Santa Monica, we were walking back to our hotel, W leading the charge. A lovely, leggy British speaking woman was walking in front of us with her tall significant other and two teens. W barreled past them and I jogged to keep up. The woman commented, “Look at his little Crocs. I didn’t know they made them that small.” I called out to “Shorty” to slow down and she repeated his nickname out loud. As I walked past her little group, I turned to see it was Minnie Driver (totally pretty in real life). Dahlia Malloy was talking about my kid!

Not surprisingly, several kiddos at W’s school wear Crocs. Interestingly enough, most are identical (same shade of blue) so it often happens that classmates go home with each other’s shoes. I imagine a 3 or 4-year-old cramming their dirty little sole in them like Cinderella’s stepsister as they hurry to leave with a parent knowing in their toddler mind that something isn’t quite right down there. I’ve put W’s name on his shoes but it rubs off on the playground gravel pile and sand pit.

Last week W was the last one at school (I hate when that happens…kinda makes me feel like a bad mom). When we went to put on his shoes, one was missing and all of the extra blue crocs were enormous on his feet. Frustrated, I stuck him in the car shoeless and took him to get another pair, a black pair. These are without a doubt his favorites and now shuns the blue ones. He proclaims “Crocodile shoes, black like mama’s truck.” He wears them with only his diaper on. He would wear them in the bathtub if I let him.

What I want him to wear…
















What W won't take off his feet...
















So damn ugly.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Birthday Boy

Wow kiddo,

You’re two-years-old now. Like everyone says it has whizzed by like an empty inner tube on a waterslide at Schlitterbaun. It seems like just yesterday I was propping your wobbly large noggin in my hands and hoping I wouldn’t somehow break you in half. What a good baby you were but, oh, how mommy-centric. Come to think of it, you are still very mommy-centric. I know it won’t always be this way so I embrace your constant calling out for me…”Mama, air are ewe? Mama, mama, mama…” You turned two yesterday and to commemorate it, you actually asked me if you could “nurse, nurse” which was a total surprise. You haven’t nursed in six months. The request must’ve been in honor of your fleeting infanthood and I completely respect that. Mommy sometimes wishes she had a bottle to nurse but that would be one full of white wine with hints of peach and cardamom.

Your daddy became a year older yesterday, too, and as usual, he’s not taking it so well. He even did a bit of muttering last night that we both recognized as something an elderly person would say. That was a blow. But he’s in the gym more, eating well and wearing cologne so he’s putting up a pretty good fight. Let’s keep rooting for him, okay?

We gave you a drum kit for your birthday and you love it. This is not a surprise as you are really in to rhythm and beats. And you love to sing. Loud. In the car. Just like mama. This morning was your 2-year doctor’s appointment and as we headed out of the house you asked, “Mama, takie dum dicks?” and I said, “Sure, you can take your drum sticks.” Then you said, “Mama, takie dum?” and I looked over to see you dragging the whole kit to the front door. Needless to say, we only took the dum dicks.

This is the part where I tell you how much I love you and can’t imagine my life without you. You have brought so much silliness, laughter, and fun into our little world. You have helped me to be a more patient and aware parent, friend, co-worker, and wife. You have encouraged your father and me to grow up in the best ways therefore enhancing the beautiful bond we nurture on a daily basis. I am blessed, plain and simple.

Love you up to the sky,
Mama

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Grilling For Dummies

We finally got to use the grill last night. Thank goodness because W was just about convinced that it was his Beyond The Thunderdome playhouse. We fired it up in the twilight of the evening and gawked at its awesomeness. We grilled ears of corn and shrimp for this recipe we love mucho. We felt victorious and sated at the end of the night. Unfortunately we ended up using an entire tank of fuel on a pound of shrimp and 4 ears of corn. How can this be, you ask? It can be because no one remembered to turn off the damn gas and it leeched out into the world all night long. How many carbon credits are we going to have to buy to correct this little oversight? Not only that but it was a powder keg waiting to happen as the fumes congregated underneath the grill cover. Don’t you wish you were our neighbors? AND our yard guy came today which means there was the possibility he could’ve ignited the entire ‘hood with his mower. We are so grounded from the grill. The Hubs has a label maker and will be making all sorts of directional messages to adhere to the shiny sides of the beast so we don’t make any other stupid mistakes. We remind me of Homer and Marge Simpson.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Little People Rule

Please tell me that at nearly two years of age it’s normal for a little boy to be as empathetic as a Red Cross volunteer. Despite W’s usual moments of defiance and resistance to anything that hints of doing something he doesn’t want to do, the kid has got a tender side that borders on creepy. For example, I was in the 4th hour of putting our grill-the-size-of-a-shiny-new-semi together (living hell) this past Saturday and W was vying for my attention, which was fair enough. I had been piecing it together for a while and he didn’t have the Hubs to defer to as he had hightailed it to a private gig out of town. I was leaning in to the silver beast for the seventh or twelfth time with the cordless drill as I hopelessly tried to get a shelf to secure to the base when W rammed me with his large, plastic dump truck. It startled me and I jumped, maybe even squeaked “Ah!” and W looked at me like I had been hit by an actual construction vehicle. Since I was sitting on the floor I was at his eye level. He came over, said “C’mere,” and hugged me. Not the full arms around the shoulders sort of hug but one where he was to my left and swung his right arm over my shoulder like a chummy dad. He said, “C’mere, “ a few more times, kept looking at me like he expected me to cry and then said, “Hug.” I obliged him but felt awkward. His parental-esque coddling was just a little too grown up. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had given me a tap on the chin with his little fist and said, “Hang in there, kiddo.”

So we have a new grill. Unfortunately, it has been sitting in our living room since Saturday afternoon. It rained all weekend and our porch isn’t covered. Something we should’ve thought about doing during the remodel a couple of years ago. So we sat around the house and sat and sat except for Monday when I actually talked the Hubs in to going to Nordstrom’s because we were both in dire need of some new duds. This was going to be a maiden voyage for us all. Yes, I have never been to Nordstrom’s. And yes, it was pretty awesome, especially the fish aquarium in the shoe department and the pianist that played cheesy hits at warp speed. The Hubs found some shirts that looked mighty foxy on him and he even bought some cologne. Does he have a lova’? W was completely content to push his balloon around in the umbrella stroller the entire time. He followed like an obedient pup. We eventually found our way to the shoe department (of course) and I scored a sleek little pump for work. I spied a naughty looking heel that I pointed out to the Hubs. He picked one up, agreed they were completely sexy, turned them over, saw the price tag and reacted like he had just seen his mother naked. “Those cost more than the grill!” he bellowed. Yes, sweetheart, yes they do.

Friday, August 31, 2007

I Heart 3 Day Weekends

Labor day weekend is going to rule, y’all.

Why, you ask?

Well, let me list the reasons why…

1) W and I will finally get to spend some time with the Hubs who we have only seen for a few moments in the morning all this week.
2) We’re going to buy a real grill, one of those multi burner monsters with several racks and enough surface area to hold a marinated moose. I’m going to let W beat our old charcoal one like it’s a bloated piñata. I loathe that damn thing.
3) Monday morning we’re all going over to a neighbor’s house for brunch. Most of the guests are folks I’ve never met that live in my ‘hood and have children. I heard there’s going to be mimosas. I love the idea of champagne in the morning and a big family nap afterwards. Oh yeah.
4) Big sale at Last Call. ‘Nuff said.
5) I’m going to finally buy some cowboy boots. I don’t have any and that’s a crime.
6) Several playdates and hen sessions.
7) And lastly, it’s a 3-day weekend which means no work in Monday. NO...WORK...ON...MONDAY. Sweet.

In an effort to keep the grandparents sated, here are more pics for their viewing pleasure. These were taken in Kentucky, the first leg of our summer on the road. W and I traveled sans the Hubs. Fun was had by all.





Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ay Me Cabeza

Yesterday I left work with a headache and I knew it was going to be one of those that would wear out its welcome in a hurry, like a drunken uncle at a pool party. I had a laundry list of things I wanted to knock out last night, little chores like vacuuming, dishes, etc., but I was paralyzed with pain. Thankfully, W was totally game to go upstairs and “noogle” with me while I waited for the ibuprofen to kick in although we did spend a couple of minutes jumping on the bed before burrowing beneath the covers. I lucked in to an amazing show on TLC that I had wanted to see called Crazy Sexy Cancer. I was fortunate enough to meet the star of the documentary this past March when I coordinated a party for the premiere of the film. Little did I know how incredible her story was going to be. It airs again tonight at 11 p.m. so DVR it at least. You’ll be glad you did.

I swam in the ocean of cerebral hurt all night and that must’ve triggered the nightmare I had about W getting kidnapped from a playground. He and I were leaving a lingerie store (huh?) and W immediately bolted to a busy playground across the street. I couldn’t keep up with him and he soon vanished in a crowd of people. I searched frantically for him, screaming his name, delirious from the fear of losing him. The experience seemed so real, so intense. I knew in my heart as I crashed through bodies standing around the slides and swings that I couldn’t go on living without the little guy. The pain of it was larger than life. I awoke this morning panicked and with a pounding head and I didn’t waste any time before racing down the stairs to check on the kiddo who was happily playing with his monster trucks in bed…like he always does…everyday…thank the Lord.

Doesn't this picture look like W fell out of a tree or airplane and just landed like that with all of the debris around him? It's one of those worn out from the ocean naps that takes you as you are...completely exhausted.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Willem and The F Word

So here's a video of W saying something that sounds like the F word. Leave it to the Hubs to make it seem so. Notice how W calls the Hubs by his nickname. Notice the ever present pacifier held like a cigar in W's mouth. For the record the paci has a limited presence in the household these days. Not being able to have one at school has helped tremendously and I'm seriously sick of the thing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mushy Brain















Hello again. It’s amazing how easy it is to slide back into the routine of domestic responsibility and the career world after being on vaca for 2 months. Just jump right in and join the rat race. Vaca is like a comfy pair of jeans with threadbare heels and a slouchy waistline while the working world is like running a marathon in stillettos. I went from trying to decide which new swimsuit to wear each day to herding 300+ intoxicated guests of a client at a 2-day event. I’m going from mushy brain to muscular brain again and I miss mushy brain. We all should get at least two months of the year off. It’s good for the spirit, the family and the marriage.

Upon approval from my various bosses for my sabbatical last June, I immediately began piecing together the adventurous weeks ahead. I imagined my son naked and frolicking on the sandy shores of the west coast, the chilly surf taming the cloudless, sunny days and strolling hand in hand on the boardwalk under the stars and the neon of the ferris wheel with the Hubs. The reality? The baby with the itchy, embedded sand in his crotch, eyes, hair and mouth. The chilly surf waiting to drag my son like a hungry alligator into its depths. The challenge of maintaining a level of sanity with the spouse in the wake of tantrums and fatigue, his and mine. Don’t get me wrong though. If I had known what I know now about what it’s like to travel great distances and over several time zones with a 22-month-old and a 40-year-old I’d still totally do it.

Our first day on the open road was nine hours long. This included stops for gas, calls from nature and parental time outs. The following is a list of the things I packed in the car for the tot…

-A small padded desk that attached to his carseat. Perfect for Play Doh, playing with monster trucks, and eating.

-DVD player. Yup, we bought one and I’m damn glad I did.

-TONS of small snacks and one of those Snack Trap cups.

-Surprise toys that have never been seen before.

-Soft cotton covers for the shoulder straps of the car seat.

-Jelly cat.

-Daddy’s iPod

Somehow, some way, all of these items were all that was needed to keep W entertained two straight months. The absolute favorite was, and still is, the Play Doh. We left a trail of neon colored chunks from here to Santa Cruz and back.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Here We Are!

Well, here we are again and darn it, it’s good to be back. I had seriously considered abandoning this blog once and for all but me mind has changed. I thought about how great it is to read someone else’s blog and relate to what they are saying or realize that I’m not the worst parent on the planet at times and decided, I, too, must continue to air out the dirty laundry of childrearing on my end of the street. Besides, W needs to understand why he’s in therapy for life.

It is with boastful parenting pride that I can report that we, as a family of three, traveled for 7 straight weeks together this summer without one maimed limb or the filing of divorce papers. There were several bruised egos but that’s about it. I should also mention that 5 of those weeks were spent traveling in a car the size of a go cart…with a nearly 2-year-old…because it had a GPS and good gas mileage but I would’ve given my last glass of wine on earth to have had a bit more room to sleep/eat/read/stretch out while cruising down the endless highway. We had fun though. W is now qualified to work either at Sea World or an airport. All of the beach and airline time has made him employable. As I play catch up here on this site, I’ll highlight the hilarious and the horrible details of our summer.

W and I flew home on the 5th of this month. Several days later while in the throes of decompression and jet lag, W started back to school, in the bigger kids class, the one where he is required to bring his own lunch box and can’t have his binkie (as a result of so much travel, W became very attached to his paci and blankie so much so that the Hubs said if he went missing, the photo we’d submit to the police would have to include one), the one where the bigger boys say things like, “I’m not a baby’s friend, I’m a big kid’s friend.” They tower over him like giants. His small frame is swallowed by the plastic chairs in his classroom. My little shrimp is growing up and, as usual, I have mixed feelings about all of this.

Here are some shots of the trip out west.































Friday, June 15, 2007

For The Ladies In Da' House...

The baker. Oh, the baker.

http://www.seemoresideeffects.ca/

Lost In America

Wild week. I haven’t been able to get it together to blog. I’m on my last day of a four-day event cycle. Indiana Jones theme…skeletons, treasure chests, rubber snakes, rope bridges. This is also my last day at work for two months. I am dancing in my shoes to get out of here. My desk is cleared, boxes packed. The office is relocating while I’m away. I wanted to make the transition easier for all by hauling out my stuff and returning with it in mid-August. I’ll probably get shafted on where my new desk will end up living but right now I don’t care. I’ll deal with that later. Much later. We’re headed to the beach tomorrow morning, W and I. We’ve been reading books about the beach to get him familiar with the idea. He hasn’t been since he was this small and just learning to walk.




Now it’s all he can talk about. CaCa and her family are joining us. W was saying this morning on the way to school, “CaCa beach, yeaaaaaaaaaay!” Yeay is right, kiddo.

His last day at school is next Tuesday. I’m feeling the bittersweet sadness of it already. So are his teachers. He’ll be back later in the summer but it’s like splitting up a family. They’ll miss him and vice versa. On a somewhat related note, last Friday W came home from school with two bite marks on his little arm. His teachers didn’t mention anything about it so I asked W what happened. I asked, “Who bit you?” and pointed to the offending red circles. “Isbabell,” he replied. I talked with him about biting being bad and how it hurts our bodies and our friend’s bodies and so forth. I kissed the wounds and we went on our merry way. Several times during the weekend W pointed to the marks and said “Isbabell.” I reminded him that biting wasn’t a nice thing to do, blah, blah, blah. By the end of the weekend, he was pointing at every mosquito bite, scab and bruise on his person and blaming them all on little Isabel. He was obviously getting carried away at incriminating her and I tried to set the record straight but, damn, it was funny.

So the Hubs has sold his soul to Tony Robbins. I know, I know…awaken the giant within and all that voodoo is bunk to many but I’m telling y’all, this stuff has some super-duper powers. See, the Hubs has been dealing with some mighty big issues, decisions, demons, and such. He needed someone unbiased to assist him in making some very important choices and that someone was definitely not his biased wife. So he plunked down a hearty wad of dough and got himself a life coach. They talk every three weeks, just enough time for him to get some assigned homework on himself done. Y’all, I’m not kidding, the first time he talked to his coach things started happening right away, good things, offers, invitations, opportunities. It's like there was some unspoken barrier in our world and it's been removed. And they keep coming and now I’m getting excited because I can see the wheels of change happening for us. It’s freaky and awesome and I'm stoked to see what happens next.

Summertime, here we come.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Oh Little Man
















(This is an entry to W, for W, about W so read on if you can stand the syrupy sentiments.)

Oh, kiddo…

Lately we’ve been spending big chunks of time together while the Hubs is away and it’s been pretty awesome. At times, I do find myself mentally mixing every cocktail imaginable when I have to tame your more spirited moments and I’m at my wits end of things but on the whole you’re pretty wonderful.

The other night I was curious to see how late you could stay up and, man, did I pay the price. I snuggled you into my bed thinking it would be so nice to have you fall asleep in my arms like you do when you’re ill, all cuddly and warm. This turned out to be a very bad idea and finally had to drag your flippity-floppity buns downstairs to your own room at 11:35 p.m. You won, son. You are your father’s child, oh keeper of rock star hours. I should’ve known. There are times though when we are watching Wonder Pets or Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch something or other on the couch together and you grab my arm and wrap it around your neck like a mink stole. You have no idea how happy that makes me.

You’re full of information, tons of information with details and details of those details. Sometimes you share this knowledge in a language you are cultivating on your own and you sprinkle in bits of the English language, kinda like our new cleaning lady who speaks both English and Spanish simultaneously…“I cleaned the bathroom pero no mas cleaner for the tub, o.k?” The best is when you pretend to talk on my cell phone like an attorney making a deal for a very guilty client you're representing. You wring your hands and wave them in the air like you’re stating some very pertinent facts. The best is when you pause like you’re listening to the other party talk for a moment. So real.

I’m wondering though if you’re ever going to be okay with taking a bath again. You unwillingly charge in there like I’ve got a cattle prod poking your arse when I tell you it’s bath time. Tears stream down your cheeks as we undress you. You immediately start saying and signing “All done!” as soon as your toes touch the water. Try as I may, I can’t get you interested in the hundreds of toys floating and sinking in there so we just wash up really fast and get you out of there quick. You like to look at yourself in the mirror while you cry as I bundle you in your towel. Talk about drama.

Lately you’ve been sitting at the piano and playing it with your left hand while shaking the blue egg shaker in the other. Throw in some jibber-jabber sing song stuff and I’m front and center at my own little concert, a peek in to things (and groupies) to come. This morning on our way to school you were singing Old MacDonald so loudly you’re little voice was cracking. I could barely drive I was laughing so hard. You are quite the entertainer/dramatic artist, my sweet child and you get it honest.















Besos,
Mama

And for your viewing pleasure...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Wunnerful Weekend

Me and W, our weekend was stuffed like a Chicago style pizza. Right after school on Friday we headed to our neighborhood cement pond for our first dip of the summer-to-be. Freakin’ cold, as to be expected, and W cried the whole time except when I pointed at imaginary fish in the water. A little girl was making a game of getting out of the pool and jumping back into the water. Every time she did and the droplets landed on W’s skin, he’d shriek like acid was being throw on him. We lasted about 10 whole minutes. We ended the evening at Central Market to watch a friend’s husband bang on the drums. I eagerly purchased a refreshing glass of white wine, a well deserved beverage after a hard week of solo parenting and work at the orifice, and planted myself, ready to take in the surroundings. I then proceeded to dump the whole glass of nectar into my friend’s purse, just bumped it into the crevasses of the table. She said she’d drink it later. I was too ticked to brave the line and get another.

Saturday we joined the motorcycling masses and headed to the hill country for an overnighter with Pop Pop and family. My wonderful Aunt Ginna from Oatmeal (yes, there is such a place and it’s lovely) came down for the fun, too. The wildflowers along the way were in Technicolor! We had a grand time grilling out (be sure and mix some parmesan cheese, fresh lime juice, S & P with butter, rechill and then slather it on grilled corn on the cob…hell yeah!), swilling vino and getting caught up. Wella gave W a battery operated, hand held bubble blower so we spent hours on the back patio framed in scenes from the Lawerence Welk show. On Sunday morning, a few of us went here. I could drop some serious cash in that place but made it out relatively unscathed.

We ended the long, wonderful weekend by sitting on the front porch and watching it rain droplets the size of silver dollars. They smacked the pavement like wads of wet toilet paper. Lightning lit up the sky followed by the thunder and W and I enjoyed every minute of it. If the Hubs had been home, he would’ve been hidden safely inside the house but I want to make sure that W isn’t afraid of the storms and marvels at their beauty the way I do.

I promise to post some pics soon. We got a new camera but the Hubs keeps running off with it every time he leaves town.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Kiddo

The Hubs and I decided that since we will be taking a summer off from working and school that we’d hold W back from moving up to the bigger kids room. Wednesday was the last day for CaCa, his best bud, to be in the class. His other friend, Zane, who could easily be running for office by the way he stands there and smiles at you while never saying a word, just waiting for a photo opp by the cubby area, had his last day yesterday. Both of them cried on their final days like they knew something was about to change. It was a sad sight to see. Did they really get it? Did they really know what was about to happen? This morning, however, after I dropped off W, who, let me point out, was the first one at school at 8 a.m. because he decided to start his day at 5:45 a.m., I saw Zane getting dropped off by his mama in the other play yard. I drove slowly down the alley to observe him absorbing his new routine and he seemed absolutely thrilled, just beaming with happiness and excitement. He saw me and waved like the good politician he is and flashed the pearly whites that match his platinum hair. I waved back enthusiastically and tears welled up in my eyes. You know, you get close to the little posse of children your kiddo spends so many of the hours of the day with and you root for them and you feel their parent’s anguish when their babes are growing up so fast knowing full well you’re going to be in their shoes very, very soon.

Thankfully W is still in a cuddly state and doesn’t venture far when we’re out in public. He likes to be carried and have things explained to him as he is tenuous about his surroundings. He asks questions and makes many (sometime too many) verbal observations. All in all, he’s a very good kiddo but he’s recently encountered the world of monster trucks (the DVD came with the cars) and now everything has to “Cash!” or crash and he has become rather destructive with his toys. Just yesterday as I was standing in the driveway talking to the neighbors from across the street who have a boy a couple of months younger than W. We were saying that we needed to get the kiddos together and hang out and all that small talk. W was pushing his little school bus in the pea gravel at my feet and I commented on how that school bus was about 18 years old and formerly owned by one of my younger brothers. As what seemed to be his cue, W lifted it above his head and tossed it with a resounding crash as the plastic hit the ground. He did it again, shaking some components loose inside. Again he threw it and it bounced twice. W was very proud of himself and repeating “Cash!” over and over. Real nice, son. I’m sure the neighbors are just dying to bring their composed and calm son over to play with you. Lord, keep my son away from the WWF.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Shame On Me

Sorry about the absentee-ism, y’all. I’ve been busy and lazy and uninspired. Working on 4 MAJOR events at the job with all but one of them happening before my sabbatical starting on June 16th. All of my creative juices have been dumped there. I also worked an event this past Saturday night for a set of twin girls that turned 25. Mad Hatter theme at a local bar and let me just say that when the DJ played the much requested Sweet Home Alabama, the group of 35 went wild…and most were barefoot…in a bar. ‘Nuff said.

We decided that since I am taking W out of school for eight weeks, we should keep him in the infant room instead of moving him up like he was supposed to do. In August he will make this transition over to the bigger kids room. Several of his buddies are moving on without him though. He will see them beyond the chain-linked fence and they will touch fingertips and toss toys back and forth like a sad, romantic movie. It’s better this way.

And for your reading pleasure, here are the latest escapades and highlights of W’s world…

-First off, poop in the tub is the grossest thing ever and W thinks so too. Yes, it happened one evening and I could hear W exclaiming “Yucky!” over and over while I went to get his pajamas (for you parental watch dogs out there, for the record, W’s room is practically IN the bathroom so I wasn’t out of his sight for less than 5 seconds). At first I wasn’t so sure what the “yucky” was as the tub was filled with foamy bubbles like a giant latte but the truth was soon revealed as he recoiled on his tip toes at one end of the tub and pointed to the tan turd breaching like a baby whale at the other end. I now have OSHA on speed dial.

-W is big into giving hugs and will come at you mid-play and say, “Hug” like it’s a military command. He leans in a little, gives a noncommittal squeeze and then resumes play like it never happened. Occasionally though the hug is accompanied with a kiss, the awkward preteen, open mouth sort with eyes wide open that even gives me pause.

- His vocabulary is huge, people, and it’s totally freaky that he can actually tell me stuff now, in complete sentences and with complete meaning. He might even be keeping a journal. He’s growing much too fast.

-He now sings Melmo’s World and Old MacDonald while playing the piano. So gotta get this on film. He also counts to 5 and can say the first 5 letters of the alphabet as well. Little genius.

-Memorial Day, I awoke at 9. 9! In the a.m.! We usually are up and at ‘em no later than 7. W had gone to bed at his usual 8:30 p.m. I was certain he was either ill…or dead but the god of parenting was smiling on us and neither was true and we were all getting some freebie Zzzzzs. In fact, the last time W was sick was on May 16th so we are fast approaching a record of healthfulness but I have probably just jinxed us by writing this.

More to come…

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Poop We're About To Be In

How do you know when it’s time to begin the adventures in potty training? W is only 20 months old but I think I’m seeing some major signage, poop flags, if you will. I’ve heard that teaching little boys is a bit more challenging than teaching girls but I think W is seriously considering some toilet time or headed in that general direction at least. On a regular basis and usually in the morning he comes running into whatever room I’m in and says, “Poop poo,” and then heads straight to his room. He stands next to his changing table with his legs spread and hands griping the table like he’s waiting to be frisked. Usually though, he’s a little too early in his poop prediction and there’s nothing in there but air. What he’s telling me though is that merch is on its way and if I hang just a few minutes more then doodie duty will be on.

I bought him a small plastic potty a while back that I unpacked and assembled for him the other day. He has really been enjoying lifting it’s little plastic lid and having a seat on the squishy blue ring while pointing to the adult toilet nearby and requesting a pretend group effort. “Muh-ma, pooh poo, ” he commands. Ahhh…the candid spirit of the young. This morning he wouldn’t let me out of the house until we had a little loo sit-in. I need to get the Hubs in on this. He likes loo lingering and leaves a library of newspapers, crossword puzzles and time management books in his wake. These two could clock some serious quality time in there.

W hasn’t read any books on the subject or seen any DVDs so I better go get some. If there are any suggestions out there on your favorite poop poo productions, please let me know.

On the health front, I awoke to a normal eye this morning. No more corn flakes hanging off the lashes, thank god. The ulcer on the inside of my bottom lip is finally going away so now I don’t look like I had that botched botox job BUT I’m still battling a ribcage rattling cough that turns my lungs inside out and back again like a pair of athletic socks and my throat is raw, raw, raw. My abs, on the other hand, are like a six pack of Red Bulls. Seriously though, enough is enough. The Hubs is begging me to go to the doc but I heard from a friend this morning that I need to get on some Echinacea and garlic so I hit the GNC earlier. Hopefully this will work. I dread the idea of my doc scripting me with some hard core meds. I just don’t do well like that.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Weekend Rewind

Friday I was feeling like H-E double L so after work, I faked happy, healthy mommyland with W and as soon as his tush was in the crib, I was curled up in bed reading this. Now earlier in the day, I had read about this book on this blog. Amazon.com had awesome reviews about it so I had to get the darn thing stat. As luck would have it, I found it on the shelf at Half Price Books that same day for $9 bones. Score! Now, like I had mentioned I was feeling pretty effing sick at the end of the day and had grand notions of getting some major Zs but when I cracked the spine of this little gem and launched into the first few pages, I was hooked. I am not a reader of the thriller or horror genre but this one had me by the gonads right off. I barreled through the first 15 chapters and, with tired eyes and midnight posted on the clock, I finally decided to turn out the light but was actually too spooked to fall asleep. Remember, the Hubs is still out of town. I clicked the light back on and read another 5. I finished it in broad daylight the next morning. Whew! What a ride! I can’t wait for the movie!

Saturday night, I took myself out for dinner and drinks. I told myself I looked great, picked myself up at 8 p.m. and told myself I was going to have a good time. Me, myself and I ate here where a dear old girlfriend of mine works. When she’s on the floor, I put myself on autopilot and let her do the wine choosing and plate ordering. She delivered wild greens, rabbit and duck to my little spot at the bar and paired them with varied grapes from around the globe. We were chatting away, talking about all sorts of personal things within earshot of everyone in the cozy space. During that time another girlfriend came in with her husband and another gentleman, both of them Brits. We all hunkered down together for some lovely conversation, or should I say, I struggled to understand what they were saying and did a lot of nodding. Turned out, the guy to my left was the road manager/sound dude for Joseph Arthur who was playing later that night. Yeay! After dinner, we all hiked on down to the venue and totally enjoyed the show. It’s been ages since I have flown by the seat of my pants like that and doing it solo was quite refreshing. Needless to say, I awoke in a little fog the next morning but when you've got a kiddo in your orbit, it’s always show time so I got my arse up and took him to school. That’s right, the Growing Spore had childcare on Mother’s Day. I had 5 glorious hours to do whatever the hell I wanted. Days prior I had designs on getting a manicure/pedicure, a massage, my truck cleaned and maybe even squeeze in a movie but instead went back home, took a 2-hour nap, had a crappy lunch at a non-descript Mexican joint and got some shopping therapy at my favorite store, Last Call. When I returned to get W, he was still napping, in the land of nod, 3 whole hours of nap. $35 worth of nap.

The Hubs returns tonight and he’ll be home for 3 whole days! After that he’ll be home for a week and a half. ‘Tis the life of the musical and parental.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Best Question Eva'!

“Muh-ma, Muh-ma! Air are yew, Muh-maaaa?”

This is what I heard W’s sweet little voice saying from his room just now.

Son, I’m right here, in your orbit, where I always hope to be.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Good Morning Cyclops

I awoke this morning with the eye grunge that W has been harboring the past week. It’s just in one eye though, one really pissed off, puffed up eye. Nice. When W is down with some bug, I rally my troop of mamas for info and advice. This is always a great plan of action for me because I learn something new every time. Like this for example. I didn’t know that every Thursday this site is updated with the latest bugs that are going around the city. And wouldn’t you know it, W had exactly what they described, that adenovirus crap. I guess I should put the fifth disease as the next thing he’s going to get since it’s listed there. I mean, he’s cleaning up on everything a child can get. Maybe we can get them all knocked out before his 2nd birthday and then he’ll be uber immune toddler. One can hope.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Just Blogging Along

I just ordered myself a Mother’s Day gift from RedEnvelope.com. Oh yes, I did. I even wrote out the message on the card, too…”Happy Belated Mother’s Day! Love, the Hubs.” I’m sparing him the embarrassment of forgetting such a meaningful and honorable day. Besides, he’s going to be out of town. I’m also getting something I want, a lovely pair of earrings and a necklace to match. All under $61.00. Before shipping.

I took my wilted flower of a son to school today. I tried to ramp his enthusiasm by outdoing myself in the “front seat dancing while driving and singing about school” department. Other drivers think I’m off my rocker. It worked and the school hasn’t called yet to tell us to come get him. He is feeling much better which is a relief. It breaks my heart in a million pieces to see him weak with sickness. Makes it tough for the Hubs and I to get along in the midst as well. He’s got deadlines and work to do, I have an office to report to and it completely stresses us inside and out. It was finals week at area colleges so no last minute students-for-hire could be found. I wonder what other families do when faced with this? I'm looking forward to using the two months I’ll be off this summer to determine if my child is naturally this sick or if school is the culprit. Then we will be able to figure out a better plan of action…different school? Stay-at-home help? Stay-at-home mom? All I know is I really need the Hubs out there writing music and finding artists to sing them and not hanging around the house with a sick child. I’m ready for that ranch/beach house already.

The Hubs is off tomorrow for several days playing gigs so if you’re in Dallas, Lubbock or Los Alamos, New Mexico (huh?) then go see him/them. Also, if anyone is free Saturday night and would like to join me for dinner, I have a dateless date night scheduled. Although I don’t mind drinking alone…like I do…in the closet…several times a week.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Fun, Fun, Family Fun!

Holy hell! Where have I been? We did an event yesterday in Georgetown so Monday and yesterday were all consumed with those details. The weekend was packed full of family time and almost in the “that is too much quality time” sorta way.

Saturday, we packed up the car and headed out of town to see the Hubs perform. Baby and I totally rocked out. It was the first show W had seen the Hubs play with this particular band and the kid fell into the groove like he was a roadie or something. I worried that he wouldn’t wear his ginormo 70’s style safety headphones to keep the volume turned down in his little ears but he wore them like a champ. He yelled, “Daddie, dittar!” and “Yeayyyyyy!” and high fived the sound guy like they toured together in a past life or something. Bling Bling drove in with her fab son to catch the show. We got shunted up into the balcony seats for a private perspective of the show. That’s always a good thing b/c most of the fans are weirrrrrrrd. I handed W over to Bling and he immediately passed out in her comfy, warm arms.

Our room happened to be the awesome grand suite of this old, haunted hotel and it was totally paid for by the promoter. After the show, I turned in with a sleepy baby in my arms. As I wrestled for the key to unlock the door, a girl came up behind me, her energy a bit charged in the negative direction. I said hello and the smirk on her face barely unfolded as she replied with a “Hey.” As she entered her room I heard her yell out, “This is NOT the grand suite. This is a petite suite and I swear…” and her voice drifted off as she slammed the door. She was part of a wedding party and obviously not happy with her lodging situation. I grinned to myself as I stepped in and locked the door behind. It’s cool to be a rock star’s wife, oh yes it is.

Everyone slept late the next morning, a clear indication to me that the Hubs had partied pretty late and W was getting sick. Check and check. We had plans to meet Gogo and Richard at the zoo and when we got there, the place was just coming alive. We made a beeline to see the monkeys to avoid a later crowd crush and the idea paid off hugely. As we approached the habitat for the silverback gorilla, we saw the male sitting all alone in a clearing sunning himself. He saw us and lumbered very slowly over on all fours and rested his massive frame against the 4 inches of glass that separated us. We all got down to his level and were truly awestruck by his brilliance, size and beauty. He splayed out like an Amazonian ruler waiting for someone to peel him a banana. His eyes looked at us unconcerned and calm. We all silently took in the moment until a family came along and the gorilla rose and walked away. The Hubs and I were very moved by the encounter but it also made us very sad for him and the plight of his diminishing species.

We ran amok for a few hours, dodging the clusters of gawkers and eating really bad food. It was crucial to our plan to make sure the departure home revolved around W's naptime and to make it back in time to hook up with some friends for paella, vino and toddler rompin’. We arrived a tad late but totally enjoyed the visit at their lovely home. We cherish CaCa and her parents and look forward to much more commingling.

P.S. As I assumed W is illin’ again, another bi-monthly germ warfare courtesy of his school, the Growing Spore. He had to come home early Monday but hopefully he can return tomorrow or the Hubs is going to divorce us.