Friday, December 31, 2010

Right here, right now, there is no other place I want to be

I thought about doing a wrap-up of the year, and even of the decade - as this marks 10 years that I've been back in DC, and actually, the longest I've lived anywhere, ever.

But reminiscing can make me melancholy. And the end of a year, a decade, can pull out the reflective and the sad, as you tiptoe through your accomplishments, failures, gains and losses.

So I'd rather share a little of today's joy with you, and wish you some of your own.

On Christmas eve, we went to our dear family friends' house, as we do every year.

They gave Jordan the Best Truck Ever. It goes forwards and backwards and the voice of a redneck guy even says "Woo hoo!" and "Back 'er up!" He loves it.

He also loves Doggy - which he pronounces "daddy." Doggy is from Ikea, where they have many many cute stuffed animals. Machine-washable, snuggly stuffed animals. Who knew?

So when Nick paired Doggy with Best Truck Ever, it was like crack. The best thing Jordan had ever seen! He was then compelled to repeat it approximately 57 kabillion times. And when he stopped to go take a shower, there was much dismay. Temporary calamity in the Jordan world!

Until he realized that Mama could probably help with the Doggy Truck situation.

My decade is ending gently, and I am thankful. In the last ten years I've learned, I've grown, I've become stronger and kinder.

Wishing you a very happy New Year's Eve, and a wonderful start to 2011. And also your very own version of the Doggy Best Truck Ever combo.

Big hug,

Lisa

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Strike a pose, there's nothing to it

Everyone says Jordan looks just like Nick. But I think there are some pretty clear pieces of me in there as well.

No?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Digging in the photo files: When Jordan Met Summer

"We were married forty years ago. We were married three years, we got a
divorce. Then I married Margerie."

"But first you lived with Barbara.""Right, Barbara. But I didn't marry Barbara. I married Margerie."

"Then he got a divorce."

"Right, then I married Kitty.""Another divorce."
"Then a couple of years later at Eddie Collichio's funeral, I ran into her. I
was with some girl I don't even remember."

"Roberta."

"Right, Roberta. But I couldn't take my eyes off you. I remember I snuck
over to her and I said... What did I say?"

"You said, 'What are you doing after?'""Right. So I ditched Roberta, we go for a coffee, a month later we were
married."

"Thirty five years today after our first marriage."

Monday, December 27, 2010

I am not sure what this says about me


My friend Kay just sent me a message saying, "At first I saw this headline and was like wtf but then I read it and thought of you."

People send me messages like this with some regularity. I don't know about you, but for me, the words, "I read it and thought of you," typically mean it will be something about merkins. Or rabies.

Honestly.

So. Her following sentence contained this link to an article on vaginal steam baths.

Which gave me pause.

But then actually, once you read about them, they sound kind of good. It's so cold right now, it might be nice. Kind of like squarching, but more relaxing. I wrote her back saying so.

Now, one of my male colleagues and I will be up in NY for work the end of January, and we'd been talking about it at lunch. Kay suggested that maybe I should make an appointment to get a vagina steam while I'm up there. Just to check it out.

The problem, however, is that we only have one free night, and we already have plans to get half-price tickets for a show. And I just cannot be all, "I'll meet you at the theatre. I, uh, I have to go steam my vagina beforehand."

Also, I picture walking down the street, everyone all bundled up against the cold, and me with a stream of steam wafting out of my coat, like a crotch ghost or something.

Which makes me realize that the odd part is the fact that I'm surprised when people send me this stuff.

Friday, December 24, 2010

And to all a good night


It's been a bit up and downy around here.

And now, after a week of various illnesses we find ourselves at Christmas Eve.

The stomach yuck got passed on to Betty, and Jordan got a 103 fever and little cold, but too fast to blame on the sister, and anyway, maybe he's teething? How do you know till you see teeth? And so he hasn't been his usual perkylicious self.

Also, because he hasn't been feeling well, he's been waking up crying at 3 am the last several nights.

Which is never the ideal time to be dredged up from the depths of your dreams, pulled to the chilly surface of awakeness and get-up-and-dealness.

But you know, you love your kid, and you get up and deal.

So last night I was the one who got up, and I realized the Motrin was downstairs. So I hurried down and back up. By the time I got to his room, he was no longer crying, but he was making noise, so I went in.

And there he was, running back and forth the length of his crib in delight.

He sleeps in a fleece sleep sack, which static electricity seems to love. And so every step was a crackle and a burst of sparkly light.

It was like magic. I felt lucky to see it.

There are so many negatives in the world, and quite honestly, I dwell on them more than I want to. There is so much ugliness and cruelty. But there's also so much beauty and good.

I think if there is magic in this world, it's going to be brought out by little boys and girls, up to mischief in the middle of the night. And I quite love that idea.

If you like this sort of thing, I hope some sparkly magic finds you this season.

And if you celebrate it, Merry Christmas and hugs. If you don't, hugs and a glorious weekend.

Monday, December 20, 2010

This information cannot leave this room. Ok? It would devastate my reputation as a dude.


Dear Jordan,

You are now 16 months old, and somehow, it's an immense change from 15 months. You're the busiest little big man around. You're not only walking; you're running! And climbing. And exploring every little thing.

You particularly love to climb into and out of this one particular box.

You've become a big thumb-sucker, and sometimes you sit very contentedly in the box, sucking your thumb. For like 12 seconds. And then you're up and running.

More than the motion, though, is that you seem to come up with a new word every day. Sometimes it takes us a week to figure out what they are - like humma. For a while you kept insisting on humma, humma, humma! We finally figured out that this means oatmeal. Which you love.

You also suddenly started saying "all gone!" and "all done!" and that makes things a lot easier. Except when you're upset that something is all gone and you fling yourself on the floor and wail.

You haven't had a full-on tantrum, but your dad said he had them as a kid, and I could imagine you carrying on the tradition.

Last night as we were getting you ready for bed, you asked for a bottle. And as you'd just had one, I said it was all gone.

And you put your hands on my chest and shoved, hard. It was very clearly an, "I don't like that answer, lady!" kind of shove.

We made it very clear that shoving Mama is Not Nice.

This is pretty rare, though. Mostly you're a smiley, happy little kid. You laugh a lot, and you love making us laugh. You've started walking backwards to amuse yourself and us. One day I'm going to get a video of you breakdancing.

You're great company, if kind of limited topic-wise. Your conversations typically start with the announcement, "Light!" or "Car!" or "Tuck!"

Cars and trucks are magic in your world.

The wonderful thing is that you're always just as enthused about cars out front today as you were yesterday. There's always this tone of, "Holy shit! Would you look at that! There are CARS outside! Man, isn't this awesome?!!"

It is, and so are you.

I love you love you love you.

Mama

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

While we're on the topic

I've always thought Christmas nutcrackers were super creepy.

And that they look like they have lockjaw. Like the tetanus. But mostly creepy.

But the good thing about the tetanus, in case you were wondering, is that it's not necessarily fatal.

Unlike the rabies.

Unless, of course, you live in the third world and you're born with it, in which case you'll most likely die.

However, if you live here and have access to good medical care, they'll cut away the damaged tissue and then pump you full of antibiotics and - get this: 3,500-4,000 calories per day, with a ton of protein. This is because all the spasming you're doing burns a ton of calories.

It is one of my big paranoias. I think about it whenever I wear flip flops in DC. Also whenever I pick up random pieces of metal from the road, which I seem to be prone to doing. If they look cool and I think I can use them in an art thing.

It doesn't make sense with the tetanus fear, because I then spend the rest of the day Googling and fretting.

But now that I know that it's not fatal, I feel a whole lot better.

Those nutcracker dolls, though. I bet they steal your breath while you're sleeping.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The kind of stuff I have to put up with

It is ass-chilling cold here right now.

Seriously. I walk to work, and by the time I arrive, I can't feel my face or my butt. I was going to say it's like having tetanus, but I think the thing with tetanus is not that you can't feel, but that your muscles all lock up.

So maybe it just seems like I have tetanus when I say hello. Except that I can walk, and am not just all clenched-limbed with a grimace frozen on my face. In which case I wouldn't be at work anyway.

Sometimes I make myself tired. Because this is nowhere near my point.

My point is that it is cold, and I like to shower at night. And after taking a deliciously hot shower and then putting on my toasty slippers, I'm all warm and ready for sleep.

Until I mince down the long cold hallway and into bed. By which point my feet are little iceboxes. I don't know how it happens so fast, but it does.

I can't fall asleep with cold feet. Which naturally means I cuddle up to Nick and stick them on his legs.

So last night I got in bed all freezyfreezing and scooted over to his side and curled up so the bottoms of my feet could sit on top of his thighs. He flinched and maybe muttered a little profanity.

What always amazes me is how shocked he is by how cold my feet are. It's like that movie Memento - a new surprise every day.

So I said, "You know, if you really loved me, you'd let me put them under your ball sack. That's the warmest place on your body, you know."

To which he replied, "Well, is your face cold?"

You see?

Monday, December 13, 2010

You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve?

A couple weeks ago, Nick went to Cumberland, Maryland.

Apparently it's a very charming old town with a train station. He brought back a bright yellow plastic train car for Jordan and a wooden whistle that sounds like the toot of a train.

Jordan doesn't understand the train thing yet, but he really likes it. He calls it a car. And he loooves cars. So it went over very well.

The whistle? Much more confusing. No wheels. What to DO with this wooden box sort of thing with holes?

So this weekend, Nick decided to teach him how to make it work. He figured Jordan already knows how to blow air, since he loves to blow on his food when it's hot.

Nick blew the whistle a couple times. Then he handed it to Jordan, who just looked at it, and looked back at Nick.

Nick said, "Blow in it!" He pursed his lips and blew air through them in an exaggerated fashion, just like we do at meals.

Jordan held the whistle very cautiously up in front of his lips and said, "Hot!"

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The reason some of us are in charge and some of us should be confined to the corner in social situations

We are having our office holiday lunch on Friday.

In less frugal times, the organization hosted an evening party - a holiday cocktails and dinner affair, to which you could bring your significant other. They were food-filled, boozy affairs.

The last one was 2007. I'd invited Nick last minute, mainly because we'd just gotten serious - hell, we'd practically just met. And also because, well, you just never know what people will say. And colleagues are not like family. You can't tell them to behave.

Although now that I write that, I realize it's so pot-kettle of me.

Nick, to my great relief, was unable to come. He was out of town for work. And it was so lucky for me that cell phone reception in that hotel was abysmal.

The evening was a fun one. There were cocktails before dinner, and plenty of wine poured at the tables. And then a number of us migrated up to the bar afterward.

Chuck was still alive then. I think it was he who started the passing around of the HR Director title. We each took a turn saying, "I'm director of HR. And here's who I'm going to fire." And that was seriously the least of it.

But earlier in the evening, much earlier, when not even that much wine had been consumed, I wound up chatting with the relatively-new president of our organization and his wife. They were making the rounds.

We mad polite conversation about the holidays, family, and such. His wife asked how I liked working at our organization.

I said, "It's the most bizarre place I've ever worked. It's like being on another planet." I turned to her husband and asked, "Don't you think?"

To which he replied, "Oh, look! People are heading in the other room. We should go mingle."

And that was that.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Spigot? Faucet? Tap?

The other day Nick said he was going out back to...well, I'm not exactly sure what he was doing.

Something with the tap. Except that he called it a spigot. Which he pronounced "spicket" - thus focusing my entire attention on his vocabulary and not on the content of the sentence.

In any case, he was doing something with the outside water source. The one with the handle you can twist. The one to which you can hook up a hose.

Coincidentally, during this conversation, I was standing at the kitchen sink, and had just turned on the faucet.

He got kind of annoyed when I interrupted his course by asking him to repeat the word he'd just used a number of times. And then to get him to explain, impatiently, that faucets are inside. Spickets are outside.

This, he claims, is how it is. According to everybody.

Except me.

I call it a tap. Or maybe a faucet, although if I were asked to make a distinction, I'd say faucet would be inside and tap would be outside. But I think they're pretty interchangeable.

I don't know that I've ever used the word spigot. And certainly not spicket. I'm not opposed to the word. It just never occurs to me.

I think this must be regional. Which, quite honestly, is my answer to almost everything. "Oh, it's probably regional." Except when the answer is "Asberger's." Which is, of course, my favorite diagnosis.

Regional Asberger's would be a whole nother ball of wax. Whatever that means.

Christ. This is turning into one of those posts that make Nick email me and be all, "What the hell were you talking about?"

So: Spigot. Faucet. Tap.

Do you make a distinction between inside and outside, and if so, which word for what? Is this regional?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Shah

This is Jordan and his little friend David all dressed up and ready for the park.

J is wearing one of the very few pairs of shoes I could find into which I was able to stuff his little loaves of feet. His feet are about as thick top to bottom as they are side to side. I've never seen anything like it.

Anyway.

Note the use of their respective mother's mittens and gloves. Neither of them seemed to mind.

They're about the same age, and they have such a good time together. They squeal when they see each other. They chase each other around.

J's a little bigger and definitely pushier. David is pretty laid back, although not always. Sometimes or quite often, J will walk up and take what he wants out of David's hands; thus inciting his little friend to bat him on the head.

More likely, however, is that D picks up his chosen toy and scurries off to put it in a safe place. Although when you can't reach more than two feet off the ground, no place is really safe from your competition, it turns out.

Jordan, however, has recently learned to say the word "share" - pronounced as "shah."

I was so delighted when he started using it. Share! He gets the concept of sharing!

Ahem. Shahing in his world goes one direction only.

He'll walk over to you, point to the toy/cookie/sharp object you're holding, and say, "shah!"

Although I suppose this is more polite than "miiiine!" - don't you think?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Splinters and shards

I've been thinking about where you carry those you've loved and lost.

It might be in your heart, or your mind. It's somewhere in your corporal being, of that I'm certain.

When I was eight or nine, we visited Maude's family in Tunisia. And I stepped on a piece of green glass.

More notable from the trip were the following events: their maid took Maude and me into the bathroom and lit a cigarette and tried to teach us to smoke. And across the street archeologists had uncovered all these amazing Roman mosaics. The dig was enormous.

But the glass.

It was small, and got stuck in my right heel like a splinter, and worked its way under the skin. You could see it, but you couldn't get to it. So I limped around for a while.

Eventually, it stopped hurting. There's no scar, no evidence that it was ever there. But it is.

And I think this happens with the important people in our lives. We're left with more than scars.

Someone like a parent, well, they're everywhere in your cells. I think, even gone, they permeate your entire being.

You don't have a piece of them. You have all of them. If that makes any sense. I find this comforting and overwhelming, depending on the moment.

As for others, ex-friends and ex-lovers, I wonder if we don't carry them as splinters, as shards?

Relationships end, and we cleanse. Through tears, through actions. We delete phone numbers, emails, pictures. We get rid of reminders.

Slowly, slowly, we heal.

But healing isn't erasure. Each relationship changes us, and some bit, however large or small, remains.

I think our minds, hearts, and souls wrap the jagged fragment in protective tissue, tucking it away and tumbling it until it's smooth and opaque as wave-worn glass. And with time and familiarity - because eventually, doesn't everything become familiar? - the piece is such a part of us, it seems like it's gone.

But I don't believe it is. I believe we walk around decorated with invisible splinters and shards.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Please tell me I don't have a Bieber

OK, so, I know this picture is not ideal for a number of reasons - one being that it looks like I have a tumor growing out the top of my head but really it's my sun lamp that shockingly blends with my hair.

But it's a good representation of my new hair.

And I quite like it, but I also want to make sure that I don't now have a Bieber 'do.

Do I?

The growing out is hard, and I think she did a nice job with the color and toning it down. And she left as much length as possible, yay!, but I didn't then know what to do with it. So she suggested the best thing would be just kind of shove it forward.

Which I am now doing. As you can see.

So the Bieber question is the most pressing. And if it is Bieberish, then WHAT else can I do to it, with this current not-short-not-long-yucky-inbetween state that I'll be in for quite some time?

But also. Do you know how hard it is to take picture of yourself? I mean, a remotely normalish looking one?

I took approximately 372 furtive pictures of myself just to get one that didn't look completely horrendous.

I might be overly sensitive about this because I remember looking at so many Match profiles and wondering, "Why did that guy have to take his own picture? Doesn't he have any friends?"

Seriously. I don't think women tend to take their own pictures. Do they? So many men on Match had those arms-outstretched, smiling awkwardly for a camera with nobody behind it, and hey, look, you can see what their kitchen cupboards look like! kinds of pictures.

They need that device those Japanese tourists that we followed around in Turkey were using.

Maybe we all do.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wednesday whits

Improvement on the crayon/profanity front:

We stopped at a Bob Evans rather than Friendly's and while Jordan did do some crayon chewing, he also took a couple stabs at the paper. Plus, once he'd bitten off a couple little blue chunks, he realized he didn't really want to swallow them.

I let him drop them in my hand. I know better than to go foraging around his little mouth and then shame us with profanity.

Also: I know it's not such a good picture. I took it with my iPhone. More also: I got an iPhone. I'm pretty sure I haven't become an iHole though.

What I want for Christmas:

A closet. Seriously. Those Victorians, they built charming houses, but their need for closets was slim to none. My need for closets is sizeable to enormous.

So. I want to buy a closet from Ikea. Nick wants to wait until we can find a nice antique wardrobe (I grew up calling them almirahs - I don't know what you call them) at a consignment store that we can cherish and keep forever.

I don't want a nice wardrobe. I'm not looking for an heirloom. It will take up more room than I want to allocate. And once we build closets - in probably three years - then where will we cherish it?

I want a ding-dang closet, like, right now.

Also: Trying to reduce use of unnecessary profanity. (Note successful use of ding-dang above.)

The hair. Always the hair:

Let me tell you. Pixie cuts and platinum are a bitch to grow out. Not pretty. I've been hating my hair for some time now.

These are the roots. The front view, I am not posting.I'm seeing my stylist this evening. Hopefully she can work magic.

Also: Um, I have no also on this one. I just put this in for symmetry.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

After the fight

I don't know if everyone always behaves the same way when they fight? Like, you have your pattern that you always fall into?

I don't think there's any reason to go into the Big Fight we had in the car on the way home.

Suffice it to say that we spent the end of the drive not speaking to each other. While Jordan wailed in the background - as he'd been doing for the prior hour or so.

If you're looking for an agitating soundtrack for an argument, find a screaming child.

But with this fight I realized the following: We anger quickly and have similar styles, which means our fights tend to be short and extremely caustic. And we both need time to calm down afterward before we can apologize. Once that's done, it's over. No grudges.

But in the meantime, we get mean and it is terrible.

When we've made each other so angry we don't want to speak to each other - which is pretty much what always happens - we retreat to familiar patterns.

Nick stomps around for a while, goes out and buys beer if we don't have any, and then watches TV.

While I'm stewing, I think he watches all the shows I think are incredibly stupid just to annoy me. Although really I think he watches them because, well, he likes them.

This further irritates me in the moment.

I'll sit and read, mentally dividing up our belongings, selling the house, and oh, God, does this mean I'll have to get back on Match? And does Nick know how hard I will make all of it for him? Because he's mistaken if he thinks this will be smooth and easy.

You know me. I get pretty far pretty fast.

And then some time passes - sometimes a whole night, and once a night and the following day - and maybe we're still irritated but not furious, and finally we can see where each other is coming from and discuss it calmly. At the end of the day we do love each other, and in this particular case, I'm sorry I took my frustrations out on him and he's sorry he got so angry.

I still think his taste in TV is idiotic, though.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I'm most thankful for

OK, so I know I kind of sound like I suck in today's post, and really it's just that I get stressy and ranty and dready and, well, you know.

I still behave nicely and I do hope for the best. I just have to get the worst out here and then I can move forward.

But I'm thankful for many things, not least of which is having Nick in my life, for more reasons than I can list.

One of them being things like the following:

I got this message from him saying, "You might want to look at the fuck in your post. Because the way it's written now is, '...and then you wake up hung over and fuck...'and, uh, maybe that's what you wanted to say, but, well, you might want to take a look at that."

So I fixed the fuck in my post.

Happy Thanksgiving and world peace. Hugs to all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving. Also, I'm an ingrate.

We're girding our loins to head up to New Jersey for Thanksgiving.

Yesterday Nick said, "Wouldn't it be nice if we just stayed here and had a relaxing holiday?"

I got all hopeful. "We could." I said it calmly, so as not to sound like I was jumping up and down in my chair at the possibility.

"No, we have to go. Jordan needs to see his grandparents. They need to see him. And he should get to know his cousins."

All of these things are true. Plus, you're supposed to spend the holiday with family. It's not that I'm not thankful to have family. Of course I am. It's just so...effortful. And exhausting.

You fight 95 traffic to get there...and then it's not relaxing once you're there. Nick gets tense and dickish beforehand. I get tense and bitchy.

Dickish and bitchy do not a happy couple make.

Nick and I both drink way too much while we're there. If we lived in the same town as his family, we'd be alcoholics for sure.

And I don't wish Nick were an orphan, at least not most of the time. But it would be nice if he were an only child. Or maybe only had a younger sister.

Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday anyway. I'd skip it altogether if I could.

Christmas, Christmas I love. I love the lights and colors and the preparation of treats and the tree and just everything.

But Thanksgiving always seems like it's all about food. It's all about the stress of preparing and cleaning up a gargantuan meal.

You go around the table and say what you're thankful for, but that's really the only focus on thanks.

Then you eat and eat and eat until you're stuffed. And then you eat some more. And the kids get all jacked up on sugar and things devolve into chaos and you wish you could go home but you can't because you're at someone else's house and so you just keep drinking until finally it's time to go to bed.

And then you wake up hung over and, oh fuck, you have a kid to take care of and why did you drink so much? Oh. Right. And you probably can't crack a beer before noon without people looking askance at you. Crap.

Wow. I didn't exactly know where I was going when I started this. And there you have it.

But there's always the hope that it could be really fun. And also, world peace.

In other words, Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Freedom's just another word for not having to take your kid with you to Costco

I left the boy with Betty yesterday and headed out to the particular circle of hell that is Costco prior to Thanksgiving.

Getting in the car, I had this tremendous rush of freedom.

The parking lot was horrendous. I circled and circled and finally waited for a woman with a child to load her car, saunter her cart back, and strap in her kid. Usually I avoid the kid people because they take forever.

I'm not doing the glass house stone throwing. I'm telling you. It's a process.

But I swear she gave me a dirty look for waiting. In fact, I think she walked her cart all the way back to the cart-putting place just because I was there with my blinker on. I bet she'd have ditched it on the side if I weren't.

Inside, people were staggering around, even more laden than usual, slowly pushing overloaded carts. One woman had six or seven turkeys in hers.

And I wasn't remotely bitter. Because I was alone. Unencumbered.

It sounds so unkind when I put it that way, doesn't it? But it's true. It felt so good.

So what if I was doing nothing more interesting than picking up 64 gallons of milk, 500 apples, and 40 pounds of cheese?

I was all by myself. No child to entertain. No little human constantly demanding my attention, wanting to get down, shrieking because I couldn't pick him up the moment he said, "Up! Up!"

It wasn't as drastic as when I first had Jordan, and hadn't yet been diagnosed with PPD, and going to the DMV felt like a spa vacation and once I left the house I never wanted to return.

Not at all.

But it was kind of like in the Disney cartoons where the birds are singing you a happy little tune, and delicious baking smells are wafting towards you, and the air sparkles with possibility.

Zennest damn Costco trip I've ever had in my life.

I mean, if Zen feels anything like baked bread samples and a new pair of fleece pants.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this

Oh, my sweet little Captain Awesome, today you are 15 months old.

In the past month, you've gotten a lot more aware of, well, everything. You love being told the names of things. And you realize that words have power.

You've got an extremely strong personality - shocking, I know. Most of the time you are sunshine, but you're quick to scream and wail when you don't get what you want.

Sometimes I have to distract myself to keep from stabbing myself in the ears. That whole, "Look! A truck!" is as much for you as for me.

You say "no" and "mine" a lot. More like NO and MINE. Miiiiiine.

I know this video is sideways (why did I do that? and why can't I rightside it?) and very brief, but it's so very YOU.
video
You're well aware of things I don't want you to do. You do them anyway.

The best example would be when we forget to close the bathroom door. You make a beeline for the toilet, chanting "No no no no no." You hurry, knowing your window of time is small before Mama gets there and closes the lid.

Sometimes you beat me to it, and you stick your hand in the water, still saying, "Nonono! No!"

So far, there's nothing more fun than swirling your hand around in the toilet.

Just wait till you get old enough for the liquor and the S-E-X, boy howdy.

I don't know where you picked up "mine" but you use it for everything. I'll be holding a large knife, and you'll reach, announcing authoritatively from your seat on the floor, "Mine!"

Um, no. Definitively not yours.

You also somehow learned "boot!" Maybe because mine are always sitting on the stairs. This makes me hopeful that I'll have a shopping companion one day.

Nana's been sick for three weeks, and you ask for her every day. Sometimes you go looking for her. We can't wait for her to come back.

You absolutely love the bath, and I used to love it, too. Until you learned to take out the plug. And now it's a constant struggle.

"No no no no! Nono!"

You chant this as you reach for the plug. For the 73 kabillionth time. At a certain point - that point being once you've brushed your teeth and I've gotten the big food and dirt lumps off - I just let you pull it.

I say, "Bye bye bath!"I figure sometime soon you will make the connection. For now, you're fascinated watching your little toys swirl towards the drain. And then you try to stick your toothbrush down it. Ugh.

And then you say, "Mo! Mo!"

"Nope. No more bath."

I don't always have as much patience as I would like with you, but I always, always love you more than anything.

Even when you're screaming your little blond head off because GOD KNOWS NOBODY WANTS TO PUT ON PANTS. OR SOCKS.

Or whatever the article of clothing might be at the moment.

I know wine is not really the answer. I do. But some days, I'm not gonna lie, it seems like it is.

Love,

Mama

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One of those kinds of posts, and also a poll that normal people are unlikely to want to participate in

So you know how sometimes you're working out, and everything is going great, except for one thing?

And that one thing is as follows: You really need to fart.

I'm sure you're all, "Oh hell no, I'm not even going to keep reading, and I don't even want to know what this poll is going to be like."

I can't blame you. But back to the gym.

You need to but of course you don't want to, because, well, because.

So you try to hold it but then you realize that you can't really lift weights and clench your sphincter. And if you release mid-lift, it's likely that it'll be loud and thus obvious that it is you. So you decide to just sneak off into a corner.

Which you do.

You saunter unobtrusively. Like you just really needed to stretch, and that empty corner was kind of perfect.

And while it's not a fart of death, it's not something you want to linger in, but you also don't want to make it look like you weren't actually stretching in the corner.

But before you can evacuate the area, and unfortunately, before the stench has dissipated, another patron of the gym walks over to grab a floor mat and strolls purposefully into the zone of evil.

There is no way this could be blamed on anyone else.

The best way to deal with this, considering that this is the gym in your office building and odds are good you will see this person again, is:

A. Say, "Oh, excuse me."
B. Stroll away as nonchalantly as possible, pretending not to notice, but then having to avoid eye contact for the rest of the time in the gym and maybe into eternity.
C. Head for the locker room and get the hell out as fast as possible.
D. I have no idea. This would never happen to me. Even if I ever farted, which I don't, it wouldn't be in public.
E. What is wrong with you? Seriously.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cowboys ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold.

I don't know how you feel about cowboys, but yesterday I was reading Hillary's Thanksgiving post and now I really want some cowboy boots and also I'm really worried about lice.

But that's my own fault. It has nothing to do with her. But just thinking about it makes me itch.

So listen, she's Canadian, and they've already had Thanksgiving and hers looked delicious. (Also, she's considering celebrating the American holiday to have another dinner. I think we should encourage her.)

Anyway, one of the things she made she called cowboy potatoes. She thought that sounded better than the actual name, which was Jamie Oliver's Painted Hills Potatoes.

Which, really. Who is going to say, "Could you please pass Jamie Oliver's Painted Hills Potatoes?"

Nobody.

But moving along.

I immediately thought, "Hell, cowboy anything just sounds better!" Which of course I said.

And then as soon as I typed that I went through a list in my head. . .Cowboy coffee - strong and dark! Cowboy steak - manly and dangerous! - you can totally picture a muscular guy who looks hot in his jeans roping and killing a wild cow right there on the range and then broiling it on an open fire that he's started with a flint and a stick.

Even though in reality they probably buy their steak at Safeway. And start fires with lighters.

But back to the cowboy compound words.

Cowboy beans - hearty. But does it have to be food? No, because listen, cowboy boots are awesome. So. Cowboy blanket - rough and practical. Cowboy stapler? No. Staplers are for office sissies. Cowboy...lice?

And I got stuck on cowboy lice. Definitely does not sound better. Sounds much, much worse.

I've never come face to face with a louse, but a regular suburban one would be bad enough. Can you imagine the vigor of cowboy lice?

Not to mention their swagger. They'd probably get all drunk on brown liquor and be all belligerent and totally resist any attempt at nit picking.

And do you think that's where the expression comes from? It just occurred to me.

I'm serious. Now I'm completely itchy twitchy.

Thanks, Hillary.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Year three

For the past two years, we've gone to the Tabard on the 13th to celebrate our first date.

It's a ritual I love. It's an anniversary I love somehow more than our wedding anniversary. It feels bigger or something to me, although I don't know why.

The first year, we met there, and Nick was sitting on the same couch where I'd first seen him. We saw a woman who thought Nick might be her date get stood up. Last year we went as a family, sat in the lobby because of the crowds, and chatted with a woman who was waiting for a very late, very cavalier first date.

And this year, this year we found ourselves at our kitchen table on Saturday night, swilling red wine and eating hastily-thrown-into-the-oven-after-a-long-day very mediocre cheese enchiladas from Trader Joe's.

The glamor, it abounds.

Last week I'd remembered that our anniversary was coming up. I'd meant to suggest we head to the Tabard in the afternoon.

And then I had a work trip, and we all got colds, and by Friday night even Nick, who is strong like bull, was snuffling and coughing. And I just plain forgot.

Somewhere mid-meal, I remembered, and raised my glass, and said, "Hey, happy anniversary. Three years ago tonight."

And Nick said, "I don't mean this the way it sounds, but doesn't it seem like a hell of a lot longer than three years?"

Yes. Yes, it does.

I never expected to feel so, well, comfortable. I know comfortable sounds bad, like we're sitting around in sweat pants in front of the TV eating potato chips and farting.

Which is not to say we never do any of those things, although so far not all together.

But what I mean is comfortable like the exhalation of a deep breath, or like the sunshine on your face when you step out the door in the morning. Comfortable like coming in from the rain and putting on warm, dry clothes.

Comfortable like home.

But not growing up home.

It would be an unfair exaggeration to say I grew up with the earth constantly shifting under my feet. Regularly, but not constantly. But it is true that with my dad, there was always a certain amount of, well, uncertainty in my world.

And now, now there is so much certainty.

I imagine one of these days it could get boring. But here and now, boy, do I love being certain.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The suburban scotch-filled bullet dodged by one Mr. Nick Gloria*

In the world-is-small way of the small world of DC, I've got a story for you.

A couple weeks ago I started looking for a part-time nanny share, so that I could add more time at the office, J could spend more time with other kids, and we'd have some kind of back-up childcare option for emergencies.

I answered an ad on a parents' website placed by a couple who have a daughter our age and live relatively near us.

The mom and I corresponded a bit, and arranged a time to meet. I forwarded the email to Nick, who, upon looking at her work email, said, "I've met this woman."

At which point I gave some thought to her name and the details he told me and realized that her uncle is a friend of mine. I'd met her before. I'd attended her dad's 60th birthday party.

We arrived at their house, and the woman, who I'll call Cara, took one look at Nick and said, "I've met you!" And I said, "I know your uncle!"

It was a little bizarre. We liked the whole family immediately.

Fast forward to this past Sunday, when they came over for brunch.

It turns out that Cara and I have a number of people in common, one of whom is a very dear friend of mine. But listen to this, because this is the best coincidental part.

They know Nick's old girlfriend, 6-12.

They recently had dinner with them. Cara's been friends with her husband for years and years. I had to ask, "Did they get engaged within 12 weeks?"

"If not that, then pretty close. It was fast."

Nick explained the 6-12 nickname. He said, in all fairness, that she was a nice person, and smart, but she had very specific ideas of the husband she wanted, and she found him uncooperative - because it just wasn't who he was or wanted to be.

For example: she wanted to change the way he dressed. Also, he needed to give up beer. Her husband would be a scotch drinker. She took him house hunting in Great Falls in the first few weeks, even though he wasn't interested in moving there.

Cara said, "They live in Great Falls! He had a perfectly nice house, and they sold it."

This made me wonder if her husband ever finds his scotch a wee bit bitter?

(*Uh, not his actual last name. He kept his own.)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Connecticut is beautiful but kind of inconveniently located

I took my first ever trip to Connecticut this week.

The details are prosaic. Most notable: For a three hour meeting we were on nine hours worth of trains and in probably an hour plus worth of cabs.

What I'm saying is this. Connecticut is inconvenient.

And I have a cold.

We missed the Acela on the way home because of a very slow talker, and then I had a bizarro cab driver who didn't help me with my bag, kept telling my I was lucky my wait at Union Station wasn't long, and seemed intent on missing every light.

Basically, I was a bitchfaced crab by the time I got home last night.

But the point I was going to make was this. Nick was going to blog for me yesterday and I was disappointed that he didn't. Because I never have any idea what he's going to say. Plus I love reading what he decides to share.

We ran into friends a couple weeks ago in front of Bistrot du Coin. Randomly, the last time I'd eaten there was with the husband of the couple.

(Clarification: the couple does not have a husband. It is a husband and wife couple, and I like them both, but know the husband better. And before either of us were married, he and I used to have dinner and catch up every once in a while.)

So.

We ran into them, and I was wearing the underwear dance party boots, which they recognized from my post.

They asked Nick if he reads my blog, and he said, "I'm her husband."

To which they replied, "That doesn't answer the question."

"Of course I read it. It helps me know what's really going on in our house and in our relationship."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Real lives of fictional characters

It's not that I don't know the difference between TV and reality; of course I do.

I just tend to get caught up in things I like.

So the other day I said to Nick, "I knew Betty would have regrets. I knew it!"

"Betty has regrets?"

"Of course she does. It's so obvious. She made this big change, and it didn't make her any happier."

"She seems happy. What big change? What's she regretting?"

"Don! Didn't you see how she was flirting with him? In the kitchen?"

"OK. We're talking about Fictional Betty."

Oh. Well, yes. Fictional Betty.

And then the other day I was trying to convince Nick to use the neti pot, because he was worried about getting a cold.

He declined.

We've been having this Six Feet Under marathon, and I suppose the neti pot was on my mind, because it had been in the episode we'd watched the night before.

So I said, "George has used the neti pot for years, and he never gets sick."

"George is a fictional character."

He's got me there.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Yeah, so, nevermind

Nick called to say that my post today certainly was rambling and hard to follow and what did the nose video have to do with anything?

Um.

Nothing. The answer is nothing. I just think it's cute.

I told you: this time thing has me all cracked out.

In time, but time takes time you know


I know it's not original to be all cracked out by the time change.

Also, the nose thing just kills me. He'll grab it and squeeze. Sometimes he sticks his fingers in your nostrils. Sometimes he just pinches really pinchily. Which is kind of painful but still funny.

But the crackedoutness of the time.

I don't know anyone who likes it. And people get snarky about others writing Daylight Savings Time instead of Daylight Saving Time. And some people are like, "We're not getting on it, we're getting off it, moron. THIS is normal time."

That may be true, but you're still a crankypants because of lack of sleep. From the fucking time change.

Personally, I'd like to live on Daylight Saving Time all year round. Time is arbitrary anyway, no? So we all decide that 1 am is 2 am, or the reverse, and then it is, for us.

But that's not what this is about. It's about the fact that I always feel like time is being stolen from me, no matter which way.

Saturday night I was so stressed about getting to bed early.

At nine I was all, "We have to go to bed NOW. We're going to be up extra early! We'll get an hour less sleep!"

"No, we won't."

"Yes, we will. For Jordan, 7:30 will be 6:30 and he'll get up."

"And so will we."

"Yes. A whole hour earlier. We're getting an hour less."

"No. We're gaining an hour."

"And we lose it in the morning."

Nick was adamant that we weren't getting an hour less, because our 7:30 would be 6:30 as well. We were gaining an hour.

I know, I know, fall back - 2 am becomes 1 am and it's like driving to Chicago. Except you'd spend all that time driving, just to be one time zone back. I guess you could fly, although that's more expensive. So maybe if you were beamed there.

Actually, I'd love to suddenly be in Chicago. And have a whole extra hour. That, I get.

Also, how do I get on these tangents?

But this clock back but your kid is going to steal that hour right from under your nose, that I don't get.

Even though Nick insisted that we got the same amount of sleep. He's explained it to me 54 times. He's over it about as much as the rabies.

I still contend we lost time, getting up an hour earlier. I can't explain it.

Monday, November 08, 2010

The sunset of Butterbean13

This was taken on the last night Jen and I spent in Cancun three years ago. It's pretty representative of how we spent our time.

Pool and cocktails. Cocktails by the pool. Cocktails in the pool. Swimming. Reading. Occasionally planting our wide open mouths under the soft-serve ice cream machine. Followed by more cocktails. It was great.

We also maybe watched some porn, but that was just out of curiosity. And alarming.

Three years ago today - and really, for four more days as well - I hadn't yet met Nick, and Jen and I had this Cancun-all-inclusive-fabulousness vacation lined up for Thanksgiving.

It's the only really fun Thanksgiving I've ever had, actually. But that's not what this is about. This is about the end of my long sojourn in the Internet dating world of Match.com.

A week prior to meeting Nick, I'd come home from either a date or drinks with friends - I can't remember which, and wound up chatting on the phone with a cute Canadian, with whom I'd been exchanging Match emails.

Which resulted in me inviting him to Cancun. He'd have to get his own room, of course. But Jen and I were planning on just hanging out. He could join us.

Because where else would we ever meet?

So he said he might be in trial that week, but if not, he'd book last minute and take a vacation. The trial happened; the vacation did not.

A week after this call I met Nick, and went out with him three times before Thanksgiving, and then immediately after and then he was my boyfriend and then it was basically forever and ever, sickness, health, so on, so forth.

Which brings us to now.

Canadian Lawyer and I are Facebook friends, and have been for a while. In the odd way of the world, we never met in person while I was on Match, and I got off rather quickly after meeting Nick. But now we're friends, in the removed, Internet sense.

He reads LG, and he knows a lot more about me than I know about him. But I like his mind, and I like his sensibilities.

So today he dropped an email saying, hey, Butterbean13, we spoke three years ago, and then I didn't go to Cancun, and wow look what three years can bring.

Soo, yah, Butterbean13 was my Match name. I don't have a better explanation than that I wanted a vegetable, and Broccoli sounded too weird, and 13 is my favorite number. My Match names merit their own post, in fact.

But this really drove home for me how life is about timing and coincidence. Sometimes I think life is entirely random, but then others I think things work out the way they're supposed to...which suggests some sort of fate.

In other words, I'm not sure what I think. But it gave me a jolt, because if he had committed to Cancun, I don't imagine I'd have gone out with Nick, or anyway, I wouldn't have gotten myself all swept up...and now where would I be?

I think Nick is perfect for me, but I believe more in The 26 than in The One. But at this point, it's impossible for me to imagine my life any different than it is.

But it could have turned out any number of ways.

Life is random? Fate plays a role? Depends on the day?

What's your outlook?

Friday, November 05, 2010

Beeeeeeeeaaaah

This is Bear. Beah! Beah! Beeeeaaaaah!

Also, just over his shoulder you can see our fabulous alarm system. The one that alerts the alarm company, rather than being linked to a model of our house down at the police station.

Right.

So, Beah!

To be very honest, all stuffed animals are currently Bear. But two of them actually are bears. And the donkey, the penguin, and the not-quite-sure-what-it-is-so-I-call-him-Blue don't seem to mind.

This one is Jordan's favorite Bear.

I made Bear at a free Build-a-Bear station in the convention hall of the conference I went to in August. Steve, my conference husband, also has a son and he was all YES LISA GET IN LINE WE WANT FREE BEARS.

He was all about stocking up on free shit. The bears turned out to be awesome.

The weird little fan thingy water mister pen? Not as awesome.

So we stood in a long, long line and when it was my turn I was handed a bear. A very limp bear. With thread hanging off his back.

I was weighing whether to ask if I'd gotten a defective bear or to suck it up, because, free! when I realized that they start out half-stuffed. Part of the process is having them stuff your bear.

So they ram the bear onto a pipe attached to what looks like a huge concession popcorn stand. The stuffing fluffs around in this machine and shoots straight into the back of your bear.

It's kind of a violent-looking process, actually.

So while it's being stuffed, they have you pick a heart out of a bucket, ask you who the bear is for, and tell you to think of your son and make a wish for him and kiss the heart. Which they ultimately stick in the bear and then pull the threads and close him up.

In retrospect, I wish I'd said, "Me. I have a thing for bears." and made it all awkward.

However, I said, "Jordan, my son." And then got all teared up.

But back to the heart. Before closing up your bear, they have you do a bunch of stupid shit like touch it to your forehead with it so he's smart, touch your elbow so he's flexible, touch your knee so he needs you...

And I should've known then and there that I was sliding into a bad place.

Because I did all of this very sincerely. The forehead, the elbow, the knee, whatever other ridiculous shit they asked me to do. I was all, "I'm going to make him the Best Bear Ever!"

Whereas Steve was all rolling his eyes and muttering, "Oh Jesus Christ could they just give us the fucking free bear already?"

It wasn't until we were dressing our bears in the promotional shirts and sunglasses and guitars - seriously - and I turned to Steve and said, "What did you name yours?" that he was all, "Who ARE you and what have you done with Lisa?"

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Conversations with the lamp

Nick and I have opposite approaches to light.

He likes low lighting. He has several lamps with black shades. Two of them are kind of transparent fabric, and one of them is opaque, with gold inside for a warm glow.

He'll sit in a room with just a table lamp - the dark-shaded gold glowy one - for light.

Whereas I will walk into a room and immediately turn on all the lights, in the way that some people walk into a room and turn on the TV or music, because the absence of sound bothers them.

I can't live with out light. Bright, bright light. The brighter the better. Mood lighting for me means ALL THE LIGHTS ON.

Romantic, it is not.

We have the aforementioned table lamp, which is a table with a lamp built in, in the living room. It sits next to Nick's big red chair, and it's great, because Jordan can shake the table but there's no danger of the lamp falling off.

So this lamp, which has two bulbs with separate chains, has become kind of persnickety lately. One bulb will flicker, then go out. Then go on a few minutes later. It does this randomly and repeatedly.

You can adjust it and it'll stay out. Or it might come on immediately. And then go off. And then come on.

Which I decided was my dad messing with us. Personally, I really like this idea. It's along the lines of how I wonder if Jordan catches glimpses of him sometimes.

I told Nick about this, who said the more likely explanation is that he wired the lamp himself, and maybe the wiring is loose or something. So he tinkered with it over the weekend.

Last night, J was asleep, and I was reading in the living room. Nick is out of town, so it was really quiet, but in a nice way.

And the bulb started flickering. Off...on...off. So I asked, "Dad? Is that you?"

And no, I didn't get a flicker in the affirmative, which would've freaked me out. But in any case, I just started talking to my dad, telling him how much I missed him. I didn't expect to start crying, but there I was, sitting in that big red chair, crying, talking to the lamp.

I was really glad it was night and the curtains were closed.

Yes, OK, maybe it's wiring. But maybe it's not.

Do I sound crazy?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

You could make bank with a baby hotel and I know this because Jon Stewart gave Betty the flu


So, listen. This is not something I could ever do, because children, ew.

I mean, I love mine with all my heart. But other people's children? Are sticky. And screamy. And have boogersnots. And just ew.

Which is not to say that mine isn't and doesn't. He is and does. He's just, you know, mine.

But look at that little grub. He rolls in the dirty laundry every chance he gets.

So here's the deal: Betty went to the rally on Saturday with Maude's mom. And then yesterday morning she called us, too sick to come over and hang out with our progeny. She's got the flu. She still sounds terrible.

Nick was all, "She got it from one of the millions of people at the rally. She took metro. I bet she held onto the pole with her bare hand and then touched her nose."

I imagined this short video of hand to pole to nose playing over and over.

So Betty is sick-abed, and Nick couldn't stay home for more than a few hours yesterday morning. So I gathered material at the office and headed home. For what turns out to be the rest of the week.

But not before calling one of those emergency nanny services, who I thought I'd just hire for a couple days. This nearly made me pass out.

Because. Listen.

OK, yes, having your kid well cared for in a pinch? Priceless. Of course. Of course.

But if you want prices? Here's the breakdown.

Signing up to be a client for a year, which means you can call them at any time and they'll find you a nanny: $100. Daily fee if you schedule in advance: $35. This is per day, even if you're going to have the same person two days in a row. Then the nanny charges $16-20 per hour. She quotes her rate when she calls you. If it's too high for you, you are free to ask the agency for someone else.

Ready? This makes $170 to the agency. (Although to be fair, the $100 does last for the year.) Plus nanny fees ranging from $288-$360, depending on her hourly rate.

Total? Somewhere between $458-$520. For two days of care.

I'm not saying caregivers shouldn't be compensated. I just wasn't ready for the numbers.

So I headed into my boss's office and asked if I could take the next two days off. Or work from home while J is napping. I can get things done during his three-hour afternoon nap and at night.

My boss, who has kids and knows how it all goes and really just wants you to get your work done, said sure. Which is wonderful.

But if you didn't work at a family-friendly place? Or for someone understanding? Or make boatloads of cash?

You'd be screwed.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The walk of the frog


I know you might be all, oh ferchrissakes not more of the frog costume.

But that's what's on tap today. More of the frog. In motion. Me, I love this. I love it.

His mood improved dramatically when we took off the feet and put him down. Plus, look at the good walking!

Monday, November 01, 2010

You and me both, buddy

When you have a costume and a kid, even one too young for trick-or-treating, it's impossible to resist sticking one inside the other and heading out into the neighborhood.

He was fine with the costume, which I'd bought last year, even though by this point it was too short. But the feet, oh, the trauma of the feet.

He was all, "WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME WEAR THESE TERRIBLE FROG FEET?"

And I was all, "SO THAT IN 15 YEARS I CAN SHOW YOUR GIRLFRIENDS THE PICTURES."

Not really. Or maybe just kind of.

It was a not-stellar weekend for Jordan and me. He's been kind of needy and challenging and we'd been together just the two of us for too long in a row, and I was so over it. Nick was great, and spent a lot of time with J while I ate way too much Halloween candy and kind of hid.

J is at a point where he can say a bunch of things, which is great, but not everything, which is frustrating.

Like, he can say "more" - although it's "mo!" This is very helpful, and also cracks me up, and I just want to be all, "Mo? Fo shizzle?"

Yes, haha. So years-ago Snoop Dogg of me. Boy, am I going to mortify my son when he's a teenager.

But back to now. What I think he wants to say most is, "I want EVERYTHING my way! And whatever you're having, I want. NOW! And don't put me down! EVER!"

Things like that.

Because he makes a lot of what he wants clear, and then he screams when you don't do what he wants.

And saying, "I have to put you down because I can't make your dinner while holding you" doesn't exactly stop the shrieking.

Because he is still DOWN when he wants to be UP.

And me, I'm back to tired. I had a few good weeks where I was sure acupuncture was magic, and I was getting my energy back...and I'm back to pretty constant, flat-out exhaustion. And I'm so crabby. And impatient. And irritated.

What I've realized is this: I don't want to go away. I don't want a weekend away from my child. I want a weekend at home without my child.

Nick was kind of horrified when I said that it's too bad there aren't kid boarding places, kind of like how you can board your dog when you go out of town. Not that I would ever stick my kid in a kennel. Of course not. Even if they had them.

(And anyway, I was envisioning more of a kiddie hotel, really.)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

How to feel like a terrible mother

I'm currently hiding from my kid.

I brought a large glass of wine up to the bedroom and left Nick in the kitchen to struggle with the kid and the yogurt. And I just heard them head down the hall for a bath.

I should go help. And I just don't want to.

Because right now, everything is WHINE. And Nonononono! And WAAAAAAAH WHINE WAH HAH HAH. And WHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNEE

I would like to be one of those mothers who rises above, who is all, "Poor dear. He's frustrated because he can't express himself."

And instead I'm all, I wonder how long and how much effort it would take to put him in full-time day care? And if I work full time plus get a second job could we afford a nanny at night and on the weekends?

I hear the whiny screech for the 547th time in a day and I think, oh shutupshutupshutupshutup!

You know I love him so much. And he's still the cutest thing I've ever seen in my entire life.

But I kind of can't stand him right now.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Underwear dance party boots. Although I think I could wear them with leggings as well.

I took back those hurty little hellboxes.

By that I mean, I'm no longer the owner of fabulous leopard print heels.

Which makes me very sad, because one, I spent so much time justifying! And two, I need - NEED - some leopard in my life. And three, they made me tall! And four, I love hairy shoes.

I know they call it pony hair, although I don't understand why.

Years ago when I still had a good relationship with my sister-in-law, we were shopping and trying on pony hair shoes. I said I loved them but just couldn't bring myself to wear shoes that used to be parts of cute little ponies. She insisted they weren't actually pony bits, but rather cows.

So we had this big debate in the shoe section of Macy's, and she went and asked the shoe guy, who laughed out loud at her question.

They're not made of pony. They are in fact cow.

Anyway, I wore the hellboxes around the house for half an hour, much of it sitting with my feet up, admiring the glamour...and I realized that they were stiff and squinchy and just terribly uncomfortable. My feet were begging to be let out.

So I boxed them up, and marched them over to Nine West. They were all delighted and welcoming until I said I had a return, at which point they were polite-ish but kind of attitudey.

Which prompted me to be bitchfaced attitudey back. I get very pursed lips flared nostril glarey when people do that to me.

I was all, "Of course I have the receipt and go ahead and act like this is a huge effort and pointedly examine the soles because no, I haven't worn them, and the reason I'm returning them is because they're more uncomfortable than driving nails into the bottom of your feet and then riding Metro with a bunch of idiot tourists, fuckyouverymuch."

But the story ends well!

Because I realized that these lovely grey over-the-knee boots were totally on sale at Piperlime and also I found a 10% off code and so for under $20 I swapped the hurty hellboxes for some deliciously comfortable suede cutie boots.

With no guilt! Because most of the money was already spent on shoes anyway!

And now I'm trying to figure out what to wear them with. So far I've just been having an underwear dance party in them. Yes, that's what's going on above.

Don't judge. At least, not till you've walked a mile. With no pants.

In fact, maybe today will be a No More Pants kind of day.

So maybe just go ahead and judge.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cheddar cheese and anal glands. Not together.

I've been on a sharp cheddar cheese kick recently.

I'm one of those people who will pick something and have it over and over and over. Lately, I'm really craving Trader Joe's chocolate peanut butter pretzel thingies. And since now I get to TJ's almost never, I just have them on my mind. Daily.

But I do this with food all the time. I'll get on a Brussels sprouts kick, and have them every night for dinner for weeks. And then, it's on to the next thing.

I don't get bored. Until I do.

Also, every time I really like something at TJ's, they stop carrying it. I take it personally.

+++++

Maude was visiting this past weekend, and she wanted a cheese sandwich, and I asked what kind. I said we had a good cheddar, but we had a number of options.

And she replied, "Provolone. I've had a lot of cheddar in the last 10 years."

+++++

When Maude and I lived together, her mom gave us a pumpkin to carve. Which we never got around to doing.

So I cut it up and ate a piece. And bit by bit, over the week, I ate the whole damn pumpkin. Maude told people about it for years.

Also, I dislike pumpkin pie.

+++++

I don't know if you've ever had a dog who needed to have his or her anal glands squozen.

Gloria was one of those. When her anal glands got full, she'd scoot around on her butt. And then you'd take her off to the vet and they'd express them. That's what they called it. "Expressing the anal glands."

One time my dad decided to try it at home. How hard could it be? He was successful.

He never did it again.

Anyway, the vet told us to feed her a little bt of pumpkin every day to add fiber to her diet and help with the anal gland situation. It did.

+++++

I didn't have a plan when I sat down to write, and I'm actually kind of shocked that I started with cheese and ended up with anal glands.

I bet you're not, though, huh?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkins, poison, floorboards, and just basically more ways to get yourself arrested

I'm not a violent person, and I don't think I have anger issues, but sometimes I think some very terrible things.

Not just ha ha let's fling poo at people. No.

More like oh, what's a little murder here and there anyway.

Seriously.

It started when Nick suggested we have a pumpkin carving contest. And then he carved them both, since I'm not such a pumpkin carver.

Also, the inside of pumpkin gunk really grosses me out. Although Maude told me that the seeds are high in zinc and good things to feed men to improve their baby missiles. If that's up your alley.

No pun.

The second pumpkin is mine, and we both like it better. So basically, I win. Don't you think?

Anyway, more on-topic, we live in this urban neighborhood with a lot of post-bar foot traffic on weekend nights. So Nick didn't want to leave our pumpkins out front for drunken idiots to smash. Which I think is only smart.

But it got me thinking.

"What if you put poison all over your pumpkin and someone stole it and died? Could you get in trouble?"

"Yes."

"But why? If it was on your property?"

His explanation had something to do with using force out of proportion to the crime, if I recall correctly.

"But you could use rat poison. You could pretend you were just trying to kill neighborhood rats. And if someone stole it and died, well, that wasn't your intention."

"It's a pumpkin, Lisa."

He went on to say that people used to be jailed (or maybe it was put to death?) for hunting on a land owner's property. But then over time chattel property became less important and a higher value was put on human life and a lot of other details that I didn't really listen to but basically you can't shoot someone for breaking into your house.

And of course I am in favor of gun control, and I can't imagine actually shooting someone. Or more likely stabbing someone, as that's my constant refrain. But you'd have to be really close and strong and I just don't seem like a good stabber, you know?

Unless it were my husband and he was sleeping. But I haven't felt like doing since the PPD, I don't think.

So Nick gave the example of setting up a shotgun to shoot if the front door was opened. So if you weren't home and someone broke in, they'd be killed. Which apparently people have actually done.

And somehow, although I will never own a gun, I understand this.

"But you aren't actually shooting them yourself. And they're breaking in."

"You can't protect property with murder. It's not a good enough reason to kill someone."

"What you should do in that case is have rotting floorboards just inside the front door. And you keep them covered with carpets. And then the person who breaks in falls through to the basement and dies."

"What's up with you and the killing imaginary people?"

I don't know. I really don't.

Although, seriously, look at this: This guy in London moved out for a week for his house to be decorated, and squatters moved in and changed the locks.

Would that not make you violent?

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's all fun and cow farting until somebody winds up in jail

Perhaps you read the post on DCist last week about PETA and the farting cows?

PETA had announced they were going to blast cow fart noises outside of a DC steak house. A friend sent me the link, suggesting it was right up my alley.

Naturally, I replied that I thought it would be more effective if they had fart spray to go along with it. Don't you think?

To which she replied that maybe I could donate some of Jordan's used diapers, or some of the poo from our alley.

Which seems like the kind of thing that is never going to end well.

I'd call Nick and be all, "Hi. I'm in jail...Oh. Well, it all started because I donated some poo..."

I didn't. In case you're wondering.

Now, there are people that I wouldn't mind throwing poo at, but random meat-eaters are not among them. I'm not in favor of poor treatment of animals, but I'm also not a PETAer. They're a little extreme.

I realize this might sound odd coming from someone with a list of people I'd like to throw poo at. But it's a pretty short list.

More of a category list. I mean, there are some named people on there. But then there are rubrics - like "asshole drivers who cut you off" and things like that. Or maybe just "asshole drivers," really.

It would be so great to have a bag of poo and a catapult attached to the side of your car for those people. I know I'd find it really satisfying.

Although now that I'm thinking about it, that'd probably be another call from jail, huh?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ball! Boat! Hole! Hello 14 months!


You are now 14 months old, and boy, are you fun.

Exhausting, non-stop, but fun, so fun. Every day is a new surprise. Even though sometimes the surprise is a week-old half-filled milk bottle in a brass urn.

The urn in the video turns out to be your favorite place to put stuff. Dad saw a your dog's butt sticking out, decided to look in, and wow! Every ball and fish and block we couldn't find! Right there in one place!

I know everyone says babies grow so fast, and I was all, yah, of course, uh huh. But suddenly you're so barely a baby and so much a big boy! I still kiss you all over your face at every opportunity, because one day I won't be able to and I revel while I can.

Now you say so many words. Ball is still your favorite, as far as I can tell. A lot of days when you wake up, it's the first thing you say. "Ball!?"

Although it's more like baawww.

Oh, and also hi! Hi! Hiiii! And hot. Hot! Perennial favorites.

You've just added Nana to Mama and Dada. You now also regularly say: wall, uh-oh, boat, hole, and nose. Although they sound like: waaww, uh-oh!, boooh, hole said with a posh British accent minus the L, and noow.

I haven't heard them, but you also say "ear" and "dog." And when the downstairs dogs bark, you always stop whatever you're doing and bark along. Wooouw! Wooouw!

The fact that you say hole is kind of random and funny, and if we didn't live in an old house with holes in the floor, you probably wouldn't.

But we had these holes in the wood, and you liked to put your fingers in them. And then one day, Dad drilled them into perfect circles, cut up a dowel, and filled the holes. This rocked your little world.

They are, however, still holes to you. You will point to and poke at them and say, "Heowwwww." If anyone ever had a need for a tour of the historic holes of the house, you'd be up for the task.

You're very chatty, and you look at people, point to something, and say things like, "Juhjuhjuhjuhjuh!" and "Leeedleleedleleedlelee!"

You still prefer to crawl, and you crawl like lightening, but you're getting more confident in your steps. You also still stick every damn thing in your mouth, and I'll tell you, I'm going to be really excited when that passes.

Not surprisingly, you hate the cold wipes on your butt, and you really protest them. Hell, I would too. But the only plug for the wipe warmer is behind your crib, which could only lead to disaster. Sorry for the cold ass wipings, little friend.

OH! And you also say butt paste! "Bah pa!" You're pretty delighted with yourself on that one.

I love seeing your sweet little pink face first thing in the morning. You're such a happy fellow, and you wake up smiling and giggling, which makes us do the same.

I love you love you love you.

Mama

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nick likes to call it a jab well done

I've become kind of like a reformed smoker.

And by that I mean this: After months and months of not sleeping, or sleeping poorly, of waking up at 4 am, of having random night sweats...I started getting acupuncture. She also has me drinking an herbal concoction, which tastes like carpet backing, or anyway, what I imagine carpet backing to taste like.

Anyway.

So I spent all those months exhausted and dragging and just scraping through each and every day, waiting to sleep. And waking unrefreshed and starting over.

I contacted my OB and an acupuncturist, and started the acupuncture just before going in for blood tests. All of which came back normal.

And if I'd not already started feeling better from the acupuncture treatment, I'd have railed against the "normal" diagnosis, because nothing was normal. Something was clearly off.

Which leads to my reformed smokerness. Because now, now I want everyone to get acupuncture.

I am like this, I know. I love it! Here, have some! You'll love it too!

But really, when you don't sleep for a long time and then you suddenly start sleeping, all night, for nights in a row, it is seriously like Kansas to Oz. It's like unicorns and puppies and magic dipped in chocolate and slathered on rainbows.

Or maybe not exactly, because they might drown in the chocolate plus you'd have to smoosh them to get them to stick to the rainbow, which sounds rather violent and brutal. But you know what I'm saying.

My world improved immensely in a matter of weeks.

And then last night, J woke up sobbing at 4:30 am. Nick is gone, so I wasn't sleeping all that well anyway. So I got up to comfort him, and then went back to bed, but I was awake. Awakey awake.

You know that terrible little awakey dance you do in those early dark hours? When you want to be asleep, but you're awake, but hopeful that if you lie very still you'll soon be asleep?

I don't know about you, but I'm all:

I'm hot under the covers. But I can't kick them off because the air in the room is really chilly. But I could just stick one leg out. That'll cool me down. But what if I get too cold and then I have to wait to warm up before I go to sleep?

I'll just lie very still and hope to cool down.

I have to pee. But not terribly. But I'd be more likely to fall back asleep with an empty bladder. But if I get up to pee, I have to walk down the hall. I might step on a bug, so I'll have to turn on a light. And then if I turn on a light, it'll wake me up more.

I'll stay in bed.

I'm thirsty. But if I have another sip of water, it'll make me have to pee more. But I hate being thirsty. I can't fall asleep thirsty. But if I finish the water, then I won't fall asleep because I'll worry that I'll wake up thirsty again and then I'll definitely have to go downstairs to get more.

Also, my friend Jennifer in junior high, did she like Stacy more than me?

And is that a normal noise? Or a not-normal noise?

Shit like this. It goes on for about an hour.

And then you finally get up, turn on the light against bugs and noises, pee, get water, cool yourself down in the process, get back in bed, and sleep. You should've just gotten up a damn hour ago.

See why I'm all out proselytizing about the acupuncture and the magic and the non-smoking unicorns?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I am an American aquarium drinker


Hi. My name is Lisa, and I fell into a hole for a few days.

And then all these nice hands reached in and helped me climb out.

It wasn't one of those deep deep holes where the sides are worn down from years of sliding and you can't get a finger hold to scratch your way up towards daylight without some serious help. And everything is all crazy and swirly and awful. No, it wasn't one of those.

Thankfully.

It was, if I have to be honest, more of a grump-hole.
I turn out to be kind of a delicate flower, despite my good Viking ancestry and hearty prairie farmer genes. And sometimes I just fall into a hole. Or dig my own. And stomp around in it.

And so, after a wonderful weekend and a fancy-schmancy wedding and too much wine and not enough sleep, there was this hole, just waiting for me to stumble in.

So I sat around in this pit of meaningless pointlessness, and wallowed in how meaninglessly pointless my life is, and how it doesn't matter and I don't matter and who cares anyway and oh whatever.

I could go on like this (and I assure you, I did) but you get the gist.

It might have passed in a few days or so anyway, or it could've hung around for a week or two, like the meainglesspointlessness likes to do, but in the midst of my I'm-so-pointless and-nothing-I-do-is-remotely-important-and-who-cares...you all were like, um, WE care. YOU matter and we care.

It warmed the cockles of my grumpy little wallowing in pointlessness heart. (And what are heart cockles?)

So I stood up, climbed out, and reminded myself that I might not do anything that changes the world, but really, I'm not a huge fan of humanity anyway.

I mean, I like, love, and adore lots of people - you among them. And I don't wish people ill (or at any rate, not more than a handful). But when have I ever been out to save the world? OK, there was that stint in the Peace Corps, but I kind of sucked at it. Yes, there were unhelpful circumstances, like being in love with a gay boyfriend, and also probably being clinically depressed. But I did hate it.

Like I said, I'm not a world saver.

Also, I'm not a stick-to-the-point-er. What is my point?

Um. I'm pretty sure it was going to be this: I need to matter, and you make me feel like I do. I'm so pleased and flattered that you care about me and my little family and this space I've created.

I can't promise I won't fall in another hole, because I'm a physical and metaphorical faller. But you seem to really like me anyway.

So, once again, I need to thank you. Because you make me smile and you care about me and you're such a good part of my world.

Plus, while I'm on the falling topic, I'm also a dropper. Because to be very candid with you, just now, at lunchtime, I dropped my opened can of tuna, thus dousing myself in oil, getting it all over the floor, and cutting my hand in the process.

Bonus: I get to spend the afternoon smelling like tuna.

Hi.