Wednesday, June 30, 2010

High school reunion dresses: Colors! And way more life history than you bargained for.

This is even less apples to apples than yesterday, as these photos span years, events, and hairstyles.

But consistency is tedious. Also, there's a good reason.

Last night we got a call with the news of the death of a very dear family friend. I don't have the emotional energy to write about it at the moment, plus thinking about it makes me cry. Nick took Betty to their house while I stayed home with J, and they were there all evening.

I started looking through photos, because she was at our wedding. Her husband, in fact, became a sham Internet minister to marry us. This of course led to looking at photos with my dad in them, and onward to other events and happy times.

It was cathartic, actually.

And in the process of looking, it dawned on me - these are the dresses! I've had them forever and worn them 54 million times! While I have different hair, I'm the same size, and actually a little fitter now than in some of these photos.

Favorite brown dress front:

So, confession, this is a tarty picture not taken by Nick, BUT if you walk into the lobby of the W in New Orleans and they have this bordello-y couch, how can you not fling yourself on it? In fact, I was really wishing I had minions to feed me grapes. Wouldn't you?
Also, this is the only picture I have of these shoes, I think. The truth is, they aren't the comfiest, but I could wear them all night if they were the right shoe for the job.

FBD back:

Answering the door for dad as he arrived to get dressed for my wedding.
Red dress 1:

I wore this to my brother's wedding reception. I know I look like a snob but I was just nervous.
It's linen and I love the little ribbon tie. I wore it with little strappy black shoes I no longer own. So I think I would wear it with gold or silver sandals??

Perhaps I'll photograph shoe options tonight. And jewelry! Betty's awesome (and now mine!) jewelry!

RD 2:

Same as FBD above. Seriously one of the comfiest dresses I have ever ever owned. It's like being naked but being able to go out in public without anyone batting an eye.

I don't know what shoes I'd wear.
Silver dress:

This drape in the front of this dress is great, and the back is totally bare. Plus, I love anything metallic and prettyshinysparkly.

I bought it for Maude's wedding, and then wore it for Tej's rehearsal dinner. And actually, then to my rehearsal dinner - and actually, there's a shot of the back during that dinner.

Does it make me pale? Or is that just in contrast to Tej's lovely coloring? And doesn't she look stunning?
The whole crew was in the photo I cropped below, and it's like looking at a former life. Chuck is still alive, and there with his wife. David and his wife are there. Tej is not yet married. None of us but Chuck have kids.

I'm one of maybe three single people at the wedding, and I don't know if you can tell from my face, but all weekend I was smiling for the camera while tamping down that sick stomach panic all, "FML. I am so going to die alone."
Shiny flowery dress:

This might be my favorite neckline. I also love that it's a kind of bizarro color and there's no chance of walking into a room and being all, oh, same dress. Huh.

You can't exactly see the huge hoop earrings, but sort of. They were Betty's and she passed them on to me. But I don't know that I can pull them off with the shorty short hair now.

Also also - WHY did I cut and bleach the crap out of my hair? I like this hair here.
Happy shiny people:

You can kind of see the waist and part of the skirt. It comes to the knee. We accosted strangers at the FDR Memorial to take our picture where we got engaged.
AND the BD2 full-length bathroom shot:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

High school reunion dresses 1, 2, and 3

The good news: my husband thinks I'm hot. The bad news: I look tarty in most of his photos.

Also, frivolity warning. If you're looking for anything besides fluff this week, read no further. Likelihood is that it's going to be dresses, shoes, and accessories til Friday.

Whee!

Because if you know me, you know that I could spend all my time talking about these things.

For those of you still with me: I'm shopping my closet and choosing dresses for two nights. I don't need to get all dressy, but I want to. Also, I use far too many colons in this post.

(I accidentally typed fart oo many colons. And HAHAHAHAHA.) Anyway.

So in our house I have three photography options.

1. Take photos of myself in the mirror. Upside: I pose the way I want. Downside: toilet in the background.

2. Ask Betty to take my picture. She is a dear, lovely woman with good design sense, but will invariably cut off the top of your head. (Sorry, Mama, but it's true.)

3. Ask Nick. He takes wonderful pictures. Of other people. Of his wife? Lots of focus on bare body bits. Not so much the dresses.

So, here are the first three options. (Yes. There are A Lot More.)

Back of black dress 1 with shockingly comfortable S&M shoes (BD1+S&M):
Front of BD1:
BD 2 back - the coolest part of this awesome Diane von Furstenburg dress that I got at a consignement store in Princeton for $50:
BD 2 front and take the fucking picture already:
Blue dress with super comf gold platforms (BLD+GP):
The front and black of the blue dress are the same. You can't tell but it's kind of Grecian and drapey.

I realize there's no comparing apples to apples with these pics because "Oh, zzzzzzzz," according to the photographer. Also, by the third dress and 50 millionth picture, I was getting kind of antsy. As evinced by my pseudo-Bharatanatyam.

Pros of BD1: Super stretchy and comfy and boob-supportive, plus I love the criss-crossy back. No cons that I can think of.

Pros of BD2: I LOVE the back. And the front. It drapes so nicely. Cons: You can see my boobs if I bend over.

Pros of Blue dress: Comfy, floaty, and I can wear the gold platforms with it (I think? Can I?). Cons: The top is a wee bit loose and there seems to be no way to wear a bra. Potential girls peeking out incident.

I've got several more dress options for tomorrow. Not sure if I'll be posing with the toilet, with my head cut off, or if there's more trampiness to follow.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Like Maaaamaaa, like baaaaby

Some of the best moments of my entire day are when I cuddle my sweetie boy before he goes to sleep.

He sticks his little pink thumb in his mouth, lays his head on my chest, lets out a big sigh, and I can feel his whole body relax against me. He tucks his head under my chin, and his soft little blond chick hairs tickle my skin.

Sometimes I have to will my heart back down to my chest and stifle a joygiggle, it just makes me so happy.

Whether it's morning or afternoon nap or going to sleep for the night, I hum "Lullaby and Goodnight."

So lately, Jordan has started humming along. At first I thought it was coincidence. But he strikes up when I do, and is quiet when I am. I love it so much.

What I realized earlier today, though, is that he carries a tune about as well as I do.

Poor little feller.

HmmmHHMMhmmm MMMMMMhhaaaaaaAAAA MMMHHMMMmmmMMM MMMmm M MMMmmmmHHMM

MMMaaaaHHHHAHaahha MMhahm HAMMmmmaahhha ahhaaa Mahhhhammmaa

And there we are, humming our little hearts out, two injured farm animals, stuck in a fence.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Argentina vs. Mexico. As we vie for parents of the year

It's not that we love soccer so much; it's more that it's really damn hot. And we like beer.

J cheers for the winning team!
video

I know, I know, we're not winning any parents of the year award for baby in a bar. But they have fish! In tanks! (And grilled cheese! On plates!)
That mitigates it, don't you think?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Which gets added to the long list of reasons why a dog is exactly what we need. Also, I totally recommend hairspray.

I tend to divide the world into two camps: people who can deal with bugs and people who cannot.

OK, fine. I divide the world in other ways too. But I bet you are or you aren't.

No?

Despite having grown up in countries with cockroaches the size of small children, I fall into the latter category. I whimper. I jump up and down. I get all ishy foo foo (and thank you, Connie, for the excellent maybe-Minnesota expression). I either run or fight the urge mightily.

I call shrilly and desperately for my mama, if she's anywhere nearby. She's one of those deal-with-bug-ers.

So last night, with no Betty and no Nick anywhere within miles, I saw one of those creepy beigey hairy leggy crawly insecty things marching down the hall. Nick calls them silverfish, although I feel like these have a lot more wavy things waving off of them than the silverfish with which I am familiar.

Plus, as pictured above, this one had fangs and utensils.

So this creepy wavy dude was making his way down the hall towards the bedroom. He stopped halfway, sort of against the wall, and I leaped over and past him, into our room.

I looked around frantically for something toxic, but it turns out that we don't even own Raid, much less keep a can next to the bed.

So weird, huh?

The time I encountered a cockroach I hairsprayed the shit out of it. And then I covered it with a lot of paper towels and left the house and called Nick.

Nick later asked me to Please Never Do That Again. It turns out to be horrendously hard to get rid of a bug that's been firmly affixed to the floor.

More ishy foo foo.

So then I saw the squeeze bottle of Purell! I squoze. And then I covered it with a lot of kleenex. But then it seemed like it might have survived. So I had to flatten it. Because unlike with the hairspray, I couldn't be certain it wouldn't escape.

Just writing it makes me all twitchy squeamy goosebumpish.

But it makes me less twitchy squeamy than the idea of going to bed with it all waving its creepy leggy fronds around and marching towards the bedroom.

Because you know Nick would come home and our baby would've been eaten by a potential silverfish on steroids. And it would be all my fault.

Actually, it would be his fault. Because raccoons have opposable thumbs and God knows when one might disable the alarm, pick the lock, open the door, and saunter down the hall and untie our shoelaces and give us rabies and plus our old house has creaky ghosts - Nick calls this "settling" but Betty says they're ghosts for sure, and she likes them - and creepy crawlies.

And now that I'm not allowed to use hairspray, plus I'm sure it wouldn't work on raccoons or ghosts, I think the only reasonable answer is a dog.

Don't you think?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Learning opportunities and counting down and eighties and yay!

Jordan is sound asleep and for the moment I'm all alone in the sunny quiet.

It's kind of perfect.

My in-laws just left. We had a very nice visit, with only a few dicey moments.

Like, the day McChrystal got fired - because you know, if you work for as huge an asshole he did, you shouldn't be expected to keep your mouth shut. Because everybody knows what an asshole our current president is.

Learning opportunity: You can choose to be stabby or you can act like you have to pee. And then you can go upstairs and check your email for 10-15 minutes. Nobody is going to ask you if you were constipated when you return.

There was a lot of wine. I started pouring pretty much the minute I got home. It just softened all the pointy edges. I didn't hesitate to keep it pouring.

Learning opportunity: Alcohol is a nice little product in almost every social situation. And the more of it the better in the stressful ones.

Nick leaves this evening for a quick overnight trip. While of course I'm going to miss him, I am so excited to eat dinner all by myself and not make any conversation. Seriously, I'm going to have pasta with maybe a little olive oil and salt and steamed broccoli and maybe read a magazine.

No butter. No cheese. No flour. No cream. No bacon. No ice cream.

None of those are bad on their own or even in some kind of remote moderation. But all together in the same meal, every meal, makes me twitch.

Learning opportunity (ahem, husband): When you can see your arteries hardening and your stomach expanding, it's time to detox.

Also, when you have a pending high school reunion, the last thing you want to be doing is gaining five pounds. No. You want to be as skinny as possible.

Because, you guys, my high school reunion is next weekend!

I've been emailing with two of my dear high school friends, one of whom I haven't seen in a kabillion years, who are coming to stay with us the end of next week. I am so excited!

In fact, now that I think about it, I might subject you to a number of potential reunion outfits - dresses, shoes, accessories, the works. It's not national security decisions, but rather, the kind of frivolity I completely love.

If you're up for it, of course.

Actually, even if you're not. Cause I'm Billy Jean and I'm mad as hell. I'm a woman with a story to tell...OK, I'm not really. I'm Chaka Khan, let me rock you...

Which also reminds me. I need to make 80s playlists! I might solicit your opinions on that as well.

Seriously, you all, I cannot fucking wait.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mammaries, all alone in the moonlight

So last week at the crack of dawn, and through no action of my own, I got my ornamental little cupcakes back.

Maybe you are wondering what the hell this has to do with the roast pig. And what cupcakes?

Bear with me.

You know how I'd been going on and on about how Jordan got teeth and I was going to cut him off and that was that and I want my body back and la la la la la?

I was so full of it. I just couldn't do it.

The truth is, he cut back. Once he started really moving, the idea of sitting still long enough to nurse was just unbearable for him.

You can chase a kid around with a bottle. Not so much with your boobs.

So daytime nursings on my days off went out the window. He was still cool with it first thing in the morning and before he went to bed. Which were the best snuggle times anyway.

And then he just stopped being into the nighttime boobfest.

We were down to first thing in the morning. Which was very convenient, because you can still be mostly asleep at 5 am with the nursing. The staggering downstairs to make a bottle? Much more awakey, I've discovered.

And then last week, last week he was just like, "Yeah, no thanks. But what are those? I've never really taken a good look!" Flick! Flick! "And now I think I'll try to twist them like little pink radio dials."

Which was when Mama put them away for good. I knew we were really done.

But the pig!

So here's how the pig figures in. In case you actually want to know.

Have you ever given any thought to the term "suckling pig"?

I never had.

And then one day I looked down at my little boy, and I thought, holy crap! Suckling pig! Is a pig who is still nursing! And they pull him away from his pigmama and conk him over the head (I think) and stick him on a spit and everyone is all, oh, tender!

I asked one of my friends at the pig roast who said yes, absolutely! Suckling pig is the veal of pork!

Gah!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Perils of semi-non-anonymous personal blogging

Yesterday and the intersection of life and dating and personal blogging got me thinking about something I didn't dare share with you at the time.

Mainly because I thought, what if he's now checking my blog to see if I write about this? And then he gets mad and it gets all terrible?

But I think enough time has passed that I've likely been long forgotten.

So.

Way back in the fall of 2007, I went on an extremely awkward date and I wrote about it.

Nothing unusual there, as we all know.

And then, nearly a year later, DC Blogs very kindly linked to this post about how my husband said he loved me more than I loved him.

Really, it was about ear hair more than love.

Anyway. I was all flattered, and oh, wow, they like me! And yes, honey, I do love you tremendously but for God'ssakethedreadearhair!

And then the next day I got an email from a guy whose name sounded vaguely familiar...

Who, in a nutshell, said: I clicked on an interesting-sounding link on DC Blogs. And the picture in the sidebar looked familiar. So I searched my email for Lisa, and realized we had gone on a date, and then wondered if you'd written about it...

Of course my stomach kind of froze. Because I knew exactly who this was and what I'd written.

(And also, really? Am I that recognizable through scarf and dark glasses? So much for International Woman of Mystery.)

He went on to say that he discovered he was, and I quote, "mr. can't talk about the weather but not a d*ck!!!" He added that the post was very entertaining, and that he didn't think he was an awkward conversationalist, but who knows.

So I thought, oh, relief. He's not angry. And maybe he wasn't as awkward as I'd remembered.

Until I read the PS: "I'm involved, so this is not an attempt at a date."

I believe that's all there is to say about that.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

When what I really need is an invisibility cloak. Or my own personal censor.

As those of you who know me know: I tend to think I'm invisible in public. I'm always shocked when people recognize me.

Also, I went on a lot of dates when I was single.

A lot lot lot.

Like, sometimes four dates a week. Friends said I effectively went on at least one date with every single guy in my zip code. And a few outside it. Lawyers, nearly all.

And except for the few I pined over, I generally blogged about them, charged forward, and got on with life. Which has been busy over the last couple years, as you know.

So last week I got an email from a guy I'd gone out with a number of times several years ago. The one I made very uncomfortable by pretty much demanding he tell me five things he liked about me.

Because I am graceful and charming like that.

Shocking I was single for so long, no? Just be nice and agree, if you would.

So the email. He was leaving his law firm. It was a mass thank you, nice to have worked with you, here's my new contact info kind of email.

I replied, saying the message clearly wasn't meant for me, but I was glad to know he was well. We have mutual friends, and I said I'd heard he was married, and congratulations.

He replied and said he'd heard the same of me, congratulations. And also, he'd recently seen a video of me in a demonstration in Dupont, so he saw that I have a child, and congrats on that as well.

And then I just thought, oh thank goodness I'm married. To someone who is fine with things like Boobquake. Because while I don't get out as much, it's like I maximize my say-and-do-inane-things time while I am out.

Now I no longer live in fear that someone I've gone on a couple dates with will find the blog/see me falling into a hole on the sidewalk/hear about that time I took off my clothes in public/God knows what else.

I mean, they might, and they might judge me. But I'm no longer seeking their approval.

(And why the fuck was I in the first place, really?)

But with this I do wonder how many men saw that video and were like, "Hey, I went on a date with that woman! And she got herself married! If I ever meet him, I'm totally buying him some shots. I bet he needs them."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A cardinal number, nine plus one


Today my big little steamrolling handful, today you are ten months old.

This last month has just been huge.

About a week ago you started crawling. And now you crawl like the devil is chasing you.

You've also started standing up, although you still do the toe-point thing. And while that's helpful in ballet, it hampers you in the balance department. But still, you pull up and stand at every opportunity.

We got you an inflatable pool and you splash and crawl furiously around the inside perimeter. You also spend a lot of time flattening the sides and patting the ground and reaching for things just outside your grasp.

Wherever you are is not as interesting as where you might be.

I'd say you've inherited this grass-is-greener attitude from me, but for one thing: Being a city baby, you have very little contact with it. And when you do, you freak out. Grass is creepy.

And you notice everything. Everything.

I painted my toenails blue during your nap yesterday. When I picked you up, you looked down, and did that bulgy-eyed "the hell?" thing that you do when something is new. And then you insisted on feeling them.

You kind of suck in the eating department lately. You spend a lot more time slapping the spoon away and banging the tray than you do eating.

You like Cheerios, but you're suspicious of just about everything other finger food we put on your tray. Cheese, for example? Weird.

Cheese in a jar, though? Yum. Don't tell Dad I let you try some yesterday. I think the Costco lady was a little surprised.

But! On a positive food note!
video

We've discovered that you love, absolutely love, pupusas and tamales. You will share them with Dad but you can also eat them all by yourself and oh, rapture! You shove the bits in your mouth by the fistful.

You often say "Mama!" when you see me in the morning or when I come home at night, which makes me certain you know I'm Mama. But then sometimes you say it to the rug or the bottle or the ball, and then I'm not so sure.

You move a million miles a minute and you make us very tired. But you're the biggest joy in our world, and it just keeps getting better.

I love you like crazy. Like a million crazies. Um, that doesn't sound the way I mean it. But you know what I mean.

Love,

Mama

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday frippery

1. No sense of direction: Our Alice's little face stopped working today. We were in Chantilly. She got us there and then her little face just froze. It was a panic. By it I mean me. I don't know if you can fix a GPS or if you just have to buy a new one.

2. Betty goes to Vermont: We took Betty to Dulles to visit Maude's parents. In Vermont, I mean. They don't live at Dulles. They're hosting a Peace Corps reunion - all these people who volunteered in Afghanistan in the early 60s! How cool is that?

3. Costco, uh-gain: We were actually in Chantilly because Jordan needed formula and it is dramatically cheaper to get it in a 50-gallon drum from Costco. I'd never been to Chantilly. It's conveniently located near Dulles. That is, if Dulles is convenient to you. Is all I'm saying.

4.a. Cheese in a jar: While shopping, I was handed a sample of tortilla chips covered with that cheese in a jar. I LOVE cheese in a jar. I hate that this is true.

4.b. The cheese of my father: Costco sells this nice cheese called Comté that my dad once bought, among other cheeses, for a party I was having. A friend asked me about the yummy cheese and I asked, to clarify, "The cheese of my father?" And thus it is. I recommend it.

5. Accent marks: How do you make accent marks on a MacBook? I had to copy the one above and paste it. Because of course the cheese of my father needed an accent aigu.

6. Summer toes: Sephora has the happiest blue nail polish in an itty-bitty bottle. They also have the exact orange I needed in their OPI collection. I feel like bright oranges and blues are the perfect summer nail colors.

7. Templates and backgrounds: You know I'm not a designer, and I have no idea what the hell I'm doing, but it's kind of fun. So please bear with me.

In case I suddenly seem schizophrenic

Playing with templates. It might be 54 different designs over the next several days.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It all started with the third season of Mad Men, if I'm going to be honest about it.

It may come as no surprise to you that I have a visceral reaction to just about everything.

I get very invested. My heart can be broken in the span of two popcorn- and soda-filled hours. I don't watch scary movies because I hate the heart-pounding anxiety they provoke.

Turns out that not everyone has physical reactions to things they watch. Huh.

So anyway, I can't really blame the Drapers. Because they were just the trigger, in the same way that you might hear about friends who have been married forever having problems or an affair and that causes you to examine your own relationship critically.

Recognizing, of course, that they're not our friends. They would suck as friends.

And, um, that they're make-believe. Because it's television.

Although if we were friends, I would love to borrow some of Betty's clothing. Her make-believe clothing, of course.

So.

So our non-friends Don and Betty went off to Rome and had this fabulous weekend together and it was all romantic and flirty and perfect and lovely. It made me so hopeful for them. And then they came back and he gave her a charm for her bracelet.

And she was all, "Great. Now I've got a memory of one trip to Rome and here we are stuck in the same old and it sucks and life is just life and whatever."

I'm paraphrasing, obviously.

But Nick turned and looked at me.

"What?"

"It's uncanny."

I knew, I knew what he meant.

"What? We haven't been to Rome together. In fact, who knows if I'll ever make it back there?"

"Exactly."

And then last Saturday night we watched the penultimate episode, and when it ended, I wanted to watch the last one. Because, you know, it was the weekend, and it was only 10:30. We should live it up.

And Nick said, "It's 10:30."

"It's the weekend!"

"OK. We can stay up. If you'll get up with Jordan tomorrow morning, we can watch another. If we go to bed now, I'll get up with him."

I had to give it some serious thought. Because 5:00 am arrives fast. And it sucks.

"Fine. Fine. Have it your way. We'll go to bed."

"OK."

"And now we'll never know what happens."

I don't just say these things for dramatic effect. In the moment, I really feel them. I will die never having returned to Rome and now we're never going to know how the season ends.

And it's always going to be like this forever and ever.

"Right, Lisa. Until tomorrow night. When we watch it and find out what happens."

"Whatever. We never get to have fun. We haven't had fun since our honeymoon..."

And you know where it went from there.

Thanks, Drapers.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The voice of authority and fried chicken and Christmas


A friend of mine asked if I realize that when I relay conversations with Nick, I make him sound very authoritative.

The truth is, well, the truth is two-fold.

One, it's true that I see him as much more of a grown-up than me.

He's so big, and he has this really deep voice. He has a southern accent, and he often phrases things in a rather proper way. He wears suits on a regular basis. He makes big decisions without hesitating.

This is not to say that being little with a high voice and not wearing suits and sometimes having trouble deciding which cute dress to wear with which platform shoes today make me juvenile. I've always done a good job at work and paid my bills on time. If those are marks of grown-upitude.

But if you had to choose the more adult of the two, I bet you'd pick Nick.

(Pick Nick. Heh heh.)

Furthermore, he has quite formal taste in furniture. Our living room is his old living room, just transplanted, plus a few pieces of Asian art. One of our friends who previously thought the house was creepy and scary walked in and said, "Wow, your house is so grown up!"

Which is exactly what I thought the first time I saw Nick's place.

He's also very very anal organized. He does grown-uppy things like get his car serviced on time, and change air filters, and all these responsible maintenance things that my dad used to do for me, and left to my own devices I avoid as long as possible and generally suck at doing on a regular schedule.

Plus, he's often the voice of reason when I want to do things like dip my toes in the lobby fish pond. He would never get drunk and stick butter on a stranger's nose. Which, of course, I would never do either. Anymore. Probably.

And like he said, he went to work and I went to Boobquake.

So it's true that I do make him sound like the voice of authority. When I'm talking to others.

When I'm quoting him back to himself, however, it turns out I make him sound like a cross between Colonel Sanders and Santa Clause.

Not appreciated.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The point

In case you can't tell from the title, this is one of those existential crisis-y kinds of posts. So if you're looking for funny, it's not me today.

I'm not on a ledge, so don't fret. I'm just, well, here you have it:

What, I wonder, is the point?

Nick and I were talking about this the other night. We are wired so differently, which is fortunate. Because I get all kinds of what's the pointy? and if he did, too, well, I can just imagine it might be a bad hole to try and dig out of.

Because by the time I articulated it, I'd had my shovel out for a while and was halfway to China.

Fortunately, the tunnel has great accoustics.

I said, "You know, we haven't had fun - I mean really had fun - since our honeymoon."

"That's not true."

"When? When have we had fun?"

He thought about it. "We had fun on our anniversary."

"In November."

"We had fun that one night with the wine on the sidewalk with the French neighbors."

"And the next day was hell."

I love Nick, I love Jordan, I love my mom. I feel lucky for where we live, that we're healthy, that we have good jobs and a nice house.

We talk, we laugh, we enjoy each other's company. (And is that where the apostrophe goes? Or is it after the S in others? This is one of those things I never know.)

I recognize these are not things to take for granted.

And I don't even know that I'm complaining. I'm not miserable, or even necessarily unhappy.

I'm just wondering if this is all there is?

Is it always just the same thing over and over and over? We'll work, we'll work on the house, we'll take care of the kid. We'll try to keep building a good life for him. We'll try to rejoice in the moments.

Perhaps I lack the presence and grace to celebrate the moments. Perhaps this is the problem.

We all recognize that last year was brutal. Nobody denies or questions that.

So maybe we'll take a vacation this fall. Or not, depending on money and time. Maybe next year or the following.

And then we'll come back to our same old lives. And they'll be the same, or maybe a little different. And we'll be the same, or maybe a little different.

Over and over and over.

And I wonder, is there a point? Does there need to be?

Monday, June 14, 2010

The mantra rug, jeans babies, and the busy business of mamama eeeeee thump up! down! bang blam here! there! blam! In other words: send liquor.

I'm going to start by reminding you how much I love my son.
Also, I put this rug in his room. For me.

But you know I love him more than my life, right? And that I would do anything for him?

I would never actually toss him out a window, or hand him to a passer-by, in the same way that I would never actually stab Nick. Even though I mention doing so on a regular basis. You know this.

Right?

Plus, on the whole he is happy and smiley and sweet and charming and he makes me laugh and I squeeze on him and kiss him approximately 956 times a day.

So when I tell you that lately in addition to all that, he's being kind of an asshole and driving me up the fucking wall, I trust you'll understand that I realize he's a baby and not an asshole and I'm not actually resorting to baby window tossing or giving away and you won't call Child Protective Services.

Just so we're clear.

Also please forgive any possible run-on sentences. I'm tired and cranky and did I mention tired and that my kid is kind of pushing me to the frazzled ends of my little rope?

So I am never around babies, because: 1. I avoided most of them like the plague before I had one, and 2. I generally suck at organizing play dates.

And since I love to generalize, I just assume most babies are probably like mine. No?

NO.

My friend Karen came over last Friday with her daughter Summer, who is six weeks older than J. I don't know if you gender differences play a role, but I was really struck by how much calmer and gentler her daughter is.

We celebrated managing to get together with tea and Jeans Diaper Dance Party 2010.

While Karen changed her, Summer kicked back and was all, "Cool, a dry diaper! Thanks, mom!"

She made some kind of adorable little cooing noise.

Whereas Jordan did his typical clutching at the side rails for dear life and wailing and flailing and generally behaving as if the changing pad is covered in acid and nooooo not another toy to hold and please God, please grant him the dexterity to scale the wall and escape.

Finally I got the diaper on and put him on the floor and he was all, "Awesome! Now Summer, let me show you these amazing drawer pulls. One day I'll be strong enough to pull and the contents of the drawer will be MINE! To strew about! Mhahahahahaha!"Summer sat on the carpet near her mom and watched. While J bounced off every single wall we have and pulled out all his toys and generally caused as much chaos as possible.

And then she stood up and raised her little arms so her mom would pick her up.

While J raised his arms for up, and then as soon as I picked him up he was all nooooo fllooooor is so much more interesting and down down is where I want to be!

Because you see when he is down UP! Up is where he wants except he'd also like to be THERE! Until he is THERE and then here - wherever here is - is far preferable.

And so we are up!ing! and down!ing! and busybusybusy!

(Also the extra !s are for emphasis and I don't actually speak Xhosa. Although I do think it would be really cool to speak a click language.)

All the while I'm eying Summer, who is making cute noises and gently picking up one toy after another and examining and playing quietly. And watching politely while my little hurricane is grabbing toys, pounding the floor, and being all bang! Blam! Bang! This one goes to eleven!

In this picture we're at the end of our date. You can see Summer is kind of like, "Oh, thank you so much for having us over. I've enjoyed it immensely and your son has a certain charm and now I'm tired."

While my little rocket scientist is all, "I can't believe you're interrupting my BANG THUMP busy business for a picture! Don't you know how many more bells and whistles and BAM BANG BANG THUMP I need to demonstrate before they leave?"
It's like I said: send liquor.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe? A Friday poll

I realized as I was pulling out shirts for the jeans diaper debut that I was browsing through the Breakfast Club.

And then J went back to sleep, and I'm left planning today's wardrobe without him. What? My current alternatives are unloading the dishwasher and starting laundry.

So. With the jeans diapers, his best look might be:

A. Athlete
B. Member of the physics club
C. Preppy
D. Too cool for school
E. Vacation lounge singer
F. You're an intelligent adult professional, and this is how you spend your time?

G. I'm an intelligent adult professional, and you're actually asking me to spend time on this?

Happy Friday, my people!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The one-direction view

So, I have this tendency to be a little extreme.

I know those of you who know me just snorted. So I'll give you a moment.

I don't have lots of close friends. There are lots of people I like, but not a lot who are in close close. I've always been like this. It's an energy thing, I think.

And If I like you, I see all the best things about you. You're hilarious! So incredibly smart! Charming! Fascinating! Creative! Etc!

This is not to say that I don't see my friends as human, and with flaws. But I focus on the good, to the point where that's mostly what I see.

I do this to everyone I like and love.

It's flexible, to some extent.

Like, when I'm mad at Nick, he's suddenly so not funny. How did I ever think he was hilarious? And why does he wear that ugly shirt so often? It makes him look sallow.

Then tomorrow he's all kinds of funny and cute and wonderful all over again.

He's the same. Duh. It's my lens that is so variable. I recognize this. But it's visceral. It's like I physically see differently.

So if you're on the good side, you're a sparkly chocolate-covered unicorn. Except real.

But if I stop liking you as a person, if I lose respect for you, it's like I suddenly see you in a fun-house mirror. You're not only not gorgeous, brilliant, fabulous. . .you're actually distorted, grey-tinted, grotesquely, bizarrely bloated.

And my prism works pretty much one way.

You know I've seen and dealt with terrible, traumatic things in my life. I have an immense capacity for understanding things that more "normal" people might find unacceptable. I can bend shockingly far.

And yet, my line, it is inflexible. Once you cross it, once you step in front of that fun-house mirror, you're never rose-colored in my world again.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

I promise, this is the last time I 'll talk about them. For today.

I called in sick yesterday. I had a stomach thing.

I didn't write about it because, really? Live-blogging in those circumstances? And do we have to talk about poo every day?

Apparently we do. And it's not limited to social situations.

So I had a meeting with my boss this afternoon (I'm certain you're already like, oh, Lis, I can already tell this isn't going to go anywhere good...) and he asked if I was feeling better, and I said yes, totally fine. Yesterday no, and today, great.

He said, "Just one of those 24-hour things."

And I nodded and knocked on his desk and said, "And so far, my kid is fine."

Which then of course reminded me of the jean diapers. Because look, a squirrel!

So I said, "Have you seen the commercials for the jean diapers?"

His kids are teenagers. He's far out of the diaper loop. He shook his head.

"I bought some last night."

And then I suddenly had this stabbing fear that maybe he didn't realize I meant BABY diapers!

Maybe he thought I was sitting in his chair all, "So, yeah, boss. I got these really cool jeans. Except they're also diapers! And I could be pooing right now. In MY jean diapers. My secret jean diapers that I'm wearing under my professional black pants. That I'm mentioning to you very unprofessionally."

AGH!

I laughed shrilly."Hahahaha!" Twitch twitch. "I mean, the BABY kind! For Jordan! Not...hahahaha!"

He held up his hand. "Yes, of course! Of course!"

AWK. WARD.

Mama life impulse shopping


Have you seen ads for the new Huggies jeans diapers?

A couple weeks ago, friends brought up jeans diapers in random baby-focused conversation. It might've taken place during the same afternoon party where another friend said boy, do we talk about poo a whole lot.

So poo. And diapers. And jeans diapers. They'd seen an ad.

Jeans diapers? Ridiculous! What will they think of next?!

I poo-poohed the idea.

Heh.

So last night I went to the drug store for baby ibuprofin.

And then, at the end of an aisle, right there in CVS, staring me in the face, the jeans diapers! I had to get them!

My boy must poo in blue!

He hasn't yet had the pleasure of sporting them, but you can be sure I will document.

And I realized that wow, has my life changed.

Prior life impulse purchases?

Lucky jeans. Lip glosses galore. Date dresses. Emergency shoes.

Mama life impulse purchase?

Huggies Jeans Diapers.

Yikes.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Plus the wheel in the corner would keep him entertained for hours

So this is actually a reenactment because he no longer gets his feet trapped and then just lies there and wails all, "STUUUUUCK! Fuckity fuck stuckity stuck in the stockade on my stomach GAAAAAAAAHHHH!"

He still sticks his feet through. But now he knows how to unstick!

But seeing his little feet poking through reminded me of how confused and terrified I was when trying to figure out the baby gear business. The crib. The changing table. The this. The that.

All the decisions were overwhelming. I got wonderful help from a lot of you.

I do best when I have maybe three options, tops. Too many choices and I get dizzy and then I have to go lie down.

Fortunately Nick is very decisive. Even when he doesn't know what he's doing.

But the thing with the baby stuff is that there are all these issues like safety hazards! Recalls! Your baby could be dismembered or die! Or both!

Aaaah!

And the crib is a big deal, so of course you want to get the absolute perfect one. Or at least one that is not going to maim or kill your kid.

Call me alarmist, but I spent a lot of the beginning of J's life making sure he was still alive. Sometimes I still make sure he's breathing, actually.

So while I was pregnant I was reading that Baby Bargains book, where they rate all these brands and talk about safety and such.

This crib. That crib. This crib is made by this company, but marketed under that brand, and those have had some safety issues...Like death.

Don't borrow an old crib. Because the slats might be too wide. And your kid could stick his head through. And die.

And don't get a soft mattress. Because your kid could squish his face into it. And die. The mattress has to fit snugly. Or your kid could get his head stuck. And die. And the sheets have to have elastic all around, or they could come off. And kill your kid. Let's not get started on bumpers...

This had me in a frenzy for weeks. Weeks.

I went into work one day and asked David what crib they bought. And what mattress. And what sheets. And if their baby was still alive.

He was all, "Just pick one you like. All the new ones that meet safety standards are fine."

And I said, "You know what I'd really like? I'd like a big plexiglass box. That way you wouldn't have to worry about the slats. And you could always see your kid."

I had searched, in fact. I hadn't found any.

He leaned forward. He gave me a look. "They make those, Lis."

"They do?"

"Yeah. They're called terrariums."

Sunday, June 06, 2010

One of the heavy ones

Often, when I wake for no reason and can't sleep, like this morning, I think about my dad.

In the smooth quiet dark dark of the 3 AMs, 4 AMs, 5 AMs, there's no distraction, save the tinging of the clock - on the hour and half hour. Ting ting ting. It's three. Half an hour passes. Ting. Fuck - 3:30. Ting ting ting ting. And four.

And so on.

One ting for every hour. One each half hour.

We now keep the clock in a room far from us, where the tings are barely audible. You catch them between breaths. Mainly because when it was right outside the room I threatened to take it outside and beat it with a hammer if Nick wouldn't make it shut the fuck up.

But it's British! An antique! From his grandfather! He was affronted.

But also realistic. He moved the clock.

So the deceptively sweet still of the wee hours of the morning. With the faint ting ting ting and the familiar breathing of your husband. And the impossible whirr of your mind, your suddenly awakey wakey mind.

You know, about a week before my dad tried to take his life last April, we went over to my parents for dinner. I knew he was struggling - it was all over his face. But I thought it was about his heart problems.

Although in a way, I suppose it was.

When Nick and I left I said, "Hang in there."

And he said something like, "That's an odd thing to say to someone like me."

I took it as a sign. A positive one.

Like, look how he's able to make light. You wouldn't have such a sense of humor if you were in such a bad place.

Hahahahahahaha.

Ha.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Because three is one ball too many

Or, a ball in the hand is worth two in the bush?

Um. Sorry. Sometimes I can't resist.
video
So I kind of love the "oh, shit!" moments in this video

And the thing is, I totally do this. Even though in theory, I understand that when I have both hands full, I can't really fit anything else.

I do this both physically and emotionally. Although less and less so on the latter.

A few weeks ago Jen and her husband and some other friends were coming over, and I walked to the grocery store to get entertainingy food and drinks. I filled up my backpack and two reusable bags. I had a blue ton of stuff.

I don't know what a blue ton might be. I just made it up and like how it sounds. You can substitute shitload if you need a better visual.

So the guy asked if I needed help out with the bags and I thanked him and said that I was walking.

And his eyes kind of bulged. So I said, "I'm stronger than I look."

I then slung the backpack on my back, hoisted the bags. OH! And picked up the two 12-packs of beer!

I forgot. Also I had a bunch of Sierra Nevada.

So. One full backpack. Two full cloth bags. And two 12-packs of glass bottled-beer.

I staggered - really, without exaggeration - out the door and got about ten steps before I had to set everything down and readjust. I got maybe half a block and realized my veins were bulging. And my hands were maybe going to fall off.

Fortunately, it was a Saturday. I called Nick.

Nick, who had offered to go, because we needed a lot of stuff. And I'd said, no, no, no problem. I can handle it.

I called him and said, "Help!"

Then I stacked the beer, sat down on it, and opened a bag of chips.

Sometimes that's the best solution.

Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Disconnected thoughts

Hair. I fear that with the new hair maybe I look like Andy Warhol.

Poo. Can you talk about poo too much? One of our friends told us we talk about poo too much. Like, even for new parents.

Heat! I love this weather. I can't get enough of it. Seriously, I take humidity over cold any day of my life.

Stub of death. Have you ever walked into something so hard that your toe turned purple and then maybe black? Did it eventually fall off or go back to normal?

Duplicity. What do you do when someone you thought you were close to turns out to not be the person you thought they were at all? Do you take action? Or just back away?

Costco. Makes me loathe humanity. And yet I cannot resist the lure of bulk and deals. I got two pairs of cute capri pants there last weekend. And I don't have to buy toilet paper for six months!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Wednesday poll: white trash pool?

So, we haven't gotten around to getting an inflatable pool.

I saw one at Costco last week, but it was gigantor. Like, in the pictures on the box, it pretty much looked like a family of four was enjoying water escapades.

It was not a possibility, much fun as it might be. Because while it would've fit, I think we'd have had to put the grill in the pool. Which just seems like a bad idea.

And then I just didn't make it to Target. And then it got sunny and hot hot hotasHadeshot.

So Betty took Big J's bathtub - the one with the intergalactic instructions - out back. She filled it up mid-day and let the water heat in the sun.

He loved it. They had an afternoon pool party.

The tub now lives out there. We've begun referring to it as "the pool." Seriously. It's like the world bathtub disappeared from our vocabulary.

Every afternoon he gets a scrub-down in the pool.

We had friends over last weekend and we suggested the kids might like to take a dip in the pool.

And then we had to be all, "Uh, by pool we mean that white bathtub right there."

In your opinion this is:

A. No biggie. It's tantamount to running in the sprinkler. (Which we can't do because we have no yard. Or sprinkler. Also, J can't stand up on his own, much less run.)
B. Definitely trashy. What's next - letting your kid chew on a crumpled can of Bud from the recycling pile, which is probably located next to the car on bricks?
C. Oddly charming. Nakey babies can get away with anything.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I never wanna hear you say I want it that way

I don't know how much you know about leprosy.

Don't panic - it's not highly contagious after treatment. And apparently, unlike the rabies, for example, you've got a while before you suffer any permanent damage. Which I guess in the rabies case that would be death.

So leprosy is definitely preferable to rabies.

In case you're wondering.

You're probably also wondering what's with the leprosy, Lis?

Let me sum up.

A friend emailed Tori and me and said she probably had leprosy. Or maybe heat rash. And, she added, isn't leprosy now a non-PC term? Or somebody's disease, at any rate?

Tori Googled and said "Yes, it's also called Hansen's disease (like the boy band?)."

And so, far more intriguing than leprosy - which I grew up worrying about - is the idea of a disease in which you'd wake up and find you were a member of a boy band.

Don't you think?

This would be really awkward, and even more so if you were a woman.

I don't know if it would be bacterial or viral. And would it be sexually transmitted? I think probably. Would it be treatable? I think yes, although I'm not sure what treatment would entail.

If you have thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them.

But really, picture this:

You'd get out of bed thinking you were all normal. You'd open the medicine cabinet to take out your toothbrush, and in doing so, you'd catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror.

You'd be half asleep and not really paying attention, but you'd startle, thinking it was someone else.

You'd look behind you, open and close the mirrored door a couple times. You'd think you looked familiar, although not at all like yourself...

And then all of a sudden your skin would go cold and the hair on the back of your neck would stand up. Pop music would fill your ears. It would hit you in a rush.

"Fuck! I'm a Backstreet Boy!"