Friday, August 29, 2014

Oh, hello.

I've been cleaning for 45 minutes, which means I'm exhausted, which means I need to sit down and derp on my computer until I feel better.  Have you missed me?  I haven't missed this blog.  Like, at all.  What I've missed is the will to write.  And now, a list of what I've been up to. 

1.  My parents are visiting.  It's heaven.  Brixton can be seen dragging my mom all over the place, getting crabby with Grandpa, and asking for more and more toys.  Brendan and I went on a date that involved a corn field, Mexican food, and guns.  After years of trying to convince my parents to move here, they've begun looking at houses.  Now just to convince my 93 year old Grandpa that he needs to move here too.  Grandpa, please?

2.  Brixton starts official preschool next week.  Hallelujah!  He's driving me nuts around the house, asking me to play and then he's started with this new thing--saying, "I don't have anyone to play with" and then making big, sad eyes.  Talk to your father, kid.  I wanted another one. 

3.  I've decided to go back to work.  It's interesting.  For years as a SAHM, you're like, "Oh, please, don't let me work for xxx amount of time!" and then you're like, "I'm ready to go back to work now!" and then you realize that working wasn't really an option anyway because  no one wants to hire you, let alone just call you back after an interview to tell you no thanks. 

4.  Kind of branching off of that, I've become a "designer" (aka I'm selling) Origami Owl jewelry.  I need something to do, guys, even if it's just selling really cute jewelry from my basement.  I'm not expecting much, seeing that I'm the one in charge of all this, but it would be nice to feel like I'm in charge of something of my own--at least until I can get that job washing dishes or something.  My website is HERE if you'd like to check out all of the cute stuff!

5.  We've lived in this house now for 9 months.  Fixer-uppers are a time and money suck.  We have huge projects to do and no money.  TIP: If you want to buy a fixer-upper, please have a good pile of cash set aside to do your improvements so you don't have to live with something as disappointing as a beige toilet from 1984. 

6.  Fall is coming and I'm freaking excited.  Brixton's going to school and I'm going to be doing the following: bible studies, massage therapy (for a massive knot in my neck/back that is causing horrible chronic headaches), going to the gym (I swear I'll go), being the Sunday School teacher for 3 year olds with an awesome new curriculum, and hopefully getting involved with our local Mother's Club.  Oh, and working when I get that aforementioned job. 

7. And I leave you with a confession.  When I was pregnant I would wear jeans using a ponytail holder around the button to give me an extra inch or two since I didn't want to buy larger pants.  Well, I haven't been pregnant in over 3 years, but I am still using the ponytail holder trick because I refuse to buy larger pants.  Because, you know, I'm going to lose all that weight.  Denial is a strong emotion, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

You Can Wear Diapers Forever If You Want To

I hate potty training.

At first there's hope.  "Hooray!  You went in your frog potty!  Here's your M&M!"

After that first triumph you think YOU GOT IT.  Your kid is going to do it all the time now in the potty for those dang M&Ms and then later for the shear glory of not having wet pants or standing in a warm puddle.  (Then you eat all the M&Ms yourself, because you need a reward too.  For breathing and stuff like that.)

The first accident occurs.  Keep it positive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you remind yourself.  So you use a high pitched voice and say dumb things like, "Hey, don't worry about it buddy!  or "Everyone has an accident now and then!"  You scoop them up in a family hug and then congratulate yourself for being a cool, laid-back parent that handles things the RIGHT way.

Let's fast-forward this hippie love fest a bit.

It's 3 weeks later.  Your kid is doing pretty well, all things considered.  He wakes up dry, has learned to "shake it off" on his own (PTL), and really seems to get it.  The M&Ms aren't working anymore mostly because you eat them before they are effective, so now you ask him every 5 minutes about the current state of his bladder and colon, because you have other things to do than mop up urine or, god forbid, a steamer off the floor.  When your kid has an accident, you give a hug and grunt something like, "Uh-oh!" or "Oops", but you don't have the same enthusiasm to keep it all happy fun-fun/no worries mon like you did before. 

At 10 weeks you are a hostage.  Want to go run some errands?  What's his potty status?  Has he pooped today?  Do you have your back-up bag?  How much juice did he drink?  How long ago?  What's the humidity level outside? 

Hey, let's go to dinner.  No, we can't.  He hasn't pooped in two days because he's holding it because he refuses to go on the potty.  No doubt that at some point between the appetizer and the entree, the gates of hell will part and the stinking bowels of said hell and/or your child will steam up the room and ruin everyone's appetite.  EVERYONE'S because everyone will look at you and your kid with the big lump in the butt of his pants and they will scream and point and run.

Accidents now go like this: Mama, I pooped my pants.
 ::::Big Sigh::::What?!!  Why did you do that?  I just asked you two minutes ago if you had to go!  Come on, buddy, this is getting silly now.  Are you a baby or a big boy?  (Because, you know, shaming is a really cool parental tool, LOSER).

 A red face, a weird face, a quiet moment--all these things are now approached with sheer terror and a herding off to the toilet, usually to complete failure.  We went to the zoo the other day and Brixton poop-fooled me at least 7 times.  That's 7 times where I ran him into the potty, got him up there, watched him sit there and mock me in a sing-song voice "I don't have to go!", wash hands, etc.  Exhausting. 

After all that he just pooped his pants and then complained that I didn't get him to the toilet fast enough.  Tell me again, why are diapers frowned upon??

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cat Eye

It's Friday night and I'm free.  So I'm blogging.  Lame.  10 years ago I would have been methodically getting ready for a night out.  Picked up by a big black car.  Wearing heels, an overly padded bra, big hair and a pout.  Dancing.  Eating burritos at 2 am from a taco stand in Hillcrest.  Laughing wildly with the window down and music up.  Stone cold sober, TYVM, because I just wasn't that girl. 

10 years ago I was wildly unhappy.

And so I blog.  Because doing all of the above now would just be..out of place, strange, desperate.  And plus, I'm much happier now.  And 20 lbs heavier, so no need for padded bras anymore.  Not sure how to feel about that.

It's Friday night and I'm free.  So I went to Sephora (Sepora as my mother calls it, despite my correcting her umpteen times.  I think she just does it on purpose now, just out of a sick spite).  Who doesn't want to meander through the little aisles with the bright packages?  My left hand tried on about 15 different lotions and creams, which might explain why it looks a few years younger than the right.  I spritzed perfume.  I got a 20 minute lesson in doing a cat eye (which is very dramatic and I love, but I think it's too much for my eyes..sigh).

 I've been binge watching Mad Men.  Every chance I get.  I find myself repulsed by and yet attracted to Don Draper.  I think he's a sociopath.  Right now I'm in season 5.  Things seem to be going well with Megan.  I'm sure he'll mess it up somehow.  That show makes me want to smoke.  I'm one of those sucker who thinks smoking can look glamorous.  Too bad it smells like trash and gives you cancer.

It's Friday night and I'm free.  So I weeded in my veggie garden.  I call it a veggie garden, though it hasn't yielded anything but disappointment.  Bumper crop.  Too much shade.  I was going to leave, but then I saw Brendan working in the yard, so I thought I'd do my part, being a good communist/wife and all.  So I dug up some stones and made a pile.  Then I got to drive the lawn mower and help Brendan remove a stump from our yard.  That got me pretty comfortable on the mower, so I just decided to mow the front yard.  It was oddly satisfying. 

Do you ever have dreams about people you knew in high school?  OMgosh I just can't stop.  I must have a lot of high school issues floating around up there.  Mostly crushes on guys.  I had a million crushes on guys in high school.   The problem is is that I dream of them and we are dating or something and then I wake up and I'm like, "Oh, that was so sweet.  How is that guy??"  Another problem is that I dream of the same 5 guys often.  Sorry guys, I'm MARRIED. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Most Dreaded Question

It's not "why?" or "where do babies come from?" or "can I make poop in the bathtub?"

Those are easily answered and remedied, taking, if you are efficient and tactful, a minute or so.  (Or if you are just good at leaving the approximate area of the question-asker--even less.)

It's not, "can I have a snack?" when I have nothing to offer or "who's that man in my room?" (wow.  I'm seriously demented).

Here's a clue:

Oh, that looks fun, right?  Trucks and trailers and imaginations running wild.  Some singing, lots of truck sounds. Quality time, awesome mom-points, learning-through-play. What a riot.  

Here's my most dreaded question:  "Mama, will you play with me?"

(Oh, Kelley.  Are you serious?  You are such a jerk.) 

Let me be clear.  I like playing under the following circumstances:

1.  I can lay down and move my hands around and make a few sounds and it's enough to meet the requirements.

2.  We play with animals or dinosaurs.

3.  I am able to chase, tickle, wrestle, or otherwise squeeze Brixton. 

4.  I don't have to follow directions, especially those of a very orderly and commanding (almost) 3 year old.

5.  I will play doctor all day long, as long as I am the patient and I am sadly in a deep coma.

My nemesis is exactly what  you see in the photo.  Trucks.  Semi-trucks.  Tractors.  Flat-bed trucks.  Bulldozers.   Not only am I bored out of my mind by this type of play, I try to avoid it at all costs.  I would rather clean toilets and cat throw-up then sit and play trucks.  In part because it involves:

1.  The assigned truck.  I am not allowed to pick out my own toy.  Usually I am handed
 a standard flat-bed truck with no bells and whistles and told to perform.  Any attempt of mine to change my fate results in yelling, tears, anger, and very clear threats to my safety.

2.  Always touching my assigned truck and making it move.  If my hand happens to reach up and scratch my nose or lose contact with my truck in any way, I am immediately reprimanded. 

3.  Whilst playing with my bottom-of-the-barrel truck, I must always use my "truck-voice" as a representation of the personality of the truck.  Except my truck isn't allowed to have the deep, gravely, tough voice you might associate with a heavy duty road warrior.  No, my truck is commanded to have what Brixton calls, "The Tiny Voice."  Like a mouse.  No exceptions. 

4.  The trucks will be playing in a very specific scenario that is not only completely uncommunicated to me, but also can change within a millisecond.  For example, if the trucks are working together loading hay, and then my hand turns into a helpful crane or other implement, loud protesting will occur.  I will then be informed we are actually not loading hay, but coal.  And I'm not allowed to load any, I am only allowed to gather trash that may never be dumped out.  Ever.

5.  The minimum time commitment that fulfills Brixton's play needs seems to be about 17 hours and 43 minutes.  Ain't nobody got time fo' dat.

When he's 5 or 6, I'll just send him outside with a timer watch like my parents did for me.  "Be home 5 minutes from the beep!" They said, sending me out into a forest filled with miners, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, and poisonous berries.  "We have two more," they'd say to each other, just in case.

Okay, back to the cat puke.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Teacher Bonnie

It happened on a day when everything else just seems to be flowing along fine.

"Mama, do I go to school today?"

"No, baby.  No school today." 

"Will I see teacher Bonnie?"

Teacher Bonnie is Brixton's favorite preschool teacher.  She has a big smile, robust and cuddly breasts, and just that natural way with small children that makes you wonder what you're doing wrong.  We see teacher Bonnie twice a week at preschool, but in a twist of fate, teacher Bonnie also attends our church.  This means we often see her 3 times a week and each time she flashes that happy-to-see-you smile and gets down on "their level" and all of that psycho-babble jazz and gives Brixton hugs and attention. 

He loves her. 

Teacher Bonnie is a discussion fixture in our home.  What's teacher Bonnie doing right now?  Is teacher Bonnie sleeping?  Where is teacher Bonnie?

But on this day, Brixton just went too far.

Upon learning that he wouldn't be seeing his beloved Bonnie that day, he used the toddler trifecta of guilt, manipulation, and mama-bear jealously against me. 

"Mama, will you play with me?" (Shudder.  A whole other post about that tricky little question.)

"Okay, baby."

"Will you be teacher Bonnie?"

Oh, that's cute, I thought, my heart bursting with pride at my son's obvious cleverness and tender heart.

I said a few things here and there in my best teacher Bonnie voice, thinking how flattered she'd feel, knowing how she was loved.

The game continued for a bit, until I started slipping out of character and using my regular mom voice.  Frankly, I didn't have the energy to be teacher Bonnie, all happy-happy voice, and wide smiles, and energy to sing a cute song and talk all friendly.  Nope.  I wanted to go back to mediocre, I-have-no-idea-what's-for-dinner, did-I-brush-your-teeth-this-week?, I'll-play-if-it-involves-me-laying-on-my-side-like-a-beached-whale, mom. 

"No, mama, you have to be teacher Bonnie."

UGH.  What Pandora's box did we open here?

"But I just want to be mama."

"No, I want teacher Bonnie."

Wait a minute.  Wait a freakin' minute here.

I felt the first gentle prickles of jealously coming up.  "Let's not overreact.  He's just using his imagination."  Self talk always helps.  Especially when you talk out loud so other people can hear you. 

I tried redirecting, introducing a new game/toy, dancing an Irish jig.  All as myself, naturally.  (Anyway, with the size of her ample breasts, I challenge her to an Irish jig-off.  Pretty sure I would win that crown.  You may get my son, but you will never out-jig me, lady.)

Brixton side-stepped all of my attempts, crushing them with one simple phrase, "Mama,  you have to be teacher Bonnie." 

So I did what any self-respecting mother would do.  I stood up with great dignity, tied my robe around me (let's ignore the fact it was 2pm. Inconsequential.) and walked gracefully to the kitchen.  There I opened the freezer and took out my hidden pint of ice-cream.  With my pride still intact and a spoon in hand, I stood at the counter and ate my feelings.

Brixton continued playing in the other room, content now to play with an imaginary version of t.B, (I can't even write her name out at this point.) while his real mother got her fix hidden in a corner of the kitchen from her two dealers, Ben & Jerry. 

No wonder life with t.B. just seems so glamorous. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Counting Stars and Calories

Do you ever just spend hours running errands and it completely takes up your day?  4.5 hours of driving here and there, taking Brixton out of the car and back in, adjusting seat straps, holding hands in parking lots, navigating through shops.  Not quite like going at it alone.

Curtains.  Today it was all about curtains.

We got an "early" start and by early I mean we were dressed and out the door by 9:30.  I was feeling pretty smug and proud about that until we pulled up to World Market and saw the sign stating they opened at 10.  Niiiiiiice.  Glad I rushed and wasted all that smug for nothing.

We went to Panera to kill 20 minutes.  They started posting the calorie content of the food there on the menu.  It is very, very disturbing.  I don't need to know that my muffin was 450 (!!!!) calories, or that a M&M cookie is 420.  Seriously, 420?  I would have thought closer to 200.  Anyway, I commited to the muffin and then since I felt depressed about the 450 empty calories I was about to eat, I decided to add a vanilla mocha to the order.  No whip (cause that makes a difference.)  Expect the guy didn't care/hear/forgot and added the whipped cream anyway.  Oh well.  It was delicious.  And this is why 3 years out I still like to call it all baby weight.

As it turned out, finding something as simple as curtains just wasn't that simple.  And isn't that how it always is?  You don't need something and you're like, "Wow!  I love this ___________!!  I wish I could get it!"  Then the second you actually need something, have husband approval for the purchase and the time to go find it, you can't find anything.

After 4.5 hours filled with 8 stops (including an emergency bathroom visit at Hobby Lobby), I got us home and made lunch--Ramen noodles and a strawberry bar---chuckle.  Then Brixton and I collapsed into my bed and fell asleep. 

I woke up to noise.  A voice.  Shuffling.  It was Brendan.  It was 5:30.  Crap.  We had slept for 2 hours.  Brixton lay next to me snoring.

Out to the living room I went.  The somewhat messy, dusty living room.  We just moved all our furniture around, so it's all a bit disordered.

I felt the cold shoulder as soon as I entered the room. 

"It's a tough pill to swallow when I work hard all day and I come home and you're napping and haven't done anything." --Husband

Well, let me get you a drink of water to help that pill slide down a little easier.  Sometimes errands need to be run.  Some days the hunt for a lamp or a picture frame or a rug is just more important in my little-woman brain than staying home and making sure I can put a check next to "Clean Bathrooms."  That day was today.

He hated all the curtains.  The search continues.  And I'll clean the damn bathrooms tomorrow. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Asking For It

This picture has really nothing to do with this post.  While in Florida, my hair took a turn for the worse, based on some funky hair conditioner and humidity.  I felt like a lion and I looked like one too.  Brendan kept laughing at me and I really can't blame him.


We were in line for boarding when I heard the announcement.  "We will give the volunteer a $500 travel voucher, as well as pay for their hotel and food."

Well, hot dog.  Gather 'round friends and watch how this SAHM is going to make us a quick $1000 in travel vouchesr.  Yes, just watch.

  Without hesitation I grabbed Brixton, jumped out of line and headed over to the counter.  Brendan stood in line, his eyes wide and looking unsure.  I was sure.  I was finally going to contribute!!

"We will volunteer!" I said happily, thinking this idea was amazing and I must be the bravest most clever and resourceful wife/mom ever.  Turns out I was the stupidest.  All with good intent, of course.

In the end, the deal only worked out for Brixton and I, since Brendan had to be at a meeting.  The deal meant I had to stay in a hotel for 3 nights with Brixton, paid, with some food vouchers (they don't nearly give you enough).

Inside I kind of pooped a little.  3 days in a hotel room with Brixton?  Trapped?  I couldn't back out now, not only was the guy processing the paperwork, but about 25 people were staring at me.  

I put on my brave face, especially in light of the fact we had only the clothes and bags that were with us, i.e., no diapers, no stroller, no clothes, nothing.  I made Brixton an extra absorbent diaper by folding together a few washcloths and then making him some plastic pants out of duct tape.  No, no I didn't.   Day two turned into hell.  I just wanted to be home.  Day three took some major deep breathing to get through.  And then we found out our flight home on Monday was cancelled and wouldn't be rescheduled until Thursday.

Wah wah.

And they weren't paying for the hotel or food anymore.


Luckily, my MIL rescued us and took us back to her house for the last few days, even giving me several hours "off" in order to lay in bed and binge watch The Tudors.  Refreshing, indeed.

Here are some tips if you ever find yourself stranded in a hotel room with  your toddler:

1.  Just don't do it.

Hour 53 or something in that same shirt.

Totally off topic, but I saw these whore-shorts in Nordstrom while in Florida.  They were for a 6-12 month old baby.  Appropriate?