Monday, November 29, 2010

The post where I am a bad mother.

Turns out a mobile child is much more work than one who stays where she is put. 

Last week, MJ and I were visiting in the front room as the Bug toddled about.  She wandered down the hall and into the bathroom, shutting the door behind her. 

Now, the house we live in is more than 50 years old.  The drawers located just inside the bathroom door are more than 50 years old, too.  They are deep and heavy, and they don't roll on any sort of track.  It's just a bunch of big wooden boxes inside a big wooden frame.  They stick, and they're hard to move, especially full of all the crap that inevitably ends up inside rarely used bathroom drawers.

Bug must be a body builder in secret, or something.  Using her tiny biceps, (I'm imagining this part, of course, because it all happened in the blink of an eye while I was... elsewhere) she managed to wrangle one of the drawers open just enough to block the bathroom door from opening.

Just so we're clear:  my thirteen month old locked herself in the bathroom.  ALONE.

There goes that Mother of the Year Award.

Kim and I sat outside the door, looking at each other helplessly.  Imagining her pulling a curling iron onto her head or drowning in the toilet, I took a quick trip to Idiot-ville.

"Sweetheart!" I said, in my best sing-song voice.  "Could you please shut the drawer?  Push the drawer, Bug!" 

Right.  Like my baby is going to contemplate that set of instructions and then happily call out, "you're right, Mama.  I'll shut it right now!" and give the drawer a neat little bump with her hip.  Right after she finishes composing her text message and writing in her journal.

The hinges on the door are on the inside, so we couldn't just take the door off altogether.  I might be a complete doofus when it comes to rescue ideas, but I wasn't so dumb as to consider shattering the tiny window from the outside and showering my little peanut in glass shards.  I was out of ideas, and getting ready to hop on the train from Idiot-ville to Panic City.

Aunt Kimmi to the rescue.  She wedged a butter knife through the open crack and jammed it into the wooden side of the drawer. Using it like a sideways lever, she scooted the drawer shut just a hair, and then pulled it out of the wood and wedged it in again.

Thunk, scoot.  Thunk, scoot. 

And finally, finally, the door swung open.

Care to guess what Buggy was playing with in there?  Hmmm? HMMM??

Give it a real good guess...

Oh yeah.  A RAZOR. 

It was a new one with a cover and everything, but still.  STILL. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Schmoopsie and I believe in family.  We believe there are three ways to get family-  some we are born to, some we marry into, and some we choose.  This morning, as I sent out a few text messages to friends and family, I smiled to myself thinking, over and over again, "They should really be in the 'I love you, family' text."  The different surnames, skin color, hair type-- it doesn't matter.  I believe in family, whether we are legally related or not.

I am thankful for faith.  The year of my crazy twenty-six may have brought its share of tears, but it was purifying, strengthening, fortifying.  There is a piece of my spirit that is more refined, more solid than before.  I can physically feel it in the center of my chest, swelling, taking my breath away sometimes. 

I am thankful for love.  My baby in her high chair with her sleeves rolled up, cheerfully filling her cheeks with mandarin orange wedges-- that is love.  Schmoopsie fast-forwarding to show me all the good plays in the Jazz game while I am curled up beside him-- that is love. 

I am thankful new haircuts, new shoes, and new sheets.  I am thankful for black beans, white bread, and cheese of any color (except blue.)  I am grateful for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

I love Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for my good life.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkey Day and my little Turkey Head

Did you know that Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday?  It is.

On an unrelated note, here are some things I have found myself saying recently.  Motherhood is full of unexpected moments.

"Oh, we don't eat cheese out of the trash."
"Guess what! We don't play with our dirty diapers."
"We have to get you dressed.  In fact, you have to get dressed pretty much every. single. day."
"There is no reason to holler right now."
"We don't poop in the tub at our house."

I'm not sure why I choose to use the inclusive pronoun so often...

Anyway, back to Thanksgiving.  I love football.  I love food.  I love family.  I have a special love for mashed potatoes and gravy.  In fact, I can't think of anything not to love about Thanksgiving.  I plan to spend the day after Thanksgiving listening to the Christmas music station I have perfected on Pandora and trying to find enough flat surfaces in my house that are out of reach of chubby fingers to place all my nativity scenes, which I will promptly segregate. 

I am so grateful for the swamp of blessings I am fortunate enough to live with every day.  I am drenched with wonderful things for which I cannot take any credit-- blessings of the temporal sort, the spiritual sort, and the sort that stumble around in diapers with graham cracker crumbs stuck to round cheeks.

Recently, I've had a few of those truly valuable experiences that prick my heart with guilt.  I see others awash in grief, and the small pangs I can borrow from them remind me to open my lens and widen my perspective.  Less eloquently, what I am trying to say is that I have been reminded to put up and shut up, because my life just really isn't all that bad.

In fact, it's pretty stinking incredible.

And here's the big moment you've been waiting for-- the part where I attempt to tie all of these random thoughts together:

There is nothing I am more grateful for than the blessing of crawling into the arms of my love at night and giggling together about the fact that we had to remind our daughter not to suck on the vacuum cord.  Repeatedly.  And this is forever. 

Thanksgiving, indeed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Food foliage

I would like to propose a toast, a shout-out, yea even a 'what-what' on behalf of the lettuce from In 'N Out Burger.  Who's with me?

Let's be honest.  Lettuce on a burger is usually a sort of filler, particularly when it comes in the form of a mit-full of limp, warm shreds slapped on by some yahoo in multi-colored fast food polo shirt and plastic gloves.

Enter lettuce from In 'N' Out.  An entire leaf, first of all, and delicious.  Cold and crisp next to the warm, juicy, cheese-covered beef... mmm.

 (I haven't had lunch.  And, come to think of it, I missed breakfast, too.)

At this time of Thanksgiving, I would like to express gratitude to the individual who decided it was finally time for my fine state to be granted a couple of In 'N Out locations.  What a bountiful harvest.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wherein I compare my eternal companion to a breakfast burrito.

The day before my twenty-seventh birthday was a rough one.  I wore my favorite coral sweater and best makeup (outlook and outfit, you know), but still found myself locked in the bathroom stall at work with tears threatening to drag my new eyeliner down my cheeks. 

I am stronger than this, I thought.  And I am.  I bravely plowed through the day, and held myself together until well after dinner. 

That's when, unexpectedly, the tears overwhelmed me and streamed down my face in wide rivers.  Spluttering and gasping for air, my words came out in choking sobs, barely understandable through my hiccups.

Here's the truth:  twenty-six was exhausting.  It was wonderful and busy, full of dirty diapers and new teeth, first steps and late nights.  It was joy and pride, frustration and fear.  It was post-baby euphoria coupled with post-baby crazy. Twenty-six was tattooed with the pain that comes from knowing all is not right and being unable to fix it.  Twenty-six was hiking with a pebble in my boot, pressing into my skin.  I shook my shoe between steps, trying to find a safe spot for it.  I stopped altogether several times, sitting on the trail attempting to shake it out, but when I put my shoe back on, there was the stone, rattling about, irritating my sole.  (Soul?)

The night before my twenty-seventh birthday, I heard my husband whispering to my baby in the other room.  She toddled out, awkwardly stumbling a bit from side to side, with a package of sour worms clutched her chubby little hands.  She didn't bring it to me, of course, but I didn't mind.  Behind her was my sweetheart, with a card that made me laugh and a gift that made me cry.  (Again.)  Twenty-six year old me cried a lot.

Here's more of the truth:  I didn't deserve a present for my twenty-seventh birthday, but I'll tell you who did.  A thousand of his own birthday gifts won't repay my Paddy for surviving my twenty-six.  That he can tease and laugh and love me after this year-long hike with a rock in my shoe is a testament to the kind of man his mother raised. 

Lest you think that my family and I are entirely defined by my crazy twenty-six, let me tell you about the first day of twenty-seven.  I wore baby blue and plum because I believe in outlook and outfit. I was busy applying my best make-up when my Schmoopsie galloped back down the stairs after leaving for work several minutes before.  His dazzling smile, which has left me slightly dizzy for the last decade, was illuminated by the flickering of birthday candles stuck into a bacon breakfast burrito from Betos.  (As an aside, I adore cheap Mexican food.)   He sang, and rubbed in the fact that, for the next 5 months, I am twenty-seven while he remains a youthful twenty-six.

 Hours later, we had the following exchange via text message:

Me:  Saw an old guy driving straight with his blinker on.  That's practically me now.
Paddy:  Seriously.  You shoulda followed him to the senior center.
Me:  Heard they're serving meatloaf.
Paddy:  Blended up, though.
Me:  Good thing.  Forgot my dentures.

On the first day of twenty-seven, I wore the pearls my grandparents gave me when I graduated from college.  I had never found a good enough reason to wear them before.  I decided the first day of twenty-seven was the day. 

I am certain that twenty-seven will have moments of crazy.  I still have a rock in my hiking boot.

But I have my bacon breakfast burrito, and I'm wearing my pearls. (Some version of a 'pearls before swine' reference is bouncing around in my head, but I'm not witty enough to craft it.)

Happy birthday to me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Don't worry, though. I'll live.

I don't want to exaggerate here, but I'm slogging through what amounts to the most horrific cold ever to grace my phlegm-filled nasal passages.  I'm hacking up fluid, my ears crackle when I attempt to blow my completely plugged nose, and these crazy Nyquil dreams are really freaking me out.

Don't worry, though.  I'll live.

This morning, I held 4 different tan colored socks in my hand.  None of them matched.

After franticaly searching through clean laundry bins (and, in the interest of full disclosure, my bedroom floor) this is how I ended up going to work today:

Don't worry, though.  I'll live.

I have to work late next week.  ON MY BIRTHDAY. 

Don't worry, though.  I'll live.  Probably.

When I'm unsure about my future survival, I remember this:

Oh yeah.  I'll live.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hey there, Jazz fans!

The Love Muffin and I had a chance to go see a Jazz game last week with free tickets, courtesy of Bug's PopPop.  The seats were great!

Tipoff was past Bug's bedtime, so we left her at home with Nana and snuggled in for a wonderful and much-needed date night. 
We did learn one important lesson, however.  Basically my entire family works in one section or another of the arena, so we often stay after to visit with them and chat about the game.  What with the late tipoff time, we ended up scooting back to our vehicle well after midnight.  Just the two of us.  Downtown.  In the dark.  It was SCARY.  No more visits after late games, guys. 

I know what you're thinking here. 

That's great and all, guys, but don't you have any over-exposed pictures of the Bug in her skinny jeans and new D Will jersey practicing her walking skills for us to look at instead of  your boring mugs?

Why yes.  Yes I do. 

It's game day.  Go Jazz!