Nov 30 2006

We aren’t getting a tree this year. The one in the pictures is at my parent’s house and is fake. It’s a good fake though, and often visitors can’t tell.

We aren’t getting a tree for several reasons:

1) We’ll spend the whole holiday at my parent’s house anyway
2) I could really use the money in other ways
3) I always forget to water them
4) I hate the mess they leave
5) I hate disposing of them when it’s all over
6) Cole is enough of a hazard just walking- I don’t need to see him around MORE ornaments or trying to climb the tree, which would be inevitable
7) I don’t feel like getting into the dead tree discussion with my nephew.

I think that’s enough.

We’ve done live trees before, but, thanks to my stellar ability to kill all plant life within my house and a 5 foot perimeter surrounding it, they end up the same way as the pre-dead ones. What’s the point? I’ll buy a wreath and string up some lights. Hell- maybe I won’t even do that and instead will just sit on my couch sipping burbon-laced eggnog and watching episodes of Buffy for the next three weeks (and I think I’m fat NOW!).

Sounds good. Will you join me?

Nov 30 2006

Picture Overload

(And I even have more, but they won’t load.)

We took our Christmas Photos over Thanksgiving weekend. Cole was such good sport about it all.

“Hey. My cheeks really ARE so squeezable!”
“HAHA!! Now I have almost all of the toys and Spencer only has ONE! ONE!!”

We got this one which is just about as good a picture as we could hope for of all of us at the same time. I am far from photogenic, but I don’t totally hate this.
(By the way, I am not taller than John, we were just sitting on uneven pillows.)

And I really quite like this one. We’ll ignore my butt and focus on the beautiful baby face peeking out of the hat.

Cole played hard and got really tuckered out at the end of each day. He and the kitty dreamt about butterflies together.

Nov 28 2006

Weird-i-ness

Like I said, I’ve been tagged. I think I’ve only been tagged by one person ever before, and my answers were so horrible and boring that no one ever wanted to hear me list anything ever again. But, because I’ve been asked (and am always looking for things to write about besides “Ooh! I have a cute baby toddler! See! Cute=content! Really!), I will try.

Here are the rules:

Each player of this game starts with the “6 weird things about you”. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says “you are tagged” in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

SIX WEIRD THINGS ABOUT ME:

1. Umm. Nope. Can’t tell you about that one.

2. Not that one, either.

3. Ditto.

Oh, okay. I’ll do it for real. Except, I think if you’ve read my 100 things you already know these. Except I don’t keep a link to my 100 things. So yay! We’ll pretend this is 100% brand spankin’ new content. Yay! again.

1. I have to put on my right shoe first. Every time. When I try on shoes at a store where the clerk is supposed to “help” you with the shoes and they hand me the left shoe first? I have to ask for the right. Otherwise I just feel wrong all day. Dirty-like, or something.

2. I have an irrational hatred of the phrase “Local Artist.” To me, if you have to play up the fact that they are local, they must not be very good. Please never refer to me that way. I will cry.

3. It really, really bugs me when Cole’s socks don’t match his outfit. Even when he’s just going to bed. I change his socks to match his pj’s.

4. When I was a teenager I wondered if I was a lesbian (I am SO not) because I thought that certain girls were pretty. I hadn’t quite learned the difference between aesthetic attractiveness and sexual attraction. There was no experimentation needed for me to come to the conclusion I finally did. Stop thinking about Catholic school-girl pillow fights! Stop it! I’m not even Catholic!!

5. (By the way, this is harder than I thought it would be. Maybe I’m not that weird.) I have conversations in my head. Sometimes I’ll say parts of them out loud accidentally. I usually “talk” with my hands. Quite animatedly. I’m sure I look like a crazy person. I’ve done speeches about politics, the environment, accepting awards, divorcing my husband, family members dying. I’ve taught whole classes. I tell people off like CRAZY. I’m very dramatic.

6. I’d rather be fully naked than wearing just socks. Or just a bra. Maybe that’s not so weird- I mean, after the undies- what the hell!

So there you go. Right now I could probably come up with a couple more, but they really aren’t that weird. Well, maybe they just sound normal to me because I’m the one who does them. Huh. I dunno.

I’m not going to tag anyone 1) because I don’t want to force anyone into doing this or feeling bad that they haven’t and, more importantly, 2) I have no friends. But if you are desperate for material like I am and you feel like sharing, please drop me a line so that I can come over and read your deep dark squiggly secrets because I’m totally a voyeur like that. Show me somethin’ baby.

Nov 28 2006

I don’t wanna be back!!!

I’m back. The 5 days flew by. I blinked and they were gone. Evaporated. I’m sad.

But we did have a wonderful time. My 82 year old grandmother and her husband came up from Arizona and stayed from Wednesday night to Sunday morning. My grandmother is still so sharp and clever and funny- it gives me a lot of hope for my father and for me in our old age. I hope she outlives her mother, who was in her mid-90′s when she passed. I really want Cole to get to know her. She’s one of my favorite people.

My lovely sister and her son were also there. It was great to see my sister, but we are so comfortable with each other that it feels like we don’t really take advantage of the times we get to see each other. I saw her for a few days, but I still miss her as much as if I hadn’t seen her at all.

It was a little tougher seeing my nephew. He’s a brilliant kid- so precocious. He’s funny and can be so sweet. But, being 4 1/2, he’s also not so good at sharing with his little 13 month old cousin, Cole. He mildly terrorized Cole all weekend- not because he’s mean, just because he’s kind of jealous and a bit controlling. I knew Cole had had enough when he started fighting back. Spencer tried to take a toy away from Cole and Cole shrieked, shook his head violently, and ripped the toy back out of Spencer’s hands. Then I tried to give Cole a quick bath and Spence decided to join, which I thought would be fun (I remember playing in the bath with cousins and other kids and we had a great time) until Spencer climbed in and Cole started crying. Cole has NEVER cried in the bathtub. Not even the first time I bathed him. Just NEVER. Poor kid was enjoying some alone time with his mommy and having Spencer come in was just too much. Cole has been having little nightmares ever since. He’ll be sleeping when all of a sudden he’ll arch his back and cry until I touch him or move him.

I think they’ll be able to be friends eventually, but their ages are just too different right now. Cole can’t move fast enough for Spencer and Spencer’s still a little too rough for Cole. I hope time can change that. Neither will probably have siblings, so they may be the closest family either one has someday.

Cole had a big weekend in other ways, too. He now is fully walking. That’s all he wants to do. He walks across the room, turns around, and walks back. He walks in stores. He tries to step up and down stairs. What’s more, he can now stand up by himself with nothing around. No more scaling, no more pulling up- all by himself. He’s truly a toddler. The running will come next.

His vocabulary exploded. He’s amazing. My mom says that he can say almost as many words as I could when I was 18 months old. He’s moving SO fast. He used signs for the first time, too. He now uses the sign for hat and food. I know that he understands signs, but it was the first time he actually used them.

And he’s willful. Ugh. I’m finally getting what I deserve, it seems. We had a couple of shrieking episodes in the last couple of days. He was shrieking, not me, though I wouldn’t have been too far behind if it had continued much longer. He cries when his expectations are thwarted, when he doesn’t get to do when he wants, when we make him do things he doesn’t want. He’s finally a person! Who expresses preferences! It’s really cool when I think about it abstractly. Not quite as cool when he’s having a meltdown in the middle of the store.

I think he’s at that stage (or, rather, one of those stages) where he understands and wants to do more than he can express or actually do. I think he’s incredibly frustrated. I try to keep that in mind when dealing with his tantrums. It’ll get better, I’m sure. Then it’ll probably get worse again, but that’s what growing up is about.

We took some really nice pictures while my grandma was here. They are so nice that I’ll actually put some up of me as soon as I remember to bring the disk in. I haven’t liked pictures in a while, so that was a nice change.

We had turkey and all the good stuff (stuffing cooked out of the bird for me because I’m a freak about food poisoning). I didn’t eat too much. No, really. I had one normal portion plate and let it go at that. I maybe snacked a little too much, but I never felt stuffed. It was nice. Not making myself sick on Thanksgiving- how novel! Cole enjoyed actually getting to eat with us this year. The peas were a big hit, as was the stuffing.

Strangely, I feel like I didn’t get enough pie or turkey leftovers. Usually I can’t think about eating more of any leftovers after Thanskgiving, but this year they were used up so quickly. I could really go for a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce (homemade only!) right about now. Mmmmm. And some stuffing. And a little pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

I’m so hungry.

It was a great holiday and I’m really warming up to the idea of Christmas this year. Last year Christmas was a very sad time because I couldn’t be with my extended family. This year we will be together, and that’s what I really want for Christmas. Presents are just a nice bonus.

Wait- I just realized what I REALLY want right now. Pumpkin pancakes. O Yummy! Oooh- tummy growling. It is very angry with me for not giving it pancakes. Send pancakes fast before it eats me instead!

(It also seems that I’ve been tagged, but that will have to wait a bit because I should really do something while at work today. Silly, I know.)

Nov 22 2006

The Start Of My 5 DAY Vacation!!! YAY!!!

I don’t have much to say except…

Happy Thanksgiving! Love, Buck-tooth Bubba
Nov 21 2006

Only Here.

The title from a recent article in our local newspaper:

“Mystery Horse Involved In Arnold Accident”

Did it wear a mask and cape?

Nov 21 2006

Whoa.

My step-grandfather died last night. I just found out. At least, I think it was last night. Maybe it was this morning. I don’t know.

But I’m not sad. No, really! And before you think me heartless, let me explain. I have known him since I was about 4 or 5, but we have never been close. I grew up mostly in California and they (my grandma and my step-grandpa) lived in upstate New York. We saw them only every couple of years most of the time. Then they up and moved to Malawi, Africa with the Peace Corps and we hardly saw them at all.

It was kind of a shock when I learned that he had cancer. It was more shocking when I learned that he had been sick for some time but had been forgoing treatment and ignoring his doctors.

He was not a… nice man. He was rude and almost cruel to my grandmother. He was very controlling. He was strange to our whole family. When we visited one time when John and I were still dating (but living together already for years), he insisted that we sleep in separate beds. When he found out that we had pushed the beds together, he nearly threw us out. I would have understood if I had believed for a second that he was actually appalled and was so conservative that he didn’t want to believe that we slept together. But it wasn’t his sensibilities that were bruised. It was his control-freak nature. He wasn’t old fashioned, he was just kind of a jerk.

He ended up liking John more than he liked most of us, I think, because John could talk to him about everything. He was a very intelligent and educated man. He was a Urologist. He loved to talk to John about politics and religion and science, and John was so patient.

He had escaped as a child from Nazi Germany. Who knows what that would do to a person.

My grandma loved him, and if anything could make me sad today, it would be thinking about that. Despite his crumminess, she was loyal and loving to the end.

He had been bedridden for quite some time before he actually died. They were just controlling the pain, and barely that, I think, near the end. It’s better that he’s gone. He had no joy in life anymore it seems. He went very peacefully.

One of my favorite stories about him is that he performed his own vasectomy. Being a urologist, he was technically qualified. He got halfway through the procedure when he was called to a meeting he felt he couldn’t miss. He patched himself up quickly and went along to the meeting. Some time into the meeting, he felt a wet, sticky sensation in his lap. He realized that his patch job wasn’t quite complete and excused himself to go finish the job. Nutcase.

I know that my grandma is hurting. That is the hard part. But I also know that she is okay. My aunt, one of her daughters, lives in the same town and is with her today. It would be great if we could bring her out here for a little while. I bet a visit with Cole would do her lots of good.

I’m sure she is relieved that his suffering has ended.

Rest in peace, grandpa Nick.

Nov 20 2006

Oy! Kids!

We did some hanging out with my nephew (4 1/2 y.o.) this past weekend. Here are some things we learned:

It is okay to catch and kill fish. It is even okay to run around screaming like a banshee in delight when said fish are caught. It’s okay to torture play with the dying fish in the bucket, giggling about “blood water.” But it is NOT okay to eat dead animals.

And:

A race is only a race if you are winning. Otherwise the race is called off. Make up a good sounding reason (such as “Oh… um… my pedal won’t turn.” “But your pedal is turning just fine now.” “Oh… um… Let’s Race!”) for stopping, regain your lead, and announce that the race is back on. Repeat as necessary.

These are important life lessons here people. Learn them. Use them.

Nov 20 2006

Aarrrgghhh!!!! THE TORTURE!!!

John and I went house hunting on Saturday. We saw the inside of the house we already liked so much.

Let’s just say that now I want to cry every time I think about how much money we DON’T make.

It’s far from a perfect house. It has ugly, utility-type carpet in the bedrooms, the owners have been letting their dog poop in the garage (poor animal), the backyard is a freakin’ MESS, the bathrooms are small. But you know how I know that I love this house? I DON’T CARE ABOUT ANY OF IT. Not one of the issues that it has bugs me a bit, even though I KNOW it would in other houses.

This house has so much potential. The backyard, despite being a shambles, is HUGE and could be so much. John was dreaming of a basketball court in the lower half and I was dreaming of a gazebo. We could (eventually) have both and the yard would still not seem crowded.

The kitchen is beautiful. They just renovated it and did a really nice job.

The master bedroom and bath are small, but I can already see pushing out the wall and making a gorgeous master suite complete with jacuzzi tub (droooool).

I can see us teaching Cole to ride a bike on the street (it’s a very quiet neighborhood) and decorating for Halloween. We’ll have barbeques in the backyard.

I can just see us being a family there. Not that would we wouldn’t be anywhere else, but… you know what I mean.

And it hurts so much to think that some other family will be living there because there’s so little chance that we can afford it.

Damn you, tiny paycheck. DAMN YOU!!!

Nov 20 2006

What’s wrong with me?

I have this inner turmoil/anxiety/mild depression today. It started with hearing of the death of someone I don’t even know, but whose progress I had been tracking on this crazy internet thing. It happened on Friday. It’s the kind of tragic death that makes you want to hug your family and cherish every moment you have with them, telling them how much they mean to you all the time.

Then I got a call about how much our ignorance about ovens was going to cost us. $100 to $120 because we didn’t know better. It pissed me off. I called John and just wanted to be mad at him for not stopping jiggling the effing handle when I asked him to stop jiggling the effing handle already and, therefore, costing us $120 that could go toward a house of our own. I forgot all about the snuggly “forgive and forget and love your loved ones so hard that they’ll never doubt” feeling that I’d been having just minutes before. I just wanted to blame him.

I’m an asshole.

Is it redeeming at all that I know I’m an asshole? Probably not.

Really, as much as it sucks right now, the stupid $120 doesn’t mean anything. We’ll pay the fucking bill and forget about it. Not being mad at John is worth more than that.

So I am announcing my plan for self-improvement. No more passing the blame just because it hurts, because it hurts others, too. I’m taking responsibility for my laziness and forgetfulness and my other- many other- faults. I need to. They don’t belong to anyone else.

Maybe I should start a new feature here: Melancholy Monday. Yeah- THAT’S the way to keep your readers! Bum them the fuck out on a day that’s crappy already! YAY!!

You guys rock.