Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mission Impossible

I just did the unthinkable.

I spent all evening writing (because even when it's something really really important to me, I can't seem to do anything but procrastinate) and when the letters began to all look the same and I couldn't even figure out what a complete sentence was, much less how to create one, I pushed spellcheck and. . .

I submitted it.

To a major publication for their annual contest.


I finally submitted my writing.

And you know? It wasn't that hard. The hardest part was making the time to do this for myself. But the writing? Easy-peasy.

I may just be hooked on submitting. My days of sitting back and letting other writers have all the fun may be behind me.

Even if I don't win. But wouldn't it just be so cool if I did??

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BOY. Spell it. B-O-Y

Overheard in the Home Depot line tonight:

"Oh look, Jenny," the irritatingly tall man says to his 2 year old pigtailed-in-pink daughter, "Another little girl. Wave to the little girl."

As she waves to the only little kid within a twelve mile radius. My little boy.

My little boy in DARK BLUE shorts.

Yes, he was wearing a yellow shirt that says I love Cheerios and his Dad calls those blue shorts his 'gay shorts' because they are pinstriped and a little bit metrosexual but, really, he only wants to dress him in RealTree and other camo-type outfits. . . . and. . . . whatever. He still looks like a little boy in blue and yellow.

He's a little boy. And besides being the prettiest little boy I've ever seen, he doesn't look like a little girl any more than Shiloh Jolie-Pitt looks like a little boy. (Ummmm. . . have you seen the latest pictures of her?! I guess I'm not helping prove my point here.)

I tried to grab a pic of the little man to show you how utterly un-girl-like he actually looks, but the little booger fell asleep before I could snap it.

So tomorrow is his FIRST HAIRCUT and while I am kinda (ok, really really) sad that he is a year old next week and it is first haircut time already. . . .

I am so freakin' elated that now people will stop thinking he's a little girl.

Monday, May 24, 2010

How to Lose Your Baby Weight

Step 1: Bitch and moan for months about not losing the baby weight, and gaining those 51 friggin' pounds while you were pregnant.

Step 2: Join a gym 8 months after having your baby.

Step 3: Over-schedule yourself so you never have time to use said gym.

Step 4: When baby is 11 months and 2 weeks old, get really really sick. Like so sick that you can't get out of bed for three days, swallowing water is impossible and when the doctor asks what is wrong, you just look at him with big eyes and gasp "Fix me. Please."

Step 5: Stay in bed for three days, only getting up to take another swig of hydrocodone (in liquid form because - remember? - your throat is so swollen you could never swallow a pill) and antibiotics.

Step 6: Arise from your dirty, sweaty sheets to find that you have dropped 8 pounds in three days and are now back to pre-baby weight.

Step 7: Put on pre-Preggo shorts that just last week could not be coaxed or tugged past your knees and do a happy dance that they slide on easily with - gasp - even a little room to spare.

Step 8: Vow to get really really insanely and disgustingly sick about once every three months. Just to stay in shape.

Step 9: Cancel gym membership.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I told you so

"Three things," came the phone call that woke me up in New Orleans this morning.

"First - you were right." Uh oh. Hubs never tells me I'm right.

"Second - he's all right." Double uh oh. Why do things always happen when I'm out of town working?

"Third - I lowered the crib this morning."

Ahhhh. . . it's all making sense now. About three weeks ago, I wrote a little note on Hubs Honey Do list. 'Lower crib to lowest setting.' Hubs disagreed with me, stating that the kiddo was too young and didn't have the arm strength to propel himself from his crib and it would be too hard to put him down for a nap then, and yadda yadda yadda. I deferred to his reasoning, believing that there are two parents for a reason - sometimes one of them has to be wrong, and I guess this time it would be me.

But I wasn't. So I'm going to say it. Just this once.

I told you so.

I guess the story goes that as the Little Monster started crying this morning at 5:30 am (as he has begun to do recently, ugh), the Hubs let him cry for five minutes, and then Bjorn stopped. Which prompted Hubs to think he had fallen back asleep.

A good presumption. I have thought the same.

Ten minutes later, he cries again, so Hubs gets up to make a bottle and in the midst of stirring and mixing and formulating, he hears a 'thud thud thud' as if someone is knocking at the door.

But not the front door. Nooooo. Bjorn's door.

Walking in, he finds Bjorn at the door, sitting on the floor, trying to bust out of his room.

Somehow, by the wonderful grace of God, Bjorn has no bruises, no scrapes and no broken bones. He is not acting any worse for wear and he did not (thank God!) hit himself on any of the large, hard, wooden pieces of furniture situated around his crib as he somehow threw himself out of it. He also (thank God!) managed to not choke on any of the millions of little pieces of anything that could be on his floor because God only knows when was the last time I vacuumed.

We still don't know how he got out without Hubs hearing. We have a baby monitor, people. One so strong that I just told Kat yesterday that I can hear him breathing on the monitor. So how did he miss a climb/jump/flight out of a very tall crib?

And, really, how in the hell did Bjorn escape his crib? That's the real kicker. The over-priced baby monitor with attached TV screen? Would have been worth it just for this.

Monday, May 17, 2010

It ain't a dry heat. It's just damn HOT!

Sartre may believe that hell is other people, but I am pretty sure that hell is Phoenix in the summer.

Why anyone chooses Phoenix to live out of every other amazing city (Chicago, Austin, San Diego) is beyond me, but, hey - we're here too, right?! So I guess I can't say much. . . . but, then again, I can, because this is my blog and if I can't complain and bitch on my blog, there where can I?

Anyways. . . .

There are all sorts of cliches about Phoenix - starting with "But it's a dry heat". Coming from Houston, where a shower lasts all day and nothing is ever quite dry, I understand the difference between dry heat and humidity. But, here's the thing people - hot is hot. Damn hot is still damn hot no matter if its dry or wet. And 119 degrees (um, yes, is really is that hot) is damn hot. Plus my nose bleeds when it's dry, and that just makes me even more miserable.

Needless to say, the Hubs and I have come up with all sorts of ways to beat the heat in the summer. Two years ago we would "float the river". In college, floating the river would entail driving to a local river, renting tubes for you and your cooler of beer and spending the entire day trying not to get hit by drunk frat boys jumping off rock ledges. Then you stumble home at the end of the day half-drunk, half-burnt and completely exhausted. "Floating the river" now consists of a cooler of beer/margaritas, two lawn chairs, our backyard and a sprinkler strategically placed over us. No fuss, no inebriated flashing and no half-drunk-driving.

We also take road trips north. It doesn't matter where really, as long as it's north. In two hours we can see the temperature drop 20-30 degrees. You would never realize how cool 95 degrees can feel!

This year, we decided to tackle the heat problem head on. We bought a second home.

And yes, Megan, I still can't figure out how to rotate pictures. Whatever. You should be used to it by now!
The above pic is the king beg - there is a full on the other end.

Now, our second home (Cheap Hotel, Hotel/Motel/Holiday Inn, as we call it) doesn't have AC, but that is not a problem. We head out for points north, and when camped in the shade of trees thousands of years old, the heat is no longer an issue. A breeze blows in from the banks of the creek and the leaves rustle a tune filled with history and simplicity.

And all is good.

I am now ready for summer. Bring it on, Mother Nature!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Turning on the WaterWorks

Last week I took Bjorn to a splash pad with some of his friends. Being as he absolutely, 100% can't get enough of anything water-related, he loved it.

Splashed around, played a little - he even made it look like he was peeing! (My little boy - what a ham!)

But after playing with his friends for a little while, he decided to explore. And walked away, towards a group of 3 and 4 year olds a few fountains away.

He sat down next to them, grabbed a shovel from their mountain of toys and began shoveling water in a dump truck held by a little girl in pigtails and purple.

He didn't miss a beat. Didn't look around to see if Mama was there with him, or if any of his friends were around. Just walked right up to these older kids and began to play.

I followed him at first, but when he didn't stop to look for me, I hung back, waiting for him to cry and run back to me. Waiting for him to need me. Waiting for the apron strings to draw him back in.

But that time didn't come. Bjorn sat there and played. And played and played and played. Even when the purple, pig-tailed girl grabbed his shovel, he just laughed and grabbed a loose car. When a little boy tossed a ball at him, he tried to catch it, and fell **SPLASH** into a big puddle. Which, of course, made all the kids want to splash into the puddle.

He was having fun. Interacting. Being a kid.

Without me.

And it is now that I realize the truth in the saying: "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." ~Elizabeth Stone

I was excited to see him playing with other kids, being independent and happy and sharing. I somehow felt that at 11 months of age it was my great parenting skills that has allowed him to feel so welcome everywhere. It was my influence that has made him open and friendly and comfortable. I felt reassured that when those troublesome teenage years come - as they always do - he would survive unscathed, being the boy surrounded by friends. Good friends. Because he would be a good friend, too.

And I was sad that already he didn't seem to need me. Already he could take off on his own direction, chart his own course and discover his own truths. Already he could decide who it was that he wanted to play with, and Mama wouldn't always make the cut.

A short time later, he came walking back to me, grabbing insistently at my shorts, jabbering. I did what any Mama with her heart dangling in the open like a shiny Christmas ornament would do.

I sat down in the middle of the water, grabbed my little boy, and splashed around like there was nothing in the world I wanted to do more. Like a three year old.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mug Shot

I know all y'all out there in Bloggy world are just dying to hear what it is that Daddy and Bjorn got this Mama for Mother's Day.

Was it someone to clean this pit of a house every week, sparing Mama the hours of dusting, folding and scrubbing that takes up so much of her free time? Or was it the real splurge - a $400 necklace that no one really needs, but - let's face it - every girl really wants?

I'll just start this by saying that my husband knows me better than anyone. And while I will ask for all sorts of expensive gifts that I want (but probably can't afford), when it all comes down to it, he is going to go in his own direction and get exactly what he wants, no help from me.

For the last few weeks, thanks to a gift from my BIL, the Hubs and I have spent many days off together doing nothing but watching back episodes of The Office. And when I say 'doing nothing but' I really mean it. Twelve straight hours of The Office. We are getting a little obsessed.

But obsessed is good. It's quality time, people.

So, for Mother's Day, Bjorn and the Hubs put their heads together and got me the coolest gift any Dunder-Mifflin-obsessed-Michael-Scott-loving-Jim-and-Pam-are-perfect-for-each-other girl could ever want.

My very own Bjorn America's Got Talent mug.

On the other side, it says 'Worlds Best Mommy' - much like Michael Scott's Worlds Best Boss mug.

**Don't remember this episode? Check out NBC for the other America's Got Talent mugs, as well as episode links.**

This mug is better than any laptop, maid service, spa certificate I could ever get. Really, when it comes to presents, it is all about coming from the heart. With a lot of laughter. And this has more than enough heart and laughter.

Perfect. Thanks Hubs. Thanks Bjorn. Happy Mother's Day to me!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mother's Day

Like any good man, my Hubs has resorting to using Bjorn to decode what I really want next weekend for Mother's Day (and my birthday, since the two are only about a month apart).

Holding Bjorn in front of his face, he says in a sing-song baby voice (which sounds nothing like the cute baby talk in Look Who's Talking):
"Mommy, what do you want for Mother's Day? Do you want Daddy to buy himself a new motorcycle? Would that make you happy?"

Yes, Bjorn, a new motorcycle for Daddy would make me happy. But, no, absolutely and completely no, it is not what I want for Mother's Day.

So, while you - perfect little Bloggy Mommy - can be angelic and doe-eyed, insisting that you don't want anything for Mother's day - just a happy, healthy family is enough for you. Well, blah blah blah with your '50s housewife self. I'll take that and a gift.

Open your minds (and your wallets) because my list ain't cheap (hint hint, Hubs!):
A Netbook/Laptop
I don't care anymore whether I get a netbook or a notebook or a lapbook or whatever the hell it is. But I have been traveling without a computer for four months now and it sucks. How can I keep up with all your blogs if I don't have a computer to wile away the hours spent in a hotel room? Without a computer I have been working out, sleeping late and exploring new cities. Who needs that?!

Return to Tiffany Heart necklace

Oh yes, I did say Tiffany. As in, the little blue box Tiffany. Yes, I went there. I don't do name brands. I don't wear labels. But Tiffany is not a brand. It's not a label. It's a lifestyle. Honestly, I don't love all Tiffany jewelry (or even most) but this necklace is a classic piece that can be worn casual or dressy. And, well - let's face it, it's Tiffany and I love it and that is all that matters.

A maid
And I don't mean me in an apron with duster. A real maid who cleans baseboards, windows and ceiling fans. One who doesn't pretend she can't see the dust accumulating on those picture frames but actually picks them up, dusts them and then - omg, do people actually do this? - dusts underneath them.

Fingerprint Necklace
I saw this on Etsy one day and decided that, while there are plenty of mother's jewelry like name necklaces and charm bracelets and yadda yadda yadda, this was the only Mothers jewelry I would wear consistently. And isn't it just a fantastically eccentric and unique idea??

Spa services
A gift certificate to a spa would be heaven. Although a personalized pedicure/haircut/facial would definitely not be returned, a gift card for a dollar amount would leave me the option of picking exactly which service I wanted that day. Didn't feel like a pedicure? No problem - I could get an eyebrow wax, facial scrub and scalp massage. Some (ahem - Mom) would argue with me, but really - gift cards are where it's at.