things that make you go 'hmmm'

We went to the beach today. We trekked like desert wanderers, snaking through the oiled bodies until we found a quiet spot. My sister and I put down the bags, spread the towels, got out the water, re-screened ... and I took off Rio's clothes.

Here's the weird part. All of the sudden I was in whacko mode. I think kids should be nekkid on the beach. It's natural. So why was all my hair standing up? I was sizing up every person who walked by looking for who knows what, but I was definitely more out of my mind than usual. Stressed in the least pleasant of ways ... hmmm.

We continue to have a great time and miss Bear and Jacky a little too much. Today she asked if we could go home and 'have a tea party on the purple rug and Daddy can drink tea and Jacky can drink tea' and I wanted to oblige ... but we have many miles before we head home. It's fun being with her so much in a different space. She constantly amazes me with her ability to just roll with the day. That kid is my new role model :)

Tomorrow we're heading to my grandmother's. I've been thinking about my gramps a lot and it might be finally hitting me because I don't want to go there. I love her, love hanging out with her, but I am having a desire to run which usually portends difficult emotional stuff. Hooboy.

2 fun things:

* Lost, as usual, and getting directions from a nice Haitian valet dude. He went on and on and asked if I got it and I said 'Yeah, sure, thanks' and he said, 'Repeat it back to me' and I said, 'Oh my god, how could you tell I wasn't paying attention?!' and he said, 'Easy' and I continued on my wayward way, chastised.

* I will be seeing my roommate from nearly 20 years ago this week. I love her. She's nuts and we had a total blast. When I get back, I'll have the top ten Big D stories.

What the heck are you guys up to?!


bon voyage baby

Pretty much packed. Mailed these today for Mich and A:

Still hoping for the best on this adventure even though this sweet child ...

... insists on creating things like this:

So we bid you a fond farewell for now with the reminder to seize the day, stay in your jammies, be messy and miss us for we'll miss you. I'll try to post from the road but, well, no breath-holding.

the roadshow

your thoughts?

For the first time ever I am (A) taking Rio on a plane to Florida and (B) listening to the more experienced in the group.

Normally I like to fly it alone ... hahahahahaha ... oh my. I'm not great at taking advice and I've made some pretty epic blunders but we're all alive and we smile and laugh a lot so, yeah, I am just sort of forging my way through unintentional motherhood. But this flight thing has me nervous.

First of all, although AirTran had non-stop flights, I didn't want to risk getting booted off. My darling Rio rarely misbehaves and reading about that kid's tantrum sounds, well, intense, but still, I don't want to be stranded in an airport so we're flying Delta. With one stop each way. In my non-advice taking mode, that seemed like a pretty good idea. The break. Let's all just hope she gets *back* on the plane. This should be great!

Anyway. I am borrowing a dvd player and dvds of the beloved Blues Clues, I have Pringles (which she's never had and I'm counting on lulling her into a chemical coma) and Triminic Licky Strips (they have a real name but this is funnier and they totally gork her in case of emergency ... hey, don't you judge!), and beads for stringing (we made the beads which is why my house is a disaster and my kid laughs like a maniac) but I'd like to open the floor to your suggestions. And no, I can't leave her at home.

So, fire away!

*I am thinking of making a t-shirt for me that says 'I tried to leave her at home' and one for her that says 'Keep staring ... it helps me poop'. Think those will help?!

it happens when it happens

Lulu, Bear's sister, was due to deliver twin bundles of joy on May 21st. Then the docs decided perhaps April 21st to be more prudent as she was approaching aircraft carrier size and one was on top of the other, instead of side by side and that one on the bottom was pointed up!

On March 17th, Auntie Lulu and Uncle Kracker became the proud parents of Tahlula and Tinkerbell! The girls are fantastic - high APGAR scores and gorgeous perfect little persons. Mommy is happy and fine and Daddy is insanely pleased. Wish them well as they embark on twin baby heaven. We plan to visit often and possibly move back there if Bear doesn't notice ...


wherein I come clean and mortally offend the vast majority of you ...

I used to start each day with Howard Stern. He's like Playboy - amazing articles. Seriously. Fully 50% of his content is too disgusting, offensive, idiotic and sophomoric to hold my attention. Then I do what he freely recommends and change the station. But, ah, the other 50%. Hoohaw. Some of the most brilliant interviews in existence. He has no boundaries so what he's able to pull from people is real, honest, bare and true. In those moments he's his best. Whether it's getting a Dixie Chick to talk about a three-some or Jim Carrey talking about his homelessness, it's compelling stuff.

That said, I had to make the choice to stop listening because I don't want Rio exposed to the language and subject matter. It's a valid mom point, but I do miss Howard. When she was down for a nap the other day I had the opportunity to listen to the show on satellite. We're one of the millions of households that have Sirius to have Howard. It was my Christmas gift last year. As an aside, I had a client back in CT who told me it was a ridiculous move on Sirius' part, Howard didn't have that kind of draw, lunatics and imbeciles don't buy satellite radio ... I really should have bought stock. There was zero question in my mind that Howard is a traveling tipping point. But I digress ...

Every couple of years Bear and I get sucked into Apprentice or Idol or Rockstar:INXS or something like that. Guilty pleasure television. Just burning through unused neurons and getting a little outside pseudo-reality based backup that I'm not the worst singer on earth and that I'm smarter than a LOT of 20-something MBA and JD grads .... :) So I was listening to Howard and he was talking about this and I had an aha moment. I could not understand how that lovely boy* has made it so far. I understand Idol putting him through sheerly/shearly for his hair ... but that's just tv. The voting public never ceases to amaze me and this was another instance of proof. Until I realized that Howard was in the mix. Love him or loathe him, you simply must respect his power. He's been instrumental in a number of political elections and it would seem he's tipping the scales of American Idol.

This ought to be the best season ever!

*In the google search to find the link, I scanned some boards, blogs and comments. People are saying it's mean to string this kid along and that Howard and are messing with that kid. I say to take a step back and ask why he made it past hundreds of thousands of excellent voices and talents. IDOL packages the show and I'd bet it's to pretty exacting standards. They put this kid in the spotlight so let's remember their motives, as well. You had to know RandyChubbyDawg and SadChildhoodSimon would eat that kid alive. Paula can't even reach into her medicine storage locker to find something to make him palatable ... just some things to remember!

AMA cam

No lie. I feel like I'm on reality television most of the time. About 50 times a day I look around and think, "There simply HAS TO BE a camera on me. No one's life is so ridiculous!" but there are no cameras ... that I can see, anyway ...

Just today:

*3am~ Bear finally comes home. Rio had been up squawking and trying to get into bed with me for her bootcamp workout and I was having none of it. He comes in, comes upstairs and immediately falls into her web. He's changing a dry diaper and I say "Put her back in her bed" and he takes her to the reading chair and starts reading the very long 'Green Eggs And Ham' and then I say "Bed!" when I hear about how great those freaking eggs are and then I hear 'Goodnight Moon' get started and I realize no one listens to me ever.

*9am~ She finally gets up so we're going to have to rush to make it to her gym class where she ignores the teacher and does her own thing while laughing like a lunababy. I'm trying to get her into the car when she informs me, "Mommy, I don't drink from the red cup, I drink from the purple cup and no saying 'no' OR 'why'!". The entire ride to the gym is me explaining the harsh reality of too bad about the cup color.

*10:31~ late for class. Pulling into the parking lot and some asshat almost t-bones me because my right of way silver car passed through an invisibility shield or some such crap. Then he yells 'Fuck you' at me and I am yelling 'Fuck me? Fuck you asshole!' at the top of my lungs while 2 other late mothers are unloading their kids. Nice.

*12pm~ Just trying to make a bank deposit. Rio wants to hang on the dividers so I'm trying to tell her that they're different from the gym and a crazy lady walks up to me and says, "They say I'm too thin, now. Yup. Lost 80 pounds in 90 days." No intro, just launches. "Oh yea?" I say, "Did someone lock you in a closet?" and then I can tell from the horrified look of the tellers that she's not so much crazy as she is mentally retarded and I have just said something pretty wrong to her in front of a load of people...

*1pm~ We get the 'new guy' at the hibachi place. Cuz you want a ringside seat to someone tossing knives and making fires on his first day. Enough said.

*3pm~ Again she won't nap, but wants to be in bed. Hollering. She finally falls asleep. Me, too. So when I wake up at 4:30 and she's still out, well, I know tonight's gonna suck.

*6pm~ As I'm letting her feed Jack her spaghetti one long strand at a time, again with the crazy laugh, I realize that I've lost control over a lot of ground lately ... he's standing with one foot on her chair and she's feeding him and feeding herself and feeding him some more and although I'm thinking about the germs, I'm also thinking that I don't have an argument for 'no feeding Jack at the table' that is likely to fly with her without loads of explanation so I allow the feeding to just continue.

*8pm~ I decide that my husband really is bugging me. I am nasty to him.

*8:04~ It's not him, I'm crabby. I apologize and we're good.

*8:07~ Nope, it's him.

*8:10~ Nope, it's me. Rinse and repeat.

*bedtime~ a misnomer, cuz I now feel the insomnia. And I tripped on Jack in the kitchen and again on the stairs. I can hear Bear snoring and I haven't ironed a shirt for him for tomorrow and if I wear my earplugs I won't get up early and I could really use a cameraman to bum a smoke off and tell him about the time I bungied off a crane 14 stories in the air ...

2 very odd things

Tomorrow I will be posting an ode to my new dentist, complete with a link and I'll make you pinky swear to go to him if you live within 1000 miles, but for now a completely weird phenomenon....

Bear snores. Loud. With his mouth hanging open and usually pointing at me. When he gets into bed he swishes the down comforter so it blasts cold air into my warm little pocket. And then he hogs the blankets. And he wants to read when I want to sleep and wants to sleep when I want to read. And he starts books that I've already started and makes me feel bad if I want the book back. And he puts his scratchy feet on me but claims sensory aggravation if I put my feet on him and mine aren't even scratchy!

So why can't I sleep unless he's here? He's back at work. Said he was going in 'to run a couple quick arrays', whatever the hell that means. But it was hours ago. I have half a vicodin in me and I am wide awake. Waiting for the loud ass snoring, bed cooling, cover hogging, reading, scratchy footed partner of mine.

*sigh* Love is very, very strange.


Maybe tomorrow I'll have the stomach to tell you about the worst, most disgusting bomb in history. Let's just say, Bear left his sister's double delish baby shower to change Miss Rio - and he never came back.

And when I went to recon (what *is* the proper little word? oh, my brain is soooo gone) she was lying in the back of the wagon on a moving blanket, she had nothing on - not even socks, and she was smiling and her daddy was gagging and sweating and shoving all her clothes into plastic bags.

Yeah, I didn't think you'd want to talk about it.

So, anyway ... gorked.

All the way home yesterday afternoon, the smelliest baby in all the land was, well, a pill. Uncoated. Not tasty. She threw things. She said bad words. She cackled like the possessed. She pulled my hair through the headrest with her toes!!!

So by the time the 2 hour ride home had passed we were ready for Uncle Jim's SuperDelish Kool Aid. We finally got her fed, bathed, rebathed, annointed and ready for bed. She didn't look nearly tired enough so I decided we couldn't run the risk of her super bad cold returning so ... I gorked her. Go ahead, judge. But first, let your little angel call you 'otherfuckermay' as only a 2 year old can grasp bad pig latin, and have her call you that with your hair being pulled out at the root by her otherfuckingmay toes! Gorked.

She slept sooooo much, that she got up super early and now won't nap. Or get out of her crib. She's bouncing up and down, singing 'Looooook aaaaat meeeeee!' and she has about 20 animals assembled as an audience and I have started to fear that kid. I go in and say, "Want to get up and play?" and she makes a noise like a rabid dog and screams, "Everyyyyyyyyybodyyyyyyyy move your feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet! Uuuuuuuuuuuse yourrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr hannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnds!" and ignores me.

What the uckfay?

ultimate baby fighting

Now, you can get all judgey-wudgey, but if ever there was a time I was going to list Rio on Ebay with a 'Buy It Now' of 47 cents, it was the middle of last night.

First, Bear is exhausted. Looks bad exhausted. Works for a bunch of loopy people who change all the major priorities every single day, which is sooo fun for him. So he came home last night totally shot.

We had a baby mosh pit yesterday between 3 and 5. All the moms, 9 kids, wine and snacks and the kids ended up running a racetrack through the house and it was like that scene from this movie and we all were smug in the coming exhaustion levels of our children!*

We were both looking forward to the 'baby so tired she drops off immediately for a long night of much needed rest' so we could do the same.

Not so much. Mine, for no reason I can think of, ate the vast majority of a tub of cream cheese. Ostensibly using a cracker, but solely for its shovel-like properties. Gross. She's never had it before, and as she was shoveling she kept giving me nasty looks whilst jamming 2 tablespoon chunks of white goop into her head.

So, basically, she pooped 4 times last night. And wouldn't stay in her bed. And wouldn't fall back asleep. She asked so sweetly for 'a snuggle with mommy and daddy and my cozy soft blanket' that we capitulated. She alternated between resting her head so adorably on one of us and mercilessly kicking the living crap out of the other. And when she was 'head resting on Bear' she was kicking all up and down my back and scooching around to pull my hair! I wanted to set her outside my window, on the short stretch of wicked pitched roof....

She's sound asleep in our bed. Phone just rang 10 feet from her head and on she snoozed. I'm trying to think of the most obnoxious way to wake her and then I'll do so because we have a class this morning. Any thoughts?! I'm leaning toward shoving things up her nose. Maybe a little cream cheese?

*if the moms will let me i'll post pictures...

filled with cement

Of course, I don't have a lot of time to write this but I gotta get it out. The way I feel right now is chock full of wet cement. Like someone *beepbeepbeep* backed up one of those brightly colored spinning cement mixer trucks and poured the entire load down my throat. Every crevice expanded a little to accept the overflow, and I am now full to capacity.

Why? Hard to say.

*I love spending time with my brother. The circumstances of what can only be described as our warlike, hellish childhood affected us differently. Sometimes, like yesterday, he shuts down so quickly, so violently, I have to check to make sure my toes weren't severed when the gate dropped. I am denied admission and it breaks my heart a little more each and every time it happens.

*We finally emptied the boxes in the garage onto the new bookshelves. When I got to a big box of my art books, we found the damage. Termites? Mice? Mold? Hard to tell but there were bore holes and crumbled boxes and ravaged books everywhere. I felt personally assaulted. Before having Rio I wandered upon Art History and fell immediately and wildly in love. I haven't had the time to pursue it in the least little bit since I naively signed up for the consuming job of parenthood. To see the books destroyed, literally turned to dust ... made me feel like *I* am disappearing. Little by little, holes chewed through, complete destruction in small but irrevocably lost locations.

*I am still not doing well with having no income. No control of the amount of money available to me at any moment. I've gone from 100% autonomy to, I can't describe it. Bear is awesome about never asking what I do with the money he gives me, but he still gives it to me. If I work I miss out on raising Rio. It's not like I could work fulltime ... so what would be the real benefit of parttime? And that lead me to think, "Hell. It's really not SO long. I'm in the home stretch of this incredibly tough, vitally important first 3 years. How lucky I could spend every day with her." I really do feel lucky. And old. I'll be about 45, 46 going 'back to work'. Fuck.

*On a happy note, I have an idea that is great. I am making myself do something every day toward making it happen. Or at least knowing that if it doesn't happen, I tried.

And now, it's time for laundry, breakfast, vacuuming, my reality. Usually, I'm thrilled with what I'm doing. The first few days of this week were just back to back 24 hour hits of 'where did I go?'.

substantiation station

Do you have a flexible spending account where you work? You know, monthly deductions and you have the ease of a Visa for copays and other allowable medical expenses? Well, evidently the IRS has a new protocol. EACH AND EVERY TIME YOU USE YOUR STINKING CARD THAT EXISTS WHOLLY TO 'MAKE LIFE EASIER', you must submit the 3 sheets of paper they send you along with a copy of the receipt for the transaction.

Let's see. There are 3 people in my family. We have checkups, prescriptions, allowable pharmacy purchases, uncovered dental expenses ... so far this month I have 9 substantiation request letters. All mailed separately.

Honestly? Who in the name of holy hell is running this country?????

seriously? no yelling at Bear

I'm so glad Blogger added a larger type option. Now I can see all the mistakes I make with crystal clarity!

I had a piano lesson on Saturday. It was so much better than great. We jammed a little, talked a little, and I learned a LOT. I've taken one or two lessons here and there trying to find the right fit. So far - no go. But this guy is I seriously can't wait for my next lesson!

So I come home from my lesson all jazzed. I'm dying to sit down at the piano and show Bear all I learned IN ONE SHORT HOUR! I walk in through the garage, through the library into the kitchen ... and I see Rio, still in her jammies which was no surprise, reading books on the couch. And then Bear comes skidding around the corner from upstairs. I can see right away that less than 2 minutes ago, he was sound asleep. He has mofo creases on his face.

me: Where you SLEEPING?
bear: Whaaaat? Sleeping?!
me: *bursts into tears*

Here's the thing. I don't get a lot of time to myself. I typically use the bathroom for each and every function with an audience and commentary. I no longer go to the gym (long story and I can't believe who DID and who did NOT get fired) and I don't really 'do' anything for myself these days. I snatch moments when she's sleeping, but that usually coincides with Bear coming home for lunch and the bottom line is, if I could hear myself think the strangeness of my voice might startle me.

And! When he's wrong, dead wrong, he gets an attitude that makes me want to go to the store, buy golf shoes and clubs, come back home, club him and then stomp him with the golf shoes. He's *that much* of a prick when he's wrong. George Bush has more sincere apologies than Bear ... okay? So, while the 42,000 ways my darling baby could have been killed or maimed were careening through my head, the guy I'm supposedly stuck with for this entire lifetime says, "What? She's fine by herself for a few minutes."

I sent him grocery shopping. I had a chance to cool down. We were able to really discuss it and he was just as angry as I was at himself. Or so he believes ...

Funnily enough, he spent all day today doing things I wanted him to do! Bookshelves were bolted to walls! Boxes were unpacked! Other boxes went into the basement! Tables were moved! Lamps rewired! I got a million sweet hugs today for no apparent reason.

Really, you'd think I had golf shoes around here somewhere ...

the secret to a happy marriage

Seriously though? Because you're all thinking it must be something huge, right. Nope. Just these.

I'm not even kidding. Bear usually falls asleep first and 'accidentally' he slides over toward me with his head hanging open like Terrence snoring so fricken loud you think, 'that can't be real! he must be faking! maybe he's dying AND I'LL GET SOME EFFING SLEEP!!!!', but that's just how he rolls.

Yeah, so I happened upon these bad boys and tried them out. (With the double links and all it's tempting to think I'm on the payroll, but I really just love these more than chocolate. Almost as much as chocolate. Okay, nowhere near as much as chocolate but I *do* loveloveLOVE them!).


Can you believe I'm not on ADD meds?! Anyway, I twirl them just so and slowly, softly, the soften and then erase the barnyard sounds from the pillow next to mine. I'm getting rest, real rest, for the first time ever. Wild.