Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mom's Pearls of Wisdom part 1

In honor of Mothers' Day, I've decided to post a weeks worth of what I love about my mom.
I realize Mothers' Day is 8 days away, but I'm starting now, because I'm planning on spending the actual day of Mothers' Day lounging around the house, ooohing and ahhing over a scribbled card (it will be draft 3 minimum, as she's already made me 2 she could not wait to hand over so I got them early), and not changing any poopy diapers at all (thanks honey!).

Anyway, today I present a scene from my upbringing to illustrate my Mom's true genius:

Teenage me: "That song, 'You're So Vain' is so stupid. She says the song isn't about him, but it obviously is. That's stupid. Makes no sense. What's it about if it's not about him?"

Mom: "It's about the clouds in her coffee. I hate to say this, but most likely you will someday meet a guy and that song will make perfect sense to you. I hope not, but probably."

Teenage me: "whatever, it's stupid."

Fast forward a few years until I'm mid-conversation with a guy in high school. He actually pulls out the line "Why don't you ask me to Sadie Hawkins? Because I'd like to go out with you, but I certainly don't want to pay for it."

And suddenly a voice in my head screams "Oooooooh. It's about the clouds in her coffee. Got it."

To this day, I love that song. And I love my mother, because she is an uber-genius.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dear Bruno Mars

I say this out of love. Well, out of tolerance, I guess. My three-year-old knows every word of "Just The Way You Are" and I work with teenage girls, and I appreciate the message of that song. So I'm not totally hating on you.
I just saw tonight's American Idol. I have to say, there's a fine line between "keeping it real" and a disturbing amount of oversharing. There's also a fine line between clever lyrics and insanely stupid lyrics. Your new song is miles beyond both of those lines, and not on the "good" side. A song about being lazy and sitting around all day has the potential to be funny or cutesy, but it also could apparently very easily be super gross. Forget the inherent lack of musicality in lyrics about you lounging around in a Snuggie or with your hand down your pants (and if you readers don't believe me, listen to the song, I am not joking--those are actual lyrics), lets keep a little mystery, Bruno. Your demographic is largely composed of young women who listen to your music while secretly pretending they have a chance to date or marry you someday (whether you are already married, gay, or anything else on the spectrum is irrelevant to these teenage fantasies), and you want to keep them interested so they keep buying records.
Keeping them interested entails pretending you will always love and adore them as if it is your first date. It keeps no one interested if you give them a delightful little preview into what a Saturday afternoon somewhere around year seven of your marriage would look like. Far to much reality! Stick to telling them their laugh is sexy and their eyes make the sun look as if it isn't shining, or whatever you sang in that first song, my three-year-old is in bed so I can't ask her. Even though I totally despise it personally, you can even stick to songs with freakishly violent and gruesome lyrics about how you'd die various ways for your love for no apparent reason (and even though she won't return the favor). I'm assuming the young woman you are singing to in that one has a lot of enemies that you would have to catch grenades, take bullets, and do all sorts of other self-sacrificing things for her, but I know girls love that sort of melodramatic, over the top, and frankly disturbing kind of romance. Case in point: the Twilight series.
**Just out of curiosity, what good does it actually do to "catch a grenade" for someone? I mean, assuming you were standing next to them, which you would be in order to be close enough to catch it, wouldn't you just both blow up? Doesn't that seem like a bad call in which no one wins? I've wondered that for a while now.
Anyway, in short, while we all know the guilty pleasure of sticking a wad of Kleenex up a nostril when we have a runny nose and don't want to keep wiping it, or whatever your nasty lazy (or sick) day vice is--but there's a reason it isn't the stuff of musical wooing. There's also a reason women don't let their boyfriends see them in full blown period mode until they've got a rock solid relationship--help a girl out and return the favor.
On the other hand, I guess no one could accuse you of a bait and switch if you told them all your disgusting habits well in advance. If you ever got to a first date after laying it all out there. That's a big if.
One last thing...I'm not hating on the Snuggie either. In fact, by the final verse, when you sang about strutting around without it (or a shower I'm assuming), I'd never missed a Snuggie so much. Ewwww, Bruno. Just, ewww.

Friday, April 22, 2011

One more quick thing...

For the love of Pete, will the approximately 12 Americans who actually care about the British royals just move to the UK and get it over with so this insane wedding will stop crapping up all our TV shows, commercials, and even shopping channels?
My ancestors got on a boat and came to the country hundreds of years ago specifically to escape the rule of royal family, and now that they exercise no actual power I have to put up with a live feed on what Kate Middleton is eating being sent into my living room 24/7 no matter what channel I'm watching? What is up with that?
I DO NOT CARE. I'm happy for them, just like I'm happy for anyone happily getting married, but I didn't enjoy the details of planning my own wedding, and I certainly don't want to hear about theirs. I won't be up at 3am to watch it, and I don't want to know where I can get a replica of her ring. While we're at it, I also do not care about Mariah Carey's twins, or Courtney Cox's divorce, or anything else like it...though I wish them all the best.
Maybe getting up before 5 did make me a little cranky today.

Someone Saved My Life Tonight

As many of you know, I can be a bit of an intense person. I feel things very acutely, and I have a sense of justice that often gets very violated in this crazy mixed up world of ours. I get mad or sad about things I can't control. It's why I quit watching the news several years ago. I've been like this from birth--my father just loves to tell people about how as a baby I would constantly keep my fists clenched so tight they would have to pry them open to clean out the lint every so often. Obviously, this intensity isn't a phase I will eventually grow out of without work. I prefer to call it "passion" since it sounds better.
However, I also have extremely vivid dreams that I have a hard time shaking, and when you couple the two, things can get a little hairy. I know my dreams aren't real, but I have a hard time shaking the feelings they gave me. I remember being upset with my dad for days when I was a teenager because I dreamed he left my mom. I try not to let it effect my interactions with the person, because I'm not crazy, but after a particular dream, I may need a little space while I sort out my head.
Last night, however, I had a dream that I reacted very strongly to what is unfortunately a very real situation (involving a young child which is the only reason I even care). I don't have any control of, or even a stake in, the situation in real life (and there's no actual abuse involved or anything that would make it my business), but in my dream I totally took this person to task for their selfish behavior. I went ballistic and said some horrible (but well deserved) things. Ripped into this person like a monkey on a cupcake. When I finally woke up I was drenched with sweat, my hands were shaking with anger, I had a migraine that had returned in full force from earlier that day, I was nauseated, on the verge of crying--talk about the least restful sleep I've ever had. It was 4:30am. I can not remember ever in my life being so angry. Honestly, I think all the stress I've felt from a thousand things came bursting out in that dream at one target. I tried to calm myself down but I could not go back to sleep. Daniel woke up at 5 for work, and found me still sitting up fuming and stuck in a vicious cycle--I was mad about the whole situation (remember, the situation was real), I was upset at my dream, I was mad at myself for caring enough to waste a night of desired sleep on the situation, I was mad at myself for not being able to calm down, I was only fueling the fire by being mad at myself after the fact. When I told Daniel my predicament, it was impossible for him to fully hide his desire to crack up. It was just so characteristically me. He agreed with me when I said it wasn't at all healthy for me to be upset about someone else's issues.
So after Daniel went to work, there I was sitting on the bed trying to calm myself down and getting more irked as I watched the minutes of my all too short a time with two sleeping kids tick away. Sam came in weeping at 5:41 am exactly. She looked at me in tears, arms full of blankies and said "Did Daddy throw my blankies in the garbage?" Oh no. I had another generation of vivid dreamers on my hands, trying to sort out real from imaginary. This is at least the second time this week she has come to me asking if someone did something to her that they clearly didn't. The night before, she dreamed someone stretched her legs like taffy (all the way to Daniel's work!) and proceeded to ask about it all day and check on her shins.
"Well, Sam, your blankies are in your arms right here, so no, they aren't in the garbage. Did you dream that Daddy threw them away?" She told me she did, and asked if it was "Real or not real?"
I brought her into my bed, and told her I was awake from bad dreams too. I talked to her about how she could know her dreams weren't real (her blankies were in her arms, Daddy would never try to be mean to her, etc..). We cuddled and as I helped her, I realized I had to calm myself too, if only for her sake. Staying all worked up over something I didn't actually do was a luxury I couldn't afford. I couldn't do it on my own but as I talked to her about relaxing and realized how important it was to know real from imaginary I found my anger disappearing. Soon we were just happily snuggling together and giggling at Peyton's insanely loud farting from his bassinet (it's his most impressive skill). She never did go back to sleep, but its because she was too excited to start her day, and that's just how Sam is. I, however, feel fine and have fully recovered from the anger I felt, the fastest I have ever recovered, despite the fact that it is the worst incidence of this vivid dreaming I have yet faced. Never before has my reaction to a dream been so physically real to the point of making me feel pain and sickness.
I am so thankful for my kids everyday, and how they force me to overcome my fears, and bad habits, so I can try raise them the way they need to be raised. I couldn't iron out all my rough spots if I didn't have them pointing out where they are and driving me to change. If I didn't need to be an example and know very small people were watching me, I would probably never get over certain obstacles.
It's amazing how you can feel so much love for such small people that you will change what you previously considered unchangeable, give what considered ungivable, love what you considered unlovable. I have waded in the ocean even though it terrifies me simply because I don't want them to inherit my fears (in this case, a triple whammy of swimsuits, sharks, and germs. Seriously, the ocean is nature's toilet, have you ever seen a nature show? Disgusting.) Despite initially planning otherwise, I have given up my job and career and devoted all my time--24-hours a day--to taking care of my children, because I felt it was right for them and for us. I never thought I would do that, and it hasn't exactly always been easy. I have spent hours looking for what I would consider the worlds' dumbest/ugliest/most obnoxious toy, and hugged it with joy upon finding it so I could bring it "home" to it's rightful owner. I have fallen head over heels in love with someone that pukes and poops on me on a regular basis.
So, thank you to my children for reflecting my imperfections back to me, so I can help not only you avoid being crippled by them, but can finally find the strength to change them for myself. I love you that much.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Move 'em Out!

So, as a few people know already, we are packing up our things and moving next month. This has been the hardest decision we have had to make thus far in our lives--I am stubborn (hold your surprise people!) and Daniel is more stubborn (although he'll debate that to his death--further proving my point?), so its been a rough time deciding to make what we consider to be a radical change--especially in a super crappy market. We know it's the right move. We both feel like this is the right time for us to move on, even though the thought of actually doing it terrifies me.

We're roots people, Daniel and I, and the thought of ripping up roots I've been cultivating for over five years is unappealing at best. Even though I can be kind of shy in person (yes, a loudmouth in writing, but I have to get to know people before I mouth off in person), a little over a year ago, we walked into a church function and the thought hit me "I could sit at any table here and there would be someone I know to talk to--I am comfortable with almost everyone in this room." I should have known that meant it would soon be time for a change! I know people say "a house is just a shelter, you shouldn't get attached to it emotionally, or you'll start to make unsound financial decisions" but those people aren't me. I can get (and have gotten) emotionally attached to a pencil, forget the house that we bought as newlyweds and to which we brought both our babies home from the hospital. Besides, I've never been known for my sound financial decisions, and I married an accounting major hoping he would make them for us. Turns out, he's all into equality and making decisions together, no man-of-the-house laying down the law here. What is up with that? Who am I supposed to blame for things if he won't make a move unless I'm on board? Jerkface.

The good news is that we aren't moving far, just a couple of miles away, which is great from the whole friends standpoint. Sam can stay in her preschool, and I can still call my old friends when I need a playdate. However, it is totally stinky from a "You mean I have to pack up and clean and sort all of our belongs just to move them over there?" standpoint. I hate moving. If our current backyard was wide enough to hold my coffin, I told Daniel I could be buried in it happily. I hate putting things in boxes, I hate tape guns, and I hate deep cleaning things. Moving hits that trifecta plus, since it will be May in Arizona, I will get hot and sweaty in the process. No irritation exists that isn't exponentially magnified in 100 degrees. Now I'm just really on a complaint roll!

So, off we head on our adventure for the decidedly unadventurous! I really like the new house--it's a little bit larger, it has a yard, and a lot of cupboards, closets, and drawers, which are certainly lacking in our current abode. We even got Sam a trampoline for her third birthday since there will be a yard to put it in. It has a huge kitchen, which makes even my non-cooking heart cheer. I can't imagine what going from my kitchen to this huge one would do for someone who actually knows how to use it! Plus, the garage is lined with cabinets, and my anal husband is in OCD heaven at the thought of what he'll put in them. I have my own OCD heaven as I bought new tape for my label maker and am labeling every electronic cord in sight to prepare for putting everything back together. I love labels! I'm going to try to ignore my dislike of taping boxes and ruining my hands by thinking about all the things I'll label...

Anyway, if you've been wondering why I've been stressed to the MAX lately, there you go. I have a newborn, and on top of that, we haven't known where we'll be living until this week. It's enough to make a non-hormonal woman lose her mind. But mine is still (mostly) here, and now that we know where and when we're going, I can focus on getting through the move and enjoying my baby boy.
Next on the worry list--will I find friends who love me despite my gratuitous use of parentheses, ellipses, hyphens, and commas? We shall see...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

No One To Blame

Today, I was in the bathroom when I heard Peyton suddenly start screaming like he was in pain. I came running out prepared to have a serious and swift chat with Sam and make sure whatever she was doing to him wasn't intentional. The only other time he screamed like that, she was concentrating so hard on trying to give him a binky that she didn't realize she was resting all her weight on her elbow, on his little tummy--OUCH. Thirty or so pounds of pressure concentrated in one spot on top of a 9 lb kid. I felt awful for days, even though he stopped crying the second she was off and had no bruises or anything. After that episode, however, I was ready to spring into action at this new yelp.
I came out to find Sam sitting at the kitchen table with her peanut butter sandwich still in hand, trying to see over the kitchen table with a confused look that rivaled my own.
Sure enough, however, Peyton was in pain.
He had reached up and grabbed a handful of his own hair and was yanking on it with all his strength. I tried not to laugh at his self-inflicted predicament at first, but as it took me over a minute to get him to release his grip, I started to feel bad for him. I know how bad it hurts me when he yanks my hair or essentially hangs from it as I try to put him down without realizing he has a handful.
It was then I realized, life can really suck when you have hands, but don't realize it. He's probably still wondering who to blame for that painful episode. Must be a really big mystery for the under 3 months set.