Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Letter to Hank #13 - A Season of Rediscovery

Hankey Spankey you are 19 months old and in a phase that can only be called...creative!

It's Christmas and while you freaked out at Santa we got through it. I found this to be hilarious and would gladly pay for therapy later if I could have plopped you down on that lap to hear you scream again! Priceless photo op.
You got so many gifts that you continuously run from each one to another all day till you just fall over tired and I haven't even given them all to you. Our garage still has unopened boxes, not out of disrespect for the giver but out of pure Christmas saturation, that will be opened periodically throughout the winter to maintain a level of sanity to a cooped up toddler.

I try to focus not on the gifts that keep multiplying with each family visit but on the small wonderful things you are doing, saying or seeing for the first time. This is a big time for you and I can see it in your eyes. As you discover your world I am rediscovering my world. I want to show you everything but, as adults do, I have become jaded to what's around me. Sights that have become mundane and tired are seen now as sights of wonder and opportunity. Like looking at the moon. Look outside and wonder at the heavens. Or a fun ball. Bounce a ball and celebrate gravity and inertia. Listen to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and just try to pretend it's the first time you've heard such genius.

The combinations of what you put on make me laugh a free kind of laugh that I hardly get to practice. You'll have one of my tennis shoes on ( just one), a big yellow hat from Cancun, a tote bag from Toys'R Us and a Kiss T-shirt toddling around the house like you're really going somewhere! Really you are tripping over that too big of a shoe you have on. It's like you are a bag man just gathering up things as you see them and sticking them on your person. Gawd, it's funny!

Hank, you do not have the baggage of life. Every single movement or instinct is pure, unguarded, bright and full of possibility. I'm not a strict parent when it comes to seeing the potential in what you are doing. I don't wipe off your finger smears on the mirrors because you are feeling the smooth surface. I can't clean the windows of your hands that have made designs in the frost because you are finding out about cold. The jelly smears on my shirt are a testament to your curiosity about cleanliness and the lack of it. I let you splash in the bath till I'm practically swimming in the floor. I want you to feel like you can always try something out and we'll clean up the mess later.

The gravity of that last sentence is recognized and I hope we can make that our family motto as there will be times that we need it.

As I type, I see a little blue bird in the tree outside the window with your smears and I see both as a sign of beauty. When you held out your hand to feel the snow and smiled, I smiled with you simply due to the reminder that our world is glorious. Even if I complain about the cold I won't tell you that so you can make up your own mind about it. Some people like it and that's just crazy but people are free to judge for themselves.

As I wrote in my very first letter to you, I think, you are teaching me so much more than you will ever consciencely know. I have the privilege of rediscovery as you become acquainted with what is around you. I get to exercise my parental responsibility and show you, as you are ready, what the world has in store for you and hopefully prepare you for what you have to find out on your own. It's both the most exciting thing I've ever done and by far the more terrifying.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Those Funny Catholics

I have a pretty good bit of mileage to get Hank to daycare and get myself to work so I’m either blathering on the phone or listening to XM talk radio. I can’t believe I like talk radio but with a condition – no call in shows. People that call in usually say the exact statement the host just said in a long winded, round about, too many uhh’s kind of way. Wastes my time because they never get to a point.

I’ve found some channels that really get my imagination stirred up, like I needed that anyway. I’ve wrote before that Hank will know who Bob Edwards is before he can talk and now I’ve got another personality that will give his subconscious something to gnaw on – Lino Rulli from the Catholic Channel!

I heard about this through an ad on another channel I listen to. This channel is serious then it’s serious fun. Sometimes I’ll catch the Saint of the Day, which tells me about one of the seemingly 1000’s of saints. It’s Christmas so there is a lot of information about Advent, which I knew nothing about and wondered what an Advent calendar was other then a sweet way to count down to the 25th. I get in my car and there are these shows that are like Bob and Tom morning shows but with Catholics all yukking it up talking about funny everyday Catholic things. And they are really pretty funny. The jokes can be funny in a literal sense but what really makes it a hoot is the imagery invoked by the snarky comments. Or even the serious ones.

My best example of this came up the other day. Lino Rulli, “The Catholic Guy” or I’ve heard him a called Lino UN-Rulli, was having a spelling bee between someone that called in and some Father David. I’m assuming the Father guy would blow anyone out of the water since all the words were Catholic related but he didn’t and they were cracking up! Spell sepulcher. Spell Pope John Paul’s original last name – Wojtyla – he got that one. Spell the little hat with a ball on top that clergy wear – biretta. Spell Ecclesiastes. Thessalonica. Ok ok that’s all fine and good but when the call in person won they won a prize. Like Wink Martindale Lino shouts out that they have won a prayer card blessed by the Pope! THAT’s what made me crack up! How much of the day does the Pope set aside to bless things that are sold in the thousands of Catholic related stores around the world? I can see him with stacks of cards blessing them like so many tiny little sneezes. I know it’s important to them as the caller was really excited to get it but I thought it was funny imagining the Pope waving his hands over stuff or whatever he does.

The Busted Halo is another show. The opening line goes something like “We can’t live a perfect life, but at least we try” This one sounded like a really clean Howard Stern show- I feel it’s sacrilegious to even compare the two but there you go. It’s just that it was annoying hearing everyone talking and laughing at the same time. I guess they get to a good topic at some point.

There is the Catholics Next Door show. Of course, they have a slew of kids and they talk about all the trials that go along with that and familial blessings.

So there seems to be something for every good Catholic and it’s got me thinking and researching. I like that.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fake Hair Fixes a Multitude of Sins

Women talk about the changes in their bodies after they have their first baby - some have bigger feet, some have jelly belly, big veins, hemorrhoids you name it. It all happens and we make peace with it because we have to. That's fine and all unless....
it's your hair.

My perspective is that changes in your hair are different because of what you can do with it that you can't do with more permanent body parts. Look at what women put their poor hair through and can you even believe that we have any left?!
My hair makes me just...UGH! In the morning, I feel like a teenager gawky and insecure. The curls that I've tamed since middle school are gone so now what?


I shuffled into Sally's Beauty Supply. Sally's and I have an ancient, tumultuous relationship. Sally's sold the dye that gave me fuchsia pink hair at my college graduation. Sally's also sold the cuticle stripping concoction that finally got it out. Nail stuff, cholesterol conditioners and some hair thingy with placenta, exactly who's I'd like to know, in it welcome me with the stench of a salon. Breathe in....ahhhhhh.

I was looking for something to do with my disrespectful mane. I looked at curlers, straighteners. No, no, no these won't do as I rarely "do" my hair. That's why I loved my curls! I kept walking until and a big blond Paris Hilton was looking back at me. I wasn't hypnotized by the celeb face but by the sales woman reaching for the package with a plastic Hilton pseudo-sexy glare on it. She said I'd look good in it - so silky for synthetic hair. OMG Paris Hilton is hocking fake hair!

Yes, I put it on my head. Yes, I looked ridiculous. Did I leave the store wishing I could shave my head? Yes. For one thing, I'm not buying anything with Hilton's face on it with a slogan on it like "That's hot". No I wasn't hot and I knew it but thanks. And shame on that seemingly helpful saleswoman for spreading a fake sense of beauty salvation! Can't blame a girl for trying.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Letter to Hank #12 - A Mess Inside and Out

You are a mess. And you make some incredible messes too! Good for you honey because I wanted a boy so that I was socially off the hook when it came to keeping you clean. Boys get dirty just like they're inherent nature intends for them to and I love it!

Hank, you are becoming very creative; both in how you figure out the world and how you react to it. The verbal protests are very predictable and music to my ears although you don't say a lot of real words yet. I hear a lot of Gaggle Aggle Aggle and Dah Dah Dah. Dah is dog and you are obsessed with them. Seeing them, touching them or just pointing them out. Every animal is a DAH! We read books about them, play with the one next door and overall just think they are the bomb!

You are figuring out the world one time out at a time. Holy cow, I didn't think that I'd be doing time outs so soon, but child 'o mine, you need them. I quickly found out that corporal punishment means nothing to you. You have a very high pain tolerance and will take the hit if it means ultimately getting to do what you wanted. I've got your number. Not that I have inflicted pain on you by any means; I did try to just flick your lip when you bit and say no so that you knew exactly what action I was disapproving- you didn't care. In fact, you hung on like a dog and bit harder! Momma finally figured out that you are a social boy and being taken out of the action for even 1 minute was just HORRIBLE! Just horrible! So thus began the time out phase of our relationship. You'll love me for it someday.

Everything is a phone. You wear my shoes around the house. You swiffer the floor. You press every single button looking for a reaction. And mine too.

Your laugh makes my day! A sense of humor is not lost on you - what you find funny usually makes kids cringe. Like getting sprayed with the garden hose. You just cracked up! Going down a slide that was clearly too big for you, smacking the back of your head on the way down and belly laughing at the end. I have the best pictures of the anticipatory sit at the top, the "oh crap" look in the middle and the "I conquered" grin in the landing mulch. Hank, I laugh every day at you, for you and with you. This is the fun side.

Stairs are still a bane to your walking experience. We've taught you to go down on your belly and even at smallest step requires that your turn around and scootch till your little foot can feel pavement - when you do this for cracks in the pavement I can't help but giggle. Even today you bent down to get on your belly a good 12 inches before the step even started! God help the knees of your pants, son.

You motto is now "I'm busy." Independence. Clearly you can't be bothered with a stinky butt and the 30 seconds I take to clean it.

Hank you really are the cutest thing as you struggle to be big. 18 months going on 30.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Updates and stuff

WOW. I do not even want to go into details of hoe hectic things have gotten around here. The simplest of requests threatens on burying me alive. Hiding the temsion is getting harder as each day has a new set of stuff to deal with in some manner, namely a positive one. Must-stay-positive. Must-stay -positive. Negativity is energy zapping but I am starting to rattlesnake strick back at those whose mission it is to give grief. Your problems are not mine and I refuse to be a doormat. Whan I explicitly ask for room, give it to me.

Are you liking all these typos?? i thought it looked like a Mad Lib.

Through it all keeping a sense fo humor, howver demented, is required for sanity! And who better to make me laugh than Hankey McCrankey. He's got some teeth coming in so the crankiness is amplified right now....pick me up! Put me down! I want a cracker! Ewwww, crackers! This toy sucks! Let's eat paint! I mean, really, nothing is making him happy and it's cracking me up.

I can't help but laugh at how ridiculously cute he is when he's having a passionate fit. I laugh on the inside...sometimes. Because sometimes I just cant' help it and I try to cover my face when I get the "So whats wrong with YOU" look.

He's toddling around with his diapered hiney in jeans that make him look like a tiny 40 year old. He could be screaming his lungs out and i'm laughing becuase I know that he's got a belly underneath that shirt that is perfect for fake fart noises.

Halloween was fun. Hank was a skelton - a set of PJs with glow in the dark bones on them. I think he'll wear these till next summer as far as I'm concerned. Love 'em!

Now if I can just keep him form terrorizing other kids on the playground we'll be ok. He bites and doesn't care who you are.

I can tolerate him so mich more than high maintenance adults. Hank can be unhappy for hours and I can still be sane - tired but sane. G Dub can be unhappy for hours and I tell him to go for a drive somewhere and get outta my hair.

To top all this off, there are days that I wished we had just moved instead od adding on. A move is over within maybe like a month or so. An addition is 6 months of playing referree between G Dub and contractor and keeping expectations in balance.
I'm over it but I can't be since it isnt DONE YET! Sigh. I've never really had a choice about little things anywhere I've ever livedso picking out EVERYTHING in a house is ovewhelming and now I don't care what's in it. But it will be great in the end. But it will be great in the end, But ir will be great in the end.

I just got major chill bumps listening to Feeling Good by Nina Simone. Music is one of my escapes and the one I enjoy the most.
My Morning Jacket and Broken Bells are others that I can listen to and just let my mind wander. Lately my wanderings have been stuff like the so called death of conservatism. You know, light thinking topics.

SO there is an update! Good night

Monday, September 13, 2010

Eatin' It

I’m keenly aware of humanity today as I walk from my car into work. It’s almost a mile walk so I have time. Looking around you can tell what kind of day people are having so far by the looks on their face or their body language. Some are nonchalantly smoking by the VA hosp. They need a break already today. Many are walking swiftly in to work with appointments and deadlines already on their minds, cell phones in hand. These folks are oblivious to the beautiful foliage or the smell of an early fall in the air. I feel bad for them. That Blackberry provides no sensual stimulation; contradicting what the name implies.

I’m also keenly aware of the dread I feel in my stomach. That dread of when you know something is up and the foreseen outcome is unsavory. Instinct tells me to run, retreat to the safe place. The definition of safe place is somewhere on a mountain top where I can bang my head on the side of the cave and daydream without fear of judgement. Oh yeah, and not shave. But when the “benefits” of being there are needed for living it’s not like one can just deny the spoon feeding of shit. Or can you?

It’s a double edged sword. Be autonomous and you are rebellious or aren’t a team player. Be a suck up yes man and you have no dignity. Of course, there are those that are happy. Content with the ebb and flow that are comparable only to marriage. Who are these people and why can’t I consistently be one? My expectations are not high, as always, but can you find a bright spot when you have no autonomy? And it can always be worse. It’s not a sweatshop.

But when it’s over, it’s over. When the last drop of satisfaction is crushed out of the ambient environment, it’s time to move on and not look back. Which I never do anyway.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A little less soul

My house has a little less soul tonight. I have tearfully passed my kitties on to their new home. The guilt will pass but I still have a bazillion memories to keep them with me. It sure is quiet around here tonight.

Of course, I have to start with Atticus. What a journey he's had in 13 years! He's been with me since Spring 1998 after I basically took him from my Grandpa's house. My grandparents were aging and did not need the cat named Pretty Face bestowed upon them by my well meaning aunt. I don't even know how old he was but he was grown and from the Springfield Missouri shelter. I still have his original tag and collar. From the beginning, he was my shadow. When I brought him back to TN with me, I was in student housing at TN Tech so no animals of any kind but we were about to graduate in a few months; all we had to do was keep him out of the window. I remember the rumors of people hiding their pet cats and occasionally spotted a silhouette in a window.

Then came the divorce. We graduated collage and rode to Illinois for a few months while my EX started grad school. Then we packed up again for Nashville. I love the memory of he and I riding in this clapped out U Haul with my measly belongings. I had a carrier but I let him out; he rode on top of the carrier looking down into passing cars. The faces of the other drivers was funny! Most were shocked and had a good laugh. I did too. We made it to Nashville, found a place to live and he settled into the basement apartment window. I'm sure to him it was just another window but it was he and I all the way. We were young and resilient. I called him " the only man for me" since human men were eluding me.

If Atticus were a human I always pictured him as a Tibetan monk with major attachment issues. What an oxymoron. He has a gentle soul. Is it weird to say that your cat is more spiritually complete than you are? He accepts dogs, other cats that hate him, kittens, people of every kind and welcomes them into his life. You cannot make him bite or scratch and to my embarrassment I've tried. All I got was a look of "why are you doing this?". Nothing like being humbled and shamed by your cat. When you are sick or pregnant, he recognizes that he can do nothing more than just be with you. And so he sits by you just in case rubbing his back will somehow make you feel better.

NIcknames were plenty. Atti, Atti-man, Catticus, Atticus McFatticus, son of a bitch, or other colorful expletives when one is awoken numerous times at 2:30am and a cat is irrationally persistent. While I do have all these wonderful things to say about him, it has been, at times, a tumultuous relationship. His persistence is legendary, needs are limitless and he will not be ignored. For any reason. He would rather trip you and brave your angry torrents then have an empty food bowl. Negative attention is some attention. He is chatty. Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow until you think you just might have to put him outside even without his front claws. He gets what he needs and that's where our relationship goes toxic. I made the monster and now can't handle it.

I have yet to mention Gladys. She is a cat. A cat's cat. And I love her just the same. Gary picked her out of a litter when she was 3 weeks old and brought her home when she was ready to help Atticus with some of his attachment problems. He let that kitten, tiny as she was, catch his tail, wrestle with his back legs, ambush him, it was hilarious to watch! She is our beauty and she is stupid. Dingy, not really stupid. My favorite nickname for her is Ding Dong. But her needs have limits and when she's done she jumps back up to her throne and naps casually. Her journey is small; she was with us for 7 years and never been out of the house except to go to the vet. I like her. But it didn't help Atticus.

Gladys has left her impression in our furniture. She was the scaredy cat that scratched gouges into my formal dining room table top and mahogany end tables when she got the rips at night - you know, the time of night that cats start tearing around the house with that crazy look in their eye for no apparent reason. Since I am an inherent animal lover she got to live but, wow, I was pissed at the time. She hates plastic grocery bags, paper, yelling and now Hank. He's never touched her and I've seen her leap in the air like a deer to pass him in a door way!

These little creatures are like the wallpaper of my heart. I loved them when they were first picked out and for years after that but time and life have changed the love to a faded, brittle version. Ugly. It's not fair to all parties especially the cats. I held out all this time for a home that can give Atticus what he needs. I love him enough to want him to get what his soul desperately requires.

Having Hank tipped the scales for me as I can only be needed by so much at one time. I cannot be 100% needed by more than one being at a time so the kid wins over a needy cat. Also, this is where i have to get selfish and claim my autonomy. Right now I don't feel very good about that autonomy but it is a good decision in the long run. I feel terrible actually.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Google Schmoogle

I'm sick and tired of all inclusive everythings. It took me so damn long to log in to this account that by now I don't give a crap about writing and am now going to bed. Damn Google - the Sam's of cyberspace. Grrrrr.

Letter to Hank #11 - Cha cha cha cha changes

I know i'm a sentimentalist but come on, I've never been this bad! At milestone time I close my eyes tight and hang on hoping that it's over quick so I don't get caught up in trying to suspend time.

We have successfully transitioned from walking to running, nonsense to words but now it's hair of all things. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I'd have a problem with cutting my boy's hair I would have gave a hearty laugh and an overly confident " no". I was wrong, I was WRONG! Do you hear me as I scream it from the screen - Just once this week, I'm wrong!

You are mistaken for a girl pretty much every day now. I'm not worried about your sexual identity but you are a boy after all, can't you see all the ugly trucks on your clothes?, so I need to make the leap and get you trimmed up. But, where did my baby go?

I love how when you take a bath I get your hair wet and it goes past your neck; all straight and smooth. And it's downy soft. I could run my fingers through it all day. I go in and just rub your head when you are sleeping since you are actually still enough for me to do it. In fact, I saw a woman at a football game running her hand through her boy's blond hair, like she wasn't even aware she was doing it, and he was probably 7 or 8 years old. I immediately could relate to this loving gesture and know I'll do the same. At least until I get the look of "Mom, wouldya quit already?" then I'll have to get crafty and slip up on you!
Oh yeah, and did you know that you can still smell your head and smell the same smell you had when you were born? Sounds creepy maybe but I can pick you out of a group, no problem.

You bring me shoes to put on your feet and I can hear that you know I can do it. You don't let me do much else, Monkey, so I will take what I can get at this point. Hank, you do not hold my hand when you walk and pave your own path. What I'm trying to say is that I do not get a thing done when we are together! I have to correct you for safety reasons most of the time and you get so mad that you bite and head butt whatever is the closest surface. I'm hoping this emotional milestone passes soon for it's physical effects ie. bruises and ice packs that I've had to keep around as you find out just how hard wood surfaces really are.
The forced used is directly proportional to the pain experienced. Basically, you are running through Newton's Laws.

Ok, so back to the hair. Since I am utterly out of control on every other change you've been going through, I can control the last of your baby characteristics. Nothing else about you says Baby. But I'll let it go. I have to so you'll actually look like the precious, precocious boy you are!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This Addition is Not Math

G Dub and I are embarking on a home addition to give us growing room. We love our old house and hope to improve on it so that it meets the needs of our lifestyle. Yes, we can literally live in the 1200 sq. ft we have now but why not improve or move on up like the Jefferson's? It's still cheaper than moving.

This was the first house we looked at way back in 1999. We didn't know what we wanted. We had no idea that having the laundry in the basement would eventually piss me off so bad that I curse every load and encourage wearing jeans until they stand on their own. No, not really, but that got old quicker than I expected.

Back then we didn't need a lot. We weren't married; I was coming from a small apartment and G Dub from his parent's house. And hearing that the family renting this house before us had three kids we thought we had it made on space! That didn't last long either. We didn't know how toilet poor we were until the first time both of us had gastrointestinal explosions. Or until I got knocked up and lived out half my pregnancy in the bathroom!

The man helping us design the new space looked at us kinda weird when we asked how many bathrooms would fit in this new area. We even have a urinal in the basement for the Man Cave. I think a pull down cot would fit nicely in there too.

We have a couple of issues now to work out - a place to live for a couple of months and getting a home for my kitties. An extra 3 people is such an imposition and hotels are so expensive so who knows how that's going to go. We have had a offer from an excellent family that we love but adding us into their already 4 person household may push us over the maximum capacity for a single family home! And the cats, I love them and will miss them in my seemingly hardened heart but it's time for Atticus to get the attention he deserves. It's just not from me.

This is exciting! It's only day 2 and it's already inconvenient but I don't care. Bring it on! It is going to be stressful, unnerving, and maybe overwhelming but we can make it. We have too cuz we can't kill each other. Hank needs us!

Letter to Hank #10 - It's Like Hebrews!

Wow this really does get easier! Well, no not easier but different every day! Your so big now we brush your teeth, clean big ole’ poops, consider cutting your hair, and don’t worry so much when you’re sick. It’s not that we don’t worry but you can handle so much more and it’s great! It’s actually a relief!

You are 15 months old. You look a lot like your Mommy (that means you’re really cute :D) now. And you won’t eat anything other than bread, yogurt, cheese and baby food fruit! I got lazy one night and gave you a tiny piece of Papa John’s pizza - I paid for that twice when it left you with the nighttime pukes. When you don’t like something you scrunch your nose up and pooch your lips. Or you just look at me like I’ve put nuclear waste on your tray and hand it back to me. " No, this won't do"

Fear. You don’t have much but I found out that you don’t like parrots. We were at the beach and a parrot was in a large cage in the resort lobby; it squaked at you and that was the end of that. Every time we passed the cage, even sans bird, you shook your head no. You loved the pool and had a great time with the other kids although you didn’t know that going under meant not breathing. You’d jump out of my arms to imitate the bigger kids but what was funny was when you emerged looking like “ What the hell was that?!”

And you are walking. The kind of walking where you don’t have knees. And the kind of walking that produces bloody noses; seeing you smash your poor nose on the floor broke my heart! But, as you usually do, recovery was swift. My recovery, on the other hand, was not swift and I still get an adrenaline rush when you trip.

Oh and independent, holy cow! The frustration level exceeds industry standards when toys don’t work just how you want them to!

You have no idea you are doing this but as you are growing you are helping your Mom and Dad. As if the beginning wasn’t good enough, it gets better. It’s like the book of Hebrews! You are making us not depend on permanence. Pushing us so far out of our comfort zone that there is no choice but to look for the positive! I thought I knew what change was and I thought I knew how to deal with it but you have shown me what it means to stick with something through anything. No running away. Unconditional. And with a smile on my face.

I do not want to disappoint you by letting you know that not everyday is full of super accomplishments and excitement. Honestly, I do not want to disappoint you at all. But how do I discipline without negativity? It’s my duty to give boundaries and sometimes firm ones, as you have already found out. I actually enjoy the small tantrums that have been occuring lately, since they are new and novel I can laugh now. I won't later. Obviously, I already worry about your spirit and keeping it intact. I don’t think I can tell you how many times I’ve had to tell myself that the Lord gives you only what you can handle…ummm, ok, I guess he knows what he’s doing. And too, Hank, be comforted that he only gives YOU what you can handle.

I wish the only thing I had to worry about now is shielding you from your Daddy’s love of Meatloaf. Not the dinner but the singer. Ugh.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


An interesting women's topic has come up a few times in the last month. The topic of losing yourself in your marriage and how to find where she ran off to when she spoke those vows. Do women fix this, in a cheesy How Stella Got Her Groove Back kind of way, or just resign ourselves that this is just part of it?

A fix that I find most appealing defies the general attitude of how we live together as a couple. Living together 24/7 is the general rule but does it have to be that way? Can we have a retreat to escape to when we only want to be surrounded with objects or desires that we chose for ourselves or go get a coffee at 10pm without justification? No cheating, just a personal retreat. Outwardly, it can be seen as the ultimate “It’s not you, it’s me”. Inwardly, it actually it is.

What’s so wrong about this? I haven’t found anything yet other than hurting the spouses feelings over not wanting to be up their ass everyday and considering their needs, wants, opinions in all facets of decision making. I’ve lost, or never had, the skill to decide exactly what I want without turning to someone else. What if I want to choose the paint color of my bedroom not based on “Am I going to have to wake up to THAT every morning?” What if I don’t care what they think? Well, that’s just not being married then, is it?

Or is it? Needing this kind of space isn’t about not wanting to be with someone. It can, however, be about attaining the mental clarity to really be there for them in the long run. It can be about knowing yourself a little better and make better decisions. It can be about finding room in your head to let the love you share grow. Even if you have kids, I foresee this being a positive. I’m still me. So what if I can help show him respect for women’s space. That even taking a husband’s last name is a step in being encompassed in someone else’s convention of what should happen. It’s kind of hard to remember that we have a choice to do this or not when you are all caught up in the funness of a wedding and all that romantic crap. Initially, I was not going to change my name but guess what……well, you know what happens here.

And what’s so wrong about that? Nothing. If that’s the way you want it. The wonderful thing is that not everyone feels this way and that’s great. But the first time a gal gets talked out of the simplest of actions can be a rude awakening that what‘s in her head isn’t as important as what the other wants her to do. If she can live with that, so be it.

This post isn’t about devaluing marriage. Marriage is a valuable and necessary part of being human and loving someone to your fullest capacity. If you can survive it :D

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wisdom to a Younger Self

When asked if I'd ever go back I usually say no, unless I'm going back to be 34. No, I don't want to go back. But there are a few things that I'd like to tell her; if she would only listen.

Know the freedom that you have now. Whatever you feel is tying you down now is nothing compared to what will bind you later. Go and do the crazy things that your family do not understand while you can. When you are older you will be perceived as trying too hard and judged as immature. "oh grow up" will be something you hear often so get used to it. You will crave your freedom like your hair blowing in the wind.

Say the hard words without fear. You are worth your thoughts and entitled to express them. Don't skip out of town leaving chaos in your wake for someone else to clean up. What's the worst that can happen? Those that really know you and love you will not leave. These same people will let you leave if you need to but be careful; they may not take you back. Be grateful when they do.

Live freely but have definite goals to attain. The world will push you into "good enough" without strength, courage, and conviction on your part. You are passionate so use it to create your life so you are happy and not settling. And be patient when others do not understand and ask you questions. Criticism is part of life; be able to explain yourself so you don't feel so alone.

Do not accept the status quo - push for better. So much of what you think doesn't matter right now does and you'll only know it later when all you can do is apologize and hope it's accepted. Or scramble to catch up.

Heal quickly. That grudge you are famous for reinforces the walls around you. Shutting out the world doesn't feel any better than being hurt by it and moving on.

Release the fear pockets brought on by loss from your heart . The love of your life, your PawPaw, amongst others are not coming back so let your heart relax to feel whole emotions. Don't let that love of your life steal the love you will feel your whole life. There are too many years ahead for you to be feeling only half of what's available to you. Cry and throw things when you need to.

Accept who you are and be ok with her. In your quest for acceptance, don't lose yourself. It will be many years before you find that you already fit in the world and have a awesome part to play. Begin playing early so you don't miss a minute.

Slow down. Angela you wanted to be grown when you were just a baby. Your mom's favorite story is one where you were 5 or so and wanted to move out just so you could cuss. She told you then that being grown was hard so why the rush? Independence comes with a price, as all things do, so slow down and enjoy yourself. Be prepared for the many years ahead of you.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Twisted Demented

Disclaimer: If you are offended or concerned by demented comments, swear words or other forms of unsavory expression PLEASE stop reading! Stop reading right now. Don't be curious. Just close the window and wait for a more readable post. I'm serious. If you just have to read it, don't judge. We're all together on this scary boat ride and I'm making a whole bunch of stuff up.

The website reads "Depression can be a symptom of weaning". What about psychosis? What about the irresistable urge to eat the cat that gets on my nerves every damn day? How about bathing in gin and tonic? OR Xing out all the eyes of the pretty put -together mommy models in parenting magazines. As always, use real women as models and give us a break. Sounds like schizophrenia to me! God, please help this pass as quickly as possible before someone looses a limb and I beat them with it. This part I'm not making up.

It doesn't help that I've been reading one of my favorite authoresses Amy Sedaris. I've always thought she rocked, her brother David too who I just saw at a literary concert at the Rymen. I took G Dub to try to culture him up but his take away message was from a short story that contained the t-shirt saying "Keep sucking, I'll make more." Awesome, honey. Guess it was kinda nice that he was listening even though it took him a long time to figure out that Sedaris is a very gay, very very very liberal, gay, did I mention he was gay?, man. And wonderful in his assessment of our culture and I don't even have to necessarily agree with it.

Amy is different. Different like me different. FINALLY! Isn't it amazing to know your alter ego is out there? All of us know he or she is around somewhere in the world but damn mine is famous and pretty! She, like me, is a doer. Don't listen to the bullshit the comes out of my mouth, look at what I do, how I do it, or what I do about it. All that is unsaid tells all. That sounded all philosophical and I made it up all by myself.
She writes sarcastically. With words thrown in there for charm like back alley abortion. Just totally off the chain in a sentence that had a somewhat serious beginning! It hits you quick like a tiny fake orgasm. Oh, don't roll your eyes, we've all done it. If not, then good for you. I'll buy you a metal at the Dollar Tree.
Who else better to write a hospitality book? Sedaris the Entertainer? How awesomely tacky?! Tacky like your skirt tucked into your pantyhose. I've never thought of her like that but she does have some great insights about stuff like kids games. Hilariously scary kids games. And she doesn't like rules. Me either.

And crafts?!?!? There's crafts in this book too and ones that I can do! Like decorate cans. Stand aside Martha Stewart, behold my baby formula can decorated with a construction paper pot leaf. Or just googly eyes. I love those things. For anyone that has read my cooking blog you know that I think marshmallows are for nothing more than crafts so decorate a change can with them and see if they mold. I bet they don't. They' ll just harden and fall off.

And I've made this before but without the creative nomenclature and I think it was actually my purse too. A Fuck It Bucket. Get a gallon bucket, fill it with candy, write Fuck It on it. When life gets you down just say Fuck It and get some candy.
Speaking of my cooking blog, you know those creepy pictures I took of rice crispy treats between my teeth - omg, I had no idea that I was demented but she has the same pic with a cheese ball!! See? We mesh.

ok it's late and I'm spiraling down. I'm still the night owl. Now just with bigger talons to rip out your beating heart and show it to you.
Good night.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Opinion Donors Beware

"Opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one." Well, that's a nice, crude way to begin a blog. Taken literally, it's true. Taken thoughtfully, it's apathetic and an emotionally self righteous cop-out. Said plainly "I don't have to listen to you".

Listening to opinions is a sticky gray area that I prefer to not really talk about but there are times that my brain just gets so full of other peoples' seemingly helpful comments that I have the image of the top of my head blowing off. Kapow!

We receive what we give out. If you dish out more than you can receive then you have a problem. If I'm suppressing confrontation of an issue because I know I will encounter defensiveness and do not want to deal with it then I have a problem. No, we both have a problem. Egos.

Ah, the good 'ol ego.

I don't guess I know how to say this other than just blurting it out - What makes an opinion donor entitled to feel like I should respect their thoughts and do as they say? Speaking without persuasive undertones is possible - it's called a discussion. And a discussion between two humble, non-judgemental people is helpful,engaging and often productive. Spitting out opinions with blatant intent to sway due to insecurities is not. If you need to be heard and respected, expecting me to do as you say or do will not get you there. I don't care who you are. Give me reason to respect you and I will, I promise. And I will acknowledge it.

Personally, I do not say the statement with the a-hole reference. But for I do internalize opinions that I hear and, depending on the person, take them into consideration even if my plans differ. We all deserve to be listened to and taken seriously. And oftentimes, humans blow each other off. Ok, fine. But humility is a large factor. I still have to work on this at times, I'm by far no expert on it! Yes, are all entitled to have opinions but is anyone entitled to listen? Not really. If you use the above statement, you better know that.

And I don't mean to be self degrading. My opinions are worth something somewhere in the cosmos I guess. But I can't attach my self worth or self respect to whether I'm being listened to by my peers. That's putting these heavy issues in other people's hands - and do you trust other people to providing you with self worth? Lord, I hope not. Talk about potential for constant disappointment. They cannot do for you what you and God can do for you.

And that's just my opinion....for whatever it's worth.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Letter to Hank #9 - Growing Pains

My My, you've grown! You are 11 months old and are a little boy now. Not a snuggly bundle of baby mush but a boy getting ready to walk and hit more milestones every week!

We can see your emotions and I saw a full on pout the other day. That bottom lip pooched out and later on I'll have to remember that I wanted to just grab it and kiss it. Later on I might wish you didn't have a mouth; all traces of cuteness gone replaced with angst and raw willpower. I assume all this about teenagers only because that was me. You aren't me and how thankful I am for that!

I still don't think it's set in that I'm your Momma. I'm a Mom?!? What?? I have to teach you playground ethics, consequences, fun and moderation?? Biting is your favorite pastime right now - like you can't resist when you know that Mommy's underarm is just so soft and tender. Saying no somewhat calmly when you have a gopher attached to your pit isn't easy. You may be coming in for a kiss but you're sneaky and apt to bite and run. Hopefully, we can curb this before you start leaving teeth semicircles on stuff. Your crib has taken a beating already. And never mind my anxiety that I have lead paint in my house - oh lord.

And you take off your diaper at times when it negatively impacts your environment. When I've left you for a moment to play in your crib is not the time. I know YOU thought it was funny! Beware, I have pictures of you in there with a piddle puddle and I know how to use them.

Your hair is growing to long to stand up and that makes me sad. I've had so much pleasure messing your hair up out of the Tom Brokaw doo that it naturally falls into...sigh, just like your Daddy. Now I use a little product and get a really good fauxhawk but out in public you just have sweet baby hair. I still joke that I kiss your head so much I'll give you a receding hairline. And I KNOW you have flash spots in your eyes from the constant pictures, sorry if you get cataracts later cuz of us!

We are coming to the end of nursing and that is bittersweet. I'm gonna miss you. It's been hard at times but I'll never ever regret the mastitis, lugging that pump around, or the care that I took to keep milk ready for you always despite lack of support. I wasn't willing to just quit when it got tough. It was so worth it. We may not have prevented colds like the books say but we're a Momma and Baby team. Here I go for my first real letting go event. I'll grieve a little but we're ready.

Dressing you is an adventure. Period.

Your motto is: Outta my way!

Hank, you never have gone though separation anxiety. For me that's wonderful! I don't worry about you (only in this situation!) You don't fuss when I leave at daycare or in the church nursery - which is really cool cuz other ones do so I feel a little proud of us heehee.

I call you Pootie a lot.

You put yourself to sleep at night! Even if you still don't sleep through the night but you'll get there one day. You have to or I'll just slip you a roofie. I kid, I kid....

I carry you on my back like a little bug and you don't mind. I think the only things you really do mind are green veggies and getting a diaper change. i guess you think flopping around like a fish is gonna make me not do it but your dead wrong. You stink, boy.

I'm planning your 1st Birthday party this weekend. I know I have 4 weeks left but this is a big deal. You made it. I made it. Your Daddy made it. And that's something to celebrate!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Not Even a Good Title

I suppose I should explain my hiatus - or my hi-anus as my Mom would say. Bless her heart, she has her own language that continues to make me giggle under my breath so as to not CONSTANTLY correct her. Once you get it though it's entertaining and understandable. Not much else in the world has both of those qualities.

By the end of January I began to go into a pit. I've described it before. January through March is tough - we are in the thick of winter and this year was particularly bad. It was colder than a brass monkey and for WAY too long.

**Sidenote: I'm in a coffee shop enjoying an hour without my boyz and, holy cow, a guy just showed up in an electric blue satin pant suit. The glare is killing my corneas so excuse me while I let this pass....good's hard to not point but I have no one to point it out to ( yeah!) . Dude, get out of the sun!! Do you think you're Usher?? Ack!**

ok, where was I....oh yeah, my hiatus. I love Spring and not just for the allergies but for the emergence of everything wonderful. In the end of winter life feels much too heavy and I'm extraordinarily unmotivated but warm weather brings with it light and lightness of heart. I look around and realize what I have let slide but the work to correct this is so refreshing and beautiful. Marriage included.

That's where I am now. It doesn't really matter where I've been but that I made it here at this moment to enjoy my family again. G Dub and I have been squaballing (i don't know how to spell that) a lot until we have noticed that to be understood and taken seriously you have to use words that have more than 4 letters. And say a lot of them. Name calling isn't going to motivate anyone to change. I'd like for someone to show me an example of reverse psychology actually working... It doesn't. Ever.

** OMG, this coffee gave me the shakes so bad i may just leave all the typos in here just to make it interesting**

But other than family infighting I haven't really been inspired by much lately. Other than watching Hank turn into a little boy, which is the most marvelous transformation, I don't sit and ponder stuff. Well, I do but it's in soundbytes. I wonder about it off it goes into oblivion before i get a chance to write it down. Dang thats a drag cuz I've come up with some pretty ridiculous crap lately :D!

**Wow, there a lot of yuppies around here.**

Most importantly the state of transition has kept me in awe of the world. What is more certain than death and taxes? Change.
Embracing it can prove to be difficult but who emerges ( there's that word again) is someone more enlightened, more aware, or more scared, or ________ ( insert an emotion). I see changes in me and watch change in the ones I love and how they respond to it. These responses make an impression.

Many changes I am so glad to see, others not so much. But as a whole concept I LOVE it! I've said this many times. Yada yada yada.
I'm off now to see more. Teach kids and just try to tell me that isn't a profound amount of transition!

**Song on iTunes = Jesus Built my HotRod by Ministry LOOOVE IT!**

Maybe next time I won't blather on so much....but isn't that why you read this??? ;D

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Goodbye Turkey!

This is Hank's slogan - but you have to say it in your best Jerry Reed " She Got the Gold Mine, I Got the Shaft" voice. We say it when he leaves the room in his walker. My oh my, no drawer pull, knob, button or slip of paper is safe!

This AM started early but with the energy of Taz. I somehow coaxed him into a tiny nap, ate breakfast and then made the mistake of sitting him his walker as I needed 2 hands for something. He took OFF screaming around every curve and obstacle! So off I go following after him looking for what we have left out on accident that he'll snatch up and cram in his mouth.

This is what it sounded like today: pull, touch, grab, bite, throw, pull, drop, chase, grab, rip, mouth, chew, grab, lick, rip, rip ,rip, eat, pull, bite, drop, gag, touch, grab, eat, eat, eat, chase, touch, clean out mouth, drop, grab, rip, chew, touch...on and on.

He made the first of many many messes today as he bee lined for the garbage can AGAIN - I swear I only turned my head, not my body, just my head and he dive bombed into the fresh coffee grounds from breakfast. Yep, he chewed 'em too. Ewwwww, wet coffee all down the front of him and the walker! And you know how a walker is shaped at the bottom, like a swiffer, that just made the grounds distribute easily around the kitchen floor. I tried to get pics as I was stroking out and I had already cleaned his mouth a little.

Oh yeah and you know that sticky lotion Aquaphor? I tried to slather him down with that and a big bubble of it popped out of the tube and landed in the window blinds behind the changing table - Hank proceeded to run his head through it before I could hog tie him with the sleeves of his jammies! So, he was covered in coffee and now has greasy, sticky hair! BTW he got really PO'd when I tried to clean it up - OMG! He looked like a baby orangutan.

Whew - what a day! But I loved it. No, really!

Friday, January 29, 2010


After a week of a sick baby I finally got to venture outside for something other than rushing to work for a 4 hour marathon of work duties. I've worked 3 half days this week and so has G Dub - it's finally Friday and we are definitely thankful.

Luckily, the snow held out for the end of the week. Going home early was actually a necessity today and I got to join all the state employees who think that 3 snowflakes is justification for staying home.

Hank was sleeping and I bundled up for a walk in the snow. We very rarely see this kind of weather and it was reminiscent of growing up in Missouri when my Dad would throw me into the snow drifts off the front porch. We don't have that much snow, of course, but it still brought up memories.

My boots crunching the ice, I just walked around the block. I was toasty warm. The sky had a glow to it from the city lights striking the dense clouds. Snow clouds seem so think and full. I smelled wood smoke from warm home fires. I walked slowly. Our neighborhood is normally bustling but tonight it's so still. Quiet. It's only 6pm. I got to walk on a street that on any other night would be suicide to walk down. The occasional car was fun to watch creep up a hill - snow slowed everyone down. I made fresh footsteps.

Neighbor kids were sledding down my street. You know I can't see that without joining in and sled down at top speed with hands raised high. I think the last time I did that I was being thrown into the snow drifts and not going nearly that fast. We had a blast. When I went inside I realized that my butt skin was so cold that I couldn't feel any sensation. I called in G Dub to feel it and we laughed.

What a superb night. Simple, easy and free. Tomorrow I'll face the nasty, dirty, slushy, salty streets that leave ice turds under your car. Back to the grind.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Letter to Hank #8 - Peace of Mind

Just when I think I might throw myself off a cliff I collect my thoughts, reasses the situation and remember I'm your Momma and it's a brand new year! Does it sound like I'm struggling to be a woman, a wife, a mother, a worker bee, a friend, a maid, a cook ( even if it's a bad one), a laundress, your milk factory and distributer, lightening fast butt cleaner, pacifier catcher, ummm, what else? Oh kitten. I clearly forgot that one. Ugh.

Maybe it's the lack of sleep but I don't feel like I do anything very well. And not that I had high standards before, but, you see, that's the problem! I'm a half asser! I get something about half done then something comes up and I go to the next thing - dang, if I do have the time to finish something now I just don't because I don't even think I know HOW to ahahah! Wait a minute, I think I was a half asser before you were born so now I'm a fourth asser ( doing exactly half of the half I was doing before!)

You're growing up just fine and are so delicious. We've been calling you that for months and apparently it's a pretty common term - I read it on Goose Bump's blog today! Everywhere we take you you think it's a social event, like you are supposed to get your own entrance music or something! 2001 Space Odyssey is so cliche - you're more of a Raiders of the Lost Ark kind of fella. You'll need to be at least 15 for the Darth Vader theme - sorry your bad ass days are coming soon enough.
I need a dollar for all the ladies that call you handsome. Next time I hear it I'll say " Pay up Sista, this guy's got college to pay for someday". We'll be rich in no time! But you'll be kinda jaded too.

You're Grandaddy sure does think you are the bees knees. I heard that somewhere recently but I don't really understand the meaning. He's in the hospital right now and he says you are his therapy - his incentive to get better. I know for a fact he isn't the only one that thinks that way. And I'm pretty sure that Grammie and Grandpappy didn't mind getting Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease as long as it came from you and not some crumbsnatcher sitting in a grocery store buggy. ;D
The word Crumbsnatcher was stolen from a redneck acquaintance and I promise to try to not damage your psyche by calling you that - but it does make me laugh when I say it so beware as it may become a term of endearment one day.

Your sleeping positions are a hoot and I risk waking you up to get a picture. I dont want to just have stories, I want to remember it and how sappy sugery sweet it is to watch you sleeping away.

You hardly look like a baby anymore. You have little boy whispy hair, you talk up a storm and are hell on wheels in a walker. Your little sock feet take you everywhere. Hank, you will be a man that goes for what you want. I know this because you dive bomb to grab stuff off the floor, try to fly out of our arms and know where you want to go. AND thankfully you want to get there as fast as possible!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Little Sensitivity, Please

Luckily there are enough causes to go around. Just listen to the local news and you can pick anything from literacy, drug intervention, child welfare, you name it. Hopefully it touches your heart and possibly calls you to action.

My personal cause is homelessness. Now, specifically, childhood homelessness. There are so many issues that seem unnecessary in this world but I understand that the complexity of the situation warrants more empathy and compassion than I give it. It’s annoyingly self righteous of me or anyone else to mention that there are plenty of shelters and food banks in our city and that help is there if a person is resourceful enough to get it. The fact is, there isn’t enough help in our cities and the homeless population is growing. That makes me weep at times when I really think about this with an open heart.
Add innocent children into this and I actually have to walk away from my thoughts because it’s too painful. They are in my prayer earnestly every night and I feel my involvement falls way too short of what my mind's eye sees me doing.

But does it call me to action? Yes.

I’m not going to boast about what I do here but I do want to encourage you or your family to pick a cause – anything that touches your life – and grow by helping in some way. It takes you out of your comfort zone and raises emotions that you maybe never thought you had or do not want to explore. But that’s ok – I feel alive when I’m a little or very uncomfortable and have grown every time I do it. No regrets.

An interaction I had this morning sparked this blog. I try not to think of myself as a particularly insensitive person but, whoa, I got a lesson in sensitivity today.
A man was selling copies of The Contributor on campus. If you don’t know what that is it’s a program for homeless residents (what an oxymoron) to earn money. If you ever see anyone selling it – buy it. All the profits go toward the vendor and their survival and the paper is enlightening about the real issues surrounding the homeless written by experienced men and women.

This morning I spoke with the vendor as I got out my money – it’s only a dollar but I had to dig for it out of my really disorganized bag. I asked him about his weekend and he about mine. On the topic of the weather we both look forward to it warming up in a few days. Mindlessly, I mentioned that my family was a little crazy with cabin fever…..wa what?!? I immediately felt small as his response told me that he didn’t have a cabin.
Damn. I had to leave profusely wishing him a great day….yeah, a great day in the cold. But he smiled and wished me well. As I walked away, I surveyed myself with my wellness that I take for granted. Sometimes it takes an angel to reflect our image back to ourselves.

I’m very sorry that my lesson had to be at his expense. Apparently, I need more training. I'll work on it and that's a promise.