Thursday, May 29, 2014

three days

From one end to the other, Memorial Day Weekend was a pretty righteous one. We did family things, we did friend things, we did some normal things, we did some unusual things.

the normal things

// We started the weekend with an earlyish lunch at our fave Mexican spot, where Sean, Jordan, Weston and I scored some steak burrito/plethora of chips and little else/tureen of refrieds/chicken soft taco, respectively.

// Sean consumed many beers while building from scratch and installing a computer at my parents' place, to replace the one he previously made that lasted seven years (quite the life span). And the new computer works fabulously! How he can booze and build like that is pretty beyond my capacity to comprehend. I have a margarita and I start veering off pathways and into bushes.

// We went to the beach Sunday AND Monday. (Well, Monday's not the norm, but beach as much as possible is the norm.) Jordan played alternately with cousins and all by her lonesome. Sometimes we just look down to the shoreline and she's doing weird karate-esque moves on the waves and clearly sing/shouting some fabricated tune or another. Plays well with others (mostly), but decidedly an introvert, that one. Weston, he just ate sand and squinted into the sun a lot and was mainly content to study Mum Mum crackers before ingesting them whole.

the unusual things

// Saturday night, Sean and I went on this epic date.

It was crazy, really. We left the kids with my parents around 4:30 and met a couple friends for drinks at this pub type place in the "old" part of town. Great vibes, friendly service (the bartender bought us a round!!) Our friends could only stay for a bit and took off to go pick up their babe. Sean and I headed in from the patio area and decided to play a game of pool.

the Paul Newman to my Minnesota Fats

I haven't played in, oh, ten years. Since I first met Sean, actually. Totes held my own though. The second game, there were only three of my balls left on the table, so basically I won.

Around 8, the bar started Karaoke Night. We are so not those people. But we got a round and grabbed a chair to watch people who were those people. A guy named Lester sang Jethro Tull and Margaritaville while his wife cheered him on, and eventually Sean got curious enough (...liquored enough...) to check out the song list. He rattled off an Eric Church song while I played supporting vocals from the sidelines, and we sat down to enjoy our drinks and applaud the string of valiant vocalists.

I couldn't help it though. On my way back from the bathroom, I detoured over to the DJ and asked if he had Idina Menzel's Let It Go. He did and I was feeling diabolical I guess because I signed him up.

Sean dedicated the song "For my daughter Jordan," and off he went. IT WAS TERRIBLE. I thought Sean knew the song's cadence from hearing it so many times but he was like a stanza behind and there I was dying laughing. The crowd was completely cheering him on, much like Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend's Wedding. Eventually I did step in to get him on track, but I refused to sing into the mic. I think the moral of the story is I'm the meanest wife. But the other moral is we had an awesome time.

PS Sean signed me up for Boston's More Than a Feeling and I made him duck out with me before they called me. See: meanest wife. (But also - that is the HARDEST song to sing in all of history. My singing voice? Like the goat in that Taylor Swift vid.)

// The beach was strikingly glorious TWO days in a row. And there was zero - talking, zilch - traffic on either days, when Sean and I suspected Memorial Hell. Instead we enjoyed this


with no money spent (except gas because it's pretty much ouch these days) and no aggravation felt. Essentially the most celestial sequence of days one could ever ask for. And we all pretty much felt like


on Monday evening.

The End.

Oh you know what, Sean made an excellent point over the weekend. I had never fully appreciated the gravity of Memorial Day, really, until this year. I said something off-the-cuff about the Day as juxtaposed to the 4th of July. How it's always more celebrated, or something. And Sean said, "Yeah, but it shouldn't be. Memorial Day is a day to honor all veterans in all wars in American history." That's a lot of wars and a lot of lives. So, I'm three days late in saying this here, and it's supremely inadequate besides, but Thank You, American Soldiers. To those who have fought and to those still fighting for this country.

Monday, May 19, 2014


I bodycheck the hand-me-down couch - recently acquired from my parents - with all the force and disorientation of a tornado touching down. The couch is slightly sagged in the center from years of use, which serves to make it more restful, if less aesthetically pleasing. The down feathers pull my cheekbones, rib cage, hips and knee caps down, down, down into their comfort as if with magnetic force. I feel heavy all over; eyelids, body, brain - not from a glut of knowledge or anything, because thoughts don't bear physical weight anyway. But wouldn't it be great if they did? Karen Smith would be walking around with her head practically flying off her shoulders with its weightlessness

while Bill Gates and Ke$ha walk around with their heads bowed down near their ankles.

No, my brain is heavy not with cognitive power but with grog. The poor Weston child contracted a "viral infection" last week, the diagnosis of which could not possibly be more vague and all-encompassing. With it, he has seemingly lost the ability to sleep within the proper time confines as most of the general populace. 

Sean and I hit up urgent care a few nights ago after a battle to the death between Weston's vomit and the elephant print sheets (bile won), accompanied by a fairly high fever and complete listlessness. The poor little guy. He was so lethargic and lifeless, it hurt to see it. We stayed long enough for them to bring his fever down and were sent home with a prediction that the virus will stick around a few days.

The day after urgent care, I carefully planned our morning. I calculatedly timed meals and errands and cleaning around afternoon naps. At 12:30, both kids were freshly fed and diapered and pampered and loved, and firmly put in their respective prisons. I promptly proceeded with the formalities outlined in the first paragraph. But I had forgotten. I had forgotten Weston's superpower.

There is this fuzzy, nondescript place in my mind that directly follows consciousness but teeters on the precipice of full on sleep mode, wherein I know myself to still be connected to my time and place, yet things are a little nonsensical and bizarre. I think it's my brain trying to convince my body to let go and fall into total unconsciousness, but the two of them duke it out for a little while in the in-between. It is this Carroll-esque state that seems to eep from my cranium, traverse the 15 steps from living room to bedroom, wind up the legs of my baby's crib and set alarm bells off in Weston's head. Because - almost without exception - Wes has woken a-wailing at THE EXACT moment I pass into naphood. For ALL eight months of his life. Whether he has slept fifteen minutes or two and a half hours, he is acutely aware of any attempt on my part to take a day snooze. 

Sean frequently asks why I don't try more often to nap when the kids do. The truth is, I think I've had three successful endeavors. Weston's Spidey senses are finely tuned, and so I busy myself with other things during naps, be they restful or choreful. So long as I am deadly silent, of course - and believe me, I've mastered this. I mean, it's a gift.

And then over there, there's Jordan with her superhuman ability to volley from cutesy flirt to screaming banshee to polite debutante to violent ax murderer to overprotective sister to sobbing depression master to studious crayon wielder to backtalking teenager. Annnnd repeat, with all the volatility of a superball on a trampoline. 

Amusement park of emotions and all, this girl is a straight up character. Her comedic timing rivals Woody Allen's and she's about as introspective as a Wes Anderson flick. Her budding conversation skills quite often give me pause to wonder where in the H she picked that one up from. The other day, she and my brother were having a tea party and, as she poured herself a cupful, my brother requested one as well. She told him, "No, Unca Lukey, you can has your alkyhol." (oh, perfect.) The same brother asked Jordan's permission to pinch Weston's cheeks and, lioness of an older sister that she is, she reprimanded "NO! ONLY kisses." 

These kids and their heroics, I tell ya. I'd really love to hear what your babes are doing these days. Are they quirked kids like mine?

PS - Wes is doing just fine. He spent the weekend at the beach and couldn't have been happier about it. He even felt well enough to eat some sand.

totes recovered

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

a serving of brazen toddler with a side of emma stone

The other day I followed a weird spike in my blog traffic that landed me at GOMI on a forum where people were asked to link their favorite lesser known blogs. To my shock n' awe, someone had linked mine (*blush*). I followed the comment thread, and it garnered one response from someone who said something like, "I want to like this blog, but it's just another oversharing mom." (*blush again*)

It's SO TRUE though. My blog posts are rife with feelings caused by my children, stories featuring my children, pictures of my children. My sister Audrey of the Great State of Washington called me the other day to object to my blog desertion. And I know she mourns not the loss of content but of her niece/nephew photo fix. I simply told her, "I just don't really know what to write about right now." To which she advised, "Just write your thoughts."

My thoughts:

Emma Stone is my spirit animal.

Circa 2001 a young girl named Jessie stared at her 400 pound computer monitor, patiently sitting through the 12 minutes of cacophonous dial up that would eventually land her on AZ Lyrics, that she could repeatedly read chorus and verse to Blues Traveler's Hook until she could recite them without a hitch. I loved that song. And when Emma Stone got up there on the Jimmy Fallon stage I rapped transfixedly along with her. It just goes to show that sometimes following Buzz Feed LOL (on which I found above gem) isn't totally worthless. Even though most of their stuff is like, what Anime character are you? Well, the only Anime reference I even know is Pokemon. And only because Pokemon and pogs are the love language of my generation.

Jordan is simultaneously sage and sassy.

Case #1: I had a slight - read VERY SLIGHT - case of road rage the other day during which I berated my fellow driver to "come onnnnnn get overrrrrr." Backseat driver numero uno chimed her two year old cents in with a decided "Mom. Calm down. Don' be mad. Take a walk."

Um, ok.

Case #2: A few weeks ago, the totally old man car that I drive around suffered a slight case of vandalism. Overnight, the license plate was stripped from it's poor little old man bumper and the gas cap was mysteriously clipped off for some unfathomable reason. We had the car fully checked out to make sure nothing sinister was afoot, but I blame adolescence and the mostly empty bottle of pomegranate vodka I found under the car. Anyway, Sean replaced the gas cap with a locking one. It is super impossible to unlock it. Utterly. Post gas cap wrestle, I informed Sean as much. He explained the complicated and innumerable steps ( step...) that must be utilized to prise away said cap, and I was indignant that he hadn't explained as much before. He said, rather quietly, "I guess I thought it was obvious." From the backseat (again) Jordan let the tension settle in before all too sarcastically claiming, "It's ozzious, Mom."

Go to your room Jordan.

Weston is weaning.

Which is nice because, freedom. But also not nice because breastfeeding has been my lone form of exercise. I've been eating just the same as I have the last 8 months but my muffin top reached Panera status in the last week. I guess it's time for that double jogger now. Because unlike Grace, I like to nurse my recovery (yes, pun intended, what do you think?) for about 8 months longer than she. Weston is 8 months and 5 days so once you crunch the numbers I think you should give her like a hundred clappy emojis.

Ok the kids have been sleeping a suspiciously long time now. I'm not complaining but I think I should check on their welfare. 

But to recap: I've had three whole blogthoughts in about a month's time. Oversharing mom FTW.