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*whispering*  We’re all healthy again. More or less. JS had a lingering cough. And I have Stomach Flu PTSD and panic at every gas pain.

Those were dark days. Dark days, indeed.

Once I got better, JS got sick. Right when we thought we were in the clear. I wasn’t totally 100%, and still exhausted from the virus, and Xander had decided he was tired of being good and inside, so my day on full baby/dog duty was pretty awful, and I may have cried more than a few times when Xander was mean to me (dude, HE BIT MY LEG). We did all survive, though. So that’s good. I was so disappointed with myself, though. I did not handle Xander’s jerkiness very well. It’s even worse because I KNOW why he was acting out – he’s teething (I swear he is getting EVERY SINGLE TOOTH all at once. Every time I manage to peek in there, there’s a new one showing it’s ass-face), he was still run down from being sick, and, you know, that whole “I know Mommy and Daddy are weak so I must exploit it” intuitive biological whatever-ness. And at times I just lost it. I snapped at him. I was mean. It got me thinking, too, because I was the kind of  mean that I would never have been to a child who could speak. But, since he doesn’t talk (much), I let myself think that he didn’t understand what I was saying. Which is so lame. ( I mean, I didn’t, like, tell him I didn’t love him or that he was rotten or anything like that – though I may have thought the latter.) He understands so much. I can see it. He follows simple requests, he signs all the time, he knows what’s going on around him. He’s just not saying what he sees, yet.

I could beat myself up over it (and I did, for a day or so), but really, it just reminded me that I have to mirror the kindness and respect that I want him to learn. Gentleness is most important when you don’t think you have any gentleness to give. I need to show him how to use his words (kindly) to say when he’s angry, or sad, or tired. I can’t snap at him, and then expect him to know that when he’s overwrought he needs to stay calm. I wishI could take back that day of my grumpiness, but instead I’m going to keep it in mind as a reminder of how I don’t want to act. Kids are so impressionable. They don’t have context to tell them that “Mommy was mean because she was sick.” All they know is “Mommy was mean.”

Moving on. Bullets!

  • LOST remains one of the greatest TV experiences ever. And the 2 shows produced by LOST personnel (Once Upon A Time and Alcatraz) are proving my point. So far they are both well written, clever, and don’t fall into that SUPER ANNOYING plot contrivance story line where things happen that make zero sense. Yay!
  • I ran today! The first time since my half marathon this summer. This is impressive for many reasons. One, because it was cold and I ran anyway (barely above freezing…which is kinda warm in these parts, but I’m a Cali Girl still) and two, because if not for my half marathon training, there is no possible way I would have been able to just up and run three miles without any build up. But I did! This amazes me.
  • Every time I cut Xander’s hair myself I say “I will never do this again!” Cut to (HA!): yeah, I cut his hair again. Just the front (do boys have bangs? if they do, I cut those) and the duck tail in the back. The back looks fine. The front, well, JS is calling him Prince Valiant. This is not a compliment. Also? If not for his curls, he’d be at total risk for a mom mullet.
  • JS and I are still trying to plan a warm vacation for this winter/early spring. It’s proving difficult, as airline prices have skyrocketed and we need to deliver Xander to my parents (I love him, I do, but a vacation with a toddler is an oxymoron). I spend way too much time researching Caribbean hotels, these days.
  • I have finally started working on a personal writing project. I’m excited about it, and I’ve done a pretty decent job of finding time to write, even when there is none. I tend to psych myself out about writing, so I’m not going to be blogging much about it. I want to keep the steam in the pot, so to speak.
  • A week or two ago Huffington Post had one of their photo essays on famous serial killers, and I (LIKE AN IDIOT) clicked through it. Nights later, I kept having dreams of their creepy faces lurking in the background. *I* knew they were serial killers, even if no one else in my dream did. Note to self: YOU ARE A PANSY. STOP IT.

Hopefully I’ll be back to a somewhat more regular posting schedule (haaaa ha ha, schedule) now that no one is puking down my shirt. No promises, though.

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Catching Up

I keep meaning to post, but I don’t have a whole lot to say to justify an entire post all to itself. So I will give you bullets, because that’s just how my life is right now: short snippets that sometimes relate but often don’t.

  • ONE WEEK UNTIL CLOSING. Just sayin’. In one week we will have a house of our very own. And in one week I will see it for the first time. YAY! Ha ha. I don’t know when our furniture is coming, because it’s being stored in California (we so got played with our moving company this time, y’all, so played) and they’re driving it here. But, still. House!
  • Along with the house, we have picked out a new (King Sized!) bed that we want, and the coolest lounger chair EVER. It’s lime green. We just have to measure to make sure, you know, that the bed will fit in our room.
  • I completed the first part of the NYCMidnight Flash Fiction contest. We had 48 hours to write a 1000 word (or less) story about a specific genre, location, and object. I was pretty lucky. I got open genre, 13th floor of an office building, and toy soldier. In a month I’ll get a new assignment and then they’ll add up all of our points and blah blah blah, it’ll be a few months until I know if I’ve moved to the next level or not.
  • I had a bummer of a play date today. I won’t go into it too much except to say: I felt like I did at the 6th grade dance, when no one would dance with me and Leslie and Melissa and all of their friends laughed at me for wearing a brown skirt. (NOT THAT I’M BITTER, LESLIE.)
  • So! Other than that, Vermont is so incredibly beautiful that it’s hard to describe. It’s so….green! (But, um, some of the leaves? Are CHANGING COLORS. Not, like, all of them, or enough to say that the season is changing yet, but still. RED AND YELLOW LEAVES IN AUGUST, WTF). The roads are tree lined, passing by and over streams. It’s like being in a car commercial! Only without the creepy voice over.
  • Oh! So soft serve ice-cream way up here is called Creemees, and every where has them. EVERY WHERE. Gas stations, farmers markets, whatever. Creemees. It’s rad. Not so rad on the culinary front: Mac-and-Cheese Loaf. Like. Sliced. With… stuff in it. Like meat and crap. Scary. ALSO? Not food related, but related in that these are both things that I read on Jonniker‘s blog when I went through each and every one of her Vermont archives, there is a motel called the Ho Hum Motel. I mean, HO HUM. Who would stay there?! On purpose. Also? ALSO? A subdivision called Bittersweet. Would you want to live on Bittersweet Street? No? Me, either.
  • You know, in San Diego I lived very close to many, many stores. Many. And we are not completely storeless here. There are options. A few. But not, like, tons of them. And some of my favorites are every so far away. The closest Ikea is in Canada. The closest Target is a ferry ride to New York away. TARGET. I mean, come on. I miss me my Up & UP generic products, and Converse brand shirts.

And now I shall leave you with some baby in a park pictures:

 

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I don’t know what’s up with my lingering case of Blogger’s-Block. I think about posts to write, and then I go and do something else, and by the time I’m back at the computer, the idea has vanished. (More often than not it’s been replaced with Futile Rage at the awfulness of the final season of Gilmore Girls – WHO BUYS OUT THE KNIT-A-THON, CHRISTOPHER? C’MON!) (Though, admittedly, the Wolf Girl Pencil Etching was quite fabulous.)

Part of it, I think, is that life as a mom to a baby is pretty “routine.” Bottles, naps, meals, baths, stories, play, bed, repeat. Sometimes I do dishes and laundry. Rarely I’ll clean something. And I like it, it’s a great life, but it doesn’t make for great stories, ya know?

Anyway, here’s what’s been up since my last update:

  • I ran 7 miles this weekend! 7! That’s the most I’ve ever gone, and my pace was pretty decent (for me, which is still very very slow). I was only one mile behind what my group did, so I’m very nearly caught up and it feels great. I’m actually beginning to think I can run this race. Nuts, eh?
  • I’m still stuck as far as fundraising goes. I’m thinking of approaching some local businesses to see about corporate sponsors? I don’t know. I’m not good at this.
  • Mere MOMENTS after lamenting that Xander will never get a tooth, and will have to start school all gummy, I spotted his very first tooth just beginning to pop up. It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  It’s not so cute at 2AM when he wakes up screaming, but, you know, whatever. I really wish Hylands would restock their teething tablets, because the gel pretty much does nothing.
  • I finished the 24-hour speed round for the writing contest. I had to write a horror story about a prodigy. It…was not my favorite genre, but I think I did decently. I’ve read some of the other stories, and I’m not being self deprecating when I say I don’t think I’ll win, but whatever happens, it was super fun and I will definitely do it again.
  • JS, Xander and I are going to visit JS’s mom in Florida and then my parents in Alabama later this month. It’s a lot of flying. Including a red eye to Florida. I’m terrified. I HOPE that Xander sleeps for much of the flight, but I just don’t know. We’re only in FL for about a day before we leave for Alabama, and I’m worried about him being a total wreck and cranky for his first visit to JS’s mom. (Plus, he’s just started to get some Stranger (but really more like Your Not Mama) Anxiety, which doesn’t bode well for meeting new people.)

And that’s about it! It’s a thrilling life I lead, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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So, it’s been a week, eh? That went fast. I meant to write last week, I did. But WordPress got all wonky and wouldn’t let me into the admin and blah blah blah boring cakes. And then JS went out of town for a long weekend and I was ALONE. With the baby. And the dog. And we all lived!!! I even showered! And the dog got walked! And I ate….at least a few times!

So, because of the weird inability to post, and the minimal response to my last post, guess what? Both Paula and Amy win! YAY! Ha ha. Email me and tell me which print you want and (re)send your addresses and it’s yours. Congrats! And thanks!

Anyway, here’s what’s been up:

  • I joined a Mom’s Group on Meetup (well, several of them, but I’m down to one now) and I have to say, I love it. I was nervous of actually, you know, attending anything at first. But these ladies are cool, and everyone basically just wants friends to hang out with who get the whole Kids Thing. So it’s a win. I have to laugh, though, because my group really and truly has the words Crunchy in its title, because, you know, I’m not hippy enough. It’s not a competition, though, which I love. Some moms are very “crunchy” on every level: vegan, cloth diapering, etc, etc, etc, and some are just trying their best to be health and eco-conscious and some are in the middle and no one cares, really, where you fall.  Anyway, Xander and I go to several playdates a week, on average, and this week I have a MOM’S NIGHT OUT! At a WINE BAR! I’m very excited.
  • Xander is changing, it seems, on an hourly basis. I had a rough few days this weekend where he did NOT want me to feed him with the spoon. He wanted to do it himself. But he’s not quite there yet. So we fought, he hit me, asparagus went flying. He’s not very good at gumming his food down, but I have managed to find a few things that are soft enough that I can let him play with finger foods and that makes it MUCH easier to feed him. He’s back to opening his mouth eagerly for whatever weird concoction I can come up with.
  • We’re right smack in the middle of another developmental fussy period, according to The WonderWeeks (it’s on sale, go buy it!),  and the most notable signs are sleep disruptions and whining. Dear Lord, the whining. It is EXHAUSTING listening to him bleat nonstop, all day long. (Though somedays are whine free and he’s just the happiest kid ever.) The night wakings aren’t my favorite, but it’s still such a massive improvement over those early months that I don’t mind (much).
  • I did not do any running while JS was out of town, and I felt so badly about it and worried at falling even MORE behind (ugh). But really, what does that sort of mentality do? Does it give me more time to train? Does it make me faster? Nope. So, whatever. I just need to suck it up and keep going the best I can. If race day comes and I can only run 1/2 of it and I walk the other half? Oh well. It’s still hard work and it’s still a good thing to do. (But, that being said, I ran 4 miles today and beat my best time, so yay)!
  • Also running related: I need attire advice. I hate, HATE HATE HATE, running in shorts. I’ve tried the fancy Nike ones, the cheap Target ones, whatever. I hate them all. So I need some running “tights”, but I will call them capris because I don’t want to think of them in tights because I’ll just end up feeling like I need to lose weight to go run. Whatever. So, um, anyone out there run? What do you wear? I don’t want to spend a fortune, but I don’t mind shelling out a little money for something I’m getting such use out of.
  • Oh! And the best news yet! I totally forgot. A while back I entered the NYC Midnight Short Story Contest. For the first round, we were all assigned a heat and each heat was given a specific genre and subject and we had one week to write a story. (I got ghoststory/claustrophobia) . I had never written a ghoststory before and had no idea what I was doing, plus, you know, it’s HARD to find time for much with a needy infant. BUT, I passed the first round and am one of two finalists in my heat! So this weekend I’ll be given a NEW genre/subject and will have 24 hours to write a new story. Should be fun! JS is being a star and has already promised to take most of the child care duties over so I can sneak out to write.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

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Lenten

My history of observing Lent is sporadic, at best. I started practicing in college, and, honestly, at times it felt like it was a holy-off with all of the other students (not all of them, obviously). I kept it up for a few years after graduation, giving up something for 40 days. I knew it meant something, and yes, it did mean something personally to me, but it never really made an impact on my spiritual life. It was more just giving something up because that’s what I did at Lent.

The past few years I haven’t practiced it. My spiritual life has been somewhat on hold lately (more like my church going life, really). I’ve tried out a few churches in San Diego, had some really bad experiences, and now then ones JS and I like are pretty far away from our house. So….we’re just not there yet. As far as church goes.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t still want to pay attention to my spiritual life. So I think this year I’ll observe Lent and see if I can’t really let it sink in and remind me to be more mindful and aware. I’m not going to go overboard and swear off the Internet or all television. I think I’ll give something up but I’ll also add something in. I will give up wine during the week, but not on weekends (and it’s not like I plan on binging or anything, I just want to be able to have a glass of wine here or there) and I will also start writing my book (the same one I’ve wanted to write for nearly TEN YEARS) every weekday.

I’m taking weekends off, which may seem silly, but that’s OK with me. I don’t mind being silly.

It’s sort of like….self improvement bootcamp. 40 days of fasting and discipline. The writing I obviously hope to continue past Lent, and the wine is something I really enjoy and going without will (hopefully) encourage me to find other ways to unwind at the end of the day. Pray. Meditate. Talk to JS. Read. Go for a walk. Right now the routine is: rush to make dinner, feed the baby, cram my own meal down, put the baby down, have a glass of wine with TV and go to bed. It’s not a BAD routine, actually, I rather enjoy it, but mixing it up can’t hurt, right?! Right.

Any of you going to practice Lent this year?

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