Monday, November 21, 2005


I had my friend Allison pick me up that night. We had been looking forward to the party for a few weeks. It was the weekend before Thanksgiving, and between my new job and my classes, I was so swamped. I really needed to blow off some steam. It's not that I was planning on going home with a certain someone else, it's just that I was planning on getting drunk. Underaged, stressed out, college student drunk. There was no way I was driving home.

Allison and I were among the first to arrive. Jax mixed us some of her trademark Crystal Light and vodka. My tongue turned bright orange as I sucked it down. The doorbell kept ringing and pretty soon the party was on. We drank, and laughed, and flirted mercilessly. We played strip Jenga. We stargazed from the third floor balcony, but damn, it was cold out there.

Until it wasn't. Until it was so jam-packed and hot inside I just had to get out for some air. And this guy, the one with whom I had flirted mercilessly for the past month, followed me out.

He was the kind of guy that was totally out of my league. He was tall, and slender, and tall, and he had great arms and a gorgeous smile. With dimples. His auburn hair had a just a hint of red lowlights. It was long -- longer than mine, and incredibly sexy. All those weeks of flirting, and I always assumed he saw me as a little sister type of kid; someone to tease, someone he found amusing. I figured he had a tall, leggy supermodel-type girlfriend at home.

But he didn't.

And we talked for a while, and laughed for a while, and I forgot about how cold it was on a November night in the upper Midwest. And suddenly he was kissing me. He had soft lips and warm hands, and I remember feeling so safe and content (and a little drunk. And a LOT surprised) wrapped up in him.

Until the standing ovation started. Apparently we weren't as alone as we had thought; someone inside had opened the blinds and there we were, making out in front of all of our friends and a few strangers. Hello, embarassment.

We decided to find a place where we could talk that was a little more private. Here's where the story diverges: There's what actually happened, what Canon says happened, and the urban legend that's been propagated by our friends for the last decade. Needless to say, I won't spoil the mystique here. I will say that I did not go home with Allison.

To this day, I'm still a little bit amazed that that moment actually happened to me. And when I use that frame of mind to look at the life we've built in the ten years since that moment, I'm still amazed. The Best Dog In The World is curled up at my feet. The Co-Best Dog In The World is sleeping on Canon's lap. Our daughter is asleep in her room down the hall. And us? Here we sit, in the home that we've built together, still making each other laugh.

And occassionally making each other roll our eyes and sigh, or scream, or cry, but it's so worth it.

It's all been so worth it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

...You can keep it

I was just reading an article on Joan Didion, where she discussses her process of writing. She says, “I thought, ‘If I can write it down, I can keep it.’"

That struck me like a lightning bolt. If you write it down, you can keep it.

But what if you don’t want to keep it? Because lately, I don’t want to ‘keep it’ at all. And I think that’s why I haven’t been writing. Maybe if I don’t talk about feeling lousy and lazy and uninspired, it will all just go away, vanish into the past, and I won’t ever have to confront it.

Confront what? you’re asking. Well, I’m not exactly sure. Anything and everything. Life. Work. Deciding what to wear, what to make for dinner. Some days it just feels so entirely overwhelming.

I wake up in the morning and force myself to find a reason to get out of bed. Maybe it’s indulging myself an extra long a hot shower. Or spending five minutes doing nothing but cuddling and scritching my dogs before I get dressed. Or maybe it’s because I know it’s a Gilmore Girls night. Thinking about the whole day ahead is too overwhelming.

I’m afraid of writing, in fact, and writing is my job. I can sit and type all day but all I read is garbelymumbo… is any meaning even coming through? I can’t believe people pay me to do this. I have to keep quiet about not knowing what I’m doing or someone will find out and then I’ll be screwed. And then what? I know how to pretend to be normal, but oh God, it's tiring. I don’t know what comes after you get exposed.

And that's the scariest thing of all.

Monday, October 17, 2005


For a long time after my miscarriages, I imagined my uterus was lined with spikes. Sharp, pointy, jagged spikes that would tear and crush any life that dared to grow there. I hated that killer uterus, the thing that took two babies away from me. I thought it was useless and defective and cruel. For a long time I was convinced that it was eating away at my future, from the inside of my body out.

My uterus, as we finally discovered, works well enough. But the feelings persisted.

Those spikes – raw, gnashing, ugly – they’re still there. In my soul. I can’t stand myself. For a while I thought it was my exterior. I thought maybe losing some weight or getting a pedicure would make me feel better. And then the nail polish would wear off, the calluses returned and for all my good intentions, the weight kept creeping up. And I only hated myself more, and found more excuses.

I hate what I am, what I appear to be. My inside is just as ugly as my outside. I constantly feel that nothing I do is right. I don’t look right or say the right things, or act right, or write right.

I certainly don’t feel right.

Once I told a counselor that I was having “dark thoughts.” I imagined no one loved me, that no one even liked me, that I was a burden on everyone around me, that I embarrassed people just by being in their presence. “Dark” to me meant admitting some of my deepest fears. “Dark” to her meant something else. She laughed and said that I didn’t know what “dark” was. I never went back. That was four years ago. I didn’t ever talk about it with anyone else.

I thought that I needed to be suicidal to seek the help of a professional therapist. I didn’t want to die, so I felt trapped inside a person I hated. I tried to hide. I crawled inside myself and chewed on my fears, my failures, till they were raw. I pulled away from my husband, my family and my friends. I caused a lot of problems by not being honest with them, and by not being honest with myself.

I have a lot to face up to. I have a lot to say. This is going to suck, but there’s just no way around it. I’m scared as hell.

I wrote that a month ago. But I still couldn't bring myself to post it. Doing it now means that I'm better. Not all the way... we're still talking baby steps here. But I have a new found respect and admiration for SSRIs. They help. They really do.

I'm sorry I left my blog so abruptly, and for so long. I'm pretty sure no one's even checking it anymore, and that's ok with me. It means I can ease back into blogging. And if you're still checking up on me, well... thanks.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Funked Out

So, what’s it been, a month? Longer? *Sigh.* I was afraid blogging would turn into another responsibility for me, and so it has.

You’ll figure this out on your own, I’m sure, but I’m in a serious funk today. I don’t know why, really. There is no good reason. But for some reason, it seemed the right time to return to the blog.

A lot has happened in this month. I am full of stories. But they’re not coming out right, and I just get all frustrated about not having anything witty to say or not being able to thread certain events together into a cohesive story. So, I chose to duck and cover.

We had a nice vacation. It was stressful, because Em was a lot of work. She was pretty clingy and it was a lot of time in the car for her, so it was tough. She did great… probably as great as we could expect from a 10-month old. But I returned home tired and cranky and disheartened that there wasn’t a vacation to look forward to anymore.

And then came Advopalooza. A baby-free weekend with old friends that left me invigorated and content. And suddenly I figured it out; I need to take some time for myself. So now I have a new hobby, and I’m going to try to find a few hours a week to devote to it… and not worry about the work deadlines or the household chores.

Em’s birthday is roaring up. There’s so much I want to do before the party, but I have a feeling that most of it won’t happen. For some reason I can either be productive at work or productive at home, but doing both at once is more than I can handle. And work’s been a bitch lately.

So yeah. Tired, crabby and blue, that’s today’s theme. But tomorrow, that’s another day. Hopefully I’ll have a better story by then.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Back to the grind

Well, the vacation is over. We're back from a 10 day, 7 state trek that covered 2,600 miles of the upper midwest. It's good to be home.

And it sucks. Canon and I both agreed it wasn't exactly a relaxing vaction. It's just hard to relax with a 10-month-old who doesn't enjoy sleeping in the car. it just gets a little old when you average 8 hours a day driving. Were we crazy to attempt this trip? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes.

Even though Em's struggling to get back into her routine. I took her to the walk-in yesterday because she just wasn't being herself. I was glad to hear that nothing major is wrong, she's just crabby. Hey, she is our kid after all!

Anyway, it's back to the grind. Woo hoo.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

It's Dark Out

And I can see straight across the street into the neighbor's office window. He's always in there. I'm not sure what he does, but it involves lots of vans, trailers, and lawn equipment. He's also got an ugly lamp.

I guess this means he can probably see me jamming out to Gwen Stefani, huh?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The post with the shopping and the choking and the pedicure

The baby is 10 months old! Wow, this has been the fastest year of my life. I'm already starting to think about what I should do for her birthday bash. I'm hoping we can have a great big backyard barbeque because a) that's the only kind of entertaining we're good at and b) that's the only kind of entertaining we're good at.

And our backyard is nice and large, so we can break out the lawn chairs, turn the kids and dogs loose, and watch from the deck as all hell breaks loose. Add a few streamers and you've got a good time.

Canon left on Friday for a job on the other side of the state. That left me in charge of Lucy, Murphy and Em for 48 hours.

I survived Girls' Weekend by satisfying my base urge to purchase mass quantities of consumer goods. I stocked up on such luxuries as formula, diapers, and and an ankle-length wrap to hide my day-glo white legs during swimming suit season. I also bought dental floss and Tums just because I can't get enough flossing or calcium these days; an odd by-product of pregnancy, I guess.

Either I wasn't really sick on Saturday night, or I have some difficulties interpreting non-digital thermometers. I don't know why I didn't just think to use one of the four or five digital ones we got as baby gifts and hospital favors (Hey, the nurse said clean out the bassinet drawer, so I took her up on it) but I didn't, and the uncooperative environment under my tongue only raised the mercury to 96 degress. And isn't that close to clinically dead or something? But I wasn't dead, I was just suffering. Sweating and headachy and dizzy-sick. Luckily Em cooperated and went to bed easily. As soon as she was sleeping I crashed myself. Then I woke up at 4 a.m. feeling normal. Canon came home around one that afternoon, and Girls' Weekend was officially over. Somehow I lived to tell the tale.

And so did Em, considering she choked twice this weekend. The second time I had to get her out of the high chair, turn her upside down and tap her on the back. She just loves stuffing her mouth full and so far my repeated safety lectures have gone in one ear and right out the other. Kids! Luckily it wasn't that bad, and she spit up right away. Is it wrong that the only thing going through my head at that moment was to hold her over the high chair tray? The scary part hit me later, but in the moment all I could think about was not letting her throw up all over the floor. (We were at someone else's house.)

And now it's Tuesday and another week is flying past. Time to get my shiny red pedicured toes to bed.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The New Neighbors

So last night, my biggest problem was that I took Em outside dressed only in a onesie, shoes and a hat, while the next-door-neighbor baby was bundled up in pants, socks pulled up to her knees, a dress, a jacket and a stocking cap. For close to a day, I was all paranoid that I was letting my baby freeze slowly in her stroller (ok, it was 71 degrees, but hey, all those layers really threw me off) while I enjoyed the fresh air.

Today we received a flyer, stuffed unceremoniously in the front door. We have new neighbors. Turns out they’re sex offenders.

Three men ranked as “moderate” sex offenders have moved into the apartments at the end of our street. I researched one of them (hey, working at a newspaper has its advantages. Not many, but some) and he was arrested for luring a 15-year-old girl through an online chatroom – a 15-year-old girl who was neither 15 nor a girl, but an undercover cop.

One other man is obviously not from around here. The mug shot on the state’s web site is seriously the shittiest photo I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I’ve seen nicer driver’s license photos. It’s so dark he’s a silhouette. Only the whites of his eyes show. Yeah, I’ll be on the lookout for THAT guy. Seriously, are these the best photo skills law enforcement has? No wonder they need CSIs to analyze crimes for them. Obviously their eyes (and their light meters) don’t work. Maybe I could get a job as a police photographer. I’m good with a pencil.

Ok, now that I’ve worked myself into a froth over that, the good news! Em is crawling!

It’s pretty hilarious. She flings herself from a sitting position onto her hands and one knee. Yep, she uses her left knee and her right foot, with her little butt sticking up in the air. She’s still a little slow and wobbly, but she’s determined. She’s also a lot more confident on her feet. She will walk five or six steps if she’s got my hands… still no creeping along the furniture, yet. She can stand unassisted for a few seconds now and she loves it. She’s constantly saying “Up! Up!” and reaching out to pull herself up on whatever she can find: empty laundry baskets, her activity table, the dogs, my pants, it’s all good.

She has mastered “So Big” and will patty-cake on demand. She is also an expert Bye-Bye Waver. Maybe it will get her a scholarship. Nursery school’s not cheap, you know. Especially considering how we will probably be pouring buckets of money into getting a new security system for the fortress house, you know – electric fence, moat, drawbridge. Just the basics. I don’t want to freak out and go overboard.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

... what happened next.

So after I recovered the ATM card from it’s backseat adventures, I actually had a nice weekend. A date-night at a hipster restaurant downtown (complete with free babysitting); a visit from my parents and sister; a family-wide barbeque at our house; and a day-long graduation celebration for my cousin – the one with the great sense of humor.

And then the real fun started.

On Monday afternoon Em and I were hanging out in the backyard, enjoying the sun and watching the dogs wrestle in the freshly sprinkled grass seed. I was just on my way to the neighbor’s swing set with the baby on my hip when Canon came out of the house with that face… the one that makes me panic. I seriously thought someone was dead.

That someone turned out to be a water pipe that runs through the middle of our house and feeds the outside spigot. And when it died, it took its sleek, seamless body with it, leaving an inch-long escape route for all that angry, pent-up water. The water, it grabbed its opportunity.

It gushed through the pipe, soaked the wall and pooled on the carpet. Then it started forming a little river through our basement… running through Canon’s office and our guest bedroom, into the hallway and the guest bathroom. Luckily, the pipe had only been hemorrhaging water for 10 minutes or so before Canon discovered it.

So no swinging for the baby. Instead she sat on the family room floor and wailed while we hauled boxes of soggy documents and photographs out of the office and stacked them in safe places.

Canon was able to shut off our water supply, successfully locate the leak on his first try (this involved blindly cutting out a chunk of wall) and get all the right parts to fix it (in only four trips to the hardware store!). Not bad for an amateur plumber, huh? It was the welding that finally proved too difficult.

Because it was a holiday and we’re cheap like that, we figured we could go for the next 18 hours or so without running water until a plumber could come in at non-emergency rates. And we did. We considered using the baby wipes for sponge baths but settled on showering at our friends’ house instead. I was allowed three flushes, one for each toilet, but I rationed myself and only used two. Damn, I’m good. The rest – using bottled water to brush our teeth and wash our hands – was pretty much like camping. Lucky us, all the drawbacks of a night in the wilderness and none of the benefits. At least it didn’t rain.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Hard Luck and Soft Rolls

Some people just have a knack for certain things.

Me, my knack is losing stuff. Important stuff. Although I must bow to Karen, she of the misplaced $4,900 tax return. We're in the same league.

Once I threw away my keys. Yep. I mean, I think that's what happened to them. Obviously, I had them when I drove myself to work that morning, but by 5 they'd vanished. Gone. Out with the dumpster and the grocery bag which I must have tossed them in after I made my contribution to the United Way Bake Sale on the third floor. (That's what I get for bringing storebought goodies to a bake sale.)

The big deal is that the car key was electronic ... the special theft-deterrant kind of key that has a computer chip embedded into it. Oh, and the remote keyless entry happened to be on the same keyring. My husband was so mad, we never did replace that remote. Three years, one new electronic key and a $175 key later, we still have to trade the "good" set of keys (the one with the remaining remote) whenever one of us drives that car.

I lost my cash card once. Well, make that twice. On Friday I went to run an errand for Canon and when I pulled out my purse, no card. Oops. Of course I didn't have any cash, either. I barely ever carry cash anymore. That card is just too damn convenient.

So it was gone. First I drove across town to Bennigan's, sure I had left it there at lunch yesterday. Nope. I searched my purse about six times. Drove back to work, called the bank. No strange activity, so I knew it hadn't been stolen. Nobody steals a cash card and waits to use it. At least I hope not, because if they do, they've got bigger problems than petty theft. Maybe, I thought, it was just sitting on my kitchen table. I thought maybe I remembered cleaning out my reciepts the night before. Yeah, maybe. So I suffered through the rest of the afternoon thinking of little else.

I get home at 5:30, no card. Not on the kitchen table, not on the kitchen counter, not anywhere. I called my friend who drove us to lunch yesterday and made her pull off the highway on her way to a wedding and search her car. And then it occurs to me: my car. Sure enough, there on the floor behind the driver's seat sat the ATM card. I had accidentally dumped my purse over earlier that morning when my co-worker and I stopped at a bakery to pick up carmel rolls for a pot-luck.

So, yeah, a happy ending. The best part was that I didn't have to tell my husband about it until it was all over. Oh, and I think the universe has a lesson for me: Knock it off with the store-bought baked goods at work functions. They always lead to trouble.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Three Game

Hello internets! I’m so sorry I’ve been remiss in my blog-tending. The truth is, life has been pretty boring lately – boring in the “oh my God, this is what I waited so long for and I’m totally enjoying it and ignoring my blog” asshat kind of way. And I’ve been busy totally enjoying it and ignoring my blog.

To illustrate, I dug out my old dayplanners. To re-live the glory, if you will. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.

May 25, 2001: It was the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. I have a work project deadline crossed off. I’m guessing it got cancelled. It was day 4 of my cycle (yes, I was charting way back then) but I’d had light spotting since the 12th. That’s 14 days of pantyliners, people. I should have known from that alone that there would be a difficult path ahead.

May 25, 2002: A Saturday. We were in Sioux Falls for my mom’s grad school graduation. Family meltdown. Not a fun weekend to reminisce about. The first miscarriage had happened 2½ weeks prior.

May 25, 2003: I have it recorded as Day 7, even though I’d been spotting on and off (mostly on) since the 3rd. This was normal for me. NORMAL. Can you believe that?

May 25, 2004: I was 28 weeks and one day pregnant. Excerpts from my journal: “Twenty-eight weeks. I am stuck between wondering how this has managed to go so fast and why it isn’t done yet? … My belly is stretching all the time. The stretch marks are very itchy. Other than that and the occasional sore hips in the evening, I feel really good.”

Three days later I felt the first kicks.

May 25, 2005: While I was getting ready this morning Em sat at my feet and scratched my legs. She was trying to grasp my robe so she could pull herself up. I waved the blowdryer at her wild hair and she squinched her eyes and laughed.

See how much better that is?

And now, because Elise is making me tagged me and what the hell, I need a topic, The 3 Game:

3 names I go by:

Screen-names I've had:

3 physical things I like about myself:
My long, strong fingernails
My ankles
Damn, this is hard. Couldn’t it just be “The 2 Game?”

3 physical things I dislike about myself:
Finally, an easy question.
Waist (or lack thereof)
Thick upper arms

3 parts of my heritage:

3 things I am wearing right now:
Wedding ring
Ugly red sweater I keep at my desk because my office is FREEZING. (Oops, I mean, I’m on my lunch break. Yes. Totally on my break.)

3 favorite bands / musical artists:
Of all time, or currently? Because that all depends on my mood.
Billy Joel
Sheryl Crow
Barenaked Ladies

3 favorite songs:
“About Me” by Keri Noble
“Float On” by Modest Mouse
“Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane

3 things I want in a relationship:

3 physical things about the preferred sex that appeal to me:

*Some (Ok, most) of you may not know that my husband’s nickname is
HotPants. And I didn’t even give it to him. (L is for Love, Honey!)

3 of my favorite hobbies:
Eating great food that I didn’t cook
Lounging at the lake in the summer

3 things I want to do really badly right now:
Lounge at the lake
Eat large quantities of whatever I want
Leave work early

3 things that scare me:
Eating large quantities of whatever I want
When Em or Lucy and Murphy get sick

3 of my everyday essentials:
Wedding ring

3 careers you have considered or are considering:
Television news producer (I actually did that one)
Speech pathologist
Decorative painting or furniture refinishing

3 places you want to go on vacation:
New York

3 kids' names you like:
Em’s whole name (duh)

3 things you want to do before you die:
Get old
Enjoy my family
Have a job where I work for the satisfaction, not for the money

3 ways I am stereotypically a boy:
I will leave the house without makeup or doing my hair
I will wear (some of) the same clothes two days in a row
I can identify almost any make and model of car on sight

3 ways I am stereotypically a chick:
I ask questions during movies
I own shoes that go specifically with one outfit
I have trouble programming the VCR because it’s also hooked up to a
receiver and a digital cable box and I forget what channels everything is
supposed to be set to. Sometimes I record an hour of static because JUST
ONE setting is off. We so need TiVo.

3 celeb crushes:
George Clooney
Brad Pitt
David Boreanaz

That was fun! OK, who plays next:
  • Shari

  • Kelli

  • Krissy
  • Thursday, May 12, 2005

    Blah, blah, blah

    So the last few weeks have kind of flown by. Work has been so busy that I've pretty much been avoiding anything having to do with writing when I'm at home. No bills, no birthday cards, not even a shopping list.

    Ok, that's not entirely true. I have done a few e-mails here and there, and one late-evening chat that was pretty fun.

    One of the reasons I was nervous about starting a blog was that I didn't want it to feel like a chore. I figured eventually it would, I just didn't figure it would be so soon. Sometimes I wish my life was more dramatic, so it would be easier to write about. But that's stupid, I know. I'm so thankful that everything is smooth sailing for us these days. Back when I was in infertility drama overload it was just about killing me. So I'll take this any day.

    Canon rented office space this week. He's picked out paint chips and gave his last final at the university today. The business is going strong. Em is pulling herself up from sitting to standing. She's doing lots more tummy time and scooting backwards pretty well. The only problem is that's not the way she wants to go, and it's really pissing her off. That girl can screech like a velociraptor.

    And me, I'm just hobbling along, trying to get a productive day here and there. I've got a cold that's kicking my ass. Lately I've been missing small details at work and forgetting some pretty basic stuff. It's not really like me, and that's really bothering me. How can I bitch about the doofi I work with when I can't even get my stuff right? I think it's time for a vacation.

    Anyone else remember when Jerry, the desk clerk on ER, was a high school student on "Parker Lewis Can't Lose?" Now he's got a gray goatee. Damn, I feel old.

    And there we have it: B.O.R.I.N.G., with all the bad --and all the good-- that goes along with it.

    Sunday, May 01, 2005

    In A New Light

    Tonight I got a new house.

    I've lived here for 19 months, but it finally feels like mine. Isn't that stupid? All we did was switch a light fixture. But it was one of those little detail things that just makes this place feel like mine.

    I remember when we bought our first house. It was a good house, but I just wasn't in love with it. I hated the wallpaper, and the whiteness. White carpet and white walls with white trim. One weekend, before I had a baby and two dogs, I stayed up all night painting and pulling up carpet while Canon was on a hunting trip. And on the day we replaced the Wonder Years-era light fixture that hung over the kitchen table, it turned into my house. It finally felt like home.

    And now, so does this place. I don't know exactly what it is about the light fixtures, but it's amazing how much they can change the way I see a place. And apparently, the way I feel about it, too.

    Thursday, April 28, 2005

    It's all about the shoes

    So just after I posted about my fondness for shoes, I discovered Em shares my passion.

    She's always been interested in her own shoes. Saturday she gnawed and drooled on one of her pink baby sneakers so much that it was squishy-wet. The babysitter told Canon on Monday that Em played with the babysitter's shoe for 90 minutes.

    She's also crazy for my shoes. I have a great photo of her playing with a pair of my shoes while my slippers sit discarded at her side.

    More than likely, she didn't pick it up from me, even though I hate to admit that. Her furry brother Murphy will stop at nothing when he wants your shoes. He even taught himself to open the closet doors. Soon they will be partners in crime.


    Did anyone else watch the press conference tonight? I remember, even as a kid, when the President was on TV I wouldn't miss it. I couldn't imagine why anyone *wouldn't* want to watch their President talk to them about what was going on in the nation. Of course, current events was always my favorite part of elementary school. (I was initiated as a dork early, I guess.)

    Anyway, I watched tonight, and maybe it's because I'm older and more jaded, or maybe, as Canon says, politics are just more partisan (read: vicious), but all I heard coming from Bush's mouth was "Blah blah blah." Ick. It all sounded like dodges and excuses. And it's getting harder and harder to respect the office when you're so disillusioned with the officeholder.

    Maybe I should have been watching The Food Network.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2005

    Fucking Thin Mints

    Why do I give money to the G*rl $couts? Why? Why do I do it? I shell out cash every spring and all it gets me is fat.

    And yet I'm happy to pay. And happy to eat. Damn Peanut Butter Patties. Damn Caramel DeLites. Damn Thin Mints. They own me.

    All they have to do is figure out a way that Thin Mints will actually make you thin, then I'd love them back.

    Monday, April 18, 2005

    My feet, they've finally healed

    So seven years ago tonight I was at my wedding dance. I remember a lot about that day, but the thing I'll never forget is how bad my feet hurt at the end of the night. I hobbled out to the car to be whisked away to the Honeymoon Suite and all I could think about was getting as far away from my shoes as possible.

    I've gone through a lot of other shoes in those seven years. Most of them still clutter my closet. I have this thing about parting with my shoes. I just can't do it. I still have a pair of tennis shoes I wore in high school. (Give me a little credit; I only wear them when I mow the yard. Which is about once every three years.) But I've still got them.

    Chunky shoes, knee-high boots, fuzzy slippers. I wore them through miscarriages and fertility treatments and hopeful positives and long, long months of nothingness that crushed tighter every month. The "normal" shoes sit next to the extra-large flip-flops that were the only thing that fit on my swollen hooves for the last four months of my pregnancy.

    It must have taken a few days for my feet to heal after the wedding. I really can't remember. There's certainly been a lot more aches and pains and heartaches and hurt since then. Seven years ago I couldn't have predicted any of it. I'm glad i didn't know the struggles and the pain we've endured. But the love, the support, the laughs, they've been better than I expected, too.

    I still have those wedding shoes in a box in my closet. I'm not quite ready to get them out and try them on again; I'm still getting used to *all* of my scars healing. But here, at the seven year mark, we've got the family we always wanted. One day I'll show those shoes to Em: the wedding shoes and the flip-flops. And I'll tell her how much both of them hurt my feet. And how I can't decide which pair I love more.

    Thursday, April 14, 2005

    Hottest Ticket in Town

    Tonight Em treated us to her first concert.

    She sat on the floor, FIsher-Price activity table propped in front of her, Leap-Frog piano to her left, and played the alphabet song and "Old MacDonald" simultaneously. She bopped along in a Baby Dance of Glee whlie surveying the flashing insturmentation spread before her.

    I took it all in from my front-row seat, so proud that I had birthed a musical genius. Musical multi-tasking like that could probably earn her a spot in Rush.

    No wonder her father is her biggest fan.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2005

    The Eighth Month

    I have been a mother for eight months today, which means Em has been here almost as long as I waited for her to arrive.

    But not nearly as long as I wished for her; longed for her.

    For all those years I dreamed of a snuggly, balled-up, squinty newborn with a mewling cry. I got my wish. But no one told me how fast those days would come and go. How quickly she'd grow up, and assert her independence, and resemble a toddler more than an infant. I look at her and I don't see Baby; I see Child.

    I also see my husband and myself, in a whole other person I could never have imagined. Beautiful blue eyes, fluffy flyaway hair, a maniaical, throaty laugh. I see a wide stubborn streak, a love for music, an inquisitive mind. She rolls over only on her own terms. She hates tummy time. I suspect she will skip crawling and go right for the walking... she must stand, oh yes, she must. You are a fool to assume she might sit with you.

    She says ba,ba,ba when she's happy or just babbling. She says Ma,Ma,Ma when she's sad or upset or lonely. She knows the difference.

    She is the difference.

    I love you, Em.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2005

    Are you like me? Pick one.

    So there's a pot-luck coming up at work.


    I think we all know by now the dangers of blogging about work, so I won't go there. But it did get me thinking, after I noticed that one of my more consistent co-workers had signed up to bring slushburgers. I shudder just typing that. Now, if you live anywhere near me, you're intimate with slush and all the dirty ice, pebbly gravel and melty shoe-prints that it entails. So why would you ever want to spoon that between a bun and take a bite? Come on, what is with you people?

    So what do you say? Choose "slushburger" if you must. I promise to mock you quietly.

    Slushburger, sloppy joe or barbeque?

    Gray duck or Goose?

    Do you "put gas on," "fill up the tank" or "get gas"?

    Bubbler, water fountain or cooler?

    Hot dish or casserole?

    Buffet or Smorgasbord?

    Pop or soda?

    Sub, hoagie or po'boy?

    Supper or dinner?

    Tennis shoes, track shoes or sneakers?

    Bitch, whore, or wife? (thanks for the help, Honey.) (He's sick, people, you really can't blame him.)

    "Eh?" "Yeah, sure" or "You betcha?"

    That last one is more of a trick question. If you live in Fargo, it's all three.

    Monday, April 11, 2005

    I have seen the future

    ... and it is poopy.

    We're having a poopapalooza at our house. The baby has been bodysnatched by a Pooping Bandit. I hope it's the teething, because if it's not, I'm totally lost.

    This is the same kid, who, just a few months ago, wouldn't poop. The same baby with the prunes, and the great formula search, and the infant suppositories, and the prunes. Yesterday she had four blowouts, one of which included an actual puddle. I'm so tuned into the poop I can smell it a room away. Or maybe it's just that bad.

    The necessity of mulitple outfits is finally beginning to make sense to me.

    Oh yeah, and she started saying Mama this week, which pretty much cancels out all the diapers.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2005

    And now you know… The rest of the story

    I can’t remember not watching television. It’s just always been there. My earliest memories involve an old black and white set perched on a squeaky metal cart. Every day my dad would come home for lunch and my parents would turn the cart toward the kitchen, where the three of us would sit around the table watching Paul Harvey broadcast the noon news. And I’m not just talking about my earliest television memories – I mean earliest memories, period. I think this was before my sister was even around.

    I remember days in the basement of our house in Aberdeen. I’d ride my red tricycle in circles on the gray tile floor while Sesame Street and The Electric Company called out to me from the carpeted end of the room. My dad built an entertainment center for the new, color TV out of some flat boards and a few cinder blocks. I found out later that the cable company had accidentally hooked us up instead of the neighbors. Pretty soon it was back to 3 channels.

    When I was older, there was Captain Kangaroo in the morning, and Little House on the Prairie every day after school. I know that show so well I bet I’ve seen every episode three times. (Quiz me, I dare you.) I remember going to the KELO studio for birthday parties on Captain 11. “Wave one hand. Now wave both hands. Wave both hands and one foot. Now wave both hands and both feet!”

    In elementary school I snuck out of bed to watch Cagney & Lacey and Hill Street Blues from the shadows of the hallway. My 8:00 bedtime seemed so unfair. I remember the night a small aircraft crashed and took out a power line near our home. I was in the family room watching Laverne and Shirley when the world went black. I’d never been so terrified.

    When I was in junior high, I watched Thirtysomething, because it was the cool new show. I had no idea what it meant. I thought it was boring.

    I did my homework in front of the TV. We ate supper in front of the TV. No one ever suggested it might be bad for me. At school, we talked about our favorite shows, or who was on Saturday Night Live. TV was our seventh-grade social life, our culture. You were such a geek if you didn’t watch the right shows or remember the funny lines. And I took it to heart.

    When I got to college, with my long, bouncy curls and my mall bangs, I knew two people. It was so liberating to have a fresh start, a chance to forge a new identity. It didn’t take me long to meet the group of people I still call my best friends. And it wasn’t long after that, the night we sat down and reminisced about growing up. Talked about the lives we used to lead. The things we used to do. The shows we used to watch. We sat around on the floor of Jo and Amy’s room singing old theme songs. I only got a few words into “You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have…” and I was branded: Blair. At first I objected. I was not a rich-bitch daddy’s girl. And that wasn’t even one of my favorite shows. But I did have the Blair-hair. And when you’re sharing a bathroom with 24 other women, and five of them share your first name, it helps to have a moniker.

    Saturday, March 26, 2005

    Miss Independence

    So last night we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and Em got her own high chair. And for the first time, we didn't turn it upside down and sit her car seat in it. She sat in it like the big girl that she is. And then she proceeded to drop all her toys on the floor, one-by-one.

    Seriously, I didn't know that drop it/watch Mommy or Daddy pick it up game started so early. She thought it was great. She was even an equal-opportunity dropper. One on Mommy's side, one on Daddy's side. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.


    And then we came home and went to bed at 9.

    It seems like another lifetime ago, those days when my evening wouldn't even *begin* until 9 or 10. And it was. But I don't care. This is better in a million ways that I can't explain, and one that I can. It's a big, single-toothed silly grin.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2005

    Settling In

    Hello, Internet? I'm home.

    Meet the players

    So I blab a lot, and this is who I like to blab about:

    (For purposes of anonymity, they will all be given cute little pseudonyms)

    My husband: Our seventh anniversary is coming up this spring. They have been the best seven years of my life. Even when they sucked. But we'll get into that more later. I'll be calling him Canon. "L" is for love, honey.

    My daughter: Baby Em. Born on Friday the 13th. She's gorgeous, but you'll have to trust me on that one.

    The Puppies: Lucy and Murphy. They are golden fluffs of energy who can leap 5-foot walls in a single bound. Even while hindered by chronic hip pain.

    All others, including Terri Schiavo, George W. Bush and Jon Stewart will be referred to by their real names.