Saturday, December 27, 2008

my two lives

(from bo bee sah a few days ago:)

I feel like I've been living two different lives. In my morning life, I wake up to D patting my nose or pushing books into my hands or on my head if I'm not paying enough attention, the little snot. We wake up and change the poop alarm of a diaper, stretch and move into the kitchen to make breakfast. The day goes on, the sun rises, there are naps and books and running and snacks and more books and then D's day winds down.

And then my second life begins. With D asleep I can eat, if I haven't before, and start the homework I would rather ignore. I have been up until one or two in the morning for weeks now and it's so common that I can't seem to sleep any time before. It's tempting to stay up now that my paper is finished, if only to get some things done. Things like reading. How lovely. I suppose I should stow away that second life now that my paper is finished, if only for the holidays. But one in the morning is so crisp, so empty, so quiet.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I'm FINALLY finished with my paper! Now all I have to do is finish the laundry, pack our bags, and a bag of toys for the absolutely crazy bundle of chaos that may or may not be my baby D. He's much too blurry to really find out. We're off to Texas today! I'm already tired!!

Happy holidays everyone!

Does it feel like Christmas to any of you? It's still Christmas Eve for me, but already this holiday season feels smaller than others in years past. Like we're still waiting for the boisterous holiday season to begin. Maybe it's the calm before the traveling storm.

Our plans! We'll be going down to Texas tomorrow (today?) for a small vacation with Jim's family and then some time in our old home, Austin, to visit friends and places. I'm especially excited to see Court from Kaiya's Laughter Heals! We haven't seen each other in years and she has never met D so this should be a great time for us to get together. There will be pictures up when we get back home.

Here's a happy holidays to you and yours! May you find yourself near your heart's joys this holiday season.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

busy busy busy

If you don't hear from me in a week, please send search dogs, gorgeous firefighters, a basket of kittens, and some brownies. I have this huge paper I have to research and write. Am a huge nerd, as made obvious by the fact that I actually felt giddy for my time away yesterday to run around the library, pulling books off the shelves, taking notes and making blurry black and white copies. Am coming to some bad conclusions about the race situation here in Orange County, but shall push on before jumping on them.

ps. If I had time I would write about how D hurt his finger when I was away, giddy and studying away at the library, and then, according to Jim, walked around the apartment looking for me and then fell asleep. I would also write about how, upon awakening, he looked up and saw me and then looked down and touched his finger and then showed it to me. I kissed it and we talked about what had happened. That was all. Fingers all better now.

Monday, December 8, 2008

sleep, if only once

Nothing was different about last Sunday. It wasn't extraordinary or life-changing, it was a simple day spent with Jim and D, but it is still a day I want to remember forever. I woke up and felt a little stuffed and sore so I claimed that I had the Plague and laid down on the couch. It was the truth, too, I felt horrible. Jim warmed up a bowl of soup and a cup of chamomile tea and pampered me, even let me watch "Eloise at Christmastime" with Julie Andrews. (Which was adorable. She's a sassy one, that Eloise.)...(And can I say that I adore Christmas TV movies? Oh, I do. Especially when lazing around on the couch feeling horrible.)

There are a few moments I want to just cut out and memorize, hang on the wall in my mind and enshrine or just dust off the cobwebs so they shine more brightly than other memories. Watching Jim as he lifted Diego in one arm and carried him into the kitchen to make me some soup was one of them. It was something he was saying to D, explaining the complexities of cans or soup or winter weather, I don't know. Maybe it was the pampering. Or the honey toast he made. (Yum) Everything about that moment made me love him that much more.

The happiness continued, too, that night. We put Diego to bed, as usual, and he woke up around 9, as usual, and then fell back to sleep a few minutes after. And then...he slept through the night. The ENTIRE night. He's never done that before and I don't expect him to do that again until he's 16. But it was a glorious, sleepy, surprising holiday gift. And that's what I think it was, a gift to me. To both of us. Sleep. He knew exactly what I wanted!

I love my boys.

Friday, December 5, 2008

hard days and nights

D is sick. Again. Or is it still? In any case I keep thinking he's getting better and then I get excited and start planning things-like going outside! getting together with little baby buddies! getting together with grown up buddies! But then he goes back down and it's worse again.

This rollercoaster of well, not well, sick, better, ugh is not fun. And I've been struggling to get things done around the house when he's been extra clingy, teething, and just not feeling well. Which makes me feel flustered and just horrible because, geez, when was the last time we opened the hall closet and took OUT the vacuum instead of stood there and talked about how were weren't even going to TOUCH it because Diego starts to freak out and go "Ah! Ack!" while pointing at the thing with a look of fear on his tiny, little face? But, I digress.

He's also never been a good sleeper, add a cough and runny nose and teething and a possible growth AND mental spurt? And you have one sleepy Momma. But Jim's been more than fabulous and has been trading nights off with me. Not that it really matters since I've been up until 1 most nights this week just trying to get homework done for school. (Online school to get my teacher's cert.)

I was thinking about all of the above and started to get really frustrated with myself and all the FAILing. He's sick. No sleep. Messy house. Behind on homework. The tiiiiiiiiiired.

And then, and I don't know when or where, there wasn't a big shaft of light from the heavens above or birds talking to me in rhyme, but I figured out something very important. I can't control everything. Not his immune system. Help it along, yes, and I do. A messy house? It happens. We'll vacuum Saturday. Or Jim will while I take D for a walk so he won't see it at all. Homework is getting done, scheduled out, and I will get it done. I don't have to do this alone. Or right this instant. And the most important thing of all? A bad morning does not make a bad afternoon. Minutes by minute, that's how fast I have to go.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

online quizes are scary

There are so many better things that I could be clicking here to give the opportunity for a free mammogram to some lucky woman in the world. (It's free and for a great cause so go and click already.) But what am I doing? Online quizzes... And why am I posting this? Because it is EERILY and COMPLETELY CORRECT. Just ask Court over at Kaiya's Laughter Heals. I'm kind of reeling from the thought that two questions and some quiz writer totally pinned me down. How dare they?! But...I'm Audrey...that's cool.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Audrey!


You are an Audrey -- "I am at peace"

Audreys are receptive, good-natured, and supportive. They seek union with others and the world around them.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * If you want me to do something, how you ask is important. I especially don't like expectations or pressure

  • * I like to listen and to be of service, but don't take advantage of this

  • * Listen until I finish speaking, even though I meander a bit

  • * Give me time to finish things and make decisions. It's OK to nudge me gently and nonjudgmentally

  • * Ask me questions to help me get clear

  • * Tell me when you like how I look. I'm not averse to flattery

  • * Hug me, show physical affection. It opens me up to my feelings

  • * I like a good discussion but not a confrontation

  • * Let me know you like what I've done or said

  • * Laugh with me and share in my enjoyment of life

What I Like About Being an Audrey

  • * being nonjudgmental and accepting

  • * caring for and being concerned about others

  • * being able to relax and have a good time

  • * knowing that most people enjoy my company; I'm easy to be around

  • * my ability to see many different sides of an issue and to be a good mediator and facilitator

  • * my heightened awareness of sensations, aesthetics, and the here and now

  • * being able to go with the flow and feel one with the universe

What's Hard About Being an Audrey

  • * being judged and misunderstood for being placid and/or indecisive

  • * being critical of myself for lacking initiative and discipline

  • * being too sensitive to criticism; taking every raised eyebrow and twitch of the mouth personally

  • * being confused about what I really want

  • * caring too much about what others will think of me

  • * not being listened to or taken seriously

Audreys as Children Often

  • * feel ignored and that their wants, opinions, and feelings are unimportant

  • * tune out a lot, especially when others argue

  • * are "good" children: deny anger or keep it to themselves

Audreys as Parents

  • * are supportive, kind, and warm

  • * are sometimes overly permissive or nondirective

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Saturday, November 29, 2008

brought to you by the letter 'M'

So Alison Says and my BFF Court from Kiaya's Laughter Heals both had a meme listing 10 things you loved, starting with the same letter. I asked them for a letter (and you can get your own, too! Just ask.) My letter from both of them is the letter 'm' so here are my 10 favorite m-things.

1. My Monkey.

2. Magic Puppets and The Mysterious Ticking Noise.

3. Movies, usually really horrible girlie fantasy tinged romance induced crying comas, ok, not really. Twilight, Lost in Translation, Pride and Prejudice, Zoolander, Amelie, Love Actually, Howl's Moving Castle, there are a lot of them I really enjoy.

4. My Mom. (Oh Dear. At NUMBER 4?! Well, obviously, this isn't in any order whatsoever.) I love my Mom and love her more now that I have my own monster, I mean, beautiful lovely child. The fact that she raised two kids on her own amazes me. The fact that she didn't go absolutely bonkers amazes me more.

5. Marriage. What can I say? I love Jim. Doesn't hurt that he makes me breakfast almost every morning. I'm a sucker for a man who cooks.

6. Various mythical beasts. Manticores, dragons, unicorns, you know what I mean.

7. Maps. I used to look at a map of the world and point out places I wanted to visit. I still do. It's a little closer these days, but traveling is still one of my life's goals.

8. Mermaids. When I was younger I would wish on every shooting star I saw that I would become a mermaid. I blame the movie Splash. And the Little Mermaid. Which I can still sing along to and do.

9. Mini versions of my favorite animals. Like pygmy hippos. Totally adorable.

10. Music. I have weird, eclectic taste in music. Anything from Moonlight Sonata to Miles Davis and Manu Chao. This video (Salmon Dance by the Chemical Brothers) gets in my head and stays there, and it's educational! I'd be willing to send a CD of some of my favorite tunes to one lucky person, picked at random, who comments with their own favorite song. If you want your own letter, just ask. So comment away, people!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

thankful thursday

I was thinking about Thanksgiving and what it should mean for us, mainly because I've enjoyed the turkey and yams and green beans and stuffing and pie (YUM)...but the thankful part? Besides a prayer said while I drooled over my overfilled plate and stared at my food (yes, I know, horrible, praying with your eyes OPEN! blasphemy)...being thankful was something said quickly, a bump on the way to the delicious food.

But I don't want to go over so quickly today. This is our first Thanksgiving with just ourselves, no family, no friends today. Just Jim, Diego and me. We have had a beautiful day; a simple day of food and play. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

zoo rhymes with shoe

Some lovely friends joined our little family at the San Diego Zoo this past weekend. The day was perfect, somewhat cool but bright and sunny nonetheless. I thought Diego would enjoy looking at all the large and moving animals (as opposed to the pictures in his books?) but I believe the man sweeping up after the messy crowds held more of his attention than anything else that day. Besides the grills and manhole covers, that is.

(exhibit A. grill, pretzel, no shoes)

You'll notice he's not wearing shoes. Yeah...about we were in one of the enclosed aviaries settled on a bridge looking at all the GREEN! and...more GREEN! Jim and I chatted on about something and Diego had managed to put his foot through the wires on the bridge. The wires that were keeping him from falling 30 feet. (I am a horrible Mom, I know. To my credit, I was holding onto him and there was no way he could fall. Just didn't notice his foot creeping out over the edge.) When he pulled his foot back off popped his shoe and it fell with a soft hush onto the green ground below. There was nothing we could do and no one there to ask to help, so we had to walk away, as we did Diego kept pointing backwards furrowed brow all creased. I told him his shoe was gone and we had to say good-bye. He actually waved good-bye as we left the aviary. Managing to let go to the little blue shoe faster than his Momma could.

(exhibit B. on the evil bridge that stole my baby's shoe)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

puddles and pine cones

It's hard to see part of your heart walk around outside of your body, but there he goes, walking through puddles and trying to walk down stairs. He might reach up to hold my hand, and I'll hold it firmly and gently and love the warmth that comes from the fluttering that is toddlerhood. Then he lets go and tries to run, stepping on crinkly leaves and finding pine cones on the grass. For now he wants me to be there, close enough to show me the treasures he finds and help him if he wants help. And I am here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I've been working on using sign language with Diego for a few months now and I think he's really getting the hang of it. But for some reason he'll just pick one sign and that will be his catch-all sign for everything and anything. Yesterday's sign was "Eat." He wanted the door open, "eat? eat?" He dropped his sippy cup, "eat!" He handed me a book to read, "eat-eat-eat." Today's sign? Please.

But it all makes me think-what if we hadn't started sign language? Would he be talking now? He understands what we're saying, for the most part. But he hardly ever says "mama" or "dada" or, well, anything. And in comes the Mommy Guilt to make me think that I obviously haven't talked to him enough and that's why he doesn't talk and he won't start talking until he's 5 and his social skills will take a beating and kids will make fun of him and then he'll have to be an emo kid when he's older because of all the angst. Oh, the angst.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

letter to the ever-sunny SoCal weather:

Dear local weather,

First off, let me say, big fan! Big. Really.

But...can we lay off the sun a bit? I mean, it's NOVEMBER and there are 80 degree days ahead? Is this some sort of cruel joke? How many sunny, blue, and very warm days can a girl take before she wants to hit herself over the head with a frozen bag of peas just to feel a little cold?? I like long sleeves. I really love scarves. I would LOVE it if you could know? Change. For ONCE. They're called "seasons." I believe the song says they "change." Or is that turn?...Whatever. Please, please give us at least a few days of "winter" here. Heck. I'd settle for fall.

Dreaming of a slightly chilly holiday season,


If this is you, Global Warming....Not cool, Dude....Not Cool.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

isn't he cuuuuuuuuuute?

This was Diego on Halloween, visiting Jim at work. My favorite part is when he pauses, turns back around, looks at me, and the resumes stomping around. The tail swish just kills me.

He's officially a toddler. Having tantrums and signing words (though he just signs "please" for everything he wants. Opening boxes? Food? The cat? At least he's polite? hahaha) He's definitely bigger and stronger than ever.

Me? It's November, people! Days away from Thanksgiving and no turkey in sight. No plans, either. Which is fantastic. Last year, in a bout of insanity, I decided I would make a full meal by myself and somehow be able to take care of the six week old boob monster. Yeah. THAT went well. This year I can say I've grown as a Mom and now realize that I don't have to. So there. :P

Thursday, October 23, 2008

the balloons in Albuquerque

The flight to ABQ was great. Little D did a great job sitting in our laps, playing with random books, straws, and sometimes even a toy or two that I brought on. His favorite past time on planes so far? Flirting with people. My usually cautious introvert blooms and reaches out from people left and right. Especially hilarious when the person he's reaching out for is asleep or otherwise preoccupied and then he pokes them before I have a chance to pull little fingers away. *

The night we arrived we went to something called the Glow, which was a jumble of people, food, balloons firing up, fireworks and cold, cold air. Diego, for a kid who had only had one nap that day and was awake WAY passed his bedtime, had a great time. He sat peacefully in the sling and watched his older cousins dance around, quiet and happy to sit and look.

We got to my cousin's home that night and literally woke up a few hours later for the very, very early jump on the ballooning day. 4 a.m. is NO time to wake up. Little D didn't. I changed him all ninja like under the blankets so I would wake him, wrapped him in a blanket, and placed the very awake, very pissed off crying bundle in the car for the short ride to the fair grounds. Then wrapped in at least 19 layers of clothing and bundled in the sling we walked around watching the balloons unfurl and wave, shiver and grow. Poor D fell asleep for most of the morning, tired from the day of traveling and miserable in the cold air.

Things I've learned from the Balloon Fiesta:
1. Little D does NOT like being cold.
2. Hot chocolates and breakfast burritos are delicious when freezing.

The rest of the weekend the balloons were grounded due to bad weather and strong winds. So we hung out with the family instead. I've decided that we're going to go back and live in Explora, the science center, so if you have never been you should go now. I loved it there, D loved it there, it was filled with sunlight and exhibits that any kid, from one to 145 would love.

We had a fabulous time (thank you family!) and had a hard time coming back to the more expensive, more crowded Orange County, especially after seeing D grow as he followed his older cousins around. I would love to live closer to family. I would love to be able to one day afford a house. But here we are, making the best of our time in the ever-sunny south O.C.

*Sorry to the lady in aisle 17, sitting by the window. D just loved the polka dots on your shirt.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Year: One

A year ago yesterday in the early morning hours, Diego was born. He was tiny and pink (and later orange due to jaundice) and crying out with deep breathes and strong lungs. His hair was plastered tight to his head and his brow furrowed as he looked around at what felt like dozens of people in the OR. I remember his serious gaze when I held him in the recovery area, smelling him in for the very first time. I remember how small he was bundled in the hospital blanket. We were in the hospital for four very long days and couldn't wait to get out, see the sun, take our baby boy home. He wore a striped body suit with dinosaur paw prints on the feet. He slept in our arms and ate and slept in the bassinet and yawned and grew in leaps and bounds.

Now? He's walking and babbling and teething like mad. He loves the cat and walks around trying to hug her. He hands me book after book to read, then pops on the ground to sit and listen. (His favorite right now is Dinosaur Roar.) We sing together now, too. Both of us making the movements for Wheels On The Bus or Itsy Bitsy Spider. He loves the bucket swing and climbing the stairs at the park. He's trying to go down the steps now, standing up. He'll look up at me, then down at the step, and then reaches up to grab my hands. I love holding his little hands. And he laughs. Giggles and chuckles. My smiling boy.

When I hold him, his legs sprawl out of my arms, too long to hold all of him anymore. He sprawls when I lay him down in his crib and I can see the young man he will be way too soon.

Happy Birthday Baby

Friday, September 5, 2008

can I eat cookies from here on out?

I can't cook. Not really. I can bake! Give me a spoon, some sugar, vanilla, and flour and I'll whip up something absolutely delicious. Give me a spatula, sauce pan and veggies? And I make something almost as horrible as the roasted veggie lasagna I made the other night. One bite and I had to throw it out. It was horrible. Mushy, oozy, not in a good melted cheese kind of way, horrible. I could blame the recipe, but I know that it's my fault. I looked at the eggplant funny. Hurt the zucchini's feelings. Added too much ricotta cheese. Damn you Joy of Cooking! You've never let me down before. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

baby firsts

D had his first earthquake today-we're both fine-thanks! He was napping and I was resting and reading next to him when the ground started to shake. It took me a good 10 seconds to realize that no, this wasn't the upstairs neighbor doing some crazy acrobatic juggling, this was an actual quake. My first reaction? To shield D from the possibly falling ceiling...which, really? I think not. I'm not Xena. (That's right. Xena. I loved that show.) So I grabbed him and stood in a doorway because isn't that what people say you're supposed to do? Standing there was a little surreal. On the one hand, there was D, groggy from being so hastily awakened and patting my face as if to say, "What are we doing standing in the doorway, Momma?" And across the room were the window blinds swaying in the quake. All said, pretty sure D didn't even notice. And me? Still shaking. It's really hard to come to terms with knowing that I can't stop the world from hurting D. I'm sure I'll try, though.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

things a 6 month old loves:

-the cats

In that order.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

steps to no car-buyers remorse:

I'm so proud of us. As I can now say we are so grown up that we can buy a car and not get screwed. See? You're shocked, I can tell. But it's true! So here are our steps to purchasing a car. And, remember, I am, by no means someone whose advice should ever be taken. What do I know?

Steps to car buying sans the remorse:

1. Pick out a few cars you like. Being stuck in traffic in your junker=a great place to shop for cars you like. It's the bar scene for cars that want to be seen. Just look around. Especially helpful if you're in the middle of Friday afternoon traffic on the 101, 110, 710, 10, 405, 55 or 5. (aka: Southern CA)
2. Check the cars out online. Preliminary research, prices, reviews, etc. Don't ignore it when people talk about maintenance issues and they love the car-it means that they don't care that it has issues and you might not want that kind of high-maintenance relationship. (See: e's first car)
3. Go to the dealer and actually look at them first hand.
4. Don't get attached. Do NOT buy the car the same day you looked at it. It might be great, it might be perfect but just Walk Away! Now!
5. Email dealerships nearby (and far, if you're willing to drive) for quotes.
6. When you get a low quote, ask the next dealer who emails if they can meet that quote. Then the next. Keep looking for that low price.
7. Remember there are things called "frills" or "extras" or "stuff they're going to add on in the end because, why not?" There's a destination charge (or at least there is, here in CA) of about $625 that is automatically added on, and that almost no one tells you about willingly. Ask every dealer whether their quote covers the destination charge, and other fees.
8. Once you have a low quote, get that dealer on the phone and ask if there are any extra charges that aren't included in that price. If there are, talk to another and another.
9. Go to the dealer with the lowest price to look at the car, pick out the color you like, and figure out the finances.
10. Go home with lovely new car.

Well, it worked for us and now we have a beautiful new car. Perfect for at least two car seats in the back. Ahh...nothing like a slightly bigger car that makes a girl think about babies.

Friday, April 4, 2008

feed the Momma

There was so much time wasted today feeling horrible. It all started when I suggested we get waffles for breakfast and J countered with something about wanting to eat at home more often which spiraled me into feeling bad that I don't cook enough, bad wife that I am, and how dare I even think about waffles? Tasty, whip-cream topped waffles. So I didn't eat. The bebe was busy and fussy and wanted to play and then sleep and I focused on doing that and didn't eat for way beyond my Hungry time and straight into my Feed Me Now time. You know the feeling. The I'm cranky and You suck and why is the sun so LOUD and my head so DIZZY? feeling. Did we eat then? Nope. Went grocery shopping instead. Which is good, I guess, but I was so cranky and set on Getting Things Done that I forgot that I can't really think without food. So brainless and dizzy, baby sitting in the sling, we trudged through the grocery store and my poor, poor husband kept trying to gently nudge me towards the deli counter and the free samples there, but I kept quickly walking in the other direction because, well, of course, we needed the detergent and beef stock and graham crackers! Really, he should have just knocked me out with a large stick and forced me to march to the free and delicious samples. See? You could tell I was crazy because when would I normally turn down cut up, warm and gooey, cinnamon buns?
Never. That's when.

Friday, March 14, 2008

my favorite mommy group

I just got home from my weekly Mommy Support Group-and can’t help but feel incredibly lucky and grateful that I have found them. Filled with love am I. I love going in there and seeing all the other rushed, worried, laid back, sweet, caring, and tired mommas. We sit around the room, chat, soothe babies, feed the babies, laugh and generally have a great time no matter how many babies are crying. Which is a lovely change from other times, other places, when you’re the only one with the crying baby. In the Mommy Group when the babies start to fuss it’s almost as if we hold our breaths, anxious to deal with them, make them stop, make them happy, anything to bring back the quiet. But then we realize that we’re in another space, a space where babies cry and instead of panicking and rushing to make things "better" we can all just relax, do as we do at home, slowly calm the fussy ones down and just TALK LOUDER over the noise until the little ones find peace.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

jan-27 min. poem

i want to curl
inside the heavy fuzz
of my tired brain

pull up the dark
cover of sleep
so hard to hold on to

but i will wake again
for milk for him
and breathe slowly in the dark

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It's been 3 months since D was born-3 whole months and everything has changed. Well, obviously, right? I mean, now we have a baby! Now I'm a stay-at-home Mom. Now I've started going back to school online, on my way to get that blasted teachers certificate that I've been talking about for far too long. Now I've had to learn how to live on 2 hours of sleep at a time. Do you think if a person doesn't get into that lovely deep sleep that they can go insane? Because some days I feel like that could be true.

But then I look at this and all is so much better.

And here we are in 2008. This is the first year in a while that I haven't made any resolutions yet. It might be because I don't have a journal on hand. And I still can't think of this as my "real" journal, I miss that tactile sensation of pen on paper. I ordered a journal from Running Rhino, the best journals I've ever had, so that should be here in a few days. Until then? If I had to think of any resolutions:

1. Be a great Mom.
2. Do well in school.
3. Go for more walks outside.
4. Vote!
5. Read as much for personal fun as possible.
6. Write more, possibly try to get something published? Ahh, dreams.
7. And everyone's favorite: eat healthier. That means more sushi, right? I can do that.

The babe is awake and I should be off. Happy new year everyone.