Biographies

Friday, December 30, 2011

Battery Operated Boyfriend

When I was almost 34 years old, I finally discovered sex. I'd spent a lot of years being told that I wasn't good enough in this department, and that it was all my fault. And sure, I had the whole "boo hoo, I was molested" thing going for me, too. So when my highly unsatisfied husband decided to call it quits, I didn't waste much time in trying to figure out if I was, indeed, a 5'2" bundle of permanently damaged goods.

A while ago, a friend of mine had convinced me that I didn't like sex and never had orgasms because I didn't own a Hitachi Magic Wand. So I got one. I spent a couple of afternoons awkwardly trying to force myself on me, but things like doorbells and toddlers waking from naps kind of killed the mood, every damn time. Frustrated, I tucked that thing under my bed, where I promptly forgot about it for a couple of years. During one final marital argument, my then-husband made a sarcastic comment about the vibrator gathering dust under the bed. My reactions went as follows - First: *gasp! He knows about the vibrator? Second: *gasp! I have a vibrator!

Probably two weeks after he left, I busted that bad boy out. The kids were gone, the phone was off, my music of choice was cued and ready to make me swoon. I took a very factual assessment of what I had to do - Plug it in; Arrange myself and it under the covers; Figure out the exact spot I'm supposed to magically know about but had never really found; Turn it on. High or Low? Low is juuuuuust fine. On my first try it took my Hitachi 2 minutes to do what my ever-complaining hubby hadn't accomplished in 12 years. I was enlightened.

Turns out, all that bad sex wasn't all my fault. This was a huge relief and felt really, really good to discover. Almost as good as the mind-blowing, epically-proportioned multiple orgasms that I started having on a regular basis. I finally figured out that women around the world had NOT in fact joined forces in a like-minded unit that they left me out of, hatching a plan to fake enjoying sex for the sake of the men they loved. They probably just really, actually liked it! I became that mussy-haired, bedroom-eyed lover of self-loving that I'd always assumed I'd never be.

By now I've got this thing dialed-in. So much so that I have to be careful when listening to my ipod in public, since at this point Maxwell's Bad Habits has a Pavlovian affect on my nether-regions. My Plug-In Lover and I have become like a perfectly functioning couple - aware of each other's (aka my) specific needs in the sack, thus perfecting and heightening the experience for all involved (again, just me here).

We are very happy together.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The True Meaning of Christmas

Presents.  Okay sure there is the whole family thing and the food, and for some of you there's even a religious bit, but let's be real.  I'm not talking about pepper spraying inbred Wal-Martyrs for a PS3.  I'm talking about something much more nuanced.  I'm talking about the magic at the end of "A Christams Story" when (SPOILER!) Ralphie gets the gun.

Day 1 - 10:00 a.m.
Liam didn't have his own version of the Red Rider Rifle dream in mind but had he been familiar with the Thomas & Friends "Misty Island Discovery" Trackmaster Motorized Railway before we got it for him, that would have been it.  He's completely obsessed.  The moment I released him from his room this morning (no he can't get out of his own room because of the raccoons...shut up) he made a bee-line for his train.  He's rarely left its side in four days.  Money can't buy love but apparently twenty bucks can buy a two-year-old's joy for at least a good week.  I'm curious to see if his interest outlasts the battery.  Probably not, but I'll call it a huge success anyway.

Day 4 - 6:45 a.m.
This being Finn's first Christmas he got nothing.  Well nothing from a store.  He did get held for four days straight by doting family members.  He's now as obsessed with being held as Liam is about his train, but unlike Liam we're trying to ween the little weiner.   

I scored too.  Erin got me a bunch of shirts that I never would have picked out for myself so naturally they look fantastic.  I also got some cool stocking stuffers, money from my parents (whew! Thanks mom and dad), some movies I forgot I loved, and in a surprise turn an awesome book from my brother-in-law.  It's called Creature Crochet and I'm going to use it to train myself to knit and stuff little zombies, ton-tons, cylons, Daleks, etc., all of which will be included in my upcoming book entitled Knitting for Knerds.  Those of you who know me know I'm being completely serious.  Look for it soon.

I even won with Erin.  I got her a sweater/trenchcoat thing from Anthropologie that she really liked but doesn't like anymore.  That might not sound like a success but I scored two big points.  One for really listening a few months ago and another when she goes to return it and sees that I spent half a month's mortgage on her.

Happy Holidays!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sketchy Claus

Over the weekend Liam and I were having coffee at Starbucks.  Say what you will about Starbucks but I'm addicted to their Clover® Brewing System and apparently if you order one of their outrageously expensive coffees, and it takes too long because they're cleaning the machine, they'll comp it.  Score.

Liam and I were killing time entertaining the Healdsburg locals.  He's two, cute, and super-crazy social.  He was doing the rounds with his usual routine of running up to strangers to say 'hi', then acting shy and running away.  The effect of which was instantaneous.  Most of the clientele that day walked in with a severe case of the holiday blues and left with a new appreciation for life.  Just like 'It's a Wonderful Life' but without all the back story and parallel dimension stuff.  He should get corporate sponsorship from the Starbucks people.  Or at least free chocolate milk.  One lady even had to say "What a darling little girl! Oh, and what a fun age!!  This will probably be the first year she really gets it!"  Okay yes he's darling, yes he needs a haircut, and no...he doesn't get it. 

By "get it" she was referring to Christmas and the presents and the whole SANTA thing.  I guess he may not be as advanced as other kids his age in his holiday appreciation because the Santa love hasn't kicked in yet.  Then again maybe he has a better understanding of Santa than the other kids his age.  While the other kids worship this strange old man who wants you to sit on his lap and tell him your most heartfelt desire, Liam's instincts are more appropriate.  Finn's too by the look of it.   

Maybe next year.  Still the gathering of family, the food, the general happiness, and all that good stuff isn't lost on him.  He gets that better than I do.  He's been a raging fireball of holiday cheer.  It really is incredible the effect these little people have on us, especially during the holidays.  They don't worry about money, or stress over 'what do I buy', or wallow in the usual holiday self pity.  They're just insanely happy and it's contagious.  I realized that while the Sumatra Tapanuli is pretty fantastic my real motivation in loitering around the coffee shop was just to show my little boys off and spread their joy.  They definitely don't mind sharing it.  Well, except with maybe Santa.



Friday, December 16, 2011

That Took Balls

I feel like Janikowski has been training on my crotch.  Yeah, that's right, that was a SPORTS REFERENCE!  Overcompensating for lack of manliness is one of the side-effects of being freshly gelded.  Sure I had to ask the guys at work for that one but whatever! (for the record the exact wording of my question was "who's the best guy who kicks the football?"....pathetic)  Anyballs, I did it.  Just three hours ago.  I got snipped.

I felt a little apprehensive while I was sitting in the waiting room.  I also felt a little under-dressed.  There was this black guy in there wearing a tuxedo.  I think he was there for the same reason I was (too obscure or too racist?)  I'm fairly certain that the Valium I'd been given in order for me to "relax" wasn't doing the trick.  Then again prescribing a 230 pound man (yes, I'm calling myself 'man' now) a single 50mg Valium to relieve the tension prior to a vasectomy is like prescribing baby aspirin for the pain following a leg amputation.

I'd had a dream last night where the doctor performed the procedure in an elevator with a pair of my mother's orange handled sewing scissors (what the Freud?) and a lit cigarette.  It went better than that.  I won't get into the details of the procedure, but I did have some questions.  What was with the TUGGING?  How did you do that with a straight face? And, is it weird that the smell made me hungry?

So I'm infertile now.  I was given a little care package.  Some ice packs, two cups, and some instructions.  I have to bring in a sample in "one to two months or after about 15 ejaculations......"

Ummmm.........yeeeeaaahhhh.

I'm just gonna say my doctor needs to work on his conversions.....or maybe he needs to quit working late and go home to his neglected wife for FUCK'S SAKE!!

P.S. I'm self-medicating so I should probably wait to edit this post before I publish it but I think instead I'll just say 'sorry' here.  SOWWWWYYY!




Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Big Purge

No sooner had I thought quietly in my head (so as not to jinx it) "wow, we've been pretty lucky in our health this year" did Evie get the barfs. She arrived with her brother at my place at the usual hour, holding a limp banana and informing me in a small voice that she had a tummy ache. Her dad told me he'd given her half of an antacid. I've never taken an antacid, so I assumed that was some sort of gibberish 'medicine' that he thought would make her feel better.

It didn't.

Over the course of the evening, the kids and I did some work on the paper chain we've been making, Evie made glitter-glue puddles on construction paper, Jonah repeatedly got a running start and then did death-defying flips into the living room chair. When bedtime came, the stomach issue seemed to be all but forgotten. I read them a book, sang them a song, said some blessings, gave some hugs, some kisses, and off they went into dreamland. Or so I thought.

I was enjoying a glass of wine while folding laundry and talking with my beau about how there are only two people in the world who are allowed to call me Panda when I heard a whimpering Evie making her way down the hall. When she rounded the corner and saw me, she puffed out a "my tummy hurts!" as I picked her up. My attempt at comforting her was interrupted by a tiny little burp, resulting in a baby spit-up sized glop of banana on my shoulder. "Okay," I thought, "that's not too bad." I started walking down the hall, ignoring my company, and clucked and cooed at my sad little muffin child.

As we crossed the bathroom threshold, she looked me straight in the eyes and then heaved an enormous amount of vomit onto my shirt, in the space between my breasts and our touching bellies. I stopped short, looking down and assessing the damage, all the while saying things like "oh, honey...you poor thing...it's okay sweetie, it's not your fault, it's okay, mommy can take care of this," etc. Things you say out loud when in your head you're saying "Holy mother of GOD! How the hell did THAT MUCH puke just come out of this small child?! And what the FUCK did she eat for dinner? Gaaah!! It's disgusting! This is horrible! HORRIBLE!!!" The things you think right before the next heave of an equally alarming amount of partially digested (later to be discovered) hamburger and fries from Flavor bistro creates Lake Puke all over your favorite long sleeved tee shirt.

When she appeared to be finished emptying the contents of her entire body onto my torso, I gently set her down and got to work peeling off our respective shirts. I'm not exaggerating when I say that mine weighed about six pounds. Hers was maybe four. I rinsed her off with a warm washcloth and walked us out into the living room where all of our clothes lay, clean and freshly folded. Newly ensconced in coziness, I bundled her into my bed and she fell into a post-barf-induced state of exhausted slumber. Until the next time she had to throw up. And the next. And yes, the next.

Eventually she was just dry heaving, but I resisted the urge to ask her for a high five. I have to say, she always made her way to the bathroom after that first time, and no beds or carpets met the same fate as my pajamas. The next morning she woke up feeling delightful, and I thought quietly in my head (so as not to jinx it), "man, I'm so glad that was just a food thing and not a flu!"

Oh shit - did I just say that?

Monday, December 12, 2011

God bless us, everyone.

I registered for my last class today.  This is a big deal.  Huge.  The last five years I've been working on my Associates Degree in Enology (that's winemaking) and now it looks like I'll be done this Spring.  My goal?  To some day soon earn at least an extra five bucks an hour.  You gotta shoot for the stars baby!

This humble goal got me thinking about the last three years of my life.  Why the last three?  That's when the meconium really hit the fan.  A lot of people can say that the last three years have been their most challenging.  This is my version of that story.

It was 2008.  Erin was working as a dental hygienist and I was Assistant Winemaker at a winery where I'd intended to spend the rest of my illustrious career.  We decided to buy a house.  This was a big leap for us and consequently it put me in the hospital with necrotizing lymphadenitis (my body reacts oddly to stress).  I bounced back quickly enough and moved on to the next logical step, kids.  Erin got pregnant but we were cautious about telling anyone at first.  We kept it to ourselves for 12 weeks which gave us plenty of time to consider the fact that we'd just bought a house we could barely afford and we were going to have a baby.  Was this the best idea?  We figured we should be fine.....just as long as nothing bad happened.  Literally the day after I told the people at work that Erin was pregnant, I was laid-off.

Erin and I will tell you the same thing; we have NO IDEA how we got through this chapter of our lives, but we did.  It wasn't easy.  There were times where things got pretty dark, but we made it out alive.  I eventually got back to work again.  After seven months of unemployment and interviews resulting in kindly worded rejection emails, I got desperate and took a job as a 'Harvest Intern'.  In wine-industry parlance this is known as 'The Bottom'.  Another eight months after that I found a permanent position.  I'm still there, not really doing what I was doing, and making five dollars less an hour (hence the goal), but the benefits are good and we're making enough to manage. 

We kept our house which is amazing.  Erin did some stuff with our finances that I still don't understand.  Now we're paying our bills, our mortgage, and eating EVERY DAY.  I didn't even have to give up my favorite vice (thank god for home winemaking).  Granted our petty cash tends to jingle more than fold and our debt isn't going anywhere anytime soon but at least we're housepoor...not just poor poor.

Then there are the kids (see blog)

All in all this holiday season I have an assload to be thankful for.  I have two boy wonders and a wonder woman.  I have some okay friends and some kick-ass friends (if you're reading this you're the latter) some of whom may even be getting Xmas gifts this year! (thank god for home winemaking).  And soon I'll be back to where I was in 2008, raking in the four digit paychecks!  Now I know the 'Associates' is the cubic zirconia of college degrees so it's not like I'm suddenly going to be the first round draft pick at the next premium winery.  In fact my current employer's reaction to the news of my degree was a resounding 'Meh'.  But it's a big step in the right direction.  Besides the addition of that extra line on my resume forced me to shrink my font from 12 point to 11 in order to cram in all my mad winemaking skills.  That's going to impress the hell out of the right winery!  Right? 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pushing My Buttons

If you ever need a button pushed or a switch flipped, Liam is your man.  It's his job, and he's always on duty.  He can't get out of the car without locking his door, he must flip every light switch he passes, and remote controls are best left lost in the sofa cushions.  For the most part it's one of those slightly annoying but mostly cute toddler compulsions, but from time to time it's a real problem.

Back in the flush times Erin and I treated ourselves to a six-point surround sound system with a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD player.  Movie night is epic at our house as long as we get to watch the right movies (i.e. as long as Erin is away...the sub-woofer is sort of lost on Jane Austen).  The other night during LOTR just as Frodo was holding the ring of power over the raging fires of Mordor, and the neighbors were dialing the police, everything suddenly fell dark and silent.  I'd thought the power had gone out but as my eyes adjusted I could just make out a small figure outlined by the glow of the power strip switch.  The power strip into which every audio/video device in the room was plugged of course.  It was Liam hunched over his precious, his own, his switch...and he really wanted me to read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie


Another time I was in the garage retrieving clothes.  I'm incapable of using a dresser or a closet so my daily fashion choices are dictated by whatever happens to be in the clothes dryer (or on top of the hamper. DON'T JUDGE ME!!)  On this particular day Liam had followed me from the kitchen to the landing at the top of the small set of stairs leading down to the garage.  This landing is of course where the button that opens the garage door is located.  The noise of it made me jump, but it wasn't until the door was about a quarter of the way up that I realized what exactly was happening.  I don't really believe that Liam understood the cause and effect involved in pushing that button, but that didn't diminish his delight in witnessing my mad spaztic scramble through the obstacle course that is our garage, up the steps, and into the kitchen, wearing nothing but white socks.  I'm hoping whatever the neighbors had glimpsed was a blur.

The most trying little trick of his though is the one that he's perfected.  My car key has that button that lets you remotely lock and unlock the door.  The designers of this key included a feature where you can press the 'lock' button twice and the car let's out a short 'honk'.  Press it four times and it honks twice.  Press it over and over again as fast and for as long as you can and it sounds as though your asshole neighbor has let his two-year-old in the front seat of his car to wail on the horn at 6am on a Sunday.  Liam learned this trick pretty fast and now will abscond with the keys, usually while I'm on the toilet, and will oh-so-quietly tuck himself into some remote part of the house before letting loose.  The good news is he's easy to find.  I just scream "LEEEEEE-YUUUMMM!!!" and follow the belly-laughs.  He's an evil genius.



Friday, December 2, 2011

The Buttcracker

Today someone asked me how different my second son is from my first.  I had to really think about it.  Finn is two months now and Liam at two months looked a lot like him.  They're both equally awesome.  They both think I'm awesome....which is awesome.  Nope, the only real difference I can come up with is the farting.

Liam was a little colicky.  I remember nights of him screaming in agony while I bounced him belly-down on my knee while working his little legs around like he was riding a bike.  Anything to work out the farts.  I got pretty good at it too.  Some nights I'd coax out a ripper and I'd feel like such a hero.....the smell of victory filling my nose, like napalm in the morning.

Finn doesn't have any problem with the gas.  None.  Everything moves through him unhindered.  The problem is his farts aren't baby farts.  They're man farts.  Deep and sonorous.  Sometimes lasting impossibly long.  The good news is he sleeps well, the bad news is people are starting to think I'm incontinent.

There's NO WAY anyone believes my "it wasn't me" look.  I've tried "Oh! Nice one pal!", but I can feel their eyes rolling at me.  Now I just try and pretend nothing happened but it isn't easy.  Particularly in silent environments like bank lines or waiting rooms because, of course, the quieter it is the more relaxed he feels and consequently the more freely things flow.  But in the end it's a small price to pay for a happy baby.

Plus it's kind of awesome.  In fact it might tip the scales of awesomeness a bit in Finn's favor.  I guess when people ask me what's different about my boys I'll have to tell them "Finn here is slightly more awesome".  Sorry Liam.

To celebrate Finn's gift here's a holiday treat starring my family THE BAIRDSMITHS!!  Happy Holidays!!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fahrvergnügen

Having grown up in Michigan, land of "We Hate Foreign Cars," and being the rebel that I am I felt like I'd somehow arrived when I became the owner of a used 2002 Volkswagen Jetta Wagon. It fits a couple of kids, lots of other stuff, and has had its fair share of problems over the years.

Lately, it loves to break down whenever I am out of town. It only does this on the weekends, when there are no service stations open, therefore forcing me to have it towed back home. I can hang with the Salt of the Earth types, no problem, and in fact quite enjoy making small talk with tow truck drivers. But this is getting old.


The first time it happened, I was in Half Moon Bay over the 4th of July Holiday weekend. I tried to fix it myself - with duct tape. This without a doubt would have worked if it wasn't for my man-hands and that damn German engineering designed solely for people with hands the size of invisibility.


The next time it happened, I'd just picked up my dad from the airport in San Francisco, and we'd stopped by Slow Club where we enjoyed a delicious brunch. As we were heading home, my car died. See that trail of fluid running down the street? That's my coolant. After a few minutes in the tow truck, I said to my dad, "we really should have had more Bloody Mary's." He chuckled.

But I wasn't kidding.

The time after that, I was on my way to see Mortified, again in San Francisco. The same problem occurred as before, but this time I had to wait over three hours for a tow truck to arrive, which strangely I did not find amusing. Every time I called to check in, they would tell me that it would be arriving within 45 minutes, then 20 minutes, then 30 - 40 minutes, so I didn't bother leaving my spot. For what its worth, the people who live on Filbert Street off of Van Ness are very kind, concerned, helpful folks. And so pretty! Being a mild night, I learned that very short skirts and fuck-me heels are in fashion right now. I obviously had no idea. Another important lesson!

I was so, so grateful that I hadn't eaten dinner and so was forced to stock up on Corn Nuts and Tiger Bars from the nearby liquor store. Because, as the name would suggest, they also had liquor.


When the truck finally arrived, my driver was overly enthusiastic (aka high on crack), and it was soon clear that I had to cram into the cab of his truck along with his prison-tattooed girlfriend.

They were very nice people.

I finally got my sense of humor back when the driver decided to drive in the middle of two lanes - in a construction zone - declaring "they can wait!" to the angry, honking drivers behind him. Ha! Love that guy.

Its good I love him, too, because it looks like we'll be spending a lot of time together.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Quick Holiday Update

Without much news at home I hope you'll excuse this shameless holiday filler.  Liam has been nutburgers over everything holiday.  He's two and change now so this really is the first holiday season where he gets it.  It's a beautiful thing to witness.  It's difficult to describe what it's like to watch him during the holiday gatherings.  To say he's 'very very happy' doesn't quite do it but I think the picture below sums it up nicely.
He's the blond and blue blur at the bottom center
That's a shot from the Healdsburg Holiday Party on the downtown square.  Sprinting has always been the way he best expresses his joy.  It's not just running though, it's more like a high energy dance that covers a great distance.  Shortly after the scene above a group of kids from the local theater dressed as the cast of Winnie the Pooh sang Christmas carols and Liam literally crapped his pants.

Finn's holiday experience isn't quite as intense, but he did just start smiling this week.  With family and friends constantly doting on him I'd say he's not having such a bad time.  I haven't forgotten him at home yet I'm proud to say!  That might sound perverse but with all the travelling and casserole dish transportation (and wine) THINGS HAPPEN.  But so far that nagging "I'm forgetting something" voice hasn't been referring to anything more critical than a quart of buttermilk.

Today we kicked things up a notch as we went ahead and got our tree.  Now the household will be in a constant state of holiday cheer.  Certainly for Liam anyway, maybe not so much for Erin and I unless Liam suddenly learns that a tree covered in fragile glass 'toys' is not actually there for his smashing pleasure.   More to come.




Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Homeward Bound

I have a few important personal rules: Always say Please and Thank You. Always order fried mozzarella sticks if they appear on a menu. Never visit friends and family in my home state during winter.

There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. For example - if you're playing miniature golf at Scandia with your new boyfriend and have just met his son for the first time, it is okay to not order fried cheese. Why? Because the kid might expect you to share, and let's face it - that ain't happening. Better to skip it and maintain an image of being normal, at least for a little while.

Another exception is when sad things happen, like when my sweet quirky Grandma passed away Monday morning. I immediately went into "Plan Last-Minute Trip To Michigan" mode, thereby increasing potential for total and complete shock once I finished that and entered into "Holy Shit I Have To See My Family AND It's Winter AND A Holiday" mode.

My family and I have been fine-tuning our Denial skills for generations, and so I've been putting off thinking about the above. Instead I've been thinking about my Grandma. She was the kind of lady who always dropped ice cream on her shirt, and never missed an opportunity to pose for a picture with a taxidermied moose or wolf. Usually she would hold out her hand and pretend to be feeding said deceased wild animal. She was really fun to hang out with, mostly because she was so clumsy and hilarious to watch. She taught me the very important skill of being able to laugh at yourself.

Unfortunately I'm a terrible granddaughter and didn't see her all that much over the last 10 years or so. Also, I have to confess, I forgot to call her on her last birthday. I'm pretty sure the timing of her death is her way of saying "you're gonna forget my birthday? Really? Let's see how busy you can pretend to be at my funeral you ungrateful little twat!"

Just kidding, my grandma would never say twat. Maybe she'd call me a stinker.

So now I get to look forward to Thanksgiving in the Midwest, otherwise known as All Things Meat and Cream and Meat and Fat. I'll likely be spending this day with friends. The next day, too. I get into a decent amount of trouble for not spending time with my family when I visit home. I mean, I assume I do. Since I don't see them often, they don't get much of a chance to give me shit about it...until I do see them. And then I can tell they've been saving it up. Luckily we aren't a yelling people. We choose straight up passive-aggressive guilt trips as our mode of shit-giving. Thanks to years and years of therapy, I can now recognize these traits and can fairly easily let it slide, smile politely, wonder for the umpteenth time why we aren't a family of drinkers, break out into a cold sweat, begin involuntarily holding my breath...you know, the usual survival tactics.

Saturday will provide a very rare opportunity for me to see all of my older brothers at once, probably some of their spouses - all of which I genuinely like - and hopefully some of their kids. I do really miss seeing the kids - I have about 20 nieces and nephews (have I mentioned that I'm also a terrible Aunt? I am). I'll also get to see some other random people that I won't mind catching up with, as well as a few that I would really rather not catch up with. This, as far as I can remember, is the very definition of  Holidays with Family. Suck it up, put aside petty (yet completely valid, of course) grudges, and play nice - for Grandma.

Wish me luck.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Keeping the Magic Alive

I purposely leave sex talk out of this blog.  Partly because I figure no one really wants to hear about that part of my life, but mostly because I'm pretty sure that blogging about sex with my wife will most likely end sex with my wife.  But since this week is a bit of a milestone I thought I'd share a quick anecdote.  The milestone I refer to is the fact that Finn just turned six weeks old.  For those of you without kids, six weeks is how long doctors recommend women "wait" after having a child.  This waiting period passes pretty uneventfully for the woman from what I can tell.  One could certainly understand why.  But it hasn't passed all that easily for poor me.  I've used some of the old tricks (cold showers, staying busy, heavy drinking, the music of John Mayer, etc.) but mainly I've just not let my mind 'go there' as freely as I normally would and this has generally kept me at ease...so to speak.  Certainly the very FACT that there are two children in the house now has been a deterrent, and that's one thing that isn't going away just because mission control has given the "all clear" (yes, I will stop the bad euphemisms now).  So with sex back but opportunity lacking I thought I would embrace technology with a little mid-day sexting to my beautiful wife.  Here's how that went:

me:  I was just thinking about you...and the things I'm going to do to you.

Erin:   Neat.

me:  Oh no.  I won't be neat

Erin:  Looking forward to it.

me:  If you knew what I was thinking you wouldn't be looking forward to it...you'd be terrified

Erin:  Well that is scary.  Not sure I'm game then.

me:  Too bad...you're doomed

Erin:  Are you going to kill me?

me:  You're gonna think you died and went to heaven.

Erin:  Nice.  Can you get green beans on your way home tonight?

me:  But not 'bible heaven'.  More of a raunchy kind of heaven.

Erin:  Well then I will like it.

me:  You really need to get better at sexting or I'm going to blog about it.

Erin:  You're a jackass




Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ae Fond Kiss, And Then We Sever

I had my first visit with the doctor on Monday.  When I called him up and announced "I want a vasectomy" he scheduled an appointment.  I had no idea what this appointment would entail.  Certainly not the severing of my vas deferens so what was the point?  I showed up anyway because I was beginning a relationship that would end in with a knife in my balls so it was best to start out on the right foot.

He sat me down in a chair opposite him and looked at me with a very serious expression.  Then he asked me, "So.....are two kids enough?"  God, I hadn't thought about that.  In the face of surgical sterilization it had never occurred to me to consider whether or not I wanted more children.  "Yes" I answered.  He then went on to describe a few of the more colorful details regarding the procedure which I've blocked out.  Then he mentioned that "with the severing of the duct your semen volume will be reduced by about 10%."  Oddly over the course of my 14 year relationship with my wife the volume of semen I let loose in one go had never been much discussed.  I'm not one to rock the boat so I mentally checked this off as "not a deal-breaker".  He then mentioned I should wear "tight shorts" to the appointment.  I was immediately flattered, particularly since he'd just seen my dick.  "It will help hold in the ice packs we'll be packing around your (gestures toward the crotch) area".  I immediately imagined that walk through the parking lot.  Finally he asked me to sign a waiver but assured me "this waiver is just an agreement to receive the procedure, not a commitment."  So I donned my official doctor's voice and did my best impersonation of how that scene might play out.  "Sorry sir I know you don't want to go through with the procedure and you're desperate to have more children but you DID sign this form so I'm afraid we're going through with this whether you like it or not".  HA!.....right?  "That used to happen" he assured me.  "Back in the day those who were seen as 'mentally undesirable' were forcibly sterilized".  Yes....I'm pretty sure that was a threat.

My appointment is scheduled for December 16th.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dear Diary...

So, this is cool - recently I met with the producers of Mortified. I read to them from my old diaries, they liked what they heard, so I'm going to be in the show. While this in and of itself is kind of a 'dream come true' experience for me, with it came a shocking and terribly depressing discovery:

My love life hasn't changed much since I was in Middle School.

"Oh Amanda," you're thinking, "stop being so self-deprecating all the time, silly! You're greeaaaaat!"  Or maybe you're thinking "she's exaggerating for the sake of the blog. Middle School? Ha! She's funny..."

Allow me to show you some excerpts from my Middle School and then Current diaries. Then you'll get it:

*****
Sept 17th, 1989
     I need someone who will love me! I want to wear a jacket or a class ring and have it mean something! I want a boyfriend so bad!!!! Cute, sweet, mature, kind-hearted, athletic, I want a boyfriend!!!! I have to get a boyfriend so bad.

Sept 29th, 1989
        Well, Matt gave me his ring. I realize now I don’t like him. I have to give it back, but I just can’t. I know I should, I just don’t wanna hurt him. I don’t think it would though, its prolly all just a game to him.
    I love to roller skate. I love to roller skate fast!!
    I think I like Brian.
    
November 15th 1990
    I heard Tony liked me. WOW! 
I wonder if Tony really likes me. I guess I’ll find out, ay?
(later) I’M GOING WITH TONY!!!!!!

November 22nd, 1990 - Thanksgiving
    Tony broke up with me yesterday. We lasted 6 days. 


*****
So, as you can see, I really wanted a boyfriend. I also thought it would be cool to have a boyfriend for more than a few days, or weeks if I was lucky. Yeah, I eventually had a boyfriend for 2 years. I also had a husband for 10 years. But now, things have kind of come...full circle. 

After taking about 6 months off from the whole "men" thing, I decided I was ready to dip my toe into the dating pool. And woo! Boy did I get some swimmin' done! I enjoyed dating, but it got tiresome very quickly. When I finally decided to go the boyfriend route, well...here, read for yourself: 

*****
Sept 8th, 2011
      I find myself only dating (guy who has specifically asked to not be mentioned in my blog), and actually really liking it. He's very chill and easy to be around, very respectful, funny, makes me laugh, etc. I like him very much.

October 1st, 2011
     (Guy who has specifically asked to not be mentioned in my blog) broke up with me, via email - (basically this generation's version of a note handed to you while passing each other in the hallway)

*****

I got over that, I think. And then, the day after I told Mike that I was "off men" for a while, this HOT guy asked me out. How could I say no to someone who looks like a freaking Ken doll and seems legitimately attracted to me, especially when I hadn't washed my hair that day and had six holes in my t-shirt? We went out a few times, had some cuh-razy awesome time together, and one night after some drinks he - much to my surprise - asked me to be his girlfriend. It was adorable. I was pretty drunk, so I said yes. A couple of days later, after some thought, I tried to give him an out and brought it up in an adult, 'let's check-in' conversation. He said that No, he wasn't completely wasted at the time; Yes, he did in fact mean it; and then he assured me that this was happening

He dumped me the next day. He was my boyfriend for three days.

Seriously, I didn't even have time to write about him in my Dating Diary!

So mark my words, fans: I am OFF MEN, at least until after the Holidays. Who wants to date during the Holidays? Not this girl! Don't even try, please, I'm begging you. I realize that as soon as I said I'd been dumped - again - my male fans and their friends started a texting brigade and were about to start lining up at my door. But really, just don't bother. 

I have plenty of space in my journal for after the Holidays.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I can't Adam and Eve it!

So I have to admit I have a problem.  I think it's natural to celebrate one's heritage.  You should embrace your ancestry and the culture of your people, but it's important to not be a complete dork about it.  I can't help but giggle to myself every time I go to a taqueria and there's that picture of the Aztec warrior standing on the mountain top holding that unconscious chick in the white dress (am I racist?) or that cat at the Chinese restaurant giving the "Cat Power!" sign (am I super racist?).  I can't help it!  So dorky, right?  Well it turns out I'm no better.


He looks like Blur!!  His name is Liam.  His brother's name is Finn.  Evidently I think we're British.  I mean look at him!  What's next, a little Christopher Robin schoolboy uniform?  How did it come to this?  Okay it's been in the making for a long time.  My favorite authors are Douglas Adams and J. K. Rowling and I'm obsessed with Monty Python and Dr. Who.  God, I'm not even a cool British wannabe like the people who wear Alexander McQueen and listen to Radiohead!  I'M SO LAME!  Why can't I just embrace my true American heritage? Why can't I stand country music?  Why can't I shoot animals?  Why can't I love Raymond like everyone else does?  Is there a support group for this kind of thing?!  Bah, I need a pint.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Civic Doody

As I might have mentioned I became a father for the second time just about a month ago and I love it!  I love it so much that every day I have to leave them is like some cruel kind of punishment and the nights at home with them are too short.  There's "paid family leave" for new daddies that I would love to take advantage of but it only pays a fraction of what I usually make and my three figure paychecks can't handle that kind of a hit.  So I took two days off after Finn was born and went back to work.  Blah.

But then I got jury duty.  Most people bemoan jury duty but I saw the opportunity there.  It's a civil trial that's supposed to last through December, the sessions are only five hours a day, and my work gives me full pay.  In other words I get up at 7:00 am instead of 4:00 am and I'm home by 2:00 pm instead of 6:00 pm.  And instead of back breaking winery work I sit in a chair in a quiet room.  For those of you without children sitting in a chair in a quiet room is ecstasy.

It turns out if you want to get chosen for a jury it's super easy!  Especially in a civil trial as long as you can quiet your morals and agree that given the weight of evidence that in fact the rock quarry is entitled to the land promised to the orphanage.....for example.  So we're on week three of this stupid trial with at least two more to go.  The 'Merchant of Death' trial recently ended after just three weeks but apparently an easement disagreement is far more complex than decades of illegal arms dealing.  I can't give any details on the trial, partly because I'm not supposed to, but mainly because I stopped paying attention after day three.  I will say it's not like on T.V. and my resentment for everyone I see in that goddamn room every morning is blooming into psychotic rage.  Especially Mumbles McLawyer for the plaintiff, Hideous Hairpiece Smoker Guy, and Motherfucking Toothsucking Juror Number Three, AAARRGGGHH!!! Stop it, stop it, stop it!!!!


My early attempts to exact revenge on my fellow courtspeople were pretty benign.  Things like trying to light them on fire with my mind or picturing them slipping on ice while wearing a diaper.  But recently I've been not holding open doors or saying "good morning".  Today I might have gone a little too far with my general irreverence and disdain for my fellow jurors.  After using the urinal and ending up with some incriminating spots on the front of my pants after a mistimed zip-up, I drew attention to myself by taking a picture.  "Yeah, I peed myself a little and want to show my wife SO.  You got a problem with that bitch?  Go suck your teeth!"

Anyway, it is nice to be home this much.  Finn is already a month old and he's getting SO BIG!  And Liam, GAH!!!  I fall in love with that dude more every day.  Thank you Judicial System!  I promise I'll start taking notes and stop taking pictures of my crotch.  



Sunday, November 6, 2011

3, 2, 1...It's the Holidays, Y'all!

Ninjas. No, really.
Last week was Halloween here in America (that's for our international readers - yep, we've got 'em!), and it officially kicked off the Holiday Season (sorry Jehovah's Witnesses, this is happening). From now on its a full-throttle nutso time-sucking vortex of activities and parties and food and making small talk and drinking and chuckling over kids' tendency to eat too much sugar and then go completely batshit crazy.

Halloween also punched me in the gut a little bit, because it reminded me that all of the above will soon be happening, in a totally different way than I've ever experienced. I didn't get to see my kids Trick-or-Treat - custody schedule being what it is - and so I missed out on something that I absolutely love to do with them. There is nothing better that watching Jonah and Evie join the herds of Plastic Princesses and Badly-Painted Darth Mauls as they try to get the most possible candy into their bags and faces before their parents start to really pay attention to the intake.

Now She's a Cat
Though incredibly bummed about missing out on this tradition, I feel satisfied that I put in plenty of 'Mom is Awesome' time over the weekend. Saturday: Halloween carnival at Coppola. Saturday night: Halloween party with family. Sunday: Tigerfest (another carnival thing...its a fundraiser...with costumes...nevermind). Sunday night: Pumpkin Carving. Monday: All Species Day at Evie's school. Hoooo boy was I ready to hand them over by Monday afternoon, missed Trick-or-Treating or not.

Since having kids I've asked myself several times "what do people without kids do on Halloween?!" Turns out they have a lot of fun! Who knew? I strapped on my glittery roller skates, threw on an incredibly radical dress and an afro wig, and went to a party where there were Grown Ups. No kids. Just adults. See what I'm getting at here? Yeah, it was a good time.

Totally Didn't Fall

So I got some partying in, lets just say. I'm now officially ready for Thanksgiving. And Christmas. And New Year's, all of which promise to be much, much tamer than my Halloween turned out to be. And I'm completely fine with that.

Bring 'em on.



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween

I was going to debate with Amanda over who was going to blog first about Halloween but since mine was the only one not X-rated I figure I win by default.  As usual we had big dreams for our family costume theme this year, but with a $30 total budget, my Han Solo pants are going to have to wait until next year.  Finn was easy, he got the hammy-down (that's how I used to think it was spelled) hot dog costume from Liam's first Halloween.  So from there we build.  Liam was a hamburger, Erin was a waitress, and I was a fry cook.  Every year the too-effing-cute-for-words city of Healdsburg shuts down the downtown square and all the businesses hand out candy to the kids.  Well, all but the one fancy jewelry store where they freaked-out at Liam once because he gently touched the stupid bird-feeder thing they keep out on the sidewalk.  They were handing out fucking school supplies or something.  Anybitch, Liam didn't bother with his usual nap that day.  I think he sensed he was going to dress up like a hamburger and get free candy so sleep was out of the question.  Instead he took off his poopy diaper and sat quietly in, from what I could tell, no fewer than seven different spots in his room during what would have usually been nap time.  Neat. 

We descended upon the mayhem around 4:30.  By 7:00 we were done.  Really done.  Liam was on what is probably the 2-year-old equivalent of a bender.  No sleep and lots of chocolate.  He divided his time between full-out sprinting and collapsing into my arms.  I got a great workout.  Finn of course slept the entire time.  Erin....well Erin was just really hot.

I don't know if there is anything cuter than little kids dressed up.  Getting to experience Halloween again through the child's perspective has bumped it back up into one of my top three favorite holidays.  As a teenager Halloween is all about 'scary'.  We used to go to an old mansion where my friend worked and watch The Exorcist and then play hide and seek.  I have no idea why I did that.  To this day I insist on taking the side of the bed farthest from the closet so that the monsters will get Erin first.  During our twenties Halloween became about sex.  That wasn't so bad.  But getting back to the roots has really made me love Halloween more than ever.  I already can't wait until next year when the force will definitely be with me.  Oh yes it will.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Harvest

This has been an absolute crap year for grapes for EVERYONE.....except me.  Every year I have my doubts about whether or not I'll keep up my annual tradition of making kick-ass wine, but none more than this year.  First the summer was cold and nothing was ripening, then the rains came and everything rotted, then a baby came and I asked for a haircut for Christmas (and I probably won't get it).  So no way in HELL I'm making wine this year, right?  WRONG!

Two full glasses on his head
Right now I'm drinking the 2009 Syrah I made (literally right now) and it's really good.  That was Liam's birth year so I thought I would be the coolest dad by making a little something for him that he could drink when he's "old enough" so I bled off a few gallons of juice mid-fermentation and made port.  Obviously Finn's birth year deserves the same honor but being broke and surrounded by insipid rotten fruit didn't hold much promise....for the average mortal.  So a few days ago I decided to get up early with Liam and see what we could find.  I have a few grower friends who let me glean so I had options.  We headed down the Russian River Valley and on our first stop found some moldy grey Sauvignon Blanc.  Yes that's right...I'm making Château d'Yquem.  I don't know what it is about my luck.  I haven't had a hard life and I'm not a particularly good person, but this kind of shit happens to me all the time.  Maybe I'm over generalizing and it's just wine specific and the only attention I'm really getting is from Bacchus.  An old-timer I used to work with in this business assured me that every time I spilled wine it was a sacrifice to the wine god and I've done more than my share of honoring.  Liam has too for that matter.

So we set to picking, with me doing the majority of the grunt work and Liam focusing on 'quality control'.  We got enough for two gallons which we will eventually bottle into splits and drink when Finn is older, or sell to pay for college





Of course Liam was properly compensated...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ode to my Second Boyfriend

When I was way too young, I had a boyfriend, we'll call him "Scott." We dated for two years, from the time I was 14 until 16, at which point I dropped him like a well-built, soccer-playing, Nirvana-loving sack of bricks. I can't remember why right now, but he was NOT happy about it. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'll always be The One That Got Away, which is pretty awesome for my ego. High Five!

Coming out of my first major relationship, I met this dark, emo guy at an arts & crafts show (what? What teenagers don't hang out at arts & crafts shows?) We'll call him "Colin." We didn't last very long, he was actually kind of a dick to me, but after he found me about 13 years later on Facebook, he apologized. Apologies go a long way with me.

When Colin found out that I'd separated from my husband, about a year or so after we'd e-reconnected, he immediately called dibs on me - whatever that means. He had a girlfriend at the time, and I was still very man-shy, so I wrote it off as a joke.

A month or so later, my friend Jessica was in town and we were wine tasting on my birthday. I got a message from Colin to call him, so of course I did, given the facts that I was super drunk, and Jessica was wandering around, ignoring me, taking pictures of everything like a tourist.

Thus began my first post-marriage relationship.

Yes, Colin was my boyfriend after the TWO most significant relationships in my life. And this time he was older, wiser, funnier, had a reliable job and car, and had abs that I could see the definition of on a fuzzy cell phone photo.

Over the next two months or so, Colin and I exchanged about 25,000 texts, pictures, phone calls and emails. When I woke up each day I'd be greeted with something like "Good morning Sunshine Face!!!" and the texts would go on like that all day and into the night. I would come home to find packages at my doorstep - weird little gifts that he would send out of the blue - a Snuggie, llama slippers, the game Canoodle, a leaf blower. Yes, a leaf blower. I fell deeply and madly in love with him after that one. I'm not kidding.

The main problem with our relationship was that Colin lived really far away. As in, somewhere in the middle of the country. So technically, he was only my e-boyfriend. And I hearted him. And then he dumped me. For another woman.

If you think that being dumped by your husband of 10 years for another woman sucks, try then being dumped by your e-boyfriend of 2 months, for the same reason. This was his excuse: he went to some party, he looked SUPER hot (yes, photos were exchanged all day, every day, so I know that he was on fire that night), he ran into his ex-girlfriend (who had cheated on him while he was out of town, thus causing the breakup in the first place), she gave him some bullshit story that he fell for, and viola! I was single again.

It took a while to nurse the wounds from this, and to come to terms with the fact that no matter how cool a guy finds me, there will probably always be someone better than me out there. And he will find her. And he will dump me for her. But that's cool, I'm fine now. Ahahahaha, I'm fine! I'm fine!

I deleted all of the pictures he'd sent me, all of the texts (though now I wish I had them to use here, they were really creative and heart-warming and funny and - I'm fine! I'm fine!) I sent back all of the gifts (well, I let my son keep the llama slippers). I cried unreasonably. I got over it.

So now we're friends again, and he's still with this girlfriend-that-cheated-on-him-while-he-was-out-of-town. Now he's out of town again. Recently, over a matter of two days, we went from him desperately asking for my opinion on whether I think his girlfriend is sleeping with someone else based on a picture he saw on Facebook, to him buying her a house. Yes, I said Buying Her A House. It seems as though his girlfriend wants this house. And she can't afford it. And so she thinks they should buy it, "together." The last time I checked in, he said he needed to give her power of attorney since he's in another country and can't be there to sign the papers. To buy this house. That he's only seen pictures of. With the woman he thought was cheating on him a week before.

Can someone please explain to me why the full-package guys end up with the crazies? I mean, obviously he, too, has lost his mind, but seriously. I'm baffled. I'm also so glad that we didn't end up together. I mean, puh, who wants a boyfriend that loves you so much he'll buy you a fucking house? Am I right? Ladies?

I'm totally fine now.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy, Bitches!

On the afternoon of October 15th I left work a little early and walked downtown to Santa Rosa's city hall, where the Occupy Santa Rosa rally was taking place. I'd spent the day before making signs (business has been sloooow), so I brought them to share with my fellow 99%. Turns out pretty much everyone there already had a sign...and they were way cooler than mine. Still, this wasn't a day to judge each other's lack of spacing and coloring skills, so no one gave me a hard time.

The turnout was fantastic - at the last count I paid any attention to, it was announced that there were about 2700 people at the rally, which I found inspiring considering bigger, fancier cities weren't always getting those numbers. In fact, Santa Rosa had the 6th highest turnout in the nation, behind New York, LA, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. Yes - cities with populations far and beyond that of our fair little city. Give yourselves a pat on the back if you were there, because that totally rocks.

I was planning on spending the night and, as you can see from the photos below, even went home at one point to get my sleeping bag and change into my jammies. But as usual, I'd forgotten to bring a lunch to work, immediately got wrapped up in Protest Stuff so didn't grab a much-needed burrito as intended, and kinda didn't eat enough, and kinda needed to go home to sleep off all of the fun events that resulted from that blood sugar neglect.


Before that, though, I got to stand on the street waving a couple of my signs. The one to the right says "Oh Rich People, We Are Coming, and We're Hungry. No really, we don't have any money and we're f@%*ing hungry!" I found this to be an especially appropriate sign to carry. I'm always hungry. Since I pay for everything with cash, I often have to pass over on buying groceries so that I can pay for gas to get to work. When my kids are with me I stock up on fresh produce and healthy whatnots, but when they're with their dad, I just survive off of whatever is left. More often than not, there isn't much (since Evie eats like she's a football quarterback). I've lost a good 20 pounds since getting separated, and its not just from The Divorce Diet. Its from being freaking broke!

My favorite part about the protest was the coming-together of a community. There were people from every cultural, social and economic demographic discussing the reasons they were there representing the 99%, and the stories all carried a common thread. As a business owner, I hear the assumption that I must have plenty of money voiced fairly regularly. This is completely false. It was comforting to talk to other small business owners who are also struggling on a daily basis to keep their doors open, sometimes based solely on our love for and desire to serve our neighborhoods. As the majority (aka, the 99%), I can't express strongly enough the importance of taking care of each other by supporting our communities. Keeping our money near by shopping local and breathing life into our smaller economies will help to make larger impact overall, and in a nutshell, will make a world of difference.

And a difference is what we're trying to make - right? Let's do it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mmmmmm....Boobies!

An acquaintance of mine (I use the term 'acquaintance' loosely, as I honestly have no idea how I know this guy, but we are somehow facebook friends) informed me that when he told his sister that I have a picture of myself breastfeeding my baby, she told him to unfriend me. First of all: that picture is from like three years ago, so this guy is obviously a stalker and spent a good hour going through my photos. Which is totally fine. Second of all: what the hell, Sister Of This Guy? Seriously?

Maybe having breastfed primarily in Northern California, I forget that there are women out there that hate their boobs. Hey ladies! These things are awesome! I mean, do I really need to go in to all of the health and cost benefits here? Aside from that, whipping them out in public is so much fun!

I recently had dinner with Mike, Erin, Liam and the new baby, Finn. Can I just tell you how impressive Erin's boobs are right now?! And guess what? She's using them to feed her baby! Its completely free...and healthy! I can see how people hate the idea of this. Its disgraceful. She even had the nerve to feed Finn at the dinner table! While we were eating our dinner! Gross! I seriously wish she'd had the decency to at least take him into the bathroom.


Psh.

(I'm assuming this was the offensive photo of me nourishing my wee babe)

I breastfed my babies in all kinds of public places, and never bothered with the whole cover-up thing. Why would I want to possibly suffocate them when they could enjoy the fine sunshine on their faces? I enjoyed exposing my glorious feedbags at any variety of venues - over sushi, at the brewery, at big-box stores while lounging in the patio furniture department, in the backseat of the car on road trips, my body awkwardly draped over the carseat with the plastic digging into my ribs as I dangled my gigantic breast over my son or daughter's screaming face until they smelled the sweet, sweet aroma of mama's milk and finally, enthusiastically, went to town on that stuff.

Here I am, feeding Evie in the Japanese Tea Gardens in San Francisco
...and in the South Korean Countryside


Did you know that breastmilk is also good for other things? Once my whole family got some crazy eye-goo infection, and all it took was a few rounds of me squirting them in the eyes with that magic medicine - viola! Let there be light! They were healed! I used to put it on cuts and scrapes, too. I know I may seem like a sophisticated, high-society kind of lady, but when it comes to breastmilk, I'm a bona fide hippie dipshit. I love that stuff. Its like duct tape - it can fix pretty much anything.
Link
But what it all comes back around to is this: if you've never had the pleasure of being in close proximity to a lactating woman's breasts, you really don't know what you're missing out on. So if you want the full experience, get over your squeamish puritanical bullshit and give up your seat on the bus for that flustered mom and her crying little baby - you just might get a peek of her boob.

And you will never be the same.

This post is part of the 2011 Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival" linking to: http://www.now.org/news/blogs/index.php/sayit/2011/10/19/lybd-blog-carnival-posts

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hooptie!!

This is such a cliche but I don't care, we got a minivan, and I have named him Fred.  My father-in-law Bruce found one for us.  "Found" makes it sound like I'm talking about some discarded heap abandoned on the side of the road...and I am.  Erin gets her bad-assedness from Bruce who does things like spending his free time in scrap yards hunting for parts for his race car (so cool).  While there this past weekend he unearthed a scrapped 1996 Plymouth POS that he says he can turn into a car for 2000 bucks!  "2000 dollars?" you say "where will you scratch together that kind of cash, tap into the savings?"  "HA!" I say.  I spent my savings last Friday on a 20 ounce Modelo Especial, no this small fortune will come from the sale of our gorgeous 2009 Honda Accord.  One of our more ridiculous purchases.  Don't get me wrong it's a lovely car.  Erin drives it a half-mile to work and back every week day and it hasn't let her down once!  We think that with the 83 miles we've put on it, and the fact that it's still on its first tank of gas, it should have retained it's value pretty nicely.  Good riddance to it! (and to the payments)  Its replacement is gonna be AWE-SOME.  Sure it's got "issues", like where did its last occupant go to the bathroom?  But I have total faith in Bruce and the magic of Febreze.  Gas mileage and reliability are important to be sure, but with sliding doors on either side and removable seats I'll compromise in exchange for the obvious awesomeness potential.  The first of the boys to successfully jump their bike in one side and out the other, while it's moving, gets to drive it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Brother's Keeper

When you first break the news that you're "expecting" people LOVE to try and bring you down.  Why has "you'll NEVER sleep again!!" become an acceptable form of congratulations?  I heard this so much that I vowed to counter this negativism by insisting that it's all a lie, children don't equal sleeplessness, it just takes a little work and some common sense to figure out ways to make it work.  But after Finn came into the world last week I've had to hang up my smuggy-pants, at least for now.  I'm pretty fucking tired.  I think it's the toddler/newborn ONE-TWO punch that's kicking the crap out of me.  Plus the fact that it's harvest season in the wine world doesn't help.  So yeah, I'll nibble on my words a bit, because right now my greatest desire in life is a quiet bedroom for a good eight hours.  What I wouldn't give...

Exacerbating my frayed nerves is an unexpected and disturbing issue that has cropped up over the course of this fun-filled week....I'm pretty sure Liam is trying to kill his new brother.  I'd hoped that the moment we presented our precious Liam his new sib his face would light up and his heart would swell with adoration.  Instead he regarded the baby like a pile of cat sick.  "You better clean that up before someone steps in it"....he seemed to say.

A friend suggested we try giving Liam a gift "from Finn" so we picked up the "Cars" DVD and tucked the box into Finn's bouncer.  "Liam, look what Finn got for you!!" we coaxed, pointing to the shiny box peering out from behind his baby brother.  Liam eased over with an expectant smirk on his sweet little face, slipped the box out from behind Finn, and clobbered him in the fontanelle. 

We've taken a more defensive tactic since then but so far Liam has still managed a few glancing blows with some well aimed toys.  Luckily the barrage has already started to ease up and over the weekend I'd thought that Liam had shown signs of warming up to Finn considerably.  Yesterday we let Liam get in close to Finn to see what would happen.  Liam bent over him for what looked like a sincere moment of brotherly love.  I was so touched I grabbed my phone and snapped this shot:

 

You'll notice Finn is looking a little red.  Liam was putting all of his weight on Finn, squeezing all the air out of his week-old lungs.  Cunning little psycho..

In truth Liam did plant a kiss on his brother.  He wasn't really trying to kill him, he's just inherited his dad's tendency for overbearing affection.  Just ask his mother whose safety word for me is "easy Lenny".  As for the hitting, it's toned down already and frankly I couldn't blame him for wanting to take a swing for one second.  The poor guy!  He's been the center of his parents world for his entire life and suddenly he's sharing the spotlight?!  Who wouldn't act out?  And the kicker is it's all my fault.  Erin obviously has her hands full so it's up to me.  What does that mean?  It means that maybe instead of staying up late finishing off a bottle of wine I should go to bed, get well rested (quit my goddamn whining), and get up early so I'll have the time and energy to show my son that I love him more than life itself.  Right?! Right!!

But just to be safe I'm still not leaving those two alone...