Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out with the old, in with the older.

In a last ditch effort to appear philanthropic come tax time, we cleaned out our drawers and closets yesterday looking for things we could donate. I even cleaned out from under our bed. I was hoping to find Liam's left Croc shoe which mysteriously disappeared after we got home from our trip to Reno but no such luck. (Losing something while travelling is a given but after you get home? It just doesn't make sense.) What I found instead was a pair of flip flops I've been missing for a year (all Summer I was kicking myself for donating them - I mean, just because you have two pairs of the same flip flops is no reason to get rid of one); and the box of 4T clothes I've been looking for for months (including lots of cute hand-me-downs, several things from Grandma that will fit Liam right now, and two cashmere sweaters we bought at the Gap Outlet Outlet when I was still pregnant. I know, cashmere for a three year old? People without kids buy the cutest stuff...).

James Dean, eat your heart out.

Baby Gap called - they want their cute back.

Who left the half-eaten grape juice pop on the bookcase?
Oh well, at least it missed the cashmere...

I also discovered my special blanket tucked away in a box with my painting clothes and a pair of tuxedo pants. It is almost exactly like Liam's blankie ("White Bi"), except slightly worse for the wear. While you can't actually tell that our cat Gretchen birthed a litter of kittens on it, it is completely torn to shreds and ruined. Still, I thought Liam might get a kick out of seeing my White Bi (and Mr. Bird could revisit his birthplace!) so I brought it out for a cuddle.

I should have known that a kid who couldn't part with a single toy for Goodwill ("But if I give that blue monster away, I will have to get another blue monster!") would be over-the-moon excited to see something I had held onto for all of my 32 years. And boy was he! After what seemed like a reasonable amount of blankie nostalgia, I put my White Bi back under the bed, but it didn't take long for Liam to find it again (or rather, it didn't take 10 minutes of whining and carrying on about it before Bill found it for him). As far as I can tell, there is no getting rid of White Bi 2. Liam has taken to sleeping with both Bis (and the army of polar bears he got for Christmas) and frequently brings up how lucky he is to have two.

So while our house is 6 bags of stuff lighter (ahhh...), the tattered cat rag floating around makes it feel like sort of a wash. And once we take down the Christmas tree and try to find a home for all the shiny new stuff nestled underneath, our little home will be bursting at the seams once again. 'Tis the season for way too much!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Little drummer boy.

Last week at our friends' third annual crafty Christmas party, a surprise visitor showed up at the end of the night: SANTA!

Since Liam was the only kid at the party, he got extra special attention from the big man in red. Santa gave him a Sprite (at 10:00 at night...) because he knows it's his favorite and when Liam told him he wanted a drum set for Christmas, Santa didn't hesitate to say, "You got it! Drum sets for everyone!" (I think Santa may have been drinking a little.)

Everyone at the party looked around like, "Oh geez, Santa, don't go writing checks your ass can't cash..." But we weren't worried a bit. Liam has been a very good boy this year and has only one thing on his wish list - a drum set! (Well, a drum set and a whole pile of polar bears he can get cozy in.)

This morning when Liam finally woke up (I have never known a kid to make his parents wait for him on Christmas morning - I think that was the one day of the year I woke up before my mom and dad when I was a kid!), we followed him out to the living room and discovered that Santa had totally delivered.

Yeah, that's a Sprite and a polar bear in the background.

Liam immediately found instruments for us and we formed a family band.

video

We filmed it with the awesome little Vado video recorder my sister and her husband sent us. Thanks Moose and E-Rock!

Christmas rocks!!!

And it's totally cozy, too.

*Oh, and in case you're wondering what was up with my bangs and excessive lip liner in the photos with Santa, the crafty Christmas party was a Mexican fiesta theme. We did our best.


Feliz Navidad!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just like a real man.

Bill: "Is that really how you hung those Christmas lights?"

Me: "Yeah."

Bill: "You seriously climbed up on that when no one was home? Are you crazy?! What if you fell? You could have knocked over my new TV!

So, yeah. We got a new TV. A big, flat, MTV Cribs-style TV. Alright, maybe it's not that big but it still feels like a serious step up. The other night I couldn't figure out why our kitchen was glowing green. Finally I realized it was because the TV was paused on Steve from Blue's Clues. And, no, the TV is not in the kitchen.

We weren't necessarily in the market for a big ass TV but our old one was starting to fail. I guess we had gotten used to how dark the screen was but when my sister was in town, her fresh pair of eyes made us realize, This is no way to live. During Grey's Anatomy she kept yelling out things like, Is someone having sex? Who are those people? I told her she just had to wait for a scene to take place in a well lit room. You can pretty much figure out the story from what happens during the day, Moose. Be patient. But the next night when we tried to watch Step Brothers (again) in the living room, the pink tint was just too much for us to take. We finally decided to climb into bed and watch the movie in our room (Molly instinctively claimed the spot in the middle which seemed perfectly normal to all of us until we realized how funny it was). The next morning Bill began his search for a new TV.

It seems crazy but I don't even think it's possible to buy a normal looking TV anymore. I mean, you can get a small flat screen but those just look weird. Not that my husband had a problem with this. Oh no. He went from what seemed like a fairly normal guy to an HD talking, 1080p fluent, 37 vs 42" expert. Like a real man's man. When the Direct TV guy was leaving yesterday (after spending 3 hours setting up the high definition satellite Bill got us hooked up with for FREE), and suggested my husband use the old satellite and receiver for tailgating, I didn't even blink. For all I know, he would totally be into that.

When Bill got home from work last night, he had Liam show him how to use the new remote control and then switched from HD channel to HD channel oohing and aahing and yelling for me to, Come check this out! every time he landed on a new one (while simultaneously helping Liam make a popcorn string for the Christmas tree, of course). When the TV landed on football and he and Liam dropped everything to yell, FOOTBALL! and start pounding on each other, I felt like I had seriously entered the Twilight Zone.

Not that this manly thing is entirely new. It's been coming on for some time. But when I think back to the good ol' days, like 4 years ago, it seems pretty damn funny. Here's what Bill wrote (on MySpace of all places!) when he found out we were having a boy:

What happens if he wants to play football? What about hockey? Surely he won’t be interested in dancing and signing. What if he develops a fanatical love of baseball?

You can imagine my surprise when, in three strikes of the ultrasound tech’s finger on the arrow key, responsibility fell on my shoulders. A boy. What am I going to do with a boy? Truth is I’m much better at applying makeup than I am at, say, starting a camp fire. I did experience a fishing phase five years ago but I never caught anything. How could I? I couldn’t kill a fish. Will he understand me? Will he comprehend the means without the end?

Then, dear reader, reality hit. What about Clockwork Orange? Punk rock music? Video games? Skateboarding? Art? Girls? Beer? My new appreciation for Merle Haggard? Oh, this is going to work out just fine. There is no reason to raise a stereotype. My friends have never been easy to classify. Why should Liam?

Speaking on behalf of my son, he is looking forward to meeting all of you soon. He said he can’t wait to discover Hemingway, Capote and Morrissey. I thought that was a little strange too but what can you do? Lastly, he is looking forward to, in about ten years, having a birthday party with all of you and playing football. Damn.

It's funny where life takes us...

Now if Liam wanted to play football for his birthday, Bill would be thrilled.

Of course, he'd be just as happy if he wanted to dance or sing.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Freakin' weekend.

It's 5:00 on Sunday evening and the weekend is starting to come to an end. And, oh, what a weekend it was.

Friday night I did as little as possible which was every bit as great as it sounds. I got in bed before 9:00 and stayed there for the rest of the night. I had a date with my Snuggie (sorry, my two Snuggies) and all of the guilty pleasure shows I Tivo'd this fall and forgot to watch. A two hour Ugly Betty season premiere? Okay!

Saturday was a surprise ladies day. I was on my way to the salon to get my mane tamed (every time I go to Reno I notice how awful my hair looks - my mirror at home must be very forgiving...) when I got a call from a friend asking if I wanted to meet up for a manicure or pedicure (I mean, mani or pedi - sorry, I'm kinda new to all this girl stuff). I said yes, obviously, and headed over to the nail salon as soon as my new hair cut was blown out to perfection. It was sort of like an out of body experience. Like, Who do I think I am going to two salons in one day?! But it was awesome. As it turns out, being a girl is really fun.

My pretty red toe nails were finally dry around 4:30, at which point I realized, I have a party to go to tonight and still do not have a dress to wear or a babysitter to stay with my child. Thanks to a desperate plea on Facebook, the kindness of a particular stranger, and the cute and affordable dress selection at Target, everything was taken care of quickly and by dinnertime we were eating burgers and fries from Fat Mo's and watching America's Funniest Home Videos with Liam (the only show we all find genuinely entertaining).

We put Liam to bed, got dressed for the party, met our new babysitter, and took off for a night on the town. Or, a night at our friend's house. Which, if you've ever been to one of her parties, you would know is like ten thousand times more fun than ANY night on the town has ever been.

The lovely hostess trying like hell to avoid a keg stand.

Did someone order a dance party? Done.

Hey-oh!

Yes Virginia, those are jello shots.

Hubba, hubba, husband.

More general fun and merriment outside.

This morning when I finally rolled out of bed I had nothing on my agenda but chilling with my boys and maybe unpacking from our trip to Reno. But then I got invited to go have a burger at Edgefield Sports Bar and watch the Titans play and, well, that's just not something you turn down. Bill and I went in shifts: I "watched" the first half while he stayed home with Liam, then I came home so he could go. It's not perfect but neither is letting a stranger watch TV at your house while your innocent child sleeps. We'll figure it out one of these days...

When I got home from Edgefield, I was prepared to hang out with Liam and put my unpacking off for another day. But he needed some "private time in the living room" (don't ask me - if he wants to be alone, I leave him alone!) so I got to finish watching Ugly Betty (2 hours is long!) and get the suitcases out of my bedroom. Win-win! (One of Liam's favorite sayings at the moment.)

I was feeling pretty darn satisfied with my weekend: down time, socializing, practically a full make-over, more burgers than the surgeon general would likely advise for a whole week - what more could a girl want?

How about her very own book available on Amazon.com?!



I wasn't expecting it to be up there for at least another week or two. I mean, really, why say 15 days when what you really mean is 3 days? Not that I'm complaining. No way, Jose. I'm THRILLED! Seeing a book by little ol' me up on Amazon is really cool. And a super way to end a fantastic weekend.

Not that it was perfect...

Yeah, that's Baby Black Bear AND Baby Panda... IN THE TOILET.

But overall, it was pretty hard to beat.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My first book!

I know, I know... I'm like the incredibly disappearing blogger these days. It's no fun. I'm totally ready to get back to writing regularly again. For reals. Unfortunately I have three babies at my house today (my 3 year old, a two year old and a two month old) and won't be able to steal any time until at least tonight. Probably tomorrow. The only reason I'm writing at all is because 2 out of 3 are sleeping right now - and since it's mine who is awake, I figured I could snag 5 minutes.

I was in Reno for an early Christmas with my family and, since I travel totally old school (no laptop, no iPhone, no cool stuff at all...), I've been completely cut off from the outside world for 9 days. Gasp! It was kind of fun (especially when we were snowed in!), but weird after being so plugged in to the computer trying to get my book finished. It was also a bit of a challenge reviewing the book proofs via telephone through my husband (no pressure for him, I'm sure - I mean, it's not like I'm picky or anything...). But I managed. We worked it out. And the the book is finally FINISHED!

It will be available on Amazon soon and can be purchased NOW at the CreateSpace website (click HERE!). I ordered some copies last night for gifts and even with the super fast pricey shipping will still not get them until the 21st. Bummer. Needless to say I will not be doing Etsy or selling any books myself. At least, not THIS Christmas. Lucky for me it comes again every year! The way I see it, this was the year for me to learn how to write, illustrate, format, and self-publish; next year will be all about sales and marketing!