Sunday, August 31, 2008

To My 10-Month-Old Papoose

I can't get enough of you.

If you're reading this, I've probably told you about what a hard time I had the first several months of your life. And you know that I finally had to take medicine to make it better. You know that I loved you with a fierceness and viciousness that I didn't know I had in me from before you were even born, but that it took the medicine to make me really appreciate you.

I knew, through all those dark months, that I was missing so much. I thought that I didn't deserve you, that I wasn't appreciating all the small details of you as much as I felt that I should. I felt guilty for being so ungrateful when so many other women out there would give their lives for a day in my shoes. I knew that I was a good mother, but not the best mother I could be and that you deserved so much more.

That's behind us now. Now, I go to bed every night thinking about you, with a smile on my face. I replay all my favorite things from the day: the way your head smelled when I kissed you, the way you smiled at me when I picked you up from your nap, the way you laughed when your papa tickled you.

I think about that particular angle your wrist takes when you shake a toy. You hold it underhand, out to the side, and when you shake it up and down, you shake with the empty hand, too, held out to the other side.

You play the "sorting game." You love to rip the dresses off their hangers in your closet. You sit down in the middle of the pile and pick up and set down dress after dress; put this one over here, then move that one, then move the first one back where it was, nope, better on this side, throw this one over your shoulder pick it up again, stand up, turn around, sit back down and pick up two more dresses. You can keep that up for half an hour. I've watched you do it for that long, choking down the laughter.

You want to share all your meals with Chewy. The other day I was washing up in the kitchen near the end of your breakfast. I poked my head around the corner every minute or so to glance at you and make sure you weren't choking on your o's. I caught you feeding o after o to Chewy, fast as you both could manage, as thought trying to get as many of them down his gullet before I came back. Your frenzy was so funny, I couldn't even scold either of you.

You gave me a hickey this morning. You did fine with weaning; I don't think you particularly miss the nursing, but you still occasionally try to latch on to my arm, my leg, my clavicle. Actually, lately you also seem to want to rip the clavicle out from under my skin, which, I'm not going to lie to you, is painful. But I let you, 'cause I'm a sucker. You also try to give me regular dental exams. Me and the dog. You stick your hands in our mouths and try to rip out our tongues. Maybe you'll be a dentist. You should talk to your uncle about that.

We go on playdates once or twice a week with other moms and babies in the mommy group we joined. They are all blown away that you started walking at nine months. They say, kindly, that it looks ridiculous to see someone so small upright and walking, and I have to agree. I'm also secretly so proud of you, though I know it ultimately means nothing. I promise not to push you to try out for the junior olympic team of your choice until you're at least four years old.

Everyone keeps saying that, now that you're walking, you're going to lose all your baby fat. For the love of bacon, you'd better not! It took me eight months to get that fat on you! Let's enjoy it a little longer.

So many people tell us that you are the happiest baby they've ever seen. You're usually generous with your smiles, though you're slower to laugh. You're not the most independent baby on the block, but you're getting moreso, playing on your own for longer stretches. You give the best hugs right now, wrapping your arms around my neck, burying your face in that clavicle that you want so badly to get hold of. Kisses are also frequent and consist of wide open mouth, lots of tongue. You leave more slobber on me than the dog. It's great.

Your mood swings wildly when you get tired. Happy baby? Gone. Meet Whiney, Cranky, and their friend Grumpy. By now, I've mastered the art of timing when I should go into your room upon your waking. Too soon, when you're not fully awake, and we're in for non-stop clinginess and fussing for the next three hours. Too late, and you're just pissed at being kept waiting. But go into your room while you're babbling or singing to yourself, and you are my little sunshine baby, all smiles and squeals, sometimes diving out of my arms for the bottle of milk I carry.

I could watch you for hours. I note how the back of your neck gets red, near the bottom of your hairline. I won't be able to see that redness soon; your hair is slowly getting thicker, finally filling in. I can't see the ribs and vertebrae in your back anymore; you're getting a little fat roll around your sides in baby-fat perfection. You have your papa's proportions: long torso, not so long legs. Your pants are always too long, not helped by the fact that they fall off your rear...you don't really have much of a butt. We're not so good at remembering to clip your fingernails. We know we've waited to long when you get up from a nap with a new scratch on your nose.

Your eyes are hazel, like mine, but some days look undeniably brown, like your papa's. Everyone has a strong opinion, saying you look exactly like me, or exactly like your papa. Almost no one sees us both in you.

You're sensitive. Easily startled. Cuddly. Sweet. So happy. You have a great sense of humor, finding the most unexpected things funny. You are tenacious and persistent. Curious. Trusting. You love animals. Quick to smile. Sometimes tentative to join a crowd. You love music, love me to sing to you, love songs you recognize (a lot of "All You Need Is Love," "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," and "Dream a Little Dream of Me"). You sit for fifteen minutes at a time flipping through the same book over and over. Another favorite is pulling all the folded laundry out of a basket, all the diapers out of their crate, the clothes out of your drawer, anything you can take out.

You're beautiful and perfect and I wish I could keep you this age forever. That's trite, I know, but I didn't always wish for that last part. We've gotten there, Papoosekin, and we'll be alright now.

Happy 10-month birthday, a little early. I can't wait to see what you do next.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Get High on Baby Hugs

A friend posted this on our mommy-group website, and I had to share.

I'm especially fond of the Rage homage near the end.

Stay at Home Dad Rap - Watch more free videos

I like Winnie the Pooh, yo.

Yearbook Yourself

1960
1966

I gotta say, I'm kinda diggin' the '66 shot.

What's your best blast from the past? Yearbook yourself here.

(link via Robyn's Online World)

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's Too Early in the Morning for This Kind of Stress

Please tell me I'm not a bad mother. That everyone makes mistakes and that the important thing is that she's okay. Because I know this, but could use the pep talk right now.

I was getting us ready for a playdate this morning. You other parents out there, you know how sometimes you just get that feeling? Like everything's too quiet all of a sudden?

I left the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs open.

She was two thirds of the way up the stairs.

Luckily, I didn't startle her as I vertical-leaped up the stairs until I was right behind her. I let her finish climbing with my hands fractions of an inch from her behind, as we've let her climb a dozen times before.

We started that because I read a suggestion that, rather than making your stairs completely off limits, you let them learn to climb while you're right there because the day will come when they're suddenly confronted with a set of stairs, parent unawares, and a baby with experience is more likely to come out of that confrontation safe than a baby who's never been allowed to experiment with climbing them.

So, maybe I'm not such a horrible mother. Maybe I at least know my own weaknesses. And I don't think I'll make that particular mistake again. My heart couldn't take it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

She Walks!

The Papoosekin is officially walking. Or toddling, anyway. A week ago, she took six steps in a row while I was on the phone with the Husband. We decided that was officially walking. She'd taken one or two steps at a time for days before that, but this was the first real walking she'd done. This video is from last weekend, and I'm sorry it's sideways. I don't have software to edit it, but I'll take another one soon. In the meantime, I knew I hadn't posted any pics of the Papoose in a while, so thought I'd better throw some baby action up before I get lynched. Enjoy!

video




Cell phones are one of the holy grails of babyhood, in addition to digital cameras and remote controls. Much tussling ensued after this shot was taken. The Ouisers should really get S a bluetooth headset.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Slacker

Uh, yeah. A week later, I still need to finish my list o' interesting things about moi. Commitment issues.

3. All sheets and blankets must be perfectly aligned before going to sleep. This drives the Husband nuts.

4. I'm a very good speller (no fair sifting back through my posts looking for a misspelled word). And I can spell quickly. I think I just had very good sight word memorization when I was little from all the reading I did because when someone asks how to spell a word, I very rarely have to think about it. I just see the word in my head and rattle off the spelling. I didn't realize this was at all unusual until I was in graduate school.

5. I'm an only child. People always ask how that was, whether I liked it, was it hard. I didn't know any different. It was what it was. I think it's why I read so much, which I think helped my education. I also think it's why I'm very, very rarely bored.

6. In another life, or a parallel universe, or something, I'm a linguist. And a good one. If linguistics were a remotely lucrative career, I would have been all over it. As opposed to how well I'm using my speech therapy degree now. Heh. Anyway, there was a point where I was studying German, Greek, and Latin at the same time and was the happiest I've ever been, academically. You know that scene in The 13th Warrior when the old seer woman is maniacally selecting Norseman after Norseman to send chasing some firey wormy menace and they have to act all happy about it? The whole scene is in some language that I can't even identify, but I can translate every word, and did the first time I heard it. It's all about roots and morphemes, yo.

7. My favorite book of all time is the Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

And I still have three people left to tag:
Toddler Tamer, now that I know you're back in the country and even back online.
The Reid Family
And I'll take a stab at tagging Moosh in Indy. Though, she's one of those bloggers who actually makes money doing this, so she may be too busy pulling in the big bucks to respond to my tag.

The Dam in Pennsylvania

I received this email from Wonderland this morning, and had to share.

The Dam




This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries regarding a pond on his
property. It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania . This guy's response is hilarious, but read The State's letter before you get to the response letter.


State of Pennsylvania 's letter to Mr. DeVries:


SUBJECT: DEQ
File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec 20; Lycoming County

Dear Mr. DeVries:

It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:

Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.

A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.

The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed
no later than January 31, 2007.

Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action.

We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
David L. Price
District Representative and Water Management Division.


Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries:



Re: DEQ File
No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County

Dear Mr. Price,


Your certified letter dated 12/17/06 has been handed to me to respond to. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane , Trout Run, Pennsylvania .

A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials "debris."

I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.


These are the beavers/contractors you are seeking.

As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.

My first dam question to you is:
(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or
(2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?

If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued.

(Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.)

I have several dam concerns. My first dam concern is, aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation -- so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer.


The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names.

If you want the damed stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.

In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams).

So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2007? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice by then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them.

In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your dam step! The bears are not careful where they dump!

Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.

THANK YOU,
RYAN DEVRIES & THE DAM BEAVERS

Friday, August 15, 2008

Medicated Me

I'm on my third day now with the little pink pills.

I'm not sure yet if I can feel a difference. I know it commonly takes a few weeks, so I'm not concerned. I feel good, but I had felt good for a couple days before starting them, so who knows? I could be in an up cycle, or it could be a placebo effect. Don't care. I am not one to look a gift placebo effect in the mouth.

Wha??

Also, night before last, I was having trouble sleeping and thought, "Well, this is what he prescribed the anxiety meds for," so I took one.

I have tried twice now to explain how mind-blowing the effect was on me, but so far have failed. All I've managed to come up with is this:

I felt like 90% of my brain had just been shut off. It was the most unbelievable silence I can ever imagine experiencing. All of the voices were gone. And I don't mean voices in the multiple personalities way (yeah, yeah, get all the Cybil jokes out of your systems now, people). I mean that I normally spend a good chunk of my time and energy trying to keep my anxiety at bay because when I let down my guard (like at night, when I'm trying to sleep), all the unspeakable worries come streaming in and form a giant downward spiral that sucks me into the bad, dark places, and I can't fight my way out.

But that was all gone. I was 100% in the present for, I think, the first time in my adult life. I have never felt so there. For the sake of academic experimentation, I actually tried to come up with something to be anxious about and couldn't.

But I didn't feel drugged. I didn't feel spacy or out of it or medicated or sluggish. Well, I was sleepy; I was trying to go to bed, after all. So I'll have to see what it's like some time when I take it during the day.

But what I keep trying to figure out--again, as I had to clarify for Ouiser, not because I'm worried about it, but just out of academic, dorky interest and curiosity--is that what all y'all "normal" people feel like all the time? Or did my medicated pendulum swing past normal all the way to the other end of the spectrum? If that's how the rest of the world gets to live all the time, y'all are dang lucky. It was pretty sweet.

Friday Favorite

Grammarians and logophiles, prepare to be horrified. Apparently, the folks at Webster's have gotten a little loosey-goosey with their new entries. Check out Happy Meals & Happy Hour for a great report here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Magnificent Seven (Er, Two)

So excited that after two years of blogging I've finally been tagged! Thanks, Snarkygirl08! Snarky is apparently on the edge of her seat waiting for me to divulge seven facts about myself and thinks y'all'll be just as interested (that's what I call a double contraction with a half twist. It won me the gold in '04.). Seven is a lot. I'm not sure I am that interesting

  1. I'm very tall. Like, 5'10". I know that's not record-breaking or anything, but I'm well above the 95th percentile (I checked. By the way, do you realize that we're already shrinking, ladies? At least, I am. According to that chart, I peaked in my early 20s. Life is cruel.). I'd probably be taller if it wasn't for that dang kyphosis. Extreme height (I'm assuming this works both ways) has a greater effect on one's life than ye average-heighted sistahs may imagine (some Olde English Gangsta for you there). Firstly, NO CLOTHES FIT ME. Ever. Until now. Because now, Banana Republic (yeah, right, like I shop there anymore. Sometimes I miss having a paying job.), Gap, and, most recently, Old Navy all carry tall sizes. In tops, too. This is really the key because, although hard to find, pants with a longer inseam have, truthfully, been around for some time. But to not have my belly hanging out of my shirts, especially now (ugh!)...it's a reality dreamt of since I was a wee 5'8" freshman in high school. I remember being in college and being asked why I was wearing a shirt that was too small for me (I'm looking at you, Wonderland!!). As I looked down at shirt sleeves that had shrunk up to the midpoint of my forearms, I didn't really have an answer. This is the same Wonderland who also laughed and pointed at how skinny my calves are on our way home from crew practice one day. I'm a freak, Wonderland! That's why! On the other hand, if I had a nickel for every woman who has told me how they envy my height and that I should be a model (Note to all those women: get thee to the season premiere of ANTM Cycle Gagillion. Because, in case you haven't noticed, you need a lot more than height to be a model. Like, you have to weigh approximately 4 lbs. And have cheekbones that could slice bread. Which I don't.), I'd be...well, let's just say I could afford to have a personal chef and trainer to get me to a weight of 4. Or at least 140. Another advantage is athletic prowess. Or at least the potential for athletic prowess, however unrealized it may be (ahem). I blame inconsistent coaching in high school as the only reason I didn't completely kick-ass during my volleyball years. Wasted talent. That, and the fact that I'm about as coordinated as my nine-month-old daughter. She's probably peaking even as I wr-...wait, nope, she peaked, that was it. Finally, I can reach stuff no one else can and am often the first to spot Mr. Ouiser in a crowd.
  2. I used to be a rower (see Athletic Prowess, above). I entered college looking for the most difficult, most punishing, most thankless sport there is, found it, and shouted, "Sign me up!" I met some of the best people I've ever met in my life through crew, including the Husband and a good chunk of my current best friends (um, maybe 99% of them?). I also suffered palms full of open and bleeding blisters, shoulder injuries, back injuries, calve scars, knee damage, sleep deprivation, vomiting, frostnip, windburn, lactic acid overload, and a failed career in mathematics (you can't pass a 200-level calculus class as a freshman if you sleep through every single class. Apparently, you not only have to be there, you have to actually maintain consciousness. Who knew?). For those of you not familiar, collegiate rowing involves getting up at 2:00 am for practice, running 73 miles uphill both ways in the snow just to get to the boathouse, getting into a long, skinny boat with seven other rowers and a pipsqueak with a Napolean complex and a microphone (read: coxswain; I kid, die Frau, I kid!), who orders you around a lake that is half a degree away from freezing, while blisters form, burst, and bleed all over your oar as you're supposed to be coordinating your strokes with the other rowers for fear of catching a crab (crew-speak for putting your oar in the water a fraction too late, too early, too angled, not angled enough, etc.; aka "Uh-oh.") and getting thrown from the boat as the handle comes back to punch you in the stomach and lift you in the air, or possibly just losing some teeth if you're lucky enough to catch it in the face. And, if the hungover rower behind you is really considerate, she'll puke over the side of the boat rather than on your back. It was so much fun. And I never want to do it again.
Hmmm, seven may take a while. I'll leave you with these two uber-interesting facts to absorb today and will hit you with the rest as the week goes on.

In the meantime, as per the rules, I need to tag seven more people, so I'll start with my favorite pipsqueak, die Frau; and my favorite so-should-have-been-coxswains, Ouiser and Scarlet Lily; and my girl, Yum, who is expert in the ups and downs of living with rowers (who generate so much body heat that they like to keep the temp at a balmy 58 degrees), and THAT SYRACUSE PRACTICE! (Ask her, I'm sure she'd love to explain.)

You're it! Make sure you each tag seven more. And keep it real, yo.

*August, 18: Note that the author holds no ill will, grudges, or pouty faces toward Wonderland and her comments of ten years ago. My attempts at humor and self-deprecation were in no way meant to out her as an evil, acid-tongued mud-slinger. I was not calling her out so much as gently ribbing. However, Wonderland, if you ever tease me for not ironing my pants, all bets are off and the friendship is over. You're on notice.

Monday, August 11, 2008

And for My Next Trick, I'm Giving Up Meat

I love that feeling where something occurs to you, some kind of epiphany, or maybe some creative idea, and then you hear it or see it or read about it somewhere else, almost immediately. That whole universe-in-sync thing that I know I've discussed here before, and with die Frau on multiple occasions.

So, last night, I was laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, futiley due to a poorly timed afternoon nap. And the anxiety started creeping in, like it always does at night if I don't fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. The start of my meds is only a couple days away now, and I find myself worried about what I'll do if the meds don't make everything much, much better. Like, what if I'm still so unhappy even without the depression? What if it's something more, in addition to the depression?

I remember being really happy during the first two thirds of my pregnancy, when the back pain wasn't keeping me completely bed-ridden, and my hormones weren't too crazy out of control. What was I doing then? I was reading. And I was sewing. And I was learning to cook. And I was generally nesting. I wasn't working out much, but that's something that has ALWAYS helped my mood, as long as I can remember. I think a lot of my unahppiness now is due to pure boredom. And I keep asking myself if I just need to get back to work (still waiting on that stupid license), or if it's something else. And I keep answering myself that, yeah, working a day every week or two would probably help, but that alone is not going to bring my personality back.

I feel very lost. Like I don't even know what interests me or inspires me anymore. And I remember very clearly a year or two ago feeling like there were so very many things in life that I was excited about that I was afraid I'd never get to experience them all in one lifetime. That's got to be the depression, right? I want so badly for this medicine to be a magic, cure-all pill, but I know it probably won't be.

So the conclusion I came to last night that finally helped me sleep was this: My Google Reader is keeping me down. I spend the majority of my day with the Papoosekin, in the house, in the living room with her playing on the floor. Playing with a nine-month-old has its perks and moments of unbelievable cuteness, but it gets boring, yo! And the conversation is pretty one-sided. So I get bored. I don't like to keep the tv on too much because she watches it and I'm not down with that for extended periods of time. So I pick up the laptop and usually end up reading blogs for some connection to the outside world. But I think it's become a giant time suck for me, and I'm wondering if there aren't other things I could be doing that would be more uplifting and fulfilling.

To be fair to myself, this habit started because the Papoosekin is loathe to allow me more than five feet away from her at any given time. And I've indulged this for a while because, after all, she was only six months old, then seven, then eight, but now she nine months, and practically walking, and really, this tugging at my skirts (literally) can't go on forever. I understood, when she was going through the separation anxiety, but we're pretty much past that. And I'm not going to cut her off cold turkey, but I think it's time to start learning that crying doesn't always get you picked up and Mama's not going to drop what she's doing just because you're crying. At least not when you're crying only because you've realized that Mama's undivided attention is no longer on you and your fascinating block-gnawing activities.

Apparently, similar revelations have been unfolding at Loralee's Looney Tunes. I'm not quite ready to delete my whole Google Reader (but I also don't have hundreds of subscriptions. Only 52.), but I think I'm relegating the laptop to the office, out of the living room. It's just as well; the Papoosekin is getting taller and so the surfaces on which I can safely store the laptop are shrinking. I'm not sure exactly what more rewarding projects this will spur me onto it, but something will surely pop up. I'll keep you posted.

And to be clear, I'm not planning to blog less frequently, just wasting less time on the Internet in general. I think Google Readers can be an addiction, if you're not careful. And for the love of bacon, the last thing I need is more medical intervention for my various psychoses.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Favorite

This post is nominated not even so much for the content as the comments. Enjoy this from Happy Meals & Happy Hour.

So Who Has to Be Robin?

The Husband and I are two very different people. In fact, we're pretty much polar opposites about a lot of things, ranging in importance from food preferences to fundamental personality type.

The depression and anxiety I've been dealing with lately have been hard on him, too. Anxiety, they say, expresses itself as rage, and I have to admit, ashamedly, that the Husband has taken the brunt of that. So we've not been our closest lately and as he was getting ready to leave the country for a week, I was feeling pretty emotional about adding such a physical distance to the emotional distance we've recently felt.

Me: I'm just so sick of us never understanding each other anymore. Everything is so hard and I just wish we agreed on something.

Husband: Well, we both like Batman.

That pretty much made my day.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Do a Little Dance

Five years ago, last Saturday, the 26th, the Husband and I tied the knot at a little inn in Vermont. Sixty-five of our closest friends and family got down and boogied with us. It was so much fun that a close family friend passed out, my stepmother-in-law had to go to the hospital, and my florist kind of yelled at me. And 73 people gave toasts, I had so much fun I didn't drink a thing (except for the toasts, and until my friends found out that I wasn't drinking a thing), and everyone said it was the best wedding they'd ever been to. Oh yeah, and I won a husband and a trip to Jamaica. Made out pretty well, all in all.

We've had ups and downs since then, of course, but it's been a wilder roller coaster ride than ever this year. I feel like we are just barely coming up from what may be the lowest low we've ever had, with a long way to go yet just to approach sea level (See what I did there? With the horrendously mixed metaphors? You should see me with a martini.).

And our anniversary was such a microcosmic representation of the whole year. You can't make this kind of material up.

The Husband surprised me by planning the whole night for us. Which was great because it occurred to me that I'd better start looking for a babysitter, oh, two nights before our anniversary. But he already had one lined up. Ouiser's aunt generously took the Papoosekin off our hands for the WHOLE NIGHT! We haven't had a night out alone without her since before we left Tucson in February. FIVE MONTHS AGO. I believe I did a little dance in their driveway.

The Husband brought me to a surprise restaurant, featured in the August issue of Southern Living magazine. OMG, it was fabulous! Every single thing was delicious. It was the best meal, for the food, the conversation, the company, the atmosphere, everything, that I've had in forever.
Brie and fruit appetizer

My beef filet with green beans and some kind of potato pancake thingy. I forget what they called it.

The Husband's flank steak with pommes frites and cheese grits. It was supposed to come with broccoli but he subbed. Yeah, the waitress was a little horrified. That's my meat and potatoes guy!

Chocolate torte and pistachio ice cream. Perfection.

We even managed to get to the movie theater in time to catch the last part of the Husband's fun-filled plan and saw the Batman movie. Which was great. Loved Heath Ledger. So, so creepy.

But THEN! THEN!!! We leave the theater all happy and satisfied with the night and tired and ready to go home to the Papoosekin and sleep. And we get in the car and see that the few papers that were in there are scattered all over the front seats and floor. And it's not even our car. Our car died a few weeks ago and we'd been borrowing a spare car from the Ouiser collection.

Someone had broken into our borrowed car. And stolen the Husband's laptop. The laptop that's owned by the company he works for. The company for whom he's only been working for five months. And he's a YANKEE!

We called the cops. The cops came. They took our report and that of at least two other people whose cars also got broken into. Did I mention that the Husband had a bunch of our personal financial documents in the laptop case? Yeah, he did. Oh, and also a memory stick with ALL OUR PERSONAL DOCUMENTS from our desktop. Oh yes, he did.

I cried. The Husband sighed. We drove home, deflated. The Husband got some ribbing at work last week, but nothing too bad. We knew we'd never see that laptop again. I don't care how small your town is, the police have better things to do than track down this kind of petty theft. The whole thing felt numbingly familiar. We're like a Greek tragedy over here, except no one is putting us out of our misery.

But THEN! THEN!!! I must have finally sacrificed enough chickens to the right god because the police called the Husband and said THEY HAD THE LAPTOP! In fact, they'd had it since the night it was stolen. The idiot thief took a bunch of the credit cards he'd stolen (from a total of nine cars, apparently) and tried to use a bunch of them at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart detained him (more on that later) and the police got back all the property. It just took them four days to get around to calling. Whatever, do you realize what this means?

Something actually went well for us. We had good luck. (If you never read another post from me, it's because lightening struck my house tonight. Right on my head.) We sat around for three days waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it really hasn't. I don't even know what to do with this feeling. I feel so accustomed to all the crap life has been dealing us lately that I almost don't feel like we deserve this good fortune. I'm sure I'll adjust.

So that's my happy anniversary story.

Now, back to Wal-Mart. I quizzed the Husband on this, but he was unable to come up with any satisfactory answers. I want to know how Wal-Mart is able to "detain" anybody. I swear I've never seen any security in there, but the Husband claims that he has. Fine, even if they have security, no way do those rent-a-cops have guns. Do you think they strong-armed the dude? Or do you think the thief was so stupid that security said, "Stay," and he just sat down with his stolen merchandise and played solitaire on our laptop until the cops showed up? Do you think a bunch of checkout clerks tackled him and performed a citizen's arrest? I'm so curious about this...

Friday, August 01, 2008

New Tradition

Okay, we're starting a Friday Favorite Post of the Week. It will probably last...this week.

And it will consist of whatever post that week made me wish I'd done more kegels after pregnancy so I wouldn't have to try so hard not to pee my pants with laughter.

Ha ha! Get it? Kegels?

Oh, I see. Not an image you wanted. Meh. Fine.

Here's this week's winner! Now Imagine 10 Years of This, People by Amalah