Monday, May 29, 2006

Lull is a funny word.

So I says to the boy, I says, Hey boy- stop with all that distracting needing of things and daily developments so I can find something to write about. Alas, he listeneth not.

Yesterday he was playing around with his lunch (and oh how that game goes over big in the middle of the yuppy brew-pubs we frequent), so I whinged to J- Maybe he's waiting for pheasant under glass? J, always the bright bulb, fired back, You mean instead of boob under blanket?

I'm redoing my dye job tomorrow. Do you think I'll look trailer-trash in black/blue? Remember the time zone change if you decide to advise me, just in case I do it and you're all, Don't do it- you'll look like shite. And then I'll be like, Damn- I wanted to be original yet classy.

Lull lull lull. See?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Minivan convention

I thought the gym would be deserted at 9am. I thought everyone else in the world would be at work and I would have my favorite equipment all to myself. I thought WRONG.

There were thousands of wildly motivated, serious mom-types there. So many with upscale just-so ponytails and matchy-matchy workout wear that there were only two treadmills open despite the two full aerobics and spinning classes.

You would have thought the Kidsworld was holding a rodeo. I glanced past Tobias' room (nine infants there) to the toddlers just in time to see a little flock swirl past led by a wirey shirtless heart breaker- Toby in a few years?

The nannies love T because he's such a calm kid just now. My favorite lady said he just liked watching all the chaos from the play pad today. "He laughs so easily. He's such a good baby." Why yes, yes he is. Clearly, we should pay some one of such insight much much more.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ooooh, there's one with fewer zeros!

So our friends Barb and Frank (pronounced "Frawnk" because he's all foreign-born and stuff) were here for three days to look for a house. They told me they were looking in a Reesonabul (Margie from Fargo) price range and we tried not to laugh aloud much while they were in the room.

When they said their agent found thirty listings, we remembered there have been a lot of meth lab evictions of late, and that corner with the prostitution busts on the nightly news might have some vacancies now that business has cooled somewhat.

But. They found a house. In fact, they found TWO they liked enough to haw and hem.

So tonight when I picked J up and his cold had him feeling Meh enough to skip the gym, we went for a little drive and collected real estate sheets. Two places in particular were fun- one pretty much out of our range unless we stop eating or start breaking laws and another we think must have had a murderer-rapist living there it's so comparatively cheap.

I think perhaps this here is the funnest part about house hunting: the initial thrill. Like Jr. High girls flipping through Bop magazine, we can look and idealize and dream. Plus drool- though Toby has done so much of that lately that J and I will just leave that department all up to him.

Eventually, looking at houses leads to Wanting houses. And to Mortgages (mort=death in french). And to J calculating and recalculating, his fingers ticking back and forth in the air while his eyes roll up in his head. Creepy, really. I prefer the 'We're just looking, thanks' stage.

And the Honda has cooperated with our new hobby how? By springing some sort of drool capability all its own, sputtering right on the feet of whoever is lucky enough to be in the front passenger seat when the A/C is running. I wonder how many minor yet expensive problems you can ignore on a marvel of Japanese engineering before it bites you in the a$$. No, really, we'll keep count and let you know when we find out!

Friday, May 19, 2006


Here it is- traditional flash swallows around my belly. They're handily covering up some pregnancy stretch marks, but also I just wanted a tattoo. Kudos to Ben Matthews of Tigerlily!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Book Drive

This morning after dropping J off at work, Toby and I saw the saddest sight on the highway. Sadder even than the time there was a cop car chasing some kind of animal (deer? great dane?) slowly down the freeway, three lanes of cars crawling along behind.

Some one dumped a load of hardback books all over I-5 today.

The remainder of the morning I came up with scenarios for how they came to their 10-mile long fluttering demise. Could be a graduate fed up with the years of studying gleefully littered in the small hours of the morning; or a Powell's Books delivery truck rambled along too fast on the bridge above the freeway, toppling precious bon mots to the lanes below; or Luftansa freight forgot to secure a mailbag full of primers for orphans. In any case, it just seemed so banal- such a waste. Unless it was the Book of Mormon or something, but still. Hardbacks!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Check it.

Here's some good readin'- I am enjoying the eentahrnet of late as a nice diversion as Toby had shots and is alternating between mellow and supersonic baby. He's all like, Thanks, Mama, for protecting me from them deadly epidemics- I love you and will gaze sweetly giggling into your eyes now. OR! Yo, beeyatch- here's a 4-wipe diaper and a crying jag to peel paint off the wall as payback for the needles.

You'll have to copy and paste the addresses if you're into that because I'm lazy.
1) Plastic super-heroes doing Yoga:

2) Hilarious talented writer chick (who does drop the f-bomb like it's the blitzkreig, but I swear it's justified, beautiful use of the lingua franca):

3) If this is the "top-selling artist" in the united states, then the world is and should be coming to an END.
Ohhhhhhh noooooooooo.!=A&ID=759

4) In this week's Willamette Weekly, I found the best description of the latest action flick we just had to see. "...In a film overflowing with special effects, none seem more special than Cruise's ability to get misty-eyed on command for no apparent reason. For a super-agent out to save the world, Ethan Hunt is a crybaby bitch boy. Mission: Impossible III is more entertaining than it is bad, but also more stupid than it is good."

Sunday, May 14, 2006

May 14th, 2006

Tobias, today was for me one of those handful in life you will realize is a gift in itself. Looking back over the last nearly-four months, plus the months before that when we were waiting for you, I see radical blessed jarring wonderful massive change. Today I took a breath or two and stopped to look around a little bit.

This is Mother's Day. I know, it's just a scam for the world's purveyors of cheezy schlock, but it's my first so it felt important. We piled a bunch of baby-goods, the dog, and our Evanescence CD in the car and drove to your grandparent's in Salem for a barbeque. My mom was firing a huge outdoor brick column kiln with her art gang, it was a pristine first hot day of summer and what more excuse do we need to head down there?

You started to fuss some out under the shade of their pines, sort of whining low with your eyes closed and your hands clasped together so I knew you were ready for your nap. Your dad- who is so cute with you, and who you love to follow around with your eyes- was sweet and sat outside the window where you slept so I could go for a run. At this age you are a very easy baby but in a way that's like saying you're friendly for a polar bear, considering the amount of time you require. In fact, you pretty much require all of it.

With this slice of time, I went for a run. The route is one I've run for years; before I met your dad, before I was pregnant, while I was pregnant and now that you're here. As I ran it today I thought of you and what it is like to be a mom. To be your mom.

You are by far and without bias the cutest child I have ever seen. When we are playing and I say Boo you startle with your whole body and then search my eyes while you decide whether to laugh or not. In that moment while you are looking as deep as you can into me and while I wait to be sure you are okay, that you are enjoying our play, I see sweetness so becoming my heart might literally break. I thought about that look as I ran, and I thought about so many of the things I look forward to watching you see for the first time. Laughter is almost always a good choice (except where your dad's jokes are concerned as that might encorage him) and you grace us by choosing it constantly.

There is something about the way you move your hands lately that makes me think you are going to be a very determined individual. Your father and I are stubborn as mules- bronze ones- so this is no surprise, but I secretly love seeing it in you. I know that everyone's infant is fascinated with hands/fingers and their ability to levitate things to the all-important Mouth at this age, but you are set apart. I can tell by the way you make an O out of your lips and stare down with such hopeful intent.

You and I have worked ourselves out a schedule. Before you appeared I thought I was an impulsive person, but now I know otherwise. My proclivity is to break a day into hunks like a warm yeasty bread. Practice, run, nap, web-surf, cook, anticipate your Papa's return. Now it's more like... birdseed, cracker crumbs: big piles of tiny activities repeated until suddenly it's 5:45 and time to go get J from work. Feed, change, play, clean, sleep, feed, clean, placate, entertain. And BAM! months go by.

For the first three months I felt this was really all I did, and I was a little lost in all of it. It wasn't an unhappy lost- more like the times (yeah- plural) I tried to run through the back trails of the Arboretum in Madison and ended up twisting about endlessly among the ponds and trees before sheepishly finding my way home, legs tight and rubbery. Now, though, I think I'm on my way along the shady lanes with you. We communicate, we play, you are still alive and in one piece. (Don't EVEN bring up the whole ear-in-the-strap-clip incident, J.)

I have never been so surprised to be deliriously happy, Tobias. I love being your Mom. Both the job it entails and the relationship we have. I'm looking forward to the revelation of each bit of your personality, so keep 'er coming little man.

Happy Mother's Day, Toby.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

We live here, we do.

Today started out exactly perfect. We slept in, by which I mean that the one of us who hasn't grown any teeth yet woke up laughing and decided he and I should hang out downstairs for an hour before getting in another little stolen bit of shut-eye. Once we really got up, we took off on a run with the super high-tech Trek baby jogger. Toblerone donned his sweet blue miami-grandpa hat and rock star guitar look. I noticed some of the lady runners twittering and swooning- we tried not to endanger any of them too much by keeping the shade pulled over his Ridiculously Tobyness.

We went down the hill (it is a real hill, first gear in the Honda like living in San Fran) past the French school's Saturday market and over to the trail along the river. There are always sailboats, hawks and herons. Looking out over the river under the squint-worthy blue, I realized it. We LIVE here. We are locals. I always wondered which part of the NW I would have to settle for. Ha HA! Turns out I got the golden ticket.

We barbequed, we picked up moderately crappy free metal shelves, we found a store with the brand of Japanese plum wine I love above all others.

I still (seriously) have some work to do on the Hello, I'm a stereotypical lonely-tired-busy-nutty new mom thing, and I might need to take a hit out on our neighbors' dog, but I do LOVE this town.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I'b got a cold.

Tobias got it first and kindly shared. It's not too bad, really- I just sound awesome. Like Simon, you can tell whenever I'm alive because you can hear the breathing from ten feet away.

Toby was a clingy kid today, like a chubby little sloth with extra drool. Such a baby. We watched obscene amounts of TV, him sitting back in the rocker in a striking imitation of a WWE fan with a beer gut. That amount of nothing is fun for me for the first part of the day, but by evening I get restless. The cold made me too sleepy to do anything about it, but if I sit on my butt tomorrow I will become No Fun Wife. We're planning to take our cold to the library and see who might benefit from our generosity there.

My dad and J are conducting a Craigslist experiment for me this weekend. They're going to pick up some metal shelves I found in the free category and see whether they are worth their price. They are actually driving about an hour from Portland to get them so I'm really hoping they are worthwhile. I am addicted to craigslist. It's fun to see what people are selling, and it's more fraud-proof than ebay because it's all done face to face. A big city like PDX is even better than Madison was for this.

Plus, look at the funny stuff people do without spell check:
Chairy Dressers
Armed Chairs
Sowing Machine

And then there was this, posted in the free stuff:
Kama Sutra Oil of Love original--New! Never used
Well I would certainly hope it wasn't used love oil. I mean, if they went to all that trouble to recover it, they would have to charge something, right?

Monday, May 08, 2006

I like it a LOT.

I happily bought eastmountainsouth, Jack Johnson, and Rocco DeLuca. I am in lust with I-Tunes and plan to take over the world from within its vast infrastructure. More suggestions, I so love them.

Today was brilliant. I had a coffee/mall date with my one Friend, lunch with the hottest guy in two hemispheres, and Toby had such a great time at the gym. There were two chicks playing with him when I checked the monitor and he was sleeping when I picked him up. One of them said he kept laughing with her.

Tonight feeding him while putting him to bed, he kept looking up at me like, Are you still here? Then laughing. Last night as well, he also giggled and pbltpblt'ed himself to sleep.

We have it so good.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Help me out here!!!

Last time I made a request to you, Internet, you came up with some excellent reading material. I bought a bunch and have read about 5.2% thus far. But hey- that leaves me with lots of things to do when I need to do things.

Now I have a new request. I have asked BD this a bunch of times, but I'm going to pester once again anyway:

What are you listening to lately? I need new music. Genre is unimportant. Anything, just some new stuff to hear.

Is it just me or does most of anything on the radio leave the innocent listener unsatisfied? Excepting the kick-ass classical station here, I can't find anything decent. It's been that or talk radio- and Tobias has a strong preference for the classical. Seeing as it is usually just he and I in the car, the radio has helped fill certain gaps in the conversation.

So PLEASE, it doesn't have to be New Music- anything you've been grooving to lately would be most appreciated.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

More signs of a good vacation.

Today turned into a bit of a rough day. I think the problem is that I was wanting my life back. I love being a Mom, but I often catch myself trying to find a way around Tobias.

Tiffany and I were talking yesterday about how it’s not that you can’t do the things you want- it’s that you can’t do them in exactly the way you’d like. I can’t set up my stuff and practice for 3 hours, have some lunch, and put in a couple more.

The thing is, I’m selfish and stubborn and that has been translating into me deciding I might as well just not do things if I can’t do them “right”. Why even start cleaning the bathroom if I won’t have time to scrub all the grout with a toothbrush? What point is there in practicing if I’m limited to 15-20 minutes?

I want to enjoy the kid all the time like I do in my better moments. To pick him up slowly, rub his back, catch his eye and make him giggle, watch the ladies smile at him across the supermarket aisle. Instead I’m more likely orchestrating a way to have him continue to ride quietly from chore to chore or entertain himself while I perform some inane task. This is it- the golden time. He will look me in the eye, I can be the center of his world, I can change the way his gray matter squiggles.

Parenthood is such a strange amalgam of intense emotion, physical demands, and guilty attemps to placate, distract and appease.

The wierd knife one and the blue one are from the ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver. A lovely ride.