Thursday, August 24, 2006

the great deride

There's this one mom I know with a 20-month-old boy I had in passing (out of earshot, of course) called the Monster. I'm bad, and it will certainly come back to get me, so don't hate on me now. I saw the mom/Monster today and they were in Jekyl mode. (It's Hyde that's the scary, right?) She was smart and funny and paid attention when the boy was boisterous so he wouldn't become insufferable. His nose was cleaner this time, too.

It's so easy to look at other parents and deride like you've never derided before.

Sometimes I worry that my careful parenting is approximately 85% for show. If I knew no one could see, they wouldn't be able to tell, would I be feeding him frosting from a can, loaning him the barbeque tools for entertainment and heading off to soak in the tub with a bowl of martini, dry with extra olives?

He's not old enough for me to be petty with him, so I guess it just comes out when I get busy comparing myself with his friends' moms.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


My friend is having a really hard time right now. Remember that first friend I made where we had Starbucks together and the world began to revolve again for me right there at the Mall? She has two little girls and the elder is having a seriously tough time keeping it together. Her marriage is strained (I don't know him), and I don't know if there is anything to say that won't just be ridiculous.

The girl seems to me to have classic OCD. She's got some repetitive compulsions and wild sensitivity to anything she considers out of whack in her environment. When she's calm she is sweet and engaging- she's four.

Pray for her, or if you don't play that way then round up the good juju as my other friend says, whatever works for you.

How do you people stomach chicken? I threw out four breasts last night that had been open in the fridge for a few days and by early afternoon today I thought perhaps I was going to have to call the feds. I totally retched- and I am not a retcher. That smell- how can a smell encompass slime and just be so sweetly wrong? Seriously, you eat that? Nast.

I've been sewing. I made sheets for these two pack n' plays we just got off Craigslist. Why mess with a crib when he's been playard-ing it thus far? We figure we can put him in an actual bed in a few years, just skip the crib all together. No danger of falling out, no slats to get stuck between.

By the way, I am a sucker. When the chick yesterday said she was selling for a single mom I totally believed her and felt guilty for getting it for five dollars less. Retarded. Craiglist is like a garage sale, you gotta put an extra couple bucks in the price to bargain with, right? They didn't have to say yes, right? I'm not totally evil, right? Do you think she's eating beans from a can while we went to Red Robin tonight and I even had a beer while my husband held the child like a damned Rockwellian fling?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Letting your Yes mean Yes.

We can all take a lesson from the producers and creators of Snakes on a Plane. Promised... and delivered. We laughed, we hooted, we witnessed the requisite use of M**f**'n by Sammy our man. I wonder if Mr. L. Jackson is the type to be called Sammy. Unlikely.

Dude, I'm just saying, what other things might benefit from a more straightforward moniker? We thought Speed 2 should have been Bomb on a Boat, but Crap on a Stick works equally well.
The Doctor of Musical Arts degree should at the very least be subtitled Debt in a Bucket.
Craigslist = Crack that's Good for You.
My Jeep = Purrrr. Sorry, got distracted.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Moving j-wards. Again. We lied.

Here's our new place, a townhome about 10 miles south of downtown Portland. It's near a big 'ol park, surrounded by suburby neighborhoods positively filthy with sidewalks. I think it'll be great with a bratlet.

It's our way in on Portland's market- they can't keep our type out forever, right Pa?!

We are not hiring movers, despite what I said that one time involving the word "never".

Oh, man- Tobias is awake. It's only 1:20, he should be asleep until at least 3:30, if not 6. Wish us well.

Salem ho.

This isn't my image, but it gives you the idea.

There is a certain slant of the trees on the drive down to Salem, part of the trip where I start to feel particularly relaxed. My parents are just far enough away that nostalgic road-trippiness sets in. It's like that point in a workout where you're thinking louder than your body can complain, like a ripening.

Today at pretty much exactly that moment (somewhere near Brooks) there was an enormous flock of starlings over I-5. It looked like a screen-saver; "undulating" came to mind. They're a nuisance animal, but it was striking. The variety of shapes and opacities- it was a great swath of sheer black fabric.

In just the same spot on another trip I saw a funnel cloud of straw bits twist four stories over the semi's (tractor-trailors to you easties) below.

While we're chatting about my own personal Bermuda triangle, here's a picture of something magically cutilicious in a hat on a boat in Montana.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The hahaha continues.

One of the comics on Sirius radio says there is NOthing more boring than listening to somebody's dreams.

You have really strange dreams when you have to feed and/or change some one at midnight, 4am, 6am (we let him cry that one out), 7:20am, and 8am. He did go back down and is just now (9:39am) starting his day with a nice set of raspberries and Ahhhhhhhhhggghhhh's. Happy baby has returned. For good. I'm sure now that he's practically seven months old we have all our sleep disturbances behind us. Uh-HUH!

I dreamt of being pregnant again and I was in a touring orchestra but we had to solve some kind of mystery and there were only two other players on my side. It was very cloak and dagger- and I think we were in Anchorage, but it had tunnels like Paris.

I also dreamt of being on a long bike tour- like across Brazil. J had his little shorts on so I was happy.

The last few minutes of dreaming involved strange mixes of reality where I would dream that Toby was falling back asleep.

Might as well dream big, right?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Several Thinks

Lately I've been feeling boring. I think I'm boring. Boring. Boring...

You know what excites me?

Finishing the laundry. Cooking and ALSO getting the dishes done. Getting out without feeling obligated to do errands.

I'm pretty sure my blog is getting boring, too. How much can you people handle?

Anyway, that's part of what I've been thinking.

Also, I'm not sure I want to change anything just now. I mean ANYthing. I like being home with Tyrant... I mean Tobias- he's a neat little kid. Some days I wouldn't mind if he just had a pause button or perhaps a hybernate mode, but all in all i think I'll keep him.

I feel like one of those engines or electrical thingies that builds up a charge and then lets it go- I get stressed, blow up (poor J), move on. Mostly I'm chugging ahead and can call myself happy. Some days my charge is getting stuck on high and I can't believe I'll be doing the same thing tomorrow.

When I said I don't want to change anything, I mean I don't (think) I want to add working into the mix right yet, I don't (usually) feel like I can work out and also stay awake until Toby's bedtime, and I have this (impossible) desire for him to stay this age until I get him all figured out.

I am not doing any of the things that make me feel better about myself. I'm barely reading (do cookbooks and financial planning advice count?), not really excercising, almost hardly ever practicing. Some days it's vacation, others it's depressing.

I wish I had more to post on, but I still feel a little funny doing the All-Toby-All-the-Time show. So that's it.

There it is. (that's from Amadeus)

call the poh-leece

Toby is in a new phase. It involves me holding him. Or new toys. Or new things to look at. Or me watching while he explores things- but not from a standing position, he prefers I crouch nearby.

Hahaha. Kids and their phases.

I'm captive. Lucky for him he's cute. I've been calling Simon over to distract him, but the dog's no dummy.

I will try to write more later, cause there are some things I've been thinking... if I can remember them. And after I shower away the lovely aromas I'm coated in (again, thanks, Mr. T).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


We had a great time with the family out in Kalispell. Did I mention there were close to thirty all gathered up in one place? I do believe that is the noisiest bunch of people I've ever been related to all at once.

There were two sets of five-child families, and there aren't even Mormons in the fold anymore. No wonder J's sister, mom and dad have at times appeared to have lost their inside voices and J himself has adopted the steam-roller method of debate; it's a matter of sheer exuberance and practicality. From the first night I believe Toby decided he had found the mother ship, because he flirted and squeeled and giggled with the best of them, then slept from 9pm-10:30am with only one snack at 6.

J's mom still managed to find some time for good conversations about God and what to do with Him in everyday life. I told her some of my concerns about this new church we're attending- Imago Dei. Here's the thing: we love the pastor, but have not really managed to feel much connection there yet. I'm trying to decide if it's too hip, mono-demographic (20-30's) and clique-ey for us or if it's because we have been lazy and stubborn about joining in on much.

All of it IS harder with a kid. I want to play in worship bands with J just like the good old days but the last time I checked, Toby's not ready to run the sound board without chewing on the cables while we rehearse. There are other groups to join, but we are stubborn about committing to weeknights because there are those days where we are both out of words and devoid of energy by 7pm.

I'm just being dumb, huh. We've had a busy summer and missed a bunch of sermons and suddenly we're like- hey, didn't we used to have a church? Weren't we Christians back then?

Obviously, it's a problem with our church.

Monday, August 07, 2006

How to get abducted by aliens

(Betsy should maybe skip this because it's about flying with stupid people.)

So there I was on the plane to Kalispell holding a six-month old, feeling damp from the drool and guilty for failing to buy him his own seat in which to strap a carseat (are they usable as flotation devices? Doubtful.) when the WAAAY over-chatty flight attendant flitted up and perched next to us. I could tell before she even opened her over-lipsticked maw that she was going to Tell Us Something. Turned out she didn't like my Baby Bjorn brand Tobias-carrier thingy.

I figure since he's a lap baby & I'm belted in, he's belted to me- where's the beef?

She actually, and let's just all pause to bask in the insensitive-inanity (it's a word, really) of this, started to talk about how when the plane comes crashing to a premature stop the force of my body will crush him. So I, having similarly taken leave of my senses, engage her in conversation and argue that without the straps I will crush him worse and THEN he will fly tumbling through the air toward the now smoldering nose of the plane where all those businessman bachelors will fail to catch him or save him or even point out how adorable he is while zooming by.

At this point in the (and I use the term loosely) "conversation", her colleague has come up to offer stories of ACTUAL PLANE CRASHES and what HAPPENED TO THE BABIES!!!!!!!!! Sorry, typing too hard, keys getting stuck. As in, "Well, on that United flight that went into the ocean, they rolled the kids up- not the ones with car seats mind you- they rolled them in blankets just like tootsie rolls and put them in the overhead bins because they knew they were going down. What's that? Well, some did and some didn't. My daughter never flies without me buying that ticket for her carseat."

Oh, man. I didn't cry, or swear, or throw anything to test the reflexes of the businessmen in the Baby Trajectory Zone, because I'm somebody's Mother now and it would be embarassing to get arrested. I would have loved to at least take advantage of the complimentary beer but there was a rehearsal the night we arrived. On most of the way home there was an open seat for properly securing our poor neglected endangered urchin of a baby, though none of the attendants were seen rubbing their hands together while hunching over and cackling in anticipation of scaring the crap out of me anyway. May they be cursed with ill-tempered incontinent hard of hearing passengers with Tourettes. Or snakes on their plane.