Catching up

“Thanks continuing to read my blog, even you out there who lurk. I promise some actual content really soon!”

Wow, I can’t believe I was so busy and completely losing my marbles that I didn’t proofread my last post! I’m going to write up the last *4* x365 posts tomorrow and get up to date. Today was just crazy with one of our campus bookstore totally neglecting to order books and then telling students and parents that it was the English department’s fault. Yeah, I’m calling you out, FSU bookstore. You seem to do this every summer; get your shit together. Then it was just one paper jam after another on our crappy photocopier, the cast off from upstairs, where they make sure all their stuff is new. Sigh. But this is the first day and this always happens. I should be used to it by now.

Meanwhile, I think Elliot is teething again. He’s stuffy, drooly, finger-bitey, and cranky. Damn. I was hoping this new, cheerful disposition and his sudden discovery of finally pulling up would last until my mom had come and gone. I guess not.

It’s late, I feel like I am getting sick, and I just worked out. I must sleep now. Until tomorrow, my bloggies…

Current events

My sister has been retrieved and she and my mother are driving back home now. Last I checked, they were in Virginia somewhere. Virginia, you know, is for lovers. I can’t tell you how many bumper stickers I had when I was a kid. Every summer when we took our trip to Western New York we drove up through the entire East side of the United States. I saw a lot of mountains and waterfalls and cows and buffalo and hotel rooms. Oh, and hotel pools. When you’re a kid, that’s the best part.

Tomorrow, my brother in law will be driving a moving truck the opposite direction, to Chicago. His girlfriend managed to find a flight and is coming into town in about three hours from now.  It will be… interesting to meet her. More than anything, I just want to clean his room. Yeah, I’m channeling my inner Monica, ok?

Meanwhile, Elliot will be 10 months old on Sunday. TEN MONTHS! Somehow, I am convinced that time is being sucked into a mysterious wormhole and it can’t possibly be that ten months have already passed. That’s ridiculous. He’s starting to really become a boy now, a real interacting human. He cracks up at hair, being upside down, and tickles under his arms. He splashes in the tub and knows exactly what he’s doing when he gets us all wet. Bedtime remains simple and I feel like he should get some kind of recognition plaque that says, “Elliot Smith: Champion Sleeper three months running.” I’m so excited every day to see what new feats he will accomplish. He’s been doing this a lot lately:

He’ll pull up but only if he really wants to get at something. Otherwise, he doesn’t seem to care. It’s like all I want to see him do is cruise around the furniture. Sure, it’s actually kind of early for that but I torture myself by lurking on message boards where half the kids are starting to take actual steps by themselves now. Both Ash and I walked very early so we sort of put that pressure on him, in our heads anyway. You can’t make kids walk before they’re ready. I’m learning that. I’m learning a lot of patience from this whole affair, actually. Sometimes he really tries it though and I find myself just placing him on the floor and walking away for a second. Back away from the child, ma’am, my brain tells me. Before I get too agitated. But on the whole, this kid brings me nothing but joy. Pure and unadulterrated.

SO, Happy Friday! Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Day 73 – x365

Steve at Starbucks-

Always works the drive-thru and likes my car; he and his fiancee aren’t having kids but he gave me props for raising one. Thanks for the scone free samples!

The known and unknown

Things I knew about my sister:

  • She has always loved art history/Egyptology
  • She has never finished her AA, despite multiple attempts
  • She is a great salesman and has worked retail since 16
  • Working has always been her cop out for quitting school
  • She is kind to friends and helpful
  • She can be terribly irresponsible
  • She has fibromyalgia
  • She was a happy kid, one who loved to laugh and play and ham it up for a camera
  • She is too picky about who she associates with; doesn’t let people really know her

Thing I just found out about my sister

  • She is clinically depressed but will not get help
  • She was terrified to leave her NY apartment all these months
  • She doesn’t feel like she has anything to offer men except sex
  • She has cut herself
  • She needs attention yet doesn’t want to inconvenience anyone
  • She needs help
  • This all happened last night. For a while, she and her roommate/best friend had been feuding. My sister finally decided she would move back home – again – and one of her home friends offered to fly to NY and drive back down with her in the U-Haul. Apparently, she and this friend had a big fight in the middle of NYC and one left the other, etc, etc… And my sister called my mother, freaking out, threatening suicide etc. Even though I know – in my heart of hearts =- she is just reaching out for attention. I don’t think she means it. But then again, I don’t know. Her best friend called me and told me thing I never knew before. She said, “She’s not the same person I used to know. She has a lot of demons in her head. I just don’t know how else I can help her if she doesn’t want it.”

I know this is sensitive material here but I needed to write it to work through it. She and I have never been close. I mean, we talk on the phone a lot and have fun together but she always has a barrier that keeps people an inch away from getting to know the real her.

My mother in on a plane this morning bound for LaGuardia. My sister is incapable, both mentally and physically, of getting home. She is a prisoner inside herself who is depressed, has low self-esteem and poor self-image. She cannot pull herself from this rut on her own, yet refuses to let anyone actually help. My mother is hoping that showing up on her doorstep will finally break through the walls, show my sister that we care and that she is worth it.

Her life is worth living.

Day 72 – x365

C.K. – my sister’s best friend

Known you forever and you’ve been through much together; SO sorry NY didn’t work out and that she’s not the same person we once knew. Trying to fix that.

Humpday – a camel’s favorite day of the week

It’s already Wednesday? How did that happen? This week feels weird. I think it is my brother-in-law’s impending departure from Florida and our lives (for a while). As mentioned before, he was living in Ohio for college and then decided he’d move down here to be near us while little Elliot grows up. In not so many words he and Ash had a sort of pact that they’d live in the same city and our families could grow up together (when/if he ever settled and had children). And then, seemingly out of nowhere, he decided that he has always wanted to live in Chicago. Is it no small coincidence that his newest girlfriend is attending Loyola in the Fall? Sigh. When he moved down here, his then g/f had just moved back in with her parents just three hours South of us. And yet, on the day before his drive to Tallahassee, he broke up with her. No wonder their dad thinks he has committment issues. (Don’t all most men?)

So there’s an air of sadness and disappointment floating around our house this week as BIL packs his bags, does final laundry and cleaning. He has taken the house key off his keychain and placed it on the kitchen counter. Small items he has borrowed are finding their way back to desks, laundry baskets, and shelves. He bought his dog a new, sturdier collar, cleaned out his storage area, and paid all his outstanding debts. Things feel very final. I keep thinking about getting in that room and reclaiming the space, making it nice and clean. But I am overwhelmed with guilt if I express this out loud, because I know it’s hurting my husband inside to see his best friend – one of the few people who mean the world to him – (in his words) scumbagging us. This feeling will only calm with time; time can heal all wounds, they say.

Meanwhile, work is busy and I am doing last minute preparations for the incoming graduate students. I have to come up with a list of the most pertinent information because every summer I go into the class and talk to them but, inevitably, they forget everything I say. It happens; I know they’re being inundated with information.

For your viewing pleasure, a comic from a site I read daily but seldom actually “get”. Today, it makes sense.

Day 71 – x365

Uncle D – (now estranged)

The tall, quiet one who loved beer, NASCAR, and everything Country. Loved my aunt yet cheated. Calls every holiday and begs for forgiveness, the company of family he spurned.


Elliot has been given a clean bill of health, and yet, he still weighs just under 16 pounds. Most babies at this age are about 20 or so. Sigh. Anyway, here’s those lists I promised; I have to do something other than think about this one thing going on at work that – potentially – could mess up my entire summer. Just say a little prayer hoping that things work out, ok?

Really awesome things Elliot is doing lately:

  • Flopping all over the house! Except the first 2-3 movements are actual hands and knees crawling. He just goes faster by seal flopping.
  • Pushing up to sitting up like an expert
  • Doing the motor boat mouth noise with his fingers.
  • Always turning when he hears his name
  • Eating every food I have fed him. So far, he gets most excited about spinach. He pounds his hands on the high chair with glee.
  • Passes toys from one hand to the other and tries to use one toy to move another
  • Turns the pages of his Tonka Trucks big book
  • Pulls up occasionally on his Fisher Price walker
  • Laughs like a maniac when you attack his belly or tickle under his arms
  • Cracks up when I brush my hair on his face
  • Sleeps like a champ – 8-6 and good naps.
  • Interacts and observes like a real kid now; it’s simply amazing his level of cognizance.
  • Babbling like a brook; he’ll sometimes spit out an entire sentence of vowels and consonants that definitely sounds like something I should have understood, in Baby-ese.

Things I am looking forward to:

  • Friday and – hopefully – finding out that the previously mentioned potential thing will be resolved and all is good.
  • Sunday, when my BIL is gone (sadly) and (happily) I can begin cleaning that bedroom to turn it into a work-out room. In goes the elliptical and the TV/old XBox and we’ll also be putting some freeweights in there. I’m thinking on the same wall as Barry Sanders
  • June 30th – first day of Summer classes and Bootcamp for the new TAs
  • July 5th – Ash’s birthday
  • July 6th – My mom comes for the whole week! (Daycare lady is on vacation)
  • Doing things with my mom and Elliot, like visiting some museums and buying things for the Boy.
  • Elliot turning 10 months in 5 days
  • Elliot turning a year!