Birthday weekend recap

I knew Elliot’s birthday weekend was going to be crazy but I guess I didn’t plan on it wearing me out to THAT degree. Here’s a run-down, in synopsis format:

Friday: Got home to find Ash and his brother hanging out with Elliot. Waited about and hour for my family to  show. Visited briefly then went to Osaka for hibachi. Got home, made cupcakes, fell asleep.

Saturday: woke at 7:30 and got to work. Made bat-shaped sandwiches, frosted cupcakes, finished cleaning the house. Got Elliot ready. 10:30, people arrived. We hung out, opened presents, and ate. Naptime for Elliot. Fantasy Football draft. Tired. Fall asleep on bed for 45 minutes. Wake to all the noise in my house. Go with Dad to Market Square liquors and buy okra from remnants of farmer’s market. Make lasagna for all eight of us. Go to Brusters for late night peach milkshake. Fall asleep on couch while Ash, Big E, Drew and my sister play Uno and Jenga. (Never mind my tense shifts.)

Sunday: Woke at 7:45 with the Boy and every room was occupied by a sleeping person. Got ready and headed to my parents’ hotel; Dad had gone to Alabama for a bit so my aunt, mom, and I took the  Boy out to eat at this place I’d been wanting to try: the Brooma grill. Very yummy. All family came back to my house and then left for home. Elliot went down for a nap and the guys went out for lunch. It was finally quiet. Then Ash and I proceeded to do little to nothing for the rest of the day.

It’s so stressful having to entertain and have family around and just be on all the time. I did, however, get to watch preseason football, take a bath, and finish Dead Until Dark. But I don’t feel rested. I demand a day to myself! I know; it’s not going to happen. But anyway, how was your weekend?

I look in wonder

In high school, I took on babysitting as a means to earn money for, mainly, CDs and coffee at Dennys. There were a few families for which I was their number one sitter. One family I recall had two boys who were about four and six. I remember having to chase them around their house and endure head butts and outbursts of squabbling between the two. I remember thinking how out of control little boys are.

When I was a college freshman, I came home during summer and took a job at a summer day camp. I was assigned second and third graders: eight and nine year olds. Vague, hazey memories remain, now,  of what those kids acted like and how they interacted with adults.  One boy, Evan, really took to me and always made me watch him do back handsprings. I struggle to wrap my head around what drives a seven year old boy.

In the new Batman and Robin, Robin is a ten year old boy named Damian, who is technically Bruce’s son (he was test-tubed, but still blood.) Although it’s fiction, I keep trying to picture what it is ten year old boys can do. In Damian’s case, he was raised by the League of Assasins so his background is slightly different but it’s still a mystery to me what ten year old boys are like. As I’ve been watching the Little League World Series lately, I look at these boys, all around this age, and wonder if they could kick ass like Damian. Ha ha.

I went to my friend’s apartment to drop off a going away present a couple weeks ago. He and his family were moving to Baltimore where he got hired on as a professor. While I waited for my friend – who’d been called to the apartment front office – I sat in their living room watching his twelve year old son play a game on Xbox. The boy explained the intricate details of game play and the secrets he had found, the various ways to beat bosses and gain new items. As  we talked, I kept thinking about what Elliot might be like at 12, what games he’ll play and ideas we’ll share.

Tomorrow, Elliot will turn two. In the grand scheme of things, he is still such a youngin’. But thinking back over those past two years, I am amazed at just how much progress a person makes. Then, looking forward, I am so excited to see how he’ll change and form ideas and bond with me and others; how my boy will go through all these stages that will both hurt and be joyful, heartbreaking and triumphant. Happy early birthday, Elliot Michael.IMG_2780

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Second verse, same as the first

Tuesday of week one is like Monday all over again – for the students who have Tuesday/Thursday classes. I love it. I mean that honestly; I love the craziness of the beginning of school. It’s chaotic and frenetic but it am busy all day and I don’t have time to stop and be bored or think about my back pain or worry. And that’s exactly what I want. Actually, I have been feeling pretty decent since my semi-breakdown on Sunday.

I began the Great Closet Clean-Out on Sunday morning. In our office closet, someone before us built shelves and cubbies that, although useful, take up space that could be better used to stack bins. Plus, I knew there was a decade worth of trash in there. Indeed, I threw out at least six bags of varying sizes with stuff I cannot believe I hadn’t chucked long ago. I should have taken pictures. My method of cleaning involves pulling everything out and then rummaging through it. This apparently pissed off Ash, who thought I should have put all books in bins first and then gone box by box. So I was already overwhelmed when he mentioned this and I broke. I was angry and hateful and disappointed in myself, most of all. Going through all the boxes of crafts and good intentions for projects just made me feel sad. It reminded me of all the things I don’t finish. It was one of the single most depressing moments.

But I got it done and moved on. Except, I found myself to be exceedingly weepy ALL DAY. It was pretty pathetic actually. Every time I thought about the mounds of laundry to be done? Cry. Elliot bit a dog? Cry, woe. I was not myself. And I was hungry but not feeling like any of the food we had in there. At three, I got a sub from Subway. At eight, we had Hungry Howies. Though it all tasted so good, I let me healthiness slip a little. But sometimes you need to feed your soul, silly as that sounds. And dammit, I craved pizza.

But the fact is, I turned a corner and am feeling pretty good. For a couple weeks there, I was sleeping like total crap. And with my severe cut back on caffeine, I was one unhappy camper. Last night, however, I slept all the way through: from about 11 until 6. It was relatively amazing and I cannot believe what a night without waking up two, three times can do to your overall psyche.

In other news, I am about to finish Dead Until Dark, the first of the Sookie Stackhouse books, that True Blood is based on. It’s ok. Her writing style is kind of like mine in that it’s not that great but it’s a quick read and still entertaining. I still think I like Twilight better, even though these books have far more rousing vampire sex in them. I don’t have to have it in my book, you know? I’ve put the next two on hold at the library. I will read them but I won’t own them.

It’s getting crazy now at work so I’m off to relocate freshmen and do some hand-holding; it’s in my job description.

Like Elvis said: very superstitious

As you may know,  I have had two miscarriages in the time we’ve been trying to conceive suctopus #2. While this is common, it has a way of boring into your brain and making you feel inadequate. And I will now step out of the second person and tell it like it is: it’s made me both self-doubting and complacent. On the one hand, I know it’s nothing I’ve done and it’s normal, etc. but I feel a great deal of remorse towards myself and my body.

When you get pregnant, the superstition is that you don’t tell anyone until you hit 12 weeks, because you are so likely to have a miscarriage in that first trimester that you should keep quiet. Well, having lost two pregnancies now, without telling hardly anyone, I say bull. I am almost six weeks in now and not paying attention to this superstition crap any longer.

However, I AM doing some things that I didn’t stick to the other times. For one, I am not exercising. I want to, boy do I ever. But I am trying to be really cautious. Last time, I was nine days late on my period and on day nine, I went rock climbing. About an hour after I got home, I started cramping and then bleeding. I’m laying low for the next six weeks.

Also, I am cutting back on the caffeine. I don’t think I realized how much I was drinking until I began to take this seriously. I was having a grande latte every morning and usually a Coke Zero mid-day. Sometimes, if I had to go to  Publix later in the evening, I’d get another fountain Coke Zero. So I have tapered off. I got a coke in a small coffee cup, mostly ice, for two days and now I am working down. Went to Starbucks this AM to ask for a tall: 1/4 regular, 1/2 decaf, then 1/4 room for milk. Sadly, they didn’t have any decaf brewed so she recommended an Americano (blech, btw) and gave it to me for free. Sweet!

I am eating as healthy as possible, eating about 300 more calories than normal, as suggested, and obviously watching what I eat. The second MC, about three days before I was late, I drank an entire pitcher of margaritas and ate sushi. Not that I believe this caused anything, because before I knew I was pregnant with Elliot, we sat at Miller’s Ale House all night and drank beer. And as you can see, Elliot’s about to be a perfectly healthy two year old monster boy. I guess in some ways I AM being superstitious but more like extra cautious. Guess you can never be too careful, right?

I really hope this one sticks; ready to be on my way with this thing. I was scared before but now I’m there, up for the challenge. And also, I kind of want to be pregnant when it’s cold out. Last time, it was a sauna outside when I was thirty pounds heavier. Sweating was unavoidable. Fingers crossed, knock on wood, do whatever you need to do. Make it happen.

Here, there

I’m putting off the myriad of things I have to do, like work on my syllabus and write up my little speech for Friday’s TA meeting. There’s a lot of new procedures that I have to really hit home to all of the TAs and I must find a way to express this to them so they take it seriously. God knows how THAT’S going to actually happen. Le sigh. But I’m le tired… Heh heh. Look it up!

ANYway, I’m sort of feeling in limbo on so much right now. School is about to start, Elliot is about to go to the two year old class, I am about to finish reading a book, about to start on some others… you get my point. Being on the verge of a lot of things seems so… precarious. I am nervous most of the time. I recall this every year; this week is so stressful that I am anxious and jumpy. I make deals with myself: I will begin working at, say, 11 o’clock. Until then, I take what my friend calls a Work Vacay. I will play a flash game, or look up something on the net or watch something on YouTube. Lately, I have been checking out old Disney ride videos. I found this one today; I loved this ride. This user has interact park maps with videos for the attractions, which is such a clever idea; I could get lost in the endless cycle of clicking and watching for hours, I tell you.

But no another note…

Ash and I got into it last night about chores… again. I try to be good about this, I do, but my mania about needing things cleaned in a timely fashion gets the best of me. And I forget that Ash never responds to pressure. He knows he has to do the dishes but he’ll do them when he’s good and ready, whereas I need them done within at least two hours of the meal, preferably directly afterward. So we talked it out and I conceded, as usual. On principle alone do I try to win these dumb conversations; it doesn’t work. When we made up, I climbed into bed and a Friends rerun was on. It happened to be the one where Chandler proposes to Monica. I think I cry every single time, no matter what. As both characters blubbered through the proposal, Ash gathered me in his arms and hugged me; arguments about dishes are stupid. TV shows that remind you how good you have it are awesome.

With that, i leave you to work on my stupid syllabus.

top ten

Since both Catherine and V did this one, I guess I shall too.

10. Favorite Movie

People are always asking this question of others and it’s never really an easy one to answer. I vacillate a lot between certain films; sometimes I think it’s most definitely Groundhog Day and then others, much like Catherine, it’s The American President. I can’t be sure; I love Dark Knight a whole lot and I have seen some knock-you-on-your-ass movies ONCE, but when seen again, they didn’t have the same oomph. Those mentioned above always make me happy. Always. Ill stick with Groundhog Day, for now. (I’ll have you know, I asked Ash to guess this and he picked my top two. He KNOWS me.)

9. Person I’d Love to Have Coffee With

This is easy; I would choose Ash’s mom. She died when he was 16 but after hearing so much about her over the last ten years, I think she would be one of the coolest people to talk to. She sounds like she was crazy and happy and so out there funny. I wish Elliot could have met his grandma, too.

8. Favorite Food

This one’s tough; I like anything that’s cheesy. Mac and cheese could possibly be the best food EVER. But then V said mashed potatoes and that’s high up there too. Let’s stick to my old favorite: grits and eggs.

7. Something to Do Before I Die

Open a sandwich shop. Been a long-time dream of mine but always on the back burner because, really, when would this happen?? I imagine it to be the kind with a soda fountain, black and white tiles, a rack for comic books. We’d make sammies with Boar’s Head meats and cheeses, serve ice cream and other yummies. I always wanted it to have that 50s soda shop kind of feel to it.

6. Favorite Place

This is going to sound weird but I’m going to say The Pumpkin Patch. This church in town does one and I just love going and roaming amongst the ‘kins. punkin

It encompasses everything I love about Fall, my favorite season: the warm colors, the cool air, the smell of gourds and dying leaves.

5. Favorite Book

Must we always ask this question? I just don’t know if I can answer that! Of course, I have read many many books but the ones that stick in my mind had some way of relating to me or a voice that dug deep inside my memory. Sleeping at the Starlite Motel by Southern writer, Bailey White, has always stayed with me, just a little bit. There’s something about the way she depicts people and the South and random occurrences that give me that little “ahh” feeling. Hard to describe but if you read some snippets of her work, you just may see what I mean.

4. Random Fact

The older I get, the less I can watch anything involving cruelty to animals or children. I used to be able to put those things out of my mind but now that I have a kid, for sure, I can not handle anything with violence or meanness. In the new commercial for Halloween II, a little kid in a costume is face to face with the killer and just the hint that the guy might kill an innocent kid… gives me nightmares.

3. Favorite Activity

I saved answering this one for last because I honestly have no idea. I really like reading and cooking and cleaning, as silly as that sounds. I like to sit on my deck in late September and see the last remnants of fireflies illuminating the dark corners of the yard. I like drinking a grape soda while I am out shopping by myself. I like to write. I like to watch Elliot looking at books when he doesn’t know I am watching. There’s so many little, almost unnoticeable, activities I enjoy that I just can’t pick one. I’m sorry.

2. Favorite Website

I have to pick one? I’m going with Digg because I always learn so many cool things.

1. Idea That Defines Me

“It’s not OK until it’s the end. And if it’s not OK, then it’s not the end.” A few years ago, when I didn’t yet value my sister’s opinion, she said this to me and I was surprised at how simplistically wonderful this statement is. It’s a good thing to live by because you can push through knowing it will always turn out in the end. At least, I believe it will.

Random Monday – This might become a weekly feature

I am always so disjointed on Mondays, might as well.

We took Elliot to the Jacksonville Zoo on Saturday. Really, it was a two-fold trip, because our Toys R Us is temporarily closed, we wanted to go to one in Jax for Elliot’s birthday gifts. The day was pretty cloudy, which bode well for the temperatures. Actually, the entire time we were at the zoo it was really nice. It only rained once and we managed to stand under an awning during those ten minutes. Elliot was pretty much in awe the entire time. We even let him get out and run a little bit, which didn’t prove disastrous, necessarily, but it gave my heart a little jolt every time he almost barreled into someone or slipped or splashed in a puddle. Considering Jacksonville is such a large city, I think Ash and I were expecting their zoo to be a little more hardcore. They didn’t even have Elephants! But all in all, a good trip.

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One week until school begins and I still need to write my syllabus. It obviously ain’t writing itself. Dammit.

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District 9 was actually a pretty fabulous film. I thought it would be good but I was impressed. I thought there were a few plot holes and you were left to assume what might happen after, but I tell you, I never got tired of seeing the alien guns blow someone up. I mean, I cheered every single time.

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We ate at Osaka last night and I had the leftovers for lunch. I think I could eat hibachi every single day.

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The sorostitutes are coming out in full force because it’s almost time to rush. Woo. I can’t wait until they block up the doorways to our building and I can call the Greek association on their stupid sheep asses.

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There has been some kind of gnat explosion in the last week and I think it came from this office next to mine. The old occupant had a lot of food in there so when we chucked it all, they must have come over to my office. I don’t have any food in here but there are a shit ton of these flying beasts and it’s pissing me off beyond belief.

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I have too much on my plate. What’s on your plate?

Getting more than you bargained for – TV show review

I want to preface this post by saying that I used to be overweight. I still am – a little – but not like I was. At my largest, I weighed a good 175. And I am five foot tall.

That said, I have been sucked into the new prime time dating show “More To Love,” starring “Luke”, a rather tall, three hundred plus pound guy who is seeking a “curvy” woman to date and perhaps become his wife. They’re touting it in the manner of: the average dating show contestant is only yay big but the average American woman is this big. Ash and I watched the first episode wherein Luke meets the girls and says something flattering and sappy to each of them as they exit a limo.

In the first episode, I was pretty much convinced that Luke was on the level. He didn’t seem sleazy or just trying to see how many chicks he can bang on national TV; he genuinely seemed drawn to larger women  and wanted to make a go at a relationship. But then I watched episodes two and three.

For one, we don’t get any of his history except that he was a chubby kid. They gloss over the fact that he apparently has a great job, close friends, and was a football star and from what I can tell, pretty damn popular. Pitt this against all these girls who – for the most part – have never had a boyfriend and some, never even had a date. The majority of the show is comprised of interviews with the girls where they’re either moping about their size and their pitifulness re: no one will date me because I’m fat OR crying in elation because Luke, oh, he really cares about ME. Don’t fool yourself, chica. Secondly, in the next episodes, he fills these girls full of crap. He’s been watching too much TV or reading too many sappy novels because he says the lamest most banal crap to them. And they buy it.

The thing about these shows is that the producers, etc want to show that they’re being open to other kinds of people when really, they only care about those pretty super skinny people and ratings. So on the one hand, it’s good that we have a show where the “average” American is explored. On the other hand, I feel like they’re patronizing me. In last night’s episode, Luke set up a prom because he figured most of those girls never went to theirs and it was some wish fulfillment BS.  But the point is that I bet you Luke went to his prom and had a blast. Let me tell you: I went to prom and it was a huge waste of time. It was exactly as you thought: dancing and drunken sex for the pretty, shallow people. But these girls went bonkers for this prom charade. Luke danced with each of them and each and every single one of them cried tears exclaiming, “we made such a connection; I think he really cares about me.” Now, if this were a show like the Bachelor, I am pretty sure the girls are saying stuff like, “I really think I could win this thing.”

So there’s the main difference: I think the majority of girls on “More To Love” actually do want to fall in love and not just win on a TV show. So that’s pretty interesting, to me.

I know this will make me sound like a horrible person but my main complaint about the show are those interviews where the girls cry about their weight. From personal experience, if they took all that time spent crying and hopped on a treadmill, they’d be on their way to losing all that weight. I know it sounds snobby but it’s the straight up truth and having lost weight, I think I have the right to say that they should shut up and work out, dammit. Because there’s nothing worse than someone complaining about something they can actually do something about. It’s just pointless and stupid.

I feel like I should just stop watching shows that make me angry but I do want to see who he picks. All the girls that are left are decent and not that malicious, except for that one girl, Lauren. She’s very… assertive, which he apparently likes. Next week’s ep promises to be a good one; the commercial shows him in the bathtub with one of the girls and going into the bedroom semi-clothed with another. I wish I could stop watching but I have to know.

I’ll keep you posted because now I am hooked and my Tuesdays will consist of “Hell’s Kitchen” and “More To Love” until the season is over. :)

Swine, salsa, silence – an entry in chunks

Late Friday afternoon, Daycare called to tell me Elliot had a fever of 100. I sort of expected it because he’d woken up feeling warm, even though the thermometer didn’t detect anything unusual. By Saturday morning, he was in full-on sick mode, all sad and pitiful and laying around on the couch. So I got him in to Urgent Care where he seemed to feel a little better… and they diagnosed him with “Influenza A”. They apparently don’t “actually” check for Swine Flu but it was as good as saying he had N1H1 etc… Well, if Elliot had the flu then I have apparently never had the flu before. Because he was totally fine by Sunday night and yesterday. I think the thing about these new strains of flu is that they can react totally different for individual people. Elliot had a really mild case. But it threw off our whole schedule nevertheless.

I dropped him off at daycare around 10:30 Tuesday morning and then I went to Borders. And it was nice to be out in the middle of the day, doing something I never get to do. When you work an 8-5er, you seldom take time to relish in doing something at 11 AM on a Tuesday. It was nice. And then I went to La Fiesta for a friend’s birthday. I have been craving Mexican food and since Ash eats it for lunch all the time, we rarely go out for it together. And it was SO delicious. All spicy and just… wonderful.

Back to the office in regular fashion today. I’m a naturally morning loving person so I can probably get a lot of stuff done if I just buckle down. I have to make my 1102 syllabus and do all kinds of other loose end type of things. It’s nice and quiet with no one around.

I can’t believe I put an old Flash issue in with my Marvel collection in the previous entry. I owned up for the lapse in judgment about the old Supermans; glad no one caught my Flash mistake until I did.

I need lunch.

Might be going to Jacksonville on Saturday for the zoo and Toys R Us. Our store had a freak accident a couple weeks ago wherein high winds knocked their air conditioners right off the roof. And it’s been closed ever since. It was a shitty store but at least it had toys. And Elliot’s birthday is quickly approaching!

This has been a huge waste of time.