your feel good clip of the week

Found this gem over at the newly renamed Everybody Cares. Two things about writing this post make me smile: (1)who doesn't love a good story about inter-special cooperation when a determined squirrel is the protagonist, and (2) on June 25th, 2009 at 2:03 pm, Curiosity posted the following comment on the then named Emotional Umbrella

Someday I’m bound and determined to start up a site detailing what I had for lunch and somehow make it a witty and insightful instant favorite.

Maybe I’ll title it “Everybody Cares.”

When I checked back in at 9:24 pm that evening, viola! There it was! I'm going to pretend my last post was the catalyst for that change until I am informed otherwise. I like catalyzing.

Go. Go enjoy the squirrels. I am going to go poke around the internets to see if I can elude my growing anxiety that I have managed to freak out not one, but TWO fellow bloggers with my, er, enthusiastic commenting this week. Anne, if you're reading this: I swear I am not some sort of aging toothless bald trucker with a foot fetish who goes around the internet waiting to pounce on sleep-deprived mothers of new colic-y infants in hopes that in their moment of weakness they will be lured to my dank basement with promises of sleep and free babysitting. You should feel mighty comforted, though, that your loyal peeps have been checking me out since my comment to your last post. I've had no less than 7 hits on my site (which for me is a big number) with your blog as the referring url. And Curiosity, when I said "I think I just fell in love with you"? See above and replace "sleep-deprived .... babysitting" with, well, whatever conveys "I am not a stalker" best to you. I am officially adding "thought editor" to the list of people that I would hire if I were independently wealthy.

Quick! Squirrels! Be distracted!

oh, hi. you're still here?

Has it already been a week? Oops. I've been trying so hard to think of my Freedays Tuesdays as RememberThatBlogYouUsedToWritedays, but I think there are just too many syllables for that to ever really catch on. Not to mention all the ungainly capital letters in the middle of the word. But, it's either that or the ever-so-over-used hyphen to get my runallmywordstogether point across and I get confused when I have to hit that key up there with my pinkie finger instead of the one down there with my thumb. On the keyboard. Sicko.

Where was I? Oh, yes, Tuesdays. I'll blame my lack of posting last week on the fact that daycare was closed last week so the proprietress could go on vacation. I know. The NERVE. Not that you were really looking for an excuse or were really all that surprised that I hadn't thrown anything new your way in the first place. But it gives me the opportunity to whine about how I had to take care of my boy all by myself! All day! For a whole week in a row! And do stuff with him! Like talk to him! And fix him food instead of blogging! Whaaa! Anyways, what are you complaining about? I gave you back to back to back posts the week before.

It's not that I didn't get out there in the blogosphere. I read all of your posts and then I got all excited and all "I should totally post all about that hi-larry-us time when I took Aaron to Costco and he got all mad at me because I insisted that he ride in the cart and then he was screaming at me while I pretended not to hear him and to look for the milk and then he had to go potty but I wasn't completely sure that he really needed or if he was just using that because he knows that is the one thing I will stop whatever I am doing to take care of so I wound up taking him to the bathroom and he did actually have to go and I was so glad that I had listened to him and I realized that he's a pretty good kid until he refused to leave the door alone while I was peeing and then I was frustrated with him again and didn't feel like letting him play with the hand dryer and that pissed him off so we had to go back out of the bathroom with him screaming and then I couldn't remember where I had parked the cart and was just about to scream "eff it" at the top of my lungs but then I found it and when we got to the checkout line the guy actually asked me how my day was going and I just gestured at my wailing brat and glared at him but then I felt bad so I forced myself to make small talk with him and he was actually quite funny which put me in enough better mood to jokingly ask the lady at the exit if I could just leave Aaron with her and she did that thing where you raise your eyebrows and look all shocked and pretend yourself into believing that you would never EVER talk that way about an innocent child, especially when the little angel was so obviously upset which pissed me off and then I took it out on the sweet little old lady who put her effing blinker on for my spot before I even got the damn thing unlocked by u-n-l-o-a-d-i-n-g e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g o-n-e p-i-e-c-e a-t a t-i-m-e and then walking the cart back to the cart holding area before I strapped my screaming hellion into his seat and headed back home the end." I never read that book about all the things that you shouldn't post on your blog, but I'm guessing that reading that kind of drivel day in and day out would drive the limited readership that I have into deep hiding if not therapy. My filter says "You're welcome."

Meanwhile, my life is filled with very unbloggy things. Summer is upon us (finally), so we have joined the thronging minions at the local pool for the ritualistic "throw your young children into highly treated water and trust that the preening teenagers will react before they reach the bottom" swimming lessons. Aaron loves the water. Aaron loves his coach. Aaron loves his classmates. Aaron loves splashing water on his coach and his classmates. The floating and kicking and flailing his arms in any kind of regular order is not so much his thing. Unless said floating and kicking and flailing results in his coach or classmates getting splashed. Every day we talk about being a "good listener" and "following instructions" and "waiting turns" on the way to lessons. We talk about good alternatives to splashing and spraying others while he waits for his turn. We talk about being kind and respectful and responsible and imaginative. He gets it, he really does. He sang his "ABCD's" no less than 6 times today, hanging onto the side of the pool, changing things up with the occasional "bob" or spurt of bubble blowing. And then there were still 10 minutes of class left to go, so he let go of the side of the pool just to see what would happen. He has no fear. No common sense, but no fear. I'm trying really hard to keep focused on the positives.

So he's in the pool MTWTh, 30 minutes each morning, for two weeks. Friday mornings he goes to gymnastics. We'll take the following two weeks off while Josh is in Ecuador. Did I tell you that Josh is going to Ecuador? No? Oh. Josh is going to Ecuador. To climb some mountains. Because they are there. We are going to sit home, pining for him for exactly 4 days and then we are going to go to the mountains ourselves. Somewhere in this vicinity. I have directions, I just haven't really looked at them. We are going to a cabin in the woods with sticks and rocks and a creek to throw sticks and rocks into and probably no internet service and maybe no cell phone service and possibly no cable tv. We are going to live on crap cereal in tiny boxes, PBJ's, and frozen pizza. Up with the sun (unless the trees block it), to bed when the crickets start chirping. Naps will be mandatory. If you can follow these rules, you can come, too.

We're signed up for two more sessions of swimming after we get back and expect Josh to come back sometime around then. I am trying not to think of all the possible ways he could come back, trying to stifle the sudden panic that strikes when I realize that I don't know how he pays the Comcast bill. It's silly, really, these roles we've fallen into -- he is no more equipped for the task of bill paying than I am, yet he does and I don't. Unless there is a check to be written. The ancient art of check writing is mine alone. We will take the next week-and-a-halfish to put our limited affairs in order, to transfer usage of our PA account to our CA account so that I don't run out of checks. Life insurance is paid up but no matter as climbingagoddamnedmountain is considered a high risk activity. Still, I want him to go. Selfishly, it means one less soul for me to nurture, one less account of the day to catch up on over dinner. Selflessly, it means two less souls for him to nurture, two less accounts of the day to catch up on when he gets home from work. We both need the break, some time alone to spend some alone time with our respective selves. Some time alone to refresh our desire for some time together. Some space to grow independently in order to catch up with our recent shared growth. Oddly enough, it is just when we are at a place where our relationship has never been better that we are both yearning to be apart. Maybe that isn't so odd. Maybe it is the stability, the confidence of knowing where we are headed together that gives us the courage to strike out on our own. Ha! Who needs therapy now?

Why are you still looking at me? That's all you're going to get for now. Unless you're looking for details on how I'm going to squish daycare, swim lessons, back to daycare, and a dental appointment into the time before nap. Then again, if I can't get that figured out, I might decide to stay up and make cookies. You're always welcome to lick the bowl. And then we can paint our toenails and play truth or dare except we're much too old for the dare part, so it will really just be more of us sharing our most heartfelt secrets until 11 we can't stay awake anymore and then we'll stumble up the stairs to wash our faces and brush our teeth and floss because damn if I don't know how to party.


if you say so

Hey, remember that time when I was all worried because Aaron wasn't yet talking?

So I'm feeling better about that.

Also, just in case you were wondering, the term "lifter chair" refers to the chair lift thingy in the movie UP which all three of us would highly recommend. Josh liked the 3D, I liked the message(s)* and the bird, and Aaron, well, obviously Aaron liked the lifter chair.

  • friends = family
  • you're never too young or too old to follow your dreams
  • goals are important, but so is letting go of them when you realize that what you've been seeking just doesn't fit anymore
  • people change, sometimes unexpectedly
  • dogs are distracted by squirrels


bullet to the brain

As we were getting ready for bed last night, I had one of those no filter moments and spoke out loud the question that had been plaguing me all day:

Do the voices in your head ever get so loud that you briefly consider putting a bullet in your brain so that they will all just shut the eff up for a minute or two? I mean, if the desired outcome isn't so much about the dying and ending it all but more about finding 30 seconds of blissful silence, if it's not about any feelings of worthlessness or inability, but just a profound need to not have to listen or sort through all the muck, then it's not exactly suicidal, right?
Josh was shaking his head before I even finished uttering "the voices...".

I know, he knows, and you know that there is no need to gather up all the shoelaces in the house -- 1) I don't have enough alone time to construct and, er, execute anything even remotely dangerous, 2) I'm the biggest wussy in the world, so doing anything that might be painful, no matter how briefly, makes my toes and fingers curl up into useless nubs, 3) the guilt of even thinking of something that could eff up my kid that way, 4) what if I screwed it up?, and 5) my ability to focus on anything longer than about 4 minutes is sadly nonexistent so I'd probably forget what it was I was trying to do before I ever got to the point of kicking out the chair. I'm no danger to myself or my kid.

What struck me, though, is that it wasn't so much that he was negating the line of reasoning that led me to ponder where one crosses the line into suicidal behavior (is it just the act of killing oneself or does there have to be an intent to kill oneself?) as he was suggesting that it might not be normal to have voices in your head. That shut 'em up.

Am I the only one with a running internal dialogue? Should I be looking into Mucinex for the brain or something?



/ʃɛər/ [shair] noun, verb, shared, shar⋅ing.
1. the full or proper portion or part allotted or belonging to or contributed or owed by an individual or group.
2. one of the equal fractional parts into which the capital stock of a joint-stock company or a corporation is divided.
–verb (used with object)
3. to divide and distribute in shares; apportion.
4. to use, participate in, enjoy, receive, etc., jointly: The two chemists shared the Nobel prize.
–verb (used without object)
5. to have a share or part; take part (often fol. by in).
6. to divide, apportion, or receive equally.
So starts a series of random thoughts, loosely linked by the above definitions so that I can just cram them all into the same post and move on with my life already...

*We just got back from my youngest sister's wedding. For us, having no pivotal part to play, it was a low-key, thoroughly enjoyable affair. All too often I get caught up in (and/or help create/feed) (unnecessary) family drama which invariably leads to a slightly bitter tinge to the memories we go home with. Not to mention the endless rehashing. Did I , should of I, how did s/he, what about when... both in my head and with the others involved until all the woulda shoulda coulda been overshadows what actually was. So the goal this time was to not to. Not to create drama. Not to feed drama. Not to imagine, indulge, engage, or otherwise invite drama. And you know what? I did a pretty damn good job of it. I took care of myself and m'boys, helped out when asked, and actually managed to keep my mouth shut the 89 million times I felt the compulsive need to raise my hand and offer "suggestions" or "volunteer" for crap that no one really needed me to do anyways. You know what else? I came home with a head full of happy, stress-free, drama free memories. And? The world didn't stop spinning. I know, right? I wasn't in control, didn't have my finger in every single pie and my sister managed to get married anyways. She even managed to looked happy! Blissful, even! And, (here's the tie-in:)I'd share all the pictures with you except I never once took my fully-charged, SD-card-purposefully-emptied-to-make-room-for-all-the-pictures-I-was-going-to-take camera out of its case. Not a single, solitary time. My only consolation is that there are at least two photo albums full of pictures that someone else took at our wedding that I think I've opened twice in the 12 years that we've been married. So it's unlikely that anyone will actually miss my nonexistant shots.

*My laptop finally bit the dust. As in showed me it's pretty blue screen o' death a total of 18 times in a row the day after I posted my last post. The maybe good but possibly not so good news is that we antied up for the whole extended warranty thingy when we bought them three years ago and we still had two weeks left before that expired when the machine expired. So I took it into the local Geek Squad and they promptly slapped a "3-5 weeks to determine if resuccitation is a possibility" sticker on it and sent it off to computer limbo. The keeping my fingers crossed for the best possible outcome news is that they may very well decide that there is nothing they can do and putting it on life support would be a waste of time so instead I'll get a credit towards something new and shiny and, if I beg and plead most prettily, Appley. The possibly not so good but maybe good news is that they might just send me a newer version of what I already had with brand new innards. The possibly bad news is that if they do that, those innards will probably be stamped with the mark of the beast "Vista" and I might have to cry. Meanwhile (tie in:) I get the pleasure of sharing Josh's possibly bad news result of a similar situation when his laptop crapped out 6 months ago, i.e. I am currently trying to figure out how to navigate the labyrinth that is the Vista operating system. So in reality, the crying has already begun. And the negotiating because OHMIGAWD, people, do you know how freaking unable to function we have both become unless there is an available laptop within arms reach at any given time? You know those people who IM and text each other when they are IN THE VERY SAME ROOM? Guilty as charged, guilty as charged.

*Somewhere somehow someone once put the notion into my head that asking little kids to share is tatamount to expecting a dog not to sniff your crotch. Someone is going to be disappointed in the end and that someone is more than likely going to be me. Not to mention the whole awkwardness of not knowing how long I have to leave that nose there before looking like a total prude but not wanting to to stay there so long that I come across as some kind of perv. So I tend to use the phrase "take turns" instead. It seems to work pretty well for us. Tell Aaron to "share" and there's a very good chance that what you will soon be sharing is a temper tantrum followed by wailing and writhing in ABSOLUTE MISERY on the floor. But he's very much into the whole taking turns thing. The boundaries are clear: Right now it's mine; in a minute it will be yours. And, truth be told, I'd much rather take turns than share. I really have very little patience for you drooling over my shoulder, trying to tell me how to do things and it makes me more than a little crazy to have to sit here and watch you do it all wrong. I do worry, though, that maybe he's missing some life lessons in negotiation and cooperation.

What do you have to share?