Posts from — July 2009

Moving Day

Three years ago we pulled a U-Haul up to the carport of this house and made trip after sweaty trip lugging boxes inside to set up our life in a new place.  Noah was  eighteen months old.

Could eat him up

We put him straight to work.

Earning his keep

L and I have lived in this house longer than we have lived any where else during our eight years of marriage, and when I remember Noah as a child it will have a prominent place in those memories.  Hosed

Pink bowl snack

Neighbor watching

Birthday

Bathroom

And despite its (oft mentioned) limitations, we worked hard to make this space ours.

Dining room

Living room

Of all the additions we made to the house, one in particular seemed to make the biggest difference in our family life.

Goodbye, house

But today we leave.  We pack up a different U-Haul with our now expanded life and relocate to a new address. We get to leave behind the messes we made here and the tiny kitchen where the dishes are washed by hand.  We get to leave behind the shower stalled bathroom and Noah finally gets to bathe without his knees up to his nostrils.  We get the chance to expand and get a little breathing room.

So goodbye you dishwasherless, bathtubless house, you bastard.  It’s been real.

Now excuse me while I go take care of this water in my eyes.

July 31, 2009   1 Comment

Beachaikus Part 2: Creativity Wanes

Alternate title – Beachaikus Part 2: There Aren’t Actually Any Haikus.

But still I post!  Because I am a woman of my word(s)!  This trip involved less beer and more outdoor adventures than the first.  Because while it’s great fun to sit around and just straight up hang with your friends for hours on end at the beach, a few days doing that with family will make even the most sedentary of vacationers slap on the sunscreen and say SOMEONE GET ME A KAYAK*.

Speaking of kayaking, L and I went on a short paddle on the next to last day we were there, and while exploring a little path? tributary? crack? through the grass in the inlet, I felt my oar bump against something under my kayak and remarked about how we must be in shallow water because see how far down my oar goes? Only it was clearly not shallow on the other side of my kayak, because my oar was many feet down with nary a brush with solid.  Hmm, that’s funny! I said to L. Wonder what that was?  And then, like my brain is wont to do, it pulled up the sound bite least appropriate to the situation I was in: the conversation I had with L’s sister about how she wondered if there weren’t some gators out in the grassy parts of the water.  And I was all, seriously brain? We’re going to go there?  And then my oar bumped something else, and it was my body that responded OH HELL YES WE ARE – PADDLE FOR YOUR LIFE YOU CRAZY MOFO.

So I may or may not have hit a giant underwater alligator. Twice.  Or I may just be mentally unstable.  Not sure which.

But also you guys there were DOLPHINS.  Not like a few pansy coming up for water a couple of times dolphins but like bunches of dolphins.  Schools of dolphins. UNIVERSITIES OF DOLPHINS.  There were so many dolphins that by the end of the week I almost got bored of dolphins, which is like saying “Ugh. Is that ANOTHER rainbow? Didn’t we just have one of those like YESTERDAY?” (I’m making a huge assumption here that you find rainbows as cosmically magical and beautiful as I do, because if you don’t, well, you may very well have a Ziploc bag full of motor oil where your heart is supposed to be.) Anyway, dolphins. There were a lot.  And I got really close to the dolphins, which was cool, but even cooler was the fact that I was with Noah when it happened:

DOLPHINS YOU GUYS from racher on Vimeo.

So all in all, a pretty awesome trip to the shore, a nice complement to the week before.

Damn, you just cannot STOP the poetry in my soul from bursting out.

(Pictures from the trip are here.)

_____
*I would like to pause here and say that these very people are some of my most loyal readers and so I would like to make it clear that I think they are So Totally Awesome In Every Possible Way and hope that they understand where I’m coming from when I say that.  The fact of their Total Awesomeness pretty much assures me that they do.

July 28, 2009   1 Comment

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the term

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “WTF face” as the following:

WTF?

*In other news, I am working on getting the second beach week post up, as well as a short video for Rosie’s nine monthday (!!!) and also, maybe you’ve heard me mention the small matter of us moving all our earthly possessions to a new house this weekend.  In other words, YOWZA. 

 

July 27, 2009   No Comments

No Outlet

Yesterday Noah, Rosie and I took a short afternoon stroll to get out of the house and to fill thirty of the 90 jiznillion minutes we have at our disposal every single day. Rosie was riding in style in her hot pink stroller as Noah alternated between lagging behind to balance heel to toe on the curb and racing ahead of us, hair parted down the middle by the wind. We turned up the hill by our house and followed the road to a street in our neighborhood whose dead end is separated from a busy highway by only a few yards of trees. “Mama, I hear the cars!” Noah said, skipping ahead.

The cars were loud, but the street, being a dead end, was quiet. No one was out in their yard, no one drove by. And I was struck then by the fact that it felt like I was walking down a metaphor for the way I’ve been feeling about life lately. I wouldn’t call what I’m doing a dead end by any means, but the sense of having nowhere to go is real and constant. Every day I’m home with the kids I hear those cars in the distance. And I imagine the people in them, headed to meetings, to appointments, to jobs, to social scenes. They are strategizing, moving, creating, important.

And I am in my house. Folding towels. Changing diapers. Cutting up hot dogs. Sweeping the floor.

Now I’ll just take a break and serve up the big fat I Know What You’re Going To Say sandwich: what I do is important. Raising small people is valuable work.  Half those cars I hear are filled with people going to clean prison toilets with toothbrushes. Etc. I am aware of all these things and more.

But sometimes it’s hard not to feel like life is happening without me.

And to prove I did, in fact, receive a PhD in Hypocrisy, you might recall that I’ve said several times that the reason I left medical school was so that this life I’m living now wouldn’t happen without me.

Oh you double-edged sword. Fuck off.

Summertime has notoriously put this feeling into stark relief for me, since that is the time I am home all day with Noah, and now this year, with Noah and Rosie. And this week has been easier than most, being the week right after a long vacation. It took me four and a half years, but I finally figured out that making a schedule (like actually writing one down on paper) for each day not only makes the day go easier for Noah, but also for me. I’ve actually accomplished a few things.  Packed some boxes. Cooked dinner every night. Established a good nap schedule for Rosie. Etc, etc., etc. Actually, one of the best things that has come out of this week is the discovery that if I feed Rosie exclusively from a bottle, it cuts the amount of swearing I have to stop myself from doing down to about an eighth of the previous amount. So profoundly has this changed my relationship with her that I wish I could go back three months, hand my three-month-ago self a bottle, slap myself in the face and say “Put that boob away, you moron.” It is that much better between us.

But the fact that I still feel this stuck feeling in the midst of so much stay-at-home success is shining a thousand watt bulb into my soul and making me ask myself What’s next? Because I am feeling very acutely that there is Something That Is Next. And it’s ok with me if my car has a back seat full of car seats.

I just need some open road.

July 22, 2009   11 Comments

Beachaikus: Part 1

Trying to write about a two week vacation in one blog post feels kind of like trying to summarize an entire set of Britannica Encyclopedias into a five minute Powerpoint presentation.  (Slide 1! Aardvarks: nocturnal, native to Africa! Slide 2! Malaysia: country in Southeast Asia! Slide 3! Zygoptera: insect also called Damselfly! Slide 4! The End!) I mean, first of all, Noah got IN the water, a fact which deserves its very own post, but if I gave that as much time as it deserved I wouldn’t have time to tell you about the dolphin sex, or the giant roach on my lap, or the alligator I hit with my kayak oar, or the rainstorm on the beach, or the ghost crab I pimp slapped, or how much sand Rosie can ingest in five minutes flat.  Therefore, I am splitting it into two and will do a brief rundown of Week 1 today and will continue with Week 2 later.   (Flickr photos are updated through Week 1, Week 2 pics will be posted at the same time as that post.)

Also, it will be entirely in haiku form. Ready? Ok!

_______________________________

Rosie saw the sea
For the first time, and her face
Said it all: DADGUM.

Whoa

________________________________

Last year the closest
He got was ten feet from shore.
Miracles happen.

In the water 2In the water

In the water 4

________________________________

Brownies are a must
On vacation but make sure
You reserve a spoon.

brownie makers

______________________________

Get near my baby
Again and I will knock you
Into next Tuesday.

Ghost crab

_______________________________

‘Twas love at first sight
The fateful day Noah met
That grand game: Putt-Putt.

Lighthouse putt

_____________________________

Unyielding they dug,
Each hoping to be the first
One to glimpse China.

Holes

______________________________

There’s only one word
To describe this motley crew
And it’s Family.

Good neighbors

July 19, 2009   4 Comments