Oh yeah, then there is this guy

So yeah, sorry to have not posted about Jack in a while. He is obviously doing awesome. These are the pictures I took at 10 months….well two weeks ago now….eh he is still technically 10 months. I can’t believe how fast the time is going. Next month I am going to have to seriously start thinking about that whole first birthday party issue…to throw or not to throw that is the question.

Let’s see, what’s going on with him? He’s got two teeth now…..so a little less behind than he was at 8 months. Someone…..and if I find this person I might punch them in the mouth….taught him how to shriek. It is both hilarious and annoying. It is hilarious when you are at home and he shrieks to call the dogs over to lick the inside of his mouth or to pass them his teething cookie. It is annoying when you are out in public and you are the fucker with the shrieking kid….and of course he likes to use his “skill” at random quiet moments. Sort of his way of saying ‘eh it is too quiet here…watch this shit’.

I guess annoying isn’t really the right term. It is still hilarious when he does it in public. Embarrassing might be closer to what the feeling is. He is starting to realize that “shhh” means to stop shrieking. So hopefully we will find a happy medium.

Breastfeeding a 10 month old is more interesting than say like a 3 month old. When they are 3 months, you are the boob handler…..which makes sense since you own the boob. When you feed a 10 month old, you are sometimes shocked to realize how coordinated and cognizant they are. It is definitely weird when I undo my nursing top, Jack crawls over and simultaneously face dives towards my boob and grabs it with his hands to achieve his preferred position. I find myself almost with my hands up saying ‘whoa there hey?’. Then I realize that was the point of the exercise….soooo it is just weird. On the one hand you find yourself thinking – way to go buddy you’re getting so big….on the other hand you are thinking – is this really inappropriate?.

Despite only having 2 teeth, the kid is done with baby food. It has been like that since before his first tooth was really prominent. So now he is eating pretty much what we eat….the soft stuff at least. Grilled cheese, real oatmeal (again baby oatmeal just pisses him off), he fucking loves black beans and rice. We were eating at a Mexican restaurant for a friend’s birthday and I thought I was going to have to fight him away from eating all of my beans.

Oh and if you still have a shit ton of baby food and don’t know what to do with it here’s a tip (which you probably already know but whatever): I add it to quinoa, rice, etc to help make it less dry and easier for him to swallow and what not.

The cow milk transition is going great. He had no issues what-so-ever with it. He is still getting a bit of a mixture, but we’re down to 1/4 breast milk 3/4 cow. He also seems to be done with bottles, so we are in the transition to sippy cups and when I help, real cups. The little dude loves to drink like a grown up, even though most of it ends up everywhere except his stomach. But it is hard to resist letting him drink out of my cup when after each “drink” he smiles with such a great sense of accomplishment on his face. Like ‘look at me! I am drinking from a cup!’. It is hilarious. I don’t have the heart to tell him that he sucks at it…..good thing he doesn’t really understand english yet.

He isn’t walking yet, but I think he is probably getting close. He now has the ability to get up the stairs, oh and off the couch. The first time he did it I almost had a heart attack whilst diving toward him to grab him, but he nonchalantly crawled towards the edge, flipped his feet over the edge, leaving his hands on the couch and slid down. I tried to wipe the panicked look off my face when he looked at me. I was like ‘wow, good job dude!’. Andy has confirmed that not every attempt is that successful, but all the ones I have seen have ended sans face plants.

I could obviously go on and on about him, but I mostly just wanted to confirm that I have still maintained the ability to keep him alive.

Aunt DeenieWeenie

I did something that made me feel like my mom’s spirit was just shooting right through me. That sounds weird…..like some sort of traveling tent church service where they bring out snakes and blind people can suddenly see and what not. Anyone have a tamborine? Those things rock…..why don’t we have tamborines to beat on a regular basis?

Anyway back to the point: so when we were at our family reunion in Louisiana, at the end of the big dinner, everyone gathered around. The organizers thanked everyone for coming and they handed out door prizes for the ones who traveled the furthest, the youngest, the oldest, etc. This year they handed out a gift to my mom’s youngest sister. They called her the reunion helper. Talked about how she was so excited about the reunion and to taste everyone’s cookin’ (basically you should read this as, she is someone who won’t shut the hell up on FB and wanted everyone to cook her a shit ton of cajun food when she arrived, wanted everyone to give them their best kept secret recipes, wanted them to put her and her girls up in their houses and take them around New Orleans…..she even stayed in someone else’s cabin rather than stay with our immediate family. Whatever- soapbox) So anyway, I really didn’t give a crap about the whole thing, but I could tell my other aunt kind of did.

There are no middle children in my family. It is just the Big Butter and myself, but I can totally understand the issue of being the middle child. My mom was always super sensitive to her middle sister, I think she always tried to make her feel special and give her extra attention since obviously my youngest aunt stole most of the parental attention….those fucking youngest children….ahem…..Anyway, I could almost read it on my aunt’s face when they handed a beautiful platter that was custom printed with “__ Family Reunion 2012”.

If I were in my aunt’s brain I would say ‘here I am being a good girl and acting appropriately and there she is trapsing around expecting everyone to do everything for her and they gave her a fucking platter?!’……okay my aunt would not say “fucking”…..but if I were her, I totally would.

My uncle….technically also a middle child, but since he was the only boy obviously he got special treatment as well…so sort of like another youngest….went around and figured out where the platter came from and if he could get one as well.

Back up a smidge, earlier in the day, one of the cousins handed me $60 cash because apparently both my uncle and I had paid in twice for our families. I guess I sent a check earlier and then forgot about it, so I sent a second one in September or something? I tried to refuse the money, but they insisted. Then I tried to give it to my uncle and he asked me to hold on to it to help cover groceries and gas and what not.

So anyhoodles, he came up to me and asked if I might want to have a platter made. They had told him that $30 would cover shipping and making them….so with 3 twenties in my pocket it was either two or nothing. So I was like ‘sure that sounds good’ and I handed over the money. Fast forward a few months and last week I got an e-mail from my cousin (probably more like my 4th cousin or something) and she said the platter was ready to ship. I thought about it for a bit and then gave her my aunt’s address.

Here’s the thing, it isn’t like I wouldn’t have enjoyed the platter. It was quite nice. It was simple, square and elegant, it had a fleur de lis and attractive font (I am a font snob). It would have been a nice cheese or appetizer tray. I knew it wouldn’t just sit in the back of my cupboards or anything….but I knew that it would mean way more to my aunt than it would to me. I knew it would make her feel special and I knew that it is something my mom would do. So that is what I did.

My aunt called me when it arrived and she was in tears. She said it was the most thoughtful gift and she was so happy. I told her I thought she should have one too, I was so glad she liked it and then I had to quickly get off the phone because I was starting to cry too. Over a stupid fucking $30 platter.

I couldn’t believe how happy, sad, and glad it made me feel all at once. I wanted to tell her that I thought that my mom would have wanted me to do that for her….but obviously I couldn’t….I think she knew though. She told me a long time ago that I am so much like my mom that it makes her feel like she is still here. So I think she knew.

Betty, Herb and Me

As you dudes know, I signed up for a digital photography class through the rec center and then found out it was being held at the senior center. I joked about how it would be hilarious to be in a class full of elderly folks…..turns out it was no joke at all. Aside from “Hillary” (you should know I got there after everyone apparently introduced themselves, so all the following names are made up), who was a late 30s know-it-all type….you know the ones….the ones who have to open their mouths and say something while the instructor is talking….yeah she is that girl. Okay listen…I realize my classroom expectations were a little high for a rec center class, but seriously raise your hand….or at minimum wait for the teacher to finish her thoughts.

Anyway, Hillary was the only one in my “weight class” everyone else was in the 60 to dead category. First off, I had to rush through a belly dancing classroom to get to the room. That was fun. I followed the signs that said “senior center entrance” and then saw the sign on the door that said “photography in room B”. Coolio. I just didn’t realize that the cafeteria/gathering space where said belly dancing class had just begun sat between me and room B. At first I backed out of the door quickly and quietly….there had to be another entrance. I spotted another door and scooted over there – “exit only!” -mother effer……there was only one option……it had to be done. With my head held low and an apologetic look on my face, I walked as fast as I could through the dance class.

And what the fuck did I find on the other side? Another fucking door. You have to be kidding me. Granted this door was only visible from the street-front side of the center and not the parking lot. But eff me. Whatever. I popped into the class as everyone was finishing up their monologues about why they were taking the class…..so I missed that.

Right away the instructor was like ‘you must be Natalie, tell us how long you have had your camera and what you want to do with it’. I entered into a 5 sentence description as I slipped off my coat and unpacked my obnoxiously red camera…..apparently real photographers only buy black ones. Whatever. I said that I was pretty comfortable with the automatic settings, but wanted to learn how to manually manipulate my camera and sort of get a refresher course from my 8 year-old knowledge from a class I took in college……I looked like such an asshole.

If I had been there early, like Hillary and the retirees, I would have heard about their goals from the class….which after we got started became blatantly clear to me. They had all just bought digital cameras and wanted to learn how to use them…..like what does the setting with the mountain picture mean….I am a fucking ass. I sat their quietly and patiently as the instructor explained how to find the flash release button and what each of the scene settings were for.

“Herb” was effing adorable. I can tell he and I will be friends. Herb was the only one not sporting a DSLR, so he spent a considerable amount of time talking down about his camera. I wanted to be like ‘Herb, don’t you worry, your camera is just fine!’. Herb was also hard of hearing and asked the instructor to repeat what she said a few times and spell things out. Poor Herb. Now I am no digital photography teacher…obviously…but if I were I might not start out a course by talking about how everyone should think about investing in Photoshop Elements to do their editing. Okay it is pretty darn obvious Herb isn’t going to become some crazy photo editor…..Herb probably has to have his grandkids dial his cell phone for him. His “camera case” consisted of a 50-year-old box that looked like it used to hold 8 tracks (if you have to google “8 track” right now then you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog. Because it means I am a way old lady compared to you). If Herb has a computer, by some stroke of pure chance, he probably uses it to e-mail his kids once a month so they know he is still alive. Anyway Herb is the man.

Betty is an adorable grandmother. She was wearing a pink sweatshirt that was bedazzled with a bear and other shit. But what sweatshirt is complete without the white collared shirt underneath? Betty should be a lesson to us all though. Laying out in the sun may seem like a good idea when you’re 16, but when you’re 60 that damage is going to show back up. At my first quick glance of her I was like ‘Holy fuck, don’t stare! I think she may have been in a fire!’. But upon closer inspection I think that was just long-term sun damage. Scary. She was sweet though and I will probably see if she wants to join a knitting club with me after these photography classes are over.

Bill was my compadre. He was like me, not a whole lot to say, just listen and absorb. As the instructor moved her way about the room we both studied our manuals for more information. I think Bill and I will get along just fine.

The instructor was the effing best guys. So here’s an example of how a photo class in Colorado might be different from your own state: as she was explaining how low-light night shots can be very difficult to keep stable, she started talking about pushing the slide release button. “It is like shooting a gun, you don’t just pull the trigger back abruptly, you ease it back slowly and evenly….same with the release button”. You are all probably mortified, but I looked at her with a new respect I hear ya Mary, good analogy!

 

How does this work?

I have officially migrated!….please be patient I am figuring this shiz out…..and it is happening slowly because my brain is full right now.

Welcome to the New and improved? “I was told there would be pajamas!”. So exciting! I feel like we should open a bottle of champagne and get some fancy cheeses or something. Eh, well at minimum let’s get some chocolate. Deal?

 

TVT the schizophrenic edition

  • Shit is crazy up in here!
  • Work is crazy, which makes everything else feel crazy. What happened? Everything was dead slow around the holidays I thought I was going to die of boredom and now I am sitting here thinking ‘stupid, you had it so good just a few weeks ago and you were sad that you were bored. Look what you asked for’. It is good….I think….it will be good. I will survive. Is it Friday yet?
  • I think it might finally be time to hit the slopes. Sure there isn’t an epic amount of snow up there, but it is mid-January and I want to ski…..and it has been 2 years since I was last attempting to look like I know what I am doing. So I think I am going to go.
  • It is also possible that I am overwhelmed by extracurricular activities. I have a groupon for 3 horse-riding lessons and the lady keeps e-mailing me about it. I have 4 lift tickets burning a hole in my down jacket. And next week….I think? have to check, I start my photography class. I am tired just thinking about it all.
  • I want pizza….so we are getting some for dinner tonight. Some things in life can be simple.
  • Ready to laugh at me? So I got a pair of five fingers….this is going to make me sound athletic, which you know that I am not really, but I got them for a good purpose. When I run (woohoo up to 2 miles bitches!!) I get some foot pain from the fact that my pinky toes like to hang out under the….ring toes? whatever. Anyway. So I got me some vibrams, even though they are ridiculously expensive, in the hopes that it will straighten my toes out. Well yesterday I went for my first run in them. Yowza, did that require the use of different muscles, let me tell you. I am a little tender. But honestly not as bad as I thought, so I am excited for round 2 today. I am happy to report although my calves and….front lower leg muscles? (ask someone else) are sore, my feet feel awesome. So laugh all you want, I think it was a good investment.
  • Gotta go! Happy Thursday!

Slight Change of… Change

Some interesting things are happening up in this here house. I don’t have a firm grasp on them yet and I find my brain all discombobulated.

The doodalood is reassessing his career path. The new possibilities could be very beneficial to our little family unit….they are just different than our original plans. It is a strange kind of sitch. Basically he is re-evaluating whether he wants to really work internationally….which given his major of International Affairs and what not it is kind of a big game changer.

Spending the last…..6 years I suppose…. discussing and preparing myself for the possibility of the dude working overseas…it is kind of weird that basically he sat down and spoke the words I have always wanted to hear ‘I want to be home with you and Jack’. Turns out Jack is the game-changer in this scenario.

Obviously parenthood is a huge change for us both, so it makes sense that it would have a changing effect on the Doodalood’s future plans. I can’t really say I am disappointed….I think I am still just kind of stunned. Does that make sense?

Not stunned in a bad way and not even in a major way….minorly stunned? Is that possible? There were some really not ideal scenarios that might come along with Andy’s international plans. The worst case scenario would be him being stationed long-term at an embassy in a not-so-friendly-to-civilians country and us remaining here without him. Something I wouldn’t have liked, but something I was preparing myself to live with. The dream scenario would have been all of us moving over there, thus my Africa post…..but in reality?…I am not sure that would have happened for some time. Most likely we’d be in an un-ideal scenario for a while until a situation arose that allowed for the ideal scenario. That could be years or you know…never.

But again, I was mentally prepared for all of this stuff….or at least I like to think I was. In reality it has been almost 8 years since his last deployment and now we have a spawn and what not. But I imagine it is like riding a bike, you get back into the swing of things.

Obviously after years of mental preparation and finally getting to the point where I think to myself ‘we can do this, he should be able to live his dream, it will all work out’….now game change. We don’t have all the deets ironed out. And there really is no guarantee that he will for sure be changing his course….but it is looking like that is the way things are headed.

So I am happy?….I mean I am, I am totally happy about the change in career decision. But I am also finding myself a little sad because of the dreams I had. I imagined if we couldn’t be together that we would meet him in exotic places like Fiji, or Greece, or Egypt and spend a month together. Perhaps Jack and I would move to Europe to be a bit closer.  I would get a job preserving some really old shit and Jack would wear a little leather backpack and I would pick up baguettes from the bakery and…..yeah okay. So I have an overactive imagination.

Most likely that is not at all how our life would go. Jack will eventually start school and want to play soccer and go to camp, we won’t have a month off to go meet dad in Fiji and we’d be too caught up in life to move to another country…..I know that is the more practical way of things. But I find myself mourning the dreams a bit.

Weird. This is a weird brain to be in right now. How can I be happy and kind of sad all at the same time? I guess I am sad because I worry Andy is giving up a piece of himself. His dream……but then again, maybe it wasn’t truly his dream. Maybe it was just a nice thought, sort of like my baguettes. Maybe now we are getting to the crux of what he wants out of life……and obviously I am ecstatic that what he wants out of life is to be with us more than anything else. Because I feel the same way.

Effity Eff Eff

Is anyone else having retarded Blogger issues? When I click my reader to get to people’s blog posts, sometimes the screen will just be white. If I go to their main page and then click on the comments to write something obviously awesome and hilarious, the screen freezes. This is probably why so many people are making the migration to word press. I might just have to join in on the fun. Effity eff eff blogger. Get ur shit together.