Thursday, July 28, 2011

The First 1st Birthday Party

Koley had his first (of three) birthday parties on Sunday.  It was a dog theme.  That theme was picked strictly on the fact that Koley can say "dog."  He loves to hear dogs, point at dogs, pet dogs, see dogs... anything dog related is right up Kole's alley.  I ordered a cake from Sam's and got them to put a dog on it.  (They said the picture was edible... but I tasted it and it tasted like wet paper towels.  I mean I guess you can eat wet paper towels if you want to but they aren't any good.)  The cake was good though.  Yellow cake with strawberry filling and butter cream icing.  FanTAStic. Dare I say, my favorite.  (About half was left after the par-tay and me and Ken ate it within 36 hours... yeah... good.)

Koley got his own cake.  Being one and all.  Ken didn't totally think he'd go for it because Kole doesn't like sticky things... but we all do crazy things for sweets.  The boy had cake everywhere.  In his hair, eyebrows, ears, belly button, arm pits, and in between his toes.  I was so proud of him.  He likes sweets just like hims mama.
When I was growing up, the rule for birthday parties was- you can invite Grandma and one friend. But I'm running my own house now and I'm a big softie and let Kole invite 2 friends.  He invited Colton and Taylee and they were party animals!  Literally.

Kole hasn't grasped the concept of presents.  Luckily, Colton was there to help because Kole was happy as can be just... sitting on his gifts.  People look at me funny when I sit on gifts but Kole got a lot of laughs.

This was his first present.  I sat it next to him and he just looked alllll around.  Like there was nothing there.   I asked my mom, "How do I make him open it?" 
It was a gorgeous day to celebrate my gorgeous son.  I amso proud of him and Ken and myself. 
I'm still riding that confidence wave.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Simply Irresistible

Anytime we had balloons (so basically just on some one's birthday) my sisters and I would stuff them in our shirts and back of our pants.  Then we would have big ole' boobies and butts!  We completed the ensemble with shawls, old lady slippers, knitted hats, and I apparently thought a kazoo would be appropriate. I think we honing in on the old ladies at church.

And when that got old.....
I'm the little one in blue.  And, yes, that's a bungee cord holding that robe on.

Do you see why I want girls?  I don't think I could get Koley to do this.  I don't think Kenmo would approve.

Monday, July 18, 2011


All day today I have been looking at the clock going:
"It's ten to 10.  We were getting ready to head over to the hospital."
"It's 10:05.  We were driving to the hospital. I was telling Ken,'Don't speed, don't speed, don't speed.  I don't want to get pulled over."
"It's 1:00.  They wheeled in that tray of baby delivering stuff.  They broke my water."
"It's 5:46.  I was pushing."

My mom told me I would do this today.  I think it's just natural.  She also said that on the baby's first birthday it's really the mom that deserves the cake and the presents.  I would have to agree.  But I'm a big cake lover.  And who doesn't love presents.

I have felt a current of emotions today.
Starting with proud.
I am proud my little man can do all that he can.  He really impresses me.  He is sharp as a tack.  Loves to point at dogs, planes, me, Dad, food (especially oaties), and books.  I am proud that he is a lovey baby who wants to snuggle all the time.  I am proud that he is determined to reach his goals.  I know they are only little baby goals... like get the blue ball and push it into the kitchen but he tries really hard to reach them and never gives up.  That makes me proud of him.  I'm proud that he is a good sleeper and a good eater.  I am proud that he is not a complainer and I like to think I taught him that.  Though, truth be told I'm pretty sure he inherited that from his Dad.  I am also proud of myself.  For doing this.  For becoming a mom.  I consider myself one now.  I'm proud of how I raise Kole.

I've been a little teary today.
I feel like I am losing my little baby.  He has no idea that he is one now and a "toddler" but he is.  I miss holding him all day and taking naps together in the big bed.  I miss all his little teeny tiny soft cries and his little fold up bath tub.  I miss his tiny clothes (even though they were never that small).  I miss setting him on the bed and knowing he will be there no matter what.  I miss having Koley as my baby.  I remember Day 1.  It seems like Day 1 was yesterday I remember it so well.

Finally, I have felt extremely confident today.
I did it.  I made it through a whole year.  All the crying (on both of our parts), and worry, and learning, and growing, and adapting, and change... I did it.  I feel like "Bring It On July 19th!  I already did your day once and I can do it again."  I am confident that I am doing the right thing in the right way and no one knows better than I do when it comes to Koley Moley Stromboli.  He is my son.

And he is one today.
It has been a very good year.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Failing a Swim Test

Yesterday I took Koley to a local pool.  You have to pay to get in and they only let you swim for an hour and a half before the blow the whistle, make everyone get out of the pool, and recharge you if you want to get back in.  Sorta lame- but with a little one- and it being a real scorcher yesterday- I knew an hour and a half would be just the ticket.  I brought my little neighbor girl, Jasmine, with me.
The pool is roped off in 3 sections and forms an "L".  The shorter bottom part of the "L" is the kiddie section.  It goes from 2-3 feet.  Then when you start up the long leg of the "L" about three quarters of it is for adolescents I guess (?)  it's 4-5 feet.  And then there is one more rope and past that rope it goes up to 10 feet and there is a diving board.  I know, heaven on earth, right?  That's where I like to hang out.  Or did before the Kole-one.  The deep end.  Where the wild things are.
In order to go into the deep end or jump off the diving board you have to pass a swimming test.  I'm not kidding.  No matter how old you are you have to wait in line by the lifeguard and then swim the width of the pool.  Which might be 20 feet?  Piece of cake.  Piece of crumb cake.  (name that movie Julie and Andi)
So...yesterday I am there and I give Koley to Jasmine because I want to do a cannonball.  And, lucky me, there is no line for the swimming test.  Now, one more thing... I had a pool growing up.  I know how to swim.  I know the strokes.  I swam everyday I was in Germany for exercise.  I swim laps.  I'm an astute swimmer and find this test to be silly and ridiculous if you are over let's say 12 years old.  I ask if I can take the test and the girl (maybe 16...dressed like she's 19..all tan with her tank hanging off one shoulder... and HUGE glasses.. chewing on a straw) anyway, she nods.  I swim effortlessly from one side of the pool to the other.  Perfect strokes, even breathing, loving that water gliding over me.  I even showed off a little and did one of those flip kicks like the Olympians do on the other side to head back.  I mean A+ job right?
I stop and look up at the lifeguard smiling.
"You have to do it again.  You didn't keep your head in the water," she informed me.
What?!  Didn't keep my he- "Excuse me?"
"You have to re-take it.  You need to keep your head down in the water."
"Why would you want me to keep my head in the water?  I can't breathe like that.  I was taught to turn with the strokes (pantomimes stroke and head turn) it makes sense.  The point of swimming is being able to keep your head above the water not in it."  That was my defense atleast.

She raised her eyebrows.  "I'm not letting you in the deep end until you pass."
"I just passed."
"No.  You didn't.  Like I said you didn't keep your head in the water.  You failed."

I look around.  A line of kids is forming.  And they are watching me.  Fine.
I head back across the pool with my head flat down in the water but it feels so unnatural.  And I can't breathe or see and I don't know where I am.  I feel like I am flopping like a hooked fish.  I tread water for a second while I glance up to see how far I have to go.  "HEAD DOWN!"  Eeeeks! Swim swim swim.  I reached the other side and paused for a second.  Touched the bottom and started back.  I ran right into the wall because again- I had no idea where I was in the pool.
I was angry and embarrassed.  There were about 10 kids in line all looking at me.  Waiting for me to get out of their way so they can start having fun.  I doubt any of them know how to swim the right way.  They might be able to stay afloat but hey are not English Channel material
The lifeguard says, "You touched the ground."
"Yes.  I did for like a second."
"And you stopped in the middle."
"I didn't know where I was."
"You have to re-take it."
"You have to re-take it."
"I'm not re-taking this stupid test.  I know how to swim.  I think I have proved that.  When I go off the diving board I know I'll be able to swim to the side.  Trust me!  I can swim and I'm not swimming across this pool for a THIRD time!"
"Then, I'm going to kick you out and not let you swim at all.  Rules are rules, ma'am."

I was fuming.  1.  I hate it when people (especially people younger than me) call me ma'am.  I'm not even in my late twenties yet!  That hardly qualifies me as a "ma'am."  2.  Rules are rules but this one is so stupid.  I get that they don't want little kids not knowing how to get from the middle of the pool to the side of the pool in the deep end.  Safety first and bravo.  But I'm a qualified swimmer.  And, yes, I touched at the edge, and I stopped to see where I was- but I made it there and back without drowning.  That should be a gold star and a "Pass."  3.  Quit humiliating me.

I didn't say any of that to her.  I just glared. All the kids in line started splashing impatiently.
I simply started back across the pool.  Head down.  Feet up.  Pissed off.

I only went off the dumb diving board once.
And that lifeguard girl stared at me the whole time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Got Schooled

One closet can take several days to clean out.... especially if there happens to be yearbooks or boxes of pictures stored in there.  I found a big box of pictures and have been parked in one spot going through them and smiling and laughing.  Enjoy some Patty Classics from School Picture Day! 

Kindergarten.  This may be my all-time favorite.  That big black bow had diamonds on it and was made of silk!  

5th grade.  Ruler of the School!
6th grade.  I remember I specifically wanted to wear an outfit that matched the bands on my braces.  Which were pink at the time.  That explains the pink country-style body suit I was wearing.  I'm afraid there is no explanation for the vest.  Other than I loved that vest.  May I also comment on the very statuesque collar bone I have here.  Gorgeous.  Very Somewhere In Time.
 8th grade.  Can you tell I got contacts and was allowed to wear makeup?  I felt so pretty and confident this day.  (Just go with me here.)  I stole the shirt out of my sister Krissy's closet and felt like a grown up.  
Line up boys!
(Later I got in boo-ko trouble... because Krissy also wore this shirt for her school picture and when my pictures came back.... well.... it was obvious I stole it for a day.  Pretty damning evidence.  Didn't think that through at the time.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wud Up Gangsta!

I don't hide in corners.  It's not my style.  I try to live openly.  And honestly.  But there are some things I just keep secret.  One such thing- that I have been dwelling on lately.... I just have to let it out.
My affinity for rap music.
I know it doesn't go with my nurturing roots, mothering style, or top-notch spic n span home.  You probably thought I blasted Michael Bolton all day.
Nay nay.
I am in love with 50 Cent.
I thought I was over it but this weekend I had to run to the grocery store and got to go by myself.  No baby.  (Those babies want to go everywhere with you.)  And I could not resist the temptation.
In went Fiddy.
Up went the bass.
I loved it like a fat kid loves cake.

It was enchanting.
Plus... he's got such a handsome face.

He's an incredible lyricist.  I'm an incredible sing/rap-a-long-ist.
We make a pretty good team.

And I bought the CD at Walmart... oh so many years ago so there was really very little swearing.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wish I Was Raving- but I'm Ranting.

I had a house showing today.  My house has been on the market for almost a year.  It has showed at least 50 times.  That is not a joke.  I have scrubbed this place top to bottom fifty freakin' times.  With a baby, that's not easy.  Yesterday my perky realtor called and asked if she could show it today. 
I always get my hopes up.  So from yesterday at about 3 to this morning at about 9 it was scrub, scrub, scrub.  (I also tended to Koley and slept for 7 hours.)  The place "pinged" when you looked at it.  We left for an hour so the people could look at it.
Janny called at about 3 today.  "They loved you house!  They really, really love it.  Especially the wife."

I am waiting to hear And they have put together an offer!  Would you like to come in so we can discuss it?

Janny continues, "They just want to mull it over.  You know him haw around a bit.  Sit on it for a couple days.  Think it all over."

Do they teach them these euphemisms in Realtor School?  I took it as a no-go. I asked her when she would get in touch with them again.  I wondered if their him hawing would be a day or two or a month or two.  She said she would give them until next Monday or Tuesday and then call.  And then she says this:
"You know, Patty?  Just one little tip that I think would really help your house to sell..."

I'm all ears Janny.

"The baseboards at the bottom of your basement stairs look like they could use a good scrubbing.  Or a new paint job.  I think that would really help things out."

I swallowed.  And held my tongue.  And quickly said my goodbyes.  I didn't know if I wanted to cry because the entire house is sparkling except for some downstairs baseboards or laugh because Janet thinks if only those baseboards were clean this house would just FLY off the market!
I chose to laugh.  Damn you baseboards.  If only you had been clean this whole time!  A buyer would have offered full price for my house!  But you!  You have ruined everything, dirty baseboards.


I'm a sucker for John Travolta (along Liam Neeson, Jeremy Piven, and Robert Pattinson), but who isn't, right?  I got Phenomenon on my Netflix last weekend.  It was unbelievably cheesy- but the plot outline went something like:  Well-to-do mechanic (Travolta) loves jaded woman (that lady from the Closer) thinks he is abducted by aliens and becomes the ultimate knowledge machine.  He can suddenly read 30 books a day, move things with his mind, learn a language in under 20 minutes, predict earthquakes.... I mean the list goes on and on... break mirrors when he is mad!  The movie goes through how this small hick town processes the new "phenomenon" which was their old friend George O'Malley (John Travolta).

Well, wouldn't you know it, we come to find out that he can do all this now because he has a brain tumor!  And it is enhancing his capabilities to think and learn and act as a human being.  In the movie he said something like "This is what all human have the ability to become."  Anyway the brain tumor is killing him but making him ultra smart and able to do all this outrageous stuff in the mean time.
And you know what I thought?

Why can't my brain tumor do that?
I'd like to find lost kids and shatter glass and throw thunder.  I want to sit at Berkley and create incredible fertilizers and solar panels.
All my stinky brain tumor does is give me headaches, cause irritability, and make me lactate.
Not cool.

Ken reminded me of the perk: Mine isn't killing me.
Yeah- but can't I have the best of both?
If you have to have a brain tumor, admit it, you'd want it to be cool.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Staying On Top Of Things

I'm running behind on my list. My birthday is only35 days away.  Then, I'll be 27.  In my late twenties... blecgh. When I first started this list I felt like an over achiever and I didn't want anyone to think I was trying too hard.  Or being the Teacher's Pet.  No one likes a suck up.  Do we?  So I slowed down and slowed down and have pretty much halted.  Now I am behind.  Isn't that how it goes with everything in life?  We get excited and motivated for like... a day.  Maybe a week and then.... fizzle.  So to catch up:

  1. Dye my own hair
    • Done and done.  It turned out...okay.  I did it reddish black and it turned out really super red where my old dye job was growing out and super super black below that.  Sorta like a skunk dressing up for Valentine's day.  I've been living with it.  But now my grays are growing in (thick).  So it's gray, red, black, and trashy.
  2. Knit a scarf
  3. Decorate a cake
  4. Go swing dancing with Ken
  5. Golf 18 holes
  6. Retry the foods I don’t like (tomatoes are done...yuck.  Mushrooms are done..pretty good!)
    • I am crossing this off because I really don't like trying foods I don't like.  Tomatoes made me cringe and mushrooms were tolerable but not wroth changing my whole way or life.  I drank this Mexican Iced Tea Ken is always raving about and have just decided I know I don't like those foods.  End of story.  I'll promise to be open to things I haven't tried but let's not tie a brand new bow around the same old thing. 
  7. Hike the Menan Butte
  8. Introduce myself to one new person a week
  9. Watch “Casablanca," “Citizen Kane,” and "An Affair to Remember" 
    • I loved an Affair to Remember.  Watch it if you haven't.  It's incredibly romantic and so clean.  Casablanca was a place in Africa!  I had no idea.  I have a dead-celebrity crush on Humphrey Bogart now.  That voice.   Mmmmm.  I can see why it's a classic.  But it left me wanting more lovey dovey-ness.  Citizen Kane is on the Netflix Que.
  10. Get 27 blog followers 
    • I am thanking you.  Onward and Upward Blogettes.
  11. Start a Gratitude Journal
  12. Complete a DIY project
  13. Go to the Hogle Zoo
  14. Do one act of service per week
    • I'm obviously not complete with this until my birthday week- but can report I have fully enjoyed it.  And it's gone way beyond one per week. I've driven my drunk neighbor to doctor appointment, babysat, weeded flower beds, tied quilts, threw surprise baby showers, helped a kid with his bike.  You know, it's hard to stop.  It's like eating chips.  You start and before you know it....
  15. Cook all weekend meals for Ken (this oughtta be funny)
  16. Finish “Gone Away Lake” (This is the only book I have started and not finished.  I started it in 3rd grade.  It's still haunting me!  Gotta track it down)
  17. Plant a tree
  18. Write a letter to the president (heck.  I'll even mail it.)
  19. Play piano solo
  20. Read 5 3 books (2 down! Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and Water for Elephants)
  21. Begin aggressive treatment for the Graves and The Tumor
  22. Run the Firecracker 5k (...eeeks.  I already wish I didn't put this one down.)
    • Um... I didn't do this one.  And I don't feel bad.  It wasn't worth the work and the stress.  I am replacing this goal though.  LEARN THE DANCE TO THRILLER!
  23. Switch to homemade bread
  24. Start my own savings account
  25. Gift a magazine subscription  (I love getting a magazine every month.  I want someone else to feel that happy.....  but whom?
  26. Get my idea patented (And no I am not telling you what my great idea is. You'll just steal it.)
So... I've got a ways to go.  But the fire is lit and I'm not going to get burned this time.  The less time the  more hectic and crazy it'll be.  Bottoms up!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

352 Days

Kole is going to turn one on the 18th.
I know I should be over "it" but I'm just not. I can't even name what "it" is.  But, I still cry about it and dwell on it and try to name it.
The delivery?
11 pounds?
The pain?
The healing?
The hurt?
The emptiness?
The loss?
The longing?
The difference?
The change?
The let-down?
The blues?
The ________?
I am still me but not. I think there was a Patty before Kole and she died July 18, 2010.  And then there has been this Patty.  Who looks like me.  But doesn't think or act like me. She smiles less. Is tired more.  Always agitated and on edge. Hardly ever laughs. She's not spontaneous and won't take risks but complains about never doing anything anymore.  She's not anywhere near as funny as the old Patty.  And she's quiet.  A lot. 
I was reading the journal I have kept for Kole last night and before he came the entries are witty and upbeat and you can feel the radiance and excitement.  And after- it's more of a record.  Facts sprinkled with a few niceties. 
I struggle with this because I love my son, I do.  And I teach him and play with him and make him laugh.  He has a beautiful life. But, something feels gone in mine. 
I've been hopeful that I'll wake up one day and feel my heart beating like hers.  I keep waiting to go back to her.
But I don't think I'll ever be able to.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This Is Our Day of Independence.

Reasons I Dis-Love the 4th of July
1.  Trent, our neighbor kid, started his fireworks at 5:00PM and ended them at 1:00AM.  I can't really put on my angry shorts and march out there on a holiday.  But it got old and I swear it was getting louder.
2.  I don't know the difference between fireworks and firecrackers and am always worried I will refer to either as the other.
3.  I don't have any cool patriotic clothes to wear.  I ended up wearing purple.  For "Purple Mountain's Majesty."  Pretty clever if you ask me...but I had to explain it a lot to fellow patriots.
4.  Kole goes to bed before the big fireworks show.  Deep down I wanted to go but knew it was more important to get Kole down for the night.  I felt like I was giving up all this fun stuff and have been for the past year!  I turned into Crabby Patty pretty quick.
5.  People park us in to our house while the parade is going on.
This picture makes me laugh.  The lady on the right... uh.... who is she?
Why is she posing for my picture?

Reasons I love-LOVE the 4th of July.
1. Cook-outs!  Can I get an amen!  And another round of corn on cob please.
2.  Ken was home for 3 days and made each one special.  Saturday:  Breakfast at Perkins and Rigby Lake, Sunday:  Drive out to the country and special nap for mom.  Monday: Breakfast on the Boulevard, Parade, Shopping, Pool Party, 7-Layer Bean Dip, Sno Cones.  Awesome.
3.  I get to dress Koley in red, white, and blue.. and he's young enough that he won't complain about it.
4.  Ken agreed to do Sparklers with me in the backyard.  What a sweetie.  He also watched A Room With A View with me.  He said numerous times that he thought it was dumb but watched it anyway.
5.  All those patriotic songs to bellow around the house.  "I'm proud to be an AmeriCAN!!"  or how about... "o'er the la-hand of the fa-rrrEEEEEEEE!"