Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Happy Time in Life

1.  Joey is only waking up once during the night.  What the?  When the?  How the?  Beats me and I don't even friggin care at all.  It happened and I am beyond relieved.  I wake up feeling like I can't move I've been sleeping so long.  (<---- 4 hours)

2.  While cutting through what appears to be Devil's Snare trying to get rid of all the dead over growth in my new (really old really overgrown ) backyard I continue to find gems.  And score a little late fall sun.  Aside from the usual gemmies of snakes and empty Gatorade bottles and Walmart bags... I've unearthed a climbing rose bush, purple cone flowers, lilac starts, and a stable!  Okay... the stable wasn't exactly hidden.  But it was back in The Forbidden Pasture.  Which isn't at all verboten.  It's just scary going back there by myself.  You know.  There's.  Like.  Animals back there.  But that little stable is darling enough for me to clean out and make it a club house.

3.  My sister, Teener Weiner, came and spent the night last week and left 4 miniature pints of ice cream.  She was here Thursday.  Just found them today.  Gotta open my freezer more.

4.  I taught Kole how to give Nuggy Noses.  (Learning the alphabet and how to count to 10 can wait.) All on his own he decided that during the giving of a Nuggy Nose it is best to say, "Chuggy, Chuggy, Chuggy." *shakes head, shrugs, smiles*

5.  I carved a jack-o-lantern this year for the first time in many many moons.  The downside is that crap on the inside of pumpkins still makes me itchy.

6.  We bought ourselves flannel sheets for our anniversary.  Oh.  Em.  Gee.  It's like a new bed.  With a radiator built in.  Love it.

7.  I just finished reading The Joy Luck Club.  It was an excellent read.  There was a lot of those Chinese zingers.  You know those one liners where every word has a double meaning and it is deep stuff.  Loved that.  Loving the Chinese culture a little more.  I'm not about to hang swords on the wall or get a tattoo or anything.  But I will recommend The Joy Luck Club.  It says in there that Magpies are considered good luck.  Well guess who has a yard full of Magpies?  Little ol' me.

8.  I signed up for the paper.  I get The Trib.  Man, it makes me feel like an adult.  Reading the paper in the morning while I eat my Cinnamon Toast Crunch. 
Kole checkin out the Toys R Us ads.  Sitting in a chair he invented himself.

9.  If you put enchilada sauce on top of your homemade nachos (you know chips with grated cheese on top- pop in the microwave for 23 seconds)... you'll never go back.  It's like scraping your dish at the end of a good Mexican meal.  A little secret I learned from Table Magazine.

 10.  My mug collection is really taking off.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Heart Melts.

There is something about meeting up with old friends.  What is it?  It's almost like magic.  Somehow, you feel more yourself even though you haven't seen the people for over 10 years.
Today, I had lunch with the Gomes'.  They lived in my neighborhood in Pittsburgh and went to church with us.  Me and Julie used to go to their house in the summer and play Risk.  For hours.  For daaaaays!  She'd bring us bundt cakes on our birthdays and sometimes bring one just for Family Home Evening.  We'd make fun of her because she said "dollars" funny.  She'd walk her Great Dane, Chester by our hosue and let us pet him.  Her boys would swim in our pool and jump on the trampoline.  We had cookouts together.  She knew me during that awkward (and horrendously ugly) teenage stage everyone (but Andi) goes through.  She was at Girls Camp with me.  She sent me money when I graduated.  She used to wear a pretty navy blue dress to church with a big sunflower barrette. I left home, grew up, and Facebook was invented.  We've been playing Words with Friends for a few months now.  Not the same game obviously.  She's really hard to beat, by the way.  She mentioned she was close to my town today and I casually mentioned we should meet up.  And you know?  She made it happen.  That meant so much to me.  We all met for lunch at Caputo's.  Me, Koley, Joey, Sister Gomes, and Brother Gomes.  All there. It felt so good to see them I cried.  I tried internally blaming it on the post-pardum hormones... but in all seriousness I was just overjoyed.  She and her husband bought me lunch (and bought Koley a HUGE chocolate chip cookie), they hugged me, they loved on my kids, they helped me pack up the car.  I felt like I was living on Caryl Drive again. 
And, today, when I was driving home I thought, She helped shape my life.  She helped me become me.  That's powerful.  And a little heavy for this here blog. 

They are good good people.
And it was good good good to be with them today.

Monday, October 22, 2012


It's been 7 years today since me and the Kenmo tied the knot.  I'm really proud of that.
There have been sunny times and rainy seasons.  And a couple friggin' tornadoes.
There have been peaks and there have been valleys.  And a chasm here and there.
It's been a marriage.
A good one.  Where we have to work things out.  And talk through things we'd rather push under the rug.  And sometimes I did slash do push them under the rug... until Ken hangs up a bathroom towel wrong and I explode all over him.
Hmph.  It's a marriage.

I'm not going to go into the rough times make the good times better.  Because our rough times never made our good times better.  They just made the good times further apart!  Wert!  The rough times have made me a more compassionate partner though.  Those are the times when I grit my teeth (or bite my tongue or turn the other cheek) and decide whether or not I'm going to stick it out.  I decided seven years ago I would.  Ken tries his damn-dest to make it easy for me.
I'll admit some of the newlywed-iness has worn off and when I see Vicky and Jenn I miss that period (or maybe I just miss life before kids.)
But there is such a confident comfort in our marriage than I depend on and love.
The white hot passion has turned down to a burning red... sometimes I mild orange... occasionally a pale yellow.  But it's still there.
We have each other for better and for worse.
Which I think is pretty good.
He makes me better.  

Post Script:  I asked Ken if he thought he'd get the 7 Year Itch.  He didn't know what that was.  After I explained it to him I asked again.  His response, "Yeah.  I'm feeling pretty itchy."

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hide Your Kids. Hide Your Wives.

I'm not a bug lover.  I'm not even a bug liker.  I go to great lengths to avoid them and to avoid killing them.  I want them dead but I'm too scared to kill them myself.  Growing up I'd spray them with mousse so they would be trapped and unable to attack me and then beg someone else to kill them.  Later in life I would place cups or bowls over bugs or spiders and leave a Post It note that said, "There is a spider in here."  Yeah.  I was 23.  I did that at work.  As recently as a few weeks ago I texted my neighbor and offered to pay her $5 if she came down and killed a spider.  It's a problem I have.
But... uh... I'm nursing Joey the other day and one of those earwicks (or is it earwigs... I've never known) is climbing up the wall!  Gross!  Kole saw it and smashed it with his bare hand.  He thought it was "awesome."  I thought it "awesome" that I could use Koley to kill bugs for me!  Never thought of that. 
So, one little earwick no big deal. 
A bird feeder was left here and Koley loves to watch the birds (a habit he picked up from Big Grandpa George.) I picked up some bird food for him to feed the birds and we went to fill the feeder up.  Uh... there was like a beehive honeycomb thing IN the feeder.  There were a couple of bees on it but it didn't look like they were moving.  I'm not much of a risk taker so I made up some story about giving the bees a chance to pack up and move out before we fed the birds.  Two days later, Kole was still begging to feed the birds and those bees had not moved.  At all.  They had to be dead.  When Kole went down for his nap I got a broom and unhooked the feeder filled with old bee hives and carried it over to the garbage can... keeping it a safe 5 and a half feet away from me.  Well, I eventually had to open it to dump the dead bees out.  I opened it and jumped back.  Which was a good move.  Because the bees weren't dead.  Or maybe they were zombie-bees  because they came right back to life.  And started creeping around the inside of the feeder.  Lifting their scary wings and buzzing in unison.  I know they were chanting danger calls to get other bees to attack me.  It took about 25 minutes but I eventually got the three bees off the feeder.  I tried moving the feeder with the broom over and over and they just crawled right a long the side... like those lumberjacks that run on logs.  It was terrifying.  Once they were off the feeder I left it on the driveway and went inside to recompose myself and let my heart return to a normal pace.  By the next day I felt it was safe to access the feeder.  Kole and I filled it, hung it back on it's post, and not a single bird has shown up.
2 mornings ago I opened the floor length curtains over the back sliding door to let that morning country light in and Kole started his normal, "Good morning trees!  Good morning grass!  Good morning..." he was about to say bushes when a big old black spider made it's way out of the curtains towards Kole's head!  I screamed and pushed him out of the way.  The spider fell and I instinctively stomped on it 25 or 30 times.  Then vacuumed it up.  Just in case. The things we do to protect our kids, huh?  Kole cried because I pushed him "for no good reason."  Pa-LEASE!  No good reason?  If it weren't for me he would have had a spider in his hair.  All day.  Because there was no way I was going to pick it out.  It probably would have made a little hair web and laid spider eggs in there.  Psht.  No reason?  Whatever!  Ungrateful kid.
I was taking some trash out and on my way back in I noticed the biggest hobo spider ever was perched on the window pane by my front door.  Being the peacemaker I am, I walked around and used the back door.  From the inside I sprayed the cracks by the door with insect repellent... because spiders always use the door right?  I mean especially country spiders with all that country charm.    Later, me and the boys had to go to the store to pick up some milk.  The front door was obviously off limits with that spider perched there. So, I told Kole we'd go through the back yard.  He wasn't opposed.  So, we're walking through the grass and I am feeling good about not having to see that disgusting spider when I look down and what do I see?  A snake.  Kole sees it too and he's all scared.  His voice gets shaky and he asks, "Mom?  What's that?"
In my head I am going, Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh.  A snake. A snake.  A snake.  What do I do?  What do I do?  What do I do?
Out loud I say, "Hey look!  A little snake.  Hello, Mr.  Snake.  What are you doing by our house?  You need to go to your house!"
Again in my head going, "A snake.  Oh my gosh.  What do I do?  Red touches black... you're dead jack?  Red touches yellow you're a dead fellow?  You die either way?  What about green touching black?  Or is that light green and dark green? I think you die either way.  Oh my gosh.  What do I do?  A snake.  A snake.  A snake."
Kole looks at me.  I smile so he smiles and says, "Yeah.  Go to your house, Snake!"  Kole starts ducking down to get close to it.
"Give him some space, Koley.  He's probably just trying to figure out how to get home."
"Yeah.  You're right Mom.  Give him some space."
"That's right.  And remember, he's more afraid of us then we are of him."
And you know, when I said that, I realized that that is a lie parents tell their kids.
The snake did slither away after a few seconds and I ran to the car and locked all the doors.  You know, just in case that snake tried opening the handles.
He came back to play trucks with Koley later that day.
At least that's the lie I told Kole.
This picture was safely taken behind glass doors.
If only I spoke Parseltongue.

It seems like I have seen the worst of it.
Or at least that's what I thought until yesterday when I was outside playing hide and seek with Kole and I spotted this:

Not Joey's hand prints I can tell you that!  Could be Chimera.  Or Chupacabra.
Pray for us.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Three Month Columnist

Hi.  It's Joey.  Being a full 3 months of age now I feel it necessary (not to mention needed) to clear my name.  That tenderest of tender names that my dearest mother has apparently pulled through the stinky, slimy mud.
I am a good baby.
Somewhere in the last 90 days I've gotten a bad rap.  Unjustly, may I add.  May I remind you that it takes time to adjust to being alive.  It takes time to adjust to all the lights and noise and weird feelings going on.  It takes time to figure out how to make that old mom-bee happy.  Apparently she likes a quiet baby who sleeps all the time.  Well excuuuuuuuse me for breathing!  I am doing my absolute best here.
As proof of my hard work and sincerity in the endeavor of my life I would like to point out that I now have a fairly regular bed time.  6:00.  In the PM. I retire.  That's right.  I am tired at 6 and wish to go to bed.  And I go down without a fight.  Normally without even a slight whimper.  It just feels good to be in my crib in a dark quiet room (without that "Koley" running amok... who is that guy?) I then sleep until at least 1:30 occasionally as late as 3.  Then, and only then, do I politely ask for a little food.  And I mean little.  I'm not trying to step on anyone's toes here.  I don't need you to open the kitchen or call the Ritz.  Just a night cap.  Who doesn't like a night cap? Amiright?
After, I fall right back to sleep and I sleep until 7.  Now.  Deep down I wish mom would come get me and cuddle me right at 7 when I start my bearish grumblings.  But I understand the lady needs rest (selfish broad).  I try my darndest to keep it down... but once the engine is running... I just gotta rev it.  Force of habit I suppose.
I am happy when I am awake.
Aunt Julie may attest otherwise as I had an off day when she was here yesterday.  But, generally, I like to laugh.  Deep, hearty belly laughs.  Especially if you bite my belly or tickle my ribs or sniff really fast around my neck or rub my head.  I love getting my head rubbed.  Sometimes, when mom is changing my outfit I get the giggles just from the shirt popping over my head.  It cracks me up.  You know... if you even just talk to me... chances are I'll give you a courtesy laugh. Yeah.  I'm that good of a guy.
My resume of skills consists of:
Scooting backwards to rub all the hair off the back of my head.
Swatting those dangle-y bugs that light up and sing on my bouncy chair.  They never shush up.
Holding mom's hand.  I'd hold your hand if you came to see me.
Splashing in the tubber.
Rolling over.  (I've done it 4 times.  It's WILD!)
Sitting up on my own.  (not really... but it sounds good, huh?)
I'm a good, good baby.
I like being in my family.
I'm a little wary of the "Koley"  but I can see his heart is good and big.
Please don't believe all the hog-wash my mom puts on here.
She's always telling some sob story or another.
But, dang it, I love her anyway.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Being Greeted.

My local Walmart has two greeters.  They both work the same door (the grocery side) at different times.  They are not good at their job.  First, I can't figure out why Walmart has greeters.  Am I the only one who is uncomfortable around them?  I never know if I should make eye contact.  Does that initiate a "stop and chat?"  They are wearing a name tag.  Should I introduce myself?  Part of my goals from my birthday.... yeah... I set my goals from my birthday.  It's more my year that way.  Part of my goals was to be more open and friendly.  Walmart greeters should be good practice.
One guy, I'll call him Larry.  Is super tall.  I mean, taller than my Dad.  He's probably in his late 70s early 80s.  And for the first...oh I don't know... 45 times I went in and he was there...I nodded at him or said hello or waved.... he PURPOSELY looked at something else.  Um.  Hi.  Your job is to greet ME.  Not the other way around.  I'm stepping out of my comfort zone here can I at least get an eyebrow raise and a half nod my way?  It'd help.  So, this one time I went in... I waved and said, "Hey, Larry!"  and if wasn't all candied pecans and jello jigglers after that.  Now he sees me coming and pulls a cart out for me.  Asks how the little ones are doing.  Asks what I'm running in for.  Sometimes he touches my shoulder.  Eh.  That's a little too much.  Kinda get a little cringe-y there.  But I cracked him.  But it makes me wonder about all the other people who head into Walmart and instead of feeling welcomed by Larry... run past because they haven't broken that barrier yet.
The other guy... we'll call him Mike.  He's impossible.  First.  He's in a wheelchair.  So.  That's awkward for me.  Probably because I can walk and he's always pissed off.  If he looks at you he is scowling.  And, deep down, I've always figured people in wheelchairs really hate people not in wheelchairs even if they put on the whole "Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow" facade.  But this guy, is open about it.  I've tried smiling at him a few times.  Not a good move.  I think he wanted to charge me with his wheelchair.  I mean to him, maybe he is thinking, like, "She's just smiling at me because I'm in a wheelchair and she's trying to make me feel better.  Like a smile can somehow make me walk again."  When really... I'm just doing it because One, I'm scared of him.  Two, It was a goal of mine.  And Three, don't we all try to go out of our way for the disabled?  It would be really cool if Walmart hired a handicapped person and they were really outgoing and fun and said hi to everyone.  I think it would break down some real social barriers.  But to hire a scrooge?  In a wheelchair? (Which I am not against or prejudice towards.... at all... I just think he is going to use his hellacious set of wheels as a weapon.)When I already don't know what to say or how to act or where to look?
What were they thinking?