We have a fly problem here in Boise in the fall. Last year we bought out the fly tape supply at Home Depot. We have used it up this fall, catching at least 50 flies per tape, which looks absolutely lovely hanging over the kitchen island.
Dan has been getting impatient with the fly tape and decided he needed a fly swatter. But not just any fly swatter. He needed the hi-tech fly swatter, one that electrocutes upon smashing into the fly.
I had a feeling these would be the hit of the birthday party. I was right.
The morning started early. All of you moms whose kids sleep past seven, I really have no words to express my jealousy.
Kellen and I have been talking about “bir-day” for the last week, and I think he’s heard about birthdays at daycare… and well, there was that episode on Yo Gabba Gabba. He knew there was a train cake downstairs, so he told me “bir-day bir-day” as we went downstairs. He was so distracted that he missed all his presents on the dining room table:
That ball drop maze thing I bought at the consignment sale. And I got him a book about Trick or Treating so that he sort of gets Halloween. The Thomas gift was a pop-up Thomas tent, and the other was a train that blows bubbles, which has now been dubbed “bir-day choo choo.”
I made Kellen special birthday pancakes for breakfast:
I made a list of all the crap that had to get done before the party. I should know by now that I’m the poster child for Murphy’s Law. First there was the issue with the cake. It broke apart the night before, and I had to use some icing to repair it. Then, the icing wouldn’t stick to the cake and spent way too much time clinging to the spreader. Thankfully a friend recommended Pam, which was helpful until I decided that I probably didn’t want the cake to taste like “Original,” whatever that means. Her husband also recommended hot water, which seemed like a better solution and worked ok. There was still a lot of touching involved in the icing process. The first cake was supposed to be blue and yellow, but instead it became a Boise State inspired train.
The second cake was done hastily, if that isn’t apparent, complete with spray on icing for the wheels. I had every intention of actually icing it nicely. But I was mad at the icing. And… well, our outdoor table shattered two hours before the party was set to start. Yes, shattered. All over the grass. Thankfully it was tempered glass, and Dan set up the table and coolers to wall off the area where we thought there could still be glass (after shop-vaccing and mowing and hand-picking it up!).
We rented a bounce house for the afternoon, and if you knew our backyard, you might think this was insane. But I measured, and it fit perfectly. I can’t say I wasn’t a little nervous that a kid was going to somehow smash his head on the concrete wall, but we tested the sides, and I was relatively confident that there would be no injuries (there weren’t).
We only had a couple of cancellations, both of which were understandable. Sometimes with our parties 20 people say they are coming and 5 do. I think the bounce house won them all over! We cooked hamburgers and hot dogs and set out potato chips. That was probably the lowest key event I’ve ever hosted, and I’m pretty sure no one missed my artichoke cups and baked brie.
Kellen was so excited about his cake. He congratulated everyone on nicely singing “Happy Birthday:”
Then he got pissed off when he realized that he didn’t get to eat the entire cake and had to share:
Then he found his cake:
We asked guests to bring pieces of track for Kellen’s train because the kid has more toys than any one child needs. It turned out great. Even though we practiced opening presents, Mom still had to do most of the work. I tempered my OCD present opening for Kellen and allowed ripping to ensue.
He was very impressed with his new bridge:
And mommy has been busy imagining new train designs.
The day ended how all two year old parties should: with screaming and head banging on concrete. I asked Kellen to clean up trains, and instead, he flung himself onto the ground and banged his head a few times. After some hand-over-hand assistance, he complied, and we immediately went to bed. He woke up the next morning on his real birthday. We’ve had trouble explaining that “bir-day” doesn’t happen everyday. I can’t wait for Christmas.
I’ve been going through the house and sorting things that haven’t really been organized since we moved home (so essentially never). My office has been a three day project.
Kellen is SO CLOSE to being fully potty trained. He’s supposed to go to daycare tomorrow, but I’m so afraid of regression I’ve thought about not sending him. He’s made it through two naps without an accident and all of last night. At the park he told me he had to poop. It’s really been great to see it click. He also repeats “So proud of you” when I tell him.
As frustrating as two is, I’m also finding it to be a great cuddly age for us. Kellen wants to sit in my lap and be affectionate. And I am finding that it takes more of my day to be fully present in those moments, moments I really don’t want to miss. He’s probably going to be starting three morning a week preschool soon, and I’m trying to take in all of our time together before that starts.
I’m also working really hard on my book proposal. I finally have an outline I’m really confident in. And I have two chapters that just need a bit of additional editing. Then I’m ready to start working on the meatier sales part and start sending it out.
Because of all of that, I’ve been spending less time online. It’s a catch 22 really because I need to stay active online for marketing purposes, but I also feel so unproductive online. It is very difficult to be invested in the lives of so many people and between Twitter and Facebook and forums, well, that’s like 500+ people, and frankly it’s exhausting. I’ve been keeping my computer off during several hours of the day. I watch movies with Dan at night without my laptop. I have quiet moments where I think my own thoughts that don’t go out into the ether. I think it’s helping my writing. It’s certainly helping me stay sane (because, quite frankly, there is little drama in my day to day life, and I really don’t care that Old Navy is selling a “formula powered” onesie or that Babble did something offensive or that someone else did something to piss someone else off).
Even so, I’m still pretty attached to my Blackberry. I can’t imagine running errands without being able to check my email in the dressing room. I like posting pictures to Facebook. I still want to feel connected. And I’m a huge email junkie even though most of what I get is junk.
I’ve been thinking about doing a social networking fast. I can’t ignore the internet all together because I have a few projects I’m working on. But I want to go a week without Facebook, without Twitter, without email alerts on my phone. I want to limit my email to once a day. I’ll only get online if I need to work on a blog design or to finish my website.
My parents are going to be here next week, but I’m thinking the week after that I’m going to try. Anyone else up for a challenge? Of course I’ll be back on the next week to share my thoughts!!
I have a compulsive need to use exclamation points!
And, this saddens me. Mostly because I am a grammar person and see the value in limiting your use of exclamatory phrases. I certainly don’t go around talking in a high-pitched voice as though I just learned I won the lottery. Given my life, I can promise you the tone is more “dude, what the fuck” than “This is the best day ever!”
So why do I write this way? I don’t know. I guess you can’t read my expression through your screen, so I have to make sure to tell you when you should pick up your pom-poms.
Rest assured. I’m in therapy for this. The problem should be resolved soon.
Every day it seems like there is talk of some major corporate conspiracy that is hoodwinking the American public. Whether it’s formula companies or Starbucks, this talk about conspiracies is making me just about want to put down the computer and never look back. (But let’s be real. I would never.)
Last week there was rumble in the Twittisphere about Babble and the Similac ad on their breastfeeding guide (which Babble says was written by their writers, a claim that I actually believe). I’ve read all kinds of articles about these great formula industry conspiracies, including ad placements in print and online. I’ve worked as a freelance writer. I know how this stuff works. You pitch an article. The editor rejects (or approves) it. You write it. It gets published. There’s no grand editorial scheme to trick women into formula feeding. There’s NOT. I swear.
I’m not saying that the formula industry is making wise PR choices (and I’m thinking that they might need to hire someone specifically to watch out for potential conspiracy claims). But the people they are mostly pissing off are the online lactivist zealots that come out in droves to boycott… well, whoever fucked up today. I’m not always so sure those people exist in real life.
What really got me going about the conspiracies though isn’t the formula industry nonsense. Nope. It was this article about Starbucks this morning. See, they changed their menu and removed the Tall option. Does anyone who frequents Starbucks not know that there is a Tall option? So, you think they can ask for that if they want it? Like, “Hey Mr. Starbucks man, can I get 12 ounces instead of fifty? Yeah, thanks.” My grande two pump vanilla 140 degree soy latte (can you say Y-U-P-P-Y?!) isn’t on the menu either, but I still know how to order it. And the new menu shows just a small number of the hundreds of options you can get. It’s not some grand(e) scheme to trick consumers into spending more money (because seriously, if you’re going to STARBUCKS to save money we need to chat about budgeting).
My point is that the internet breeds conspiracy theories and is turning relatively normal people into fringe groups that I’m starting to think need some serious medication because before you know it they are going to be walking down the street with banjos on their head talking about underground concentration camps for Americans (and FWIW, those people would be called Tea Partiers).
Seriously guys, I thought that my biggest battle in life was going to be fighting these stubborn bacteria that don’t want to leave my body. FWIW, I must be pretty cozy in there. I think I need spikes.
But that belief would be wrong. Lyme is not the battle for my life. Nope. Kellen turning two is. And if I do manage to escape alive, I’m pretty certain that a large chunk of my sanity will be gone.
I thought maybe this insanity was due to the two year molars that are so unpleasantly spearing his gums. But one of them is through, and the whining hasn’t improved.
Speaking of which, who in the hell taught my kid how to fling himself onto his knees in protest?! I have a few choice words for that fucker. It’s biologic, you say?! Well, I’m sure I can talk to Mendel or something. I’m thinking we can start a research project to suck that gene right out at birth. Maybe we can get Similac or Babble to sponsor the study.
This morning I thought Kellen would enjoy looking at the trash trucks. But as soon as I said something I knew I had made a giant mistake. I should have left him playing with the damn trains. He was so happy to be outside, scantily clad in a diaper and “Captain Adorable” pajama top (it was in the mid-50s). We watched the truck scoop up the recycling with a couple “Wow cool”s and then said good-bye to the trash truck and started indoors. Limp body ensued complete with morning-alarm screaming that was sure to wake our neighbors. That was after he screamed at me for not making bacon fast enough and his train track not going together correctly and my not putting a diaper on him before he sat in his chair.
So yeah. Two. You’re not even here yet, and I already hate you.
If you follow the mommy blogosphere in any way (and especially if you are on Twitter), you might know that a big Top 50 list was released yesterday on babble.com. A few bloggers I read were on there, and many I read weren’t. Of course then Babble opened it up for other nominations, which becomes its own self-pitying mom bloggy contest.
I get the desire to be on that list. It means you’ve made it, right?! Your words mean something? Someone is listening? Or maybe, somebody just plum likes you?!
But see, these lists are silly. Obviously, it was one person’s opinion. (And quite frankly after the whole breastfeeding guide with Similac ads, who’s reading Babble anyway?! Oh, you still had to go look?? You must not hate them THAT much then.)
I follow the blogs that interest me, that entertain me, that inform me. And even a few that challenge me, even if I believe I’m right damnit.
Stop listening to the lists. Stop pining away to be a part of them. Just write. Share your story. And read the blogs that fulfill you.
Instead of a list of people, I’d love to know a POST that informed/entertained/inspired you this week?
I promise I am going to go back to posting more than twice a week. But my energy is back and my house is a serious mess, and Dan started back to school last week.
As a part of my fessin’ up, Dan and I are touring a preschool the middle of the month. I can’t believe we’re already talking preschool! It’s a Montessori school, which I kind of have mixed feelings about. We’ll see how the tour goes, but it’s possible that Kellen will be in preschool three mornings a week!
And I submitted a story to Chicken Soup for the Soul this week. There’s nothing like a deadline looming over me to kick my writing gears into action. My first CSFTS story will be published this fall in their Christmas Magic edition. I’ll be giving away a couple of copies in time for Christmas, so stay tuned
My big confession?
I am SO excited for college football.
Dan played in high school and likes to watch it, but I *follow* it. I check the Idaho Statesman every morning for latest news. I can answer others’ questions about my thoughts on the new uniform (more orange Nike, more orange). This year we have a flag up in front of our house and a BSU mailbox cover.
And as much as I love following college football generally, I really love supporting a winning program (especially one that’s a little controversial). I went to a women’s college… and then transferred to The George Washington University in the middle of DC. Neither had a team (hopefully the former was obvious!).
In honor of college football kickoff weekend and our excitement over the Virginia Tech game Monday, here are our recent family photos (but please excuse the mess that is my hair as I didn’t feel like blow-drying it. I now see the error of my ways!):
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Got something to confess? Join us for Fess Up Friday!