Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I have this theory that the Great Scheme of Things is just that: A Scheme

I've been working lately on trying to destress my life. Granted, my life only really has little stresses in it--meeting writing deadlines, getting Belly to preschool on time, not crashing the car while I'm turning around helping Sutt with his juice, never being able to find all the matching socks when I do laundry, dealing with my nutso family, forgetting 14 different things at the store while knowing that there's no way in hell I'm going back for them with both kids in tow.... but still, it's stress. I'm high stress. Always have been, thought I always would be, but now maybe not so much. Great focus in my day-to-day life is now put on saying "Screw it." (Well, actually, I was saying, "Fuck it," but then Bellamy said it on the way home from preschool today when she dropped her drink, and although I think it's a great mantra for her and would drastically reduce the drama in my life if she said that more often, she probably shouldn't go around saying "Fuck it," especially in mixed--and preschool--company.) I can't help but wonder, however, as I'm shrugging my shoulders and throwing caution to the wind about so many things, could these things in fact someday end up having an impact that I can't yet fathom? Could the author who wrote "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" really be terribly, terribly wrong? I mean, it's all "small stuff" that makes up the "big stuff." For example, my Mom forgot her mammogram a few years in a row. Missing a doctor's appointment--small stuff. Then she found out she had Stage IV breast cancer that could have easily have been detected much earlier and treated much more easily with those routine mammograms she missed. But then on the other hand, is it really all that important if I forgot to pack tights in Bellamy's dance bag? Or will that somehow, someday come back to bite me? Maybe there's not a great "overall" or "grand plan." Maybe all we've got is each little thing. But while I work on figuring it out, I'm going to enjoy the times that I can think "I just don't give a damn," and really mean it.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Amber is the color of your energy

Blaker and I have a dear friend in Chapel Hill who claims that he can see one's aura. It apparently radiates around him or her, bright and glowing, in a color that is reflective of his or her inner self. He told me once that Blaker's aura is yellow, like sunshine. Mine is bright blue. Because it was late, we were at Cat's Cradle listening to Edwin McCain, and we were probably both very inebriated, he did not explain what either color means, so I don't know if these are good or bad. On the bright side, I love blue, so at least I didn't get stuck with a nasty orange or brown aura, regardless of what they mean. (I also occasionally wonder if our children have green auras, since they are a mixture of us. But it probably doesn't work that way, and I think Jack once told me that Bellamy has a purple aura anyway.)

Thinking of Jack and his aura-spotting reminds me of other old friends. I've semi-recently reconnected with people dear to me from my past (hello Whit, Gina, and Corey) and it's been grand. It's funny to me how drastically we've all changed, but fundamentally, we must be somewhat the same because we just sort of picked up where we left off years ago. It's sort of like we are all amplified now. Which actually makes me enjoy them all even more. But it seems so strange that I can love so many people that are just so damn different.

Blaker and I attended his 15-year high school reunion two weeks ago where I met many of his old friends. They all seemed so......square. (Okay, I know that is a seriously outdated and uncool word, but it's appropriate. Trust me.) Blaker isn't like that AT ALL. Most of the friends that Blaker has made within the last decade seem pretty engaging. Which makes me wonder what's going on. Did Blaker used to hang out with really boring people, or did they all become that way as they became adults? Or, could it be that my friends are all just, um....colorful? (My family will tell you in a heartbeat that I'm a psycho magnet. I say this with absolute pride, as psychos are terribly interesting.) Also, should one gauge one's weirdness factor by the weirdness factor of one's friends?

And, most importantly, do you know what color your aura is?

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Maybe I should just stay here with the midgets and the nausea

So picture this: I'm driving home from a bulk-peanut-butter shopping trip to BJ's. Bellamy is singing along to the Smashing Pumpkins in the backseat (because what 4-year-old DOESN'T know the words to "Bullet with Butterfly Wings?"). Sutton is alternately pulling off his socks and shoes and throwing them at me from his carseat while screaming "Cookie! Please! Cookie! Please!." It's over one hundred degrees outside, and I'm wearing black, of course. When suddenly, it hits me like a bolt of lightning.

I was not meant to have children.

Yes, folks, you've heard it straight from the horse's mouth. I am not Mommy Material. I am single girl, living alone with my dog, can't keep a houseplant alive, nothing in the fridge but lettuce, love my independence Girl. I miss reading in peace, sleeping late, cooking spicy exotic things (for which, I have to first do extensive grocery shopping), getting dressed up, and having spontaneous anytime-of-the-day sex. I miss blowing tons of money on any damn thing I want to buy and not feeling guilty that I'm buying something for MYSELF. I mentally shake my fist at fate, shake my fist at Blaker and his super-sperm. Damn them all. I mean, I love my kids, but how much can one really take before one loses one's mind?

Then, I get a reprieve.

Now, keep in mind, I NEVER get a break. Blaker is fantastic with the kids, helps out every afternoon/evening after work, is an absolutely amazing Dad...however, that does not EVER dismiss me from Mommy duty. Ever. (Or, as Bellamy would say, "EVAH.") But then, last Sunday, his mother comes up (a whole 'nother story for a whole 'nother day) and he and Paula take the kids to the botanical gardens while I get the WHOLE DAY OFF.

What do I do? What do I do? What do I do? I'm so excited. It's a miracle. It's a BREAK!

I went shopping. I bought THINGS for ME (many, many lipglosses--I have a weakness for lipgloss). I went to the movies. I went to Barnes & Noble for HOURS. I had lunch. I had coffee. I had wine. I had EVERYTHING.

But, I did not have my family. I was lonely. One teeny, weeny little day to myself, and I was lonely. I am an ALONE person. I LOVE ALONE. But I missed my babies. I missed my husband. I missed having peanut butter smeared unbeknownst to me on some item of my clothing, having someone demanding I hold her hand, someone forcing himself into my lap. I missed drooly kisses and shrieking giggles.

I missed being Mommy.

And that is how I learned who I am.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Only the Good Die Young (notice that I'm still alive)

Today is my last day of my 20s.

At 6:22pm tomorrow, I will officially be 30 years old. (Sad that I know the exact time, but those of you who know me well are completely aware that I am a vast sea of useless trivia, especially of the macabre, which only truly adds to my charm.)

How do I feel about turning 30? Hmmm... good question. On the one hand, I should probably quit drinking and swearing so much. I should probably refrain from assaulting anyone else (at least in public), make sure my nose piercing is completely closed up, cover my tattoos, take the meth lab out of my kitchen (okay, so now I'm just kidding--I'm way smarter than to put the meth lab in the kitchen. As bad as I am at chemistry, I would have already blown up the house by now)......

On the other hand, at (nearly) thirty, I am comfortable enough with myself to know that I swear because I want to, not because I want to shock anyone (except maybe my Mom--that thrill will never completely vanish. Everytime I let loose with a "goddamn motherfucking cocksucker" she pales drastically and you can actually see her lips move as she prays for my eternal soul). You can't see my nose piercing hole anymore anyway, my tattoos are already covered--except for the new-one-to-be--and well, honestly, if someone is stupid enough to piss me off badly enough that I feel the need to attack them, then they deserve it, as I am not normally even a remotely violent person.

Plus, don't women hit their sexual peak in their thirties? That's something to look forward to with gusto. Plus, in the next decade I will be earning back some of my long lost freedom as the kids get old enough to start school, AND I'm still a total babe. Which means that 30 actually seems rather appealing in many ways.

Still, I have another day left of my twenties, so I have to go now to relish one more day of this decade. One more day to make stupid mistakes without quite so many mental consequences. One more day to hit somebody, pierce something, and spend the day with drunken Mad Libs (that's just for you, Gina) without even one iota of guilt. Oh, what a day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Birthin' Babies with Gwen Stefani

Last night, I rolled down to Raleigh to go to the Gwen Stefani concert with my EXTREMELY pregnant (we're talking due-this-very-minute-having-contractions-all-the-damn-time) best friend, Ray. Ray and I have been planning for a few years to do something exciting this year in honor of my 30th birthday, and seeing as how she's about ready to drop a kid and can't venture far from Chapel Hill, Gwen Stefani in Raleigh it was.

We met up at Ray's house around 6, had Carrburrito (mmmhhhh....Carrburrito) and Corona for me, water for her, then headed out for the concert. What we encountered was astounding, vastly entertaining, and more than a little disgusting. Traffic, of course, was hideous. Being stuck in traffic, however, was fantastic. I've never seen so many drunk, stupid, trampy chicks in my life. And keep in mind, I'm from TN, so drunk and trampy, at least, are per the norm. Anyway, it was as if God had allowed the blond, tube-topped bimbos of the world to rain down upon Raleigh in honor of Ms. Stefani. They were out running barefoot from car to car (on interstate, mind you), peeing behind extremely small bushes on the side of the road where they were not even remotely hidden, vomiting on themselves and each other while waving around their middle fingers and screaming "bitch" at anyone who got near them. It was AWESOME. (No, seriously, I thought it was pretty damn funny.) And this was even before we got parked and before Akon had finished performing. Inside was EVEN BETTER. Gwen wannabes everywhere, tottering around on very high heels, coats of red lipstick on, sporting really bad bleach jobs. Ray, being pregnant and (rightfully) bitchy herself, almost threw down a time or two with some of the Gwen clones who got in our way. My money would have been on Ray. I know the superhuman strength and level of ferocity that pregnancy lends to a woman.

As the concert progressed, Gwen performed, and the crowd grew drunker, I mentally compiled a list of IMPORTANT THINGS I LEARNED AT THE GWEN STEFANI CONCERT. I am now going to share that list with you, as it's important to learn something new every day and this might be your chance.

1. Sparkly glitter belts worn on low-rider jeans just make your ass look bigger, especially when you are extremely drunk and calling attention to said ass by swinging it around a lot.

2. No matter how you dress or what you do, you ARE NOT going to look as good as Gwen in your red sequin shorts and midriff top, so please don't even try.

3. Burning a pregnant woman with your cigarette, even if by accident, is a very bad idea.

4. If the 14-year-old next to you in line pukes on the bag checker, he stops checking bags and lets you in even if you are carrying a rifle in hand with a purse full of grenades (puke takes presidence over artillary).

5. Butch lesbians do still use the women's restroom, no matter how long the lines are or how easily one could convince others that she is, in fact, a man.

The concert was great, Gwen was gorgeous, the music was, well, Gwen Stefani, and I'm SOOOO grateful to Ray for the night out. It also made me remember that I'm truly glad to be happily married, blessed with beautiful healthy children, and completely satisfied to only experience grand evenings such as this about once a decade. Wonder what we'll do when I turn 40.......

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Excuse me, but I think your kid just bit me

I was viciously attacked by a rabid 18-month old boy baby today. He was wearing a mint green onesie, had not a hair on his little bald noggin, and was deceptively harmless looking. He was not.

The moral of this story? Don't judge a book by its cover? Nope. Get your tetanus shot before you sit in the waiting room of the ENT? Nope. The moral is: Safety is relatively non-existant.

Take the Virginia Tech massacre, for instance. Living in Richmond, we have had fairly in-depth coverage of the tragedy. It's heartbreaking, it's infuriating, it's mind-blowing. Being a parent makes it even more nightmarishly real. More and more I take notice of situations where people are in a "safe" environment, only to have their "safe" place turn out to be one of the least safe of all. It happened with Taylor Behl here at VCU. Now it has happened at VT. How do we know that our very own safe spot isn't the next most dangerous place on earth?

My kids drive me crazy. I mean, absolutely freakin' insane. Most days, I totter on the edge of reality and mindless oblivion, just counting the seconds until Blaker gets home and provides some back-up. However, despite their....um, shall we say, precociousness, I cannot even imagine what my life would be like without them. And I'm becoming more and more afraid each day that I can't protect them, that our world is unsafe and I have too little control over it to ensure that they will be okay. I'm only armed with Neosporin and Barbie band-aids (and boy, does Sutt get a kick out of wearing his sister's pink Barbie band-aids), not Kevlar vests and magic wands. Although, now that I think about it, my Dad has a few Kevlar vests, so I might could borrow a couple.

Anybody out there got a magic want you want to loan me?

Friday, February 23, 2007

I fear that I may be a List Nazi

I have come to this realization slowly over the years. I make lists for everything. I love lists. I thrive on lists. In all honesty, I'm not sure I could function without my lists. I have shopping lists, To Do lists, pro and con lists, contact lists, lists of my lists...they are magneted to my refridgerator, tucked in my car console, folded up in jacket pockets, zippered into diaper bags.

I get this from my Dad. Robert S, as many of you may know, carries around a little spiral notebook in his shirt pocket for his lists. He writes everything down. When we are on the phone together, we are both most likely making lists simultaneously. It is a sad genetic trait. There is no satisfaction like crossing something off a list. Well, you know what I mean.

Now, mind you, these aren't SCHEDULES. I ABHOR schedules. I hate having to do things at a certain time, fit my life into someone else's day. I like to clean the kitchen at 2am, drink coffee at 4pm, take a nap at 8am. I think 24-hour supermarkets are fantastic because they allow me to peruse the cereal aisle in the middle of the night.

Occasionally, I'll throw caution to the wind and try to live a day without my lists. Usually, this is an item on my To Do list, which kind of defeats the whole purpose. Example:

Finish the laundry
See if Goodwill accepts children at their donation center
Buy Dr. Seuss stamps
Don't make lists today

So far, no luck.

Is this wrong? Am I being unfair to that side of me that searches for internal spontaneity? I'll probably need to make a list to figure it out. But, just perhaps, that's okay. At least, for now.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

When I'm a-walkin', I strut my stuff

Before I begin, I would just like to note two things:
1. The title of this blog has nothing to do with anything. I just have the Violent Femmes stuck in my head. Which, actually, isn't a bad thing because it means that I was finally able to get the fucking B-52s out of my head after Bellamy listened to "Love Shack" at least 50 times.
2. I have an incredibly bad headache, concentrated on the left side of my head. I MIGHT be having an aneurysm. And that MIGHT be okay, if it makes my headache better.

Now, onward.

I am drowning in a sea of frustration. At this very moment, my Mom is in a recovery room in Houston where a biopsy has just been performed on a tumor in her liver. Doctors think the cancer is back--from breast to liver, although we won't know the results for days. This sucks. Cancer sucks.

Sunday was my Dad's birthday. I was supposed to go home to TN to see him. I wasn't able to go because he wasn't there--he's in Houston with Mom. Thus, the cancer (or, perhaps, psuedo-cancer, depending on the results of the biopsy) wins again. The trip has been postponed.

Those are the big things that are wrong. Now for the little things.

My daughter may well be possessed by the devil, as she has decided that she is not, in fact, a little girl but, instead, a snapping turtle. She growls and snaps and won't answer to her name. I actually have to call her "Turtle" if I want her to respond. To my knowledge, she has never encountered a snapping turtle, and I don't know where this precious little phase came from.

Next, I hate Presidents Day. It screws the mail all up, which in turn, screws my brain all up. Enough said. When I rule the world, I fully intend to revamp all the holidays according to my own selfish wants and needs.

Ugh. Headache.

More later.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Life, One Year Later

I know exactly where I was one year ago. I don't mean some kind of figurative bullshit, "Oh, I was so happy," or "it was such a tumultuous time in my life." I mean, very literally, I know exactly where I was one year ago tonight. I was in the Pediatric ICU at St. Mary's Hospital in downtown Richmond with my 8-week old baby. He had just been diagnosed with meningitis.

Blaker had taken him in during the night for a high fever while I stayed with Bellamy, and after blood tests, catheters, urine tests, and finally, a spinal tap on his tiny little body, he was diagnosed with meningitis. I knew nothing about meningitis except that it killed people. Doctors and nurses wore gowns, gloves, and face masks around him. Once he was admitted, there had to be at least one empty room between him and other patients on either side, according to hospital policy. This was bad stuff. Nobody could tell me if he would live--when I asked the nurses, they would rub my back and their eyes would tear.

Tonight, my baby--my tiny, sick little baby--is a huge, healthy, happy little boy. My Sutton is asleep upstairs in his crib, wearing his baseball pajamas, sucking his favorite purple pacifier. He has his Daddy's curly hair, and my eyes, nose and mouth. He is perfect.

Everything is perfect.