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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Time flies even when you're not having any fun at all

How the f*** is it February already? And it's not even the first of February. It's the third. I'm three days late at being shocked that a new month started.

That's a pretty fair metaphor for how my entire life is going at the moment -- always at least a few days late to being angry about how many days have gone by. Imagine how mad I'll be when I realize yesterday was Groundhog Day! (that was yesterday, wasn't it?)

There's a house on the street behind ours that still has its Christmas lights up, and the other day I silently scolded the owner of that house with "Christmas was like three weeks ago. Get your life in order." Except it wasn't three weeks ago. It was almost six weeks ago. Which doesn't speak well at all for the owner of that house, but doesn't really speak well for me either. (In some ways, I hope that house keeps their lights up even longer because then I'll know I'm at least following the calendar better than SOMEONE on this planet.)

Time is flying. Not because I am having fun, but because I HAVE TOO MUCH LIFE TO CRAM INTO NOT ENOUGH HOURS. I barely have a chance to acknowledge that it's today before tomorrow gets here.

But it's okay -- this is what happens when the kids are itty bitty. I'm not worried. I know the clock will slow back down to a reasonable speed when they're a bit older and a bit more sleep-through-the-nighty and don't-take-up-literally-every-waking-momenty. Until that day comes, here are some ways that I am dramatically behind the times.

I've just started my New Years Resolution to get back into exercising

It's not really a New Years Resolution per se, as I'm not trying to lose any weight. I'm the same size as I was before I got pregnant. But I haven't been exercising, and it's really starting to weigh down on my mental health.

So I decided that after the new year, it would be time to get back on that horse. Trevor was born plenty long enough ago that I can get back into exercising without making a million excuses. My body is fully recovered and has been for months now. Trevor doesn't need me every minute of the day. My breastfeeding and pumping schedule has calmed down enough for there to be time to work out. 

So I joined LA Fitness and looked up their class schedules at the gym near my house and the gym near my office. I planned out which classes I would attend.

And now here we are, February 3rd, and I just went to my first regular Zumba class this past weekend and then another one yesterday.

I'm only a month late on this one, so that's not so bad, right? Better than that lady with her Christmas lights.

Also, totally unrelated, but at my Zumba class yesterday, there was a man in the class. Which was a bit strange, since Zumba classes are like 99% women, but hey, there's no rule against men in the class and good for this guy being bold enough to work out in the way that makes him happy even though it's against the norms!

Except this guy was so bad at Zumba. Like wow. I'm not exactly about to get hired as J-Lo's backup dancer either, but this guy was just on another plane of bad. I mean not only could he not do the most basic Zumba choreography -- we're talking simple mambo steps here -- but he was also doing these random leaps and pirouettes that had nothing to do with what the instructor was doing. Part of me wonders if he was just doing his own Zumba class in his head with no regard to what was going on around him. Usually if someone is struggling to follow along, they tone down their movements and focus on only the feet or only the arms. They certainly don't go "wow, jazz squares are tripping me up so I'm just gonna start doing some random leaps and spins into other people. You know, so that I stay under the radar until I get the hang of it."

But I guess I have to hand it to him for getting out there and getting his cardio in? Good job, guy. At least he probably knows what month it is, so he's got me beat.

Audrey got excited about Easter and I told her she would have to wait six months for the Easter Bunny

Audrey was looking at pictures on my phone, and found all the pictures from Easter last year. She was so excited about it that she started demanding my phone at all hours of the day and night so that she could look at pictures from Easter. She couldn't WAIT for the Easter Bunny to come again and hide eggs for her to gather up!

I didn't want to encourage her excitement just yet, so I told her that she would have to wait quite a while until Easter. "It won't be Easter again for like six months, sweetie. The Easter Bunny will come then."

But now I'm looking at my calendar and it's going to be Easter in like a month and a half? SINCE WHEN?!?! 

Facebook showed me a picture of Audrey's outfit from the Superbowl two years ago and I thought it was a technical glitch

'Go Hawks! Take one and take two. This baby needs multiple outfits to get through half a game'

It was like "you posted this two years ago!" and I was like "WTF why would I randomly post a picture of Audrey in a Seahawks onesie in the middle of summer or whatever. Facebook must be going crazy." 

And then I realized that it had in fact been the Superbowl on that date two years prior. It is not the middle of summer right now. But I never really thought it was the middle of summer right now. My brain just kind of told me that exactly two years ago was the middle of summer, even though it's not summer now? Like two years was secretly 1.3 years, or maybe it was dog years?

I don't know.

I don't even do drugs you guys. 

I have no excuse.

The most recent photos on our refrigerator are from before Trevor was even born

I mean, you'd think it would take less than six months to acknowledge the addition of a new human being to your family. That's a pretty big deal.

But nope. Can't seem to make it happen. I can order photo prints online to be delivered to my doorstep in less than five minutes. Have I done this? Oh, sweet summer child.

I have done nothing.

I still haven't deposited a money order that I received for Christmas

I just haven't had a chance yet. Come on, you guys. Christmas was only like ... three weeks ago.


Also I forgot to celebrate my 30th birthday which was nearly 4 months ago so let's all take a second to sing Happy Birthday to me. Dirty Thirty! The big 3-0! That's a milestone!!

Or am I 40? I don't even know anymore.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Trying to shower when you have a toddler

It is both a happy and a sad day when your kid first learns how to work a door handle. Happy because it means you'll no longer have to rescue them when they shut themselves in the pantry and can't get out ... but sad because now you cannot escape them no matter where you go to hide.

This especially includes the shower, which used to be a 'safe space' for me to relax.



Now, obviously there are things I could do to improve the situation for myself. I could lock the door, or only shower when she's asleep, or give her some special toy that she only gets to play with while I'm showering so she has extra incentive to leave me alone. But the fact is, I love her and she makes me laugh, so she can bother me in the shower if she wants.

And bother me she does.

It starts with the announcement of the intention to shower. "I am going to take a shower!" She responds to this by confirming it at least six times. "You're going to take a shower? You're going to take a shower Mom? Are you going to take a shower?" and on and on until she is satisfied that I am, in fact, going to take a shower.

I take my clothes off and shut the bathroom door, wondering how long the defenses will hold this time. And sure enough, within a minute or less of the water being on, I hear the doorknob start jiggling and then a little voice asking for the seventh confirmation: "Mommy are you taking a shower?"

Then begins the Great Handing of the Things. Audrey loves to be helpful. Nothing gives her greater pleasure than to assist me, whether it be by dragging a bag of bottles across the driveway of Trevor's daycare ("I'm carrying these bottles Mommy don't take them away"), or putting away her dirty bowl in the clean dishwasher I'm unloading, or taking groceries out of the bag and putting them in Trevor's car seat for some reason ("I'm putting the groceries away!" But why would they be stored in Trevor's car seat, Audrey? Why??).

This misguided helpfulness applies to my showers as well. She will yank the curtain open three feet and stick her head in, asking me "Mommy do you need something?" I tell her no, I have everything I need, and then I shut the curtain and go back to applying shampoo.

Moments later, the curtain is again yanked open and Audrey's head appears. "Do you need ... some toilet paper?" she asks me, shoving a big wad of toilet paper under the water where it promptly starts to disintegrate.

"No! Audrey no! Mommy does not need toilet paper please get that out of the shower and put it in the garbage."

"It's all wet!" she complains, like this is somehow my fault.

I shut the curtain again and resume my shower, only to be interrupted again ten seconds later. "Mommy, do you need ... this?" she asks, shoving the dirty end of the toilet cleaning brush towards my leg.

"GOOD GOD NO! Audrey that is dirty! Please put it away!"

Again she disappears, and again I close the curtain. And again she yanks it open, this time to offer me a comb that I do not need.

Over the course of my 5-6 minute shower, she yanks the curtain open no fewer than ten times, offering me a towel, a bottle of Tilex, a toothbrush, a second giant wad of toilet paper, a plunger, Jesse's razor, one of Trevor's toys, etc. I have to readjust the angle of the shower head so that her constant interruptions don't flood the entire bathroom. And when I finally turn the water off and open the curtain completely, I find that she has taken the floor towel out of the bathroom and hidden it god knows where.

And then she reappears in the bathroom to confirm for the eighth time: "Mommy, are you taking a shower?"

And then there's the running commentary as I dry off. She points at my front and asks "Mommy, is that ... your bum?" I tell her that no, that is Mommy's vagina, because I want her to learn the real words for things so she doesn't turn into one of those weird adults who could let loose a string of curses fit to make a longshoreman blush, but still refers to her genitals as "my bajingo" and calls her 20-years-husband's penis his "pee-pee."

She struggles with this word a bit, as it is not something she hears often. "It's Mommy's ... gina?"

"Yes. Mommy's va-gi-na."

"Where is MY vagina?" she asks, and I point at her crotch. "And where is DADDY'S vagina?" she asks, and I start laughing really hard because I should have seen this coming but I didn't so it's hilarious.

In addition to loving to help people, Audrey also loves to make people laugh. 

Exhibit A: She walked around with this thing on her head for like 15 minutes because we were laughing.

Exhibit B

And through my laughter, she has just learned that asking about Daddy's vagina is COMEDY GOLD. She doesn't understand why; all she knows is that Mommy is busting a gut over here and she wants it to continue.

"Daddy!" she calls. "Daddy! You have a vagina?"

Jesse appears holding Trevor, looking confused and telling her that he does not.

"DADDY WHERE IS YOUR VAGINA?" she demands like an angry cop interrogating a suspect.

Now everyone is laughing. Which is just positive reinforcement for Audrey to continue this. Dear God what have we done.

Also, now the entire family is in the bathroom with me as I try to dry off after my nice relaxing shower. Arguing about vaginas and who has them and who does not have them. I realize I really need to start locking the door.

And finally, as the cherry on top after this very relaxing shower experience, Audrey grabs a tube of chapstick, comes up behind me while I'm toweling off my hair, and rubs it on my buttcheek.

"Here Mommy! I put this on your butt."

Thank you, Audrey. As usual, you have been an enormous help.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

We have another ghost

You might recall that our old house may or may not have been haunted by the ghost of the prior resident who had committed suicide there.

Well, I guess our bad luck continues (though arguably the bad luck isn't OURS so much as whoever lives in houses before us), because our new house might be haunted too. As we were in the process of purchasing the house, the guy who was renting the house unfortunately died right in the middle of the living room, probably from some kind of aneurysm or embolism or other -ism that ends in fairly young, healthy people dying very suddenly.

Despite this unforeseen disaster, I wasn't particularly worried about there being a ghost in the house. Y'know, since I don't really believe in them and all.

But ... well ...

Audrey talks an awful lot about ghosts now.

A whole awful lot.

And she's never talked about ghosts before.

Is there really a ghost in the house, or is she just letting her little kid imagination run wild? I'll let you be the judge, based on these conversations she and I have had about the ghost:

One day, she told me that she was scared because there was a ghost. I asked her where the ghost was, and she pointed to the top of the spiral staircase that leads to the finished basement. So I picked her up and carried her a little closer to the stairs, and she pointed downwards, saying that the ghost was on the stairs. I got a bit freaked out (because everyone knows kids can see ghosts) and asked her if the ghost was nice. Even though she was clearly frightened, she said that he was nice, and that he was going downstairs to play with her dishes (note that her play kitchen and all its accessories are down in the basement). I called down the stairs "Hi ghost! Be careful with Audrey's dishes and put them away when you're done please!", thinking that being totally calm about the ghost would keep Audrey from getting scared. But the closer we got to the top of the staircase, the more she freaked out.

I'm not gonna lie -- seeing a small child become visibly distressed because we're getting too close to the ghost she sees on the staircase kind of spooked me. She pretty much had me convinced that there was a real ghost.

A ghost who likes to play pretend kitchen. A doughnut on a hamburger? Ghost, you've gone completely mental!

Audrey often talks about the ghost in the morning when we're leaving for daycare. It is still dark out when we leave, and the stupid motion activated outside lights don't work very reliably, so it can be pretty friggin' dark out there as we lock up the house and head for the car. I always leave Audrey on the porch while I put Trevor's car seat in the car, and then come back to get her. It's when I come back to get her that she starts going on about the ghost.

The other day, she told me that the ghost was singing. Once again, this made me feel pretty nervous and uncomfortable ... until I asked her what he was singing. She told me that the ghost was singing "Ghost Song", which she then sang for me. It was set to the tune of "Elmo's Song", and just went "la-la la-la, la-la la-la, GHOST SONG!"

I mean, the original "Elmo's Song" even contains the lines "Elmo wrote the music / he wrote the words" so it's not like you can claim ignorance, Ghost. You just straight-up stole that shit.

From that moment on, I resolved to no longer be afraid of the ghost, even if he's 100% totally real. Because clearly he's aware that he's a ghost, or he wouldn't have called himself a ghost while singing his song. Movies have taught me that ghosts are at their most dangerous when they think they're still alive. And clearly he's pretty kid-friendly, having sung Audrey's favorite song after all. I asked her again if the ghost was nice, and she said that he was, and that they were singing "Ghost Song" together. So at least there's that.

I wonder if he's available to babysit?

The most in-depth discussion about the ghost occurred this morning, though, and was the motivation for me to write this post. As I went back to the porch to get Audrey and put her in the car, she told me again that the ghost was outside and that she was scared. I asked her where the ghost was, and she said that he was in Daddy's car, which was parked beside mine in the pitch-black driveway.

So I asked her why he was in Daddy's car -- where was he going? And she announced that he was going shopping. She then spent the entire car ride to daycare monologuing about what the ghost was up to. It went something like this:

"He's going shopping! To get an apple!"

"He has to buy it first, though. Before he eats it." (every time I take Audrey grocery shopping, we pick out an apple first for her to eat while we shop. But I remind her that we have to pay for the apple before she can start eating it, so she always solemnly repeats that "we have to buy it first" whenever apples come up in conversation)

"He's going to buy an apple for me too! And he's going to bite off all the peels!" (Audrey doesn't like apple peels, so when she's eating her apple, she spits out bits of peel into her hand and puts them in an empty produce bag I tie to the cart handle for this purpose. The ghost biting off all the peels for her would therefore be a major help.)

"The ghost is very nice. He's a nice ghost. I want to give him a big hug."

"He's going to do all his shopping. He's going to buy apples. And candy! And he's going to give it to me!"

"I really want to give the ghost a hug!"

"Today is the ghost's birthday. Happy birthday ghost!"

So, in conclusion, do we have a ghost? Probably.

Does the ghost sing Audrey's favorite song while playing with Audrey's favorite toy and going shopping to buy Audrey's favorite things? Uhh, probably not. I think those ideas came from her.

Is today the birthday of the renter who died in the house?

... I'd be lying if I said I didn't consider emailing the former owner to ask if she knows what the guy's birthday was. Because ... what if it's today.

Holy f*** you guys what if it's today.