Home Alone

Yes, yes, we totally live in Vancouver, and have for years, but A) I am not over Denver yet and B) for the purposes of this post, we are from Denver. Someday, I'll actually move here all the way.

We are from Denver. Not 'just outside Denver in the 'burbs' Denver, but Denver Denver. LoDo. Cap Hill. The city of. 80206 has always been the kids' zip code. And when you live in 80206, there are things you do like walk to school and ride your bikes to the park and there are things you don't do, like any of that alone.

Right before we moved to Vancouver, we were just starting to toy with the idea of letting the kids be home alone. We'd give them 10 minute spurts alone while we ran to Sevies for milk, but not much more, no matter how ardently they plead for it. Because Denver is awesome in the same way god is; you totally dig him, but you're kind of scared shitless of him at the same time.

Case in point? A year after we moved, our old next door neighbor shot and killed a 2 year old right in front of the house we lived in. Like, on our old front steps. Like, right here.

July 4th, 2005

And we lived in the really burbish, hippy neighborhood. A few years before that, one of our neighbors decided he would go rape a bunch of the women in our neighborhood. Like, 80 year olds and 20 year olds. At the same time. And he lived at the end of that block I lived on, and two houses to the right. But at the same time, we had mom & pop ice cream parlors and yarn shops.

My point is that, for the most part, we kept our kids within arm's reach, just in case.

But since we've been here in sunny Vancouver, the boys have gotten used to a little more freedom, mostly because my neighbors actually scolded me for hovering over the kids too much. We were reminded that this wasn't Denver, and that in our little community the kids enjoy and appreciate a bit longer leash.  That it is good for them, and I ought to relax.  So we gave this whole pre-teen freedom thing a shot, since they are quite a bit older now, and they're quite a bit over being smothered, and so far my neighbors have been proven correct.  At first we'd let just them go outside all by themselves, and then we tried leaving them for 30 minutes or so while we ran out for something. And then I started coming home just a little bit after they'd get home from school.  And then I upped it to an hour.  And then we left the boys for one whole evening.  And then we let 1of3 babysit for a night, and it's all gone beautifully.  Viva la Canada, yo.

They lock the extra locks when we're out, they know to not answer the door or the phone unless it's mom or dad on the caller id; they get it.  They like it, and they don't want to blow it, so they've been really careful to abide by all of our rules while we're not here.  Or at least they were.

When I told them about the BlogHer get-together we had on Sunday, their eyes did Gold Medal Worthy backflips into their heads and they said there was no way in Bikini Bottom they were coming to that thing. We agreed that they'd stay home and do some last minute chores (which have yet to be done, for the record) and that they could each have one friend over.  Two neighbors were put on mom-alert to peek in my windows occasionally and make sure they weren't burning the joint down, and 3of3, Angella and I headed off without them for the whole day.

We came home to a fairly decent house, two living, breathing sons who were fed and didn't smell like anything I'd want to put on a petri dish, and two smiling neighborhood kids.  I counted the day a success and told them both how proud I was of them, even if they hadn't answered the phone when I'd called, but erring on the side of caution is always a good choice in my book so high fives all around.

The next day, my sister in law called.  She asked if 2of3 had told me she'd phoned, and he hadn't, and then she giggled and told me about the call they had.

He told her I wasn't home because I was at a work thing.  He told her dad was at work, too.  He told her that he was trying to not watch tv because it would rot his brain, and that he was duelling Pokemon cards while his brother was downstairs on the computer.  He told her he was going to skateboard out front in just a little bit, and then he'd have a snack. And then he asked her just one, simple, little question...
Um, who is this?

Needless to say, they're coming to the next everything ever again with me.

Afternoon Delights

I blow-dried my hair this weekend. Twice.  I even shaved my legs, which means the end is extremely fucking nigh, people.

See, we had a little party this weekend, under the guise of "BlogHer is so close, I can smell the panic" but was, of course, really just about "Oh my god I need a martini."  Which we managed to squeak in at the last hour, thanks to this guy.

His Name Is Jonas

It's funny to me that I've lived in Vancouver for two years plus now but that I've only met, oh, four bloggers or so in that whole time. I honestly had no clue at all how many women I know, or know of, or didn't know at all, were right in my backyard, and I'm kind of excited for that because I've almost completely hit that brick wall where if I don't talk to a grown up soon, about grown up things, something may give and that something will probably be the last little thread that holds my sanity in check and then I'll end up running around wearing teal shoes and stealing unsuspecting women's passports in airport restroom stalls and no one wants that, really.  

Lucky for me, I have this blog thing.  Lucky for me also, Natalie and Angella and Amber and ZoeyJane and Emily and Kristen and Kerry and Fawn and Cori and Susan and Nicole and Gwen and Tracey and Xangelle and Sandi and Laura and Catherine and the other 18 million people I'm leaving out because, yeah, it's 2:40 exactly in the AM right now and I saw god 30 minutes ago, but lucky for me all of them have one, too.

The rest are on FlickR, of course.

Yin And Yang

If you know me at all, if you have even one shred of respect for me, do not go read this post.  Otherwise, have at it.  I should be ashamed of myself....but I'm not.

On a completely pure note that would make even Jesus smile, my good friend Kori has a shiny new, gorgeous, and deliciously ironic new dot com. There are a few tiny details to work out, but please go welcome her to the world of the big kids and tell her what a fucking fantastic job Judith Shakes did on her design.

See, there I go with the fucking first thing in the morning. Le'sigh.  The BlogHer Vancity meetup is at 1pm today, and it's 10:21am right now, and I apparently have to go wash my mouth out with soap before this thing.  So, yeah, happy Saturday.  And thank god I don't have Irish Spring soap in the house.  Worse than a Newport, that.

This Is Going To Hurt Me More Than It Hurts You

When my boys were little, pre video games, pre going to the park with friends, when it was just them and me and a lifetime of time, we used to play this little game my mother played with us when we were little.  I'd take my shirt off, lay on the floor, and have them write letters on my back with their fingers.  I'd try to guess the letters, and even when I knew I always guessed wrong because there is no greater feeling in the world than outsmarting your mom.

Not only did they learn to write the alphabet really fast, but I got a little baby massage out of the deal.  Win tothefucking win, yo.

When they started to bore with that game, we upped the ante.  I'd get down to my chonies, lay on the floor and give them ball point pens or sharpies.  They'd give me tattoos.  They'd usually start with my fish and "finish" them, and then they'd go out from there.  By the end, I had a full body tattoo, I'd blown at least an hour,  if not two, and my kids had sugarplum wishes and ice cream dreams of being tattoo artists when they grow up.  Because there is no greater feeling than having your kids understand that there's something more to art than painting or sculpting, that it comes in all shapes and sizes and needle gauges.

And damn it, that shit felt awesome.  And it annoyed the holy fuck out of my husband.  Win tothemotherfucking win, yo.

Downside? Kind of hard to explain at work the next day.

So when I asked them last night to come mark and measure my back for my tattoo at BlogHer, I thought nothing at all of it.  Seems par for the course, right?  Funny how you forget that what seems like exactly just yesterday with your kids can actually be fairly close to a decade ago and they've got Pokemon cheat codes and Green Day lyrics and french grocery lists to store in their brains...they can't be bothered to remember some totally endearing childhood moments or anything.  They about died when I told them what I needed them to do. I reminded them that they used to do this all the time with me and they both looked at me like I was an insane person.  

Like they're the first or something. Pshaw.

So I bribed them.  They accepted my terms and I started to take my shirt off.  My 11 years old's eyeballs turned and began to claw their way back into his skull.  My 9 year old lept, LEPT backwards.  I said look, dudes.  You see my in my chonies all the time and they said ohmygod ewwwww mom! and I said you know what?  It's the exact same thing as a swimsuit exactly and the 11 year old said okay, I'll keep telling myself that.

{Note for Future 1of3 and 2of3: The reason it is so frightening to see me in a swimsuit or my chonies is that YOU DID THIS TO ME.  I looked like a blond Megan Fox before I opted to give you life, and you made me gain 105 pounds and they you made me gain 80 pounds, and it was totally worth it, so shut up.  Momma loves you.}

Once the measuring tapes and the ink pens and the schematics came out, they were fine.  They got right down to business and did a fantastic job making and marking all the right measurements, and then I made them take pictures of said back to send to my designer. They have never been so happy in their whole lives, partly because they got to use the big, new camera and partly because there is no greater way to humiliate their mother than taking photographs of her almost totally naked.  Because you know she's just going to plaster them all over the freaking internet.

If you need the number of a good therapist in your area, email me.  It's the least I can do.

Trying to lose some weight for summer, but don't have the right motivation?  Have my boys come take pictures of you in all your saggy-backed glory under halogen track lights.  You'll go throw up right that second and start the hardest diet and exercise routine of your life the next morning.  Or drown your sorrows in cheesecake.  Either way, win tothe win, yo.

PS: if you need a tattoo designer say, oh, for a tattoo you want to get at BlogHer, leave a comment and I'll send you his email.  You wouldn't believe how good he is.

PPS: If even one of you tells me I look hot, or you'd kill for a back like that, I will punch you square in the teeth.  I am 5'4".  And I cropped the ass out.

PPPS: Grab the badge.  Just sayin'.

I'll Be Getting Inked

A Time It Was, And What A Time It Was

Meet T-Dog.


T-dog is 3of3's best friend.  He's Brazilian and has the world's most perfectly beautiful accent.  He's all boy.  He's a goofball.  I love him almost as much as 3of3 does.  Almost.

Just Like The Movies

We play outside together every day from 4 until 5:30.  He's taught 3of3 to say the letter L and she's teaching him to ride a scooter.  They go spider killing together, they go on spooky walks together and they occasionally sit on park benches like bookends.

Getting To Know You

My next door neighbor, my best friend in Vancouver and the mother of my sons' best friend, is moving away in August.  We are all heartbroken.  I almost looked into moving, too, because I honestly can't imagine what I, and we, will do without her, and them.  But you know what?  Each door that closes opens a different window, and I think it's 3of3's turn to make an old friend.  

Happiness Is A Red Blowpop

And I think we've found him.