The Seven Year Itch

I kind of already committed to failing at NaBloPoMo on Twitter tonight, and I know that sentence is horribly arranged but I hated it the proper way and that's why I'm toying with the idea of NaBloPoMo and not NaNoWriMo. Also because I'm not in Denver with my National Wine Drinking While We Claim to be Writing Novels Month partners Andy and David

I'm laying in my bed dousing myself in all the oatmeal based lotion I can get my dry, cracking hands on because I'm totally allergic to everything about Arizona, and sometimes this presents in my sinuses, but sometimes it present on my forearms, which right now look like they survived the zombie war. I've starting itching on the inside. Like, my internal organs itch. It is the most awful thing I've ever felt, and I've had three people pry their way out of my lady bits. 

So I'm laying in bed itching and itching and lubing and itching and all I can think is that I should be writing a post because I can't be that jerk who doesn't fail because they don't try, can I? I miss blogging, really. In January this puppy will turn eight, and I am finding that year seven has been the toughest blogging year yet, partly because I've said everything at least once already, maybe a little bit because I get distracted by tweety objects, but mostly because they kids, they are growing. They are hard to write about. They are hard to parent

It's a good kind of hurt, don't get me wrong. I wouldn't trade it for the world but right now I have a 14 year old without a bedroom door because he decided, once again, to have a dick-swinging contest with me and if I know any one thing about raising kids it's that I cannot, for one second, show weakness or they will exploit it to their ultimate gain. All I've got protecting my position over here is my grandmother's conch and a philips head screwdriver. 

I've been thinking a lot about all the things I don't talk about in this space - deep, personal issues that stem far beyond my relationships with my kids, my family, or my loved ones. I haven't really talked at all about the things that make me the me I am today, my foundation, my core believes, fears, and opinions. I can't imagine that sharing any of that would leave me any more vulnerable that everything I've shared in the past seven years and ten months has, but for some reason the ideology scares me more than the actuality. 

Maybe it's because I am a Pisces and it's really hard for us to say what we feel. It's really hard for us to decide what we think. We make for terrible dates. 

Maybe it's smart - I've always said that I've held back hose last layers of me for my book I will never write, sorry nice agent lady, and in theory that's an incredibly savvy plan I accidentally hatched, except that this is the forum I am most comfortable in and I don't know if I have enough for both of them. This is my home, and you all are the neighbors I'll have over for beer and guitar around the fire pit while we talk about our lives' paths. If anyone is going to hear about the crazy cult or my hood pass, it's going to be you. And yet, I can't bring myself to do it. I can't say those words yet. 

Einstein said once, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it." I can't explain me simply. I can't explain my children simply. I can't explain a whole lot of what is going on in the world simply right now, and that makes me realize that I really just don't know jack yet, but I'm itching to.  

Or maybe it's the desert pollen.

Say Click

As parents, The Donor and I try really hard to avoid cramming our own unfulfilled hopes and dreams down our children's throats, but there are just some things in life that cannot be avoided, like cramming our unfulfilled hopes and dreams down our children's throats.

For example, my husband was a really really REALLY good swimmer for a very long time.

He's on the block

So when our first child didn't exhibit anything that started with "deadly" when near the water, we slapped a speedo on that very cute little diapered bootylicious and crossed our fingers.


Both of my parents are freakishly talented musicians and I always wished I was more like them that way, so naturally when my children so much as bop to a song on the radio, I compulsively start leaving trails of instruments around the house.

Roll Over, Beethoven
Ain't Noise Pollution

When our children show pre-dispositions to our own genetic quirks, like being double-jointed or able to roll our r's, we can't help but encourage them to keep practicing to perfect those traits.

Genetic Brilliance

It's exciting to see yourself in your kids, to see what weird thing they've taken from you or your spouse while you weren't looking.  It's neat when one kid has blue eyes and one kid has green eyes and one kid has hazel eyes.  It's fascinating how one kid can be completely literal and unimaginative while one kid can live with his head at cumulus level at all times, but at the same time neither of them are physically capable of estimation, just because that's what you've passed on.  It's fun to try and figure out which of the penchants or quirks or ticks your children possess came from nature and which came from nurture.  It's the question between what is taught and what is given.

I have no doubt at all that my kids like to take pictures, however, because they've lived most of their lives with a lens in their face.

My parents are just artists.  They sing and paint and play and photograph.  All of my siblings and I are also artistically inclined.  I can't for a second argue the fact that our musical and artistic abilities are just engrained into our DNA, and I also have to acknowledge the fact that my two brothers and me, who essentially did not know each other for most of our lives and still all grew up pre-dispositioned for engineering must be sharing some genetic ability.  I also know for a fact that I am never more than 10 feet away from my camera because my parents were never more than 10 feet from theirs and this is a simply a habit that I picked up from them.

And then I passed it down.

While we were in Whistler Village last week, my daughter came up to me and asked me for the camera.  So I gave it to her and wept for its untimely demise.  Except she didn't break it; quite to the contrary, she kind of rocked it a lot.

Taking Pictures

My three year old, it turns out, has quite the eye for photography.  She took a lot of pictures of her fingers, but then she saw a bird that she HAD to photograph, so she followed it all over the square, trying to get the shot.

Budding Photog

Now, those two shots up there were taken on my new Dingleberry, but this one, the money shot, was taken by my three year old. And it's totally unedited.

First photography session, take two

Do you see the bird? The girl's good, yo.

In fact, she's so good that she managed to take a totally crisp, perfectly centered and absolutely horrifying picture of her mother. You know how y'all are always like, "Dude, do you ever take a bad picture?" Wanna know why? Because I am the one taking the pictures, and I care enough to delete the rancid ones before anyone else can see them. But my kid doesn't.

First photography session

Because she won't have her art tamed. She won't be censored by the man. And she says you're welcome.

Or Die Trying

sink or swim

Time will tell.

I don't make New Year's resolutions.  I find new and creative ways to let myself down daily, and I just don't think I could handle that sort of failure.  That said, my darling Maria and I have decided that's it's time to improve ourselves, our lives, little by little, step by step, month by month this year.

Because I can do 30 days of anything.  I think. We'll sink or we'll swim but we're going to get in the water. Publically.

For the next six months, we'll update monthly with our progress and our new goal for the next month, and then in July we'll get really drunk together and undo everything we've worked so hard for.  It's the natural order of things, you know.

Maria's January goal was to stop drinking soda completely and to start drinking more water.  I almost never drink soda anyway and I started drinking a lot more water the day I started getting bladder infections every 28 days on the nose.  So, I took some liberties with her idea.  She did something that she knew needed to be done, something  that seems simple and obvious but was neither for her.  I decided to do the same.

I got glasses today.

Here's the thing: I had glasses, I loved my glasses, and I left them in San Francisco last July.  Here's the other thing: I cannot spend more than $50 without absolutely freaking the fuck out about it for months.  Every time I went to get glasses, I thought of the shoes and the milk and the tires and the diapers we needed instead, and I couldn't make myself do it.  I tried.  I've had the frames picked out for five months; I just could NOT drop the money for them.

The deal with my eyes was that I had a righteously bad astigmatism in my left eye and perfect 20/20 in my right.  My lenses were literally one very bent lens and one piece of plain old plastic.  A few months ago, I noticed that might right eye was just not keeping up as well anymore.  I thought it was me being paranoid, I thought I was just tired, blah blah blah.  I tried retraining my eyes a little, to see if maybe I could just teach my eyes to see properly without my glasses.  (It can be done sometimes.  Shut up.)

Guess who now has TWO eyes with astigmatism?  Yup, I am officially freaking blindish.  I can't ever go without glasses again, because my "I lived through the depression and hoard cash in a cigar box under my mattress" brand of frugality prevented me from getting some stupid, basic, common medical care.

I am pissed as all hell at myself.  Something as obvious as getting glasses, or as drinking water, shouldn't be so hard.  It should come naturally.  But, truth is, sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes we forget to put ourselves first.  Sometimes I forget to put myself, my health, this body, first.  That's my step this month; pulling my head out of my ass and doing what's obvious and easy and basic.  It's the oil change that's going to keep the engine from seizing on me.

Next month, we're going to attempt some serious carb-free, no cheating, no accidentally tripping and falling face first into brownies healthy eating.  Because now I can actually see the number on the scale, and it's scaring me.

Fat Bottomed Girls, You Make the Internets Go Ewww


In conjunction with


Presents Narrow, in hopes that Mr Lady has NO blog traffic today.

Kelly set a challenge yesterday, a challenge to women to photograph the part of their body that they struggle with and then say why they love it so much. I wrote this post a minimum of 3,248 times. I deleted it each time.

See, I could tell you the parts of my body that I love in, oh, two words. The parts of my body I struggle with would take up most of the space on the internet in order to write out. I have a very bad body image. I KNOW that it's in my head, but there's what is and there's what is, you know?

Anyway, today's Photohunt is Narrow. Narrow is something I ain't neveh gonna be.


Please note the jeans marks and the belly button that makes and *AWESOME* arrow shape pointing the entirely wrong way. Thank you, thank you very much.

It killed me to put that picture up. See? I'm totally dead over here.

The Donor hasn't even see me undressed in the light of day in, like, 9 years.

I was going to blather on about how I have this distorted body image, and that, for me, 20 pounds overweight is the same as 150 pounds overweight, how when I look in a mirror, it's like looking in a fun-house mirror, how I know this is an issue that came from somewhere and that I am helpless against it, but I'm skipping all of that.

That, up there, is the remnants of 3 pregnancies in which I gained 105, then 80, then 60 pounds consecutively. That is what remains of many many years of starvation, of the gym twice a day, of running and swimming, of cutting and slicing and obsessing.

That is what I was left with after making my minions, and they are perfect and more beautiful than I could ever hope to be. They will never know what it is like to feel Not Good Enough, because I will never let them.

I will silently loathe that shit until the day that I die, but the choice between that and them? No choice at all. The one thing I had to sacrifice for my kids was my waistline. My 20's? Pshaw. My freedom and the wiles of youth? Overrated. I gave up that up there for this right here, and I think I won in the end.

Now, let's never speak of this again, ok? ;)