Friday, November 18, 2011

I Have Arrived

Today I am 30. Here are my ruminations.

I was actually WAY more heartbroken when I turned 20 than I am at this moment, which makes no sense at all, because when I was 20, so was my ass. Seriously. What can you possibly be so devastating when you have the ass of a 20-year old?

Most of my friends (including my guy and my mom) are older than me, so I already know by observation that 30 (or 40 or 50) does not come with revelations, an extra shot of knowing everything (like I need it), or even magically having your shit together. Neither-thank god that I have fun people in my life-does it seem to mean that things stop happening to you and your life is suddenly a suck-crap-borefest.

In the shower this morning (by myself-my birthday present from Wendy, who says that yes, grown up women should be allowed to take showers by themselves on their birthdays if they want to), I couldn't help speculate, and I do feel it- I have arrived.

It isn't what I thought it would be. I thought there would be more suits. I thought it would take more expensive cocktails and important looking shoes and networking to get me to 30. But this is what I mean-I have very recently let go of a lot of "supposed to"s about myself, and I am living more in my truth, just like Oprah tells me I should. I am learning to get out of my own way. I am acknowledging what I actually want, and as it turns out, these things do not involve uncomfortable name-brand shoe shopping. I should have known.

I am letting myself be more creative. I am giving myself permission to evolve, and be happy. These are things that I did not know how to do when I was 20.

In addition, I have inspected my ass, and it is still decent. It is not quite as perky as that of a teenager, but the mirror didn't break, and I did not run screaming. I think I will be okay.

These are my birthday wishes:

1. That my life will always be as full as it is right now. The kids, the projects, the needs, the wants, the pets, the drive to create, the love. Bring it.

2. That I will spend more time with my friends.

3. That there will be cake. And possibly a tropical flavored drink with much booze and maybe a ridiculous garnish. (Where I have arrived, there are still cocktails.)

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Juice Glass is Getting a Workout this Week

Life is what happens while you are trying to pay the bills. You get very focused on hunting for nickels and dimes in the couch cushions, your brain gets all muddled with complicated math (custom cedar doors + eBay + Etsy = electric + car insurance + groceries, but is < mortgage), and before you know it, big things get by you.

For example, my four year-old is out there learning things that I didn’t teach her. Singing songs from story hour that I don’t know, wanting to look up the michelinoceras on the internet, and explaining that jarred baby food does not have as many “helpful antioxidants” as baby food made at home using the Baby Bullet!

She hasn’t gone anywhere….

…but it seems as though suddenly, she is worldlier.

She goes around making her own decisions. Decisions about making her own bed without being asked, and picking out books with chapters and books about Pluto. Decisions about getting a haircut. (A haircut?? REALLY? Let's think this over for a couple of days. Maybe a couple of days more. I don't know why. Because. Because...Yes I know hair grows back Wendy. I know. You are right. I do have butterflies about it. Thank you for holding my hand through your haircut.)

It is like she turned a corner, and there is now...this kid living in my house. Not a baby. Good thing I have a spare one of those. Behold! MY KID! Who, despite her suspicions regarding the dubious and anti-oxidant devoid nature of jarred baby food, decided that helping to feed the baby would be a good way to help me out. On her own. Today, she is calling him her "Little Mini-Wheat." ("much better than those disgusting pink ones. What a disappointment.")

I don't want to get to maudlin about it. Time flies. Life changes. It's a good thing.

(Read: I have already had a good cry into my juice glass of Paisano, and I'm fine now, thank you.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

How Harry Potter Stole my June...but at Least He Brought Beef Jerky

I blame this all on J.K. Rowling and my baby*.

I decided in May sometime to post a couple of Harry Potter robes in my Etsy shop. I figured I would sell them sometime near the premier of the final movie, make a few bucks, and that would be that. And I did sell those two. But apparently, everyone wants to dress up like wizard students at a fictional school of magic (as opposed to the real schools of magic) and go see a movie. So I sold a few more. Then a few more and a few more...until I somehow spent all of June and the first half of July staying up until 11 or 12 every night, making wizard robes in all of the house colors.

For those of you who have never been poor, this is what happens when someone is broke for a very long time, and then suddenly gets beaten with a small money stick:
1. Mo makes stuff.

2. Mo makes money.

3. Mo bids on a bunch of things on ebay. Like a better baby carrier. And pirate fabric. And food dehydrators. You know-stuff that I NEED.

4. Mo neglects many things like her blog, the cat boxes, and the growing laundry piles. Mo even feeds her kid a Kid Cuisine (Hippie Foul!)

5. Mo ends up with two food dehydrators arriving in the mail in the same day because she got all excited about the thought of making her own dried fruit and beef jerkey, so she bid on two at the same time. Mo did not expect to win both. But then again, I think Mo was having a celebratory glass of wine while eBaying. Let this be a lesson.

It's all good, because our garden? It totally went ape-shit, and I hear that when you grow your own herbs and stuff, you can also preserve it. Plus, we planted four tomato plants, and all of them are doing well. (by doing well, I mean that they are busting down our door at night and demanding to be fed raw flesh so that they might soon take over our planet.) We already have a ton of basil and zucchinis.

I'm thinking...herbed "sun" dried tomatoes? Does anyone know how to effectively preserve cilantro aside from drying it? Is that Wendy riding her bike in her PJs? Did she get a haircut? When will I stop yammering and post another picture of a cute baby?!? (now)

So, um...hey Mollie! Do you want a food dehydrator? I'm pretty sure that I only need one.

*I would like to take a moment to give a shout-out to my homeboy, Liam. None of this could have happened without your willingness to sleep. Though you have finally sprouted a fang (yay!) and dislike sleep this week, I (and our now-paid Comcast bill) remain thankful. Also, to J.K.: thank you for writing books that made good movies that made geeks want to dress up.

Liam and J.K., I love you both.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bring in Da Noize, Bring in Da Cute.

I have been trying to get back here for a while. You know how it is. You sit down to write, but instead end up stalking Etsy for hours doing important household clerical work.

I even had this really great, six-directional, manic 12:30 AM post that would have blown your mind...but then Blogger pooped on it and threw it back at my face. Probably for the best. Half-cracked moments of midnight desperation between a mom and her computer? No one needs to see that train wreck.

(Except for the part about asking total strangers in the library if they remember the exact moment when parenthood caused chunks of their former personalities began breaking off like gangrenous toes. That was gold.)

Besides, THIS is what you really want anyway:

Cuteness. Cubed. To the "n"th.

You should hear the giggling. Mine, I mean. He laughs SO MUCH, people. He is a very serious baby who studies things at length...and then laughs at it. I find myself giggling. I am not a giggler. Except for now. And at 12:35 AM, when a long emotional blog post suddenly and mysteriously goes poof-but that is a different kind of giggling. That kind of giggling requires a long island iced tea.

This, though. This is the shiznitt.

We went to Target to find a cool walker thing for him to cruise around in (because OMG, he wants to move and he can't because he's only 5 months), found one we liked, and put him in it so triumphantly because we knew that despite his hatred for binkies, bottles, tummy time, and now his Bumbo seat, that this-THIS!-would be the thing that gave him ultimate joy. So proud of ourselves, we plunked him in. And he is still too small. His little fat legs were swinging around, clearing the floor by a good three inches, and belted out his hoot-laugh because he thought it was great anyway. *hOOU HooU HOOT* So there I am in Target, giggling like an idiot at my very short son, pleading with Wendy to forpetesake stop making a fort out of the flippin' diaper boxes, and loving my life so much.

His laugh gets into my brain, ping-pongs down into my heart and makes it explode. Then there is giggling. I don't care. I'm not ashamed. I mean LOOK! You would too.

Friday, April 29, 2011

After the Rain

Interesting tidbit about Wendy: it takes her about 45 minutes to eat a single pink bunny Peep. First she nibbles the ears off, bit by bit, then bites chunks out where the limbs would be, and finally beheads the Peep. Then she will lick the sugar from the remaining blob, and finally shove the rest in her mouth.

This is convenient when the News is plastered with images of twister-related devastation, and spewing a constant stream of phrases like "ripped the roof right off," or "house completely smashed." When a tornado warning flashed across the bottom of Curious George, all I had to do to get rid of her was throw a few Peeps in the other room and tell her not to come back til they were finished so I could find out what was up.

I spent a few nervous hours yesterday clutching Fuzzwolf, pacing the house from window to window, peering at greenish clouds and wondering about which cat I would be able to save.

I lived in Colorado when I was a kid, which is in the part of the country where you do tornado drills in school just like you do fire drills. Yesterday, remembering the funnel clouds spinning out of the sky a few miles from my childhood house, it occurred to me that it would just figure for a tornado would get me HERE, in PA.

It's fine though. It didn't. All the cats are okay.

And, after the rain passed by, the sun came out, and there was this...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hippie Report. With WingWang.

I disappoint myself.

I went into the second go-around with parenting planning to do cloth diapers. I did the research, asked friends and other bloggers, and everything. Am I doing it? Psh. No. FAIL. Do I still have time, hippie mentors? Do I??

My baby hates his sling. I used it for the first month, and then he decided it was poopy. It is a very pretty Mei-Tie style sling, made by our friend and babysitter, Cheryl. I have a plan in the works to make a different kind of sling and try it out, but have I done it yet? NO. FAIL!

I have yet to tie-dye any onesies. FAIL!!!

On the Hippie Win List:

We chose not to circumcise our baby. No judging other's choices, but I couldn't stomach the idea of surgically altering my perfect, perfect creation right out of the box (haha-out of the box-get it? I am so mature). Carl, the only human in this house with his own penis, was on board with this decision. Here is the thing about it though. I have exactly zero personal experience with penises au natural-and even less experience with those of the baby variety. Not to get too much into issues re: my son's wingwang (I'm sure he will have plenty of reasons to hate me forever without my handing him reasons like "talked about my junk online")...but let's just say that Me plus My Sons Wingwang=confuse-fest.

Le Fuzz sleeps with us. This is one of those personal choices that people don't like to talk about. It is also one of those things that you think you will never do....before you have babies keeping you up all night and experience sleep dep. hallucinations. My choice to keep the baby in our is based mostly on a deep, abiding need for sleep. Plus, it is the hippie thing to do.

Breastfeeding. I am a champ, and thankfully, Fuzzwolf is too. The awesomeness of baby nutrition combined with the ultimate trip in codependency plus six months to seven hundred years of leaky boobs. Oh, yeah.

More updates soon-probably with pictures.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eulogy, of Sorts

My uncle is not a perfect person.

He is a selfish person, at times an inattentive husband and father, and a terrifying driver. He shows up to family things late, often under the influence of something, usually with a jerky attitude. Apologies, when they have come over the years, have become more and more meaningless, because no change follows. This is the way life is with an addict. Disappointments over and over, as this obnoxious, disconnected person appears at your birthday party, Christmas Eve, his kid’s graduation…instead of the person that was invited. However, bad behavior does not make a person’s family love him less. He is (usually) still invited, because that is how family is.

When I was thirteen, I moved from Colorado with my mom, and immediately idolized my aunts and uncle. They were a safety net that I had not previously known-family that was there for the two of us after our own family had disassembled. I knew that none of them were perfect-least of all my Uncle Chris, who fought with his sisters, made tension at family functions, and usually forgot to pay me for babysitting my cousins. He was important to me, because I was particularly looking for men-new fathers-who saw me and understood me. He and my grandfather were each, in their own way, that person for me. They were not perfect people, but I was a part of them, they loved me, and I knew it.

Christopher Young is the kind of person that other people gravitate to. When he laughs, people join in. When he enters a room, people turn to look. He is the kind of person that you remember, even after one meeting, the kind who leaves a mark on people-especially the ones he cares about. (There is a story about my Aunt Stacey, a shopping cart, and oncoming traffic that I am not sure is true-that’s the kind of mark I mean.) He has a twisted sense of humor, and makes the ideal turkey gravy. He bought me work boots for my birthday when I was seventeen. In November, he helped us paint our barn. He came to my first Thanksgiving in our house, and told me that he was proud of me. In some of my best family memories, he is the loudest in the crowd, raising a glass and making us laugh.

He is a person with a huge heart, who takes up more space in the world than can be contained in his physical presence-a person more vivid and alive. I have always been glad to see him, even when he is that other person-the disconnected person we don't know and might not actually be there at all.

He knows how disappointing he has been for people who love him-he is profoundly disappointed in himself, too. He wishes he could reconnect with his daughter, my cousin, who is angry with him, and let her know how proud of her he is, and how like him she is. He hopes that he can be a better husband to his wife, who deserves better, and a better example for his son, who knows better already.

As I write this, Chris is 52 years old, and laying in a hospital bed with minimal brain activity. Except for the small formality of actually dying, he is essentially already gone. Anger and hurt over his selfish, imperfect choices does not make his family love him less, and does not make the imminent loss of his life less painful. He will die, maybe tomorrow. This person will leave a hole, and the trailing threads of his life-father, husband, brother, friend-will remain dreadfully untied.

If people could feel the whole impact that they have on others, perhaps they would know that they matter, they would take better care, and they would make different choices. He is a selfish, imperfect person, so maybe he wouldn’t have. Things aren't always what they should be.

I do not think he would have wanted it to be this way. I think he would have wanted more time.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

How We are On Top of Sh*t

Carl: Hey, did we call The Oil Company for a delivery?
Me: No. *We* didn't. We were totally busy doing...other...stuff. Important stuff. Stuff that couldn't wait.
Carl: Ok, no one take showers. Or do laundry. Or dishes. Or require hot water. Because you need oil for all of that.
Me: (paraphrased) I guess *we* suck. *We* will now call all of the oil companies in the area. Because this is a holiday weekend, no one will answer. Why do *we* suck so much??
Carl: Ok, The Oil Company that I called will come. There's a $100 off-hours service charge. This will cost us six hundred dollars, total.
Me: eff.
Carl: That's like, your whole tax return.
Me: EFF.


Marc: Damn. No leather hot pants this week.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Family Outing that Ends Well (really!) Part 2

Beating a hasty retreat from the manic and useless phone store, we swerved right to check out the cute-looking Indian cafe/bakery. You see, while we dislike change and mandatory acceptance of technology, we love Indian food.

We were greeted by a bakery case full of gorgeous pastries and pictures of attractive little "mini-meals," all non-threatening and bright and delicious-but no one was behind the counter. We looked around and looked at each other and waited, as Wendy's chatter became more and more demanding: she really would rather go to the other place and eat a sandwich or a hot dog. The other place. THE OTHER PLACE THAT IS NOT THIS PLACE WHERE THERE IS A SANDWICH. OR A HOT DOG OR A SANDWICH AT THE OTHER PLACE THE OTHER PLACE THE OTHER PLACE.

Still, no one came out to take our order. So we left and went to the other place, on the other side of the phone store.

The other place was a deli/diner full of dark booths crammed with little groups of proper old ladies and besuited pudgy men. They were all slurping on overpriced corned beef specials and french onion soup, daring me with dour glances to do something totally unacceptable like breastfeed my baby in their diner so they could throw spoons and boo at me. Not really. But that's how I feel whenever I find myself in a less-than-comfortable setting for breastfeeding.

Like everyone is looking and about to start shit. They aren't, I know. Mostly.

Wendy ordered a hot dog, Carl ordered a sandwich, I ordered a cup of hot chocolate and declared that I did NOT WANT TO BE THERE, and spent a very long half-hour clutching the baby and willing him to stay asleep in his little bear suit while Wendy whined that she was "not used to her hot dog cut in half. Nope. Not used to it at all. I don't know if I can eat it like this. All cut up. Who cuts a hot dog up?"

On the way home, Carl asked if there was anything that would make me feel better. Wine? Something from the drive-through?

"Pie. I think I need a lot of pie. Probably lemon meringue. Or apple. I don't care. Just pie."

And that is how our family outing ends well. We didn't get phones. We didn't get a vacuum roller like we planned. We ate somewhere crappy when we could have eaten somewhere nice. We had to drive home in rush hour traffic.

But we ended up at home with two pies, and I couldn't have been happier.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Don't Worry, It Ends Well

Since the baby was born, Carl and I have been tag-teaming on chores that require us to leave the house. No one at the grocery store sees us together any more. They speculate in hushed whispers as soon as we walk away about why we would have broken up. We were such a cute couple!

Friday, we decided to go out and get new phones! Together! You should know that both of us hate change and don't respond well to pushy sales people, so obviously, this was going to be a blast.

Plus, we had both Wendy and Fuzzwolf in tow. Oh yeah.

I don't think I really need a new phone. I would like one with a better camera, but really? I'm pretty happy with the one that Carl bought me five years ago. (Did I tell you that I hate change? I do.) It turns out that all the good phones now have internet with internet plans that you have to pay for, and I don't care about having internet on my phone. Internet on Mo's phone would lead to Mo making bad decisions about what to do when driving gets boring.

By the time we had played with all four non-internet phones in the store and found reasons not to like any of them, the place had filled up with demanding people and their large handbags, Wendy had found a friend of similar shortness with whom to do gymnastics in the phone store, and Le Fuzz had woken up and was waving his fists around with threats of DOOM! DOOM TO COME! if we left him in the bear suit and car seat for very much longer.

So we left. We left with phones in our pockets so old, they are really excited about the new Doctor Who, and still wonder when we'll get ever get a black president.

Fuzztastic is getting all crank-pants. Part 2 of our first family outing coming soon.

Monday, February 07, 2011

One Month

glossy green-gray ocean pebble
still changing

furrowed, concerned
serious aversion to sleep and sanity from 10:30 PM to 1:30AM

intense stare

quiet recognition
sudden smiles from the crook of my arm
(both new)

one month

on the Earth

my baby love

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

How We are Pioneer Mountain Women


The News: HOLY SH*T, everyone, LOOK at this storm coming! There will be ICE, people, ICE covered DOOM from above! Nobody drive! Everyone freak out!

Erin's School: OMG! ICE? Everyone stay home!
Weather: *crickets*
The News: no, no, LATER today. Later, there will be the Doomsicles.

Me: Oh. I guess I'll go do the panic shopping. And, while I'm out, I should probably dig the firewood out of the pile of snow and put it on the porch so we can use it when our house is enclosed in the Icy Doom that Cometh. Erin, watch the kid.

Erin: Coolio.
Me: *digs and stacks like a pioneer mountain person*

Erin: Hey can I be a pioneer mountain person, too?

Me: Certainly, for IceDoom approches, and will be upon us before your father is home from the bringing of income. Stack this stuff, oh, fellow pioneer woman of fortitude!
And she did. We rock.

Behold, the Ice. The Ice fortold by Cecily Tynan and Action News. The Ice. Of Doom.

Pretty, no?

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Nuggets of Goodness:

-Last weekend (or was it two weekends ago?), in the tradition of my grandmother, two of my aunts brought us food in celebration of new babies. Like, gobs of food-pulled pork and pork loin and potatoes and an apple crisp and bread and cake. That entire week, we didn't have to cook anything. Which was great, because no one wanted to. My family rocks!

-We have not actually bought diapers yet, thanks to Nana (Carl's mom) and my mom's friends, whose kind diaper gifts are still holding out. Yay!

-Liam is plumping up nicely. He looks great in this red sweater that Steph knitted for Wendy him:

-Our little fuzzball spends a good deal of his time like this. Crashed out on boob juice, I mean. It is an exhausting world when you look this good. This kid is (sofarknockonwood) a cakewalk compared to my first go-round with baby wrangling.

-Ooh, ooh. Yesterday, I had a clean shirt on all day! (almost.)

These are good and positive thoughts brought to you in a sincere attempt to not whine about the last three weeks that have been a total SUCKFEST of Carl being sick, then me being sick, then Carl being sick some more. (PS: Sick dads can't hold babies, lest they make the babies sick, while sick moms have to hold babies when mom is baby's only food source.*)

Also, in our world, there is this:

So. Much. Snow. Two inches. Then four inches. Then two more nine more inches of dense, heavy precip. Welcome to PA, my son. Panic and break out the french toast supplies.

Wait! I have a good one for the "things rock" list:
-Hot chocolate is still delicious, even if you were the only one who didn't shovel. Hot chocolate makes everything better.

*Carl knows that I am not actually mad at him for being sick/injured for the first three weeks of our baby's life. He knows by the way I stand over him with lovingly prepared bowls of soup and lime Jell-o with a Nurse Ratched smile, explaining via eye-twitch-Morse-code that if he doesn't want to take his medication orally, I am sure that he can have it some other way.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Two Weeks

I often heard, before his arrival, that boy babies are different. I wasn't sure how much stock I should put into the idea. It turns out to be totally true.

For example, boy babies can sneak a whiz into their own armpits while you are fumbling for tiny socks or a wipe or something. I can safely say that Wendy never did that.

So far, however, he is just as serious, contemplative, and beautiful as she was. Two weeks old, and he is beginning to get some baby fat around the edges. (I'm doing my best to give him back the bits that he left hanging around.)

Me? Still hibernating. Like a bear. A pj-wearing, chocolate-eating bear.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Let's Play Guess What Itches?

I'll give you a hint: It's. Stitches.

Yeah, you know where.

Tasty little childbirth tidbits like that can completely throw off one's whole plan to interpret the new baby experience through haiku on one's blog.

You know what makes everything (itchy stitches included) seem like a far-away concern? This:

Liam Wolf
1-6-11; 3:17 AM
7lb 5oz
Big feet. Lots of hair. No lie-Toothbuds.

Giving birth was amazing. A dream birth-three hours from labor onset to his fuzzy head bursting onto the scene. Everything since has been a dream, too...a foggy-edged gray space with a bright middle where we exist and all else melts away in a slush of liquid time…

Of course, nothing is perfect. When is it? Wendy is all twitchy with unspent energy and the sudden paradigm shift. Carl put his back out and came down with a killer cold three days after we got home (becoming instantly uber-unhelpful). Also, he had to go to court somewhere in there, in an amusing episode entitled, Farmer Insane Attempts to Strike Back, but Instead Gets a Chunk of his Ass Handed to Him by a Judge. After the Fiasco That Was 2010, I am neither surprised or terribly unhinged by these developments.

I have been coping with the chaos (both the expected and surprise kind) by ignoring a lot of email and phone calls and (obviously) internet…all the marshy wilderness of outside life, in attempt to regain some solid ground here, on the inside. I feel compelled to apologize to people that I have been neglecting, including my internet buddies, but not that much. I am sure that you can see why:

Falling in love takes a lot of energy and attention. You understand.