07 Dec 2010

Old Before My Time

10 Comments Personal Crap

It’s August, 2001. I’m about to be 30. We’re at my friend’s birthday party in the backyard of our apartment complex. It’s a great time. Food, booze, cake, friends. It’s a warm night in the San Fernando Valley. We’re sucking back margaritas and laughing our asses off. And then we run out of margarita makings.

Russ and I volunteer to walk to the liquor store on the corner. We’re definitely too tipsy to drive. It’s a quick walk, but it feels long because of the drunkenness. We get to the store and there are two boys dressed a little too well standing outside. They’re trying to look older than they are. They’re trying to look successful. One of them says, “Excuse me, would you guys…” And before he can finish his sentence I blurt out, “ABSOLUTELY NOT! AB-SO-LUTE-LY NOT!”  They were clearly going to ask us to purchase alcohol for them. I was almost 30, but really I was 70.

Then Russ and I walk into the store and I start laughing my ass off. I think Russ said something like, “Jesus, Lisa!” But he was laughing, too. “I’m so old”, I said. “I didn’t mean to snap at them like that, but they’re too young to drink. What’s wrong with them?  What’s wrong with me?”

We made our purchase (which we were old enough to make) and took the back exit so we didn’t have to pass them again. The thing is, I’ve always been this person. At the age of 12, when my friends had make-out parties, I was literally taking beers out of people’s hands. I didn’t mind the making out. As a matter of fact, I voraciously participated. But the drinking? I was not a fan of the drinking. I never understood why people needed to be “altered” to have fun. And yes, I realize that in the first paragraph of this post I said I was tipsy. I’m not saying I never get tipsy. I just don’t have to get tipsy. And I certainly didn’t have to before I was of legal drinking age. (Yes, I hear myself. Geez.)

I rarely did anything so fun that I could get in trouble for it. I was always very tame. And I guess I thought every one else should be too. It’s not that I’m no fun. I’m fun. Remember the girl who was voraciously making out at junior high parties? That was me! But I never went too far. No, sir! Just far enough.

So you’d think I would rebel at some point. You’d think I’d be dying to just “get out there” and “tear it up”! But I’m not. I’m just not a “living-on-the-edge” kind of girl. (Although I obviously live on the edge of using too many quotation marks.) I don’t feel like I’ve missed out or like I never had my youth. I had it. It was just sober. And fantastic. So what if I was yelling at 19-year-old boys when I was 30! They deserved it! And yes, I’ve been a grandma for most of my life. And yes, in case you’re wondering, there was that one night at the age of 16 when my friend and I raided the liquor cabinet and each did a couple of shots of kahlua or frangelico or something. Wild times.

I’m just praying to God that G has about the same level of thrill-seeking that I had. And that he enjoys it just as much.

06 Dec 2010

Give Santa Some Space!

15 Comments Toddler

We’re trying to explain to Garrett that it might be a good idea for him to get rid of some of his “baby” toys to make room for the new toys that Santa will be bringing in a few weeks. It’s not going well.

How do you explain these concepts to a three-year-old? So far he likes the idea of “lending” them to a baby to enjoy for a while, but then taking them back when he wants them. Now you might say, “Oh, don’t worry. He’ll forget about it as soon as it’s gone!” And to you I say, “You obviously haven’t met my son.” Garrett remembers everything. You can get nothing past this kid. For example, we went to a place last week where, ONE YEAR AGO, Garrett threw some pennies in a fountain. Last week he said, remember when my pennies went in there? Okay? Get it?

So what do we do? We have a very, very small house. Very. And it is already overrun with toys of all kind. They’re not organized at all. I’ve tried, but it’s nearly impossible to get all the “costume-related” toys back in the “costume-related” toys bin, and the musical instruments back in the musical instruments bin and the dinosaur paraphernalia back wherever the hell it all goes. And I’ve completely overdone it for Christmas. He has so much coming to him. What have I done???

I’m only asking that he get rid of a small fraction of the stuff he plays with, just so Santa can bring him more… Stuff.  My mom says I should surreptitiously take the toys, but if you read the second paragraph you’ll know Garrett will notice they’re gone. Last night we may have threatened that Santa has no interest in bringing him anything if he doesn’t comply. He called our bluff. But I think I’m going to lay it on even thicker tonight: “I’m going to make Santa cookies, so I’ll be doing my part to make sure he comes. All he’s asking is for you to get rid of two or three of your baby toys.” Think that’ll work? Me neither.

I’m calling a contractor. We need a play room.

05 Dec 2010

My Lame Drawings

8 Comments Uncategorized

In honor of the Flawless Saturday Question regarding talents we wish we had, and by the request of my dear friend Max… I now present to you two of my most famous drawings (which, remember, is a talent I do NOT possess.)

This is Ironman, done in crayon on the back of a kid’s menu at Nat’s Early Bite in Sherman Oaks. Take note of the first drawing I did that morning of a dinosaur, who now appears to be upside down. Yes, it’s brilliant.

Now please enjoy another medium: Fisher Price Pro-Doodler. This is a T-Rex watching her baby being hatched. I think you can almost feel the raw emotion of a mother seeing her baby for the very first time. Go ahead, let yourself cry.

04 Dec 2010

Flawless Saturday Question

33 Comments Uncategorized

What is one talent you always wished you had?

Last night, a fellow “twitter-er” mentioned that she performed in a concert and said how much she loves to sing. Instant pang of jealousy. From the time I was little, I have always wanted to be able to sing. I DO sing all the time. But I wish I could sing well. If you give me a song that’s in my range, I can fake it pretty okay. But I want to belt out a song and sound GREAT. I want that feeling of being able to open my voice and perform something that would make people feel.. something. Or even just to be able to sing in my car in a way that would be cathartic, instead of constantly thinking, “That was a SOUR note.”  I think being able to sing is such a gift. And I’ve always envied those who have that gift.  What talent do you wish you had?

03 Dec 2010

Things I Realized Today

8 Comments Personal Crap

There are times when I literally can not keep my eyes open and I have to lie down for a one hour nap.

Usually, before a word that begins with a vowel, you use “an” instead of “a”. Like, “an apple” or “an orange”. But in the above sentence I realized that before the word “one”, you use “a” instead of “an”.

It’s possible to use too much mustard seed in homemade mac and cheese. But it doesn’t completely ruin it.

It’s more fun to buy things with other people’s money than it is to buy thing with one’s own money.

I enjoy returning things I’m not going to use almost as much as I enjoy buying things I am going to use. This is the only thing that keeps me from being a hoarder.

I enjoy doing dishes while wearing rubber gloves much more than I do without them.

I like making my mom laugh.

Sometimes, my mom says things she thinks she didn’t say. But she’s old, so I forgive her.

Men and women are very different and that’s never going to change.

I enjoy holidays more now that I have a kid.

When your son sees “Santa Claus” outside Carls Jr. spinning a big sign, he’s not going to believe you when you tell him that’s just some guy in a Santa Claus costume. He’s going to think Santa works at Carls Jr.

8:45 PM feels like what 1:45 AM used to feel like.

“Winter Spice” tea is really just apple tea. And doesn’t make me feel all “wintery”.

I am much happier when I don’t procrastinate.

There might be something to this whole comic book thing.

Once you start giving a kid gifts, he gets a little bummed when he doesn’t get a gift.

If you eat boiling hot soup before letting it cool down, you’ll need to ice your entire face for about thirty minutes

If I don’t get the peeling paint in my house fixed, I might have a nervous breakdown.

Cats don’t take medicine easily.

There’s a lot of stuff I know nothing about.

And that concludes my list of things I realized today.

02 Dec 2010

perfect

10 Comments Family

Yesterday was one of those days that I wish I could carry with me always.

Garrett and I woke up together, finished watching The Princess & The Frog, played like crazy and got ready for school.

When we got to class, he was excited to be there. His friends ran to him, screaming his name. He wasn’t sad when I left.

When Russ and I got there to pick him up at 3:00, he ran to us, screaming our names. It was “circle time” and he performed for us and the kids still sitting for a while. We were all laughing. One of his teachers said he seemed “even happier than usual” all day.

When we got in the car, Garrett mock-whined “I’m thirsty.” I told him it was too bad I forgot to bring him a drink, as I handed him some ice cold lemonade. He smiled ridiculously big.

We drove straight to get Russ and I haircuts. Garrett sat and played with his dinosaurs SO PATIENTLY the entire time we were there, offering an occasional comment about how funny daddy looked with his hair all spiked, or how weird I looked with my hair in my eyes.

Then we headed to the outdoor mall where they were having a big Christmas tree lighting event!

At dinner, we all talked and laughed and wrote a letter to Santa to put in the special mailbox they have at the mall. Garrett asked for a dinosaur, a princess doll (yep!), a king doll for Daddy, and a special dog treat for Bogie. (I thought that was pretty dang gracious of him, frankly.)

Then he excitedly put the letter in the mailbox and we ran off to see the Christmas tree lighting.

The Sugar Plum Fairy just happened to be coming out at that moment, so Garrett told her ALL ABOUT the dinosaur robots we saw in Oregon last week (which was really in August). We snapped a couple photos for G’s school project where he has to have adventures with a grasshopper he brought home. Then he continued to chat her up until she had to go.

It was pretty cold, so Garrett decided he didn’t want to wait to see Santa or the Christmas Tree. He wanted to get ice cream and watch a movie at home. So we got ice cream and headed out.

At home we lit candles for the first night of Hanukkah. I did all three prayers, Russ did a pretty great job with them too. And Garrett tried valiantly to sing along.

He excitedly opened his cool toy doctor’s kit and examined every tool.

We watched half of his favorite movie for the 60th time. (Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs)

And then we put him to bed.

It was just one of those days where every simple thing works out. And every moment with your family is perfect.

It was a perfect day.

01 Dec 2010

I’m the Baby!

7 Comments Personal Crap

I’m not gonna lie.

Posting seems incredibly hard right now. The holidays have made me miss my dad even more than I already had been, it’s been very busy, my mom has needed me a bit more than usual, and all of a sudden I’m sad about the decision we made to not have any other kids. I don’t think it’s the wrong decision. I’m just mourning a little.

So, I’ve been crying a lot. Like a little baby, ironically.  I hate when I don’t have control over my emotions. Sometimes it feels good to cry. Other times, I just want to smack myself and make it stop. But mostly, I just shove large handfuls of kettle corn in my mouth or drink more coffee than I should. It quiets the voices.

I have to give away the potty, the breast-feeding pillow, the grocery-cart cover and the other odds and ends that are taking up space in my office. It’s a good thing. We are a complete family and my husband and I have made this choice based on what’s best for us, for our marriage, and for our son. But all of a sudden I’m having a rough time with it.  I realize I posted about this before, but it feels new again. I watch G play alone with his toys, which he LOVES DOING by the way, and I picture a baby sitting next to him. He’d be such a fantastic big brother. I know it in my gut. And I think that’s what I’m most sad about.

For us, all of our reasons not to have another make a ton of sense. And after talking to my husband today, they make even more sense than I originally thought. I think I’m just worried about G being alone. I don’t want that for him.

But we provide what we do want for him: a fun, secure, loving environment. Discipline. Laughter. Honesty. And we do it all the best we can. I just always want him to know that this decision wasn’t entered into lightly. We thought about it and talked about it over and over again. And he is the easiest, most fun, most loving child. So I know it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense from the outside. We’ve been so lucky, so why wouldn’t we do it again?

I feel like I’m repeating myself. It’s just that I can’t write about something I’m not really thinking about. And I guess I wanted to explain why my blogging has slowed a bit. I mean, it’s the holidays so I know a lot of people are taking it a little easy right now. Anyway, there you are. I’m gonna go cry some more now. Or eat popcorn. Or watch something on TiVo and ignore everything else.

Thanks for listening to me whine.

29 Nov 2010

Dad

16 Comments Personal Crap

I close my eyes

and there you are

asking about my day, my life, your grandson.

Your soothing voice calms my fears,

tells me everything is better than good,

makes me believe in my dreams.

I close my eyes and there we are,

me as a child asleep on your shoulder,

but not really. I’m pretending because I love to be held.

You tuck me in and tickle my back,

mom by your side,

you offer soft words of “goodnight” and “I love you”.

I close my eyes

and there you are

at Thanksgiving, my birthday,

all the things you’ve already missed.

I didn’t even mention you because my heart hurt so badly.

I close my eyes

and there we are

In New York, Massachusetts, Philadelphia.

I’m twelve and I’ll remember it forever.

You know me so well.

I’m Daddy’s girl.

I’m so much like you

in so many ways.

I close my eyes

and there you are.

In the army, at your wedding

pictures from before me.

Then I see you holding Garrett

tighter than you ever could.

I see you in him.

I see you.

And then I open my eyes

and you’re still gone.

I still can’t believe it.

I close my eyes again.

27 Nov 2010

Flawless Saturday Question

12 Comments Flawless Saturday Question

This was my birthday week and Thanksgiving week, so it was a pretty great week. I got to celebrate my birthday with a very good friend, shopping with money that wasn’t really mine (GIFT CARDS), sharing a delicious meal, and having great conversation. The night before she had cooked an amazing birthday meal with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and apple pie. The night of my birthday, family came over to share in the fun and we had a lovely evening. Tonight, more friends, more wonderful times.  And tomorrow… Tomorrow I have a 24 hour date with my husband that I am looking ridiculously  forward to. That’s my favorite gift.

So, what is your favorite way to spend your birthday OR what is the best birthday you’ve had so far?

I’ll be, ahem… Busy all day. But I’ll see your answers sometime Sunday.

Hope your holiday was so perfect.

24 Nov 2010

I AM THANKFUL

7 Comments Personal Crap

Well, it’s not original but I thought I should do a post about what I’m thankful for. This morning was surprisingly difficult. I missed my dad a lot. Sadness washed over me and was almost impossible to shake off. This was our holiday. My dad loved Thanksgiving as much as I do. So much so that once, because he had been sick in November, we had a second Thanksgiving in March. God, I wish he was here.

Our table will have only five at it this year. But I am cooking all the same things, all the same amounts. I’m having Thanksgiving because we have so much to be thankful for.

I am Thankful for:

The “Mommy!” that wakes me up way too early every morning.

The man laying beside me when I get up way too early.

The coffee that helps me wake up, when I get up way too early.

The son who exceeds all of my dreams of having a child, and challenges me in ways I never thought I could meet.

The marriage that sustains me, makes me believe in love, and challenges me in ways I never thought I could meet.

The fairly-functional family who is partially broken, but mostly intact, which made me who I am… Good and bad. And is accepting of the way I change.

The beautiful, funny woman who co-raised me, is trying to get on with life, and taking painful steps to do so.

The amazing woman who raised my husband and did a most excellent job of it.

The incredible woman who married my brother, and became my true sister.

The wonderful children, our nieces and nephews, who we don’t see enough of.

The dog who greets me, tail wagging, every morning… Way too early.

The friends I have made, old and new. And some old AND new. They are amazing, loving, beautiful friends, and I am blessed to know them.

The neighbors who keep a watch, and have saved us from many parking tickets.

The roof over my head and the walls that hold up this house.

The lessons I learn that help me grow.

The laughter that I am lucky enough to experience daily.

The tears that help me heal.

The food I get to eat, the wine I get to drink, the choices I get to make.

I am mostly thankful for health and happiness and the fact that I am always acutely aware of their fragility.

And I am thankful I get to write, and for those of you who read what I write.

I am thankful for this beautiful life.

I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving.