Tag Archives: husbands who do ridiculous things

This is how it happens.

There’s this specific type of question Phil asks me sometimes – it doesn’t really matter what it is, except to say that he asks it and it’s not really a question. I don’t know how to explain it, and if I did, I think I’d just get a rack of Phil apologists in here telling me why I’m wrong to be annoyed by my husband, and that would be a mistake. On their part.

Anyway, so there’s this one specific type of questions that Phil asks me sometimes, and it just gets right under my skin. It immediately gets right under my skin. You know that kind of thing, right? How there’s something – I don’t know if it’s something your husband does, but it probably is – but something that just gets RIGHT UNDER YOUR SKIN RIGHT THE SECOND IT HAPPENS? Yeah, it’s something like that.

He asks this question, and it’s immediately right under my skin, and my blood pressure shoots up, and there’s this little “pah!” sound, and that sound – it’s really tiny, you wouldn’t be able to hear it even if you were sitting in my lap (which is not something you should ever, EVER do) – it’s the sound of all of the moisture on the surface of my eyes poofing away in an INSTANT. Just “pah!” Pft! Teeny little vapor puffs, all the moisture on the surface of my eyes just GONE.

And this is all AS he is asking the question. He hasn’t even finished the question before I hear “pah!” Because I know Phil, and I know this question and the forms it can take. It starts with either, “I thought…,” or “Aren’t you…,” or “Are you going to…,” and he only has to get THAT FAR before “pah!” and desert eyes, and then I am moving on to the next step, which is, or must be – I don’t know, I’m not an eye scientist – eye boil.

There’s some kind of water in the eye, or eye goo, at least, and I know this because I cut apart a sheep eye in the ninth grade, and I remember a pretty decent amount of watery goo, and after the “pah!,” my head swings or swivels on my neck, depending on if he’s been unwise enough to stand very close to me, or is asking his question from a smart and safe distance or maybe even directly behind me, which used to be safe but isn’t really anymore, because I’ve become very adept at getting my head ALL the way around, you’ll see my hypothesis on why in a moment – wait, what? I’m lost in this paragraph. Let’s meet at the next one down and backtrack a bit.

Okay, so Phil gets partway into his sentence, “pah!,” eye desert, neck swivel, oh, and then we’re at eye goo. Okay. Okay, so AS MY NECK IS SWIVELING AND MY EYES ARE TRACKING HIM, I can feel my eye goo. I feel it, you guys. I become aware of my eye goo. I’m really sorry for how many times I’m saying eye goo, and the fact that I may be making you uncomfortably aware of the fact that eye goo exists. I mean, we all logically know eye goo exists, but it’s not something we want to acknowledge on a daily basis, and I get that. I am apologizing to you. But Phil asks this question, and I become aware of mine, because I feel it HEATING UP TO A BOIL.

Now, there’s no real climax to this story, because as of yet, my eye goo has never really reached a boil. I’ve gotten a “pah!,” I’ve developed heat so intense it causes instant evaporation. My neck has reached new levels of swivel, but I don’t know if that’s a development or just practice. My eyes sometimes narrow, almost like I’m bringing in a really intense focus, and I feel the eye goo heating.

This all happens when Phil asks me this one specific type of question that gets under my skin SO FAST that this process is triggered almost like a REFLEX. So you want to know what I think is happening?

Evolution.

EVOLUTION IS HAPPENING.

I am feeling EVOLUTION AS IT IS HAPPENING.

My husband does this one specific thing that sets off my rage so quickly and so intensely that my body is ACTUALLY TRYING TO EVOLVE LASER VISION WITH WHICH TO SMITE HIM WHERE HE STANDS.

I feel it happening, Internet. This is how it happens. Our spouses and children and bosses and that woman who parked her truck in the Target parking lot in such a way that not only was she over the line into my spot, but her back tire BLOCKED MY BACK TIRE IN and then WENT INTO THE STORE AND LEFT HER TRUCK PARKED LIKE THAT and then HAD THE AUDACITY TO GLARE AT ME WHEN I WAS PARKED IN MY RUNNING CAR WAITING FOR HER TO LEAVE WHEN SHE FINALLY CAME OUT. This is how the next round of human evolution is going to happen.

That deer is a sweater eater. He is on WOOL. -M.H.

Let’s do something completely nuts, and I’ll just tell you what’s been going on.

1. Penny. I’ve covered the whole 20 months old is hard and frustrating thing, right? Okay, forget all that. She’s also hilarious and delightful. She learns at least a new word a day, most days it’s two or three. And she learns them. I hand her a carrot, and I say, “This is a carrot.” And she’s like, okay, carrot. And she’ll hold it up several times and show it to me, and be like, “Yo, here’s a carrot,” to show off to me that she now knows that the hard orange thing that she has FUCK ALL intentions of actually eating is a carrot. And she smiles proudly. And now she knows – that’s a carrot. She knows it forever.

Words learned in the past two or so days: bird, pretty, thank you (on top of the previous “thanks!), carrot, apple (to actually refer to clementines, which we just bought for the first time EVER – how about THOSE THINGS, AM I RIGHT? PEELING RIGHT OPEN!), taco, pop (for ice pop), and, I don’t know, world peace.

She’s also started calling her collection of blankets “naps.” It’s wrong, but it’s adorable.

I want to tell you all of the words she says, but I’m not going to, mostly because I didn’t write them down, but also because there’s got to be over a hundred at this point. She said her first sentence I don’t know how many months ago, and has been asking questions and holding simple conversations for a while now, too. Sometimes I forget that I’m the only one who hears her so perfectly clearly, but a good percentage of her words are easy for just about anyone to decipher.

HAIR.
 

Oh, and she also made up this song, which is no big thing, kids do that, but the same little tune and nonsense words were repeated so often over the next few days that we actually all sing it now.

(there’s a video here)

Try not to be intimidated by my perfectly staged, perfectly lovely, perfectly perfect mommyblogger home and life.

Zap-oh-dee, zap-oh-dee, hey, Penny, do you want to sing zap-oh-dee? Zap-oh-dee in the shower, zap-oh-dee while I’m cooking dinner, zap-oh-dee while we were doing annoyingly cliche adorable family walking through the little local wildlife zoo together over the weekend.

Phil & Penelope
 

The membership to the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium was Penny’s “big” Christmas gift from Phil and I. Since she is young enough to still fall under “free,” the membership technically only covers me. It came with a one time free adult admission, which we used for the family visit pictured above to get Phil in, so we only need to go once more before it’s nearly paid for itself. It’s close to the base – only 5 miles – and parking is free, so it’s hardly a huge loss if we head over and she loses her baby mind and I have to haul her back home. Or, to go over and just visit her current favorite things. The zoo has a petting zoo and playground, carousel, kangaroo walkabout, four aquarium buildings which she liked quite a bit (and which I imagine we’ll visit quite a bit in the Arizona armpit months), a baby animal nursery, a train, and, I don’t know, animals.

When we were in the petting zoo, I was taking pictures of Penny while Phil let her feed some of the pushy goats and deer some pellets, and an older couple was talking to each other, saying, “Look at that deer, eating that lady’s sweater! Look! That deer is just eating the lady’s sweater!”

Eventually, I heard them and was able to rescue the pocket of my FAVORITE FRUMPY OLD MAN CARDIGAN from the mouth of the world’s pushiest deer EVER, but geeze, people, THE LADY was standing right there and clearly distracted by her adorable child’s first face to face encounter with stinky tame wildlife. A little “Excuse me, ma’am, I don’t mean to be rude, but I wasn’t sure if you were aware that there’s an animal eating your clothing” wouldn’t have been amiss.

Honestly, I’m not as mad about the deer backwash all over the pocket of my sweater as I am about the opening left for my husband to say later, “They didn’t have to fawn over you, but a little head’s up would have been bucking nice.”

Don’t worry, I killed him, and it was painful.

Petting zoo

2. My head. I saw my neurologist yesterday. I like the guy. I saw him for about two seconds yesterday, seriously. He’s very quick, he’s very brusque, but I’ve never felt rushed or like he wasn’t giving me full attention, or like I wasn’t getting quality care. I saw him for the first time when I was hospitalized with my first vestibular migraine, and this past time when I saw him, yesterday, we decided I don’t have to go back for six months.

Things are good. It’s not perfect. I told him, my words exactly, “I am not completely miserable,” and he knew exactly what I meant, and he is familiar with me, and familiar with my situation – both mine and the general condition – enough to know that we’re at a good spot. I’m very pleased, compared to where I was last April, or last summer, or even last fall. If I thought everything could be perfect, I probably wouldn’t have accepted an appointment 6 months out to just check in, but then, I don’t get the feeling he would have offered that, either.

I feel like this is probably vague, like a weird update on a chapter I haven’t actually written, but whatever. Aren’t you kind of glad I haven’t made my head thing into my thing? You know what I mean. It’s been a thing in my life, and in Phil’s life, but ugh, aren’t we all glad I haven’t made it my thing.

Anyway, so this chapter I haven’t actually bothered to write is mostly closed, except that to get to this point that is good but not perfect, I take some medication at a higher level than I used to, and I liked the old level because it didn’t work too well, but didn’t have any side effects and I thought that was a good balance. But now I take the higher level that works quite well, but does have some side effects that I don’t really care for, one of the main ones being that while I have a lot to say, there’s a lot more wild hand gesturing and frustrated face pinching-upping to get my point across, and things like calling the oven “the onion” and saying what I almost mean, which works pretty fine when you’re talking to someone near you, or to your husband who isn’t particularly big on nuance anyway, but not particularly great for blogging.

So, like I said. It’s good, but not perfect. There’s not really a way around that.

And to be clear, I’m not offering that as an excuse for not blogging as much. I’m not saying, “Oh, I haven’t been blogging as much because I take a medication that makes it harder for me to blog.” I do take a medication that does make it harder, but I’m not making excuses because I don’t feel I owe anyone any. It’s a small distinction, but it is one, because I hate when people apologize for not blogging, because, come on. Do it or don’t, it’s okay. It is. You can stop for as long as you want to or need to, and then you can start again, and it’s always okay, okay? You don’t need to apologize to anyone, ever for letting one or two or twelve or a hundred days go by without writing a blog post. You can have reasons, you can say where you were, but you never have to apologize.  I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT PART IS CLEAR.

3. PJs! Oh, gosh, you guys, PJs is coming. I’m equal parts excited and exhausted already. I’ve got plans in place already this year to make it easier on me and less stressful than it was last year, and I’ve already got my eyes toward next year with tiny tweaks to prevent things that are tiny wrinkles in my plans this year. Last year, I thought I was doing a one time thing until right afterward. This year, I’m already thinking about next year before anyone even gets here.

The thing about PJs that makes it fun for me is that it’s my party. Whenever I find myself getting stressed out and a little freaked out about what if people hate this or what if people don’t like that or how will I possibly please everyone, I just remind myself that it’s my party. I’m not putting on a blog conference or facilitating a bloggy get together, I’m throwing PJs at TJ’s, which is my party, and I can be a good hostess and make sure my guests are comfortable and fed and reasonably accommodated, but when it comes down to it, I’m having friends over to come to my party. When it’s reframed like that, it suddenly shifts back to being fun to plan and I get all refreshed and enthusiastic again. I recommend everyone throw their own parties.

4. We’re MOVING. We’ve outgrown our house. I guess I don’t really have anything more to say than that. We’re not leaving Arizona, we can’t do that, we’re going to be at Luke until the end of time, probably. I don’t mind. This isn’t a bad place to live at all, and when Phil is out of the military and we eventually head back to the east coast, it will be with no small amount of bitter on my part.

We hope to be out of here as soon as March. I want to throw away everything we own and move with nothing. Not really, but I want to shed a lot of crap. Things we don’t use, things we have just because we think we’re supposed to have it, things we mean to use “someday,” things with misplaced sentimental value, BABY THINGS. I want it all to go. Anywhere. Not here. Not with us.

5. ONE LAST PENNY THING. She’s learning to dress herself. She goes into her bedroom and chooses a shirt and puts it on, but she doesn’t know how to put it on, not really. So she comes back out of her room “wearing” the shirt she’s chosen on top of whatever else she’s already wearing. She pulls the shirt over her head until her face comes through the neckhole, like a hood, or a scarf around her face, like CORNHOLIO, you know? And the sleeves just dangling down uselessly. And then she just GOES ABOUT HER BUSINESS with her toys and stuff. Completely seriously. I have no pictures, because if I get the camera, it tips her off that something isn’t right. You have to imagine it. IMAGINE IT.

 

Please don't act as though you don't have pellets, lady.

There are a lot of invisible NOs as well.

I came home from my hair appointment tonight pretty late, and my head is stinky yet adorable, and I don’t have a headache, and moves were made before I left that lead me to believe that certain intentions were understood to be in the air on both sides, and when I came home and made to make good on said intentions, it turned out that SOMEONE just wanted to GO TO SLEEP.

While I believe that digging through your archives when you are in a BAD MOOD because you are leaving FOR A MONTH in less than 48 hours and you thought that there was a mutual understanding to do the business and it turns out no one is going to do the business goes against the spirit of NaBloPoMo, I think it’s PERFECTLY KOSHER to look through all of your draft posts and find an UNPUBLISHED post that just so happens to be conveniently about not doing the business, and post that.

Look, it’s November. Not only can they not all be winners, none of them are going to be winners.

*****

Phil kept making gross sounds with his beer bottle. You’re going to have to trust me when I tell you it was super gross and frankly, quite egregious. I told him. I SAID, if you don’t stop doing that, I’m not going to do the business with you. And he wouldn’t stop. So I said, for every time you do that is one more day that I will not do the business with you. And he wouldn’t stop.

And that, students, is how The Great Sharpie Battle of 2011 began.

Pitchforks and hay, cat butts, promises, and questionable prizes.

So I find myself struggling, sometimes, lately, with remembering how little I wanted to do with other people’s children when I was single with no children and just trying to live my life in public places and trying to enjoy my right to… enjoy those places, and how fresh those memories are, and how much I remember being that person, and how much I still am that person, and how much sympathy I have for those people when I am out in a public place with my admittedly pretty stereotypically terrible toddler, and how that rubs up against the fact that I do have a kid now, and there’s a whole lot of “what can you do?” and “I also have to live this life” and “I also need to be in this place” and a whole lot of boiling up feelings of MY BABY IS ALLOWED HERE that I do my level best to stomp down, because yes, of course she is, and I won’t be told any different, but there is a huge difference between my baby being allowed somewhere and my baby’s right to be somewhere spreading all over someone else’s right to enjoy being somewhere.

Anyway, you know what I’m saying? I’m in no way making an effort to be the cool mom lady. The mom lady who doesn’t change from her single, childless ways now that she has a baby, who is still hip and with it and doesn’t let having a toddler cramp her style. The mom lady who swears to always understand that the single, childless people have the God-given right to enjoy their lives without hearing a peep or seeing an errant streak of snot so their delicate other-people’s-poop free existence remain untainted.

(Note that I am not accusing single people of demanding this behavior, but I am instead making fun of a certain breed of parents who try to behave in this way. I can make fun of parents, it’s cool. I am one. Some of my best friends are parents. I’m allowed.)

No, I’m not the cool mom lady, and I’m not trying to be. My style is cramped. My style is tiny and hunched over. My style is stuffed into to go containers with a lot of mumbled, “Sorry, sorry, sorry,” on the way out of restaurants. That I still go to. Early.

No, I am definitely not a cool mom lady. I don’t want to be a cool mom lady. If I wanted the same life that I had before I had a kid, if I wanted my life to be as close as possible to my pre-child life, the best way to go about that would be to not have a baby. But I do try my best to straddle the line. I don’t expect the world to cater to me because I had a baby. (Oh, and they don’t. Holy shit you guys, how about the difference between pregnancy and baby? “Oh, a pregnant lady! Let me get that door for you, let me get out of your way, oh, excuse me, oh, you’re a treasure, smile, smile, smile!” And then, AND THEN, “Oh, a woman with a stroller and a diaper bag, and 40 shopping bags, let me let that door slam in your face, let me grab that last shopping cart out from under your hands, QUICK HIT THE DOOR CLOSE BUTTON.” Children: only adorable til born.) I take my crying child out of restaurants. I run errands during off hours when I have to take her with me. I don’t let her run through stores, I don’t let her unfold tables of clothing (seriously, your child is an asshole), I don’t let her ruin your day if I can help it.

Basically, I’m super-conscious about being That Mom. I really don’t want to be That Mom. I don’t want to be the woman I used to talk about. I don’t want to be the lady who thinks your world should revolve around her kid. But you know, I’m perfectly fine with the fact that mine does. For now, at least. It does. I’m not embarrassed about it. I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of. I don’t think it’s sad that I don’t have any bigger interests. I don’t think that makes me That Mom. I mean, take my Facebook account. I post about Penny constantly. Pictures, status updates, videos. I mean, it’s all Penny, all the time. When I read a friend’s status, though, and I catch myself about to say something like, “Yeah, when Penny –,” or somehow relate it back to my kid, I don’t.

I have not even begun to make my point.

Here’s the thing. You know how I am really into terrible in law stories? That, plus advice from old women about the fact that my child is never wearing socks, really soured me on the whole “it takes a village” thing. Well, plus we no longer live in villages. I don’t need anyone’s help in raising my child. You know what it takes? It takes me, my husband, and an Internet. It Takes an Internet. That should be what they say now. It Takes an Internet. 

Anyway, I thought the whole village thing was stupid mainly because I felt like it gave aggravating as hell people license to butt their stupid irritating noses into your business and tell you what to do, simply because their were AROUND, thus part of your VILLAGE, and you can’t get mad, because, oooh, villager, and, I don’t know, burning hay on pitchforks or something. I really never followed the metaphor all the way out. Or analogy. I never really followed that lesson all the way out. And please don’t take it upon yourself to actually give me the lesson in the comments. I have the Internet. If I was actually interested, I would use my Internet. Go back to your village. Damn!

Terrible or not, I have to take my toddler out in public. It’s part of my job, actually, to make her less terrible. She is kind of a demon, and we have some cross country flights coming up, and I just need her to be… less terrible. At least when other people can see her. So yesterday, she and I were running some errands, and she did pretty well. Kind of well. It was okay. Nobody really cried, not with actual tears. So, when we were finished, I took her for a snack at Starbucks. We got a water and a slice of lemon cake, because those things are fast, with no waiting, and we sat at a table to share them.

And Penny was just delighted. I mean, just fucking delighted. I think she’s old enough to know now, sort of, when something is a little bit of a special treat. She was out with just me, and I didn’t make her sit in a high chair. She got to pick the snack from behind the glass, though she really just kind of slapped at it. I had it in front of me, and was breaking off pieces for her, so she was getting some of “Mama’s snack.” She was really excited, but we’re working on keeping the exuberance and shrieking down to… not shrieking… in public. And she was doing great. I mean, in my opinion. She’s still a toddler. And I know that can grate on some people. And you have to understand, I’m not saying that snottily. In the townhouses I used to live in, there was a family living in the next set of units over, and they would put their kids outside to play very early in the morning on weekends, and they would play, indeed. Loudly. And happily. And I swear to you, there was no sound more awful to me than the sound of children’s happiness. I mean, it was terrible. I’m retro-hating it, even now.

So even though we were there during off hours, and even though she was being good – for a toddler – I was doing my best to be quick. I’m not trying to tell you I’m a cool mom lady, see above. I’m trying to tell you I’m aware, at least. I’m aware. I’m aware of the limits of my toddler, and I’m sympathetic to the limits of people in general where toddlers are concerned. There was a man working behind us, and several couples chatting, it wasn’t too crowded. I understand that those people were not my village. I don’t believe in the village concept. Or at least, I didn’t.

Every person that went by, Penny would kind of check them out, wave a little bit of lemon cake at them, and say, “SNAAAA!” Snaaa. Kind of nasally, really excited. It means “snack.” And “snack” means anything in a bowl, or anything that someone else is eating that she thinks she might be able to snake some. And I’d say, “Mmhm, snack. Remember, inside voice, okay? Eat over the table, wipe your face, etc, etc.” We’re working on becoming a functioning human being here, you know? And people would smile and move on, or say hi to her, or nod, or whatever. I don’t know, the split second interaction you have with a toddler who is making an effort to engage with you.

Except, except this ONE WOMAN, who came and sat down right near us, and who was only waiting for a drink, not there to stay who just deliberately turned her face away when Pen tried to SNAAAA at her. And okay, you know, I guess that’s fine. Okay. Okay. In fact, I think I remember snorting with laughter when I read a post online somewhere about a woman being angry when people wouldn’t smile back at her kid. Because that is ridiculous. No one is required to smile at your kid. That is how I was reasoning with myself. No one is required to smile at your kid. I am not That Mom, no one is required to smile at my kid.

Except even now (it’s tomorrow), I am still huffy and trying to tamp down my inner That Momness, because look, me and the Internet will tell my husband how we’re going to raise this baby, and we’ll go ahead and do it, and we’re not going to ask you, Starbucks Lady, to jump in and be the village and wipe her butt or deliberate over preschools or anything like that, I promise. Nothing. No villaging the baby. But for the love of shit, could you just engage a few neurons when she attempts to make social contact? I’m not asking you to join a tribunal and come to budget meetings, I’m asking you to just show a flicker in your eye sockets, anything, and only during this formative social learning period. I will wipe the asses, clean the snot holes, etc, and YOU “be the village” by helping her not become a sociopath. When we’re ready to move on to the “well, honey, some people are cunts” lesson, I’ll give you the nod. I’m sure it won’t be long, what with your cat butt-looking face walking around out there.

Is it even possible? IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE to parent without, to some degree, becoming That Mom? I hope I’m clear in that I don’t want to be a cool mom lady, I don’t expect to be thought of as such, but was it too much to expect that I could straddle the line indefinitely?

I don’t, I don’t really expect you to smile at my baby. I don’t really get mad. I mean, I do notice. I can’t help noticing. I don’t think the non-react-backers are awful people. They’re just people I take note of. I’ll present your names to the judge if Pen turns into an arsonist.

“I HAVE THE NAMES OF THE ENTIRE VILLAGE, YOUR HONOR. RIGHT HERE. THE ENTIRE VILLAGE.”

No but seriously. I don’t even know. You don’t have to. I don’t even. I’m both That Mom and not That Mom. I’m both. I don’t even know.

*****

HEY PAY ATTENTION TO THIS PART REALLY PLEASE.

Over in the sidebar is a link to Phil’s fundraising page for the Extra Life marathon to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network – specifically, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where Penny has been receiving treatment since she was very small.

I know a lot of you have already donated, and it is SO APPRECIATED. He blew his goal OUT OF THE WATER, and he was so shocked and grateful.

But now, he is only $68 away from earning $1000 for PCH, and that is INSANE.

I don’t have a lot to offer. What I have to offer is embarrassing in that… I don’t know if you even want it. But listen. Today is the last day. If you donate anything today – ANY AMOUNT – and Phil makes it over $1000 before the marathon starts tomorrow at 8am, I will do a TJ’s Cosmo Cliff’s Notes of your choosing, and promptly. No promising to do it and disappearing for 3 weeks. And “of your choosing” means any media easily available to me. It could be Cosmo, or any other magazine I can get off the shelf. Or? Any episode of a currently airing TV show. Or? A show available on Netflix streaming or Amazon streaming. Or a podcast. Or… or whatever. You donate, you choose.

I know. It’s not really… anything. It’s what I have. I mean, I can make you an 8-bit perler bead hair bow barrette. I can do that. If you donate $12 ($.50 per hour!) and you’d rather have that, I can make you one of those instead. It’s equally lame. I can’t help it. We’re a lame people. But we really do have good intent toward PCH!

Regardless of if he makes $1000 or not, the marathon is tomorrow. Follow me on Twitter to get pictures and updates of Phil’s progress, except for the hours that I’m asleep. Because, ha, no.

EDIT: HOLY CRAP. $1000 passed! BUT MY OFFER STANDS. Of course money for PCH is still welcome, we love them. If you donate today – ANY AMOUNT – just email me and let me know. Take your time to pick your media of choice and redeem it whenever.

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

Penny’s prepared to step in if needed.

Skip the whole first part and give us your money.

– So I used to have this other blog. Actually, when I had that blog, I would say, “So I used to have this journal.” Let’s just agree that I have written things on the Internet since I had to pick a block to live in on Geocities, or since I discovered I was allotted some free space on AOL, since those digging animated construction men were something people ACTUALLY USED, since pitas, since buying webspace and hosting other writers, since designing sites that made different size windows open and changed your cursor shape and it’s all out there still.

Well, not ALL of it. I have a lot of it still, though, and you should collect all of yours while you still can, because you’ll want it some day. Actually, collect ALL of the things you like right now, especially if you are very involved, because you’ll want it back at some point and it really doesn’t stay out there forever, no matter how much people assure you that everything on the Internet is going to be there until the end of time. Like all of the archives of this blog? I get to keep them forever, but you don’t, not really. They’re cached out there, I guess, but eventually, soonish, I guess, I’ll decide that X-many years is too many, and lop one or two of them off the end, and put them on our back up drive thing that Phil… works.

ANYWAY, back up to the top. So, one of the main search terms that LEAD to my blog was, “Jonathan Brandis dead,” and that’s because he was, and I had written about it within moments of it hitting the Internet. I’m not exactly sure how fast things hit the Internet then. I don’t really remember. There wasn’t Twitter.  It was 2003. I think the entire entry was just, “Holy shit, Jonathan Brandis died. What do I do?” Or something like that.

I don’t think I was ready then, at (math, math, math… ) 21 years old, for Jonathan Brandis to die. Of course, that’s a dickish thing to say, because who was ready for Jonathan Brandis to die? Certainly not his parents. Or his friends. Or anyone. But you know what I mean? His pictures were all over my walls when I was in middle school. From Bop and Big Bopper. That’s what I spent my allowance on. Well, that and Metal Edge. I was a complicated child.

(No, I wasn’t. I’m not a complicated adult, either. I had in between years where I’d have liked to think I was complicated. I think everyone goes through them. You can tell when someone is going through them because if they’re female, they post pictures on Facebook that are actually pictures of text, talking about how if a guy is actually a man, he’ll fight for them. And how if you can’t something something at her worst, something something best. And on Twitter woe-ing around about coffee, coffee, there’s NEVER enough COFFEE, and how everything is much, much, much more difficult for them than it is for normal people. And then one day, you get to the other side,  I guess, and not only realize your own complete averageness, but learn to enjoy the shit out of it. And just GO GET SOME COFFEE.)

I was driving over the bridge today and I realized, I’m still not ready for Jonathan Brandis to have died. I called my mom at work – from work – the second I found out he had died. I mean, I made an emergency call with urgency, like I would have if I had discovered a close friend had died. I hadn’t mentioned Jonathan Brandis to her in years. It had been forever since the Jon-a-thon in my living room. I don’t remember the last time I watched an episode of seaQuest (yes, I do).

I think we all know that at some point, it is going to start, where all the people and icons and celebrities and names that we know, the ones that are ours, specifically, are going to be the ones that are cropping up on the regular, and I guess now that that kind of is. Sort of. Not our teen idols, though. Not yet. That is not supposed to be starting yet, I am not supposed to be dealing with that yet. The Davy Jones people are supposed to be coping and coming to terms, not me. And certainly not 21 year old me. And now I’m 30, and I’m still not ready, and mine is already gone.

And you don’t even know. I mean, my whole FAMILY could quote lines from seaQuest, because I dutifully set my VCR to record every episode (it was on at 9pm, guys!), and watched them until they were wobbly. OH. And one time? Jonathan Brandis was a guest star on Saved by the Bell, the College Years. A Thanksgiving Episode. And we didn’t HAVE a VCR, so I taped it on a CASSETTE TAPE. Held to the television. And I can still recite it by heart, complete with MY OWN SHRIEKING in the background.

So I feel like I wasn’t even remotely prepared for that at 21. I don’t know how you can expect to be. I’d lost family members by then – several. And I don’t know if it sounds crass to say that this was different, but it was. I mean, the whole teen idol obsession thing is a different… thing. So I didn’t really… do anything. Just that blog post. “Holy shit, Jonathan Brandis died. What do I do?”

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t then, I don’t know now. I think I missed my chance to do anything. Was I supposed to cope? Can I cope? Is this a cope thing? I know it still eats at me. Once in a while. It jumps out at me, from nowhere. Just like I originally wrote it.

Holy shit, Jonathan Brandis died. What do I do?

Anyway, what a stupid topic for a blog post.

– Point two!

Phil is participating in the Extra Life gaming marathon to raise money to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.

Specifically, Phil is raising money for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital has been nothing short of amazing for our family. Our first encounter with PCH was an emergency room visit – we were sent there from our pediatrician after trying for several weeks to figure out what was wrong with three month old Penelope, with instructions not to stop at home, the doctor called ahead and told them to expect us.

You can imagine the condition of two new parents upon arrival under those circumstances.

Above, you can see a picture of Penny from just a few months ago, in July, right before her surgery at PCH. Her first stay at Phoenix Children’s not only helped us figure out what was going on with her, but hooked us up with her awesome GI team and amazing pediatric urologist, who performed and surgery and just released her from her prophylactic antibiotic regimen. Hopefully, next year, he’ll be telling us to get out of his face and never come back.

Like all Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, PCH treats thousands of children every year, regardless of their ability to pay. Though we are lucky enough to not find ourselves in a place where we can’t afford health care for our child, donations to PCH through this fundraiser will allow the hospital to continue to support those children with the same above and beyond care they gave and continue to give to Penelope.

Please click here to view Phil’s fundraising page (and also to find more information on Extra Life, as well). We’d truly appreciate any donation, and on October 20th, I will provide continual updates on the progress of the guy who goes to bed at 8:30pm every night but thinks that staying up for 24 straight hours is going to be “no big deal.”

HA!

Thanks so much, really!

– Last thing!

Registration for PJs at TJ’s opens tomorrow! Again, spots are limited and registration is $50. There is a handy graphic over in the sidebar to let you know the status. I’m not expecting a huge rush on the remaining spots, because I am not Oprah inviting you all over to my house to do a favorite things show.

(“And if you look under your seats… EVERYONE IS GOING HOME WITH A MAGIC EEEEERASSSEEEERRRRR!!!!”)

I’ll get a post up around noon tomorrow (Pacific time, as that is where I live and it is convenient for me) giving you the heads up that it’s open (I feel weird being formal about this, but if I am not, and there does turn out to be some random rush on the spots, then someone will call me out for being a jackhole, and I am NOT IN THE MOOD), and then just click on the badge and email me, and I’ll give you instructions on how to pay me.

And kapow, you’ll be registered!

When the last of the spots are gone, however long that takes (days, weeks, never), I’ll change the graphic to indicate as much.

As a reminder, PJs at TJ’s will be in Phoenix-ish, AZ, from 2/22/13 to 2/24/13. You’ll need to fly here, or otherwise make your way to the Phoenix area, as well as secure lodging – a list of local hotels will be provided. You’ll also need to arrange transportation to and from the airport, whether that be splitting a rental car, or Super Shuttle. None of that is covered in the $50.

What is covered:

– Dinner Friday night
– Breakfast Saturday
– Ridiculous amounts of snacks/beverages
– Awesome pajama party Saturday night
– Breakfast Sunday
– A lovely bunch of people to hang around with and a location in which to do it, except when I need you to leave, for reasons.

Lunch on Saturday is not covered, but there are lots of places to go, plus my experience last year was that between leftovers and copious amounts of… ridiculously terrible for you junk food… no one went hungry.

It’s a good time. And I assure you, like I did last year – if you’re interested in going, but think that when I say that the open registration spots are open for everyone, but I don’t mean you, because you never comment/only talked to me once on Twitter/think it’s only for my specialest friends, I urge you to get over that and come anyway, because you will have a good time and all of that is in your head.

I am trying to think of more parts for this post because I don’t want to come out of the bedroom.

I spent the entire weekend in my Butt Rust clothes – giant 2XL undershirts that have suffered the consequences of my inability to use a fork like a normal person, and huge athletic shorts from the dude section of the BX that were not only big to begin with but lost a little bit of the snap in their waist after a couple of months of being called upon to circle The Hut. Normally, on the weekends, I put on grown up clothes at least for a few hours, and I did try this weekend, but it only lasted about 25 minutes before I needed to get back on the couch with the baby, and if you’re just going to be hunched up in a corner of the couch for hours on end, either feeding a baby or holding her while she creates a spreading drool-spot all over the front of your gross ugly shirt, you might as well wear your floppiest pants and grossest, ugliest shirts.

I’m very tired and very resentful in ways that can’t be described due to the ability of the general Internet (not you, the rest of them)  to laser in on such posts to leave comments about what terrible, ungrateful parents anyone who posts such things must be, so let’s just leave it at that. Tired, resentful, willfully deaf to any crying that doesn’t sound urgent enough, at least for just fifteen goddamn minutes PLEASE.

*****

You know what else I found myself kind of resentful about this weekend? Breastfeeding advocates, specifically on the Internet.

We’ve talked about this before, I am all for breastfeeding. I’ve even made myself aware of a lot of the ridiciulously named “booby traps,” things people and doctors and society and whoever say and do to prevent, hinder, or otherwise discourage breastfeeding.

However, a lot of the “breastfeeding at all costs” type of information being given out has really obscured a lot of necessary information I was trying to find this weekend, and I am pretty cheesed off about it.

Now, I am about to give examples, and they are examples of the situation, not questions I want you to answer in the comments, okay? Please do NOT talk about my boops in the comments. I like you, but we’re not that close. Seriously, please don’t, because I will probably not be able to stop myself from responding, and it will likely be really bitchy, and you’ll be all, “I was just trying to HELP, I am never coming here AGAIN” and I honestly WILL NOT CARE because I am holed up in the bedroom right now while Phil is home for lunch and in a few minutes I have to go back out there to that baby and the drool mark on my shirt won’t even be all the way dry before she redampens it and I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT TODAY.

There’s some pretty common questions, I think, that new mothers tend to ask – how do I know if the baby is eating enough? How do I know if I’m making enough milk? I think they’re pretty common, at least.

Which is why it’s so weird that it’s almost impossible to find real answers. I understand that a lot of women think they can’t make enough milk, or are told they don’t make enough milk, and that it’s not true nearly as often as it is said. And I understand that a lot of new mothers are worried when their baby shortens nursing sessions, and that’s just a thing that babies do. Yes, those things are true.

But when you are looking for the answers to these questions, it would be nice if they were actually THERE, in addition to the standard “DON’T LISTEN TO WHOEVER IS TELLING YOU THAT!” reassurance. Without fail, even on LLL sites, all I come across are answers like, “It’s normal for a baby to eat for only a couple of minutes” or “As long as the baby is nursing often, you’ll make enough milk,” or the very common, “If there are an adequate number of wet and dirty diapers and the baby isn’t losing weight, you’re fine!” And nothing beyond that.

Except sometimes? The baby IS losing weight. And sometimes, someone is asking how to tell if their milk is drying up because IT JUST MIGHT BE, not because some horrible outside force is trying to convince her to supplement with the evil formula. And sometimes a lady is familiar enough with her own goddamn baby to KNOW it absolutely IS a problem that she’s only nursing for a couple of minutes per side and NEEDS TO KNOW WHAT TO DO.

Yet all this information is hard to find on the Internet, buried beneath tons of “IT’S FINE! DON’T LISTEN TO ANYONE WHO SAYS IT ISN’T!,” if it’s even there at all.

I’ve written before about breastfeeding “experts” (and I use quotes to indicate not that I don’t think such a thing exists, but that among the true experts, there are many people who are in-quotes experts) and a couple of situations in which I felt their failed to properly push for and advocate for breastfeeding by providing ALL the relevant information, correctly. And now I find myself almost on the opposite side, looking for these people who are supposed to have ALL the information, not just the information relevant to their almost political-ish opinion on the necessity of breastfeeding, crowding out the whole of my search results with “It’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine!” with no instruction or help on how to figure out if it’s actually NOT.

And we ARE working with a doctor and I KNOW I can go see a lactation consultant in person and a whole host of other solutions, I’m just expressing my annoyance that the information I need is seemingly not available on the Internet – instead, there’s a whole lot of “don’t trust your friend who said this, don’t trust your doctor who said that, don’t trust your instincts that say whatever,” if “this,” “that,” or “whatever” are at all indicative that maybe breastfeeding should stop or maybe formula supplementation should start.

Again, I’m not really looking for help on my issue, I’m just annoyed all over again at what a goddamn mess just trying to do the right thing by your baby ends up being a lot of the time.

*****

Phil doesn’t really talk about his past or growing up a lot. He doesn’t really have a great memory in general, and isn’t really the type to recount his whole life to someone. I know him now, and I know the vague outlines of his past, and in day to day living, it’s easy to kind of forget, in a subconscious way, that I don’t really know everything there is to know about him, or at least, his life and what’s gone on in it, until he reminds me in a hilarious manner.

Phil’s the type of person who doesn’t really always remember that not everyone is aware of what’s going on inside of his head or privy to all of his thoughts at all times. He’s the type that just picks up in the middle of a conversation and is kind of annoyed by your blank look, until you point out to him that the first 15 minutes of the conversation took place entirely in his head and it would be nice to be brought up to speed before being expected to give a response.

This whole “not everyone just knows everything” is especially funny when he throws out some random memory or experience from his childhood or past like it isn’t even a THING, and is surprised when you’re all, “Wait, WHAT? Did you just say, ‘Well, that time I got hit by a motorcycle…?’ Seriously? You’re just going to drop that out there and act like it’s not even RIDICULOUS to just SAY?”

In a way, it’s almost more fun to NOT ask Phil about his past and then just sit around and wait for the rare moments he decides he’s going to talk. Like yesterday, when Aerosmith came on my Pandora station.

“When I bought my first CD player, I bought this CD.”

“Oh, yeah?”

“Yeah. And then the first chick I ever did it with stole my CD player. It was a boom box.”

“Were you mad?”

“Well, kind of, but that’s not even the weirdest thing that happened with that girl.”

“Oh?”

“Nope. The weirdest thing was that I had sex with her twin.”

“You did WHAT?”

“And she was watching from the closet.”

“That HAPPENED?”

“She said it did. And then suddenly she was a triplet.”

“I don’t even –“

“This is the one I met when I worked at Baskin-Robbins, because I called a radio station to request a song while we were closing up and then she called the store because she heard me on the radio.”

“I DON’T EVEN –“

“She also faked a pregnancy and that was a whole other thing. Hey, do you want lunch?”

*****

I would normally put a picture of Penny about right here, but I don’t actually have any. Just take one of the pictures you’ve already seen and draw some angry, Oscar the Grouch-style eyebrows on it, and maybe some rage lasers shooting out from the general facial area, and then find the most grating sound you can and crank it up to full volume.

Enjoy.

*****

Hey, I am going to The Blathering, and there’s still 10 spaces left, I think, so. You know. Think about it.

*****

We are so sick of Arizona and so sick of our every attempt to get out of here being denied that we are at the point that Phil is seriously considering putting in for an unaccompanied short tour – Korea, or Diego Garcia, or something like that. He’d be gone for a year, without us, as the word “unaccompanied” implies. Before he even left, we’d know where we were going next, and people returning from short tours or overseas or whatever get a slightly higher preference on the base of their choosing. Of course, the base of their choosing is “chosen” from a list of what’s available, which is not guaranteed to not be even more hateful than where we are now.

And here’s the thing with doing a short tour – does he go now, and miss a year of Penny’s tiny babyhood, in hopes of getting us where we want to be, or does he wait and miss a year a little later on, one that Penny will remember?

Or, we can stay here in Arizona and keep requesting a Base of Preference, knowing that as long as we stay here, we’re likely stuck here for who knows how long, but as soon as we move, Phil will be right at the top of the list and will likely deploy to Afghanistan or Iraq pretty shortly after our arrival? (Don’t get me wrong – everyone deploys and we know that Phil WILL deploy at LEAST once in the remainder of his career and we KNOW that and we accept it, but it’s not something we actively WANT.)

I don’t know. Arizona itself isn’t THAT terrible. It’s just not the life we want to be living right now.

*****

Imagine I said something else right here, some long, elaborate description of a problem that you can’t actually help solve, so we can just make this whole package a nice, round downer.