Tag Archives: unbearable cuteness

150 WHATS?

150 what?

150 days since I last posted? No! You might think so, but I actually posted on Monday!

150 days until the next time I post after this time? That’s possible!

150 words in this post? That’s unlikely.

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150 lipsticks in these MUJI drawers that finally arrived that I will tell you all about in definitely less than 150 days because I’m in love with them and I’m convinced they’re the solution to my makeup being all over my Safety Bathroom counter (I had had it all nicely organized in the two ridiculously pathetic teeny tiny not actually even drawer-drawers in the counter itself, but I can’t work like that, I need to see everything, so within a couple of days of getting it all nicely stuffed away, it was all everywhere all over again, but now it WON’T BE because it’s in CLEAR DRAWERS, which are definitely the trend in the moderately-sized-makeup-collection world (with IKEA ALEX drawers obviously being the top choice in the mega-collection sector), but it’s a trend for a reason, because people with collections need to SEE THEIR STUFF, I am SAYING)? Anyway, no. There aren’t 150 of anything in there.

NO! None of that stuff.

ACTUALLY, Penelope is 150 weeks old today. I didn’t calculate that. You sign up for all these things when you’re first pregnant and they follow you forever.

So Penny is getting really close to three years old now, that’s next month, but I haven’t been updating too much recently, and I figured if I just suddenly sprang that on you, “HEY, PENELOPE IS THREE!,” you might be shocked at the passing of time or maybe might even have forgotten that I had a daughter in the glow of my MUJI drawers or maybe these new Sigma brushes I was finally pestilence-free enough to touch, but not yet enough to use, it seems the age of approaching-three carries with it deadly accuracy for coughing directly into my eyeballs and up my nostrils and also licking Cheetos before offering them to me as a snack:

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Have not yet worked out a brush storage solution.

You can tell which brushes are my new ones because they’re the ones that look like I actually practice what I screech about regular brush washing. It’s okay. I’m excited about all the things I totally promised you I was going to post about, too. (I didn’t forget any of them: the skincare stuff I use, the foundation hunt I went on, the new brushes, the Hourglass powder, the Makeup Geek shadows, and some other stuff I’ve picked up here and there.) It’s totally understandable if you forgot all about Penny in the whirlwind of the entirely too much shopping I did in the start of the year. I left her in an elevator in my rush to Sephora once. That is not true. That’s why I’m easing you up to her birthday with this update on Penelope at 150 weeks old!

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At 150 weeks old, Penelope is pretty average size. She’s not very big or very small. We think she’s huge, of course, but she’s not. Since she’s a former “failure to thrive” baby, though, she is always going to look like a giantess to me. I remember after we got her out of the hospital after that first time with the failure to thrive diagnosis (which was actually due to a whole other thing) and she was creeping up on 11 lbs as a 4.5 month old baby, I proudly said to her pediatrician who I really liked at the time, “Isn’t she HUGE?,” and the doctor says to me, “Oh, honey… no.”

ASIDE: When I’m King, probably the ninth or tenth order of business is going to be RENAMING THAT AWFUL “failure to thrive” PHRASE FOR THE LOVE OF SHIT, maybe to something like, “Parents Trying Their Very Very Hardest But Baby Not Making With Growth” or “Parents Obviously Working Asses Off at Trying to Be Parents, Child Already Showing Propensity for Not Going Along with Plans” or “PARENTS VERY CLEARLY GOOD PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING NO WRONG AND REALLY TRYING VERY HARD AND SOMEONE GET THE MOTHER A TISSUE AND A CHAIR AND EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE FINE WE WILL HANDLE THIS TOGETHER” syndrome.

Anyway, I don’t know exactly how big she is, but she’s almost three and she comfortably wears 3T clothing, so I guess about average. That seems about right to me. At her last well check, she was hovering right in the 40th percentiles for height and weight, but setting that aside, she looks good. All her bendy parts bend and her straight parts are straight. She does all the running and jumping with both feet, stacks things and kicks them, and does everything well enough that I haven’t even thought to glance at a milestone chart since she was just turning two, probably. No reason to even think about it. That’s been nice, considering Early Intervention was at our house at this point a couple of years ago. No need to even save that paperwork anymore.

I realize that none of what happened leading up to Penelope’s birth or what happened while I was in labor or right after her birth or her own health issues for her first two years are going to have any affect on her life going forward. Rationally, I know that. We completely closed the books on her kidney issues back in September – we don’t even have to go to the emergency room for a high fever anymore. Well, of course we do for a spectacularly high fever like anyone else would, but we used to have to – anyway, it was a thing. The last thing, and now we don’t have to do that, and I think now I for real really realize that EVERYTHING is done. Technically before now, but right now, at 150 weeks, done DONE. She’s here, full size, no heart issues, no breathing issues, no kidney issues, and just a scar left from surgery that even almost already totally faded away. And everything happened and resolved in just 150 weeks! That’s hardly any time at all (yes it is, it’s forever).

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If you meet Penelope at 150 weeks, the first thing she will say to you, almost definitely, is “Wanna see my cool trick?” The cool trick is almost always putting her head on the ground and one leg in the air. Unless you’ve seen that one. If you’ve seen that one, the cool trick is totally improvised on the spot. I don’t know what it might be. She might throw something at you. Definitely ask her to show you the one with her leg in the air again, it’s the safest.

She really likes Toy Story (the first one and the second one, she might like the third one but I’ve banned it when I’m in the playroom because I think it’s dumb and it doesn’t make sense) and Monsters Inc. She also likes Handy Manny and Trotro. But her absolute favorite thing to do is to stream the iPad to the television (Phil and I don’t actually know how she does this – we know it can be done, it’s just that she takes the iPad and does it herself, we’ve never arranged this for her) and watch video after video of this woman unboxing and playing with various PlayDoh and Barbie toys. She somehow locates a playlist from the suggested videos on YouTube, sets it to go on the television, and then goes about her own normal playing in the playroom accompanied by videos of an adult playing on the television. Phil likes video games. I only watch Korean television. We’ve all got our things.

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One of my very favorite things about Penelope right now is the way she talks. She’s a pretty decent talker, as I’ve mentioned before, but she has her mispronunciations like any toddler. And like any parent, I’m pretty attached to them and I’ll be sad to see them go. It’s not things like “emergery” for “emergency” that are my very favorite, though. No, these are the ones I’m working my hardest to mimic in order to preserve:

  • pooth taste
  • poilet taper
  • beep death

Of course when I go to write them down, I can’t think of more, but those are some of Pen’s most common types of mispronunciation. Other kinds don’t really stick around too long. She gets very frustrated when she doesn’t say a word correctly and will specifically request help, “I can’t say word, help me say word.” It’s kind of shitty, adorable toddler-speak is supposed to be part of the deal, but I’m hanging on to poilet taper as long as possible.

My other very favorite thing about her is that she is SO into whatever Phil and I are into. She wants to be with us and around us and do what we’re doing and make us laugh and make us happy and she mimics us and acts like us and does things that she thinks we’ll like. None of that is revolutionary or unique to Penny or something that I think my super special kid does that yours doesn’t. It’s just something that’s really great. She loves to sit with Phil and press the jump button while he plays video games. She says, “Mama, can we go in your Safety Bathroom and do makeup?” and it is the genuinely VERY BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO HER EVER when I say yes and I wonder why I don’t say yes more. Ugh, why don’t I say yes more? I should.

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At 150 weeks old, Penelope does whatever the hell she wants. I mean, we tell her what to do, and she hears us, but then she doesn’t do it, or she keeps on not doing it, or keeps on doing what we told her to stop doing. Three is really soon, and Phil and I have turned to each other with slow motion horror face and realized three is not going to be any better than two, it’s actually louder and throwier and screamier and people in public can actually hear what she’s saying to us when she’s being kind of awful. And I know those of you with kids who have already gone from two to three are like, I knew it, or I told you so, or I wanted to tell you so, or I’m about to go to the comments because I actually want to tell you so some more, but look, we went through two and it was a challenge and you kind of think, it’s okay, three is coming, and it will be different, and I guess our minds didn’t really ALLOW us to think it might be different BAD, but you know what guys, I think it’s going to be different BAD.

Not bad like my CHILD is bad, because she’s not. SHE’S NOT. She’s fabulous. Look at these pictures. SAY POILET TAPER OUT LOUD. JUST ONE TIME. Penelope is fabulous. But toddlers, man. They will make your (my) shoulders curl down and then your (my) neck bend until your ears just settle right into the little shoulder cave you (I) made and just consider moving in there. Just move into the shoulder cave and live there. For a while. A long while.

Oh gosh. PENELOPE IS A HUNDRED AND FIFTY WEEKS OLD. Can you BELIEVE everything that has even happened? CAN YOU EVEN.

Here, ignore the rest of us in this picture.

IGNOREUS

 

What’s up, Wrong-o?

I think it’s fine to use the popcorn button on your microwave. It’s arrogant Big Popcorn that wants you to think you can’t use it. Calm down popcorn, you’re just popcorn.

I think if you’re a grown adult and still doing any version of “I liked that before everyone else knew about it” out loud, you’re probably doing something wrong. There aren’t any points for that. You didn’t win. If you liked it a long time ago, you made a lucky discovery before other people got to it. That doesn’t make other people less, or make you more. It doesn’t make their enjoyment of Thing less true or sincere or valid, or your enjoyment of Thing a superior, more deep enjoyment or fanhood. No, rather, now you are two people who like Thing. Two people who can now like Thing together. And that’s good. Liking a thing together is one of the best things about liking a thing. Gleeful and sincere shared enjoyment of a thing is fantastic and there should always be room for more, really. Enjoyment of a thing can’t be used up. Also, stop it. Grow up. Move over, make space.

I bet you’re thinking, we all know this is going to lead into you talking about how much you like Korean television and wish people would watch along with you, but no one is going to watch with you, so you should just stop talking about it. WELL, I WON’T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. I WON’T. SO GIVE UP, YOU.

PtheLorax

Penelope was the Lorax for Halloween.

I spend most of my time these days in a recliner under a blanket like a hundred year old person in a recliner under a blanket, for reasons I’ll probably eventually get into if I decide to post for all of November because I don’t have thirty days of ideas but it’s actually more likely that I’ll just abandon the project by Sunday. And my recliner is under a ceiling fan that doesn’t turn off, which is just straight bullshit if you ask me. Which, if you ask me, you did, kind of, by reading this blog. Which you did. It’s still pretty warm here in the afternoons and the evenings, when the sun has been warming the house all day, and we actually still run the air conditioning in the evenings and through the night, because Phil likes to sleep at 74 degrees. Which, fine. 74 is a reasonable indoor temperature, right? And in the mornings, I turn the air conditioning off, because I’m cold. Lately, I’ve been returning to the thermostat several times a day, trying to figure out why I’m still cold when I know I turned it up. It turns out, it’s because it’s kind of not hot outside anymore. So while the air conditioning isn’t running, it’s staying around 74 in the house for most of the day, until the late afternoon, when it warms back up a bit.

Now, EXPERIENCE TELLS ME that this cooling trend is going to continue. Soon, it will stay around 74 for more of the day. And then around 73. Or lower. And no air conditioning at all will be necessary to keep it cool in the house. And as the winter season goes on, even in Arizona, the nights will be cooler. Cooler, even, than 74 degrees. We won’t need to use the air conditioning to get the house to Phil’s preferred 74 degrees, which is actually quite chilly with the blowers going at night, especially because we use a fan to keep the air moving and the dog stink from settling on us. Our room in particular can get quite still and heavy with the two of us and the two of them.

So I asked Phil this. I says to him, you like it 74 at night, right? And he confirmed. And I said, soon it will even be cooler than that at night. And he said, that will be nice. And I said, but 74 is a reasonable temperature for the house to be. Well, yes, he said. So, I said to him, we could, in theory, on those cooler nights, employ the HEAT to bring the temperature UP to that reasonable temperature of 74. Maybe 73. 70, even, could be fine. But we could use the HEAT to bring the temperature UP to the place where we are currently using air conditioning to bring it DOWN. Right? Because we agree, it’s a reasonable temperature. And he said to me, no. No, it’s different. Because it’s HEATING versus COOLING.

BUT SEVENTY INDOOR DEGREES IS REASONABLE REGARDLESS, RIGHT? How is it DIFFERENT?

(I know, in some people’s houses you prefer to never run the heat. Or you actually prefer to sleep in the very, very cold. Or you prefer another specific temperature calculated exactly for maximum efficiency and money savings. I know. Everyone is different.)

If 74 degrees is a reasonable house temperature now, achieved with air conditioning, how is it NOT a reasonable temperature (even when I give a few degrees, down to 70) when achieved with heat? HM, PHILLIP? PHILLIP THE UNREASONABLE? PHILLIP THE UNREASONABLE OF UNSOUND ARGUMENTLANDIA?

Speaking of the King of LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOUR LOGICSHIRE, our three year anniversary was last week.

thankspal

Despite all capslocks to the contrary, we’re quite well matched.

“Oh,” you’re thinking. “Purple flowers and a card of a suitable nature! An anniversary well done!” WELL, GUESS WHAT, WRONG-O. Your new name is WRONG-O.

Do you see there, over to the left side of the picture? It’s Phil, leaning into the fridge, doing the traditional and ceremonial burial at trashcan of all of the leftovers we didn’t get around to eating before I went grocery shopping again. Except the day ended up all crunched and weird, and I actually ended up taking Phil shopping with me. I had a LIST that followed a carefully laid out MEAL PLAN which adhered to our budget, so this on its own was a dangerous endeavor. A Phil in a grocery store is a magnet for cheese products and crackers and cheese product crackers that I never seem to notice until I’m unpacking the groceries. They go into some hidden nook in the cart that only he knows about and I swear he slips the cashier a ten to slide them through while my back is turned and I’m left wondering how I spend six thousand dollars on two packs of chicken breasts and some applesauce pouches. OH, WE BOUGHT EIGHTEEN FLAVORS OF CAPTAIN CRUNCH AND ONE OF EVERY CHEESE THANKS PHIL.

So I lectured him before we went in. I told him, if I come pick you up from work and take you with us (otherwise he’d sit at work an extra hour or so while we shopped, that’s life with one car), you will stay near the cart! Hands where I can see them! AT ALL TIMES! He agreed. And he really behaved himself through several aisles, so I gave him some leeway. I normally don’t buy snack food by a list, but kind of just pick whatever based on what’s on sale, what looks good, and what Phil and Penny like. In the interest of speeding things along, I sent him into the cookie/cracker aisle to “grab JUST A COUPLE THINGS and bring them back.” And to his credit, he did come back with just a couple things and dumped them in the cart. We got everything we needed, we stayed within the budget, it was a successful trip.

SO WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM, right? Is that what you’re thinking right now, Wrong-o? (That’s you. You’re Wrong-o.)

A few days later, I was looking for a snack to give Penelope. Well, it turns out, on our ANNIVERSARY, of all days, the snack foods I had TRUSTED him to acquire? He bought WHOLE GRAIN Fig Newtons. But it was fine, because he’d gotten two packages. BUT NO. The second package was ALSO WHOLE GRAIN.

As soon as he got home from work, I confronted him with my disbelief, my deep sense of betrayal, and absolute bewilderment that he’d buy TWO packages of whole grain Newtons. And do you know what he says to me, Wrong-o? He says, “THEY TASTE EXACTLY THE SAME.”

Are you feeling it now, Wrong-o? Are you feeling your deep, essential wrongness?

“THEY TASTE EXACTLY THE SAME.”

And then he took it further.

“I bet you $20 that in a blind taste test, you could not tell the difference between regular and whole grain Fig Newtons.”

Well. There’s only one response to that.

I DEMAND HIGHER STAKES.

Life intervened for a little while. A short while.

NEWTON DAY

YESTERDAY WAS THE DAY.
NEWTON DAY.

Phillip, Grand Poobah of Inappropriate Snackfood Choices and Head of the Parliamentary Board of Indiscriminate Tastebuds, administered the test. It was to be a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE – if it was just two Newtons, according to him, I’d have a 50/50 chance and there was no possible way success on my part could be credited to an ACTUAL difference between delicious Newtons and sand-wrapped crap Newton-impostors.

I turned my back to the table, and he handed me a Newton. I bit it. “GROSS NEWTON.” I set it down. He claimed I had to eat the whole thing. “I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT HAVE TO EAT THAT. IT IS GROSS.” He didn’t tell me if I was right or wrong. He handed me another Newton to my other hand – apparently The High Muckety Muck of Newton Testing Standards and Enforcement has his ways – and I took a bite. “REAL NEWTON.” Still, he didn’t tell me. This went on for two more Newtons, for a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE.

At the end, I turned around. He looks at me, and he says, “You got them all wrong.”

I MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT.

“Okay,” he says, “You got them all right.”

KNEW IT.

NEWTONCHALLENGE

Ass of Newton Challenge: Kicked

“BUT,” he says. “It doesn’t count.”

HOW CAN IT NOT COUNT. FOUR NEWTONS. FOUR CORRECT IDENTIFICATIONS. CRAP, GOOD, GOOD, CRAP.

“I can’t tell the difference. They taste exactly the same. So it doesn’t count.”

Okay. Okay. So, bringing it all back around. There’s a DIFFERENCE between 70 degrees achieved with air conditioning and 70 degrees achieved with the heating, even though they’re both 70 degrees, and there’s a difference because he can tell there’s a difference. He can tell, therefore, a difference exists.

I successfully complete a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE, executed under his own standards and procedures, because I can ABSOLUTELY TELL THE DIFFERENCE between an excellent Newton and a crappy grainy Newton of sadness and woe, but my accomplishments in the field of snacks count for nothing, because he can’t tell, thus no difference actually exists.

Put that in your shopping cart and sneak it past the flowers, WRONG-O.

Nag Lorax

EXCUSE ME, you’re going to recycle that bottle, correct? And compost that apple core?

Super Great

I just don’t know if I’ve ever met someone so great.

 

 

Several Different Kinds of Worst Kinds. BONUS POEM.

Worst Kind of Friendly Cashier: The friendly craft store cashier. “You know what you can make with this?” Yep. I do. That’s why I’m buying it. I’ve got a plan. I’m buying it, and I’m going to take it home, and I’m going to execute my plan. When she says, “You know what you can make with this?,” she makes me pretend to consider her idea, like it’s good, and I might do it. But there’s no chance I’m going to do it, because I came in with a plan, which I am going home to execute. And then I am awkward, like, “oh, yeah, uh huh,” OR WORSE? I might feel like I have to tell her what I’m actually going to do, and then she’s judging my idea against hers, and maybe she’s not thinking my idea is very good, and I’m thinking about what she’s thinking, and I’m probably making serious bitch face, and then I am a bitch, and she’s thinking I’m a bitch, even though she is the one who made me be a bitch, by forcing me to pretend like I’m weighing her idea against mine. “CONSIDER MY IDEA. DID YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT IT? WHY NOT? MY IDEA IS GOOD, TOO. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT’S SO GREAT? IS IT AS GOOD AS MY IDEA? JUSTIFY YOUR PLAN. TELL ME YOUR PLAN.”

Worst Kind of Person on Twitter: The person who puts all of their replies to other people in front of the original tweet. You know what I mean? You’re already limited to 140 characters, but this person crunches their responses even further. Instead of just replying directly to the person, like so,

@Person Thing I think is really brilliant and I am really impressed with myself!

they do something like this,

I’m rly self-impresssed, does every1 see this?!!? @Person Orignal tweet abbreviated down to nonsense.

He can just respond without putting the other person’s tweet in there. If I’m following the other person, too, I’ll see his response, and I’ll have already seen the original tweet. If I’m not following the other person, I won’t have seen the original tweet, and I won’t see theresponse. There’s a reason for that. Twitter is designed that way. It’s so that I don’t have to see the conversations of people I’m not following, or the half-conversations people I am following are having with people I’m not following. If I wanted to be following someone, I would be. By doing what the WORST KIND OF PERSON ON TWITTER is doing, he is deciding for me what I see. I’ve already decided, either by actively choosing not to follow who he is talking to, or by simply not getting to it yet, or not knowing who that person is, or WHATEVER. Whatever the reason, I have chosen either deliberately or by lack of action. I’ve chosen. And now he is overriding my choice, simply to make sure I see whatever he’s saying. He’s decided that whatever he has to say is more important than my choice, than the experience I’ve designed and decided on for myself. Similar to the douche period, it is equally douchey and equally employed by douches.

It’s the equivalent of autoplay music and videos and browser windows that resize themselves. IT IS. Don’t manipulate the Internet experience of other people. It’s RUDE. You don’t have a good reason for it. If you want to bring other people’s attention to a conversation that you’re involved in because you think it’s an important/funny/interesting conversation, find an important/interesting/funny point and retweet it like a normal person, and people can decide to join if they want. Damn. WORST KIND OF PERSON ON TWITTER.

The Worst Kind of Food Police: The “oh, that’s not a REAL ________!” people. Let’s take cheese steaks as an example. I love cheese steaks. And as we all know, Philadelphia has a reputation for cheese steaks. Sometimes, when a person eats a cheese steak, a person – henceforth known as a fartwaft – feels the need to inform the eater that what they are eating is not a REAL cheese steak. Because it’s not from Philadelphia. And also, it has the wrong kind of cheese. And also, did you put ketchup on it? Wait, is that mayonnaise? You don’t need all those vegetables on — look, just give it to me. That’s not even food. That’s not a REAL cheese steak. Let me just throw that in the garbage. IT’S NOT A REAL CHEESE STEAK. YOU’RE NOT EVEN FROM PENNSYLVANIA, ARE YOU? DO YOU HAVE A PERMIT FOR THAT SANDWICH? WHO EVEN SAID IT WAS OKAY FOR YOU TO ORDER A CHEESE STEAK? AM I GOING TO HAVE TO CALL SOMEONE DOWN HERE? DRAW THE LIBERTY BELL FROM MEMORY. I WANT TO SEE AN ACCURATE CRACK, TO SCALE.

Holy shit, shut the fuck up, fartwaft. Cheese + steak = cheese steak. End.

This also happens all the time with the “correct” preparation of ethnic foods, usually phrased as, “My grandmother would DIE TO DEATH if she saw you eating X food in Y way! SHE’D DIE FROM IT. Do you want my DEAD GRANDMOTHER to DIE SOME MORE?”

Yeah, you people – you guys – you’re the fucking worst. Just the worst. What the hell kind of response are you expecting when you do that? Someone’s going to spit the hunk of kielbasa right out of her mouth and back away with her hands in the air, sobbingly confessing to being Canadian all along? NO ONE IS TRYING TO REKILL ANYONE’S DEAD ANCESTORS. THERE’S NO LAW. There’s also no prize. Unless it’s for biggest fartwaft. Stinky.

*****

If I keep going, I am either going to get TOO MAD, or offend someone (OH: WORST KIND OF ENTITLED PERSON – “I’m offended by the fact that you don’t like something I do.” EXPECTANT LOOK. Where I am supposed to respond to the expectant look by assuring the person that they’re the special exception.), so I will just stop. But I suppose it would be okay if you maybe knew a worst kind of person or two. Like the kind of person who doesn’t update for weeks and then expects you to provide the content YOU CAN’T USE THAT ONE I JUST CALLED DIBS.

*****

This is Penelope.
She’s almost two.
I didn’t crop out the mess.
Try to make me give a poo.

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.

Desert baby bested by grass, mother unmoved, unhip, big hipped.

Let’s all just agree now that we won’t expect much from each other on the weekends.

Mine involved a lot of spitting (Penelope), a lot of “I don’t want to touch you,” (me, to various family members – some covered with wet food, some covered in stinky fur), and a lot of sighs of various tones (Phil – there were two trips to Target and an unfruitful hunt for a red cardigan that I think he knew that I knew was going to be unfruitful from the start. I did know. Sighs accepted.)

Oh, and we also went to dinner with The West Coast Aunts!

I would say that you could look forward to meeting the West Coast Aunts at PJs at TJ’s, but if you’ll look to your right, you’ll notice that registration is closed. I don’t really have anything more to say about that. I went into this paragraph thinking I was going to offer some consoling words, or say something about a wait list or whatever, but eh, if you were going to register, you would have done it by now.

Tomorrow, I have big plans – BIG PLANS. I’ve got to mail out some diapers I sold – did I tell you I’ve been selling my diapers? It took a while. When the first one sold, I had to lay down on the floor for a minute. Then I laughed and counted the $48 it sold for. I auctioned one yesterday, one that wasn’t even brand new and unworn like that first one, for $45.

It’s been getting easier.

After that, Pen and I will stop at JoAnn Fabrics for supplies for my much hipper hobby of counted cross stitch. My sister and I have begun collaborating on our own somewhat inappropriate patterns that will be available for purchase around probably never, or Christmas, depending on how action packed my month long trip to Pennsylvania is.

In other news, I’ve been participating in the Biggest Blogging Loser competition, and between that and a little work I’ve done on my own before it, I’ve lost 20 lbs, bringing me down to weighing… well, 20 lbs less than my prepregnancy weight and wearing one size larger than my prepregnancy size, and looking exactly zero percent different than I did three weeks after I had the baby, because I have giant boobs and a c-section pooch.

But hey, it’s about the health, right? I mean, twenty pounds! That’s something! I can be proud of that! So what if none of my old clothes fit! So what if I actually have to buy all new, BIGGER things to fit my twenty pounds lighter self! It’s not about APPEARANCE. It’s about — oh, go fuck yourself, me.

(There’s a video in this post. You don’t see it if you’re reading this in Google Reader. I’m not saying you have to click through, or even that it’s worth a click through. I’m just saying that I want credit for more content than you’re actually seeing. I want you to mentally tally up more content points for me than you would give me if I hadn’t made this note. Thanks.)

I started with boats, and somehow got eggs. Keeheehee.

Every night for the last… I’m actually not sure how many nights. I’ve lost count. That’s a lie. I wasn’t counting. Every night for the last significant while, I’ve gone to bed with the firm intent to be better in the morning, in almost every single area of my life. Seriously. Almost all of them. It’s very tempting right now to try to think of some obscure life area in which I am already perfect, but that feels too hard right now, since I’m really struggling lately with this headache thing – remember when I was in the hospital and accused you of not caring, but I really didn’t carry the joke off well, so it didn’t actually come across at all that I really WAS in the hospital? Yeah, well, it was for a headache thing, and it’s just no good. You don’t have to concern yourself. I mean, a moment of passing concern is fine, because I’m sure you’re a compassionate person on some level, but we don’t really know each other and it’s not a tumor or anything and there’s no real risk to my health, I’m just in a lot of discomfort, and I took one of every pill on the bedside table already tonight, so I can’t really think of anything clever — HEY. Pill taking, completeness of. NAILED IT.

Anyway, two hundred words down, all garbage, starting over. So I’m going to bed with the intent of just doing better at all of it tomorrow, and not in the “go GET ’em, slugger” kind of way, where I’m pep talking myself, but more in the resigned, heavy sigh, tomorrow’s another day, just… try again kind of way. And I wouldn’t even call it best intentions, or even good intentions. Is must intentions a thing? Can you must an intention? I don’t know. I’m not looking that up. I don’t even know how to look that up. I don’t have to look that up. It’s not a thing. You’ve been reading here long enough to know I play kind of fast and loose with whether or not a thing is a thing. That is not an area in which I intend to improve. When a boat needs to be bailed out, we do not paint the trim. Besides, I like the trim. Up yours. Up yours is part of the trim, by the way. Have a seat. Help yourself to snacks. Put your feet up. The water is getting a mite high.

I regret using the sinking ship analogy. It’s too dramatic. I am not a dramatic person. Unless it suits my purposes. It did there, for a minute, but now it doesn’t, so forget that whole thing, except the bit about the trim, because I liked that part.

So, right, going to bed with the must intention of being better in just about every area possible. And it’s just not long at all into that next day before I’m ticking off “not so goods” on my list of areas. I’m super impatient with Penny, I don’t get any laundry done, 3pm comes and I have no dinner plans, “do you want to watch a show” turns into three episodes of the Fresh Beat Band. And, I don’t know, a whole crap load of other stuff I’m not stupid enough to put on the Internet. What am I, new? (I’m not new.) And then the weird thing is, the night rolls around, and I CANNOT UNDERSTAND how these things happened. Especially being impatient with Penny. Because she is sleeping and adorable, and how could I POSSIBLY make an angry face at sleeping adorable Penny? But THEN it is DAYTIME again, and I cannot imagine how I am supposed to NOT be impatient with Penny, because HONEST TO SUPERMAN, if you could see this kid in action.

I’m saving this post for tomorrow.

Okay, it’s tomorrow, and the baby is napping, and I still feel the same way, but I vented it out a little bit on Twitter this morning (summary: it’s a terrible age, they seem like people but they’re just large babies, basically feral with lots of spitting), and I guess I wasted my boner for this blog post. I just feel bad a lot. And it turns out it’s common. There’s just this space between her terrible behavior and my knowledge that look, she’s not even two and being terrible is part of learning how to function as a whole person, and I’m the person she has to be terrible AT. And in that in between space is a whole lot of room for me to act like the worst person ever. And I do. Over and over.

I feel like it’s a lot to explain, yet somehow I crammed it into just a couple of 140 character tweets this morning, and that’s my excuse for not wanting to do it again right now? Honestly, Internet, you should demand better. Hence the theme, right?

It’s like a domino effect of badness, though. When I was in Weight Watchers in high school, back before you could do it online and tell your computer screen, “Oh, I’m wearing heavy earrings today,” like it believes you any more than that lady ever did, the leader had all these annoying sayings that were only annoying because they were so fucking true, like about BLTs – bites, licks, and tastes. All the shit you put in your mouth when you’re making a lunch or cooking dinner, it doesn’t have zero calories, it all counts, and now that I’ve said “BLTs” to you and explained it? Yeah, enjoy the rest of your miserable life, because that’s never leaving your head. And there was this other one that stuck with me. If you’re carrying a dozen eggs and you drop one, you don’t throw the other eleven on the ground. It’s supposed to be an argument against “starting the diet over on Monday” if you have a bad day, or even against starting over in the morning if you have a heavy lunch or whatever. And it makes sense, right? In a really fucking annoying way, because you really want to eat pizza all weekend, because there’s leftovers in the fridge. But it’s in your head, and it makes sense.

BUT LATELY, I swear, even though I go to bed all resigned to carry all my eggs in a more carefully crafted container (we all did that “experiment” in middle school, my egg survived, I’m basically a pro) in the morning, not twenty minutes into the day, not only have I dropped an egg, I’m standing on top of the furniture, flinging eggs at the walls, and then SEEKING OUT MORE DOZENS OF EGGS TO THROW AT OTHER UN-BE-EGGED THINGS.

Have I gone too far into this? I started this post last night and didn’t skim the top before I started up again. I know I started with boats, and now I’m at eggs. I feel like I’ve gone too dire again. I don’t feel like it’s SO dire. I just feel like it’s life. And I feel like maybe I’m focusing too much on Penelope. I mean, she’s the head egg, to be sure. And she’s always the first egg I crack. But this kid, she is BEGGING TO BE AN OMELETTE.

It’s not just her. It’s not. I don’t want you to think I’m just messing up my kid and calling it a day, I’m messing up everything. No, that’s not really true, because that makes it sound like I’m taking an active part. There’s some passive failures, too. But then, the word “failure” is also too much. You know, this whole blog post is just making a lot out of nothing. There’s just a lot of nothing. That’s a good way to put it. There’s a big open space, and that space is an area that is available for me, an area that is open for me to make improvements. And it’s hanging there, empty. There is a LOT OF ROOM for me to work. No one is in my way, nothing is stopping me. Opportunity is there, and I’m not taking it.

Is this making sense? I’m trying to put this in a way that doesn’t make it sound like there’s a dramatic ANYTHING going on over here, because there’s not. There’s life, being lived, not so entirely to my satisfaction, but I’m not sending up flares and asking you to share feelings with me, okay? This is not that blog. I’m just telling you how it’s going, and as is my way, I’m using a lot of words and not getting it done. Look, it’s a metaphor, or whatever. Here’s my blog space, a lot of space, and I’m using it ineffectively to do things wrong and fuck shit up and look, I’m just going to throw my last couple eggs here on the floor. For fuck’s sake. You know what, I’m not deleting any of this. Screw you. IT’S NOT LIKE I’VE MADE IT SEEM WITH ALL THESE WORDS. Just… GUESS at what I’m trying to say.

NaBloPoMo! Another opportunity to throw a bunch of damn eggs onto the damn floor! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BOAT. I SWEAR THERE WAS A BOAT.

Look, can I just tell you some good things about my kid?

She was a dragon for Halloween.

She is 18 months old now. She needs to be actively engaged just about every second of every day, or she will devise some new way to be evil. Some of them are actually kind of insanely genius, in ways that you just wouldn’t think a kid her age could come up with. Unless you have a kid her age already. In which case, you could have warned me.

She’s doing pretty good with talking. She was a little slow with words for a while, then it just blew up. She’s putting together sentences and will actually hold a mini conversation, if your expectations of conversations aren’t high, and if you’re okay with only talking about what Penelope is interested in. For a week or two, she was picking up one new word every few days, taking a day or two to perfect it, and then sticking it into her little conversations. Then it was a new word a day. Now she’s picking up several new words a day. We stopped counting. A couple of days ago, she found some tights and called them “shoe pants.” I didn’t even know she knew the word pants.

She finally calls me mama, after a really long time of dada being just about the only word she knew. The best part about it is not that she’s stopped calling me dada or just yelling for my attention. She actually still just yells for my attention. No, the best part is that she often calls Phil mama, and she does it specifically because it annoys him. She thinks it’s funny. I think it’s funny, too. I think it’s really funny.

She tries to jump (she learned it from an episode of the Fresh Beats), but can’t, and her failures are hilarious and enjoyable, but not at her expense, because she thinks she is jumping, and loves it. She’s started to take an interest in other kids, and will lean around me and yell, “HI!” at any small size person she sees. We’re going to spend a month in Pennsylvania, just me and her (if anyone has dragged a Marathon car seat on a plane, first hand stories are welcome – and “you don’t need to, you can check it!” is also welcome, but will be politely passed over, because I know that I don’t need to legally, but I do need to sanity-ly, so I am and it’s already decided), and I’m looking forward to her enjoying some play time with her cousins of the same age.

One of the absolutely best things about Penny is how much she loves the video for Put Down the Duckie. She does these deep swinging arm claps, like an aerobics instructor, which is adorable all on its own, but the best thing – the BEST THING – is that she calls Ernie by his laugh. I don’t know how to better explain that. You know how Ernie laughs, right? That keeheehee sound? That’s what she calls him. And that’s how she asks to watch the video. She asks for Ernie, but she doesn’t call him Ernie. She calls him his laugh. And that is how we will survive, for now.

Keeheehee.

PJs at TJ’s to remain wee. Js.

Hello! Since last weeks shitcakery, I have been busy, and I have been deep in plans for the 2013 rehappening of PJs at TJ’s! Do you remember, that happened last year? My husband went out of town for three weeks and left me alone with the baby and on the day he came back, I had a whole bunch of Internet women in my home for the weekend, and I didn’t say much about it, because I was exhausted and then I caught the ennui, and I swear, it all feels like it was last week, but NO. Last week was shitcakes and plans for next year, because I am doing it AGAIN.

It is still in Arizona and it is still (or again) in February and while I have heard a lot of people who couldn’t make it last year (well, earlier this year) express interest in attending the next one, I have made the possibly to be considered assholish decision to not only limit the number of spaces available, but make that limit very few numbers above the number of people who attended last year. And then if I do it again the year after next year, the number won’t be any bigger than that again, because that’s why you (if you are one of the yous) want to come, right? Because last year it sounded fun, and one of the things that made it fun was that it was so small that it was forced to be a cohesive event, with very little, if any, fractioning and splitting off of groups (some people did go get pedicures, but otherwise we were all up in each other’s armpits) and it was not something that made this particular event any better than any other event, but it was certainly somewhat different than others.

The thing with Internet gatherings is that if they become a yearly thing, it is almost as though they are expected or needed or forced to becoming a bigger thing each year, to accommodate the interested parties or to allow for more fun stuff to happen or to become more spectacular or better in some way each year, and as they get more successful they garner more attendance and become more awesome and anticipated each year, and that is undeniably a Very Good Thing and not something I am about to dispute in any way.

But I have realized in my long history of doing this one time and beginning my plans to do it a second time that I just have no interest of becoming a facilitator for Internet people to meet in a city and go off and do things, I think there are tons of events that do just that, and I think that the logistics of something like that make my eyes squinty. I don’t think that’s what I did last year, and I want to do what I did last year again, and I want to keep doing it.

I guess if you want to go someplace central to meet your friends and then go off with your friends and do things with your friends, there’s a lot of events preplanned for you that will allow you to do that, OR you can just pick a city and you can go there and do it yourself, a concept that, after I went to The Blathering, seriously BLEW MY MIND, and lead to me doing PJs at TJ’s, and that still may be something that I do someday, some time, and some place with some friends for some purpose, but what I realized I was doing with PJs at TJ’s and what I want to continue to do is throw my own party.

And that’s what it is, really, when it comes down to it – it’s my party. And I guess that can sound terrible, depending on how you want to look at it, but it was in my HOUSE where I live with my husband and baby, and I made all the plans and mixed up all the dips and put my bed in the living room, and I invited all of my friends to come. Not by name or anything, though, because it’s not exclusive, except how it kind of is.

Internet, I am rambling, because I am nervous. I have been a bit… strident… in the past, about some of the more ridiculous Internet shit that smacks of exclusivity, like like shmoad shmumit, oh my LANDS, and I have been gnawing on my fingers over the last week or so, knowing that in a few weeks, I was going to tell you that yay! PJs at TJ’s is coming!  But! There are this many spots. Where “this” is a very small number. And how was I going to assure you that EVERYONE was welcome, because how can you fit EVERYONE into a very small number?

Well, you can’t fit everyone into a very small number, especially when that number is made smaller by allowing first dibs to people who attended in the past. Why? Because… that felt like the right thing to do. No one writes rules for this shit, you know? There’s no “bring an invitation for everyone in the class” when you have a very small number of spots and a tiny but not entirely insignificant slice of Internet to consider.

Half of me is annoyed that I’ve written 900 words on this, the half of me that taglined my first blog, run on MT, with “I DON’T HAVE TO EXPLAIN MYSELF TO YOU PEOPLE” (Hey, does anyone remember the fad in the early 2000s of “leaving out the keys to your blog” for a day? Where you’d leave a guest login and password and let people post to your blog all day? And people just did? And no one fucked up your shit?), but the other half of me that has been fretting for a week feels like I need to prepare you in advance for what is coming.

TO SUM UP WHAT IS COMING!

– PJs at TJ’s is coming!

Registration (“registration” – basically you tell me your name and I tell you where to send your money and where you can get a hotel room) will open (“open” – I pick up my pen) sometime next month (“sometime next month” – ish).

It is an exclusive event in that X number of people can come and everyone who is not in the set of X number of people will be excluded, likely of their own choosing. It is not an exclusive event in that I am extending invitations. I have no idea whose names I will write on the list of attendees when “registration” “opens.” It is going to be a surprise. It is the SURPRISE kind of exclusive. It’s… surplusive.

I am telling you this because I want you to be prepared, if you want to come, to start thinking about the reality of coming to Arizona, and the costs, so that just in case there is a shocking run on the surplusive spots when I pick up my pen next month, you are all squared away to tag one for yourself.

I am also telling you this because I am kind of half-defensive, in a yeah, it’s my party, I am throwing a party, I am throwing MY PARTY, this is how I am doing it, want to fight about it, I am totally a tough guy kind of way, since as we all know, as I have now asked you if you want to fight about it, you have 48 hours in Internet time to challenge my stance on Personal Party Throwing and Surplusivity before this document is entered into Internet law and becomes invulnerable to latecoming crybabies and whinerpantses.

Here is my baby, in a clip for her upcoming documentary, “I Was an Only Child: Videos Compiled for a Life in Therapy”