Friday, January 25, 2008

wrecking havoc since 1979

After putting River down to bed last night Thom and I walked out of his room and were hit with the rank aroma of burnt plastic. We followed the scent through the hall and down the stairs and couldn't find the source. It seemed to run throughout the house, warmer here, colder here. It was near bedtime for us, but we didn't want to go to bed before discovering the source of the horrible smell. We both imagined wires aflame in the walls, burning the house down while we slept.

I opened every door and drawer I could think of to no avail. Then, standing in the kitchen, trying to bloodhound my way to the smell, I felt the warmth of the dishwasher next to my legs and I knew I had found it. It was horrible. I opened the door and a huge wave gag-inducing horror hit me in the face. Apparently, a piece of plastic from the food processor had slipped through the bars and landed on the hot coils at the bottom of the machine. There, it melted like butter and fused itself to the coil.

Thom and I have no idea how we're going to clean this mess up. We can't pull the drawer of the dishwasher out because the plastic has it pinned in, and we can't get in there to remove the plastic because it's blocked by the drawer.


Here's the hilarious photographic evidence of my stupidity:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

ch-ch-ch changes!

Well it's about time! All those things that I've been pondering, worrying over, thinking I need to get done are finally beginning to happen.

The big development is, of course, River's new found (and hopefully not temporary) ability to sleep through the night. Thom and I spent the weekend sleep training him--and it did not involve making the poor booger "cry it out." The method is simple, though very daunting, which is why it took us nearly nine months to give it a try. I won't go into the details other than to say that River now knows that he can get himself to sleep in his own crib. He doesn't always like it, but he can do it.

I know River is just in that category of Children Who Do NOT Like To Sleep, and he always will be that way. Someday in the not too distant future he's going to start bartering with us--just one more story, one more kiss goodnight--and we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. But for now, the parents have decisively won this battle!

The second thing that has been on my mind is my fitness routine. One of the things I wanted to build into my day when I decided to up the sitter's hours was a workout. For the first half of this month I was too overwhelmed with just getting back into our normal routine to add anything to it. Well, it's only a beginning but I've managed to fit a workout in for the past three days. I'm gearing up for a trip to a yoga retreat next week and I want to have a little stamina and flexibility when I get there. Looking (and feeling) good so far!

Next, I'm inching closer to my goal of getting back to work. I've had some head shots blown up so I can decide which new pics to reprint, and I've been diligently revamping my website. As soon as I have my resume and photos in place, I'll feel comfortable getting out there for auditions. (Who knows when I'll have time to actually DO these imaginary acting projects, but it feels good to dream.)

Finally, Thom and I have actually begun to have a regular Date Night. We have a sitter scheduled to come every Friday night and we use that time for just the two of us. To all my single readers this probably sounds like the death of spontaneity and fun, but oh my gosh, getting out for a weekly date is SOOO much better than just not going out for months at a time. It's definitely made us feel closer, and though we'll never be the couple we were before kids, Date Night is helping us define a new "us" that doesn't involve baby.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I can't really believe it, but last night River slept from 9pm to 8am. My world is turned upside down. Can this be true? Or has the chronic sleep deprivation from the past 9 months finally turned my brain into tapioca and this is all some sad psychotic fantasy? Only time will tell. If I'm not actually in the loony bin imagining all this, I will write more later.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

a little diversion

For three days now I've been working on a post about the trip River and I took to the Children's Museum on Friday. I may not have time to write something significant, but here's an email I got from my aunt today. It was pretty funny...

Happy New Year to all! But this is a warning. Be careful out there in 2008---these people are out there just waiting to blow your mind.

We had to have the garage door repaired. The Sears repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a "large" enough motor on the opener. I thought for a minute and said that we had the largest one Sears made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower. He shook his head and said, "Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower." I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4. He said, "NO, it's not." Four is larger than two.."

We haven't used Sears repair since.


My daughter and I went through the McDonald's take-out window and I gave the clerk a $5 bill. Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her a quarter. She said, "you gave me too much money." I said, "Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar bill back." She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me back the quarter, and said “We’re sorry but they c ould not do that kind of thing." The clerk then proceeded to give me back $1 and 75 cents in change.

Do not confuse the clerks at McD's.

I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the DEER CROSSING sign on our road. The reason: "Too many deer are being hit by cars out here. I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore."

From Kingman , KS .

My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for "minimal lettuce." He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce.

From Kansas City

I was at the airport, checking in at the gate, when an airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?" To which I replied, "If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?" He smiled knowing l y and nodded, "That's why we ask."

Happened in Birmingham , Ala.

The stoplight on the corne r buzzes when it's safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged coworker. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, "What on earth are blind people doing driving?!"

She was a probation officer in Wichita , KS

At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker: she was leaving the company due to "downsizing." Our manager commented cheerfully, "This is fun. We should do this more often." Not another word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare.

This was a lunch at Texas Instruments.

I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself and for the sake of her life, couldn't understand why her system would not turn on.

A deputy with the Dallas County Sheriffs office, no less.

When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver's side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. "Hey," I announced to the technician, "it's open!" His reply, "I know. I already got that side."

This was at the Ford dealership in Canton , Mississippi

Stay Alert! They walk among us...and the real scary thing is...they vote.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

SOS: same old shit

I'm having a hard time getting the energy to write lately. Getting back into the routine at home after such a long time away has taken a bit of work (and it still feels like I'm playing catch-up). A couple big projects are done--house cleaning, grocery shopping. But River's suitcase is still sitting in the corner of his room, stuffed full and going nowhere on it's own.

I've upped my daily sitter hours to three with the intention of using the extra time doing the business end of my acting work, but even that extra hour gets eaten up with stupid things like taking a shower or doing laundry. I know I need to be stricter with "my time" but it's not easy.

Mainly it's the same old song: River won't sleep and I'm exhausted. He's spent the past few nights screaming his head off anytime Thom or I take him near the crib and I've resorted to sleeping with him on the couch so that a) I don't have to nurse him all night long and b) at least one of us can get the illusion of sleep.

This morning (stupidly early) Thom got up to catch a plane and I had River in bed with me. He woke up after daddy was gone and screamed and squirmed and refused to go down for two hours. You can imagine how not friends we were during that time. Those moments are the worst for me. When everything that I love about him is drowned out by wails and frustration. It's hard for me to be the patient, loving mother I so want to be when I'm so tired and he's so unreasonable.

Finally, after an epic struggle he fell asleep for a few more hours and I had time to regain some sanity.

In the morning, I set him in his highchair and turned on some music while I cooked breakfast. It was an infectious pop song by Lily Allen and I couldn't help but do a ridiculous little dance to it. Well, River just cracked up at my ungraceful moves, pouring out laugh after laugh.

I always worry that he'll hold it against me when I lose my temper. Of course he never does. But this morning, at least, watching the joy I was creating in his little face, I was able to forgive myself.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

sweet cheesy goodness, we're home!

River took a real turn for the worse three days ago and got a really bad fever. I took him to the doctor, got him fixed up with antibiotics for whatever mysterious ailment he had, and now he's on the mend.

We flew home with auntie Crystal last night, and though he's very clingy, he seems to be feeling much better.

I can't tell you how happy I am to be home. Thom came to the airport at the asscrack of dawn to pick us up, and he drove us back to a clean house and some very happy kitties. In River's room he had used some foam blocks to spell "BIVER" and "SMUC", which I assume would have been "SMOOCH" if he'd had enough letters. (Sorry, Thom, I'm sure you'd prefer I kept that tidbit to myself. I just can't help sharing--it gave me such a big smile.)

Now River is taking the longest nap ever, and my but is glued to the couch while I watch my new Angel DVDs.

Happy New Year to you all!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

River News: Month Nine

Dear Mr. Biver Butt,

Happy New Year!

You have been nine months old for a few days now, and I must apologize for being late getting this letter written. It's been a busy Christmas vacation in Las Vegas so I haven't had time to look at my computer, much less write a lengthy tome on what you've been up to this month. But I've managed to carve out a few hours this afternoon, so here I am.

This has been the month of the Ya Ya Ya's, River. It's your new favorite word and, oh boy, does it have a lot of meanings. You say it when you're hungry, excited, tired, frustrated, curious, bored, or just want to chat. The inflection and meaning you can put into one little syllable is amazing, and I love to listen to you yayaya all day long. We've had some meaningful conversations this month and though you haven't said any "words" I sure know you've a got a lot going on up there.

You've continued your physical development this month, increasing coordination and strength. The changes aren't happening quite as rapidly as they were in the first months, but we're still seeing slow and steady progress. Climbing and crawling has gotten easier, and your dexterity is really increasing.

This month you learned to wave and I think clapping is right around the corner. More and more your body is able to let us know what you want.

REACH: I want mommy
BANG BANG: I want cheerios
YAYAYA: I want to play

Boston was hit with a couple big snow storms in December, so you've finally gotten to see some real snow. We took a walk one afternoon as it began to fall and you were so fascinated--looking around at the drifting flakes, then up to the sky to see where it was coming from. You took a bite of freshly fallen snow and were pretty pleased.

We've had a wonderful time in Las Vegas celebrating the holiday with family. Every year, we get two full Christmases, celebrating one at my parent's place a day early, then doing it all again at your daddy's folks'. It's worked out pretty wonderfully--not only does no one get short-changed, but we all get twice the fun.

This year, your great-grandparents came to spend the holiday with us. It's real treat for me to introduce you to Gordon and Frankey (especially since grandma has been hounding me for babies for quite a while!). And you were just as charming as I expected. You warmed up pretty quickly to everyone and spent more time in other people's arms than mine.

On our first Christmas morning, you did as I expected and found more joy in the wrapping paper and boxes than the presents themselves. Thankfully, no one went too overboard. It's such a decadent holiday and your father and I don't ever want you to feel entitled to a ton of presents. Thank you for reminding everyone of how much fun can be found in the little things.

At your grandpa and grandma Doyle's house the next day (the actual Christmas) we had another fantastic time. We spent the morning opening (so many) presents. Music was the theme this year. You got two drum sets and a guitar. You also had a great time playing, or rather, banging on the piano. I remember when your cousin Sydney was at this stage and I was sure she was going to be a musical prodigy. Really, I think you just like to make a bunch of noise.

That afternoon we had a great dinner, then a big party with all of the extended family. You were amazing with all of the strangers and did lots of flirting with the ladies. You gave auntie Roxanne such an eye batting I was sure your uncle Scott was going to have words.

On New Years Eve your father flew home, leaving us behind because you've gotten sick once again. I'll be really happy once you can blow your nose and understand how to pop your ears, but until then, we're here waiting out this stinky cold.

As usual, it's a blessing in disguise as you get to spend more time with your grandparents and I get a few more days with multiple sitters around.

This has been an amazing year. I think back to the beginning, as I eagerly awaited your arrival, and how small and helpless you were those first months. Now you've gained so much independence and your personality is just blossoming. You are such a joy to be around, my son, and I love you so much. Thank you for making this the best year of my life. I hope you know how very loved you are.

And now, because I'm sure I'm embarrassing you, I'll be quiet and close.