Road Trips With Kids

I used to love road trips. Now I dread them. Having children will do that to ya. 

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In this photo Hutch is crying, devastated because I put a batman tattoo on his hand. The tattoo came from a McDonald’s Hot Cakes Happy Meal (these don’t exist in the USA, so don’t try to get one), which we purchased for him after 2.5 hours on the road. I put the tattoo on his hand because I thought it would entertain him, which it did for exactly three seconds. After that he wanted it off. But it wouldn’t come off. Explanations of why I couldn’t remove it until we stopped and had access to soap, water, and baby oil (per the tattoo’s included instructions) fell on deaf toddler ears. It was all basically downhill from there. 

But we made it! Well, sort of. We are 1/3 through our journey at least. We aren’t even really close to finishing this drive and I’m already dreading the return drive home. 

Heaven help us. 

Posted in #wordythirty, hutchface, motherhood, on the road again, parenthood, Travel, woe is me | Comments Off on Road Trips With Kids

Ode to Odes

When I was in high school I used to write poems ironically. I hated poetry, so I guess I thought making fun of it was the best way to get back at it for existing. I just recently came across one I wrote for a friend of mine, circa 2005:

Ode to Lips

Little two friends of mine
In front of the teeth—oh, how divine!
Part muscle, part skin
Separate when I grin.

I know, I know. I make Dickinson look like child’s play. 

As I got older and more matureish, I grew to appreciate poetry a bit more. Not to love it, or even necessarily like it, but to accept it and to acknowledge its usefulness in certain settings. Sometimes a poem just expresses sentiments that regular words cannot. 

Like this, for example:


Ode to Sleep

Silently watch the clock tick by
Lights are out, about to cry
Everyone else is settled in
Enjoying their rest, their peace, their zen
Priceless sleep: I miss you, friend. 

I could have just said “I’m f*cking tired,” but the poem really illustrates the gravity of my sleep situation. I have a degree in English, you know. Best $20,000 I ever spent. 

Which reminds me:

Ode to School

Semesters come, semesters go
Children learn and change and grow
How we loved it in our youth
Oblivious to the ugly truth
Of essays, midterms, student aid
Literally rather eat grenade

I had a 4.0 GPA and I think it’s pretty obvious why. 

And finally, this: 

Ode to Odes

Of all the stupid things I’ve done
Definitely writing this is one. 
Every ode comes down to this:
Shit. 

(Maybe tomorrow I will challenge myself to write a blog post without a single curse.)

Posted in #wordythirty, my edjumacation and me, oh brother what next | Comments Off on Ode to Odes

10 Reasons I Will Never Vote for Donald Trump

I don’t like to write about politics because I’m not good at it. I don’t know enough, I hate citing sources, I’m not a scholarly writer in the slightest. And for a long time I just straight-up didn’t care. 

But I’m older now, maybe a little wiser. I listen to talk radio, for heaven’s sake. And if Donald Trump somehow becomes the next president of the United States I’ll never forgive myself for not speaking out against him. I have children to think of, the future generation. This man can NOT be the person they look to as a role model growing up. So even though this post is not going to win any Pulitzers for investigative  journalism, I have to post it. I will never vote for Donald Trump. 

Ten Reasons I Will Never Vote for Donald Trump #NEVERTRUMP

10. He’s racist. And I hate racism. 

9. He’s a sexist and misogynist. And I hate those, too. The way he treats women is appalling; his blatant jackassery astonishing. 

8. Including cheating on his wives. Cheat on your wife (and your next one, and probably your third), cheat on your country, that’s what I always say. 

7. He talks, but he doesn’t say anything. Listening to the first debate was like listening to a junior high schooler try to talk his way out of detention. He said so many words (sooo many words) but never made any meaningful points. 

6. He doesn’t read. (Lots of people don’t read, and that’s okay. I get it, some people find it boring. Cool, whatever. Just don’t run for president.) 

5. He is not as rich as he says he is, plus whatever wealth he has acquired has been shadily so. (Plus the fact that he brags about it is super weird and off-putting.) I know a few people personally who are planning to vote for Trump based mainly on his business savvy, and that his business background is going to get America out of debt. But he’s not that savvy. And he freaking loves debt. 

4. He’s incredibly immature. Just look at his Twitter feed. Or don’t; it makes me cringe. 😱

3. He doesn’t apologize, ever. Oh sure, he’s “sorry if he offended anyone,” but we all know that’s not really being sorry. The day I hear him say “I’m sorry, that was uncalled for and I was totally out of line” is the day I will apologize for adding this point to my list. (I almost said it’s the day  I would apologize for writing this post, but actually that day will never come.)

2. The environment is a really important running point for me, and he doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who gives a damn about much of anything, least of all pollution. 

1. Mitt told me not to. And even though I didn’t vote for Mitt (I didn’t vote for anyone because I was not registered abroad, yes I’m ashamed of myself), I actually wish I had. He’s a smart dude and probably would have done good things for our country.

Listen, I am not *quite* sure why so many people freaking HATE Hillary. I know there have been some scandals, but it seems like most people just somehow randomly don’t find her “relatable.” That’s a weird thing to criticize. Still, at the end of the day I’m not fully on her side either, not because she’s “cold” or because her husband cheated on her (How the eff is that even a reason to hate someone? That’s like hating the Whos because the Grinch stole their Christmas), but because I’m also very very concerned about the national debt and she seems very spendy with the trillions we don’t have. 

So I don’t know who I’m going to vote for. Evan McMullin, perhaps, but it just seems painful to do that when it’s so unlikely for him to win. 

I don’t know: I don’t know what to do or who to vote for. I don’t know how I’m going to decide. I feel like the future rests on me alone, which of course isn’t true but kind of it is, because alone I’m nothing but me + you + everyone else, together we actually will decide the future. It’s a lot of pressure and if 50 years from now we all look back to this year as the point the world went south, I just hope I can say it wasn’t because I didn’t try to help. 

I don’t know who I will vote for, but I do know #nevertrump. 

Posted in #wordythirty, fiascos, in all seriousness, theories, woe is me | Comments Off on 10 Reasons I Will Never Vote for Donald Trump

The best view

There’s no better view in a mother’s life (at least in this mother’s life) than both kids sleeping at the same time. It is a rarity, which is probably what makes it so joyful. And even though Hutch is all hunched over looking very uncomfortable and the van is a cluttered mess and the picture was snapped in the driveway of a house that I know is going to be filthy when I walk back in, and it’s 4:19 and I don’t have a plan for supper, even though all of that is true, for this one moment my world is at peace. My boys are quiet. My head is clear. And as I listen to their snores and scroll through news feeds, prolonging this rare glimmer of quietude for as long as possible, I am happy. 

Posted in #wordythirty, Holden, hutchface, kid stuffs, motherhood, parenthood | Comments Off on The best view

Day 11: Mental Break/List Day

I’m a bit oversaturated today, so instead of composing my thoughts into coherent paragraphs, I’m just going to make a list. Maybe I’ll give myself permission to take a semi-break from this project every so often, and just write lists instead of official posts. That way I can still keep up on my goal of daily writing, but not be so stressed about a quality post every.single.day.

  • Hutch has been in the same level of swimming lessons since August. He seems to be getting better, but slowly. He still doesn’t really know how to hold his breath and it’s kind of difficult to swim without that life skill. I’m jealous of my Arizona friends who have access to ISR swim lessons, and whose 6 month-old babies can swim fully clothed! Amazing.  
  • This article about medicine shortage in Venezuela is freaking heartbreaking. It sounds like the Walking Dead down there. The fact that there are donated medical supplies waiting in warehouses that the government won’t allow in makes me furious. I want to do something to help. I’m also amazed at how hard the parents fought for their little girl, and can only hope I would have the strength to fight as hard for my own children (but I pray nothing so bad ever happens that I would have to).
  • Hutch’s pronunciation of words is amazingly accurate, with the exception of “lellow” for yellow and “f” for “th” (think “toof” and “Berfa”). It’s pretty cute. 
  • Holden doesn’t sleep through the night. And he doesn’t sleep in his own crib. These two facts mean that I’m super tired almost constantly. I know something needs to change but the thought of weaning him is so overwhelming that every night I just put it off for “one more night.” I remember when I used to sleep, soundly, all night. It was bliss. Well, at least he’s adorbale when he does sleep:
  • We are thinking of taking one last trip to Arizona before Kyle’s green card process makes it more difficult to cross the border. The thought of being there is wonderful. The thought of getting there makes me weep. 
  • Thinking I was being proactive, I went to the basement to dig up Hutch’s old 12-18 month clothes to hang in Holden’s closet since he’s 10 months old today. There were two bins I’d labeled 12-18 month, and come to find out one entire bin was actually 6-12 month clothes, which means he’s nearly outgrown them completely and I stored them all for nothing. I even ended up buying *more* 6-12 month clothes for him this summer because I didn’t have quite enough to get us through. So annoying. 

That is all for tonight. I know it’s not very great reading but my goal was to write every day for 365 days…I can’t expect every post to be a masterpiece. The idea is just to get in the habit of sitting at the desk (actually I blog from my phone now, usually one-handed while nursing Holden, but you get the idea). If a book deal comes from it, hey, that’s just a bonus. 

Posted in #wordythirty, It's All Good | 1 Comment

If Adults were Toddlers

Our last house had wood floor and tile throughout it, so an excrement-on-the-floor scenario was never a big deal. But when we moved into this house with its 90’s-era taupe carpet, life changed pretty drastically. 

Thankfully, a week after Hutch turned 3 he finally potty trained, and pretty much never looked back. He’s had a few accidents since then, but nothing major, and in my newfound serenity I made the classic parental mistake: I got comfortable. Nay, cocky

Well, as evidenced by the above photo, today I dealt with poo AND pee on the carpet, from a three year-old who really does know better. I’m pretty sure it’s not an official regression so much as Hutch just wanting some attention (I’ve been trying harder lately to keep the house clean, which means not being as available for my toddler…bad idea). But for one terrifying second I was transported back to a time when Hutch would literally do that shit to spite me. In an instant, I was humbled, even a little scared. I can’t go back to changing three-year-old diapers with poos like a full-grown man; I can’t go back to that dark, awful place! Please don’t send me back there. I’ll do anything. 

Toddlers are amazing creatures, aren’t they? Imagine if an adult behaved the way a toddler did: can you even imagine…?

Kyle pisses me off so I pull down my pants and take a crap right there on the floor by the side of his bed, and just leave it for him to deal with when he eventually discovers it. But the anticipation of his finding it is too great for me to bear, so I hunt him down (busily working away at some important project that will benefit the entire family, and IGNORING ME like a jerk), and ask him to wipe for me because I can’t see? And at first he’s proud of my, and asks if I went poop on the potty and I give him a sheepish-but-also-quite-delighted look and say, noooooo… And then the realization sinks in and he immediately bounds upstairs in search of the evidence that he knows, he KNOWS he’s going to find because something in my eyes prophesied of this. And he finds it, the horror, the horror. And he can’t even rebuke me (very much) because he knows how hard it is on me to be ignored, and he knows he was indeed ignoring me. And as he cleans up my surprise, I dance on tiptoes all around him, gleefully taking pride in the knowledge that I’ve done a truly splendid thing today, and I can carry on with the rest of my sinister agenda for the evening. That’ll teach him to focus on anything else besides me, I think smugly. 

Like I said: amazing. 

Posted in #wordythirty, family, hutchface, kid stuffs, motherhood, parenthood | 2 Comments

Of crumbs and frump

The other day I was talking to my mother-in-law while Holden was napping twenty feet away and I realised it was LITERALLY (the real literally, not the hipster kind) the first time in four days that he had been farther than an arm’s reach from me.

The realisation was startling. 

No wonder my house is a mess and I rarely have supper on the table right at 5:00, if ever! Try doing anything productive (let alone all the things) with a twenty pound squirming human squealing for you, strapped to you, sucking on you—and often all at once! It’s a lot to ask a single person! Just look at these exclamation marks!

Plus, times have changed since we were kids. My mother-in-law claims she could let her children roam the neighbourhood for hours growing up, and never see them until supper; if I did that I’d be arrested. Sure, if I had three or four hours per day with my kids happily, safely, freely entertained (at zero cost to me), my house could probably be spotless too. I might even have time to excersise, or at the very least nap. (Let’s not kid ourselves which of those two would be my priority.) It sounds pretty dreamy, truth be told. 

And maybe the time will come when I will have that. I sure hope it will. But even in the 70’s you couldn’t leave a baby to wander in the backyard alone for hours on end (could you??), so I’m sure things weren’t completely carefree back then. The village can only do so much until it becomes absolutely imperative that the parent step in and parent. So until Holden is a little older, and a little more weaned, this is my life. 

The only (good) solution is to embrace this season, this season of crumbs and frump. Someday I will have time again—time to wear a little makeup if I want; time to wax my armpits; time to sweep, mop, do dishes AND scrub the toilet in the same week—but until then, I have to be okay with looking this way. Feeling this way. Because my kids are alive, sort of happy, and well adjusted-ish. 

That’s not all that will ever count, but it’s all that counts today. 

Posted in #wordythirty, family, Holden, kid stuffs, motherhood, parenthood | 4 Comments