Thursday, May 31, 2012

Reason Number 5987 Why I Love Him

My husband spent the better part of an hour on the phone with his mother this evening, helping her navigate the complex world of iphone email politics.  She was switching over her email server and zzz...I could hardly stand to listen to him talking to her on the other end, let alone imagine how he could be so patient with all her questions. This was also the third night in a row that he's been holding such seminars for his mama.  It was shocking how thorough and calm he was even when it was obvious that she wasn't fully understanding his explanations.

I felt excited for the day when he finally gets to teach our son how to ride a bike.  That kid's been up on computers, ipads, iphones since day 1. He'll be teaching us soon enough.  I also realized that if he ever is looking for new work, I'm pretty sure my man could be an Apple genius.  And he looks good in blue!

We all get by with a little help from our friends

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Mouse In The House!

Yes, a mouse in my house this morning.  A wee, wee one that my husband texted me a picture of from our bedroom while I was making our son breakfast in the kitchen.  At first he called me and the tone of his voice was so creepy that I thought he was having a stroke.  I...see...a...mouse.  Unfun.  At least the mouse has good timing-we had 30+ people (nearly half of which were under five) here for a BBQ yesterday.  Maybe buying all that cheese at Cowgirl Creamery wasn't such a great idea. Oh, but cheeeeese.  No doubt the mouse came in for that nibble of Gruyere that I found this morning wedged in our couch.  Or the smear of brownie under the chair?

My husband and I were so paranoid about what the little monkey would do if he saw the mouse.  Easy money was on chasing it everywhere with his hand karate chopping the air like he does with birds.  And would Tony try to eat it? Thankfully, we never had to find out.

When I came home this afternoon, Mr. Schneed showed me the evil looking traps he bought that promised to "kill mice dead."  Phew.  Who would want them killed alive?  I didn't want to kill it though, I just didn't want it crawling on my bed.  We decided not to put the traps out unless we saw the mouse again.  The cleaning women came today too-hence my aforementioned less than stellar cleaning job-so maybe they'd miraculously get rid of it.  Just as I was asking my husband if he told the ladies about our new friend, we heard a shriek.

The two women were standing near the stroller, pointing and giggling nervously.  Apparently, the mouse was gunning for all the cracker bits gathered at the bottom of the stroller basket.  Hmm, I guess I'm supposed to clean that out regularly?  Geniuses that we are, we wheeled the stroller outside and my husband gingerly plucked each thing from the basket, jumping about a foot each time.  I've never loved him more.  Finally, the mouse, which I swear could not have been more than two inches big, jumped out from inside a blanket and ran.  Ran right into our neighbor's garage!  We hightailed it the hell back inside.  What mouse?  I didn't see a mouse...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Years ago I had this epiphany in the women's bathroom of the law firm where I was working.  I do my best thinking in bathrooms, don't you?  I always used to talk to myself in the bathroom as a kid. Probably because it was the only place I could be alone in a tiny house with six people.  Getting back to the major moment, it was February 2006 and I was miserable.  I hated my job, my living situation, my completely dysfunctional relationship with my boyfriend and, essentially, my life.

For the previous four months, I had spent most of my day either fighting with my boyfriend or sobbing about fighting with my boyfriend.  He had moved away for graduate school and we were trying to make a long-distance, cross-continental romance work.  For various reasons, not the least of which was that he wanted to revel in his freedom while knowing that I would be there waiting for him when he needed me, it was definitely not working.  Unfortunately, every time I tried to break up with him he would promise to change.  We had an awful co-dependency that was killing me. Once I finally cut the cord, I felt like a balloon, floating freely up and up.   I immediately knew that was one of the best          decisions I would ever make.

Yet I still had the other issues in my life-the job, the apartment- that I knew were within my control. So, the epiphany that struck me as I stared at the beige stall trying not to pee too loudly was that I only have one life.  I was the only one who could make it not suck.  Sheer genius, I know.  But, somewhere along in the previous couple of years, I had lost sight of this obvious point.  I really had spent far too much time waiting for the "what ifs" or "whens" rather than just enjoy my life as it was or change it as needed.  If I always believed that things were going to be better at another point, there was no need to really focus on the present.  It was like someone smacked me in the head with a giant "THE FUTURE IS NOW" stamp.   

Fast forward six months and I was living in a new place, with a brand new job, in a new field.  The day after I started my new job I (re)met my future husband (technically we'd met once before but whatever).  It's amazing how much you can change once you decide that things need to change.

I'm starting to feel that same energy shift now.  While I'm not sobbing all day and talking to myself in bathrooms (sadly, this is no longer a solo activity), I don't feel as happy as I imagined I would while not working and playing with my kid all day.  It's hard.  Harder than I thought it would be.  I miss being me and don't like always being mommy (mom-me).  A change is coming.   Not a radical one, mind you.  Perhaps a 25-40% change in the status quo.  Once I figure out what that means, I'm going to get right on it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mamas and money

pic via Jezebel

I came across this article yesterday and found it fascinating and frightening.  While there are some slight differences in the European mentality with respect to materialism/spending/savings, it really resonated with me.  Given that I haven't been working for the past year and a half, I do find myself spending less and less on shopping excursions that are solely for my benefit.  I wish the same were true about my Whole Foods adventures.  Back when I had my own salary, I wouldn't think twice about popping into a store on my lunch hour just to pick up something pretty.  Now, whenever I do that, I hem and haw and often feel guilty about it.  It's not that I think my husband will judge me or even begrudge my spending, I just don't always want him to know what I consider (or used to consider) to be "necessary."  Granted, I probably derive more than a healthy modicum of satisfaction from looking at all the clothes/bags/shoes in my closet, but I least I know that I worked hard for my money and chose to spend it how I wanted. 

Deep down, I know that the work I am doing now, teaching my son to touch gennnnntly, keeping my floors relatively uncrunchy, washing my husbands thousand pairs of socks, is important and valuable.  Yet, I miss the paycheck.  Lately I have been more seriously thinking about finding some consistent form of employment, be it part-time or consulting.  In addition to the mental stimulation, I am simply excited to earn more than my babysitter!  I started working when I was ten years old as a mother's helper and always had an income, through college and law school.  For a while I joked with the mister that I would take a certain amount of money out of our joint account every month and put it into my personal one, as compensation for services rendered.

Beyond the lack of income, there are deeper issues at play.  I'm no longer in charge of the finances and neither are many of the women I know.  When I was younger and running my household of one, I knew the details of every bank account, credit card, 401K in my name, down to the last dollar.  Now I am relatively clueless about what's happening in our portfolio day to day.  Though I still think of myself as a (mostly) smart, capable woman, I suppose I just find it easier to be ignorant and leave it to my husband.  Just as the author notes, some of my closest friends, lawyers and businesswomen alike are content to let their husbands run all the household money.  Isn't this how women end up broke and homeless when their husband finds a hotter, less nagging second wife?  Or when their husbands have been investing money into failing businesses?  Of course, that's not happening with my husband, right?

It seems like such a cliche and still it's sad but true for so many women who are completely dependent on their spouses, especially those of us who aren't earning a salary.  I'm resolving to start being more aware of what's happening with our money, not just for my sake but for my son's as well.  And, also, to maybe stop nagging.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ebb and flow

Dear Weekend,

Thank you for you tireless efforts to prove to me, once again, that motherhood is basically a journey of the highest highs and the lowest lows.

Friday night, I stayed home while my husband went out and got some bro time.  True to cheesy form, I somehow convinced myself to rent "The Vow."  Shut up.

Saturday, we woke up to a pile of vomit in the crib and it was all downhill from there.  Most of the day was spent hugging my sick son while tears streamed down his face.  The silent agony was far worse than his screaming, grunting and crying could ever be.  His fever was fairly high, due to a Dr. Mom-diagnosed combination of required monthly toddler sickness, teething and maybe a reaction to the live-virus in last week's MMR shot.  FYI, maybe don't go to the good Google when researching MMR reactions unless you're really prepared to open that door.  While I don't see any definite correlation between vaccinations and autism, it is rather frightening to read these posts as your kid is refusing to eat, move or even look at you because he's so miserable.

The whole day he just seemed confused and sad, like he was trying to work out why this was happening to him.  Thankfully, he fell asleep easily for the night and miraculously slept straight through me taking his temperature multiple times like a mad mama. 

Sunday, we had a new little man on our hands!  Ah sleep, is there anything you can't do?  Although our daredevil was back, we took it a little easy and abandoned our special hiking plans (sorry, Tony).  Mr. Schneed made breakfast though conveniently forgot about dish duty.  I did, however, get about 45 minutes of silence to read the NYT, which was pure Mother's Day bliss.  I also met some of my besties for ice cream during the wee one's nap. 18 months in and I'm finally beginning to realize that ice cream or wine make blessed nap time even more blessed.

We went for a family bike ride to a local park to round out the day.  Shorty managed to find every tweeked out, stoned or drunk couple to say hello to as he was roaming around.  In Dolores Park, you can really pick your poison.  Oh, and I let him run around without shoes as he conveniently lost one on the bike ride to the park.  Definitely not my proudest moment as I looked down and saw bottle caps (and worse) every six inches.  Hooray for socks! 

Eating a healthy meal of french fries and only french fries.

I'm feeling quite lucky to end this weekend laughing with my boys and all ten of their toes.

With (mostly) Love,

P.S.-We found the missing sneaker on the street as we were biking home.  Miracles do happen.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Memo to the rice lobbyists

I dropped my phone in the toilet yesterday.  So that happened.  Word to the wise--don't put your cell phone in your back pocket before going to the bathroom. I know it may seem like a convenient thing to do when it's ringing and you're afraid the vibrations are going to wake your toddler who only just fell asleep for a nap after bizarrely tossing and turning in his crib for nearly an hour.  But, trust me, don't do it. I'm still confused about the trajectory of the phone and how it managed to fall into the toilet.  Didn't I pull my pants down before I peed?  Oh, yeah, I fished my phone out of a toilet bowl full of pee and seriously considered rinsing it off.  I guess no one will ever ask to borrow my phone again.

I kind of bugged after realizing that my phone had been floating in my pee for a good minute or two.  It took my (still) hungover brain a bit longer than normal to figure out what fell. I immediately put the phone in a bowl of rice as I've read that acts as a desiccant (new word of the day!) and sucks the moisture out of the phone.  After reading some tech geek blog posts, I learned that I should hunt down any silica gel packs I have and throw those into the mix.  The phone was already off and I thankfully didn't even think to try powering it.  Apparently, one should not try to turn the phone on after a urine bath, lest one short the damn thing out entirely.  The worst part was waiting 24 hours to see if it would turn on.  Although I felt like I was missing a limb at first, I kind of enjoyed being forcefully checked out for a few hours.

Miraculously, it is working today!  How's that for luck?  I should go buy some lottery tickets now.  Rice: good for feeding families the world over and for resurrecting pee-logged phones.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

NOLA Reprise

High above the mountain tops we flew off to New Orleans for JazzFest.  Could it have been a more fun week/end?  I think not!  New Orleans is, to me, the end all be all for good times.  We got married in NOLA and do love that musical city.  Honestly, I doubt I could come up with a better way to spend five days than surrounded by good friends, good music and fried foods!  We ate, drank and laughed our way through the long days and even longer nights.   It’s amazing what two people not tethered to a toddler can accomplish (or not, as the case may be).

While we are excited to one day show our monkey all around the French Quarter and beyond, wrangling a little boy through a music festival with temps hovering around 90 degrees was just not on our agenda*.  He stayed home with one extremely capable (and now extremely exhausted) grandmother.  Given that she lives across the country, it was pretty much a win-win-win.   We clearly won the most.  Actually, while in New Orleans I did win $65 at the casino.  Cha-ching!  I was feeling pretty good about it until our friend told us he cleared $3,000 playing Blackjack.  Then again, he started playing with $1500 and I started with $40…so.

I think New Orleans is one of those cities that you can’t help but love.  The service is slow, the heat is oppressive, but the music is pervasive and so is the kind spirit.  Even the luscious trees feel like they are hugging you. There is such a uniqueness to the architecture and the hidden alleyways.  You can pop into a bar almost any day of the week and hear a great local band ripping up the stage.  And the food!  Everything I own fits like skinny jeans now.  

On our agenda:  eating beignets, dancing wildly, sleeping past 7:30, staying up past 2, day drinking, naps, ignoring emails and voicemails, foot massages, catching up with old friends.