Monday, March 30, 2015

Adventures in Mommy-hood

The dog threw up on the rug a few days ago.  Then the baby started to cry, and she STUNK.  Immediately I’m stuck between the two of them.  Which gets priority?  Probable massive poop or the throw-up slowly congealing on the one place in the whole darn living room where we have a small rug?  Why am I not working in a nice, clean, quiet office again!?   WHY?  Why can’t Toby throw up on the hardwood where it’s easier to clean?  WHY!?

Crying baby trumps cooling throw-up.  And it was a good thing.  There was poop to her shoulders.  To her SHOULDERS!  Stephen Hawking step aside, I’ve figured out how to get a onsie over a baby’s head that is COVERED in poop without getting ANY in her hair or in her ears.  Step aside Stephen, step aside.  Surely the answers to the unified field theory are nothing compared to the complexity of managing a poopy onsie over a large baby head without transferring said poo.  And then transferring said baby to the bath without having a Chernobyl-sized leak all the way there.  Success.
Having said that, I have been known to just CUT the poopy onsie off her body…yes, yes I have.  

Poop is groooooosssss.  Ew, ew, ew.  

I don’t care what they say, even when they’re your own babies it’s still POOP.  It has never nor will ever smell like sunshine and roses, no matter how cute the tiny tush it comes from.

I’ve said way too much about poo already.  Ok one more thing.  I was with another mom a couple years ago who also happened to have a dog who had left some poo in the backyard.  As the toddler was running out I (laughingly) told him to watch the poo!.  (Small boys love that word.  Some adults too.  I digress).  She politely told me that she doesn’t allow her child to say the word, ’poo’.  (I can’t mimic the disgusted, superior look on her face that made me want to punch a caterpillar but you can imagine.)  What do you call it?  I asked, confused.  
‘Ka-ka’.  She said.  
You’re coo-coo I thought, and probably didn’t say.  And right there I thought, that kid is now inheriting his mother’s weird aversion to the word poo.  Some mom’s be crazy.

I can’t help but wonder what weird things I’m making Ellie endure I don’t even realize.  The Cheerio song I sing her in the morning?  (I can just imagine the first time she sleeps over at a friend’s house and asks when her mom is going to sing the ‘breakfast song.’)  Blank stares.  The lunch song!?  She will ask, incredulous.  Poor Ellie.  She has no idea how weird I am.  When she finds out at least I will be able to say, hey, kid, at least I didn’t have a hang-up about the word ‘poo’.  You can say it all you want.  But you’re cleaning it yourself from now on ‘cuz, EW.  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Books Change the World. Mine, anyways.

Did you know there are a couple of books that ARE CHANGING MY LIFE RIGHT NOW!?

It’s true.  

’Carry-On Warrior - the power of embracing your messy, beautiful life' by Glennon Doyle Melton is one of them.   In it she told me that I needed to write a blog.  She didn't say 'Angela McAffee-Yeh, you need to start that blog already' but she did say I need to share myself more.  I love to write. I hate to have people read it.  I don’t do well under pressure.  Even the pressure of having people I know read the words I’ve written totally freaks me out and makes me want to hide in my snuggy on the couch and never leave the house ever again.  EVER AGAIN.  For reals.

But, Miss Glennon said who reads it and what they say and what happens to my words after I write them and let them go aren’t up to me.  The results are up to God, or whoever we think of as God.  It gave me an immediate sense of relief.  She was right.  It’s my job to do what I love, and not my job to judge and qualify whether or not it is ‘successful’.  So, without the threat and pressure of success (or failure) I started a blog.  I am having so much fun with it!  Being of average intelligence and a short attention span I can’t be sure of much, but this I know:  I was plunked down on THIS planet at THIS time to love, and to write.  

When I am doing both of those things I can feel a thrum.  Like when your fingers first brush guitar strings and you are delighted with the smooth sounds that suddenly reverberate through your fingers.  When I chose to put aside the need to be right, or tough, or safe, and I love, the thrum reverberates through my chest.  When I write, the same thing happens.  It doesn’t happen when I sit down with a pint of Expresso Chip ice cream and watch West Wing marathons but I do those things quite often too.

Glennon also said she has started to host friends at her house.  She said it would be good to do that, even if you don’t like it.  I forget why but for some reason I wanted to give it a try.  The blog idea is working out so well for me I figured maybe she’s right about this, too.  I have to say I do not enjoy having my inner space put on display for all to see.  It isn’t perfect.  But, I braved the mis-matched plates, the old and heavy furniture of Bill’s I don’t like, my crazy dog, my lack of knowledge of fancy cheese and bread and fancy plates and fancy ANYTHING really and I invited some people to my home.

I had my book club ladies here (a success!) and the mom’s group I go to sometimes (EPIC FAIL, only one mom showed up! Awkward.  I’m still eating the muffins I bought) and a dinner/wine tasting party last night.  Now I know for sure I know nothing about wines.  We bought 5 different types of the same winemaker and year and then tried them all without knowing which was which.  They ALL TASTED THE SAME TO ME.  So much for my refined palette.

We ordered Chinese food and had one of the couples bring us dessert.  As soon as I let go of what I felt like were failures (I didn’t make everything from scratch!  The plates don’t match!  The CHAIRS don’t match!  There isn’t enough room.  There aren’t enough dessert plates!  I didn’t iron the tablecloth.  Is that a COBWEB up there!?)  Yes, yes it was.  But suddenly I looked around at everyone laughing and talking and I realized, nobody cared.  No one was waiting to point out all my flaws and short comings.  They were there to enjoy the company of good friends and good food and what more could anyone want?

Anyway, so that was one of the books that has been changing my life lately.  Another one, the one I just finished is called The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  EVERYONE MUST READ THIS BEFORE THEY DIE.  It’s AMAZING.  I will never look at a child, or a homeless person, or heck a rich person the same ever again.  It’s the true story of a woman who overcame incredible hardships growing up to graduate from a renowned University and become a successful author and journalist.  I think the reason I love it so much is the way she wrote it - without an ounce of self-pity.  She laid out the wounds of her inner child with calm neutrality, including the child-reasoning that makes even the hardest situations seem like an adventure that will turn out ok in the end.  Even when time and time again it doesn’t.

I’m very grateful to these amazing women-authors who are changing my life, including the women in my book club who are forcing me to set down the latest smutty romance I’ve picked up to read them in the first place.  Huzzah!
Also, Happy Birthday Big D, you deserve the best birthday ever this year.  Hugs and kisses and another hug for good measure.

Monday, March 16, 2015

A little Birdie Told Me So

I’m eating a box of Kraft Dinner at 10am all by myself.  

I’m watching Madame Secretary as I do this, Ellie is blissfully asleep upstairs.  I should feel guilty about this, it probably sounds sad on paper but really, this is as close to heaven as I get on a day to day basis.  Ok so I just checked and yep, that might be the saddest statement on the planet.  Is it wrong I’m just having a great time here?  I have a new book to read, (although I’m not reading it) and most important, a few moments of just-me time.  Cheesy, processed goodness, a new episode of my new favorite show.  The sun is shining and eventually I will get us dressed and out into the sunshine to enjoy the day but for right now….cheesy goodness and TV debauchery.  Ahhh, this is the life.

It’s been five minutes and the orange goo they said was cheese is solidifying in the bowl.  It’s going to be heck to scrape off if I don’t soak it and just what is it doing to my insides!?
It’s best not to think of such things.  It’s best to just stop and enjoy the debauchery now and then.  A little birdie told me so.  It’s true.  Well, he didn’t TELL me so much as he SHOWED me.

Yesterday as I was driving home I was turning left at a green light when two birds swooped down and were either wrestling or…or…they were making sweet, sweet love right in front of my turning truck.  Very surprised, I did what any normal person would do.  I slammed on the brakes and gaped open mouthed.  Fleetingly I thought this would be a ridiculous way to die - stopped at a green light to let two birds….finish.   

As I looked up there was an older lady in the car stopped at her side of the street at the red light.  I looked from the birds to her and shrugged as she laughed, then continued on my way as the birds flew happily (one might say satisfied) away.  All of this took place in a manner of seconds.  

All that to say, life is completely absurd.  And if you don’t stop to think about life and timing and the universe and fate after a little love literally swooped down in the middle of your path, you’re already zombie-bait go give your brain to someone who will use it. 

So.  Today I left the dishes in the sink, the dust on the chairs, the dog fur on the floor, the baby asleep upstairs, and I had Kraft Dinner at 10am while watching a TV show I like.  Life is too short not to do what you want, when you want, at least some of the time.  Just, try not to do it at a green light with oncoming traffic.  A little birdie told me so.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Winter Sminter

Winter I’m done with you!  UGH I HATE you winter and everything about you!  Layering up Ellie like an onion, getting my own layers on, getting out the door with my purse and the diaper bag slung over one shoulder, her in my right hand the house keys in my left, now she's slowly sliding down in my arms, the fleece of her snowsuit sliding down my shiny, slippery winter jacket and it’s so cold outside even the DOG won’t go out and pee.  Why do I need to take the diaper bag with me every time you ask?  Bum wipes freeze in the winter sweeties, yes they do.  I found that out the hard way, just like every other thing in this wonderful journey called Sainthood, oi, I mean, MOTHERHOOD.

I COULD just take the wipes out and leave the bag but you know who would forget the wipes EVERY TIME if I left them in the house?  Me, that’s who.  I don’t even want to talk about it.  So, the whole bag, every time I go in and out of the house.

So Ellie is sliding down the front almost to my waist but now the front door is locked at least.  I hoist her up one more time, cursing the stupid diaper bag that is now sliding down my other arm.  The thought occurs to me, not for the first time, that I need a winter jacket covered in double sided tape.  BAM.  Stick the baby to the chest like a fly on fly paper.  Done like dinner.

I turn and almost slip on the ice crusted on the walk-way, catching myself just in time.  I’m already late for Baby freaking Rhyme Time at the local library and what rhymes with ‘breaking my neck in the driveway’ anyway?”  I throw my head back and howl “I HATE YOU WINTER!”.  It echoes through the mostly empty neighborhood. 

Well I feel better but now Ellie KNOWS she has a crazy mom and the neighbors are re-checking their locks.  

I make it to Baby Rhyme Time in one piece.  Soon I am surrounded by dozens of other mom’s and their babies.  We start to sing.  Honestly it feels like coming into a warm house after a mad dash through a freezing blizzard and this time I don’t mean the weather.  I mean, it felt good to see other people!  I realized, surprised, how good it felt to be around other women even if I didn’t know them. 

Ellie surprised me too.  She hit the kid in front of us and when she turned around, Ellie grabbed her by the sleeve and HAULED for all she was worth, almost knocking her down into us.  Whoops!  Bully baby alert!  Guess I need to get her out more often.  Too bad they don’t have baby parks like they have dog parks.  I’m just here to socialize her.  Guess we both need to get out more.  Thank goodness for baby rhyme time....

Angela’s Rhyme Time:

Winter Sucks
Only good for pucks
Spring will be here soon with any lucks
Only ones deeper in snow are the Canucks.  (love you!)
Fully fleeced into bed I tucks
Day to day through the slush I mucks
Winter, winter, winter you sucks.  

Tra laaaaaa.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Seriously, Sexy Mr Spock

Mr. Spock was sexy.  I was a ‘Next Generation’ girl myself and although I remember the old (ORIGINAL, sorry!) Star Trek it was the one with Patrick Stewart I really enjoyed.  (The line is drawn here!)  If you don’t recognize that, stop reading right now this will only bore you.  

Now I don’t like labels, but we were a ‘trekkie’ family for certain.  We watched the original Star Trek as well as the Next Generation, Voyager to Deep Space Nine to Enterprise.  If it had Star Trek in the title, we watched it.  You would think watching TV is a terrible family activity right along the lines of Family Hunting Trip, Family Bear Watching or Family Night In Las Vegas.  But you’d be wrong.  Some of my fondest memories are of cuddling up on the couch with my family, a bowl of chips in one hand and a cold glass of pop in the other.  Back then people (myself included) weren’t so concerned with exercise, or health, or really much of anything.  Ah the good ole’ days of optional buckling, watching thunder storms in the driveway while eating home-made deep-fried chips and wandering for hours un-supervised through the neighborhood.  If I tried that now with Ellie I’d be arrested.  Well, as I should be she may find it hard to run free when she can’t crawl yet.  Still.  And back to my point…the sexy Mr. Spock.

I fondly remember my girl-hood crush on Mr. Spock..  At least, I liked him better than that loosey goosey captain Kirk, kissing any ole’ green girl who batted her eyes at him.  Now Spock, HE was a gentleman and a scholar.  That brain, those ears!  Yes I WOULD like to visit Vulcan sometime thank you Mr Spock.  Every seven years?  I’m there.

I may have to credit my life-long attraction to the smartest (cutest) geek in the room to those original Star Trek’s.  It’s true.  It may have altered the course of my very life.  So, thank you Leonard Nimoy, for giving joy to millions through your acting, and to saving ME from a lifetime of disappointing dates with dumb jocks.  (Check, please!)

Seriously, thank you Leonard for playing the role of a lifetime so well, and for so long.  I’m sorry your time here on earth wasn’t longer, but it did seem prosperous.  Rest in peace.

The Gift Of Nowhere To Go

Hiya my friends – look – I don’t know if anyone other than mom and some uncles and aunts back home read this but, in case you’re out ther...