Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Our dominatrix is named H & R Block, and we totally submit to her every whim.

So tonight, Jason and I are going to get our taxes done. This is just as good as sex and chocolate, okay? We've been waiting for this; we each had two different jobs last year, so we had to wait on not four but FIVE different W2's to come in the mail as one of Jason's jobs involved swapping from one company to another. Slowly but surely they all trickled in, until finally my W2 for my current job arrived in our mailbox yesterday, and Jason and I exhaled together in ecstasy as we dreamed about this computer and this phone and hundreds of other things that we WON'T BUY with the money because it's all going to pay for Reed, a purchase we made without thinking it through and once he started to scream and malfunction we totally realized that the money could have been spent elsewhere. Except the camera- we're buying the camera. We've talked it over and we totally deserve a nice present with all that money after all the shit that 2006 brought our way, and we should have just enough money to get the camera and finish paying for Reed.

Don't get me wrong; 2006 brought a lot of good things, too. But I have never in my life had a year in which so many bad things happened. We had a wreck that really could have been a lot worse, and I am so thankful that Jason and I weren't hurt and that Reed and Kane and Jude weren't with us. BUT IT STILL BLEW, and was the worst wreck I've ever been involved in. Jason's car broke down, like, a million times. Our house payment randomly went up about $150 a month when we barely had the money to pay it anyway. Reed's ceiling caved in, luckily while he wasn't underneath it. We went through three different arrangements for "Who's keeping Reed?" just so I can work at a job where my boss treats me like I'm an idiot, and we still can't pay the bills. Jason took a job where he was promised all this money and prestige and ended up just having to bend over every day for a bunch of rich guys who didn't give a shit about him or his family. And, to top it all off, I was eyeball-deep in a funk for about three-quarters of this year in the midst of all that other shit, so I really wasn't much help at all. There are plenty of people who have it worse than us, and there are horrors in the world that I will never have to experience, but that doesn't change the fact that this year was HARD. I am happy to be starting a new one even if things are still a little mixed up.

And, hey, even if things are totally messed up this year, you will be able to check out some RIGHTEOUS pictures of us falling apart!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

His mother's son.

Since Reed's birthday, around the beginning of December, we've been working on getting Reed on a regular sleep schedule so that mommy doesn't want to throw baby out into the front yard when he just wants to play at two a.m. We've also been starting the weening process because we just think it's time. Both have been going remarkably well. Most nights I sleep all night long. This is AMAZING because I had forgotten what it was like not to dread the nighttime, not to dread getting into bed because I would just get too damn comfortable and then have to get up for anywhere from one to four hours just when I got into a really deep sleep, just when I got really warm and comfortable, just when I started to dream about eating nachos and online shopping at the same time with no regrets or limits whatsoever. These days I can get into bed and look forward to a full night's sleep, to not getting up until roughly six the next morning, AND IT IS GOOD.

The weening seems to be okay too. Before Reed turned one, we gave him however many bottles a day that he wanted. He usually had about four, one with each meal and then one at bedtime. We started by cutting down to just two, one after breakfast and one at bedtime. For the first few days, he didn't seem to notice any difference at all. After that, he would ask for a "nana" several times a day, and we would just give him water or milk in a sippy cup. This WAS NOT WHAT HE WAS LOOKING FOR, but we toughed it out. After a week or so, he didn't seem to miss the daytime bottles much. We figure we'll give him a good, long while to get used to this part, the two bottles, before we move on to cutting down to just one bottle at bedtime, and then to complete shut-down, end-of-the-world, no-turning-back-we're-for-it-now mode and attempt to survive without giving the child any bottles at all. I think we'll be okay, if "okay" means being being hit in the head with a bouncing tigger repeatedly until we finally shuffle off this mortal coil and Reed can go get himself a damn bottle.

Next will be potty training, which I am a little nervous about because I know NOTHING about it whatsoever. I mean I got nothing. I know that when I first met Jason, Kane, and Jude (Kane was six and Jude was three), they would often all three go to the bathroom together and have "races" to see who could pee the fastest. What I'm telling you is that they would all pee at the same time, in the same toilet, and whoever finished first won. All that sounds like to me is having to change your clothes because you got sprayed, but whatever works. That actually continued for about a year or so after I met them. I guess you've got to reinforce, right? So I suppose that's how it'll go with Reed, when he gets just a little older; there will be four boys running to bathroom to race. But I can tell you that REED WILL WIN EVERY TIME if he got any of my genes whatsoever, because when you have to pee this often, you learn to get in and get out, you know what I mean?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ever seen Sixteen Candles?

Ever seen Sixteen Candles?
Originally uploaded by buffpuff.
Okay, I married a total badass. He is the baddest ass this side of the Mississippi, let me tell you. I've got to say that all I can think of when I see this picture is Anthony Michael Hall before he was muscly and imposing. Can't you just see Jason, hopping about on the dance floor, showing Molly Ringwald's panties to his friends in the bathroom of the gym? I TOTALLY CAN.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Well, it's about time!

So, I've finally broken into the big time! I've got people hanging around and leaving bizarro judgemental comments on my blog. I'M A REAL BLOGGER NOW, MOM! But apparently not a REAL Indian, because REAL Indians can do math. Apparently I am "just as white and unaware of who [I] actually [am] as most of America", since I accidentally typed the words "one-quarter" instead of "one-eighth". That's good to know, because I would have NEVER come up with that one on my own. I must say, it's good to know that I can just stop proofreading, because someone else is taking care of that for me!

So, this is a linky day. First, did you know that Rage Against the Machine are getting back together for Coachella? That's something I'd like to see. Alas, there's no way I'm going to Coachella. I might be able to, you know, maybe go to the gas station and buy some chips though. THAT WOULD BE AWESOME. (Thanks, Snuh!)

Next, a living fossil is found in Japan. I find this to be both creepy and amazing. (Thanks, Caitlin!)

Lastly, I think this girl must be dating all the boys I know rolled into one. (Thanks, Dooce!)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

All my relations.

My grandfather's grandfather was a full-blooded Apache Indian, which has at times seemed very far away from me. Having one-sixteenth Apache blood, I've never told people I was an Indian, or really felt like an Indian person. My mother, however, has always felt like an Indian, and has often identified herself as an Indian woman. Even though she's only *EDIT one-eighth EDIT* Apache, she identifies with the feelings of loss, injustice, doom, hopelessness, impotence, and equal parts of pessimism and optimism that come with being an American Indian. I grew up listening to stories about her Indian ancestors, or about other Indians in general, fighting and struggling and just desiring to live. And you know, I can identify with that struggle, with having to try and find a reason each day to keep trying.

I've often thought that I shouldn't say that I'm Indian. Filling out applications or questionnaires where I was asked to check my race, I usually faulter, have to think about it for a few minutes. My mother raised me as an Indian person, and has never thought that I ought to worry about calling myself Apache. I just feel like it isn't fair to American Indian people for me to claim to be an Indian. I've seen people who I know must be white, pale skin and blue eyes and blonde hair, who talk big talk about being Native American, about how "their people" are discriminated against and they're just so tired of it. And when I see those people talking that way it makes me angry, because I just can't help but think that they have NO IDEA what they're talking about. A woman with blue eyes, light skin, and blonde hair who is a nurse in Alabama and is from "North Alabama" will never know what it feels like to live on the reservation, will never know what it feels like to have to choose between her heritage, family, and culture and the possibility of a better life, will never know what it feels like to walk into a gas station and have people automatically assume that she's lazy, or stupid, or an alchohlic, or just inferior, based only on how she looks. It's because of this that I just feel false, like I'm taking something away from people like Russell Means and Dennis Banks and Leonard Peltier and all the other Indian people who have fought their entire lives to try and have a decent life, if I say that I'm an Indian person.

I spoke to someone on the phone a couple of nights ago who I had never spoken to before in my life, and who immediately changed my outlook on all of this. He said that I shouldn't be afraid to say that I'm an Indian person. I've thought a lot about all of the things he told me, and what I've come to is this: it's not about what I look like, and it's also not about other people's reactions or what they think of me. It's about my own state of mind, my own experiences, my own heart, and information that I have to offer to other people who might not even know that there are still American people, some of the MOST American people that there are, living in awful conditions and being completely ignored by their government, that they aren't extinct, or taken care of, or "gone back where they came from" (THIS IS WHERE THEY CAME FROM).

In short, I'm not about to start screaming it from the roof tops or anything, and I'm still not sure that I'm going to answer "Apache Indian" any time someone asks me about my race (I have had a surprising number of people ask me that over the past few years). But I'm not going to be afraid of that part of myself any more, in that I'm not going to try and squelch down the part of me that identifies so strongly with my mom and our heritage. It is the struggle itself, that very thing- the hardships, defeats, fears, and hopes, that gives me the right and duty to own my bloodline, however small.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I might as well start wearing an eye patch.

Kane and Jude are both doing really great in school, and it's such a relief from the days when they both weren't doing so great, when their teachers were suggesting that Kane needed drugs and Jude needed to be held back a year IN KINDERGARTEN, when someone in their life who shall remain nameless was drinking gin right out of the bottle in the middle of the day on a regular basis. The funny thing is that Kane's teacher later said that ALL the boys in the class were having attention problems, that it wasn't just Kane, so he probably didn't need the drugs after all. Huh. WOOPS!! Luckily we had resisted the FUCKING PROPAGANDA they sent home to us telling us that if we didn't get Kane on Adderall fast he would be likely to rob liquor stores and get a sexually transmitted disease after impregnating a few virgins and raping doorknobs.

Jude is currently entering into the phase that Kane was in when they told us this. This basically means that Jude is now not listening to a single word that comes out of my mouth. And, I mean, I'm not just talking about when I ask him to pick up his socks or close the front door; even if Jude asks me a question and stands there waiting for an answer, he still doesn't hear it when the answer comes out of my mouth. His attention span has lapsed for the moment, meaning that when he's supposed to read for twenty minutes (for his homework, people; I'm not THAT structured) (okay, I can be), he comes in to the living room every two minutes to ask if it's been twenty minutes yet. So about a fourth of that reading time is actually spent trying to find out if he can just play Wii already.

We take Kane and Jude to the library pretty frequently, because we like to encourage them to read and to do something other than looking at porn on the internet all day long, because there is some WEIRD SHIT on the world wide web and really, why would they want to look at squiggly lines on a page when they can look at various naked body parts doing odd things to even more naked body parts! Anyway, Jude often likes to get books with about 7000 pages and, starting about ten minutes after we get home, tell us how he's almost done. Several weeks ago, Jude decided that he REALLY WANTED to read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and once we realized that he was totally tuning us out every time we told him that it was too long we figured what the hell, let the kid carry around a ten-pound book for a few days.

So THE DAY HE GOT IT he started telling us that he didn't have anything to read. I immediately said he should have his nose stuck in that damn Harry Potter book, and he was like, "Oh, I just need a little break from that one because I've already read so much of it." So I said, "Oh, so what all's going on?" Jude's response: "Oh, there's that guy; you know that guy? That guy is waiting in his office for a phone call." Because Harry Potter is ALL about networking, didn't you know? There are all kinds of wizards and warlocks just WAITING for that important phone call. And then Jude walked away before he could see my eyes roll right out of my head so hardcore that they were rolling around the kitchen floor and I had to chase them around, pick them up, and stick them back into my head.

So about two weeks after that, Jude mentioned needing something to read, and I was like, "What about Harry Potter? How's that going?" And Jude's response?

"Oh, that guy, that guy is sitting in his office waiting for a phone call."

One of my eyeballs actually rolled under the refrigerator and I'm STILL trying to find it.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

1 going on 111.

Reed had his one-year doctor's appointment yesterday. He is in the 95th percentile for his weight, and his head circumference and height are OFF THE CHARTS. I have created some kind of mutant-giant-baby, and pretty soon it'll be me takin' orders from him instead of the other way around. Well, let's face it- he doesn't exactly take orders from me, but why would he when he's THE SIZE OF A PRO FOOTBALL PLAYER? He is 32 inches tall and that's almost three feet and I can't even believe it and Reed's all "Believe it, woman because I'm comin' up and you better recognize!" He even makes some kind of crazy yo-boy hand gestures at me and I TOLD YOU THAT YOU CAN'T BE A YO-BOY ALREADY but what can I say to a kid who could bench press me? NOTHING, THAT'S WHAT. I mind my p's and q's around him because the screech and the smack and the bite and the incessant "MA!"s are fierce punishment, let me tell you.

He dances and talks and eats Mexican food and sings and tells complicated stories and I guess we'll take him to get his driver's license next week, because what else is there?

Friday, January 19, 2007

So, it is down to you, and it is down to me.

So, I think the battle of wits and will may be over temporarily with Reed. He seems to be back to normal. But, don't worry; today he's going to be injected with small doses of a couple of infectious diseases! He'll be back to screaming at us and cursing the gods, clenched fist waving in the air, in no time at all.

These times are just a little weird is all. I'm literally doing about three people's jobs at work- or at least my job plus about half of two other people's jobs- not to mention all the work I do at home. Jason works all night long and then takes care of Reed all day most days a week. Kane and Jude pretty much wander around the house with a look on their faces that says, "MAN, lighten the fuck up already." And, you know, we try, but it's not always that easy.

Jason has a job interview today which, if all goes as expected, will have him in bed with me at night in as little as two weeks. What will we do with Reed during the day when that day comes? WHO KNOWS!? That's the exciting part- waiting until the very last minute to even attempt to figure out how to rearrange our lives to make sure that everyone is covered! YEEE!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

One child, for sale to a good home. Or at least a home not close to mine.

So Reed is teething AGAIN. How many times is he going to do this? He's just doing it to irritate ME, I just know it. And I'm ready for him to stop now. Thank you.

He has spent the last two days crying, fussing, yelling his word of irritation- "MA!" - over and over again, and telling me with his eyes, "You MOTHERFUCKER I'm so sick of your shit!" Seriously.

I can't sit on the couch or the futon because if I do, Reed throws a fit to get up on the couch with me. That might not sound like a big deal, but he doesn't want to get up there and sit in my lap. He wants to get up there and root around, roll about, and generally nearly fall off of the couch over and over again. This wears me out, so I just won't sit there in the first place.

I sit in the rocking chair. If I cross my legs, he immediately stops what he's doing and throws a fit, because my legs being in the crossed position is not condusive to him standing between my knees and alternating biting me, slapping me, and screaming at me. If he's on the floor, he wants me to pick him up. As soon as I pick him, he throws a fit to be put down. If I play with his toys, smile at him, or try to cheer him up in any way, he gets pissed. IT IS A ROLLER COASTER WITH NO LINE, NO WAITING, PEOPLE, step right up. I have a child who cannot be consoled and is mad that I'm trying to console him and is mad that I haven't consoled him and is mad that I exist at any moment in time in any radius of him or his things.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The proverbial olden days.

Buffy, Sink.jpg
Originally uploaded by buffpuff.
Yes, there was a simpler time than these days, a time when one didn't feel so obligated to wear clothing, or to bathe in the tub, or to keep one's dishes off of one's naked body. Those were the days. And look at my hand! It's as if I'm saying, "Voila! Just LOOK what I can do!"

If you look at my most recent photos on Flickr, you'll see that we are a family full of good-lookin' ladies with NO SENSE of embarrassment or self-control. It sort of runs in my family to be hot and goofy as hell. And it's not just the ladies, either; we are equal opportunity mortifiers.

There are some pictures of my Grandma and Grandaddy, too. Grandaddy died before I was born. I never knew him, but I do feel like I know him, you know? I think he's around a lot. I've never felt like I didn't know him, I just often feel like I wish he was here. It's odd; it just sort of hits me when something good is happening, or when something bad is happening, how much I wish he was here to talk to me or hug me or play with Reed or shake Jason's hand. I hope that my sister and my cousins are thankful all the time that they got to see him, because I never did and I'm envious. Sometimes I just yearn for him to be here, along with a few others who have gone on to better things like my Grandma and my cousin Jenny. I miss them so. But I know that they're together, and one day I'll be there with them.

For now, I'm going to go sit in the kitchen sink and balance a cup on my big toe. That's how I party. Voila!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Stomach bug? More like a stomach... huge fucking insect or something.

Everyone around me seems to be getting sick. I'm afraid that it's slowly but surely creeping up on me, in the night with a hatchet. Next thing I know I'm going to be hacking up green stuff and puking all over the place.

Kane and Jude both brought home notes from school that said that there's a particularly bad outbreak of influenza going around the school right now, as well as a nasty stomach virus. Apparently kids are catching the stomach virus, staying home for a couple of days, coming back to school, and GETTING RE-INFECTED WITH THE STOMACH VIRUS. AGAIN.

Also, when we came back to work from our lovely Christmas break, one of the reference librarians promptly told us how lovely his break was, as his entire family passed around a stomach virus for, like, a week or something. The very next day, he stayed home as he had finally caught it. Then my boss went home early with the stomach bug on Wednesday, and didn't come in at all yesterday.

As a direct result of all these circumstances, I AM WIGGING MY SHIT. I've been Cloroxing the door knobs, the remotes, the cats. I've been sneaking in on Kane and Jude while they're showering, throwing the shower door open, and dousing them with Lysol. I've been forcing them against their wills to actually wash their hands a couple of times a day. My hands have pretty much disintegrated off of my body from all the soap, hot water, and bleach. I am typing this right now with my stumpy nubs THAT'S ALL THAT'S LEFT AFTER ALL THAT SCRUBBING.

But at least MAYBE we won't get sick. I'll trade my hands for that.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Let me loose in the French Quarter.

So I do believe that we're going to New Orleans in March for John's thesis exhibition. He's graduating at the end of this semester, and this show will allow us to see what he's been working on for the last three years. I'm very excited about that, and I'm just as excited about a weekend out of town, a weekend during which I will drink a lot and sleep even more, a weekend when I will wake up with Jason in bed next to me. It all sounds very nice.

I'm betting March will be a good time for our visit; it won't be too hot, and it won't be too cold. We can walk around the city and have a good time. I'm especially looking forward to the food. THE FOOD, MAN.

I have to say that just thinking about being away from Reed for three whole days makes me uneasy. I know he'll be fine with my mom- in fact, I'm a little more worried about her than him. But I know that my heart is going to ache being away from him for that long. It will be the first time that I've been more than 24 hours without seeing him, holding him, and kissing him. I am almost tempted to take him along with us. I said almost. I'M CRAZY BUT I'M NOT THAT CRAZY. I will not take him on a five hour drive into a city that makes me want to drink eight beers, take my clothes off, and sing the French national anthem. He's not ready for that yet. I'm going to save that for when he has a girlfriend present. I know a lot about parenting.

Reed, by the way, is talking up a storm these days. He says cheese, juice, doodoo, mama, dada (the guy, not the movement), da-da (bye-bye), and na-na (which stands for a lot of stuff including but not exclusive to thank you, you're welcome, bottle, dinner, breakfast bar, and I don't even know what else). It is really funny to witness this development in him, because he looks so surprised and excited when he says something and we understand it. HE KNOWS what it feels like to be a foreign exchange student, as he knows what it's like to live with a bunch of people who smile and are nice to you but with whom you can't communicate past nodding and smiling. It must be frustrating.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

"It's totally serendipitous."

Kristi and I went to Marty's bar on Saturday night, and it was a good time. We used to go there all the time; it was our home sweet home for a couple of years. We have been there for a couple of Christmas Eves, countless Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and many a week night when we should have been studying or sleeping. Marty's is one of those places that sucks you in and totally freezes your internal clock; when three or four a.m. rolls around, it still feels like about eleven p.m. They serve THE BEST chicken melt there, along with many other tasty snacks for the drunken customer- burgers, grilled cheese, clubs. It was nice to see familiar faces; there are people working there now that worked there when I was eighteen years old. It is a place where I feel completely safe, because the staff there really looks out for you. If they think someone is making you uncomfortable or hitting on you a little to hard, they'll kick him out. They'll also walk you to your car if you'd like.

I was wondering if times were just as bizarro and unpredictable as they used to be at Marty's, and Saturday did not disappoint. We got there around 9:30, and sat on the patio and drank many beers. For the first several hours the indoors was peopled mostly with an older crowd, there to see Kent DuChaine. As the hour got later, a younger crowd started to show up, probably trickling in as other bars closed.

Some time around 12:30, a fellow popped up at our table, randomly asking if we'd let him buy us beers. He seemed completely harmless, probably around 40 or 45 years old, dressed immaculately, so we let him. Long story short, he turned out to be odd , to say the least. Over the course of an hour or so, he insisted on buying us a cheeseburger, told us that he grew up in Leeds on Montague Street, where Kristi grew up, told us that he was the associate editor of the Black and White, got into a fight at the bar and got cut off from any more alcohol, tried to get me to go buy him a drink since he was cut off, and gave us "his card", on which he wrote his phone number with a Sharpie marker. He told me his name was, simply, "Damon", but the card said "Carl Love", and I'm not sure that either is really his name. I also don't know if he actually has anything to do with the Black and White. We asked Marty about it, and he didn't know. What I do know is that talking to him started out fun and interesting, and ended up exhausting and uncomfortable. You know when you have hemmoiroids and you can't quite sit comfortably? That's what it felt like.

While I was busy with that guy, Kristi met a small group of people sitting at the table behind ours. Kristi is in law school, and a guy at the table was a lawyer, so they struck up a conversation. Apparently he went to Georgetown and thought a lot of himself. At one point Kristi turned around and said, "OK, he just told me that he can't stand poor people." Needless to say, we both wondered why he would speak to US, of all people.

Around 2:00 a.m., we decided to go inside to talk to Marty for a while, where we ended up really enjoying the music and performance of Kent DuChaine. He looks a little different than that picture- a bit like a malnourished John Malchovich with longer grey hair. But he was really very good- very bluesy, Stevie Ray Vaughn-type stuff.

While we were standing inside, enjoying the music, this tiny child of a boy started talking to Kristi; he apparently said something about how he didn't like some other girl's look, that she had too much eyeshadow on, but he liked Kristi's look. What, exactly, do you say to that by the way? Anyway, he eventually walked away, and we sat down at the bar. Eventually, this tiny little boy came back and started talking to me. I can't quite figure out what was going on, if he was hitting on me or if he was just hoping to make himself look really ridiculous by acting like a drunk asshole. I DO know that over the course of our conversation he said ALL of the following things: "I'm a grad student at UAB studying microbiology, because I really like working with small things." [Later, I told him that he looked like a seventeen-year-old football player.] "Well, don't you secretly have a crush on a seventeen-year-old football player?" "Do you think your friend has a crush on a seventeen-year-old football player?" "Why y'all all gotta be all married?" "You just wish you had my brain."

Tom, the bartender and a friend of mine, eventually came up and said, "Are you okay?" I said, "Oh, yeah, I don't feel threatened in any way. He's just IRRITATING THE SHIT out of me." Tom then told me that that guy had been kicked out several times for harrassing the ladies. MAKES SENSE TO ME.

To top it all off, this guy shared some kind of look, some kind of looking-up-and-down of each other with another guy who was talking to Kristi, the other guy being about fifteen years older than him, that said, "BITCH LET'S HAVE A DANCE OFF." Like they should have both started snapping their fingers and givin' each other the stare-down and then broken into Michael Jackson's dance moves from the Bad video. And I totally missed it. But when there is another, totally unrelated, 6'5 gangly white boy with some kind of odd, slanting hair-do dancing like a FOOL right in front of you, it's hard to pick up on every little thing.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Saturday, not in the park, I know it's not the fourth of July.

I got an interesting phone call at work today, where "interesting" means the same thing as "chaps my ass".

The conversation went pretty much like this:


"Yes, hello, how are you?"

"I'm fine; how are you doing?"

"Well, I'm irritated at my son."


"Anyway, I was just looking through his backpack, and I found two books checked out from your library, and my son is doing an interim term in Hawaii."


"So he's not here."


"What can we do about this?"

"Well, you can return them for him."

"No way. It's too long of a drive. I'm not driving to BIRMINGHAM just to return two books. Can't I just pay the fines up to now with a credit card and renew the books over the phone?"

"Um, no, we won't renew when there are late charges in place. You'd have to return them. Besides, we don't have a credit card machine; we take cash and checks."

"I'm just worried about all these fines. They were due on January 2. How much is it per day?"

"IT'S TEN CENTS. PER DAY. They're only about four days late."

"Yes, but that's STILL late. I'll mail them back. Can I mail them to you? What will happen to them when you get them?"

And it just went down hill from there. The oddest thing about it to me was that the woman had a 205 area code, which means she's not THAT far from us. I understand not wanting to have to drive a long way, but she seemed awfully concerned about the books and the fines to be all, "Oh, no, I don't actually want to have to leave the house to take care of this."

Friday, January 05, 2007

Something, something, stuff.

Today is dreary and damp. Methinks rain and storms are supposed to be moving through all day long.

From what I understand, several of my co-workers were awakened in the night by screaming sirens, beckoning them to take cover from the impending tornadoes. I was awakened in the night be a screaming toddler, beckoning me to kiss his ass if I didn't want to pick him up and keep him company at three a.m.

I bought a wireless router last night and SET IT UP MYSELF. Make fun of me if you will, but that kind of stuff is all Greek to me. I felt fairly proud that I even opened the box, it intimidates me so much; the fact that I opened it, hooked it up, and called the support line for help when it wouldn't connect to the internet which resulted in it being fixed and functional is a HUGE STEP towards joining the world of the 2000's, as far as I'm concerned. I hooked up a router. WELCOME TO 2004, BUFFY. HOPE YOU LIKE IT. Who says this girl can't follow directions? NO ONE, 'CAUSE I CAN.

Our Wii is now fully functional, and connected to the internets. If anyone out there wants to be Wii friends with me, send me yo number!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Mama Mia!

I have a sister named Jennifer who lives in Tennessee; she's my half-sister, really. My dad was married once before he was married to my mom, and Jennifer is the daughter from that marriage. She came down to stay with us a lot when we were kids, and now she comes to visit at holidays and in the summer. But now, it's her AND her husband AND her three kids. Jordan is nine (I think), Elijah is seven (I think), and Addi Beth (Addison Elizabeth) is three (I think) (could I use parentheses any more in a sentence?) (I bet I could). I am a FANTASTIC aunt, as you can tell.

Now, given my recent experience with babies and travel, I have to say that I have nothing but respect and awe for this woman, as she has traveled from Tennessee to Birmingham and back with her three children ALONE on several occasions. Before last Sunday, I always thought, "Wow, that must be tough." Now, post-Sunday, I think, "Not even if Donald Trump wanted to give me sixty million dollars. Not even if Oprah wanted to profile me on her show and give me a car. Not even if God told me that I could eat Mexican food and steaks all day every day and never gain a pound. Not even if I could do all three of those things would I make that trip with three kids alone THAT'S HOW MUCH I WOULD NEVER DO IT." You think I'm being crazy and melodramatic? YOU DO IT AND LET'S SEE, THEN COME TALK TO ME.

She's really a fantastic mama. She's one of those moms who always looks cute, and always has a smile on her face until one of her kids makes the mistake of messing with her and then she's ALL BUSINESS, for serious though. She has got the mama voice and all the phrases perfected. At my dad's Christmas dinner, they decided that they wanted to take pictures of each individual family, like a picture of Jason, Kane, Jude, Reed, and myself as a family. So Jennifer spent several minutes trying to get Addi Beth rounded up, and finally bribed her by saying, "What if daddy holds you in the picture? Will you smile and be still if daddy holds you?" The second Addi Beth agreed, Jennifer announced, "Okay, I need all the Johnsons FRONT AND CENTER RIGHT THIS SECOND." And you know what? They came immediately, no questions asked. That's the true test of your abilities as a mother- if you can get three children to stop their three, separate activities in three different locations and do what you've asked with no complaints or questions, you've succeeded in ways that I will probably never experience.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I resolve to kick ass at several Wii games by the end of the year.

We got out replacement Wii console from Nintendo yesterday. I have to say, the folks at Nintendo are very helpful and polite, and our replacement got here FAST. I talked to the fellow on Thursday afternoon, and the console shipped two hours after we talked, and got here within two business days (considering that Monday was a holiday). So THANK YOU, MATT AT NINTENDO, you kept me from freaking out and throwing any parts of my faulty Wii out the kitchen window which I have done before to things (or, let's face it, people) that irritated me.

Being back at work SUCKS. That's all I really have to say about that. My boss could still form DIAMONDS out of a lump of coal if she just put it in the right place.

I am very excited about tax time, because among other things, I'm pretty sure we're going to buy this camera. Jason and I are both really excited about it. Could we use the money for more important things like hospital bills or credit card debt? NO WE COULD NOT BECAUSE I SAID SO.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

When it might be a good idea to leap from a moving vehicle.

This has been a really wonderful, if LONG AS HELL, holiday season. We had Christmas at my aunt Susie's house on December 23; we ate yummy comfort food and opened presents. We had Christmas at Jason's brother's house on Christmas Eve, where we ate more yummy comfort food and rushed through Dirty Santa to get home and have a very small, impromptu Christmas Eve gathering of our own. We went to my mom's house on Christmas day and ate even more comfort food and opened presents. We went out to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant on December 26 with a bunch of our buddies, and had drinks after at the Upside Down Plaza. We went to my dad's house for Christmas and food on December 30, where we spent time with my brother and sister from Tennessee and all their kids.

Over the last couple of weeks we got to spend a lot of time with our friends John and Amanda, who live in New Orleans. I'm glad that we got to see them and hang out with them so much. We normally don't get to spend so much time with them, due to our own obligations and the fact that their time is coveted by a WHOLE BUNCH of people when they're here.

The peak of bizarre holiday ideas gone wrong was on December 31, when we drove to Watertown, Tennessee, for Jason's mom's family's annual Christmas gathering. In the three years that Jason and I have been married, I've never made it up there for the Christmas party. Right after we were married, we had just gotten back from our honeymoon and didn't feel like we could afford to take any time off of work and were exhausted from all the getting married and honeymooning. I don't remember why we didn't go the next Christmas, but I'm sure that it had something to do with the get-together being on New Year's Eve (it always is), and our wanting to go to a party here in Birmingham. Last Christmas, we had just had Reed, and I didn't want to travel with a three-week-old baby. This year, we felt like we ought to just go since we'd skipped it so much and none of his relatives there had met Reed. I was JUST A LITTLE BIT FUCKING NERVOUS about taking Reed on his first long car trip; eight hours in the car seemed a little excessive to me. But, besides me and my mother, everyone seemed to think that it was no big deal, so I tried not to worry about it.

We left at about 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, and things seemed fine. I drove, and Reed and Jason slept for a little while, and we had a nice time. Reed stayed pretty calm and happy for the entire four hour drive there. We got there, and it was a little hectic running around and keeping an eye on him, but we had a good time. YES, WE ATE EVEN MORE HOLIDAY FOOD, our sixth holiday feast of the season, and it was damn tasty. I had an apple martini and almost fell down in the basement because the step from the house into the garage isn't connected to the wall and no one told me. We hung out with the horses, and Reed said, "That's the biggest fucking dog I've ever seen, no way am I petting him."

We managed to leave by 4:00 p.m., which was perfect timing to get back to Birmingham in order to get Kane and Jude to Mary's house and Reed to Ramey's house and us to a bar by 9:00 for New Year's Eve. At that time, Reed still hadn't had a nap at all, so I thought he might just sleep the whole way home. Jason drove, and the rest of us fell asleep pretty quickly. Around 5:00, we all woke up, and Reed started to fuss and cry. I thought he was poopy, but he wasn't, so he went back in his seat and we pressed on. We cried for the majority of the rest of the trip, until about 8:00. He literally cried for most of the time from 5:00 until 8:00. I managed to make it to 6:30 before I started to cry. I can't really explain what it was like to sit there, listening to him really crying, not just fussing or being irritable, for three hours straight in that particular situation. We were far from home, and didn't really have any option other than to continue to try and get home. We stopped three or four times to change his diaper and mess with him some, and that would calm him down for a few minutes. But within five minutes of being back in his seat he'd start crying again. He had diarrhea, which really helped things along, let me tell you. Having the burning poo on a road trip as an adult is difficult enough; having it when you poop in your pants and can't describe what you're feeling and are forced to be strapped in to a seat must be awful. We tried giving him water, juice, and snacks, playing with him, giving him toys, nothing worked. I was about 50% concerned about my child, about his welfare and his state of mind, and about 50% concerned that I might just throw myself out the window at any given moment. It was the longest three hours of my life, worse than pregnancy, worse than the hour I spent pushing his almost-eight-pound body out of my vagina. There is no epidural for the pain and discomfort of travel, folks. It was HARROWING. By the time we made it home, Reed's face and my face were swollen and red, and we were both stinky and dirty, and I was ready to quit this thing called life and get a heroin habit already.

But, we made it through. I've already been saying, "Maybe next year Reed should stay at my mom's when we go up there. Or maybe we should just have ONE Christmas party at our house and tell EVERYONE that if they want to see us at Christmas, they'll just have to come to our house." I don't know yet. All I know is that I have learned that my instincts should not always be chalked up to fear and paranoia; SOMETIMES I'M ACTUALLY RIGHT.