Thursday, December 27, 2007

300 miles/Sir Topham Hatt's Pimp Hand

My husband is awesome. I submit to you as evidence, Exhibit A:

We're lollygagging in Jackson's room, playing with blocks. Tim is burning some vacation days this week lest he lose them at the end of the year.

Me: So what do you want to do today?
Him: I dunno. What do you want to do?
Me: I really want a cream slush and some cheese tots.
Him: Is there a Sonic here now?
Me: No, the closest one is in Peoria.
Him: How far away is Peroria? (He can't say Peoria.)

Me: PEE-OR-EE-UH. It's 2 1/2 hours away.
Him: Hmmm. What else is there?
Me: There are museums and stuff. It's a pretty big city.
Him: Hmmm. We should call and make sure they're open. They may be closed for the season.
Me: Giggity giggity!

He goes to the phone and calls 411.
411: City and State, please
Him: Perora, IL
411: City and State, please
Me: (yelling from upstairs) PEE-OR-EE-UH!
Him: Peeoreeuh, IL
411: What name?
Him: Sonic.

Information is then dispensed, he calls and they are open until 11. W00T!!!!111! And a road trippin' we go.

3 hours later, we arrive here:

Be still my heart.

One extra long chili cheese coney with onions (yes I ate "meat" and yes it was delicious), cheese tots and an orange cream slush later, I am a fat and happy girl.

And he would drive 300 miles
And he would drive 300 more
Just to be the man who took me to Sonic.
(insert "dada dadat da's" and guitar riff here)

It was a good day.

On the way home, Jackson got a little fussy so we turned on his DVD player, which had a Thomas video in it.

Tim: "I don't know how Sir Topham Hatt keeps that business together. I mean, there are always trains derailed and trains that are late and trains spilling stinky cheese. How does he ever get any business?"

Me: "You know Sir Topham Hatt doesn't actually exist, right?"

Him: "I'm just saying. I mean, I would never hire his trains. Then again, I guess he has a monopoly on freight since he has the only train line on the Island of Sodor."

Me: "The Island of Sodor isn't real. Thomas the Tank Engine episodes are not true stories."

Him: (completely ignoring my truthiness) "Yeah, he has a huge monopoly on all the freight so he can charge whatever he wants and if your stinky cheese gets spilled, oh well who else are you going to ship it with? Man, that Sir Topham Hatt. His pimp hand is strong."

And that's when I laughed really hard, and loved him just a little bit more. Any guy who will drive 300 miles in one day to fulfill my desire for cream slushes and cheese tots and then can pull off a sentence about a cartoon in which a pimp hand is referenced...that guy wins my heart every time.

It was a very good day.

And as you can see, Ladies and Gentleman, from my examples given here, my husband is awesome. I rest my case.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Does this thing Clark?

Hysterical thing happened today that I had to share:

So I've been going crazy sewing pj pants for Jackson. First I got some moose print flannel. Those came out darling! So then I made shorts of the same stuff. Super cute! I found some monkey print flannel at Joann's that was regular $6.99, on sale for $2 but it was the very last of the bolt so they gave me selvage price for it, which is half off so it was $1 a yard. Yippee!

Dummy me didn't even consider that I would require additional notions to complete my project when I scored monkey fabric for a buck a yard. I was too happy to have monkey pants to make.

I decided this afternoon that I wanted to make the monkey pants while Jackson napped. I laid out the fabric and pattern and learned I had enough to make 2 pairs of pants and 2 pairs of shorts. Yippee! Monkey pants for Moose and maybe one or two of his friends! (If your kid wears a 2T, let me know.)

I asked Tim to please go to Joann's for me to get me thread and elastic
while I pinned and cut . He comes back a long while later, exasperated from traffic and choosing the right thread.

Him: "I didn't know what kind to get. Is that kind okay?"
Me: "Yes, it's great, thank you so much for going for me."
Him: "They had all these different kinds, quilting thread, heavy duty thread, all purpose thread, and something called coats and clark. I didn't want to get that kind because I know you're not making a coat and I don't know if your machine clarks. The one I got said coats so I was worried it was the wrong kind."

After laughing so hard I cried and nearly peed myself, I explained that "Coats and Clark" is a brand, and it is not specifically for coats. Also, "clarking" is not a sewing machine function.

But upon further review, my machine does make a decorative scalloped stitch, which looks like a big "C" so I'm going to officially call that "Clarking". ;)

Merry Christmoose!

P.S. I didn't get a chance to write Christmas cards this year, so don't take it personally. We might do Happy New Years cards instead!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Story of Us: Part Three. Merging = Being Nice To People You Don't Know

So sorry for not updating this in so long. We had an internet service outage. It was NOT Comcastic! Our cable was fine, but our internet was out because "the signal was coming into the house too strong". Tell me if that doesn't sound like a load of hot, steaming BS. Ugh. Anyway, back to our story.

It was November of 2004. November 9th, actually. (I also remember what I was wearing, but that is immaterial to the story). The Bridge, Jason, has decided that he can't live if livin' is without me. He weeps over losing me. I feel nothing. I didn't fall madly in love with him and want to spend the rest of my life with him because A) he wasn't the One for me and B) that's why I was with him in the first place, because I knew he would never want to be married or have kids, so he was a safe choice to go out with. Love was off the table, or so I thought.

I had finally decided that I had enough of feeling alone, enough of feeling like I'm still one half of a whole, and decided I'd go put myself out there and see what I could find. What I found first was Mike. Mike wasn't really that great looking but he had a good smile and seemed charming at first. Then we sat down, I ordered a drink and asked him if he wanted anything (because I was all into being in charge at the moment - this pays off for me later in the story) and he said, "No, I can't drink as part of my probation I just got out of jail for child molestation." And then he died laughing, like that was the BEST LINE EVER. I looked up at the waitress and said, I don't think I'll need that drink after all. I stood up and said, "I'm an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse and I don't find joking about it funny AT ALL" and walked out, with my head held high, my amazing tits leading the way out (in a very cute and well cut top) and my ass jiggling just enough to make it hurt him. Fricking idiot. (Please note: the post-baby body bears small resemblance to the 11/09/04 body).

Then I went to The Ram. I found a cute boy there with blond highlights, blue eyes (I am such a sucker for bright blue eyes!), perfect teeth, and the perfect height for me. Yummy.

This is a good time to explain my 6-6-6 Theory of Husband Finding. The minimum requirements for my match had been reduced to this: 6 feet, 6 inches, 6 figures. Yes, that is horribly vain, shallow and materialistic but by this time in life I was 30. The Lady knows what she needs and wants. I knew what would keep me physically attracted and financially secure. A younger and stupider, more naive version of me had married for love before. It worked out poorly. If I was ever going to do it again, it would be for love with someone I knew would provide for all my needs in every way.

So I walk up to Yummy Boy, and say "I want a Sapphire and Tonic, and I think you should buy it for me." He says okay, and gets me a drink. Because he's naturally mellow and easy going, and seriously I am rocking the hell out of my cleavage tonight.

And drinks turned into appetizers, and appetizers turned into dinner, and dinner turned into dessert, and dessert turned into after dinner cocktails until basically they kicked us out. And while we sat there, we talked about everything. My work, his work (IT consultant, working on an SAP R3 conversion - salary minimum met!), our volunteer work, religion, our divorces, family, our desire for a family, adoption, foster parenting, pets, politics, sports (I'm the sports fan, he didn't know what a field goal was), cars, fashion (he has a strong love for all things Versace), plastic surgery (we've both been under the knife), just...everything. And as I sat there, I kept thinking over and over, "this guy is such a great match for me!". I mean, in every way he totally is. I probably could have been persuaded to bend the rules on one or two of the 6's. Thankfully, I didn't have to.

He walked me out to my car, gave me a hug and then a sweet small kiss goodnight. I called my best friend and told her I was going to get married again. Just as too many people had advised me in the past: when you meet The Right One, you just know. I just knew. I didn't feel like I was just one half of a whole anymore. I had found that other half - the one whom as Jerry McGuire put it, "completes me".

The next week, he asked me out to dinner Friday night. I picked a Japanese teppanyaki place. We had blue Hawaiians and steak and shrimp, then went back to his place to watch a movie. Before too long, it was nearly midnight and I had to get back to my place. I had the cable guy coming out between 8 am and 1 pm (so specific!) but in the event he showed up at 8 am, I wanted to be awake for it. Before I headed home, he asked me if he could take me to the movies the next day, after the cable guy was done. I told him I'd check my schedule and let him know (still trying to maintain an aura of cool and not act too eager).

We saw the Incredibles on Saturday afternoon, and after the movie we went back to his place to figure out dinner. We wanted to stay in, but it was obvious that there hadn't been a trip to the grocery store in a while. This was when I slipped into Kitchen MacGyver mode and made a garlic cream sauce with veggies over pasta. I found a bottle of wine and voila, it was dinner. Tim was amazed. He didn't want me to leave, but night fell and I departed after dinner.

The following Monday, the conversion project at work that he had been prepping for kicked off. He began working literally around the clock. He'd leave for work at 7 am and get home around midnight, nap for a couple of hours and then leave to do it all over again, 7 days a week. He missed me, so he gave me a key to his apartment and asked me to stay there a few nights a week, so he could at least see me and talk to me for a little while, half asleep, before he passed out of exhaustion. I missed him too, and I knew that this crazy period was part of the conversion when he said he was going to do it, so I obliged.

Thanksgiving came. We went together to the Lincoln Park Community Shelter to prepare turkey dinner for 50 homeless people. It was a really beautiful experience, and we did it for two years as a part of Singles Social and Service Chicago. Then we weren't single anymore, we got pregnant, and now we're forging some new family traditions together. Anyway, back to the shelter. We were working on some twice baked potatoes and talking about the ravages of cancer treatment. I said, "If I lost all my hair, would you still love me?" And he said, "Of course." And I said, "A-HA! You DO love me!" And he was all ashamed and blushing and said I tricked him. Ha ha.

Christmas came. Tim is from Maryland, and he has no family in Illinois. He moved here for his college sweetheart who is now his ex-wife. The tradition in my family is that we gather on Christmas Eve, have a fabulous feast together, then wait until midnight and open our gifts in one massive, wild frenzy of flying paper and ribbons. My cousin Tracy usually hosts, and I called her to ask if I could bring my new boyfriend. I told her he was really special and I thought he was The One. She was all excited to meet him, so I brought him with. All of my cousins had bought him gifts so he could have something to open during our gift exchange, and Tracy even made him a stocking to hang with the rest of ours. It was so sweet how my family loved and accepted him without even meeting him. They really made Tim feel like part of the family right from the beginning. My cousins are awesome women.

That night, we got back to Tim's apartment and unloaded our loot. At that point, we were technically not yet living together. I still had my apartment, but nobody slept there, including my two cats. We just hadn't yet made that leap yet, although I was ready to. I didn't pressure Tim, because it was nice to know I still had my space if things went awry.

We sat on his living room floor, noshing on Christmas cookies and talking about how wonderful our first Christmas together had been, when he asked me to move in. He said he was certain that we were supposed to be together and he wanted to build a future with me and be with me and I'm already there anyways, so let's move my stuff out of my apartment and get my mail forwarded. After he became a part of my extended family that night, he didn't want to leave and he didn't want me to leave his house either.

I moved out of my apartment at New Years. It was a good thing too, because by the end of January my position had been eliminated and I lost my job - I wouldn't have been able to afford my own rent on unemployment anyway!

We co-habitated from that point on. On October 3, 2005, we had just returned home from picking up burritos from our favorite tacqueria when in the kitchen, Tim asked me if I would share burritos with him forever and he presented me with my super awesome beautiful 2.5 ct 3 stone engagement ring. Of course I said yes, and we've been sharing burritos ever since.

And that is how one year, one month and one day after we first met, we got married, barefoot on the beach of St. Thomas on December 10, 2005. One thing we both wanted more than anything was to start a family - which we had discussed at our very first date - and once we were married, we started trying. On February 13, 2006 (the day before Valentine's Day), we found out we were pregnant.

Jackson Phoenix was born September 28th, nine months and three weeks after our wedding. And just like that, in the wink of an eye, everything I have ever wanted for my life came to be.

And that, my friends, is the Story of Us.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Story of Us: Part Two - Take 'em to the bridge!

Ah, The Bridge. The Bridge was a Pharmacist from San Francisco. He was funny and cute and charming. We shared a love for the 49ers, which is why we originally spoke to each other. He introduced me to the wonders of the Ben Stiller Show (years after it was cancelled), made me fall in love with The City (but not enough to live there, I'm a Burbie Girl), made me laugh, made me cry, and made me believe that A) I deserved more and that B) Good guys existed, and I could find love again.

He tolerated my penchant for $30 lip glosses and let me teach him culinary skillz. We loved music of all kinds, and we enjoyed seeking out new artists to share with each other. We loved Joss Stone before anyone had ever heard of her, and swayed together at HOB for her first tour. She was so charming and humble and cute - she couldn't believe that so many people paid to hear her sing. On Sunday mornings, he'd go get us bagels and tea and the Sunday Trib, then we'd lounge on the rooftop of his Lakeshore apartment, reading, noshing and sipping and watching the world drift by. We'd go out dancing with my cousins, and made up stupid dance moves like "Driving The Bus" and "Doing the Momo" (an imitation of my cat trying to scratch the side of the couch). That "teaching the dumb white guy how to dance" in the movie Hitch? They totally stole our smack.

After quite some time of spending my life with him, the lesson he taught me had been learned. I deserved more. I wanted more. I wanted more, but not more of him. I wanted the house in the suburbs and dogs and babies and it was painfully obvious to me that this guy wasn't going to be the one I experienced that with.

We went out to see The Polar Express in 3D IMAX, and as I drove him to the Blue Line station, I told him. We weren't going to be a we anymore. We promised that no matter what the outcome of our relationship, we would always be friends and I sincerely wanted that.

He was crushed. There was crying. He said that he had finally decided that maybe he could try to do the house and the marriage and the suburbs (he never wanted any of that, which is why he was "safe" for me) but that if he ever did that, he would only do it for me.

It was never my intention to try to force him into the mold of what I wanted in a husband and partner. He would have been sacrificing too much of what he loved in order to try to make me happy. We all know that never would have worked.

And so we parted ways. It's taken awhile, but we're cool now. In that slow, magical way that time soothes hearts, the painful and ugly parts of our past have melted away and only good memories remain for both of us. He's back in San Fransisco now, caring for his ailing mother. And I'm married and happy and have the house and the dogs and the baby and the life he made me believe I could have. The life he gave me permission to demand.

And I demanded it. From that very first moment I spoke to Hubster, and told him I wanted a Sapphire and Tonic and thought he should buy it for me. But that, dear friends, is a story for another day...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Story of Us: Part One. Where We Came From

Hubster and I were both previously married.


But divorce is a SIN and God hates divorce and how could you???

Well, divorce is a sin but so is a husband abusing and being unfaithful to his wife. And as much as God hates sin, I think He also hated that I was suffering and miserable and hurt and scared. God never wants His children to suffer if there is a way to make it stop.

My ex didn't beat me. I wish he did. It would have hurt less. Instead, he told me stuff like how I was completely worthless, I should have been aborted, I was an idiot, stuff like that. And when I told him that you don't talk to people you love like that, he told me that if I didn't like it, I could leave.

So one day, I decided that leaving sounded like a perfectly good idea and I left.

After my departure, he started going on online dating sites to meet someone new. We were ostensibly in marital counseling when I discovered he had been dating another woman. The counseling was over, and papers were filed. Done and done.

Enter: the bridge. The one who got me from there to here. The one who made me believe in love again. The one who tickled my funny bone and loved my big, sexy brain and made up crazy dance moves with me just to make me laugh.

After Dave my ex husband and before Tim, the best person I've ever met there was Jason. He was The Bridge.

I'll tell you all about him...another day.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Today is mine and my husband's second wedding anniversary. This one is much improved over our first wedding anniversary, which was spent taking care of our newborn son as he recovered from major abdominal surgery.

Yes, this year is far better.

This year, our Christmas tree is up and actually half decorated. The upper half is decorated. The lower half has fallen prey to tiny, curious hands. I don't think there will be any presents this year, which is fine. We have both already exchanged early Christmas gifts. I got him a fancy dancy learning remote control. One remote to rule them all, you might say. This is better than a universal remote, it is programmable (via USB connection to a computer!) to control stuff like your home's lighting too! He got me a new sewing machine. It's electronic, does blind hems and overlocks. This is quite the big fat hairy deal to me and I'm really excited to set up my sewing room.

As I look around my little home, I am struck with thanks for my wonderful little life.


It was quite a journey to get here. Maybe I'll tell you The Story of Us in the next few weeks. It will help you understand our long journey Home.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Snowflakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes...

These are a few of Jackson's favorite things (to eat):

1) Anything with garlic. Preferably, lots of garlic.
2) Sushi.
3) Odwalla Superfood juice. Benefit of feeding a baby: he doesn't know that green juice looks nasty.
4) Freeze dried peas. I swear, probably 75% of his vegetable intake is in freeze dried pea form. (And a great deal of the balance comes from that green juice!)
5) Blueberry anything.
6) Cream of Wheat. Oatmeal is the white death to him, but he can't get enough farina.
7) Baby Goldfish crackers. But not the normal ones, only the "Baby" ones that are half the size of a regular goldfish cracker. Tiny is the new black.
8) Good milk. Moose has become a milk connoisseur. Dean's Milk Chug? Sister, please. Jackson requires that his milk be fresh from the farm, unhomogenized, VAT pasteurized, from organically pastured Jersey cows.
But not Holsteins, only Jersey cows need apply. Preferably, local Jersey cows. This emphasizes the freshness. (His milk of choice is Crystal Ball Farms' whole, in a glass bottle please.) In his defense, I have side by side taste tested his preferred milk and regular grocery store milk and his fresh organic milk is WAY better. I guess if I drank a quart of it a day, I'd prefer the good stuff too.
9) Shrimp. Fried shrimp, shrimp kebab, shrimp cocktail, shrimp salad (insert your own Forrest Gump joke here). You get the picture. Homeboy loves shrimp. I think he likes shrimp more than my former cats do! (Shout out to Coupon Chris, who is now the loving mama to my former furbabies.)
10) Hyland's Teething Tablets. This one cracks me up. Now I lay them out for him and he gently picks them up with thumb and forefinger, and delicately places them on his tongue for a interlude of melty and sweet teething pain relief. We call them "Toothies". I'll say, "Do you need Toothies?" and he will sit and wait for aforementioned Toothies to be dispensed for him to savor.
11) Gerber "Meat Sticks". When I feed these to him, they make me shiver with guilt. Meat Sticks? MEAT STICKS? Really? Marketing couldn't come up with anything else more palatable sounding - like, say "Little Sausages" or something?

There are plenty more, but these are all I can think of right now.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

In Your Eyes

It snowed yesterday, and it made me cry.

As you may or may not remember, my favorite season is Spring. But before the Spring, Winter must come - and with it, our first snowfall.

Is there anything more beautiful than that perfect, pristine, first snowfall? As I peeled back the blinds on the patio door last night to let the dogs out, the spotless perfection of my back yard struck me. "This is how God sees me now" I thought.

Before we ask for His forgiveness, all He can see in us is our dark and sinful heart. All He can see is that deep, black blot on our soul that is keeping us from Him. But after accepting His grace, salvation and love, we are washed clean and from that day forward God sees us through Christ - perfect, pure and pristine. He doesn't see the sins of our past. He doesn't even remember them. As soon as we are forgiven, they are gone and the furthest thing from His mind as He looks down upon us.

How amazing is that?