aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
It was a full weekend - Tai and I had a First 5 excursion, we visited [ profile] twirlgrrl , we had Ross (a friend of Tom's from middle school) visit for the weekend, Tai got sick with the dreaded Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (which still makes me think of Foot and Mouth disease), we went to Golden Gate park, the Sutro Baths and Chrissy Field.  We also went out drinking (without Tai) and stayed up too late last night listening to new music and talking to Ross.  So, in lieu of a real entry, please enjoy these pics.  (Or feel free to skip if you aren't into that sort of thing.)

Pikachers... )


Apr. 28th, 2010 04:50 pm
aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
It's been a month since I nursed Tai.  (The last day I nursed him was March 26th.)  I still miss it.  
Weaning... )


In other news - I have to remember to upload my novel-in-progress to google docs.  I keep leaving the most recent edition on some computer or keycard that I don't have with me.  This afternoon I managed to find the keycard, bring my laptop and get to the library with two hours of Toddler Time to myself.  I open my laptop - no file.  I check the keycard - no file.  I am assuming that my most recent version is on the desktop or the other keycard.  If not?  Freakout time.  I'm not going there yet.
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Since I have a few new friends (Thanks Moms_Anon friendfrenzy!  I finally participated in one of these and I'm excited to get to know all of the new peeps.) and since I haven't updated my journal in, approximately, forever, I figured I'd do a brief introduction/catch - up post.  I'm going to make an attempt to journal more regularly - but I also say this every few months and have a hard time sticking to it.  It's funny - I have stuff to say, but I either talk myself out of it by figuring it's boring or I'm so worn out by evening that I it's all I can do to harvest my crops in Farmville.  (I have to stop playing that game.  Such a waste of time.)  I was just reading my notes from a novel-writing class I took a while ago, and the teacher had some good advice to keep those of us who tend to short-circuit our writing by perfectionism, "Lower your standards and go on".  After all, if nothing gets onto the page it doesn't matter how good or bad it is in my head.  Personally, I think I need to use that motto in living my life too.  There's no perfection, only progress. 

So - how to sum up me in a few words?  First of all, I guess I should say that I'm not good at using only a few words.  I'm a writer and I am not good at writing short stories.  I tend to novel-length pieces, unless I'm writing fanfic, where I can get out a shorter piece.  I'm not sure why that is. 

I am a thirty-something, first time mom of a boy, Tai.  I'm married to Tom, who I have been together with since we started dating in my junior year of high school.  He's a computer-geek, which I find both sexy and frustrating in equal measures.  I often feel like we aren't speaking the same language and we need to work on our communication.  However, he is a great dad, and he and Tai have a good relationship.  That means all the world to me, since my Dad and I have a fraught, barely-hanging-in-there sort of relationship.   Fortunately, my Mom and I have a fabulous relationship.  Sometimes we tend to be almost too close, but I'd rather that than the reverse.  I have a younger brother, Q, who lives down in Palm Desert.  He's a pain in the ass sometimes, but I know that no matter what he has my back - and I have his.  We're family, and that means a lot to both of us.

I live in San Francisco, and have been here for 11 years now.  Before that I was in Michigan and Maryland.  I don't think I'll ever leave this city.  I am completely spoiled by the weather, the people, the liberal leaning politics.  All of which fit my hippie sensibilities.  I've made some fabulous friends here and have become part of a neighborhood mother's group.  Both friends and my group have kept me feeling relatively sane and as I make my way as a mother, wife, and person.  I am blessed by them.

I am a stay at home mom right now - I was training as a Marriage and Family Therapist before that, concentrating in grief therapy.  I wasn't very good at self-care and burned out before I even got licensed.  I left the field abruptly after a bout of anxiety that just about kicked my ass.  It wasn't pretty.  I'm considering what I want to do with my life, but haven't decided yet.  I'm thinking about opening a co-op preschool, becoming a doula and possibly a midwife, and just working my ass off to finally finish my novel and become a Real Writer.

I'm bisexual, polyamorous (though monogamous by default at the moment), fat, feminist, vegetarian, pro-choice, and spiritually seeking.  All of these are things I feel strongly about, though I am in no way militant and am more than happy to discuss many view points about all of this stuff.  The longer I'm a parent, the more I believe that we're all just trying the best we can to do the right thing and muddling together though this messy world.
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Last night was date night, which means Tai stays with his Grandma (read: Ba) while Tom and I get dinner and a couple of drinks.  I talk about my novel, about what I'm reading (the Twilight series *shudder* - why am I still reading this?) and what Tai is up to during the week, and Tom talks about work.  Sometimes his stories would have a better audience in a computer geek, but last night he had a good one.

One of his employees - I'll call him G - is a gun-nut and a survivalist.  He's ex-Army Special Forces.  I will admit he makes me nervous, in theory, but in practice he's a nice guy.  Anyway - he does hardware as well as software work and he likes to play around with hardware.  One day Tom came back to work and the courtyard was closed off.  There were security and office emergency volunteers posted around the perimeter.  He wondered what was going on, but didn't ask.  Later he found out - G had made a solar powered battery charger for some of his computer equipment.  He'd left it in the middle of the courtyard to see how much of a charge he could get during the day.  Someone saw it out there, a briefcase full of wires and assumed - bomb.  When G went out to get it, they'd already called in the bomb squad.  Fortunately the situation was defused before anything got out of hand.

Later, on a trip to China, G picked up some new supplies, including a solar panel that is about as big as a piece of notebook paper.  He installed it in an army-green folder and created a new solar-charger for other equipment.  One afternoon he was carrying it into work, when Tom and another friend of theirs, H, met up with them.  

H says, "Got another bomb, there, Hurt Locker?" 

I about lost my shit.
aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Poor kidlet, he just doesn't have good luck with the head, apparently especially the left side.  Yesterday we were gardening in our front 'yard'.  He loves to help me lately - vacuuming, laundry (both loading and folding), feeding the dogs, microwaving the food, but especially weeding.  In the past few days, we've probably spent three hours total pulling weeds and getting the gardens ready for planting.  So I was trimming the dead heads and dead branches off the lavender while Tai pulled clover and tossed mulch onto the ground.  We were both standing in the raised bed.  I wasn't worried about him because I'd seen him climb down the step to the ground several times.  I asked a couple of times if he was ready for dinner, but he wanted to stay out and weed longer.  Finally I turned around (maybe to tell him to quit throwing the mulch onto the ground, please!) and saw him lean far over the edge of the ledge and tumble over - head over heels.  I couldn't reach him in time and he landed face-down on the concrete.

We were both freaked out.  I worried that he'd given himself brain damage - while he was more concerned with the scrape over his eyebrow, and under his eye.  Poor kid!  He cried, and I raced him inside for nursing and damage check.  After a quick 'Ask Dr. Sears' web search (where I discovered that a fall under 3 feet is usually okay, even onto hard surfaces) and a freaked out phone call to Tom and my Mom for me - and boobie for him, we were both calmer.  In about 10 minutes he was better and playing happily, so I decided to wait and watch for concussion.  

Tom's response?  'Welcome to being the mother of a boy'.  Sigh.  When Tai and I went out to weed again this evening, I asked what he was trying to do yesterday and he said, 'Reach for mulch'.  Why?  I have no clue.  Today he seems to be just fine, other than looking like he's got a black eye.  (I feel slightly lucky that he got the scrapes, though - that way it doesn't look like I punched him.)

He's such a love, though.  He's talking up a storm - even in his sleep.  In the last week or so, he's talked about Mimi and Popa, begged for bagels, told 'daddy, no' and said something about baseball.  If I could, I might stay awake just to listen to him.  

He's big on finding 'matches', ever since he got some Memory games for his birthday.  He matches colors and patterns.

When Tom got back from China, we were all laying in bed trying to get Tai to nap.  Tai was more interested in counting Daddy's eyes, nose, ears, etc.  He pointed out both of Tom's earrings, then said to me, "I talking to Daddy about earrings."

Over the past week or so, I've been rediscovering how lucky I am.  Tai is fabulous, and I am blessed.


Dec. 13th, 2009 11:56 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I am so excited for Christmas this year.  It's the first time that Tai is really able to participate, even in the smallest way.  He recognizes Christmas or 'Disnis' decorations - especially snow men, santas and lights.  He loves to point them out.  He wasn't thrilled about sitting on Santa's lap the other weekend, but we managed to get a good picture before he started to cry.   Which was better than last year, when he wouldn't even let us put him on Santa's lap before freaking out.

Most of all I'm looking forward to when he opens his presents.  I know commercialism has 'ruined the holidays' but I love finding just the right gift for someone and seeing their face as they peel back the paper... I'd be perfectly happy to just give presents, I don't need any myself.  (Though I wouldn't complain if someone felt the need to get me a gift certificate for a massage or a weekend away or something.  Heh.)  Tonight Tom and I went out and shopped for Tai.  He's starting to get to that age when he notices things and remembers - so I didn't want to do the shopping while he was with us.  (Though I did buy some clothes that were on sale at the Outlet Mall in SoCal when we were down there.  I figure he isn't going to be into clothes yet, so that doesn't matter.)  Fortunately Sunday night isn't a big shopping night, even in San Mateo.  So we were able to brave the store without going utterly mad.  Unfortunately they didn't have the tricycle that we wanted (which is the main portion of Tai's gift) so we're going to have to order online anyway.  Ah well.  I mostly wanted the hands-on experience of checking out the toys before purchasing them that one just doesn't get with online shopping.  I suppose I'm old fashioned like that.  Same way I like to write with pen and paper before transcribing to the computer.  Or I prefer paper books to reading online.

So my shopping is mostly done - I have stuff for Tai, for Tom, for my brother, and we're going to do Photo books on iPhoto (of Tai, of course) for several family members, so that takes care of them, too.  I just need to get something special for Mom.

I am totally in the Christmas spirit, even if I did have a stomach ache earlier.  
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Anat makes sufganiyot

We were invited to Anat, Karen and Talya's house for their (sorta) annual Hanukkah party so at a little after six we headed out in the wind and the rain to break the darkness with some candle light.  It's been a couple of years since I was able to attend their party - last year they were in LA for Anat's internship; the year before that she had just had Talya; the year before that I was sick... but the year before *that* I went and never in my life have I eaten so much delicious fried food.  I couldn't miss that this year!

We arrived late, but in plenty of time to have some of Anat's latkas.  Tai wasn't sure he liked it at first, but it seemed to taste better from Daddy's plate than Mommy's.  His favorite thing, however, was the sufganiyot - fresh donuts, which Anat is cooking above.  They are perfect, soft and melt in your mouth, hot enough to burn if you eat them right out of the oil (as I did) with a light dusting of powdered sugar.  Truth be told, I'd be happy to skip the latkas entirely and just eat sufganiyot.  But that's because I am a total pig.  

I spent the first little bit of the party feeling awkward - I didn't know anyone other than Anat and Karen (and Talya, of course).  I made a little chit chat, but that's harder to do as a stay-at-home mom... or maybe I'm just projecting.  Then I started helping Anat cook and then I felt much more relaxed.  Tai, as I am sure you will *not* be surprised to hear, had no such issues.  He had a fabulous time running around and flirting with everyone and charming them, and playing with Talya's toys.  It took her longer to warm up than it took him!  But by the end of the evening he was helping her with toys she dropped and trying to one up her show-offingness by doing his modified downward dog yoga pose on his head.  And then shaking his butt like he was dancing, and falling over.  One of the other party goers suggested we should get him into theater immediately because he seems to enjoy performing so much.  I'm just glad he has no trace of social anxiety!

He also had fun helping to light the Hanukkah candles, though he didn't know any of the blessings.  Fortunately no one set their hair on fire.  And i was the only one who spilled wine.

It was another reminder that I feel so much better when I push my limits and go out even if I'm not feeling like it.  I have a good time, and my mood improves immensely.  Not to mention, Anat and Karen are good people.  Talya (their daughter) is only two months older than Tai and I think they'd have a lot of fun together if we all hung out more.  I need to make it a priority.

aubreym: stick figure thinking "Sometimes, in my head, I pretend boys are kissing." (slashy)
Tonight was the last meeting of my novel-writing class. It was a long class - 6 months, though we only met once every four weeks. In between the meetings, we were to share 10 pages of our writing with an assigned partner, and update our teacher on how our week went, writing wise. It was a mixed bag - while I enjoyed the in-class discussions and writing, I was disappointed that my partner was mostly absent and dropped the class without even letting me know. Neither she nor I were very good at pushing each other - when we missed our weekly pages, neither of us gave the other one grief about it. In fact - for the first month or so, I sent her pages, but she didn't send any in return. I felt awkward about that - as though she was doing more work than I was and I found it harder to send pages. In fact, she only ever sent me two weekly updates.

I liked most of my classmates, though there were a couple of people who tended to hold forth in the discussions - giving long winded responses that seemed more about them than the writer. But that happens in just about every group, so I'm not too bothered about that. But going three weeks in between classes made it difficult for me to form any friendships, or writing relationships. Part of that is my social anxiety - I had to re-acclimate in every session... but I think part of it is we didn't get a chance to get momentum together. There is a possibility that I can take a class with the same teacher that meets every other week for 6 months.

The other good things about that class are - we would submit more writing, 25 pages three times for a total of 75 pages - and the critiques would be real critiques, rather than simply a discussion of what we liked.

I found that helpful - it's encouraging to have other people (especially other writers, and ones who don't know me) tell me that they enjoy what I'm working on. Every time I've had a class, I come home completely energized and feeling good about my novel and the possibilities. This is not a small thing, especially since I pretty much stopped writing for a couple of years after some especially harsh critiques from a college professor. Not something I need in the middle of a first draft. But I'm feeling thicker skinned than I was in college. (Thank god for that!) I also think my writing has improved. (Which, I should certainly hope!) And sometimes I feel like I need more depth to the critique than I was getting here.

That said - tonight's critique went *very* well. I was especially pleased because this submission was entirely new writing. There were a bunch of good comments about how my scenes felt realistic and the dialogue was working well. My teenagers felt like teenagers. The characters were realistic, even though I'm not a gay guy myself.

My favorite comments, though, were these:

The teacher said my writing was spare and understated, which works well with the passions I'm exploring. (I'm over the moon about that, because my harshest criticism from the college professor was that I overwrote *everything*. Maybe it was an adolescent thing. I hope so.)

She said I should trust my instincts, my sense of story and character and ability with language. She wrote that once I finished a draft "the writing itself, I don't think, will need much fixing - it will be only a matter of shaping the material". (I am just so pleased that an objective observer thinks I can write. Woo!)

At the end of the class, she talked about how excited she is to get to read everyone's stories, and that she hopes to be able to buy them all in bookstores. She talked about how she can't think of anything better than for everyone to be able to share their stories with the rest of the world. I found it so refreshing that she comes from a place of fullness - that one of us getting published doesn't take away from her, but instead adds to the world. I think this is why I trust her as a teacher. She sees all of us as story-tellers, in this together. Minor issues aside, she made this a good class.
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I am exhausted.  Don't worry - I'll quit writing that soon.  I'm just wishing that Tai would, one night on his own - magically, sleep through the night.  Either in our bed or his, I have no preference.  Just no 1, 3, and 5am wake up calls for boobie.  No nightmares and following desires to play robots (I'm not sure he was awake when he suggested the robot thing).  Just sleep.

 I fantasize about sleep the way most guys fantasize about sex.  I dream about solitude and a king size bed with soft, clean sheets, piled with pillows and blankets with a night stand big enough for a glass of water, a pile of books and a notebook.  No need for an alarm clock in my fantasy.  I could sprawl out - arms and legs like a starfish.  I would open the window at the head of the bed and let the cool air rush in.  If I get chilly, I can just curl up in the blankets.   I could get lost in novels and when I start feeling sleepy I could just lay the book down and sink into the mattress.  

Of course, I'd settle.  A full size bed.  A cot.  A chaise lounge.  A couch.  A tiny night stand.  A single book.  One blanket and pillow.  Wrinkly, scratchy sheets.  But please, just some quiet and a luxurious 8 hours of solid sleep.  I haven't had that in more than two years.  I miss it.

(But not enough, apparently, to consistently try sleep training.)
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
  1. I have cold feet.  I never have cold feet - I wear Birkenstocks in the winter in Massachusetts.  San Francisco should not be 44 degrees.
  2. I am catching up on my Dollhouse viewing.  (Topher cracks my ass up.  Also - Summer Glau as a hot, crazy, brainy chick?  Yes plz!)
  3. Luna and Cocoa are sleeping next to me on the couch in little dog curls.  They are snoring.
  4. I'm contemplating my [ profile] yuletide fanfic.
  5. I'm contemplating my novel.
  6. I'm wishing 'contemplating' turned into 'writing' without any work from me.
  7. I'm drinking spiky nog.
  8. House singing George Michael makes me giggle.
  9. By 10pm my brain is mostly mush.  It is 10:15.
  10. I'm enjoying our Christmas tree, which is up and decorated.  So far, none of the ornaments have been tasted by Tai.
  11. I still need to schedule an appointment with my psychiatrist.  I've been saying that for months.
  12. I owe at least two people phone calls.  
  13. I am tired. 
  14. When I say that I'm grumpy and Tai echoes the 'grumpy', it's hard to stay grumpy.
  15. I still need to sign up for Natural Resources birth doula training.  I've been saying that for months, too.
  16. I'm missing someone.
  17. I talked to my Dad today, after a couple of months.  He called me, which is a change.  And he's thinking of coming out.  I'm not holding my breath.  But I also am.
  18. I'm finding one of the hardest things about being a stay at home mom is boring myself.  I need more hobbies.  And a break.
  19. I'm having a hard time, anxiety-wise, lately.  It's stomach flu season, and I'd be happy to hole up inside.  But I do not want to do that to Tai.  So I'm pushing hard at my limits.
  20. I'm longing for peace.
  21. I'm finding this list to be more difficult than I thought.  (See numbers 9 and 13 above.)
  22. I'm looking forward to a New Years Eve party with a couple of families from my Mom's Group.
  23. I am fantasizing about sleep.
  24. I'm missing my grandmothers.
  25. I'm trying to remember to be grateful - I have so many things in my life to be thankful for.
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Last night was the 31st Annual Sing-it-yourself Messiah and even though we were tired and we hadn't planned ahead, Mom and I managed to go.  It was our fifth year (though we skipped 2006 and 2007 because Grandma was sick, and then dying).  Every year we say we're going to take the classes to learn our vocal parts, but we never do.  Even so, I think I'm making a little bit of progress both keeping on the alto line and not getting utterly lost in the notes.  This year it was held at the Mission Dolores Basilica instead of Davies Symphony Hall.  It made it harder to see the conductor, but there was something about singing in a church that felt perfect.

Every time I participate (in whatever small way) in performing this piece, I find something else that speaks to me - even though I'm ambivalent about Jesus and Christianity.  Every time, I feel called back to my roots (though they are slight) as a Christian.  This year I was moved by the alto's air that went: " He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief".  I am drawn by an aspect of God that has lived as a human, one that is 'a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.'  This is and aspect of God that I can relate to.

The air that struck me as most beautiful was where the soprano sang, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; He is the righteous Saviour, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen.  Rejoice greatly."  The tempo slows as she sings "He shall speak peace" and she repeats 'peace'.  My heart opened and softened.  Peace, yes.  This is what I need - heathen, or no.  Please, speak peace unto me.

All I hear, however, is Tai speaking 'boobie' unto me.
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Tai's social smile

Dear Tai,

At this moment, I hear you calling me from upstairs where you should still be sleeping.  I'm pretending that somehow writing this letter makes up for sending your Daddy up to you so I can finish my post Sing-It-Yourself Messiah eggnog.  This is the difference between life as an infant and life as a toddler.  I wouldn't have done that even 10 months ago.  I would have been up the stairs in a flash.  Now your Daddy and I trade stink-eyes until one of us gets up.  Not that we don't love you - we are just greedy for every moment of solitude.  You have a toddler's energy and we are getting old.  Also, Mommy likes to use the bathroom all by her lonesome.  Weird, I know!

I can't believe you are almost two.  And at the same time, I certainly can believe it.  You are talking up a storm - though sometimes I don't understand you no matter how many times you repeat it.  You can form three and four word sentences - especially imperative sentences.  You are still the director of your world, at least as much as the pain-in-the-butt adults will allow you to be.  You want to do everything yourself (woe betide the person who doesn't let you buckle your seatbelt or jump off the curb in the parking lot!) and you love to help - especially getting mail and doing the laundry.  Folding and unfolding - one and the same thing for Tai!

We just got back from a trip to San Diego and the desert.  You got to visit your Pawpaw, Des, and your Daddy's grandpa, Pop in San Diego.  You impressed them with your ability to entertain yourself for at least twenty minutes just going out the dog door and letting yourself back in the back door.  You visited with your Uncle Q and your Granddad in the desert.  You're starting to have a preference for hanging out with other guys... when you had a choice of playing with Grandma or Granddad, you picked Granddad.  (Which prompted your Daddy and I to wonder how we ended up with such a man's man.)  You spent a lot of time improving your kicking abilities, and started to learn how to hold a golf club.  You take after your Mommy - you're quite the water baby!  Even though it wasn't above 50 degrees on our last day down south, you still wanted to swim.

It's almost Christmas and we've started decorating the house.  You love your model train that runs around our tree, and you know what snow men look like (even if it's fortunately far to warm to make a real one).  You sat on Santa's lap for the first time and we managed to get a good photo before you decided that sitting on strange guys laps is not for you.  I can't wait to share the magic of this season with you.  It's one of my favorites, and it's going to be even better now that I can make it magic for someone else, too.

I can't even count how many words you say.  You still say 'oleoleo' for cereal.  You say 'Da-dad' for Granddad, 'bahbin' for mountain, 'Howmeen' for Halloween, 'disniss' for Christmas, 'ay-oh' for radio, 'Peber' for Peter, 'nineese' for Chinese (as in food).  You still call Grandma 'Bah'.  You still love to order the dogs around.  Cocoa is 'Doh-doh'.

Even if I listed everything you can do (climb up the climbing-web on the playground), everything you love (balls, trucks, drawing, playing piano), everything you can say ('Dad-dad, sit down floor please), it still wouldn't encompass why I love you.  I love the way you say 'please' and 'thank you' for everything.  I love the way you say 'You, Tai' and crack up after I sing the 'I love you a bushel and a peck' song.  I love your laugh. I love the scrunchy face you make now when I tell you to smile for a picture.  I love how much you love experiencing the world.  

Tonight I was at the Mission Dolores Basilica with Bah, singing the Messiah and at intermission we went to see Mary's shrine.  Standing there in front of her I offered my thanks again - that I was lucky enough to be blessed with you.  

Love you times a million,
Your Mommy

aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Random thought of the day:  I'm sitting on the couch watching House, when 13 gets a call from a clinic where she applied for a job.  The woman on the call says "we loved meeting you and, well, the job's yours".   Suddenly I found myself wishing that I was the one getting that call - that I was getting a 'real job' outside the house.  I'm not sure what that's about, maybe wishing for the mundaniaty of a day job.  Maybe wishing for someone in a position of authority to tell me that I'm someone who knows what they're doing, who would do a good job.  Or maybe I'm wishing for a job where my boss doesn't have a screaming tantrum on the street that is so loud and intense that neighbors come out to make sure no one is being kidnapped. 

Tai had a tough day - getting dressed was tantrum worthy, even with grandma visiting.  Going potty before bed was tantrum worthy.  Going the wrong direction on the sidewalk - right, tantrum worthy.  I'm not sure whether he was teething, hitting his terrible twos early, or still getting over the most recent illness, but wow.  I'm tired.  (Possibly because I'm still getting over whatever virus it was that we had.)

Second random thought of the day: I was in the car with mom and I asked her when she stopped being surprised at being The Mother - or if she'd ever felt that way.  Yesterday we were hanging out together after she'd been in the desert for a week, and at one point Tai wanted to be carried.  Mom offered to carry him, but he chose to have me carry him.  She said, "Oh, you want Mommy."  For a minute I found myself surprised both that he chose *me*, and also that I am The Mommy, with all that entails (both the responsibility and the bonuses).  I can't believe he's almost two and I still catch myself looking over my shoulder for the Real Mommy to come home and take Tai from Babysitter Me.  Not very often, and not with real desire for it to happen.  

It was funny, Mom said she didn't remember whether she ever felt that or not.  She couldn't tease out whether that was because she had a different relationship with her mother than the relationship we have, or whether it's a facet of our relationship or what.  Interesting question, though.

Also - we stopped at Target on the way home from Babys R Us (I had to pick up a pump part for my breast pump) and with all of the holiday decorations up, I am suddenly looking forward to the winter festivities.  I can't wait to make this time just as magical for Tai as Halloween was.  It's only going to be more fun as he gets older.  
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Earlier this evening, a woman I follow on Twitter wrote:

BeckySays - Grumpy is such a useful word. It covers a lot of negative ground, and sort of warns people to approach gently.

I responded:

Aubreym  - @BeckySays - you know, I think people should always approach others gently. We don't do that enough.

I rarely write something on twitter that feels... thoughtful?  Meaningful?  I'm usually just tossing off a status update, a 'this is what's going on in my life in 140 characters or less' statement.  But there was something about Becky's comment that really touched me.  Maybe because I've been grumpy so often.  Or maybe because I recently braved both Union Square and Stonestown Mall lately.  (I am not a shopping mall fan, especially when there are crowds.)  

I think things would be so much smoother if we all approached each other gently.  There is not enough gentleness in the world.  I think this is something I'm going to work on.  

In less high-falutin' tweets: 

is watching 'The Big Lebowski' with Tom and Tai. Tom points out there are many f-bombs in. Tai replies "F-bomb". Also - we r good 'rents.

Also: The Dude minds.  The rug tied the room together.   (We called Tai 'the Dude' for ages.  Especially when we couldn't come up with a name in the first days after he was born.)

aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Tai practices his 'grin on command'  Dear Tai,

Going back and reading a couple of your letters, I discovered that you were sick just two months ago.  Poor kidlet, you're sick again.  Everyone tells me that this will give you a good immune system, but it's just so sad to see you feeling not yourself.  I miss your smile!  You woke up late last night with a fever and you spent the day on the couch with Daddy.  You slept a lot, barely ate, barely played.  We're hoping you don't have the Hamthrax.  It's possible you are having a reaction from the vaccines you had over the week.

We went to meet a new doctor this week - Dr. Breder.  Even though we love Dr. Treece, I was looking for a practice that didn't feel quite so rushed.  So we were behind on your Well Baby visits and on your vaccines.  You're growing like a Magic Beanstalk!  You are 35 3/4 inches tall - almost three whole feet.  You weigh 34 pounds and 12 oz.  Your head is 20 1/4 inches.  You're in the 97th percentile for weight and head size and the 95th for height.  You're going to take after your Daddy and be tall.  I think you liked the new doctor, though she wasn't as funny as Dr. Treece.

You're almost two years old.  You're getting to be such a real person, an individual.  Your Grandma says she really likes the video of you dancing at the Bernal Fiesta on the Hill this year, because the way you move, the way you hold your hands shows some of who you are becoming.  It's not me, or Tom - it's you.  I am enjoying getting to see more of that.  You are a social animal - you party late into the night, you love to hang out with other kids.  When we were at the aquarium last week Matteus (one of the other kids from the Mom's Group) was running and tripped and fell.  You were chasing him, and when he fell, you copied him.  Erika and I cracked up, and from that time on you set out to impress us by your falling skills.  You looked like a little Break Dancer.  Later, you held Matteus's hand as you walked through the museum.  You love to play with all of the kids in the Mom's Group, but Dottie is still your favorite.  When you see her on the street you call out to her "Dottie!"  and then you copy each other, and flirt and laugh.

I'm looking to find a good preschool for you, because you need more stimulation and socialization than I can give you with visits to the playground and our every-couple-of-weeks Mom's Group.  We've gone to two, so far.  One tour, one open house.  Both times you were quite content to explore the classrooms and play with their toys.  You watched the other kids, and joined them.  While you did include me in your play a few times, I think you're going to enjoy the experience.  I'm looking forward to watching you make new friends, learn new things, and join more of the world on your own.

You're talking more and more.  When I asked Grandma to tell her what Peter did when he visited our house, you said, "Peter play cars."  You love your matchbox cars, and 'play cars, Mama.  Play cars, Daddy' is a frequent refrain around the house.  You are learning to count and can get most of the way to 10 by yourself.  When I sing, you often join in on some of the words.  Your favorites are "Twinkle, twinkle" and "Baa Baa Black Sheep".  You also love when I sing, "I love you, a bushel and a peck", especially when I add your name to the end of the song.  That cracks you up.  Just lately you've taken to gasping in surprise when you see something interesting, like the moon or an airplane.  You like Grandma's birdies almost more than her dogs, and you love to feed Lucky and Pickle seeds.

Even on the tough days, I'm loving this adventure we're on together.  You are my boy and I am lucky to be your Mommy.



Nov. 1st, 2009 09:45 pm
aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Tai had the most fabulous Halloween - which is good, considering how much he was looking forward to it.  He loved the decorations, the stories, the pumpkins.  Yesterday I threw a modest Halloween party for friends, Tom's coworkers and the women from my neighborhood mom's group.  It went really well - all of the kids played together, and no one got bitten.  (In fact, no one got wounded at all.  There were a couple of minor mishaps around sharing toys, but that's to be expected.)  Not only did the kids have a good time, but the adults chatted together too.  It's funny - even though I wasn't doing a lot of work during the party, it was hard to get to talk to anyone for very long!  It did feel good to have everyone having fun.  Tai seemed to love it too, even though he had to share his toys.  Fortunately Dottie came on the early side, so I got to watch her and Tai make flirty eyes at each other.

The other kids were adorable, too.  I should have taken pictures!  We had: a knight, a garbage man, a dutch girl, Nicholas from "I am a Bunny", an astronaut, a vampire (of the Dracula, not Twilight, variety), a punk rocker (who happened to be one of the quietest kids in the group), a dog, Princess Jasmine, a panda, a devil and a giraffe.  

After the party, we headed down to Cortland and did plenty of trick or treating.  Tai said 'trick or treat' to everyone, and even remembered to say thank you, with prompting.  I think it helped that he had Blue by his side for most of the adventure, so he got to see how it's done by the big boys.  He totally idolizes Blue.  I can't wait to see how they grow up together.

When we got home, he handed out candy - which he got a kick out of, though he was scared by some kids in masks.  Then he and Tom went next door and crashed our neighbor's party.  It was 9pm, but Tai joined the other kids there, who were jumping off the couch into a big mosh pit of pillows. 

Even today he was still in a good mood.  We went to the playground with Blue and Lisa, then they came over for a little hang out/ Guitar Hero time.  We're going to have to play that in a group more often.  Tonight we went to dinner with Mom and Mcgee.  The restaurant was decorated for Halloween, still.  At one point, Tai was getting restless - he was tired and we were waiting for the check.  I suggested he count the spiders on the spider web - and he counted to ten, all by himself.  I will admit to being pretty proud.
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I'm doing my best to indoctrinate Tai into the festivities that are Halloween.  We started watching 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown".  We decorated the house with pumpkins, ghosts, witches and bats in the beginning of the month.  We've gone to pumpkin patches, we've checked out decorated houses, we baked pumpkin pie with real pumpkin.  We picked out a costume for him (maybe I'll sew one next year.  When I can actually use a sewing machine for more than hemming a pair of pants).  We're planning a party.

Once in a while he's a little taken aback by something he sees.  Sometimes skeletons freak him out - which I can relate to.  I'm not easily scared by Halloween stuff, but something about skeletons, ones that look realistic, make my skin crawl.  I got a pair of long skeleton earrings when I was a kid - they were plastic, but looked real.  I couldn't wear them.  When mom would get them out for the season, I'd stick them in the back of a drawer and try not to imagine them dancing out of the drawer, bones rattling.  *shudder*  I have tried not to pass the heebie jeebies on to him, but maybe I did, who knows.  He also got freaked out when Steve, on Blue's Clues, dressed up with a green alien hat with tentacles on his fingers.  Personally, I have nothing against tentacles, so that's not my fault.

On the other hand, he *loves* pumpkins, bats, cats, witches, ghosts.  When he sees a ghost, he says, 'boo!'  When he says witch, it sounds more like 'bitch'.  Hee!  Every time he sees a pumpkin he says, 'punkin!  Halweeeen!'

I'm excited for the first holiday that he can really look forward to, and experience.  We'll see what he thinks of everyone in costume.  And trick or treating!
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Tai and I spend at least part of every day outside.  Tai loves to run around and burn off energy, and it's good for me to get fresh air too.  In fact, I should probably run around as well - but that's another story.  This evening we stopped at the Noe Valley Rec center playground, even though it was getting dark.  I figured we could play for a bit and wait for Tom's shuttle and go home together.  Tai'd napped late so he wasn't exhausted.  We were the only ones at the playground when we arrived.  There were some teenaged boys playing basketball on the courts and we could hear kids playing a game inside the gym.  

Tai spent at least twenty minutes running around, kicking his ball both to me and just for himself.  This is after he'd run several blocks from the Noe Library to Starbucks.  (No, I didn't give him any coffee.  He clearly didn't need it.)  Watching him play made me smile.  He had such a good time just running.  Then, before Tom arrived, the boys who were playing inside the gym came running out. The game was evidently over.  They were shouting 'we won, we won!' and exalting.  (Though there was one boy who was lamenting a loss, and several of the winners went over to comfort him.  I thought that was particularly sweet, as they were probably 10 or so.  Old enough to be tough, but clearly still caring about each other.)  These older boys had the same joy of motion that Tai did.  A comfort with their bodies.

I'm sure there are girls who are comfortable in their bodies as well.  I haven't been one of them, at least not since I was probably 5 or 6.  And I haven't been friends with any of them (maybe because I didn't play sports?  I'm not sure.)  I'm also sure there are boys who are not comfortable with or in their bodies, though I have known only one or maybe two. I just know that I have a barely civil relationship with my body.  When I'm not actively sick, or in pain, I mostly ignore that I have a body.  Once in a while, though, I find pride in my body.  When I was pregnant, I felt powerful.  Breastfeeding feels powerful too, though in a different way.  But these times are rare.  Even so, I aim to do everything I can so Tai can hold on to this joy he has in his physicality.  I want him to know that even if he's not 'perfectly' built for whatever reason, he can still love this flesh that moves him from place to place.  That lets him dance.

~ * ~

In other, less high-falutin' news, I'm still working on the anxiety.  This weekend got me into a bit of a spin.  I'm putting a call in to my psychiatrist to see if the meds need tweaking.

Instead of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I think I'm going to do WriSoMiFu (Write Something, you Miserable Fuck) on LJ.  It would be better than nothing.  I haven't finished a NaNoWriMo project yet, and I couldn't keep working on my novel for it this year.  So, instead of losing a month of work on my novel (hahaha) I am going to try something new.  Plus, this community sounds like a laugh.
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
So Tom, Tai and I went to a pre-wedding fest on Ocean beach on Thursday evening.  I consumed much wine.  Then there was forgetting, then there was nausea, then there was a long day of hangover.  Sadly, I missed most of the wedding yesterday because I was feeling too ill to stay.  I felt mostly better this morning, but I'm still not back to myself.  Which leads me to believe that this might be more than a simple hangover.

Read more... )


Oct. 21st, 2009 10:56 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
It was a long day with Tai.  Nothing in particular, just toddler-ness and a tired momma.  Tom had a tough day too - big presentation at work.  He got beer after work, then came home.  Since we were out late at the preschool fair (damn, was that crowded and *insane*.  There were parents there with their infants!  And I thought I was starting too early...) Tai was still awake and Tom helped put him to bed.

I was feeling tired and grumpy and jealous that Tom went out for beer.  Tom came down and after spending some time on his iPhone, asked what was up with me.  I said I was feeling tired and grumpy.  He asked why.  I talked about my day.  He said:

"Well, it's your full time job now, right?"  I said it was more than full time and he asked how.  I bit my tongue and tried to explain.  The fact that I can't use the bathroom by myself.  That I'm on duty all night.  He argued with me, and blamed me for wanting to still breastfeed and night, and cosleep.  Yeah, this would be the time to discuss changing that.

Then he asked how a daycare teacher did it.  Uh - they aren't the moms of their kids.  They have the evenings and weekends off.

He tried to argue that with me too, and I cut it off.  I figured it wasn't going anywhere productive.  Which is good because he pretty much passed out on the couch about five minutes later. 

I just wish he'd try to understand where I'm coming from.  I'm not asking anything of him (other than maybe a break - like a few hours of preschool or nannyshare - which we've already got under negotiation.)  Why does everything have to be an argument?

I guess I'm worried that he's right, that other people can do this easily and I'm just whiny and lazy.  Not a way I want to see myself.


aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

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