Friday, June 29, 2012

today's pic

29. Soft

The towel where I languished on my back deck today 
for as long as I could stand the heat (twenty whole minutes!).
I need to get rid of the shorts tan line I have from my afternoon walks with Estie
before I show my ass (literally) on the beach in Florida.
One more week til we leave! SO EXCITED!

Still have the tan line though :(

Thursday, June 28, 2012

is it over yet?

Two more days of this damn challenge!  Not that I'm counting...

28. On the [refrigerator] shelf

Fresh eggs from B's parents' chickees.
I am so spoiled by these eggs! 
I swear they cook up SO much differently than store-bought ones.
Seeing as I eat eggs every single day, this is a big deal.

geek like me

I really miss my mom.  I miss her for all the normal reasons - she's awesome, she's my best friend, she's biologically linked to me, etc. - but honestly, the thing I most fiercely miss, probably my favorite thing about my mom, is her sense of humor.  She's a real sicko (just like me!).  She's also one of the smartest people I know, so it's some serious top-shelf sickness.  We laugh about the some pretty strange things.  Mom is my brand of funny: snarky, cerebral, kind of raunchy, and most of all really, really dorky.  My mother is an English teacher who goes through about ten crossword puzzles a day.  I credit her for kindling and encouraging the geek in me while I was growing up.  Now we share an obsessive love of reading and a nerdy, somewhat isolating fixation on grammar and punctuation.  She is the only person on earth who understands my frustrations (okay, freak-outs) over incorrect verbiage out in the world.  Mom is the only contact in my phone to whom I can text

There's a sign on the side of Taco Bell that says,

and have her totally get what I'm talking about, empathize with my frustration, and respond back "Aye Carumba!"

Now, for the 99% of you who are normal, there is nothing wrong with the sign at Taco Bell.  But for geeks like my mom and me, that sign is a migraine waiting to happen (on top of the diarrhea induced by eating at Taco Bell).  First off, the apostrophe in "til" is meant to replace the letters U and N, and therefore belongs at the BEGINNING of the word.  Duh.  And secondly, as if the first offense wasn't bad enough, the word "everyday" when used as a compound as it is here, is actually an adjective, and should only be used to describe other things, like "just an everyday bowel movement."  Ergo, in order for it to be used correctly in this instance, "every" and "day" need to be TWO, SEPERATE, WORDS.  Taco Bell, you fucking idiots.  I understand it's a Mexican restaurant.  But I would bet a million pesos that English is the first language of whoever is running the company and/or owns this location.  And, if that is in fact the case, there is NO excuse for this butchering of our mother tongue.  Get your poop in a group, Taco Bell.  Or are you just trying to distract us from the fact that your entire menu consists of fifty combinations of the same four ingredients? 

But I digress... 

My point is that my mom is a big, huge, wonderful dork, and I miss her freaking face off.  Thankfully, I get to visit her face (and Annie's - and the rest of their bodies, hopefully) when B. and Estie and I leave next Friday to visit Florida/Georgia for a week.  Yay!  I'm beyond excited.  Til then, I'll just have to rely on dorkball texts from my Mama to satisfy my geek needs.

If you understand what's funny about this, I'm sorry... 
but you're a dork. 

Just like us.

i'm pretty much over this damn photo challenge...

27. Bathroom

(Can I just say how icky I find this assignment?)

I refused to photograph anything inside my bathroom.
Not because any of it is actually disgusting,
but because everything - lotions, potions, razors, kleenex - is inherently disgusting,
just knowing that it's inside a bathroom.

So this is the closed door to our downstairs powder room.
Take THAT, photo challenge!

I am so ready for June to be over.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

yesterday's pic (sorry!)

26. Where I shop

Because they really do have "everything, from A to Z,"
namely my Kindle books, vitamins, and baby gear,
but also sex toys and face bras,
in case I get bored with the first three things.

Monday, June 25, 2012

today's pic

25. Something Cute

Baby toes.

'Nuff said.

june photo-a-day challenge

24. On My Mind

The nagging voice inside my head telling me that
the cute little "freckles" I earned on my shoulders this weekend
are actually what my Mama would call "sun damage,"
and possibly even what my dermatologist would call "skin cancer."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

today's pic

23. Movement

Kind of blah, I know.
I was thisclose to posting a shot of the "movement" in her diaper,
but backed out last minute in the name of good taste.
And let's face it, good taste is just kind of blah.

baby's first pool day!

Today we took Estie to the pool for the first time.  I'll admit I was a little apprehensive.  I mean with her being such a raging ginger and all, I was afraid that her little porcelain epidermis might hiss and sizzle when we dipped her into the water on a boiling-hot summer day, sort of like chicken thighs in a fryer.  But after slathering her in expensive organic baby sunscreen - which we then wiped off because it formed a weird, peely goo on her skin, not unlike Elmer's glue (we just wound up using regular people sunscreen on her, which does not appear to have poisoned her) - she did just fine.  And she LOVED the pool!  There was a zero-depth wade-in area where she played around with a bubble fountain, a deeper area where Daddy took her to kick and splash, and then a grassy knoll where she sat on our towel and chewed on a water bottle, which I think was her most favorite part of the whole trip (go figure).  We all had a blast.  And Estie, naturally, was THE cutest creature there, in her tiny purple swimsuit with the tulle rosettes, and her pretty sun bonnet that Grandma made her.  And amazingly, she wasn't even the most startling carrot top at the pool.  There was a full-grown adult male ginger a few towels over from us, basking face-down in the searing rays of the midday sun.  (He was actually pretty cute, if you're into vampiric complexions and mango-colored hair on a man, which I am.)  His skin cast a white glow around his body like a heavenly, if not entirely socially desirable, aura. I did not approach his palid corpse to determine whether he'd slathered himself in weird sunscreen too - but in the end, it wouldn't really matter.  There is no SPF on earth strong enough to protect that kind of flesh from so much direct sunlight.  Gingers, slathered or un, should just not sunbathe.  It's not natural.  And I am willing to bet that Rudy - which I have decided is his name, Rudy the Redhead - will be sporting a terribly unflattering and painful shade of lobster tomorrow morning to go with his orange hair.  It's not a good combo.  Have you ever seen a sunburned ginger?  I pray you never have to.  As for us, we will definitely be going back to the pool soon - if merely to serve as an inspiration to other parents of mango-headed children.  WE CAN DO THIS!

Mommy's little [ginger, sunscreen-slathered] sun goddess!


Friday, June 22, 2012

i always forget...

Today's pic:

22. From a high angle

This is our living room as seen from the upstairs landing.
(Do not judge us for our ugly carpet - we're renting and they won't let us replace it!)

The first shot is right before I vacuumed this morning.

The second shot is after vacuuming,
when I put back all the baby periphenalia that is usually there.

For something so small, babies wind up hogging a ton of space!

happy friday

I am blissfully punch-drunk on wine and pizza and chocolate chip cookies and friend-love.  Our wonderful friend Madeline came over for dinner tonight.  We don't get to see her very often, so it's always a treat when we do.  We played with the baby and ate too much and talked and laughed until we were all too sleepy to go on.  I know that the night cannot get better, so I'm brushing my teeth and going to bed.

Happy Friday, dear friends - here's to a splendiferous weekend.

Mwah!  <3

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I kind of flaked out on you guys yesterday - sorry about that.  The day sort of drrragged by (Estie is teething. Hard.) and then once the baby was down for the night I realized I had no more life left in me.  I went to bed at 9 pm - no daily photo, no blog post, NUTHIN'.  And you know what?  It was awesome!  I slept for like eight hours, can you imagine?!  I was almost hungover this morning - that's how good it was.  Ahhh...

Anyway, back to business as usual.  Yesterday's pic was supposed to be my "favorite photo I've ever taken."  That's a difficult decision to make!  It was made harder still since a lot of my older photos are still back home in storage, aka my mom's house :)  But after sifting through the ones I have here, this one is my most favorite that I have taken:

No filters, no 'shopping - look how beautiful she is!
Those eyes, that hair!  Ugh.

This was 2009.  We had only been in Colorado for a few months, and it was still just Annie and me.  It snowed in October that year (you can see the bush behind Annie still has all its leaves!) and this was Annie's first time in the snow.  It was such an exciting time in our lives. I feel like her shining eyes capture how happy we both were.

Now for today's pic:

21.  Where I Slept

That's my pillow. 
Not much else to say. 

I tried to think of something more interesting to post, but meh... this is where I slept.  It also happens to be "my favorite place," but that's not one of the photo assignments.  I hope to be hitting up this awesome spot again shortly, but first, Tosh.0 and Workaholics on the DVR with the hubs.  For those of you who do not yet have children, that is what you have to look forward to:  couch dates and getting excited about bedtime.  It's not as bad as it sounds. 

If you drink.

*Kidding!  I love my little life, and I'd actually rather snuggle on the couch and get a good night's rest than go out/spend money/be hungover ANY DAY! Okay I guess that actually does sound pretty sad...  whatevs!  I'm gonna go eat cookies with my soulmate now.  'Night!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Today's pic:

19.  Imperfect

Me, duh!

Aren't we all imperfect?  Stretch marks, mom ass, morning breath, potty mouth, whatever.  We've all got something - usually a list of things - that we would change about ourselves if we could.  But we are who we are.  So I say try to accept the things you can't do a damn thing about (life's too short!), do your best to change the stuff you can, and otherwise let your freak flag fly!  If we were all perfect... well, okay, that would be awesome!  But let's face it, supermodels account for less than 1% of the population.  (I also like to imagine that they are all complete morons, though that's probably not true.)  The rest of us Jane and Joe Schmoes just have to do what we can with what we've got.  Some of us have more to work with... and others more work to do.  Either way, there is beauty to be found in accepting who you are - on the imperfect outside as well as the in.

Friends, go forth and be funny-looking!

Monday, June 18, 2012

something(s) you don't know about me

If you're just tuning in to my little station over here (welcome friend!), I am in the midst of a June daily photo challenge.  It's been fun so far, though I'll admit some days are more tedious than others.  Like today's assignment for instance, "something we don't know about you."  See, my strict policy of shameless oversharing has made it difficult for me to think of anything people DON'T already know about me, that is ALSO something appropriate to photograph.  Like, the fact that I blow dry my hair naked after I shower, for example, would not be something to share with the world in photograph form (yuck!).  But also, I'm married, so someone lives with me... every day.  I cannot think of a single thing my husband does not know about me, save for maybe some specific details of events in my past which we both agree should remain a mystery, as in any marriage I'm sure!  But after some deep thinking - which kind of hurts and frankly I don't have time for - I settled on the thing I figured the FEWEST possible people know about me:

This is Bunny. 

Bunny was given to me when I was born, which makes him 26 1/2 years old in human years, and dead in rabbit years.  So he's basically a walking miracle.  He looks pretty good, too, considering his age, save for some unfortunate cataracts on his plastic eyeballs and the tip of his little pink nose being worn off, both unfortunate side-effects of countless tumbles in the washing machine over the years.  I slept with Bunny (not in the Biblical sense, of course) until my first daughter was old enough for me to explain to her how special he is and pass him on to her.  She has slept with him ever since, except during the summer when she visits her dad in Georgia.  I don't let Bunny travel for fear of losing him in transit - I would die!  And on nights that Annie is gone AND the hubs is away on business, I go get Bunny from Annie's bed and bring him into mine to keep me company.  We stay up for hours giggling and talking about when we were kids.  Ah, memories.

Some other things very few people know about me:

- I was bilingual as a toddler, thanks to a Cuban nanny who spoke only Spanish to me.  Devastatingly, I remember NONE of it.

- I wear a retainer to bed every night.

- I eat eggs in some form every single day.

- I've been all over Europe.  Briefly.

- I name my cars. 

- I am claustrophobic, scared to climb ladders, and highly nervous in elevators.  I also cannot kill cockroaches.  Something about the crunch...

- I could eat coconut cake every single day and not get sick of it. 

- I am addicted to the history section on Pinterest.  Google "Victorian hidden mothers" - trust me.

There might be a few more things, but I should probably stop myself before I have literally no mystery left in my life whatsoever.  Gotta maintain my aura, keep my public guessing.  What's she really like?  What will she do next?   You understand.  G'night, BFF's.




Sunday, June 17, 2012

what's in YOUR bag?

You know that scene in The Breakfast Club where Emilio Esteves and that other guy go through Ally Sheedy’s purse and pull out like eight pounds of weird, random shit, prompting Ally’s character to explain that "you never know when you might have to jam"?
Well, that’s pretty much what every mom’s purse/diaper bag is like inside.  We carry an insane amount of crap around with us at all times and hardly ever throw any of it away.  On any given day you will find a myriad of toys, cosmetics, spare clothing and even food in there.  It's like a portable disaster kit for a very specific kind of disaster (nuclear holocaust, no – explosive diarrhea, yes).  And if the mom is like me, none of it is organized in any way whatsoever.  It’s like a crime scene in there.  About once a month I make myself sit on the floor and go through all of it, a process that takes about half an hour and usually results in a pile of rubble that somehow seems bigger than the bag itself.  Well, during this last week my bag has gotten to the point where I have to dig around for like five minutes to find my keys/ phone/ Estie’s stuffed giraffe.  Now, I think the most annoying sound in the whole world is the rustle-rustle-rustle of a woman digging through her purse searching for something – I even annoy myself with it.  So it was time!  But I've been putting it off so the big clean-out would coincide with the #17 pic of June's photo challenge, "in my bag."  And it's been a long week, but finally, today was the big day!  As always, I was astounded by the sheer mass of crapola that had been hanging out in my bag, not to mention the fact that I’d been lugging it all around with me for weeks.  No wonder I’m so ripped.

Here is a sampling of the 7-11 that was inside my purse:

So that's where all her passies went.


Thirteen lip schmears.

Three emergency Estie costume changes.

Five pairs of cheap, crappy, scratched-up sunglasses.

The cutest drool-catchers ever.

One Estie shoe.  Just one.

I am notorious for painting my nails in the car before leaving the house
so they can dry while I drive.  Makes sense to me!


My wallet, phone and keys

Three pens

A small notepad

$4.57 in coins

Four diapers, wipes, and a bottle

Three head bands

Two necklaces

Two pairs of earrings

A protein bar
Estie's teething tablets


Six tampons, in case I and five of my friends unexpectedly start our periods while out hiking

And all of that...
was in THIS:

That either makes me David Blaine or Mary Poppins. 
Either way, I'm slightly creepy with a bad black dye job... Hmm.
Oh well.  At least I know that if Estie shits her pants three times in one day... I'm ready.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Today's pic:

16. Out and About

Today we went to celebrate our friend Robby's birthday.
Estie made a new friend, Gracie the Yorkshire terrier,
who taught her how to stick out her tongue
and then proceeded to French kiss her several times.
We made some fun new friends, chowed down on Robby's
expertly grilled burgers and brats, and, of course,
played Scattergories.


Guh.  The hubs and I went out last night (twice in one month, whaaa?) and proved to ourselves (again) that we are too damn old to keep pace with other people our age.  We had a great time, don't get me wrong - but I have not felt so awesome today.  And by "not so awesome," I mean dying.  I tried to be responsible while we were out, drinking water between adult beverages.  But the bartender must have been confused, because every time I ordered water, he gave me another beer.  I MIGHT have said beer a few of those times.  Maybe.  Probably.
Ugh, my head hurts.

Oh and this was yesterday's pic:

15. Yellow

B's folks just got a dozen or so brand-new banty chicks,
and this little guy (or gal, we won't know til it grows)
is the only all-yellow one.
They're all about the size of Estie's foot. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Today's pic:

14. Time

Five different timepieces in our house,
all photographed within the same minute,
all showing different times,
none of which were correct according to my iPhone.

No wonder we're never on time around here!

i should not be left alone

So the hubs is out of town on bidness for the night (come on over, theives and rapists!).  My mom literally just shat herself over me telling the internet I'm home alone, by the way.  Hi, Mom!  Don't worry, I have a loaded firearm and absolutely no idea how to use it, which, if you ask me, is absolutely terrifying.  I also have, as Ferris Bueller's sister announced to their home intruder, "a scorching case of herpes." 

Moving on...

I miss my hubby terribly - I do - but I'm also a teeeensy bit excited to have the house all to myself after Estie goes to bed... is that wrong?  I think there is something to be said for the whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder" concept.  I mean I don't want to go taking week-long vacays from my better half or anything... but one night won't kill us, right?  

What shall I do with all this time alone? I ask myself.  And then I answer my own question, because somebody has to and I'm the only one here: Whatever the hell I want, that's what!  This is gonna be AWESOME!  I can give myself a pedicure, in my underwear,  IN THE LIVING ROOM!   I can eat ice cream and pop corn and Girl Scout cookies like I am the only patron in the best damn movie theater in the history of all time.  I will spend three hours online looking at stuff I can't buy and saving it to my favorites anyway.  I will watch mindless crap on TV... wait, no, I do that when B. is here too!  Actually, come to think of it, I do the destructive eating and the online time-wasting too... maybe not the pedi in my panties, but only because I think no one should see me bending in that fashion without a shirt on; he'd probably love it!  Hmm... so maybe this alone time stuff ain't all its cracked up to be... I do miss the way he rubs my feet while we watch Workaholics... and his cute little laugh when I spill crumbs on myself/the couch/the baby... his warm body spooning mine until I fall asleep and start to drool and he rolls over to the dry patch of the bed where he sleeps... SIGH!  Come home, Benjamin!  I MISS you!  I NEED you!  I can't...

Ooh look, Pinterest!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

art and religion

Today's pic:

l3. Art

Killer T-Rex, Vol. 1

For those of you lowly, unsophisticated folk who don't immediately recognize his work,
THIS... is a Miles original. 

I will wait for you to settle down.

Miles is my five year-old nephew, and he painted this masterpiece with his own little hand, seen here dangling in midair.  Notice the delicate, artful grace of his fingers in contrast to the primal, jagged lines of the T-Rex.  BRILLIANT!

Seriously though, is this not a freaking awesome T-Rex??  I think it is.  He's a pretty awesome little dude.  Estie and I hung out with him today at his casa while his parents were at work (where I also work, when I'm not hanging out with small children).  We did lots of fun and exciting things, like sword fighting, gun fighting, laser fighting and tiger fighting.  During breaks we did some dinosaur fighting to relax.  Miles is, how do I say this... on crack.  Have you hung out with a small boy lately?  They have more violent, spastic energy than a rabid squirrel on Red Bull.  It's a little bit frightening.  Usually I manage his mania with frequent trips outdoors, where we walk or bike halfway to the park before he announces he's too hot and would like some milk.  But because of the air quality right now (see yesterday's post about my city being on fire) we were relegated to indoor play.  It's okay though, we had fun.  He's really, really fascinated with the baby, which is cute, and she in turn is really, really content to sit completely still and watch him bounce off the walls like psychotic hummingbird while she gives him the one-eyebrow-up, "you're retarded, and I like it" look.  It's a fair trade.  Plus, Miles lets me play dress up, which Annie is too old for but I still really, really enjoy...

My favorite part of the whole day, though, was watching Miles sing along to a CD he brought home from vacation bible school, a.k.a. free daycare. The song has hand motions to go along with the lyrics, and Miles is very serious about the whole performance.  After the fourth or fifth run-through of his favorite number, he asked me if I know the difference between God and Jesus.  I said why don't you tell me.

"Jesus has a bunch of holes in his shirt, and God doesn't." 



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

On a lighter note, today's pic:

12. From a Low Angle

Sad day - a huge wildfire is raging in the mountains where we live.  Almost 45,000 acres have burned, many homes have been destroyed and who knows what the poor woodland creatures are going through up there.  Our whole town is enveloped in smoke and despite the 600+ fire fighters battling the blaze, it is still only 5% contained.  My little family is safe - we live a few miles into town, in a valley basically, and the fire would not have enough material to burn to get to us - but we know people who have had to evacuate their homes.  Can you imagine?  It's just awful.  My heart goes out to the people and animals affected by this awful mess. 

Sorry to be a Debby Downer tonight guys.  Just have to pay respect to what's going on in my little corner of the world.  So sad. 


both from


Monday, June 11, 2012

Whoopsie!  Almost forgot today's pic.  I post 'em on Facebook and then forget to keep up with The Challenge here.

11.  DOOR

Props if you can see where this is heading...

This is Ray Manzarek.
Ray was an original member of The Doors.
Therefore, in effect, he is...

Yup.  I seriously just cheated that much.  Not only is this a person, and not a door in the traditional sense, but I didn't even TAKE this picture, if you can believe it.  Who the hell do I think I am?!  On a serious note though, dig Ray's chops here.  How man-tastic do you have to be to sprout such a beastly shrub of face pubes, and at the same time such a gloriously smooth and shiny man-shag?  This dude had it goin' on.  And those lenses!  Are those octogons?!  Dear sweet mother of God, teach me, Ray.  Teach me to be like you!

dumb it down, please

Why is Lauren Conrad so pretty?  Seriously, have you seen her lately?  She's ridiculous.  And she's apparently super nice, too, so you can't even hate her, unless you're some angry, depraved puppy-kicker who hates everyone anyway, which, if you are, please stop kicking puppies.  Cats are so much more annoying.  I would totally kick a cat. 

ANYWAY, back to Lauren.  She's on the cover of May's Glamour looking just, like, awful, as you can see here: 

 Bless her heart.

And then her photo spread is pretty much enough to make you sick:

Gross, right?  Ugh.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm no lady hater.  I'm happy for Miss Conrad for being all unbelievably beautiful and everything.  Oh, you look good from every angle?  The camera loves you?  Those are really your teeth?  Good for you.  Really.  Here's what I'm upset about: this leggy, lemon-headed sex beast has the nerve to be smart, too.  Bitch!  It's true - she and some of her gal pals have a super-cute beauty blog called The Beauty Department, and unless someone else is doing all her writing and entrepreneuring (yeah, I made that up), then little Miss Lo-Lo is no dummy.  So, she's smart... AND pretty.  I see this as a totally unfair hogging of super powers!  And I know what you're thinking:  "But Leila, YOU'RE smart and pretty!"  Oh, stop it.  You're sweet.  But no, I'm quirky. I have angles. I am what the hubs and I refer to as "Facebook hot," meaning that I look okay in pictures sometimes, but if you put me under some unfavorable lighting, like, say, at a grocery store, or direct sunlight, I am cute at best.  And that's literally at best.  At worst, I am the Loch Ness monster's less-attractive older sister.  But all this is okay, see, because I am smart.  Kind of.  Usually.  About some things.  Hey, I can spell-check the shit out of that letter you just wrote to your land lady, and that's a big deal.  Nobody will take you seriously if you misspell indemnify.

So yeah, my point is basically that it's totally okay to be as knock-down, drag-out zzzegsual as Lauren Conrad, as long as you are also vapid, mean-spirited and dumber than a bag of hammers.  So good job Lauren.  You FAIL.

Wow, I feel way less awesome about myself than I thought I would after that rant.  Hmm.  Maybe smart + mean-spirited + only mildly attractive is a bad combo for me... I'll work on being less smart.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

today's (yawn) photo...

10. Best bit of my weekend

I know, I know - 
another baby picture?

My life must be sooo lame, right?  But here's the crazy thing: I actually did leave the house and do fun, non-mom stuff this weekend.  Several times!  I got to see at least six friends, which is sadly pretty rare, and B. and I actually went out with some of them last night, sans children, which is, like, unicorn rare.  So I am not [always] as boring as this picture would have you believe.  But the yawny, hum-drum truth about mommyhood is... this photo still shows the best part of my weekend: Sunday afternoon, Estie's fat, sleeping head on my lap, both of us still in our pj's.  Honestly, it doesn't get any better than this.  (Unless maybe Annie could be teleported home to take a nap with us - but let's not get greedy.)


How does the expression go - a day late and a dollar short?  I am both those things today.  The hubs and I went out (what's that?!) for dinner and drinkies last night with friends and didn't get home til... well, it was too late to make the day's post, let's just leave it at that!  But a jolly good time was had by all, we got to love on some much-missed old friends, and it was, I think, only the second date we have had since Estie was born.  So really, what's a missed deadline compared to all that? 

9. My view today:

Yup, we hit up the ol' 415 again, and it did not disappoint. 
Love that place!

I'll be back later with today's pic.  Thanks for being so darn cool about it.

Friday, June 8, 2012

yes, i am okay :)

Today's pic:

8. Six o'clock

This one was for Annie.
4 pm here was 6 pm in Georgia,
and this is what we were doing here at that time -
watching Estie scoot around Grandma's house in pink polka dot leg warmers.

Friends and family keep asking if I'm doing okay, now that Annie is with her dad for the summer.  And the answer is yes.  And no.  The truth is, it's a mixed bag.  Of COURSE I miss my little monster.  I miss her funny comments and irrelevant anecdotes - she has my sense of humor in kid form, and I appreciate the way she looks at things.  But I have also always "shared" her with her dad, which has usually equated to spending periods of time without her, so it's just normal for us.  When we lived in Florida, it meant every other Saturday and Sunday; for the last three years since we moved to Colorado, it means almost three months during the summer.  And yes, that's been a huge adjustment for everyone - on both ends of the parental team.  It's hard on her dad, step mom and [Annie's other] baby sister to be without her for most of the year, and it's a big deal for her to be away from us for the summer.  But something most parents might not understand is that it can be very healthy to miss your child for a while.  (I also think most parents, if they're honest with themselves, would probably sign up to ship their pre-adolescent spawn off for a few weeks too, if given the chance!)  I think it would be different if Annie was at a boarding school or summer camp for this long, without family.  But I know she's with her other awesome mom and dad, her little sister, scores of cousins and friends; she gets to see my family and spend time with my mama, live at the beach and lake on weekends, and she is having an absolute ball.  That peace of mind is what makes the whole thing doable.  I'm excited for her to have those experiences.  Plus, the hubs and I cheat the system by going to visit for a week midsummer, which cuts the time in half and makes it seem way less scary.  It all works out.  Hey, nobody purposely sets out to create a situation where they wind up time-sharing their kid... but in the end what matters is making life as normal and healthy as possible for your child, and in that regard we have succeeded.  I feel so blessed to have the amicable, supportive and caring co-parenting team that I do, and given the circumstances I couldn't ask for anything better for Annie.  I always tell her she's so lucky: she has four parents who love her, mountains AND ocean, and enough frequent flyer miles to take all her friends first class to Cancun for their senior trip.

Haha, yeah like we'd ever let her do that.  I love lying to children.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

today's pic

As promised:

7. Drink

B. and I drank these delicious beverages just so I could get this shot. 
It's a hard life.

Nighty night my loves.

i'm in a muumuu or something, apparently

Sorry I missed posting yesterday kiddos.  Had a busy day away from home, and then was happy to relinquish my usual 10 pm blogging time slot to a surprise phone call from my fabulous, glamorous, dream-chasing cousin in NYC.  Yes, he called me at midnight Eastern Standard Time.  From work.  At his media/publishing house.  He's pretty much the shit.  (I realize "fabulous" and "glamorous" kind of make it sound like he's gay, which would be super fun - HELLO, Manhattan shopping sprees! - but I feel I owe it to him to clarify that while he IS both fab and glam, he is also decidedly heterosexual.)  ANYWAY, after catching up on new stuff, reminiscing about old stuff, and generally getting current on each other's vastly different lives, I knew my evening needed to end right after I hung up the phone.  If I had tried to write it just would have been gibberish - such is the mush my brain becomes when I am immersed in his high-speed life for a few minutes, even just over the phone.  My mind is blown apart by how insane and surreal his daily grind is, how psyched I am that he's living the dream, and how utterly relieved I am it's not me!  It all sounds fucking fantastic, don't get me wrong - wining and dining NY royalty, working with up-and-coming literary giants, only sleeping on Sundays - I just don't have the stamina for all that awesomeness!  I mean, I also have two kids, so I'm in a super different mindset altogether, but still.  Hearing about HIM doing all of it, though, is always a joy and a novelty.  I'm like the neighborhood cat lady, posted at my window in a muumuu, watching people come and go but content with life in my own little house.  Metaphorically, of course.  Or at least that's how I feel when I talk to my cousin: in awe of his badassness, but really happy in my quiet little world too, light years away from his.  Which I meant to make sound like a good thing... not a sad cat lady thing... I'm allergic to cats, actually...

See?  Still rambling. 

Anyway, I did not forget daily photo #6.  I posted it on Facebook yesterday with this caption:

6. HAT

  This is Buck and Forrest.
They live in my family room.
They are not technically hats, but they did used to be worn on someone's head,
until that someone was shot, skinned, eaten, and their hat was taxidermied.

I will not forget to post today's pic, either - as soon as I take it :)  Until then, my little house cats...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

leila meets a REAL writer!

(And June's Photo-a-Day #5: SIGN)

So, it's pretty insane how today's photo op just sort of fell right into my lap.  You could even call it serendipitous, if you say things like that (which I do).  Here's what happened:

By chance, I met a sweet little old couple today.  Mid-seventies probably.  Have I mentioned before that I love old people?  They're just so damn cute.  Especially old men, so long as they're not the kind of crusty curmudgeon that uses his advanced age as a free pass to stare at my boobs like a creeper.  Anyway, back to today's old people:  The husband asks me if I enjoy poetry.  You look like a writer, he says.  (Crazy, right?  And maybe he says this to everyone he meets, but still.)  I tell him I love poetry.  He asks if he can give me a gift - a book of his poems.  How cute, I think.  Of course he can.  I'd be honored.  So he goes out to his car and comes back with this:

Hmm, actually looks pretty legit.  And as he's SIGN-ing it for me (my #5! And I didn't even ask, I swear!) his wife discreetly tells me that her husband was the 2010 Poet Laureate of the state of Colorado.  Say what?!  Holy crap!  This dude's for real, and he's just giving me one of his books!  So I very humbly thank him for the gift, saying I can't wait to start reading it.  He tells me that sometimes he meets people he feels would appreciate his writing, and I seemed like one of them.  Now I really am honored!

Tom told me his hand shakes a bit from medication,
but it only affects his handwriting - not his writing. So cute!

As it turns out, he had me pegged.  I can't put the book down - it is so, so lovely.  His words are simple and honest and beautiful, and as I thumb through the book I find myself tearing up every few pages.  The poems about his wife are the most touching.  This is one of my favorites:


Are you etching makeup
Outlining emerald eyes
Pulling sleek fabric over skin
Skin that clothes my soul
Leaves me trembling
And your heart
Lovely center of your sanctuary
Does it beat in hurried rhythm
Rise and fall like a dove's breast
Be easy with yourself
Now is all you have
You are beautiful as
You will ever be - now 
You stun me
Paint life with pastels
God sent you to my vase
Your flower beautifies my soil
I hold your wonder
On the in breath
On the out breath

Sigh!  I don't know when this particular one was written - maybe fifty years ago, maybe two - but it was obvious to me today that this passion and tenderness still burns brightly in both of them.  I honestly believe that B. and I will still be this bat-shit crazy about each other when we're old and gray... I just hope I can write something as lovely as Tom's poems along way.