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Dear Mom and Brandon

I am terribly sorry I made you mad. Its just that I don’t like that chore. Anyway I am probaly not going to argue next time but I still don’t like picking up dog poop. I hope you will at least get over what I did today and just remember I say this only once tomorrow is a new day just like heaven is and a new life. Oh and two more things use the money I give you for something you want or use it with other money and two solve this riddle so I at least don’t have to be yelled at.

riddle: what do you call a crazy man?

thank you

Jacoby [middle][last]

aka troublemaker

P.S. I will be in my room if you need me but take you time on this letter

Jacoby: Hello hello

Are you there mom

Mom

me: Hiya baby! I’m here!

Jacoby: Great your back where we huh

me: I am back. I’m glad you like chatting, it’s fun isn’t it?

Jacoby: Ha that was a joke

me: I know it was, funny boy.

Jacoby: Well it was momma

me: What’s your favorite color?

Jacoby: What are you talking about

me: I’m asking what your favorite color is, silly goose!

Jacoby: OK red

me: What your favorite song?

Jacoby:  What honey pie

me: Ha, did Brandon tell you to call me that?

What’s your favorite song, prankster!

Jacoby: Jingle bell rock

me: What’s your favorite movie?

Jacoby: First brand ion did not tell me to call you that

And it is monty python and the holy grail

me: Ah, you’re clever then. 🙂

What’s your favorite book?

Jacoby: Diary of a wimpy kid 🙂

me: Do you want to talk about anything else?

Jacoby: What are all those questions for

me: Just trying to think of things to talk to you about.   

Jacoby: One second dragons

Me: Uh, what?

Jacoby: Dragons for Pete sake

me: Of course, that makes perfect sense. ..Not.

Jacoby: What the heck are you talking about

me: You tell me, you’re the one writing gibberish about dragons!

Jacoby: It’s no gibberish ma’am

me: I love you sweet boy

Jacoby: I love you too

 

 Driving Lorelei to a slumber party, unsure if the address I have is correct.

Me: Hey Lo, do you know if Lydia lives in Ava’s neighborhood, where we went to Girl Scouts at that school last year?

Lo: Uh, I dunno.

Me, driving down the street: Does this look familiar at all?

Lo: Uh, I dunno.

Me: You’ve been to Lydia’s a couple times, right?

Lo: Yes

Me, pulling up to a brown house associated with the address I think it is: Is this it?

Lo: I dunno. I’ll ring and ask if Lydia lives here.

************

Jack, in the same scenario set up.

Me: Hey Jack, do you know if your friend lives in that neighborhood we went to that park once last year that had a zipline at it?

Jack: Yes, you go down that street that has Price Chopper, and then you turn right on the street where Aaron, my friend from pre-school we once had a playdate at his house lives, then you take a left at that big house with the old car in front. I’m pretty sure the house we’re going to used to be painted blue, but I think they painted it brown last year.

……

Mostly. Jack four years ago and Lo four years ago.

Of course, some things don’t change. Jack still won’t leave his sister alone, and Lo won’t stop changing her clothes.

But the heads are still able to tuck under my chin when I hug them, and the feet are still cute enough to photograph.

Image

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And I’m grateful the memories are captured.

Hiya kiddo. Eight years ago right now I was walking into the hospital after 13 hours of labor, cussing through contractions and demanding Miss Megan not speak about the candy in the vending machine. In two hours and forty-eight minutes more you were born, all purple and quiet in a room full of people praying you’d make a sound.

If I’d only known how loud you’d be after that first squawk.

I love you Jack. You changed my life irrevocably for the better.


Lando ate Jack’s homework last week, and I actually had to email Jack’s teacher and tell her that.

Epic win or epic fail, I’m not sure yet. But she appreciated the humor of it, so that’s good.

And before you grab your pitchforks to hunt me down for being all evil Momsville, let me tell you that he and Brandon spent a long time on the internet machines going over the rides beforehand, and he was asking for that one in particular. And once again I am amazed by his perseverance. He obviously thought he was going to meet his maker in that picture, yet he was totally fine immediately afterward, telling me that the ride was horrible, and beaugarding my ice cream while suggesting we move on to the Fury of the Nile.

As Lorelei would say, he cracks me out. Sweet heysoos I love that boy.

Coach: “Jack go stand on the field by the ref.”

Jack: “OK, what’s a ref?”

He is not good at all, people. Like, at all.

But I truly can’t explain how proud I am that that has nothing to do with autism, and everything to do with his being related to me.

1. The new health care bill. I have no insurance (for those that might remember that I had gotten that job at the spa, I never bothered to update that for a variety of reasons on their end, it didn’t work out and the insurance was never started. No ill will from either side, but obviously no insurance either. And yes, I’ve tried through the state – but since I am not pregnant, I don’t qualify); I haven’t seen a doctor for the rotator cuff I’m preeeetty sure I tore a year ago. Because, it will then become ‘pre-existing’ for me to qualify to actually get insurance, and that’s just ridiculous bullshit. Plus we all know there are people out there for which naproxen isn’t enough.

2. Jack starts soccer tomorrow. I hope something fierce that he loves it. His friend’s dad is the coach, and that’s a huge relief for me.

3. Lorelei in this video from a couple weeks ago. She had been singing the damn Heyawk song all afternoon, and had just started singing some made up lyrics to the alphabet song. I tried to snag it and obviously my impatience at her Benedict Arnold leanings showed. Check at the end where she tucks her marker – uncapped – into her sleeve before walking off.

4. How far my Cats will go, and how difficult it’s been to not be more of a wench to those KU fans that are so obnoxious the other 97% of the time they don’t dramatically lose.

5. How much the new Gorillaz album kicks ass. This is “On Melancholy Hill”:

6. This nebulous zone I’m at now with old friends. My world has (logically) divided into PRE- and POST-DIVORCE, but I guess I never would have thought I’d lose touch with so many people. For some I’ve tried sometimes successfully to keep up, others I’ve waited on them, and licked my wounds. The rest were not unlike slicing off a tumor, and couldn’t have come at a better time. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t fairly hurt I didn’t get more Christmas cards from the people I thought had ‘crossed over’. I admit that this is pretty superficial to care about, but really, aren’t the point of cards simply to acknowledge that someone thinks you count enough to get a greeting? There is no one I want to see that I don’t have some sort of interwebs connection with, so the idea of my being un-findable, sadly, can’t count. I’m thinking about shearing off the hundred or so people on Facebook that I either don’t honestly care about, or I feel relatively confident are just keeping the friendship to stalk my goings-on when they so desire. My boyfriend hates FB, and I can’t say I always blame him. Shrug.

7. Somewhat in the same vein, that Jon and I have decided to throw Jack’s birthday party this year jointly, including new significant others and estranged previous in-laws. Plus all the friends who had to choose Team Jen or Team Jon when this began. We’re hoping that if we can act normally, then everyone else can stuff it and follow along. I personally think handing out shots called Tension Relievers might facilitate this progress, but we’ll see. Either way the intent is good, let’s all hope it can be done.

8. That J. Davo is moving back. Hooray for Kedzie Hall reunions in the near future!

9. How much every year at the beginning of spring I look back and realize just how incredibly affected I was by winter’s lack of sun and warmth. And how every year I tell myself I’ll be better about taking my vitamin D, and YET I NEVER DO.

10. How much I loved the movie Alice In Wonderland. I love Tim Burton. Love, love, love. Also that the main girl looks like the child of Gwyneth Paltrow and Claire Danes. Right?

11. I’ve noticed a few wrinkles lately – which wasn’t a panic of vanity – but was a wake up call that I have got to start being better to my body. There used to be a time when eating Taco Bell would have made me sick. Now it’s gotten to where I look and feel blah all the time. I’m going to try to wean myself of coffee, and along with the CSA we just joined, eat more fruits and vegetables. BECAUSE I’VE EATEN ONIONS RECENTLY, PEOPLE. MORE THAN ONCE. DO YOU KNOW HOW HUGE THAT IS?

12. My beloved friend, the beautiful Miss Emily, has asked me to attend her birth as her doula, and I can’t explain how excited I am. I. Love. Babies. And. Birth.

Happy (sunny, hopefully) Tuesday, y’all.

We celebrated Christmas this weekend with the kids because by the time I get them Friday afternoon, they are going to be CRACKED OUT on events where they open eleventyfourteen gifts. (We told them Santa sent our presents early because we don’t have a fireplace.) And though Jack didn’t get his Death Star (from me, anyway), he did get a Venator-class Republic Attack Cruiser and Vader’s Tie Fighter, which took 6 and 2 hours, respectively, to build. The Attack Cruiser was only just finished at midnight, but Jack promptly woke up this morning and asked if we could dismantle it and start over.

Wherein my attachment parenting failed royally when I essentially gave him a big hell no.

So OK, look. This crappy phone picture doesn’t do justice to this beastly thing. (Click on it.)  I swear everyone would be super impressed at its largeness if you saw it in person. And at almost 1200 pieces, I can see why people put these together just to put them on a shelf – because they are a helluva lot more painstaking than I ever remembered from my Lego days of square houses and shutters on the windows.

All of which doesn’t mean that I won’t be OK with Jack dismantling it at some point; it’s soothing for him, and, after all, it’s his toy. But until he is able to do it all by himself – or until at the very least, say, a week passes, I just can’t do it.

I’ve never been wholly down with the whole Santa thing, the least of which because I think the materialism of the holiday is indoctrinated so concretely (not to mention so early) that way. I try – like most parents I know – to teach my kids to be kind, generous people. But the holidays just seem so danged commercialized, and it’s hard to keep focus. I know there are plenty of options for charity and selflessness, but it still often seems to be so, well, tax deductive, and I’m not so sure we haven’t bastardized the entire point by channeling it to a one-month period in the whole year. People need clothing in June, as well, as far as I can see. And for a year or two I tried to muster up the whole Jesus/reason/season vs Santa=satan anagram, but like I’ve since admitted, in the end that indoctrination wasn’t my bag either.

Especially because I could take Jack to church to learn about baby Jesus and then promptly go into the lobby to sit on Santa’s lap.

But I digress.

The truth is I’ve been secretly stoked in the past that Lo was too young, and Jack just never seemed to care, about Santa or the whole production of Christmas. We ran around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to appease family expectations, but overall we didn’t do nearly as much as most Americans seem to during this time. The kids got a shitton of gifts, and many hours were consequently spent donating old toys, but to date they really hadn’t totally lost their minds about wanting things. Mostly because they have no real idea of want.

But my blessedly procrastinated reprieve is over, and at four and six the kids have now fully embraced that bountiful benefactor of booty. No pretense for goodwill or good behavior, Christmas has simply and unabashedly become the ticket to the goods. Jack wants a Lego set that happens to be FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS. He has no idea of what the cost really means, he just wants it because he thinks it’s cool. But ole St. Nick (and Toys R Us) have full-on convinced my sweetly gullible -and literal- child that all he has to do is write it down on the list and voila! it will be produced.

Because that’s what SANTA DOES, RIGHT?

So what do I do when he’s upset I can’t get him a FOUR HUNDRED DOLLAR Lego set? Tell him it was because he wasn’t good enough? That there was a shortage of plastic up North? I have no idea. But we’ll figure it out because we always do.  And he’ll survive because he’s a champ.

And please don’t fully misunderstand me, I’m not really on the train to Cynicalville. I do actually like the holiday season because I get to see my family and friends more, and that always makes me happy. But it’s a hard balance for me as a mother, and I want to do better for my kids.

[I also want a law that declares Christmas music illegal until December 20th. Especially that creepy making-out-with-Santa-song. I mean really, how many confusing messages can we possibly send this time of year?! But I digress again.]

So because our ridonkulously overwhelming and draining year is over, I resolve to expand my kids’ horizons and attempt to dismantle the materialism they swim in so comfortably. Or at least temper it with some of the kindness and giving I’ve seen them possess in large quantities. I look forward to it – it will be good for all of us. And now that I’ve also purged my bah humbuggery for the season, I can happily post the letters the kids wrote today, because all other tiring issues aside, I think they’re hysterical, and the kids will never know they are skipping the mailbox and going into my treasure box.

Welcome to parenting, right?

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Dear santa.

I want for chrismrs the Legos set 7627 Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull. I would also want the Lego Indiana Jones 2 video game. I want the Legos Star Wars Death Star I want the Ewok set.

Love Jacoby

**********************

Dear Santa,

I would like a dolly to name Lorelei please. And also cute little puppy dogs. And a baby pig for Christmas. And I want a baby giraffe and a baby puppy dog and a little baby giraffe. So I want that. Please. I want to have a baby puppy dog. And a baby ricenocerous. And a bottle for the baby rosernous.

I love you and thank you,

Lorelei Elizabeth

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Happy Holidays, friends. 😉

Me: Hey guys, is it OK if we just sit quietly for a while? I have a headache and that will make it go away faster.

Kids: Yeah

………………………………………………………....[ 45 seconds pass ]

Jack: Mom, I’m being so quiet for you because I love you and I want your headache to go away.

Me: I know, buddy. Thank you. I love you too.

Jack: I love you too, Mommy.

Lo: And I love you too! And Jack too!

Me: I’m so glad. Can we try to just watch the sun go down and think about our day?

Kids: Yeah

…………………………………………………………..[ 15 seconds pass]

Jack: Hey Mom, do you see how quiet I’m being so your headache goes away?

Me: Oh I do and I appreciate it. But if I can have a little more quiet it will totally go away. OK?

Jack: OK

…………………………………………………………...[ a minute passes ]

Lorelei: MOM JACK’S TOUCHING ME!

Jack: Shh! Mommy has a headache and needs to have quiet!

Lo: Oh yeah. I forgot.

Jack: See Mom? I’m trying to keep it quiet in the car so your headache goes away.

Me: And your heart is in the right place, mister, I love it. But, see, we keep talking and because of that it’s not really very quiet in the car, is it?

Jack: Yes it is! I told you I’m being quiet! I’m being quiet so your headache goes away!

Me: I know you’re trying baby, but when we talk we’re not actually being quiet. Don’t you see? We need to actually not talk at all for it to be silent. No one. Not you or me or Lo. Just everyone thinking their thoughts.

Jack: But I AM being quiet!

Me: Welp. Keep on keepin’ on, then, I guess.

……………………………………………………………[ a minute passes ]

Jack: Right Mom?

Me: Right what?

Jack: That I’m SO GOOD at what you asked me to do. I’m not talking like you asked me to.

Me: *sigh*  I know you’re doing what you can to help. Thank you baby.

Jack: You’re welcome.

Lo: You’re welcome!

Uh… I mean…

IMG00055-20090915-1829

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IMG00056-20090915-1830

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First, I’ve totally jumped on the Fleet Foxes bandwagon. This is “Blue Ridge Mountains”. Sometimes they sound almost 50s-ish, but I think this song taps into a CSN&Y sound, with Young being the main comparison to me. Regardless, it’s just a cool band.

So I don’t really have a whole lot of time to delve into big stuff, thus this will be another fairly simple post: updates and pictures. Like everyone else, things are just kind of flying along, with periods of quiet when I try to catch my breath and collect my thoughts.

[Speaking of, I’ve been thinking lately about the benefits of meditation. I get the point, but how does one center themselves smack in the middle of a stressful moment? Don’t you need to be able to be still to access that tranquility? I’m curious.]

Things are picking up at work; I’m understanding things better, and for the most part it’s beginning to click. My doula couple is now technically “past due” [insert placemark for future rant here] and I’m never far from my phone  (of which I have a new one, and though I dig it, I’m obviously having a hard time mastering the dumb thing, as the picture of Whomp and me below attests).  Jack graduated from Kindy last week, and it’s simply surreal to think that three short years ago he was non-verbal. As in unable to talk or carry a conversation at all.  It’s just nutso to think how far he’s come, my sweet, tenacious little fartknocker. I went to a Killers concert recently (SO much fun) and hopefully will go to the Ben Folds coming up (come on out, Baby F!). We also have a float trip the first weekend in June (Seriously, Baby F, I’m not kidding.).

And that’s about it. We’re going to my ‘rents today for a cookout to celebrate a belated Mother’s day, and that sums up the rest of my weekend. Hope all is well out there. Ciao amicos!

I just can’t get over how she annihilates an ice cream cone.

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Meg and I celebrating her birthday. Apparently in mime paint…

whompbirthday

Happy, toothless Jack on the last day of school.

Jackgrad

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