Thursday, November 26, 2009

thankful: Gabe and Liam

I am thankful for these two guys.

I am thankful to be married to a man with an open heart and an open mind, who still likes to cuddle on the couch and spoon while we're sleeping and who tells me he loves me several times a day. He happily plays and wrestles and builds towers and castles and highways with his son and he takes care of the bathtime and bedtime routines. He's helping to raise our son to love and understand and learn, to be strong and kind and funny. He makes me laugh and laughs at me even when I'm being a silly dork. He doesn't get mad when the movies I choose from Netflix are completely lame. He buys me Coke when my stomach hurts. He runs his hand down the length of my hair and tells me I'm beautiful, even when I don't feel like I am. His arms are perfect for hugging and his lips are perfect for kissing and he likes to exercise these skills.

He's pretty hot, too.

I am thankful for my son, who gives me unsolicited hugs and kisses and who asks me if I feel better when he knows I have a headache. He tells me he loves me and asks me to read to him and wants to know everything about the world around him. He likes to cuddle and will sometimes just rub my arm or my knee while we are sitting quietly on the couch. He likes Queen and David Bowie and loves to dance and sing. He uses his imagination and finds magic everywhere. He likes my drawings and tries to draw like me. He likes to watch Full House and he tells me what happened on Wonder Pets if I have to leave the room. He eats hummus and veggies and fruit and cheese happily, and asks for his juice to be watered down when it's too sweet. He enjoys being outdoors and gets excited to learn new things about nature. He smiles for me and enjoys my company and makes me a lucky mom.

And he's totally cute!

Thank you, Gabe and Liam.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

the grossness of being young

Today, Liam picked a booger out of his nose and was so grossed out that he tried to put it back in.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So, I know it happened over a week ago, but here's my Halloween post.

For a while, it was decided that Liam would dress for Halloween as Max from Where the Wild Things Are. It's one of his favorite books, he loves the Scholastic video version, and it thrilled him to watch trailers from the recent Spike Jonze feature. He was also in love with the Arcade Fire song from one of the trailers, "Wake Up," and often requested it for kitchen dance parties. While hiking, he once asked me to walk like a Wild Thing, so together we put up our claws and stomped through the forest, growling and saying, "I'll eat you up, I love you so!"

I planned on making the wolf suit myself, which would have made me pretty much the awesomest mom ever.

Then, Liam changed his mind. He still loves Where the Wild Things Are, but he decided he wanted to be a pumpkin for Halloween. This was fine, since I kept his pumpkin costume from last year and it's a one-size-fits-all-toddlers kind of design. I took it out early to get him used to it so that he might actually wear it this year, and everything worked out fine.

(He did start asking, a couple days before Halloween, if he could be Scooby-Doo. It was also his request that I dress as Shaggy and Gabe dress as Daphne, but luckily for Gabe, it was too late to change costumes.)

We practiced our Halloween greeting: "Trick-or-treat, dude!" (he'll repeat almost everything if we add 'dude' to the end- we watch Full House and he digs toddler Michelle Tanner) with a thumbs up.

I made myself some cat ears out of construction paper, wore black and we were SET.

Liam was so excited about my ears. He kept pointing at them and saying, "You're a kitty! You have kitty ears! What does a kitty cat say? Meow, meow."

We trick-or-treated at my sister's and at her neighbor's house; then my aunt and uncle and a few of their neighbors; at the local mall; and at my parents' house. Liam's new favorite thing is trick-or-treating, so it's unfortunate that it only comes once a year. He was thrilled by other kids' costumes, walking around at night, wearing a costume with me, but mostly that the phrase we practiced was MAGIC CODE for GIVE ME CANDY PLEASE and he came out with a lot of loot for a two-year old.

While we were at my parents' house, Liam spilled a cup of water on his shirt and jeans, so while his clothes were in the dryer, my dad put one of his own sweatshirts on Liam. This was also thrilling for Liam, getting to wear his Grandpop's clothes. My dad's 6'2" so his shirt was more like a blanket, but Liam loved the coziness of it and curled up on my lap like a cuddlebug.

It was like having two costumes for the night!

I still love the idea of making a wolf suit for Liam, so I think I'll make him the hood and crown for Christmas. I'll still score major Mom Points, I think.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

hold me close

I'm having a hard time right now- not ever feeling rested and having a testy two-year-old whose internal clock does not recognize daylight savings, and Maine voting against marriage equality, and we have money troubles, and I hate hate hate my crooked teeth and nose, and I am dealing with some major annoyances from people in my life and I want to tell them to SHUT! UP! and I'm feeling disconnected and today I cried when Punjab saved Annie from falling off the bridge and...

And can you tell that depression is rearing its stupid, ugly, overemotional head?

Because it is.

And I have plans to have it taken care of- FINALLY- but it still sucks right now.

But tonight. Tonight I went into the kitchen for a few hours, three rooms removed from my husband and son, to work on some handmade projects to get ready for the Christmas season. And when it was getting to be Liam's bedtime I could hear him fussing as I punched holes and threaded string and drank root beer- remember that thing about daylight savings? I'm not joking. Bedtime is serious around here.

Gabe walked into the kitchen. He was carrying Liam, whose eyes were bloodshot and his cheeks were flushed. I know that look. Overwhelming fatigue and fussiness. (I have it sometimes too.) "He wants a hug and a kiss from his Mama," Gabe told me.

So I took Liam in my arms. He's getting so tall and big. He wrapped his legs around my waist and draped his arms over my shoulders. We said goodnight and as I spoke softly to him, he pressed his hot cheek against mine, pushing, pushing, trying to be as close to me as possible. "Do you want me to sing you a song?" I asked. He tearfully said yes.

So I pressed my cheek into his and I rocked back and forth and softly sang a song I made up for him last year. When I was done, he just looked into my eyes and and blinked and pondered and then rested his head back on my shoulder.

In these days when I am flailing, not holding onto anything that feels real, I cry for no reason and I lack patience and I dislike myself. Simple things like washing dishes and putting laundry away and washing my hair are major triumphs.

But my son loves me very much and he needs me and finds comfort in my presence, so at least I know I am doing something right.

(And once I see a doctor about my depression, if things go as planned, I won't be overwhelmed by just waking up every day. And I'll be doing SO MANY THINGS right.)

(And Liam will still matter the most.)

Monday, November 9, 2009


This is a list of five careers I would pursue if life was long enough, I had the capacity to learn it all and I was 18 again.

1. art teacher
2. marine biologist
3. sex counselor
4. nutritionist
5. obstetrician/ gynecologist

Not that I want to be 18 again, gawd.

Are there any career fields you yearn for that are not your reality?

Friday, November 6, 2009


Five years ago today, Gabe proposed to me in our kitchen.

The room was empty after we'd packed up everything we owned into a trailer attached to the back of his Bronco. I was crying and he was holding me because I'd just said goodbye to my parents and my younger brother. Gabe and I were about to move to Texas, and even though it was mostly my idea, I was feeling really sad about leaving my family and our cute little apartment and our beautiful port city.

Then he was telling me how much I mean to him, that he was thankful I was leaving this place I love in order to experience living in the place he grew up, and how he always wanted to be with me and do I know how much he loves me?

Then he was down on one knee asking me to marry him. And I cried more and said yes and we squeezed each other and giddily took a bunch of self-portraits that no one else will ever see because we were totally sick with colds, exhausted from packing up, and I was not wearing makeup and we looked a little like death.

The important part is that I said yes.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Maine: the way life should be! Unless you're gay.

As you've probably heard by now, civil rights were put on the ballot here in Maine for yesterday's election, and 53% of Mainers chose to repeal the law recognizing same-sex marriage that Governor Baldacci just signed in May.

a) The public should not be allowed to vote on civil rights. There is too much prejudice, and not enough education.

b) I have not heard a single argument against same-sex marriage that is logical. The campaign against marriage equality was won because of LIES, fear, religion, ignorance, homophobia and so-called "tradition."

c) I'm embarrassed and ashamed of 53% of my state right now. I know full well that Mainers are not generally seen as wordly, open-minded, educated people who accept and welcome diversity. Maine was set to shatter these stereotypes and make an example for other states to stop deciding what a family is in the eyes of the law. Today, we are still toothless lobster-cracking moose-hunting cousin-marrying banjo-pluckers. Ayuh!

d) This IS NOT OVER. Discrimination has to end, and it will end.

I have a lot more to say about this. I am disappointed, I am sad and I am on fire. So, right now I'm going to cool down and spend some time with my two-year-old son, who has more compassion and logic in the bottom half of his right leg than what a little more than half of the state has in their whole bodies.