Thursday, January 22, 2009

dammit. i think i'm getting sick again.

Yesterday was my birthday. Usually I really enjoy the prospect of a day with cake, flowers, presents, and maybe a dinner out. (Did I mention cake?) But this year I had a hard time gearing up for it, probably because I've spent most of the last year indoors, alone with the baby. While that is a blessing, a gift, and just generally a highly rewarding way to spend one's time, it can also be....oh yeah. Incredibly isolating. Daily. Weekly. And, well, who really spends their childhood looking forward to turning 31? Anyone? That's what I thought.

It was a good year, in spite of flying by in a blur. Looking back, I accomplished more than just changing way too many diapers:

- entered my thirties, and survived
- drove halfway across the country with an infant, and survived
- began blogging (again)
- became the mother of a toddler!
- flew halfway across the country, ALONE, with my TODDLER in my lap, and survived!
- began drawing (again)
- was diagnosed with depression
- (survived)
- made a birthday crown & banner, decorated Lena's first Christmas stocking
- celebrated my baby girl's first birthday
- cleared off all our credit debt (!!)
- fell in love with my (magical) new MacBook
- voted for hope and change
- saw history made in our government, and our nation
- began planning a new business (and a new life)

All in all, I'm certainly in a better place now than I was last year. What more can I ask for?

Yes, cake. You're absolutely right.

and my birthday was lovely, thank you.
i woke up at a gray 5:45 this morning thinking about a new header. like it? so much better, i think... worth the missing sleep? perhaps.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We've been sick, and I'm desperately overdue for posting around here, but I did want to make sure to say that today was one of the most exciting, memorable, and moving days of my life. Sure, it was just me and the baby inside all day, in our pajamas, me buzzed out on Dayquil, following midget around with handfuls of tissues and lotion... but, well, WOW. We are so proud, America.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

ooooh....mommy needs a day out! look at this.

edited to show the beautiful pics here!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So, Jimmy said something to me the other day which I KNOW he wholeheartedly intended as a compliment, but has had my mind stuck in a hamster wheel of introspection ever since. It was something along the lines of, "You're doing a great job with the blog, honey. And once you have something important to talk about, you'll be all practiced up for it!"

(cue his annoyed eye-rolling as he reads

My response was something like, "What, my sheer panic at the thought of existing without a television isn't important enough for you??" Because I take even trace amounts of criticism very very well.

The truth is, I have so many hopes and goals and aspirations for this new year, but it has gotten off to such a sleepy start. And I don't think I'm the only one. An article in the LA Times yesterday mentioned how all of Los Angeles woke to 2009 under two or three days of thick blankety fog. Today is the first day that I feel even remotely coherent. I hope it's the new year's way of giving us a gentle introduction to a good, satisfying, but perhaps difficult year.

(In our Christmas letter this year, I mentioned how we hope to find ourselves in a better, stronger place in 2010. Several people teased me about the typo, but it was no mistake. I never expected to wake up on New Year's Day to a better tomorrow. I do expect to try to build one in the months ahead, though.)

And so, even under a fog, I'm slowly working on those goals. I've already ransacked half of the house in an effort to pare down and simplify. Today it's all about bills and scheduling appointments and thank-you notes. The rest of the week is slated for some intense work on our current project. Along with these things I'm already making a successful effort to focus on preparing food, which is usually such a failing of mine. They all feel like improvement by inches, but improvement all the same.

Oh, and I decided today that I want a terrarium. The perfect way to include some green in a house infested with two Arkham-cats and one very active toddler. Yes?

I think that's all I can manage by way of "importance" today, honey.

(cue my adorable-but-devious

Monday, January 5, 2009

We were miraculously granted a (nearly) full night's sleep last night, meaning a night almost completely devoid of insomniac babies and neurotic cat yowling. But as it turns out, Jimmy just couldn't sleep at all, regardless, and even though I did sleep, I still feel like the walking dead today.

Holiday recovery appears to be a much more arduous task when children are involved. Add this to the list of things NOT included in the baby manual. This, exploding poop, and the fact that your child WILL learn to remove her own diaper when you least expect it.

At any rate, we're still a very sleepy household today. Right now Lena is mercifully taking her morning nap, I just woke up from a nap myself, the cats are curled in naps on our bed, Jimmy's off to work, and the house is dark and quiet. With no television, the house feels empty and still. All I can hear is the regular breathing traffic outside and the local classical station broadcasting through every baby monitor in the house.

This is what our world looks like right now:

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's Sunday, and today in our house Sunday means "five nights back at home and Lena STILL isn't back on a schedule", and we are exhausted. Jimmy goes back to work tomorrow for a particularly busy month or two as he'll be cutting the next episode himself, and I'm wondering if the three of us will all have dark circles under tired eyes for ever.

At least the sun has made an appearance today. As it's afternoon, now, and baby is finally napping quietly, it must be time to open up the house, turn on some music, wash my face, straighten up, and make the best of these last few hours of hiatus.

- we watched Persepolis last night, via Jimmy's Mac. beautiful, funny, smart, and heartbreaking; so good.
- as coming up with quippy titles is perhaps my least favorite part of blogging, i've decided to ditch them. if you really miss them, i invite you to title each post yourself in the comments section. it'll be sort of Gawker-ish, but less cool and more self-indulgent.
- i've committed to a week-long diet cleanse, beginning tomorrow. how very LA, i know. that said, if by around Thursday you begin reading posts about pretty pretty flowers and ceiling monkeys, do not be alarmed. all should be well by next Monday, when i'm sure i'll be celebrating my success with a medium-rare New York Strip, onion rings, and a double shot of Bulleit.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


So, the tv thing... it's all been a little too difficult to deal with, considering it's, you know, a freaking tv.

We would like to have access to one. I had planned on getting a Wii Fit very soon for some cheap yoga action, Jimmy really is right in the middle of the Pacific theatre on some ultra-violent game I bought him for Christmas (apparently I had a lapse and expected a "violent war game" to be sort of like, GI Joe, not the opening of Saving Private Ryan), and I've finally got Persepolis arriving from Netflix today.

Oh, and Sesame Street. Sesame Street and Jack's Big Music Show: like instant Valium for the baby. How am I supposed to function without that??

But, oh, the money. And the New Year's Resolution. And all those silly posts I keep reading from ZenHabits. And the fact that I'm very nearly shaking from the DT's over even the idea of getting through a week alone with the baby. See how I said that? "Alone?" As though the television is real company.

We did some window shopping yesterday just to see what we were in for, and whether or not anyone still sells an old tube tv, and could we get one for like, $50? Geez, at this point shouldn't they be PAYING US to take one off their hands? Apparently not. And we did find the perfect flat screen for a whopping $200 off the regular price! All the geek specs, the right size for our omnipresent amoire ("the hulk", I like to call it), and fancy enough blacks for my tv-editor husband. I don't know about you, but I was ready to walk out the door with the thing. What? It's still $800? The bank account?? Shut up.

I think the thing to point out here, is that if we had bought it, I probably wouldn't be writing this post right now. I'd be sucking down my coffee to the tune of an eight-year-old Gilmore Girls rerun while trolling Facebook. Yes, I know, this is a catch-22 for you, but hey, what's one more blog post out there in the webisphere?

Here's to another day unplugged. Well....mostly. And I PROMISE the next post will be boob-tube free.

Friday, January 2, 2009 it too late to resolve to win the lottery?

Granted, it had thrown out a warning sign or two over the last few months, but I'm still finding it....a little strange....that after I (clearly drunkenly) resolved to watch less tv this year, our television up and gave up the ghost on New Year's Day. (Conveniently after the Rose Parade and one much-needed episode of Sesame Street.)

Now Jimmy and I are looking at each other with sort of bemused, conflicted expressions. After all, "less tv" is different from "NO tv, not even when you're sick, want to watch the inauguration, have brand new games for the Wii and NEED to conquer the Pacific theatre, or require an extra-self-indulgent girlie all-about-you evening involving Amelie and baking a big pan of yummy warm fudgy brownies. What? I resolved to eat better, too? That's just so not a nice thing to say.

Anyway. We would have preferred the cable had crapped out, instead, but the cable is tied into our rent, so I suppose that would have been fixed for us... Nope, the tv is gone. We do own two televisions, but mine is currently gathering dust four hours north of here in Jimmy's grandparents' spare room. Four hours, yes.

What to do? Have you looked at television prices these days??

I realize it's a silly problem to have. Something Dooce would call a first world problem, no doubt. And Jimmy and I both agree that some of our most productive years were when we each were completely broke and had no television at all. Now we're just sort of broke, with a goal to pay off my magical new MacBook Christmas present this month, so I think we're going to tough it out. At least, you know, for a couple of days...

I mean, have you SEEN television prices???

Thursday, January 1, 2009

hope for 2009

Of course, I had intended to sit down and write this post early in the morning, while that dreamy silvery fog was still clinging to the thickly quiet (clearly hungover) outside world, but instead it's nearly noon and we're all still in our jammies and rubbing our eyes and hoping this doesn't bode some sort of dull winking malaise for the new year. Because here in our little house we have big hopes for the new year.

What happened? Obviously, what always happens when you mix the following:

- New Year's Eve
- Beaujolais Nouveau
- Thai Take-Out from Tuk Tuk (featuring the Best Chicken Satay Ever, the elusive Spicy Beef Waterfall, and the Only Pad Thai I've Ever Eaten That Doesn't Smell Vaguely Of Feet)
- In Bruges
- A Husband with The Flu
- A Toddler still recovering from Two Weeks at Grandma & Grandpa's, Christmas, Jet Lag, The Tummy Flu, Sudden Lactose Intolerance, and The Firm Belief that Joe's O's are the only Edible Items on the Planet
- Two Cats So Completely Neurotic that They Just Returned from Eleven Days at an Elysian Cat Hotel where they spent the Entire Time Huddled in a Corner and Yowling. Loudly.
- Cheesecake
- A Leftover Reheated Cup of the Morning's Coffee
- Mamma Mia. oy.
- Champagne, Of Course
- Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark. NO WAIT Carson Daly. NO WAIT the In Bruges Gag Reel. *gasp* That was close.

At any rate, it's nearly noon now, but not too late for 2009. (I hope.) I've always been a sucker for new year's resolutions, and I do tend to want to accomplish quite a lot in the year to come... but is it just me, or does 2009 feel particularly different to you, too? It feels more pivotal, more important, as though it's going to be a difficult year full of transition and change, but by the end of it we should all, hopefully, be much better off.

It's a feeling I can't shake. I'm excited and terrified all at the same time. And here it is - we're already on our way!

So here you go - my own hopes and plans for 2009:

- Get out of bed early in the mornings; go for a walk, maybe a run.
- Leave the television OFF during the day
- Pay attention to food; cook.
- Write voraciously
- Pare down; buy LESS; buy better.
- Read daily
- Work HARD on two projects - one of my own, and one that belongs to me and Jimmy.
- Reinstall music as a centerpoint in our lives
- Create with abandon
- Remember what's most important, really
- Help my baby girl Lena discover the best things available in life
- Make sure Jimmy knows exactly how much I love him

Happy New Year to You and Yours.