This Movie's Alright

After a couple weeks of it sitting near the DVD player, we finally put the critically acclaimed movie The Kids Are All Right in this weekend and watched the dang thing. I rented it because it is nominated for four Oscars, has won a million other awards and has just been raved about endlessly in my go-to movie rag, Entertainment Weekly. It's a movie about two kids raised by two lesbians who have found their shared birth father/sperm donor. Bening is a doctor and is clearly the ruler of the roost who loves her vino. Moore is a bit of a flaky, artsy-fartsy type who is simply submissive. Ruffalo, being the charming and handsome bastard that he is, sort of just comes into their lives and shakes everything up. I should have prefaced this review that anything that has to deal with the themes "family" or "marriage" pretty much sends me into an emotional tailspin. This movie was a great study in both topics but also very hard to watch. You see, after years of being in Bening's shadow and under her thumb, Moore seeks comfort in Ruffalo. Just as you thought this unconventional bunch was going to be able to really mix up the very definition of family, the whole thing goes to hell. I won't ruin the end for you but it was within the last 20 minutes of the movie that my stomach was in absolute knots. Was this a good movie? I think so, though there were definitely bits and pieces that could have ended up on the editing room floor and it wouldn't have affected the film in the least. If you watch a movie looking to escape, though, I'd probably skip this one. The reality of it all was a bit overwhelming at times.


Sleep? Haiku Friday

I remember sleep
But that was all pre-Casey
Like, pre-conception
Under-eye baggage
Achy body, angry tum
Maybe psychosis?
Never knew I could
Function on so little rest
It's mind-blowing stuff



The Good
Sophie. Have you heard of her? She's only the world's most popular chew toy for babies. Duh. Babies aren't even issued their "teething baby" card unless they have one of her. I'm surprised you didn't know that. Actually? I didn't either. BFF schooled me in the ways of Sophie then I got a stern talking to again from a random lady at Target. So BFF sent one to Casey and now Casey is happily eating his new giraffe friend instead of gagging on his entire fist. Hooray!

The Bad
Remember how I said on Tuesday I thought Casey was sleeping through the night again? Well he decided to prove to me on both Tuesday and Wednesday night that he most certainly was not! Apparently his new bedtime ritual is to cry at the top of his lungs for no less than 30 minutes. My child cannot stop his arms and legs from flailing so rocking to soothe him is an effort in futility. He was up every hour on the hour last night, woke up before 5 a.m. for a bottle and then gifted me with a filled diaper at 5:15. AM, people. Ante Meridian. Sleep? What's that?

The Ugly
I guess the ugly prize goes to me and my disposition today. I'm a moody, tired mother. I'm starting to believe that the hair loss I am still suffering is probably from stress and not post-childbirth related at all. On top of that, I think I'm developing a hair phobia (also known as Trichopathophobia) because of the amount of it I see every morning in my bathroom. When it's on me it gives me the same heebie jeebies similar to those one would get if a bug was crawling across your skin. Yay, right? Can't wait til I start tearing off my own flesh! Happy Thurday, y'all!


Casey Tuesday!

  • Casey turned 5 months old yesterday.
  • Today is his 22nd week as my baby.
  • He is sitting up for longer periods of time unassisted and has really mastered the concept of reaching and grabbing and holding. He can even play his xylophone. My little Beethoven-to-be.
  • It seems as though he's gone back to sleeping through the night but I know now to not assume that this is anything I should hang my hat on. One night over the weekend he was doing everything but sleeping so I put him in his crib and shut both our doors so I could get like a minute of sleep. Waking up to him screaming bloody murder because he's alone is not something I'm down with.
  • He's a heavy little friend so carrying him around in his car seat has given me some impressive calluses that are on par with those of a weightlifter.
  • Tummy time is the bane of his existence and no matter how much I encourage him, he refuses to roll over.
  • He's found his toes and his tongue and those two things bring him great joy.
  • We've been out the last two nights and both nights on the way home he has lost his shit in the car. I'm talking tears and screams, the works. I don't know if it's because it's dark back there or what but driving with a crying baby in the backseat makes Mama cry.
  • He's been sucking on my neck lately when I carry him and he cringes in the sunlight so I think he may be part vampire. I'll keep you posted.


It's A Trap

While I'm not a huge fan of Star Wars, I am a big fan of what Family Guy does to them. It's A Trap is the third and final installment of their version of the Star Wars Trilogy; the closing scene said they'd let The Cleveland Show do the prequels. Luckily, it was at Costco for a mere $13.99 so I threw it in my cart as an impulse buy. While I'm sure it would have been much funnier had we partaken in some puffing, I'll admit I still got a lot of laughs out of this one. There is nothing like some random pop culture references to tickle my funny bone. It's the little things that really get to me. For example, instead of battling in those huge walking machines on that forest planet (Endor? I'm sure true fans of Star Wars know the names but I don't), they duke it out on 10-speed bicycles that explode upon impact. There are lots of little things that made me laugh but I'm not sure why like Peter saying he sucks after not catching something tossed to him and sock puppets from the deluxe version... things that make no sense when I type them here but still make me giggle. I just really love Seth Macfarlane's sense of humor and how smart he seems I guess. I know a lot of people don't like him or this show but he gets me. What makes me really question my taste, though, is that I have had the critically acclaimed The Kids are All Right sitting right next to my DVD player for going on 2 weeks now and Family Guy is the one I made time to watch. Go figure.


Sorta Bleak Haiku Friday

A husband home sick
Going to a funeral
And out of breath mints
Size 12 slacks too small
I can only fit in jeans
Not really "church clothes"
Hoping this weekend's better
January sucks


TGTBTU Thursday

The Good
Husband is coming home tonight, a day earlier than expected.

The Bad
He is sickie face.

The Ugly
The High Wind Advisory currently in motion in Oxnard, CA. According to The Weather Channel, these east winds are blowing at about 36 mph.


RIP, Aron

Once upon a time in high school, I had a friend named Aron Delacruz. The way he'd sign his name, the A kind of looked like a T and eventually I took to calling him Trondela. He sat behind me in one of my classes and because of my long neck and my bob haircut, he decided I looked like a mushroom and from then on, he called me Shroom. He and Crusty dated for a bit and the two of us double dated to our junior homecoming. Then, since I like sloppy seconds apparently, I dated him for a bit. On my end it was only as serious as high school dating could be (a.k.a. not serious at all) and mostly he was just a great friend to have. He gave me a big, huge black hickey once that was the grossest thing I had ever seen but that's another story for another day. He used to always be working on a car and the one that stands out the most is a bright yellow VW square-back station wagon with a surfboard sticking out the back window and a SOUL sticker on it. BFF, Krystee and I hung out at his house ALL THE TIME. His dad, Don, was constantly trying to feed us, offering to make a turkey in the dark hours of the night. We were always going to the beach together or listening to him and the guys practice playing their instruments in his garage. Of course, there was always some pot smoking going on and maybe a tattoo or two being given with a homemade tattoo gun. Once, my Ford Taurus got stuck in the sand because they convinced me I could drive it on the beach. When it had to be pulled out, everything was fine and dandy until Aron punched the gas and backed into a friend's spare tire on the back of his jeep and dented the shit out of my trunk. That was Aron. All good intentions but a bit of a flake. He always had a smile and a hug to offer and was just an all around positive person about whom I can't think of a single bad thing to say. He ended up transferring to a different high school before graduation and we just drifted apart. I ran into him several years ago and he was expecting his daughter to be born. Over the weekend he was killed in a motorcycle accident and suddenly my heart just felt broken. So many memories came flooding back and it's hard to believe another friend from high school is gone.

MORAL OF THAT STORY: You never know when your time is up so live every day like it's your last and be sure to let the ones you love know it before it's too late. Death shouldn't bring us together, life should.


Casey Tuesday

  • Casey is 21 weeks old today. That's week 4 of his 4th month.
  • He eats cereal once a day but it's more for sport than nutrition.
  • His new favorite look is sticking out his tongue and boy is it long. Looks just like mama's.
  • He's a big fan of making the "pffth" a.k.a. raspberry sound.
  • He also coughs a lot but isn't sick.
  • Boy can that kid talk. I don't know what he's saying but he's always saying something. This morning when he was mad I definitely made out a "mama." When he was babbling happily he said "Uh oh" and then laughed like he was pleased with himself.
  • He is able to pet Kiyah now but petting is more like grabbing a fistful of ear or hair which is immediately greeted with our new mantra "Gentle!"


Haiku Friday

Seventy degrees
Winds at 20 miles per hour
Damn Santa Anas
Not that I want snow
Winter weather would be nice
Calm and cool outside
Why'd I do my hair
If it's only gonna be
A big, windswept mess?



The Good
Husband comes home today for a four-day weekend. My friends also had their second son so we get to visit them in the hospital and see a brand new baby boy this weekend! Here's a funny story. She knew she was going in for a c-section on January 21st. I got an email on the 7th about throwing her a last-minute baby shower on the 15th. She gave birth on the 12th.

The Bad
I was foolish and boasted on facebook that my son was sleeping through the night. Since that day, he's been waking up a couple times a night to talk or cry in his sleep. Doesn't make for a restful night for either of us.
I was also foolish and got my car washed and it rained the next day. Even though there was no rain anywhere to be found in the forecast. I'll be burning $20 bills all week just for fun.

The Ugly
Menses. Not just the word, but the entire process. Cramps. Mood swings. Pads and tampons. No running through fields in a white dress here, folks. Move along.



There seems to be a little hoarder inside all of us, right? The kind of person that needs to save their first driver's license or love note, maybe a trinket here and there that evokes a memory. Everyone has tangible mementos that cause their stomach to twist a bit at the thought of throwing them away. When I got pregnant and I knew there was a wee one coming and that our guest room/storage room needed to be converted into a nursery, I sat down and went through closets and drawers and I threw away a lot of stuff. I managed to get all of my memories and those important things that span nearly 33 years of my life into a plastic storage tub from Target. It felt good to purge even if I felt a twinge of guilt throwing away the tattered carcass of my very first teddy bear who had long ago suffered water damage and lost all of his stuffing. I looked at the limp shell of his former self and thought "I'm never going to repair you" so I hugged him and tossed him. That's something I never thought I'd live to see myself do, yet here I've survived to tell the tale.
At the beginning of January my grandparents were supposed to go into a nursing home. We knew once they moved whatever few belongings they were taking with them out of the house, we'd still be left with a disaster to clean up. Both of them had shoes and clothing dating back to the 60s hanging in their closets that were apparently too good to throw away, a surplus of canned goods lines a wall in their garage and every nook and cranny in their 4-bedroom home was stuffed with belongings. It was a chore but one day, for several hours, we went through and packaged up most of their things to be sold and donated and thrown away (like food that been expired for years yet they'd been pulling to eat). One of the shining moments of that experience was coming across Elvis Presley commemorative dishes. I mean, who has those? The answer is "My Gran."
Today, I was faced with the chore of cleaning out my dad's office. He was nearly invisible behind the stacks of paper covering his desktop that had accumulated for years. Ever the pack rat, he had saved correspondence and samples from vendors to the point that his office was beginning to resemble a pig sty. I, being the ever-obsessive compulsive daughter, decided to rectify the situation. He has been struggling with his Parkinson's lately so I know that cleaning is very low on his list of priorities. Seeing as he is the owner of the company, I didn't feel as though his cluttered desk should reflect his cluttered mind. Today I spent several hours throwing things away and organizing his office so that when the day comes that he decides to retire, this looming task will no longer overwhelm him. He and I are both thrilled with the results and I think that the absence of the mess will put his mind at ease.

MORAL OF THAT STORY: There's nothing wrong with throwing things away. If not for yourself, do it for the people that will inevitably have to clean up after you once you're gone.


Casey Tuesday - 1/11/11 Heh

Casey is 20 weeks old today. He weighs 16 pounds, 7 ounces and is 25" long. He was a brave little soldier when he got his 4-month vaccinations and although he has matching boo boos on both legs, he hardly cried a bit. He got to try cereal for the 1st time but he's seems neither here nor there about it. Taking the spoon in his mouth and swallowing seemed to come pretty naturally to him even if he made quite a mess. He's been sleeping through the night for quite a few days now. He usually goes to sleep around 8 and wakes up around 5. I've been going to sleep when he does since he was born so while I appreciate not having to get out of bed for bottles and diaper changes, it's not really like I get extra rest. He stirs quite a bit and cries in his sleep so I'm still waking up a lot. I am a horrible mother and let him sleep in bed with me and I notice that when I turn my back to him he gets super mad and starts kicking me. I asked Husband how he knows I roll over if he's asleep and he said "He used to live in you?" So there you have it. Creepy but true. I thought maybe it had something to do with my breathing.


Deep Breath Haiku Friday

This week has been rough
Husband's back down in SD
Back to our real life
Add PMS and
Things start to seem much bleaker
Than they really are
Found silver linings
Counted my blessings and such
It could be much worse



The Good
My brother and sister-in-law found out they'll be having a daughter in June! That will make 7 nieces and nephews for me! This also takes me and Husband off the hook to provide the elusive granddaughter for my parents.
For quite a few nights, Casey has not woken up to be fed or changed in the dark early hours of the morning, sleeping anywhere from 8-10 hours at a time.
Reports that the alleged link between vaccinations and Autism has been uncovered as fraud. Apparently a scientist was paid off by some fat-cats who had a lawsuit against the people who made the measles vaccination and it was all make believe. Or something close to that. You try watching the news while playing with a 4 month old.

The Bad
Last night, Casey decided he didn't need to eat necessarily but wouldn't mind chatting every few hours!
Also? Poor sick and dying babies that weren't vaccinated because their moms were convinced they'd acquire autism.

The Ugly
My grandparents aren't in the home they should be in so we're all chipping in to make sure they are fed and visited more frequently until they are put in a home. My dad's Parkinson's prompted one of his customers to call me out of concern which in turn prompted a discussion about perhaps changing my position here at work (he's one of my bosses as well). My nephew is sick so my mom is watching him after she watched Casey on Monday and my grandparents every other day so she's not thrilled. Everyone knows if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy. My husband still doesn't live with me so I'm still a single mom the majority of the time. The sum of all these parts is making for a woman on the brink of collapse. I'm trying to be superwoman but all of these things are trying. Ya feel me? Unless 2011 turns around soon, it can f*ck off as far as I'm concerned.



When I was pregnant with Casey, I was pretty vocal about how much I disliked being pregnant. I didn't like the morning sickness or the heartburn or the swollen feet or the stretchmarks or the high blood pressure or the optical migraines that made me go blind or the sobriety or maternity clothes. The list goes on and on. I did like when I felt his kicks right up until the day he was born. I liked the thickness of my hair. But ultimately, that was about it. Now my hair is falling out, by the way, and I'm not liking the male pattern baldness.
I pretty much had myself convinced that Casey would be our one and only baby. No one really jives with the idea of an only-child for some reason and no one really seemed down with me only having one. Although childbirth was a breeze, I felt that while I loved my son and loved being his mother, the first couple months of him were kind of torture: sleepless nights, constant breastfeeding, hormonal imbalances and postpartum depression. And lets not forget the TEN WEEKS OF BLEEDING. Good times that I am not crazy about repeating.
Anyway, during Christmas time I sort of changed my mind. I remembered how great it was having a brother even if there were times we sort of fought to the brink of death. Even though I am 4.5 years older than him and sort of became his guardian at a certain age, at one time he was pretty much a full-time playmate. I remembered matching pajamas and sleeping in the same room on Christmas Eve. I saw commercials for Target where multiple children were racing down the stairs on Christmas morning and, well, I think I changed my mind.
I'm not going to run out and get pregnant tomorrow, but maybe in a year or two. After all, I made one cute baby. Why rob the world of a second?

MORAL OF THAT STORY: I'm a flip-flopper. A mind-changer. A say one thing and do another kind of gal. Love it or leave it.


Casey Tuesday

  • Casey is 19 weeks old today.
  • For 3 out of the last 4 nights he has slept from around 8 pm to around 5 am. He'll stir for a bit around 2 or 3 but I can usually just comfort him a bit and he'll fall back to sleep.
  • On Sunday, twice I laid him on the couch with a chupie (a.k.a. chupon which is Spanish for pacifier) and covered him with the "ether blanket" and he fell asleep without me rocking him. This has not really ever happened before.
  • He has discovered his knees and his toes.
  • He can pull and grab and push things with ease.
  • He's been pulling himself up into a seated position and also likes to flex his legs to stand up and "be tall."
  • Last weekend he took his first trip down to San Diego.
  • While he was there he met BFF's family and the Amezquitas for the first time.
  • New Year's Eve was all the more special because it was his first one but neither he nor his papa nor I stayed awake to see the new year in.


Movie Review Monday

Want to see an incredible movie? Go see True Grit. Please don't ask me to compare it to the John Wayne original because I never saw it. When we saw the previews for this one a while back something about it just seemed appealing. Matt Damon does his best Matthew McConaughey impression as a Texas Ranger. Jeff Bridges is the Dude as a drunken ol' cowboy. Josh Brolin's hardly in the dang thing so I'm not sure why he made the poster but he was a darn good villain alongside an unrecognizable Barry Pepper. And that precocious young lady Hailee Steinfeld? Well she's a Ventura County native right outta Thousand Oaks so we had to support her with our hard earned coin! I laughed a lot watching True Grit. I also screamed aloud at one point because if the Coen Brothers can do one thing - it's violence. Husband got so excited at the same scene that he made an outburst of a sound and I think the woman in front of him pooped a little. Then again, nary a person in that theater was under the age of 50. I just can't say enough good things about this movie. The dialogue will blow your mind and the scenery is just legit. We've been seeing a lot of cartoons of late so a grown-up movie was a nice change of pace. I'm glad it was this one.

Now on the other hand, do you want to see a terrible movie? Rent Cop Out. What a disjointed mess of a movie. Apparently it was a comedy but I only laughed once and that was at the very end of the movie. I think it was a sympathy laugh. I just don't know. Lord knows I don't mind Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock but I think he's best in small doses. Bruce Willis is Bruce Willis. His daughter is getting married and his baseball card that's supposed to finance the wedding gets stolen and Tracy Morgan's wife is supposedly cheating on him and Mexican drug lords are kidnappers and on and on and on but the hundred wee story lines are connected... Yeah. I really dig Kevin Smith as a person. I think he's super smart when he does those Q&A's and he's clearly pretty talented as he has several films under his belt. I guess I'm just more of a fan of him than his movies.


New Year's Resolutions

We all make them, I just don't know if mine will stick:
  • Lose 25 pounds by my birthday on May 12th so I can be a hottie Matron-of-Honor for Crusty's wedding in October and guest at Brother-In-Law's June wedding.
  • Be wise with my words. Mean what I say, say what I mean and watch the cussing. I have an impressionable youth now.
  • Stick with cash only unless it's an emergency. I went all last year doing this. It really works.
  • Save some money in addition to spending it more wisely. This will come in handy come renovation time. We'll be first-time homeowners this year.
  • Cut way back on the weekly beer intake. I got a little carried away once the beer-ban was lifted after Casey was born and I stopped breastfeeding. Good times were had now it's time to sober up.