Today’s The Day

Ok, Mr. E said that last post was one of the most depressing things he’s ever read, so here is something that is slightly less of a giant bummer:

One million years after I first mentioned it, I’ve finally got my Etsy shop up and running!

I am still trying to figure out how to put a widget in my sidebar, but until then you can check it out here:

I am adding things as quickly as possible, so look for more things to be added in the next few days.

This has been an incredible labor of love for me. This represents time away from my family and my baby and emails not answered and phone calls ignored. If I had known ahead of time how much work it would be, I never would have done it, but I am very proud of it, nevertheless. And I am very very thankful for everyone’s support!

I hope you like it!

Welcome To Dirty Town, Population You

You meet a boy, albeit in a convoluted way.  You’re both hesitant and gun shy and rotten at being in love, but this time is different for both of you somehow and your stumbling leads you closer to each other, and you find yourself sitting on the steps of your parents house listening to bad music and staring at the moon and telling yourself that even if it doesn’t work out, at least you discovered that you could love.  Later you’ll make fun of yourself for this moment but you’ll always be secretly grateful for it, cheesy and overwrought as it is. He did, in fact, make you realize that you could love.

You fight it every step of the way – you don’t like change.   But your brother pushes you and one morning you find yourself standing on the sidewalk next to your parents house loading lamps and your Buffy DVD’s and your new IKEA dining room table into a moving van.  You cry the whole time, and when you get to Ann Arbor it takes longer than it should, and it’s harder than you thought it would be to blend your lives together, but slowly you venture out and day by day the city works itself into your veins and one day you know the best pizza restaurant and the best coffee shop and best person to buy tomatoes from at the farmer’s market.  Your apartment is so tiny you can’t fit more than weeks worth of groceries into the miniature fridge and you have to eat dinner perched on the couch in front of the tv, but you have two bedrooms AND a balcony and a christmas tree that first year, and you have each other, and this is the apartment where you get engaged and  the apartment that you come home to after you are married.

But you hate your job and you feel like the sun never shines and your eyes always look west, and your new husband graduates with his PhD and works as a waiter in a Thai restaurant and looks for whatever job he can find and you get the word – Nebraska.

There is a lot of crying and  a lot of talk of how it’s your turn now and you just can’t go to Nebraska.  But in the end it’s a job. And you figure It’s closer to California, one step closer than you are now.  And you pack up your tiny house and your brand new kitten and you drive for what seems like days and you can’t eat, that whole first week you’re there, but your house has three bedrooms and an entire room just for your tv and your treadmill and a huge front porch and you can walk to a real italian cafe and an old grocery store and you find a job and a running path and you meet people and slowly, Nebraska grows on you.

But no matter how you slice it, you’re not a Nebraskan.  You’ve got camping chairs on your front porch because that’s all you can afford.  And the wanderlust rises again and the job ends and it’s even a little dicey there for a few minutes, and there are more tears and a few more arguments and then it finally comes, what you’ve been waiting nine years for – California.

And you stuff all your belongings into a truck too small for all the things that fit into your huge great plains house and you and your husband and your dog and your cat and one more very tiny brand new life, just beginning, drive across rolling green hills and past biker bars and empty nothingness for days on end and Reno scars you for life and you fall in love with Utah and you arrive, once more, some place new.

And you love your hardwood floors and your palm trees and your lake, and you think to yourself that all the years you told yourself that the West Coast was where you meant to be, you weren’t wrong.  And this is the house you bring your new baby home to and you have two bedrooms and a backyard and a planter full of dahlias, but your neighbors burn trash and homeless people live in the campgrounds and the church down the street gives lectures on intelligent design and you know that your son can’t go to school here.

And so the search begins again.

And your husband fills out a form and checks some boxes and some of the boxes he wants to check you’re not so sure about.  There’s arguing and yelling but you come around.  You start to think City sounds like a great CIty and you’d be an hour away from your best friend and you start to think about swapping baby sitting and walking to a cafe or a park instead of a strip mall and you mentally decorate your front porch wth cafe lights and a porch swing and the  boxes are checked and the forms are sent in.  And your husband runs you ragged with his disorganization and he’s overscheduled and you’re just getting by, but the promise of more and better is on the horizon. The wanderlust is back.  And he interviews like a champ and passes tests and gets a few parking tickts but he also gets a new job and more money, and it’s done.  You’re moving again.

And you know you can’t afford to live in Husbands Favorite Part of Town, and even though you are prepared to love it, just like you love Toronto and Oak Park and Royal Oak and Berkeley, you know you can’t afford to live there so you mentally cross that off the list and you work on Plan B, and you see yourself sitting on that  front porch and you picture your neighborhood and giant oaks and lights shining out your windows and people strolling around at dusk on a Friday night.  And you scour Craigslist for your hardwood floors and your front porch and you make lists and circle maps and make printouts  and say “I don’t need a garage!” and there are 23, 34, 25 dots on a map, and on that map, you are sure, somewhere, there must be a house.  And your husband reminds you that you are poor and that you choose to stay home with your son and your mother tells you that now that you are moving you can find a job and your in laws ask when you’re moving back to the midwest and your friends tell you not to move to the suburbs and sell out for granite countertops.

And you pack up your son and your husband and you trek into the city to see what you can see and surprise! You’re not that crazy about Husbands Favorite Part of Town.  And you realize it’s all going to be ok because you’re not in love with that neighborhood and so you have nothing to get over, and you drive some more and out of the corner of your eye you see something and there’s a turn and then it’s there, you’ve found the spot where you were meant to live and you see your trees and your front porch and your neighborhood and an ice cream shop on the corner and people just like you with babies in jogging strollers and families and you think it’s all going to be ok, for the first time in years, you found a good place, a real place, to live.

Only it turns out that those people with babies in jogging strollers walking through your dream neighborhood? They’re not just like you.  Those people are RICH.

And so you visit your real estate person and she hears your dollar amount and she takes your map and she takes a long look at you and your baby and talks about blood and crime and murder and schools and with a fat red pencil she makes big red “X”;s on your map, over all the dots of the houses you found on the internet, and  she starts talking about box houses and fixer uppers and up and coming neighborhoods and when you askabout new dream neighborhood she shakes her head, back and forth, and then talks about first time buyers and three houses from now and eight years down the road, and about taking the glitter off the celing and ripping up blue carpet and grandma’s house, and circles the places you can live and says even there the houses will be tiny or filled with the blue carpet and she makes you print outs and you see the neighborhoods where you maybe just might have a chance at that tiny blue carpeted house if you outbid the three other people in line to see it even though paint is peeling off the front.

And you try not to  be nervous about the crime and you realize you no longer have the choice to be on the front wave of gentrification in some cute flipped house with a front porch because you have someone else to think of now and you shove your cafe lights and your front porch away and you look on the bright side and you drive drive drive just looking for that dream and you squint and peer and grab flyers and think, maybe there, maybe that wouldn’t be so bad.

And you finally finally understand. For the first time.  Why people live in the midwest.

Friday Weigh In – So NOT Happening

I did step in the scale this morning and it was a horrifying number that I’m keeping to myself.  Regardless, I have a house full of vegetables and it’s sunny out and I have renewed resolve to get back in the game and to mainlining cupcakes.

But not today. I’m having terrible cramps, like the worst since I had Eli, I’m stressed out about trying to buy a house, I have a cold and a Tylenol PM hangover, and I haven’t showered in two days, and my Etsy stuff is taking way way way longer than it should. And tomorrow Mr. E has an all day geology field trip to lead.  Blargh.

So today I’m going to sit on the couch with my heating pad and my lap top and watch House Hunters and pray that Eli takes naps and that my real estate person emails me some fabulous house I’ve overlooked in my obsessive online searching, and at some point I might get really crazy and drink a smoothie.

Happy Friday.  And if all goes well, I hope hope hope my Etsy store opening will be Monday, so keep your eyes open for that.

Fresh

In the spirit of Slynnro’s “What’s In Your Makeup Bag” (I’ll show you that some time soon), here’s what I got in my farm box yesterday.

Two kinds of lettuce, fingerling potatoes, red onions, turnips, strawberries, oranges, minneolas, a mysterious package I think is turnip greens, chard, sprouts, apples, bananas, carrots, mint, snow peas, baby spinach, kiwis, and eggs. Everything organic. The strawberries were otherworldly.

At $45 I consider this to be a great deal.

Although, please note, for accuracy’s sake, that one apple is missing from the picture.

P.L.B.

Mr. E. has this philosophy. He pretty much thinks that if the Hollywood peeps go to all the work to make a movie and show it on the big screen, the least that he can do in repayment for all of that hard work is to go see the movie. It’s a “if they show it, I will watch it” kind of life motto, and he used to work very hard at carrying out this out and he watched a A LOT of movies. I mean, I once had to see Titan AE in the theater, people. TITAN FREAKING A.E.

Early on in our relationship I had to explain that there are just certain movies that I can’t watch, and those are movies with Robin Williams in them, because I have given Robin Williams the Permanent Lifetime Ban. And you can’t go back from the Permanent Lifetime Ban. And also, please don’t email me and ask “why don’t you like Robin Williams? He’s so funny!!!!!!!!!!!”. Um no, he’s not funny. He’s an insufferable jerk, and he’s not ever ever funny, and he’s made one halfway decent movie in his entire career, and that movie was the Fisher King, and I’ve seen that pre ban, so I really have no need for any other RW in my life. And don’t tell me about how the critics loved that indie movie blah blah blah Alaskan insomnia outside his normal range blah blah blah. No. Robin Williams is so plb’d he’s not even allowed to read my blog. So there.

Also, did you hear that he’s getting a divorce? Which shocked the hell out of me because I’ve assumed for years that he was gay. Sadly, no. He’s apparently straight and tarting around with some young Hollywood floozie. I would have to ask his ex wife but I am guessing I am no longer the only person on earth with a P.L.B. on Robin Williams. And I also doubt I will be the last.

I’ve also given Vin Diesel the P.L.B., because he really does seem just that obnoxious, doesn’t he? I call shenanigans on his entire career. Bah!

But those are the only celebrities that I absolutely and totally draw the line at. I mean, John Travolta has his problems, and I really really really really don’t like Ben Affleck, but you can’t resign yourself to never watching Look Who’s Talking Too Saturday Night Fever or Chasing Amy again, now can you? No you cannot.

In real life I have applied the awesome force of the P.L.B. to only two people. One is my brother in laws’ friend, B.U., who once vomited repeatedly off our balcony and then spent the rest of the evening and into the early morning hours yelling “why won’t you make out with me?” at a girl at the party. Seeing as how she had the good sense to refuse to make out with him, I can only assume that at some point she also gave him the P.L.B., but you just never know, do you?

The only other in real life person that I’ve ever had to apply the P.L.B to is a family member, so I am not going to say too overly much about him, except that I take my snack foods very seriously and you shouldn’t come over the my apartment and throw Reduced Calorie Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes at people in my living room and expect a return invite any time soon.

So, who have you given the P.L.B to in your life? Just remember, I am always looking to add to my list. Heed my warning and don’t send me any email about Robin Williams and his invaluable contributions to American cinema.

Jump

I’m finding it difficult to think of things to write about.

Part of that is because all of the things going on in my life right now are things that are BORRRRRRING to read about. See: my brain has turned to mush, my baby won’t sleep, my mother is annoying, my baby isn’t walking, I haven’t showered yet today, my house is a dark pit of despair, how to photograph a baby blanket from inside a dark pit of despair, is baby teething or is he just evil does he have an ear infection, cupcakes and the eating of, and my lackage of money with which to buy a house or pay rent despite the supposed housing bust. And also I love yoga pants.

Also, remember how I found out that my husband’s entire family was reading my blog? Well I’m fairly certain they’re still reading it (ie I know they are, I have a stat counter) and so I think I might be feeling a wee bit censored. For the record, what happened with that whole disaster is that I apologized and various people passively agressively talked to Mr. E about it and no one apologized to me, and I believe we are all supposed to just forget it ever happened. Which I totally won’t be able to do, but since no one seems to feel the need to even acknowledge my hurt feelings, I have moved on. But I won’t be forgetting.

Anyhoo. I’ve decided to just say whatever I damn well feel like saying – why should today be different from any other day in the life of Elizabeth? Onward ho!

So I’ve been thinking about having another baby. Mainly I’ve been thinking about having a baby girl, although I would accept either flavor. I do have a boy name all picked out. Also, every darn person I have ever known in my entire freaking life is having a baby girl, so I am fairly certain that by the time I have a baby I’ll be back on the boy cycle.

I’m fairly terrified of having another baby, I won’t lie to you all. I feel like I just got my life back, like, mere seconds ago. I feel like I just sort of maybe started not sucking at this whole parenthood routine, at least some of the time. Much of the time I still suck. I still haven’t gotten my body back and I am also not yet quite for certain how I feel about the whole stay at home mom thing. I agree with it, in principle, on good days, and on bad days I wonder how soon I could find a ninety hour a week job, preferably one with lots of travel. I really don’t think two car seats are going to fit in the back of the Jetta. (Also, California law makers? Please take a note. If I had been in a booster seat until I was four feet nine inches tall I would have been in a booster seat in the EIGHTH GRADE. I would have been better off dead than being dropped off in the eighth grade in a BOOSTER SEAT. Jesus. We can’t all be great towering beasts, Ahnahld.)

Anyway. Where was I? Oh yes. Babies.

I am nervous about it, and not sure at all if I am ready to be a mom times two. But I am also not interested in having an only child. And those little jungle print dresses in Gap Baby are mightily appealing, and I’m not getting any younger here, people. And Swistle tells me that five kids are easier than one and I know she wouldn’t lie. Mr. E is all for it, although I should add that his response to any discussion of any kind is that 1. we’d have to have sex to have a baby and 2. “Sure! I love babies! Everyone should have more babies!”

I know I am very fortunate in that I can say this and I absolutely know that not everyone can say this, but I think it is just marvelous that sometimes one can decide in an instant to just go for it when it comes to babies. Most things in life are not that simple. It is amazing to me that new life can be distilled down to a tiny little instant.

So I think I might have to throw caution to the wind once again and just go for it, despite moving schedules and insurance questions and weight gained and not yet lost. I find the mention of clocks disturbing, and I am not asking for approval, just thinking out loud, getting it out there. Just letting you know. I’m scared. I’m nervous. But somewhere in the back of my head I think more and more, these days, of baby newborn fuzz snuzzled right up under my chin and I think yes, absolutely, absolutely, it’s worth the leap.

Friday Weigh In

Current Weight: 153. 2

Blargh.

So I regained all the weight I worked so hard to lose with one week of absolutely craptacular eating.  The sad thing I knew I was doing it and I just didn’t care.  I certainly have those times when I am lying to myself about the fact that eating peanut butter m and m’s by the handful won’t make me gain weight but this was not one of those times.  I just simply didn’t care more about losing weight than I cared about eating mini oreos.

This week the voice in my head that needed sugar and carbs was just louder than anything else. I don’t know how to explain it any better than that.

But I felt ancy and weird and stressed the whole time. It certainly didn’t make me feel footloose and fancy free as I tiptoed through the m and m’s. I felt very much a slave to food.

Is it the cloudy weather? My cold house? The stress of change and moving?  Hormones? I have no idea.

All I know is that this can’t go on because these extra thirteen pounds make feel gross and I don’t feel right in my own skin.

We move June 1st, so my plan is to put together six weeks of clean eating and see what happens.  Count every point, especially on the weekends. I’m going to throw out the m and m’s and put the rest of the crap in a paper bag shoved way back in the cupboard. I’m going to make a healthy meal list using all of your awesome suggestions and put it right on the front of my refrigerator.  I’m having a really hard time not plowing down all of the fattening little treats that we buy for Eli to try to get him to eat, so some of it we just won’t buy again (if he’s subsisting on mini oreos that can’t be too healthy anyway) and some of it I’m going to look for healthy substitutions for.  He can eat the most fattening breakfast sausage known to man while I have turkey sausage or soy sausage or something.  I am a born snacker so I am going to make sure to have some healthy ish stuff around to grab when I need something salty or something sweet.  And come Monday I’m going to  get us back on the 8 am schedule and I’m going to start running again. Otherwise I just think any weight loss will take too long and I’ll get discouraged.

It really horrifies me at how much harder this is now that I am not at work all day and now that I have a child.  But surely it is not impossible.

Right?