Throwback Thursday #throwbackthursday

This picture is from 10 years ago this week…

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Maya ring sling

There’s My (Babywearing) Chemical Romance with Animal (I think. It’s pretty difficult to tell them apart in old pics). He was in our apartment in San Diego.

 

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Animal and Mineral

10 years later and he has facial hair — and grey hair!

 

It finally happened

My Chemical Romance subscribed to my blog. Hallelujah! I am up to, like, seven or eight active subscribers.

I think the reason that he didn’t subscribe before was that he lives with me, so he hears about all this stuff anyway, in person. And it might be more funny to read about it than to live with it. I’m not sure. Personally, I think I’m hilarious (and awesome). He has a pretty low-brow sense of humor, so maybe I’m just completely over his head. Or the stress of being the sole breadwinner for a family of seven (plus a dog) gets to him, and on top of living with me (and the six others and the dog) he doesn’t want to read about us.

For the most part, My Chemical romance supports all my wacky ideas. (And he doesn’t always say I TOLD YOU SO later, even when I’m sure he was thinking that from the beginning.) He even supports me in my hobbies that take my time away from my family:

  • being in BIRTH in 2008
  • doula-ing and teaching childbirth classes (and doing the certifications to become a doula and childbirth instructor)
  • NaNoWriMo (I won last year, in 14 days!)
  • Hula hooping (this is the second time I’ve sworn hooping and I are BFFs)
  • Midwifery school and apprenticeship (I’ll write about that someday)
  • getting pregnant with The Informant when Animal and Mineral were 18mo (BAD IDEA. They are so close together in age)
  • Couch-t0-5K and then running two 5K races (before my weight loss surgery! I was a lady clydesdale, as they say.)
  • having weight loss surgery
  • eating ice cream and spending the next 24 hours on the toilet (only worthwhile if it’s Coldstone, imo)
  • homebirth (at first he said no. Then I laughed.)
  • homeschooling — and unschooling for a year
Some of these things are like DUH, WHY WOULDN’T HE SUPPORT ME, and granted when you’re married to someone, They’re like kind of legally obligated to support you. But still, I appreciate him. Most of all, I appreciate the financial support that allows me to stay at home. I cannot imagine being away from the kids all day — maybe once in a while, but not five days a week.

The Almighty Cinco de Mommy: Willing Us to Move

Several months ago, after yet another run-in with the busybody neighborhood queen, I said to My Chemical Romance, “I just want to MOVE!”

Recently, I blogged on “things I hate about my house.”

And then, this week, My Chemical Romance accepted an offer for a job three hours away.

All of this proves one thing: Clearly, I am god. I have willed this to happen. All because I really enjoyed a particular Mexican restaurant the first time I visited the city.

For the record, REALLY good steak tacos.

We’re being relocated through a professional company, which theoretically means everything is taken care of, but I’ve done this before — it’s a huge pain and I need to do a LOT to get us ready.

Today I turned in a rental application for a house I’ve never seen before. Yes, that’s right, I’m going on faith — faith in the almighty ME AND MY TASTE IN HOUSES (close to Trader Joe’s, north/south facing, and a larger-than-my-current one kitchen). I’ve never moved this way before (although I did meet, marry and move cross country with My Chemical Romance in less than three months, but that involved my parents hiring a private investigator to vet him. This is just like, “Well, I guess that sounds like a nice street name… I’ve always wanted a pink kitchen…” I’ll take pictures when I actually get there.)

I’m not 100% sure when we’re moving, but I do know that My Chemical Romance’s first day of his new job is a week from Monday, so we have a lot do in a very short amount of time. I will will myself to get it done. I will will my local friends to help!

Big Family in a Small House

My Chemical Romance and I have owned three houses in our eight years of marriage. As our family has grown and I’ve become an adult who is the Chief Operating Officer in my home, I can say without any doubt what sucks about our current house. Feel free to play tiny computer violins for me as I whine:

1. The kitchen is tiny

Mary F. Poppins was cooking in my kitchen recently and couldn’t believe how HOT it gets in there. Yes, when your kitchen is the size of a small closet, it starts to feel like you’re in an oven rather than cooking with one.

2. It’s cheaply made

It’s strangely large, especially considering how poorly planned it is — I think the house was made for a family consisting of two adults plus four dogs who each want their own room — but everything is the housing equivalent of Ik*ea particle board. The cabinets are peeling. The walls are broken easily. The doors are whatever doors that are not withstanding any type of weather. The carpet is imminently stain-able.

3. The neighbors

Okay, just that ONE neighbor, the busybody queen. Who happens to live on the corner and recently cut down all his trees so he can see my house easily. Le sigh.

4. The direction

Teaching my children due east was easy: “Kids, you know how you wake up at 5am because the sun is streaming in your windows each morning? That’s east.” Teaching my kids due west was even easier: “Kids, you know how we sit down to dinner at night in our kitchen and half of us are blinded by the sun setting? Or we want to watch TV and have to close all the blinds in the living room because we’re being further blinded after dinner? And it’s like a dark small cave with a TV? That’s west.” Teaching north and south was easy too: “You know the sides of the house that have no windows? That’s north and south.”

On the other hand, here are some things I love

1. The location

I think it’s great; we’re pretty close to major highways so we can get to the ‘burbs easily, as well as uptown and shopping areas and Trader Joe’s. We live near a library and several grocery stores, a Super Target and a major park. I’m very close to the Birth Center and several Jugs: Lexibose is five minutes away, Nice-Nice is seven, Stitches is 15 minutes, and Wii is 20-25 minutes.

2. The location (part two)

We live on a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood with tons of kids. My doorbell is constantly ringing. The dog without a downside gets walked by various neighbor kids. We have a hammock in front and a trampoline in back, and that makes my kids very popular.

3. My bedroom

It’s big and nice and I like my views. Recently I took the bed from our guest room (which was my parent’s bed) and put it in our room; it’s very firm and allegedly good for our backs. I do enjoy my sleep, when I get it.

4. The backyard

It’s big and we have a compost area and several trees that My Chemical Romance planted a few years ago that have started bearing fruit. He also has a garden. And there’s the trampoline. The backyard is also big, so the dog without a downside has plenty of room to check on the back forty.

I do know of a few things I want in my next house, should we ever have a next house: a bigger kitchen, maybe with an island; an upstairs laundry room; less bedrooms and more living space.

Eight Years of Marriage Later

I met and married My Chemical Romance in the span of 10 weeks, while we lived across the country from each other. We met on hotornot.com and communicted via instant messenger (yes, I’m showing my age now) and eventually the phone. We met a total of five times in person before we got married; every other weekend he flew out to Michigan. Animal and Mineral were three months old when we met and six months old when we got married.

My parents vetted My Chemical Romance by hiring a private investigator to check up on him. They paid the PI $500 and weren’t impressed with what they found out: My Chemical Romance is pretty straight-and-narrow. The most interesting thing they found out, I already knew: He’d once given a  man five $20s for a $100 which turned out to be counterfeit. When he tried to use the $100 — at In-N-Out Burger — the manager had called the police, who called in the Secret Service. They interviewed My Chemical Romance and realized he was just, let’s call it naive, and that was it.

So here we are, nearly eight years later. We had The Informant; he adopted Animal and Mineral; we had My Masterpiece and Porcelain. We’ve lived in San Diego; Yuma, Arizona; and Charlotte, NC, where I hope we stay for a long time. We’ve owned three houses: one with an adjustable-rate mortgage that I’m glad we sold quickly because now it would probably cost $4000/month; one that was awesome and amazing and the perfect house except it was in Yuma, Arizona; and our current house which is large but cheaply-built and therefore kind of sucks, and also sits way too close to the busybody neighborhood queen.

When we got married I was morbidly obese and he did all the cooking and we had a cleaning person. Now I’m thin and do all the cooking and neither of us cleans much. We’ve changed a lot about the way we run our household — specifically what we eat — and we’ve grown more and more liberal, socially. When we met I had not breastfed and would not have wanted a homebirth and now I’ve had two (although I’ll never go further and say I want an unassisted homebirth). And I plan to nurse Porcelain til she’s nine.

The most difficult part of our marriage is that we didn’t know each other well, and also I didn’t know myself well. I look back on the first few years of our marriage and I was lonely and needy and uncomfortable. My Chemical Romance couldn’t fill all the emptiness I felt. I was still growing accustomed to being a mother — of twins — and then I became a wife. I’d lived in Michigan my entire life, but suddenly I was in beautiful sunny San Diego — and it felt strange after the cold flat dull midwest. Suddenly I had tons of family: two mothers-in-law and a father-in-law and two sisters-in-law, and many many aunts- and uncles-in-law and lots of cousins. I am an only child with a small extended family. They were all kind but I was overwhelmed and a little bewildered.

Now, eight years later, I’d love to live there and have all my in-laws nearby; I’d love the opportunity for my children to know their family and also for the opportunity for free babysitting. I’d love to take my kids to do all the cool things you can do in San Diego: beach! Sea World! San Diego Zoo! bonfires! sand castles!

Overall I could say that I wouldn’t recommend marrying a complete stranger, but that’s over-simplifying the situation. We have had several issues, including starting our marriage with two children and adding from there, being virtual strangers, and my own brand of anxiety crazy that does affect the whole family.

I’ve learned a lot about time. Time, which heals all wounds, can also make a marriage that includes a lot of changes. Sometimes things are uncomfortable and only the passing of time can make them more normal. Every time I drive down one stretch of highway, I have a visceral memory of just moving here and being on the verge of tears because I didn’t know where the hell I was but taking a deep breath and telling myself that someday I’d feel okay about driving that stretch of highway. (485 between Pineville-Matthews and South Blvd, near 77. Now I drive it a lot. Even my parents are familiar with that area.)

I think I’m a better wife and mother than eight years ago; I know a little more about what My Chemical Romance needs and what the kids need, and what I need. I have friends who fill in the gaps of my emotional neediness that requires I dissect every aspect of life. My Chemical Romance doesn’t have that particular need. He fixes everything around the house; I’ve learned that’s his way of saying I LOVE YOU AND WANT YOU IN A HOUSE THAT DOESN’T DRIP OR BREAK OR FLOOD OR FALL ON YOUR HEAD. I ask him exactly what he wants for his birthday or father’s day or our anniversary and get him exactly what he wants because that’s my way of saying I LOVE YOU AND WANT YOU TO HAVE THIS THING WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT EVEN THOUGH I’D REALLY PREFER TO SURPRISE YOU WITH SOMETHING YOU DON’T WANT BUT THAT I THINK IS REALLY COOL BUT YOU’LL INEVITABLY HATE.

I’ve learned. I’m still learning.

Happy almost-anniversary to us (in the next few weeks) and may the next eight years not bring any babies or moves.

Vasectomy of Doom: Update

My Chemical Romance had a vasectomy two weeks ago. Just yesterday I found a ziploc bag of water on his nightstand. It had once held ice for his scrotum. He left it sitting on his nightstand for fourteen days. (And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I married My Chemical Romance. He will happily leave a wet ziploc on his nightstand for two weeks. He has no right to complain if I don’t clean the bathroom!)

The vasectomy didn’t go well. Apparently the doc didn’t give him enough lidocaine, so he could feel when the doctor was cutting lefty. The stitches were supposed to dissolve over a few weeks, but the first few came out three days after his surgery.

But it’s not all the doc’s fault. He didn’t follow the doctor’s advice to take it easy. I warned him that the anesthesia and painkillers would make him feel fine — but he still had to rest, no matter how fine he felt. He didn’t listen to me! Plus My Chemical Romance loves to do “stuff around the house.” I think he confused “recovery time” with “time to do as much stuff as possible.”

In the end, he got a postop infection. It’s not unheard of — although it’s rare — and now he’s taking antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicine. And painkillers.

But as long as the vasectomy is actually doing its job, he’s happy.

My Chemical Romance’s Vasectomy Doctor aka The Urologist of Doom

Or, as I call him, “The Penis Cutting Doctor,” which is getting me into trouble with the children because (1) they take everything literally and are upset that daddy might lose his unit (2) when they ask why daddy is getting his penis cut off, and I tell them so we don’t have any more children, they have no idea what I’m talking about, so they inevitably ask what daddy’s penis has to do with having more children, to which I reply, “…Um….” and then point out a pretty bird in a pretty tree outside.

I’m just not ready for The Informant to explain the birds and the bees to every kid at the YMCA yet. She already tells them all that I had a baby on Christmas day — “On the toilet, just like Mary had Jesus!”

Meanwhile, I googled My Chemical Romance’s Urology doctor, and it turns out he has two user reviews. Both are sucktastic; one star and negative comments. This worries me a little. Do I want some guy with two negative reviews touching my husband’s package? And putting a needle in it, or something?

However, my fears are assuaged by the fact that a vasectomy is a very simple procedure (right???) and the negative reviews are both from men who seemed to have more complicated urological issues.

Sometimes, when all the kids are asleep, I look at My Chemical Romance and wonder if we really want to do something so permanent; like, what if in 10 years we want another one?

Then they all wake up and are fighting before the crack of dawn; The Informant has a voice that screeches like nails on a chalkboard; Animal can give serious teenage attitude at the age of eight; Mineral cries  and howls dramatically at the drop of a pin; My Masterpiece is a contrary three-year-old whose favorite words are NO and MINE and I NOT TIRED MOMMY! I NOT! I NOT! NO NAP!

And I think, Why didn’t we do this sooner?

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