Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good bye 2011.

I have had a fantastic couple weeks. I feel as though we are saying good bye to 2011 the right way. We are together, at home and just enjoying our lives. It isn't always easy to do that, especially this time of year. Everyone is running around, spending too much money and just stressing out.
Not us, not this year.
I am so thankful for that, I am thankful for the people I know, my friends and family.
Today Eddie and I are heading out of town, driving to Portland for his NYE show. I am leaving the baby for the first time- I am a little anxious about it but I am excited too. It is good for both of us. All of us really, I am a firm believer of taking time for your spouse, I mean without that relationship, I would have nothing. I try to always remember that. If I wasn't insanely in love with my husband, I would not be a good mother. He is a very important part of my tone on life.
So we are excited, he just came up here and said "that doesn't look like packing"- I am suppose to be getting ready to go. We are trying to leave in an hour and a half. So I should do that, although squeezing this ever growing bump in a tight dress is getting harder and harder but I bought one special for tonight- if it doesn't fit, I am going to go naked.
Happy New Year everyone. Be good. Be safe. Time to pack.

Friday, December 16, 2011

.67 cents Pt 2

Our school raised something like $1070 for this incredibly amazing cause.
I donated $20 after my son informed me that it would feed about 29 families.
I could spend $20 on 4 coffees from Starbucks or feed 29 families.
Probably the best $20 I have ever spent. Seriously.

What a difference a decade makes.

A friend of mine was asking if I felt bad that my sons childhood was so different from my daughters. At first I was a little confused, was it different?
They explained how when my son was young, we spent most of our time on tour. Traveling the globe, sitting on planes, buses or the good ol' econoline. My son sat on the stage for Farm Aid more than once, he rode a scooter across the stage while Pearl Jam was sound checking...
I was brought back to that time, with fondness, I mean- it was radical! But it is all still there. That is still in our life, although we don't consume ourselves with it. Being older maybe the factor. I know that I want more out of my life than my husbands dreams- I mean, he too wants more out of his life of music, that is why he now has a family. But the thing for me is, I guess I am more comfortable with where my life is headed. I am a homemaker, I do this. I am here and there. I can pack a lunch or a bag for Paris. I will, I do, I have.
What got me about this conversation was the fact that the feeling of "jipping" my daughter was out there. Like her childhood would not be as what? rock n' roll? Maybe not. To me that is not a bad thing. But I don't think so really. Less so, but not non existent. 
What I do appreciate about this point in my life, other than the slower speed, the less travel (although 6 weeks in Europe doesn't exactly make me feel like we travel less... maybe less often and for longer?...) are the things I don't miss.
See with my son, we were all over the place. We were running around, moving, touring like crazy- it was what was fun then but I do feel I missed some things. Maybe while I was packing up the cab, I missed my sons first- oh whatever. I don't know, but it could have happened. 
Anyway, to get to the point... what I thought of- the past raising of child vs the now. When we were in Mexico last summer, we walked out of the resort we were at to go out to the beach and it was a corridor type thing and when we turned the corner the wind hit us all, it was warm and fantastic and I looked at my daughter and I got to see her face. Her eyes and mouth wide open- I got to see her discover wind. 
I'll trade rock n' roll for that any day but you know what? I don't think I have to.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The no birthday party, party.

With all of this talk about Christmas, I am always amazed by how quickly my sons birthday pops up. It is not as if I don't think of it all year, or again at Thanksgiving or while we are getting our Christmas tree. But suddenly, it's time! 
He will be 11 in less that 2 weeks. 
After last years 10 year extravaganza (we had a full rock show birthday bash at the beloved Sunset Tavern here in Ballard. It was amazing, I worked my ass off) and my daughters 1st birthday which was an equally impressive butterfly themed girl party... I told my husband I had to take a year off. I told everyone we had to have at least one year with no parties. I love them and I will keep doing them but September and December are close together. With Halloween in the middle and not to mention the holidays... I just knew my goose was cooked. I had family in town for Elvis' 1st, my husband wasn't even here, he was in South America (skyped during the party). My Mom was staying at our house and his Mom and boyfriend were in town for the week... it was epic and awesome and I nearly cracked. Having him gone is something I do, I get it but our fall/winter is some kind of busy. Has always been that way and it will always be that way but I had to call off the birthday parties for 2011.
And so far I have been successful. I am not anti calling off the "call off". I am okay with saying something and then doing another- this is my life, so I feel like I have that right. But when you get kids in the mix, I don't know, it's like I have to start thinking like a grown up or something and really the bottom line for me is I always feel like I am trying to raise, not kids, but grown ups. I am trying to raise a man and now a woman. That is my current order of business.
So when I make a decision that involves my kids directly, I feel it is my duty to stick to it. Again, this is not in my nature, I'm a waffler of sorts, I like options but with kids, I just get the feeling the less "waffly" I am, the better. I want them to know how to make decisions and see stuff through. It's a little ironic I am learning it all at the same time but that's cool too. See- easy, peasy!
When Elvis' 2nd birthday came along, I have to admit, it was hard to not throw a party. Even a small one. Instead I stuck to my guns, made a cake and called a friend and her kids and invited them to walk down the park that overlooks the sound and have a piece of cake with us. No presents, no party favors. Just us, the beautiful sunset and a fantastic cake. It was a very special birthday and I think that is part of it. When you cut out all the crap, you get to actually see your child on their birthday. I got to watch my kid turn 2. It was magic.
Now for some reason this birthday for my son is different. I am finding it VERY hard to keep it so basic. I just don't think I can. So does that make me rotten? Am I showing him the opposite of what I'd like? Maybe.
We are going to take him and some friends to the movies, he really wants to see "Tin Tin" and then we are going to walk down to the Sunset and have pizza. It's a little more than a park and a cake, but for him, with 10 years of fabulous birthdays under his belt- this will be the no birthday party, party.
My Mom said when my sister and I were young, we got a 5th year party and then another one at like 10 or 12. Which was fine, I am sure we loved it and they were fabulous but I am different. I can't help but give him something special, he gives me something special every day/week/month because he is so good. He is a fantastic child. He works hard, he is smart, he is funny and he really loves life. I can't help but celebrate that.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas presents. To give or not to give. That is the MFing question.

Every year I promise to not spend a fortune. I tell myself that it isn't important that I get my Mother something amazing, or my son everything on his list, but it does seem as though... I just might forget about all of that and then I am starring down the end of a very long list of things I have purchased.
Not this year.
I am sick of over indulging my children, who have everything. We don't have one of those houses with 14 bins of legos and we don't have 17 dolls or 250 Littlest Pet Shop animals but we are fortunate. I like to get rid of stuff, like toys that are never used and stuffed animals, in general (because they are disgusting) but the kids have stuff. They need for not.
I understand it is Christmas and the "rule" is, it's time to get presents. I don't care where it all came from. I do not go to church, I do not teach my children the religious side of the holidays, at all. I think it is all made up (like religion in general) and we just go with it.
But when and how do you draw the line? I'm perplexed. 
I remember when I was 8 years old, my Mother told me it was the last year Santa would come visit us. There was an adult argument going on at the time, but I remember it like it was yesterday. This will not happen in my house. Santa will come here until I am dead. I am fucking Santa!
One year I bought my son so many presents, when I was putting them all under the tree, I actually put some back into my closet. I was smothering him. Even though he would have loved it, I had to restrain. I couldn't drown him in gifts, I just couldn't. It was not borderline ridiculous, it was fucking insane.
Since my daughter has come along it has been, ahem, easier to draw the line. There are two kids- there are two stockings... you get the idea. I am not living out of my car but I do shop for things on sale. I have to be careful and even more so with a third on the way.
Say your child wants a few things and then one super expensive gift... what do you do?
One year he wanted a bike and a drum kit. We thought that sounded easy enough. So after Eddie's Mom spent $300 on the bike (Electra!) we dropped around $500 for the drum set. Well, I didn't but Eddie did. He handled the "deal" and when I heard how much it was, I was shocked, I immediately wanted nothing for Christmas. $500! Insanity.
This year it's a Flying V. They aren't much cheaper. My fear is it will get played about as much as the drum kit that has taken up the better part of my basement for the last 6 years. The kid plays guitar but I think a Flying V is... ridiculous. There, I said it. I think he should get an acoustic, seems more simple and can take him farther. He is a song writer, who sits around writing songs on a Flying V?? But I am not the music part of this operation, so like Eddie and the kitchen (and the laundry) I stay out of it. For better or for worse- even though I am right, I've gotta let him be Santa too.

Oh Christmas tree

Yesterday we set out to get out tree.  It was about damn time.
We had actually planned on getting it when Eddie was with us, but with our delightful holiday traffic, we were a day behind and just did not make it work. Somehow putting our pajamas on and watching a movie seemed like it made more sense, and it did. It always does, but then I get left holding the tree... er, um bag or whatever that saying is.
There are a lot of things that families do that we do minus Eddie. This is part of the deal. It bothers me on the very bottom tier of things, I mean, it sucks not having my husband there at the tree lot, or the first day of school. It's hard to go to friends dinner and birthday parties alone- but this is your life Charlie Brown!! I'm into it. I do difficult. That's just what suits me, it's the straw I chose. I'm not complaining. I am just spreading the word to all the sons and daughters out there. Rock n roll is (when it's your real life) more complex than you'd think.
So with my boeuf bourguignon in the oven, one toddler in the stroller, one dog on a leash and my son by my side, we set out to get that tree. 
You may be wondering why we are walking a dog and pushing a stroller if we are in fact going to get a Christmas tree. No we don't get it delivered, we walk that sucker back to our house.
It was freezing outside and somehow perfect. It wasn't raining and in Seattle, you consider yourself lucky when it's not. I would have appreciated some snow though.
Our tree lot is pretty close, it's about 7 blocks away, we have gone there for 10 years now. I can't imagine getting our tree elsewhere, it's like our thing. We shop for produce there year round and the trees are fantastic. Although we do things a little differently. We don't go for the the huge, full beautiful tree. We do the opposite. Quattro's idea. He wants the tree that most likely will not sell and every year we get just that. This year was no exception, our tree has two tops, the base is split in the middle and comes up with two arms- it is the horned hand. Sold!

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's all in the name.

I have always loved naming my pets, making up new names for myself, stuff like that. When I was young, we moved a lot, so when we got to a new place, sometimes I would introduce myself as someone I was not... My name is not super special, although my middle name is more me, Summer.
Anyway, I guess, as an adult, when naming my kids I just took the gloves off. We got a LOT of flack from nameless folk about our daughters name, which oddly enough didn't bother me. There was one person that offended me personally and we are related so it was not a deal breaker. 
In all honesty, it did bother me and although I am way past it, I will not be sharing the name of our new babe until he/she is born. Not with anyone. It sucks.
Eddie had a relative that was a real a-hole about the name too- so he is the other reason we will not be sharing. He told Eddie she would "hate" us. That was a deal breaker. We both just had to chalk it up to opinions are like assholes... and this one has and is one.
So ya, this time we won't get to share and that is hard for me. I am really into spreading good news and I am no good at secrets but when you are carrying a child, there are sensitivity buttons hidden all over you. You don't know they are there half the time and they just get pushed and it sucks. it's hard to keep your cool sometimes and I am a control freak. I like to be in control, I like to know what to say and what to do. I am not a know it all, I just like to have control of myself and when someone pushes my buttons, when I'm not pregnant, I can always handle it and when I'm with child... seems like it 60/40 and I don't like those odds.
I love my daughters name. As she gets older and more of her personality shows, she is SO her name. "Elvis" was a name my son thought of. He just said it, sitting in the back of the car. It was before we knew she was a girl, we were driving around and talking names and he said "what about Elvis?" and I said "well not for a boy but I kinda like it for a girl"- and that was that. There were other names in the running, but when we found out she was a girl, it just stuck. "Glo", is for my Grandmother, her name is Gloria. She is one of my all time favorite people in the world, I just sat next to her at Thanksgiving.
"Danger" is a name that I have loved since I was a teenager. It was the name of a character in a book and I have loved it since. 
So there's that. That's the story behind her name. I love it and I hope I can do something just as well for my next baby. My son has a family name, he goes by Quattro because we didn't know what to actually call him. Edward Carlyle Daly IV is a big name for a little guy and Eddie is my husband and Ed is his Dad... Edward seemed too old for a baby. While I was in the final few months of my pregnancy my good friend said "what about 'Quattro'?" and that was that. We are actually thinking about getting it put before "Edward" on his birth certificate so it will be legal. it is him, he is "Quattro" and I am 100% sure he will never go by anything else.
So what will No. 3 be called? What will it be? It's hard to come in behind a Quattro and Elvis- it's going to have to be good.
We are taking suggestions, but you won't get a shout out in the liner notes.

The cream always rises. Right?

So I woke up today feeling pretty good. Had the better part of my day planned and after a very slothy weekend, it was a real good thing.
First up I had an OBGYN appointment. If you don't know what that is, you should look it up or quit reading... there's going to be a LOT of this kind of talk for the next 6 months.
I like her okay. She is not as bad ass as my last OB, or as handsome as the one that came before that. Unfortunately I have had to find a new one for every kid- seems as though it is a not a business people really stay in these days. Don't ask me why.
She's a little uncouth. Like she will say things that are immediately offensive but not mean. She will never remember who I am, which I hate but I am looking for a good baby Mama doctor, not a best friend. But that is the hard part, my last one was like my BF, she was SO cool, I had a total crush on her. She was really caring and asked me real questions and never ever judged me or made me feel less than because of the way I look or dress. The doctor I had when I was pregnant with Quattro (11 years ago) was amazing too. He was in his 40's, real handsome and I had hot pink hair. He never, ever looked at me weird. He never made reference to it or anything. He was just a really good doctor and he seemed like he liked me- like I was refreshing.
So back to doctor No. 3.
I don't think I like her. And that is a problem. Right?
Today we were talking about the gender ultrasound that is coming up. She said "make sure your husband is there" and I mentioned that he would probably miss it, but of course we'd try. She wanted to know why he'd miss it and I said he traveled for a living (mind you, I have told this lady practically every time we meet that my husband is a musician, and works on the road, that is why she has never met him...) and anyway she said "what does he do?" ugh.. "he's a musician" I say and then she said "is he faithful to you?"
I was speechless, which isn't really like me. I didn't know what to say, no one has ever asked me that, I was pretty sure that was something that was considered rude, especially when it is not coming from someone sitting across from you on your couch.
I stammered a little and said "well, ya. I mean, of course." I was still lost and then she picked up my chart and flipped to the page of my STD tests (totally part of the pregnancy drill, you even get an HIV test, yay! I failed it!) and she said (pointing to a bunch of scribbles) "well, you're all clear!"
So you tell me (as I sit here waiting for my sister to get a break at work to call me, so I can vent) What the fuck?
My friends told me to dump her. Get a new one. Which I can do. Luckily I have that option. But I really want to NOT change. I want my old doctor but she doesn't live in Seattle anymore and so if I can't have her I just feel like I should go with a good doctor (which this one is, she won OBGYN of the year, she's real good) and not really care about getting coddled. She has no tact, I can live with that- right?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Cows?

There's an ad campaign that talks about California cows being "happy cows".
As I drove nearly 3000 miles, round trip, down the coast- I had an observation.
California cows don't look very happy.
If you've never seen the cow "farm" (I use that word lightly, it is more like a.... massive collection of cows) that is in California, that one that your milk and beef most likely comes from (if you're into that), consider yourself lucky.
It is the most disgusting thing. You can smell it before you see it. I am guessing there are no less than 20,000 cows in there and none of them look happy. So I am at a loss who thought that commercial was a good idea. I guess advertising has never been the honest business but I am in no mood to eat beef. I do drink milk, but it's usually organic and from Washington or Oregon, so I feel okay about that... I think.
I did, however, notice quite a few smaller farms in Oregon in which the cows actually did look- happy! They weren't all smooshed together, they had plenty of space and there was actually grass under their feet (hooves). In Cali, it was all shit or mud... or muddy shit. Ick.
So if you are ever near Buttonwillow (ahem, Buttholewillow) plug your nose and have a look around. Or better yet, don't.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

.67 cents

Tonight, as I spread out a super healthy, homemade dinner for three, my son looks a little sad. 
He says "you know, there's a thing at school, if we donate .67 cents to the Great Harvest, it will feed one person".
He looked really disturbed by the thought, I am not sure if it was the thought of people going hungry or just the thought of us having all of this food, seemingly so easily. But he was sad. 
He asked how much I spent at the store and I could tell when I gave him the $147 total he was reeling with thought of how many people that could in fact feed. 
My son is no saint. He would buy gum before giving out a bum dollar (something I carry in my car, the "bum dollar") on MOST occasions, but not all. He is an old soul, it's a weird thing to watch. When he was a baby, like before toddler, if he heard a sad song, he would cry. I'm not kidding. It's a little creepy. So the kids got soul, from this lifetime and another (or others).
I had to explain that if we gave all of our food or money or whatever, to everyone that needed it, we would then be the ones in need. I had to also tell him that we are not filthy rich. I am not sure what kids think when they have parents that don't fight about money. I grew up in a house that was a constant money fight, so I always knew we had none. Not a big deal.
I have money now but sometimes we don't. When my husband takes a few months off to reorganize shop or to say have a baby- we make ziltch. And that's okay.
But to explain to your child that you do have to think about money and even though you can drop a cool $150 on groceries, you can't write a check for 50K to feed the homeless in Ballard. 
I wish I could. If I had Brad Pitts money, I would kick down majorly to my neighborhood and beyond. But I don't. 
I do have the sense and the time to help my child get a grasp on the big picture by looking at the little details. 
If he picked up all the pennies and coins he sees on the street and doesn't put them into his own bank, he could feed a man.
If he rakes the leaves from our backyard and takes half that money and gives it to the food bank- he could feed a family.
So this is what I am thinking about. It is a little sad to think about the hungry at night but you know, it's sad to think about it in the morning too. So instead of being sad, or allowing my son to feel that way, I am just going to help him and myself, do something about it. 
I was not raised to be a philanthropist but I am 100% naturally drawn to it. I realize I will not feed everyone and I might have to break it to my son, at some point, that he can't either because he still believes he can do anything. And as a Mom I am told I should teach that to my child, that they can do anything but I am also a god damn realist, he can't do that. He can't feed all the hungry people, he can't give everyone a winter coat but I guess my job is to teach him that he can be a part of the solution, instead of the problem. So many people know that people need help and I need to teach him that it doesn't matter why those who need it, need it- it only matters that IF you can help- you do.
When I had first met Eddie, we went to NYC for some shows and as we walked through the streets there was a homeless man in a wheelchair and a hat about 10 feet away from him, just off the curb, in the gutter.  I walked over, through the sea of people, picked it up and then gave it to him. He smiled and said "thank you".
It was so simple and I didn't think to much of it at the time, but that moment has come up in so many of our conversations, over the years. I am not sure why it was such a moment, for both of us I think, but I think he saw in me someone who cared about others and I saw a man that needed to start caring about others. So it just clicked. Weird.
And he's still like that and so am I. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. He's gotten a little better, I guess, but I am still the angel and he is most def the devil. Selfish little bastard, I love him though.
If you would like info on the Great Harvest, please leave me a comment. If you have kids it's a great way to get them started and I am sure there's something similar where you live.

Thank you sir, may I have another?

It's official. I am a mother of 3. For some reason today, or last night, it just hit me. 
Maybe I am finally rested after my trip and it finally sunk in. I didn't get the baby love I was hoping for over the holidays- so it's nice to be home around my friends who are stoked and caring. 
I've only been home a few days but with Eddie's departure a mere 24 hours after we got home, my time to get adjusted had to be quick.
Yesterday I took him to the airport after laying in bed until the last minute. He gave our son a ride to school and took care of the baby. It was nice. Hard to get out of bed into the cold car but nice to actually get to sleep in.
When I got home my 2 year old was ready for a nap and I couldn't be happier. I put her down and went right back to my bed, where I stayed until Q's bus stopped in front of the house. 
It was an incredibly lazy day. I loved it. Today not so much. I am back in the swing of things, it's cold as shit and I don't love it, so I just keep moving.
At Trader Joe's the cashier said "oh, isn't it great having just one baby?" (my daughter was in the cart), I said "actually I have a 10 year old too" and she said "well... one of each is great!" and then I told her I was pregnant and she just looked at me and stopped talking.
It got me thinking about how moronic people are and maybe they can't help it. Maybe we, as a species, are just made that way. We try to be polite, make conversation, talk about what we see and all the while, we are idiots. Completely oblivious to any reality, lacking every ounce of tact we thought we had.
I'm guilty too. I am sure I have said plenty of ridiculous stuff. Once I was at my usual coffee shop and someone noticed my son had really long hair and they said they thought it was cool that he was a boy sporting long locks- then I immediately asked them how old their daughter was... um, it was a boy... with really long hair. So, you know- shit like that.