Wanna know something cool?

I don’t know if you guys are aware of this..but I like to take pictures.  Pictures of dogs, and babies, and people, and cats and bunnies too.  But when asked in the past, I would always say “Noo, I don’t think I want to do weddings. They’re scary.”

Awhile back, I tried to get my feet under me to do things professionally. But life got in the way, and then I got pregnant. And then Jimi died. (And they used my photo for the obituary. Go figure.)  And I just kinda..stopped.

But then..I dusted off the ol’ Canon, and started snapping pictures of Xavier. And I’ve started feeling that little shutterbug bite again. And in the spring, when my friend Tana of The Murphys Photography started looking for someone to fill in for her for a few weddings..I thought “Huh..maybe I could try it.”  And we talked about it, and they were kind enough to agree to let me tag along for a few weddings and see how it went.

Let me tell you. Weddings ARE scary.

But they’re also fun. And even though I’ve felt like I was going to pass out or throw up on the way to every single wedding I’ve gone along for, once I was there I felt like it was what I SHOULD be doing.  So The Murphys have taken me on for three weddings this summer. Holla!!

Here’s a link to their website and blog. I’ve already learned a ton, and I am so excited to have this opportunity.

http://themurphysphoto.com/

Which, by itself is super cool.  They even let me touch their stuff. And their baby too.

And now, this past weekend, I tagged along with ANOTHER amazing photographer, Ms Mandy Mayberry. I KNOW. And get this..she was all “Yanno, if you wanted to, you could be my assistant or second shooter or whatever sometimes…”

I tried to play it cool but I don’t think I fooled anyone. I’m so freaking pumped.

Here’s a little bit of Mandy’s work:

http://www.mandymayberryblog.com/

I can’t even tell you how psyched I am that I managed to get this lucky this summer. What I can tell you is that I’m SO READY to work my ass off and get some skillz and try really hard not to screw it up.

Pirate Party Planning

Because I’m not busy or anything.

Now I see why people have these obnoxious, over the top birthday parties. The urge to go overboard is strong. Really effing strong.

No room for this in the budget? Shitty.

But I’m trying to curb it as well as I can and remind myself that this is a child’s birthday party.  A birthday party he won’t remember.  And in total candor, folks, my budget for this party is about $8.  But hey, I’m used to making $8 enough. So for the invitations, I DIY’d that shit. I have a metric fuckton of leftover wedding crap, so I dug up some leftover black cardstock, and purchased this card kit from AC Moore:

http://www.acmoore.com/p-56725-greeting-cards-with-envelopes-5×7-50-setspkg-white.aspx

Except in a brown paper bag color that they don’t have listed on their website. I believe it was actually closer to $10, it might have been on sale.

So without further ado, here’s what I rustled up for about $10.

 

I asked (begged, and bugged and pleaded) one of my coworkers to doodle up some pirate shit on the envelopes. She was kind enough to indulge me. And only two came back like this:

Yay Buttpirates!

I used my super fly calligraphy skills to address them, but I’m not gonna show you that because I’d either have to waste one with a fake name and address, or put someone’s address out on the interwebz. Not gonna. Trust me though.

Trust me. It’s awesome.

I got lucky at the post office and found these US Merchant Marine stamps:

Thank god I found something that goes. Because be damned if I would be sticking some lame ass liberty bell on those envelopes. And I really didn’t want to go the custom route because it’s expensive..and as I mentioned, I have $8. So thank you, USPS.

Inside these lovely envelopes:

Yep. we actually took the time to burn those edges. They smell like fiyah. Glued them onto leftover wedding cardstock using my handy little Xyron glue runner thing. We figured out when making our wedding invitations that this was the best glue for cardstock, btw: http://www.amazon.com/Xyron-3-8-inch-Adhesive-Runner/dp/B000S168L6

So there’s one side. And on the other side is this:

Again, can’t show you the whole thing because we gotta keep the stalkers at bay. But I just made it up in Word after googling for wording and an appropriate watermark.

I would show you more stuff that I’m pinning and planning, but a certain chunky bald fellow is demanding my attention right now. Something about needing food or whatever.

 

 

 

 

Happy Jimi Day, bitches.

 

Mmm..cake!

 

 

Here it is, May 16th, my friend Jimi’s birthday. The 2nd one of which he is no longer here to celebrate.  I took the day off, and I didn’t make any appointments or plans for this day. I was planning on being pretty damned sad, and probably wallowing quite a bit, much as I’ve done the other milestones.

But there’s something that I’ve lately come to realize. After being my chief problem solver and confidant for many, many moons, I came to know what Jimi was going to say when I’d call him up with some (cough *EVERY* cough) problem I had. It seems that I’ve retained some shreds of this internalization..let’s call it my Inner Jimi.  I consult my Inner Jimi quite a bit regarding major and minor issues. The dude was wise. And, I’ll admit, my imagination falls sadly short sometimes when it comes to solutions. I lack objective. But I do my best and sometimes, it helps.

So over the past year..I wondered what I should do on this day to memorialize my friend. I thought about different rituals that I could do over the years to honor his memory.

Then, I asked my Inner Jimi what he would like for me to do.

“Live your life.”  I just feel like he wouldn’t want me crying as I light 33 sticks of Nag Champa incense while listening to Phish and wallowing in sad. I’ve known all along he wouldn’t want me sad, but up until now I just plain couldn’t help it. In my head, when Inner Jimi said “Don’t be sad! I’m okay!!” I would say “Too fucking bad, chief. I’M NOT OKAY!”

But today, I’ll try to be okay. Call it a birthday gift.

So far today, I spent a few hours cuddling in bed with my little family. Later, I’m going to snuggle a sweet little newborn and watch Xavier play with his bestie. Hopefully he won’t bite her, grab her ass or steal her things again.

We’re still SERIOUSLY struggling to get some damned sleep around here. I tried sleep training last week. That’s a whole other post though…let’s just say for now it didn’t work. I wish I knew why all the sudden  he’s waking up every 2-3 hours.  (And before anyone says just let him cry it out, let me tell you that I learned last week that it just doesn’t work for him. He doesn’t give up, ever. EVER.)

 

Xavier, Month 9(ish)

Well, technically, he’s 10 months old today. But I was busy as fuck this month so I failed on taking his pictures, and we fell behind on vaccines so he didn’t see the pediatrician until yesterday.

Obviously, he’s still really freaking cute. Which is good, because he’s the goddamned devil. Kidding..he’s actually insanely freaking charming. I can’t take him anywhere without getting stopped because he’s smiling at strangers.  He’s a really happy kiddo, and I’m lucky.

But yea, he still has no damned hair.

What he lacks in hair, he makes up for in head size. Still chillin in the 9oth percentile.

He’s got seven teeth. I’m pretty sure there’s one straggler coming in now, but it’s taking it’s sweet ass time. He is pretty good with his seven teeth. (So is your mom.) We’ve started on finger foods and he’s doing great. The thing is though, I have to literally sit and feed him one cheerio at a time, or he grabs handfuls of them, shoving them into his mouth, until his mouth is crammed full. (Again, just like your mom.) Chubby little fistful after fistful. And it’s not just cheerios or even little finger foods. Mum Mum Crackers? Teether Biscuits? NOM! He breaks them in half and shoves the two halves into his mouth.  He probably thinks my chunky ass is gonna try to take his shit. He doesn’t know yet that there’s way better foods out there than plain cheerios and diced carrots, I don’t need his crap.

I shouldn’t write when I’m tired. Let’s move on.

He’s down to four bottles a day now,  3 are seven ounces, and bedtime is 8 ounces.  We feed three meals, and one snack. It appears to be working, he’s 23.75 lbs. He jumped from 50th to 83rd percentile.

He’s a super busy little booger, he started crawling about a week ago, and he cruises along the furniture. He prefers to stand and cruise to crawling, he only crawls as a last resort. Don’t ask me. We have had to really step up our game in the childproofing department, because he’s into EVERYTHING now.

“What? I’m just standing around, nbd.”

Those jeans he’s wearing, btw, are size 18 months.  They don’t even fit him when he’s wearing his cloth diapers! So is the hoodie. When my friend Tess gave it to me I thought “Oh this will be so cute come Fall 2012”

But the hat? The hat is a size 3T/4T. I shit you not, his head is that effing big.

He’s 29 inches tall, having grown an inch and a half since his last visit three months ago.  He jumped from 50th to 60th percentile there.

That’s the look I get about 400x a day now.  “No, Mom, I def was not playing with that electrical outlet. You told me no like 400x…sheesh.” (Goes back to playing with said outlet.)

Sleeping..oh sleeping. Sleeping has become a serious problem around here. I think..I might have spoiled my child. I don’t know. I talked to his pediatrician about it, and he tells me that until we teach him to put himself to sleep, he won’t learn how to put himself BACK to sleep in the middle of the night. Which..he sleeps through the night like 1 out of 5 nights, so I know he totally can do it. (And what awesome nights those are!) But the other four nights, he wakes up at least once. And sometimes, I’m tired/lazy. And the quickest way to knock his little ass back out is to put him in bed with me.

 He basically recc’d crying it out. Which, I don’t wanna stir the shit here, for some babies, and some moms, that’s totally fine. Do what works for your family. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I have the stomach for it.  So, this is me, looking for some hippie sleep solutions.

I can’t believe my little baby is going to be a year old in just two months. I’m starting to lag behind on party planning because I’ve been so busy, but I need to get crackin.

“When you’re a Jet..”

Confession: I have a strange desire to put my kid in a pageant. But not really. But kinda. But I won’t. Probably. I think I just watch too much Toddlers and Tiaras.  And the way Xavier blows kisses and claps and dances..well, I think he’s just really talented alright?

Nah..but he is wicked cute huh?

Alright that’s all for now. This weekend, I’m tagging along for some more wedding photography with some heavy hitters.  Here’s hoping I don’t fuck it up. 🙂

365.

Warning: This is another self indulgent, sad post.

It’s been one year since my best friend died.

Am I supposed to be okay by now? I don’t know. I’m better. I can say the words out loud “Jimi died.” I can listen to about three Phish songs before I break down.  I don’t cry every day anymore.

But I still really, really, fucking miss my friend. Every day, several times a day, for the last 365 motherfucking days.

I don’t feel at peace with what happened. I still struggle to accept that I’ll never hear his voice again. I don’t have that calm “This is the way things are supposed to happen.” peaceful acceptance.  Maybe someday.

But it didn’t happen this year.

 

When your fan club aren’t fans.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pic, it’s all I had on me when this was going down.

I’ve always said having pit bulls is like having your own personal fan club. They follow me around, thinking everything I do is awesome and interesting. They’re happy to go anywhere, do anything.

A couple of things have made something completely obvious here:

My dogs don’t really like my baby.

Which..all the dog people reading this are going “Duh!” Babies are annoying. They screech, grab body parts, take all the attention, they have all these cool toys that you’re not allowed to eat, their faces get covered with food and you’re not allowed to lick em.  It’s a lot of bullshit to ask of a dog to put up with, when you think about it. But..I don’t know I guess I just expected that they would. I have the kind of dogs who like EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. They’re happy, GOOD dogs.  So..I have to confess, I didn’t bother with a whole lot of baby preparation. People would ask, I’d say “Well they’ve been around babies and kids, so I’m not too concerned.”

Sure, they’ve been around other people’s babies and kids. Babies and kids that go home.

And it doesn’t help that Xavier is freaking OBSESSED with them. He’s always trying to grab at them, screeching in their direction, offering them toys they’re not allowed to take, dropping food they’re not allowed to have. (Yes, I’m that mean. They have allergies, dammit.)

I just expected they would tolerate all of this, because they really do like everyone, everything, all the time. I can count on one hand the TOTAL number of times I’ve seen these dogs react to anything with less than unabashed enthusiasm. But now, I see things like that picture above, and I’ve realized I’ve been pretty fucking unfair.  I’m embarassed to admit all of this, but between work and the kid, there just hasn’t been much left for them. I feel like I’m always telling them to be quiet, go away, leave that alone, stop that, get out of there.

My dogs deserve better.

So, we’re really focusing now on creating positive associations between dog and baby. And I’m trying to pay more attention to the four leggers, and yell less. We’re taking them for walks together. Hopefully, they’ll start to enjoy the company of little bald people soon.

Some other things that are happening around here:

1. I’ve got another niece on the way! My brother Joe and his wife Teresa are expecting their third baby this August. SO EXCITED.

2. It looks like we might have a LOT of company for Xavier’s birthday party in July. My bestie Tess and her FOUR children are coming out too. Also, my brother Ben and his wife and their daughter (who is three weeks older than X and super cute!!) are trying to come out for a visit. And my brother Tom is still coming!  I’m thinking I won’t be attempting the birthday cake myself.

3. My nail lady disappeared again. The last three times I’ve been back to that salon, she’s not there. The place is pretty scummy looking and they use cheap products, so I decided it was time to go somewhere else. The new man did a pretty damned good job, the place was clean and he used quality products. He did make me bleed in three places….but it wasn’t on purpose and he was really sorry. I’ll give him another chance.

4. Xavier can pull himself up and cruise along the edges of things.  His 9 month visit is on May 2nd (The day before he turns 10 months.) I am DYING to see how big he’s gotten, everyone keeps telling me he’s a tank. All I know is his 12 month size cl0thes are tight.  And that I bought a size 4t hat for him yesterday that fits him.  Hopefully, there’s a big brain in that big head, one that can get his little ass a scholarship because I spend all his college money on hats.

Word to your mother.

Crankass McFusserson

Don’t let that cute face fool you.

He’s the devil right now.

 See?

He is 9 months old, and I’m getting toddler behavior.

Last night, this child BIT MY FOOT, and when I said “ouch! Don’t bite my foot!” he started to cry. Like all babies should have footbiting rights and I was violating his civil liberties. He then proceeded to bite my other foot.

Boy am I glad I got my boobs out of there before all the biting started.

He won’t nap for more than 30 – 45 minutes, which is why my blogging has been minimal.  He wants to torture the dogs, ingest my phone, pull my hair, scratch my face, bite my appendages, rip out his dad’s chest hair, SCREAM, and he wants to walk or crawl but can’t quite figure it out. So he wants to stand and hold your hands. But then he tries to let go of your hands like “I GOT IT I GOT IT” and then he falls on his ass and screams some more.

You try to contain him in any way, you’re met with shrieks that will wake the dead. DON”T YOU FUCKING DARE PUT ME IN THAT GODDAMNED JUMPAROO!!!!

Your shit? He wants it.

Oh, and he has a cold right now. So in addition to all of his unpleasantries, that cute little face that MIGHT redeem has a steady stream of snot flowing from it. DON”T YOU FUCKING DARE TRY TO WIPE IT OFF!!!!

At least he seems to have gone back to sleeping through the night. I just couldn’t take this crap on an empty tank.

He’s waking up. See you in 18 years.

 

 

Hiatus

Did you miss me?

I miss me. Holy crap what a month it’s been. I don’t know where all the hours in the day go..but I suspect it’s right into Xavier’s mouth, because that’s where EVERYTHING goes these days.

He’s like your mom. Except he has more teeth.

And that, in a nutshell is where I have been. Xavier has brought the entire household down with his teething ass. I thought at first it was just the top front two..but the other night I realized there’s more. Like those scenes in zombie movies where they think it’s just two zombies..but then the camera pans out and you see all the zombies coming out of the woods and closing in. (Walking Dead anyone?! GAAAH!!!). That’s what’s happening with Xavier’s teeth. He’s got definitely three that have cut through, and what looks like three more coming in. THAT IS SIX GODDAMNED TEETH.

SIX OF EM.

And he’s pretty miserable.

He makes this face all the time:

Now, in the grand scheme of things, he’s still a pretty happy kid. People have it way worse. For him though, to wake up 2-4 times a night, to not nap, to cry for 45 solid minutes, or just freak out because a dog barks..it’s pretty miserable. For John and my mom, he seems like he’ll sleep a little longer or hang out in the jumperoo a little longer, but I swear, for me, he’s needier. And with John back at work for a few weeks, it was just me and Mr. Don’teverfuckingputmedown.

To make matters worse..the kid is INTO SHIT.  I never, ever want him to become mobile, because when he does I’m screwed. You’ll never hear from me again. He’s constantly reaching his chubby little hands into EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME.

But, now that John is not at work anymore (ugh..stupid freaking economy I can’t take this shit), things have calmed down some.

GAH PIGFACE!!!

See all those damned teeth? Ugh.

Okay so..one major thing: As of March 1st, I quit breastfeeding. I know.

As I weaned off the Reglan, my supply completely went to hell along with it. I knew it would, I knew my days were numbered, I knew it had to end sometime. I know 8 months is by no means a failure.  It really helped that since my supply trickled out like that, Xavier kinda got frustrated towards the end there and just gave up, and now, near as I can tell, he doesn’t even miss it. So..mercifully, he wasn’t all emotionally attached to the idea. All he cares about is where the noms come from..and if they’re not coming from the boobs, forget the boobs.

He’s getting so big.

So, it’s the end of an era, and my little baby is quickly (too fucking quickly) turning into a toddler. One who is trying his very hardest to pull himself up on things, and assuming the crawl position (then faceplanting.)

Crazy enough, I have to get serious about planning his birthday party. It looks like I’ll have a chunk of family coming in from Illinois AND Texas, so with all of that going on, we decided it’s probably best to not try and have the party here at home. I’ve got my eye on a location, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to get it, and trying not to get my hopes up too high at the same time.

I’ve got lots more to update you guys on, and I definitely will get back here soon to do just that.

Stay Classy, San Diego.

Best Week Ever

Okay no, it wasn’t. I don’t have a whole lot to talk about this week, but I’ll round up some happenings and fill you in.

1. I’ve lost two more lbs. Finding the willpower is hard, especially when I get busy and have no time to sit and eat. But I’ve been doing the best I can with rare exception and that’s about all one can hope for eh?

2. Xavier is cutting a top front tooth, and started on meats. This means we’ve had a few tough nights as we figured out that Chicken & Brown Rice = Intestinal Concrete. But he’s a great kid, and everywhere I go, people stop and talk to him. He smiles  and talks back. He waved at a group of nurses at one of my mom’s Dr’s Appointments. I’m ignoring that he’s saying “Dad” over and over again.

3. My brother Tom, from Illinois, is coming to visit us in July. I am SO excited about this. He’s never been out here before, and he’ll be here for Xavier’s first birthday party, and we’re going to drink rum and be pirates. Holla!! Here’s a picture of Tom for your viewing pleasure.

Haha..trust me, that’s not even the most embarassing photo I could’ve posted. But here’s a better, more recent one.

Aww look how little Xavier was!

Okay moving on.

4.  I was lucky enough to have my first taste of wedding photography on Monday. I followed The Murphys (http://themurphysphoto.com/) around, snapped a few photos and got schooled. I can’t imagine doing it alone, but I had a great time. I feel like it’s time to get really serious about photography, because it might just be what I should be doing. I’m so excited to learn more and get really good.

5. You guys probably don’t all know this, but I’m super obsessive and picky about my nails.  I have been going to this one girl, at this one place, for over a year now. I loved her. She was fast, produced good results consistently, and didn’t chatter too much.  But for the last month and a half, she hasn’t been there. They told me she was “on vacation for awhile.” I knew she was gone.

I went to another girl. Then a guy. Then another girl. None of them made me happy. Last night, I went to the usual place and there was the guy who had done a decent job, and the girl who had done a wretched job. So I figured I’d snap up the guy and call it done. But after I had been waiting about 20 minutes, someone walked in with an appointment for him.  I sat there for a minute, deliberating. Sit through and pay for another shitty manicure..or take my chances elsewhere?

I left. I went to a place I’d never been. “Sure but there’s a 25 minute wait”. Nah, I’ll pass. Next place, I walk in and who should I see sitting there? MY LONG LOST NAIL LADY!! I had to control myself and play it cool. But inside, this is what was happening:

You guys can laugh all you want, but I was fucking pumped.

6. This is also pretty awesome news, so brace yourself. Are you ready?

John has a job.

A REALLY GOOD JOB THAT I THINK HE’LL LIKE AND DO WELL AT A COMPANY THAT SEEMS LIKE A GOOD FIT. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a very well put together sentence, but I was yelling so it’s fine. I’m excited. He starts work on Tuesday. I’m kinda sad that that means I’ll have to stop being lazy and possibly do my own damned laundry. (Maybe) But I’m excited for him. And I get to take him shopping for new work clothes so he’ll look like this:

HOLLA.

I think that’s about it for this week. I’ll come up with some interesting shit next week, I swear.