in which my long unexplained absence remains long and without explanation

You’d think, after disappearing* for the better part of a month, that I’d have some elaborately concocted excuse for why I haven’t blogged or posted one of my hilarious** video clips. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.

Among the excuses I could give (the business, the kid, the OMG SRSLY OUR BANK BALANCE IS WHAT?!?), the one that comes closest to explaining my inexplicable Lack of Post is completely superficial.

I mean that literally. Despite all my recent redesigns, my blog? Does not fill me with love.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. There are things I like about it. The video section, for example. I like that. Well – I don’t hate it, anyway, and that’s almost the same as like. But the handwriting is so played out, and I was never married to the color scheme to begin with, and the teal*** looks much, much different on, oh, 98.9% of monitors which are not mine (and different, in this case, is not better), and it’s just boring as fuck, and frankly I can barely stand to look at it.

There. Glad I got that out.

BUT I’m working on a sooper seekrit**** illustration/theme revamp thing which I might even finish sometime this century, assuming I don’t forget, lose interest, or die. So the blog love, it might come back. Maybe.

In the meantime I’m going to force myself to post, much in the way one forces small children to take a bite, JUST ONE BITE, OH MY GOD IT’S NOT MADE OF POISON and besides DON’T YOU LIKE CHICKEN?!?!!***** Because otherwise the not posting will turn into its own reason not to post, which will then compound my rabid dislike of my blog design, which will in turn develop feelers and teeth and wee little claws and eventually devour me in my sleep.

*I say ‘disappeared,’ but seriously, people, I am one of the most compulsively findable people I know.

**Other adjectives may apply.

***Yes, it’s supposed to be teal. Shut up.

****Not all that seekrit, apparently.

*****And the less said about that, the better.

and how might you be?

You know, I was going to post something substantive and clever, but then I realized that I left the diapers at home. The office is now somewhat…odoriferous. Thusly, I leave you with these three things:

1. I posted a new video rant – scroll down if you’re on my site, or go see it on Viddler, or look for it in your rss feed or whatever. Or ignore it completely. So many options! (Note: it looks like Viddler’s having some issues, so hang tight if you can’t see the video & try again later.)(Seems to be back up now…)

2. Is Russel T. Davies the UK’s answer to Joss Whedon? Discuss.

3. I have 61,300 words on my book. Who wants to make guesses on how many words I’ll cut in this round of edits? Winner gets to be a background character.

Off I go to decontaminate the toddler. Here’s hoping we have the elevator to ourselves!

yove

I was picking the kid up from Not So’s office (he freaking LOVES it there, and Not So is lucky enough to work someplace that allows the occasional kid afternoon), and as we walked to the door Not So said his usual “I love you! Have a good day!” Ellison turned and said “I yove you! Have day!”

OMG DYING OF TEH CUTE.

Of course, he has still never said he yoves me, despite my persistent and varied exhortations. I even tried in the elevator on the way out of the office; a casual “Oh hey Ellison? I love you,” was, as usual, completely ignored. Sigh.

Still. So cute. “Have day!” Heeeeeeee.

neither s nor sw

Not So is at SXSWi. I? Am not. He promises to get swag for me, though. Swag makes everything okay, even seven straight days of solo parenting.

Which is not as bad as all that, actually – Not So has been gone since Thursday morning, and today was kind of okay, as far as days go. (Note that I am skipping merrily over Thursday and Friday. This is not unintentional.) The kid and I went for a walk, did a little shopping…and before you get all eye-roll, keep in mind that my kid? LOVES to shop. Seriously. If we walk by the mall and don’t go in, he will throw himself toward the door with all his strength, wailing like we’re killing him. He is a weird kid. But yes, so, we shopped, and then we came home and he actually ate food, and then he took a marathon nap. Good day!

I had this ridiculous idea that I’d be able to get some writing done while Not So was away, but either all my writing talent has dried up or I just don’t have the wherewithal to concentrate when I am On Call. Which is…lame, right? How many single moms can produce an amazing array of matching words while toddler-wrangling? Anne Lamott comes to mind, but that’s just because of Operating Instructions; other moms do it all the time. Other moms, but not me. I feel so scattered and kind of brain-dead, and everything I’ve written in the past couple of days has been flat as week-old soda. (I do not say “pop.” This is because my parents raised me right.)(Shush, you can recognize hyperbole when you see it.)

The house, though, is quite clean, and I’ve taken two (two!) baths today, so all is not doom and gloom at chez Cranky. I miss Not So, and Ellison’s having a hard time sleeping, but we’re good. It’s taking a lot of energy for me to make progress on the projects we’ve got deadlining for work, but part of that is just that we got a new desk at the house – and, while I love it unreasonably and it totally serves its purpose (namely, to make the damned computer less of a focal point so I don’t spend my every waking moment on it), it’s not exactly conducive to marathon work sessions. Then again, neither is the toddler. Good thing we have an office!

Next year, I am totally going to SXSW, though. Even if the kid has to come with us.

the twos, they are terrible

I had heard about the Terrible Twos. They’re old wives’ tale quaint and antiquated, like when people would tell me not to reach above my head when I was pregnant. Hee, I thought. Surely my kid will sail on through his second year with his sunny disposition intact, and then we can be those annoying parents who are all “Oh, terrible twos? No, we didn’t have any of that.”

Then we spent the whole day with a toddler who looked like this (in varying stages of breakdown):

tantrum

Tantrum that lasted a whole day? Check! Falling apart when I asked him if he wanted a sandwich? Check! Screaming and flailing when we told him that no, we would not be going to daddy’s office because we were, in fact, with daddy at the time (and the office was closed)? OMG WHY DO YOU HATE BABIES??

He finally took a nap, after literally screaming himself into exhaustion. Have I mentioned that we live in an apartment? I can only imagine the degree to which our neighbors loathe us right now.

So, yes. Terrible Twos? Not so much an old wives’ tale. Or maybe it was because I lifted my arms above my head before he was born…

above my means

Zen as I might be about socioeconomic status, there’s still a part of me that gets off on being able to Afford Things. Nice things. Things like my prettypretty BlackBerry Pearl or our multitude of Apple products. That part of me really, really wants to join this snooty athletic club that’s $100 a month and totally, completely impractical. But they totally offer childcare, and the idea of paying someone to watch my kid while I take a yoga class? Compelling. (See, because when I leave him with Not So for no reason except that there’s something I ‘want’ to do, I always feel guilty. Yes yes, I know, therapy would help with these things. But – another reason to feel guilty! You see my dilemma.)

big boy bedI’m starting to feel a little bit like our lives are getting managable, which – hey, there’s a reason I take meds, you know? When just getting out of bed in the morning seems huge and untenable, it’s kind of a big deal to think that things might actually be okay, kind of. It was cleaning the house that did it. We’ve got this great apartment that I love unreasonably (well, except for the permeating smell of Rice Junkies that greets me every morning), but it’s jammed so full of stuff that it might as well be a storage unit. But Not So went all MacGyver on the stuff in Ellison’s room this weekend, so not only is all our old crap hidden successfully in the closet, we finally got to assemble the kid’s toddler bed! And, dude, don’t even get me started on how exciting it is to think that someday in the possibly near future I may be able to sleep through the night again. In any position I want. I can barely contain my potential bliss.

Next step is to get our room whipped into shape. This is a bit more complicated than it sounds, since we’re waiting to be able to afford these cheap-but-cute wardrobes from Ikea so that I can stop keeping my clothes in a big ol’ Rubbermaid storage bin and actually explore the idea of drawers.

i am, therefore i craft

lulu's heart: removable!So I’m doing the February Crafty Mamas Bazaar at Milagros. I haven’t done one in a looooong time, so it should be really fun. ‘Course, it means I need to make more toys, which (in turn) means I need more felt. Lots more felt. More felt, and more batting. Hello, shopping list!

I’d update with something substantive, but I’ve had this same damned headache for more than a week, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s lost much of its charm. And so have I! Plus, my kid just scribbled all over our new couch with a pen, and the atmosphere in my house is now somewhat strained. Bah. This is what we get for having a sand-colored couch and a toddler, all at the same time.

Maybe I will crochet today.

crackers

A thing I learned today? When toddlers vomit, there is little to no preamble. One minute they’re cranky and clinging, and the next, a fountain of unpleasantness is erupting from their mouths. The first time, the poor kid fixed his big eyes on me, giving me such a look of panic that I almost didn’t care that he’d soaked my shirt in baby puke. Poor monkey. It’s hard to be two.

At least it explains some of the crankiness from last night, and the fact that he pretty much slept the morning away. No fever, no other symptoms, just a lot of lethargy and several changes of bedding. (I changed my shirt, but long for a shower.)

He seems better now – had a long nap, woke up cheerful and grinning, and is now eating goldfish crackers like they’re going out of style. I’m glad, because I really want to go to the PMI meeting tonight but I don’t want to leave if the kid’s too ill. Already had to cancel a (potential) client call at the last minute, since I can’t exactly chat on the phone while my baby’s actively being sick. Guilty as I feel about bailing on work like that (so unprofessional!), I made the right choice. Prioritizing. If I don’t get this project, the world will not end. (I just hope they reply to my email at some point…)

a little bit of this, a little bit of that

I just – just! – had lunch, so my brain is all ping-tastic and fluttering hither and thither. Thither. I don’t think I’ve ever used that word without hither attached to it – have you? I am scampering to Merriam Webster right now to see the fun I have been missing.

Well, so. Here I am in the unexpected silence of my house (silence being a term I use loosely, as the whoosh-whoosh of the dishwasher is providing this afternoon’s background noise). The kid and the cat (one of them, anyway) are napping adorably on the bed, and I’m sort of nominally waiting for a phone call from a potential client while searching the internet for cookie recipes using agave nectar. Oddly, I am not finding very many. I think it’s time for a baking experiment, don’t you?

I also think that I need to think of a new moniker for Happy Fun Baby. He’s a toddler now, so the “baby” bit is somewhat outdated, and “Happy Fun Toddler” sounds weird. I could call him by his name, since it’s not like that’s a big secret or anything, but I like using aliases because it makes me feel like a spy. I would have made a very poor spy, although I would have liked the outfits. Probably. As long as I wasn’t undercover as a badly-dressed person. Certainly there’s more call for those than for Jennifer Garner-esque wigs and push-up bras, yes? I mean, way to blend, right?

But speaking of the kid, and my brain, and the two together…he woke up last night at midnight, cheerful as you please, and then would not go back to sleep. He snuggled. He sang songs. He played with my hair. But sleep? Sleep is for losers! At 3am I finally broke down and went to get Not So, who (of course) was still awake, since insomnia apparently runs in the family. Even after he came to bed, the kid was all wriggles and kicks, so basically I shared my pain instead of finding a way to fix the problem. Hey – YOU try thinking rationally at 3am when you’ve been repeatedly yanked from the edge of sleep by a tiny grinning demon baby. Er, toddler.

All I can say is: it’s a good thing he’s so cute.

Photo 40

smelling the roses, or something

I need to slow down.

Maybe it’s the Wellbutrin, maybe it’s the whole “death in the family” thing, maybe it’s just that I’m constantly doing twelve different things at once, but I can’t seem to muster up an acceptable amount of enthusiasm about, well, anything. Even things that are fun (like reading, or drawing, or playing with the kid) feel like chores. Ugh, you mean I have to have a good time now? Can’t I just work, instead?

I’m noticing this because I need to buy Christmas presents (yes, we celebrate Christmas; no, I have not yet drowned in the deep, deep lagoon of my hypocrisy). Usually, Christmas shopping is something I plan months in advance. Granted, I always leave it for the last minute and then scramble to get all my gifts overnighted so that I seem reasonably competent, but I have a party making lists and figuring out what the perfect gifts for friends and family would be. Same with cards; I collect cards, so on holidays and birthdays I will have the absolute best cards ever, and I love sending them out and dorkily picturing people’s faces when they see a card in the mail.

Except this year. This year, I think about sending out cards and it just makes me sigh. Cards. Meh. I’ve bought a couple of gifts for the kid (who has a birthday in three days and then Christmas) and one for Not So, but my usual gift-giving fever is not there. Not So was all “I don’t want to get the kid a whole bunch of gifts for Christmas, just a few things he’ll really like” and I was all “Sure, whatever.” Even the Santa photos (see: hypocrisy, above), which I have theoretically been looking forward to all year, are just another thing I’m probably not going to do because, meh. All the getting ready and going out and being enthusiastic and having a good time sounds exhausting. I could be working. I have plenty of things I need to do.

Which is just lame. Hello, priorities, where are you hiding? Maybe it’ll be better once I’m done with school (which will be, er, Saturday, and my thoughts on that are a totally different rant for a different day) and can ramp down my work schedule a bit. Because sometimes I look at my kid and I think I am going to blink and he will be grown, moved out, gone and it just devastates me.