Thursday, May 14, 2015

I need you all in

Joony had a dentist appointment yesterday.  It was his first and I was really worried about how it would go, plus we had a good idea that he would need some work beyond a cleaning on his front two teeth.

Once I made the appointment, almost every day leading up to it I got reminders from the office.  In all, three texts and three phone calls.  It felt like overkill, so I might have walked in a little annoyed right off the bat.  After over 30 minutes of sitting in the waiting room, Joon came up with a pained look on his face.  "Mom...my diaper.  Oh no, diaper..." These days he'll go a couple hours in between diaper changes, so I hadn't packed anything for it since we weren't planning on being out of the house that long.  Crap.  Literally.

"Hey, I'm so sorry, but I think we're going to need to reschedule and come back.  My son's got a diaper situation."
"Oh. I think they were just about to call you back."
"It's not really that, he's just...he's got a really messy diaper and I don't have a clean one on me."
"Well, when they do his exam, he'll sit in your lap while the doctor examines him.  So it's not really a big deal."  Wait...huh?
Just then we were called in.  The exam was only 5 minutes long, and he sat in my lap the whole time.  It was fast, but by the time it was done, we were both covered in poop.  It was soaking through my pant legs, it was all over Joony's shorts, it was...a disgusting mess. I felt horrible.  We went back out to the reception desk, they handed me a stack of papers with a $1800 estimate for 2 cavity fillings, and we were on our merry way.

The whole way home Joony cried, I tried not to cry, David texted a joke to cheer me up, I snapped back at him because this isn't funny, it was just my finest hour in parenting ever.  Sometimes I really, really wish raising kids looked like the advertisements. It just doesn't, though.  Most days it looks like poop all over my pants and my kid whimpering in the backseat and me chanting "I'm sorry, baby. I'm so sorry, we'll be home soon, I promise!"

So we got home, showered and in clean clothes, cuddled up on the bed to watch 15 minutes of Curious George before nap time, and suddenly I felt a little silly for all of the drama.  Because it is silly...but I also think it's okay to be a little dramatic when I'm covered in poop, right? Okay.

Friday, May 1, 2015

now the future's sorted out

David always says that he isn't a very good gift giver, but he's wrong. He's a great gifter.

Our first married Valentine's Day, we were dirt poor college students and he remembered that I had admired a flannel shirt in the little boy's section at Wal Mart, so he got it for me along with a kitten notebook and a jar of my favorite salsa verde.  To date it's one of the best gifts I've ever been given.

On our second anniversary, he found a 1980's Schwinn on Craigslist, bought it, and fixed it up for me.  I rode it to and from campus a million times, and for my birthday a few years later he got me red tires for it.  Red!  Once Joony came along we hooked the trailer to it so we could ride around town together and that bike hauled me, Joony, and often our groceries for the week.

In June of last year, I'd applied to my master's program but hadn't been accepted yet.  I was a ball of nerves, convinced my writing sample was total crap and I would be receiving a "Thanks for applying, but..." letter any day.  My birthday came and I still hadn't heard anything.  When I opened a laptop from David, he shrugged and said simply "You'll need it, you know, for school.  For writing."  While it was a very practical gift (there's no way I could be doing this much writing on the iPad I was using before), it was also a deeply touching one.  Knowing that he believed in me, that he truly thought I would be accepted, made me feel so looked after and loved.
This year, I've just headed into my third semester of school.  I've been doing most of my homework and writing from our bed, which is comfortable but not very motivating.  On Monday night, he told me were headed to IKEA and we went and picked up a desk for Mother's Day!  It's the most perfect little nook for me to work in, and once again, I feel reminded that David believes in me and supports my goals.
And hey! A Flash Fiction piece I wrote for one of my classes last semester is in this month's issue of Foliate Oak. Check me out!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

don't you dare look back, just keep your eyes on me

When I blogged about us coming to Arizona, it was hard to talk about all the specifics of picking up our life and plopping it down 900 miles away.  The first thing people would ask when I'd say we were moving was "Oh, so David got a new job?" And the answer was "Um...he quit his old job!"  We had the back-up excuse of being online students with student loans available to us for living expenses, but that didn't feel like a real solution, only a temporary one.  I guess I didn't want to delve into crazy details because of how very irresponsible it made me feel.  This was both an impulse move and it wasn't an impulse move.  We've been wanting to be in Arizona for years, but we decided very quickly that we were tired of wanting and ready to start making it happen...and the making it happen meant taking a few leaps.
I ran out to grab the mail and had the whole gang waiting when I walked back up the driveway
So this is the story of our huge leap of faith, told after the fact so I (hopefully) don't seem insane.

For employment, David found some part-time contracting work to do from home, which we thought would be enough to supplement with student loans for the time being.  He'd applied for some jobs in Arizona, but without direct contacts at most of the places, it was hard to make an Idaho resume get past an initial screening stage and we didn't hear back from anyone right off the bat.  So he took the part-time and we called that good enough to quit his job in Rexburg.  That really set the wheels in motion.

The next step was to rent our townhouse out, because we can't pay rent and a mortgage.  This also didn't happen immediately.  So...we moved anyways.  We just left our house empty and prayed like crazy that the right people would come along before BYUI's April semester.  Making that March mortgage payment was painful.

Maybe now you're getting an idea of just how scary our drive to Arizona felt for me.  Our house wasn't rented, David only had 25 hours of work lined up every week, and I was in the thick of midterms.  And Joony was in the backseat occasionally saying in the saddest voice, "I wanna go home, mom."  I just kept thinking "Is this right? Were we crazy? We were crazy. We're irresponsible idiots."

About one week ago, we hit the one month mark of our time here in Mesa.  In this last week, these things happened:
- I finished up my winter semester with straight As.  I saw those final grades go up and I just burst into tears.  Being in school during a move like this, especially a program that asks for writing on such a personal level, it felt like too much.  That victory was an affirmation to me.
- Our house rented.  We found out someone had turned in an application and we just held our breath for the two days before they signed a lease...but it happened.  Our mortgage will be paid!
- David received a full-time offer that he's so excited about--a job he applied for back in January and didn't think he got.  The interview process started before this last week, of course, but that official offer came in and I don't think we've stopped grinning since.

So in a week David starts his new job and I'll start my third semester and we're thinking that's when it will sink in: we're not on vacation--we live here!  We'll be able to get into a more permanent routine (David working from home has been really hard for both him and Joon), which will feel really good.  In the meantime, it's been a non-stop celebration.  It feels like the good news just keeps rolling in.  Sometimes it's scary when so many things go right.  It's hard not to think that it's too good and it's about to get really bad, because isn't the universe pretty balanced like that?  Either way, we're in a happy fog over here.  We feel so grateful that this move all came together for us and we cannot believe we're building a life in Arizona now.  Arizona!  And I have a CAT! Like I've had one for the last six months or so, but still.  A cat in Arizona! This life.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

baby, you light up my world

Here's another edition of the funny things Clarkjoon says lately...which, again, might only be funny to me because I live with him and seeing his thought processes is my very favorite thing. He is almost three! Two has been really hard for me, I don't think I've been shy about saying that on here, but I'm hopeful three will be better.  Three has to be better. Despite the condescending "Just you wait!" threenager crowd, I'm hopeful.  We're communicating better, the tantrums are...manageable, and I feel like I'm enjoying him more. That might just be because I got so tired of feeling so defeated and being so hard on myself, you know? It's draining to be that way.  I've been trying really hard to enjoy Joony and to focus on the fun we've had at the end of each day instead of mulling over the hard parts.  It's working.  Some days it feels a bit like a marriage, doesn't it?  Choosing to love someone, seeing them do frustrating things, living with their habits, but knowing that the bigger picture is so much more important than those little details.  But then he'll ask for "sheepy night-night," which is when we cuddle up and talk about our day before he goes to bed, and it's all easy.
Well, that was a tangent.  Here's some quotable Clark, age two-almost-three:

"Mom, I need a cupcake."
"Um...I don't think so, buddy."
"Mom, I need cheese crackers."
"Sorry, dude! Not right now."
"Mom...I need food!"

"Hi, big Joony!"
"Hi, big Mommy!"

"Good night, big Joony."
"Good night, big Mommy."
"I love you, baby."
"I BIG love you, Mommy!"
::sobbing::
When David tried to tickle him during Curious George time: "Not funhee, Dad."

While trying to get him to try swimming in a life jacket without holding onto us: "Not cool, Dad! Not. cool."

After hitting me and getting into huge trouble, he ran into the kitchen and returned a second later with a Diet Coke in hand.  After a big sigh, he said "Mom need a fo-dink." (fo-dink = soda drink)

Watching David attach our new shower head and test the seal by spraying water out of the hose attachment, while giggling: "Daddy go peepee."

After I say "Oh, crap" or "Dang it!" or "Freaking A" or anything that hints at frustration/fear/negative emotion: "You okay, mom?" "Yep! I'm fine!" ....."You okay, mom?" "Yes! 100%." ... "You arright, mom?" (repeated for 20-30 minutes)
Sitting in the front seat of the truck (airbags turned off, DUH):
Me: "I like riding in the car with you!"
Him: *super fake laugh* "No, mom. We ride in the TRUCK."

When he sees something cool in the store: "I take it home?"
When he sees an ambulance/garbage truck/policeman/dump truck/mixer: "Follow him, mom."

I love you more than anything in the world, Joonybugs.

Friday, March 27, 2015

when that sun goes down

Part two of our house tour! The REVEAL of the bedrooms, I know you've been dying to see. Stay calm, guys. The time is now!

The master bedroom (insert uncomfortable joke about magic happening):


 Don't mind my stack of clothes ready for eBay...lots of staging happening in these photos, you guys! Lots of staging.

(still so freaking proud of that dresser even though now I want to put legs on it maybe?)

...and here's Joony's room!  His is always one of my favorite places in the house.  It's filled with the things that make him happy and we spend so much time in here building train tracks and cooking in his play kitchen


...and that's our little Arizona house!  There's another bedroom and two bathrooms, but those aren't being included in this tour because the bedroom is Dave's office/storage and the bathrooms are...well, bathrooms, you know? Like you've seen a toilet and an Ikea shower curtain before, right?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

it seems like years since it's been clear

Wait...I have a blog?
I just submitted my final assignment of my second semester, a ridiculously massive, one-third-of-my-grade paper, and now I feel like dancing...or writing a really silly, indulgent blog post.  Here's the latter.
Unrelated picture of my son, because he is almost three and he drives me crazy every single day but he is clever and funny and sweet and we're sitting in the backyard right now in Arizona and I love it.

++ TWO NEW SHOWS:
1. The Last Man on Earth: starring Will Forte from SNL and Kristen Schaal from Flight of the Conchords...you know it's going to be funny, right? It's so good!  There are only a couple episodes so far and you can watch them all on Hulu.
2. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: has Ellie Kemper from The Office.  I watched the entire dang first season in four days.  It's hilarious, so quotable, and has a million people you will be thrilled to see...Martin Short, Jon Hamm, Tina Fey, Nick Kroll, omgsh.  Entire season on Netflix.

++TWO NEW RECIPES:
1. Vanilla Bean Cupcakes These were so good, but I should have worked faster in distributing them to friends and family! I couldn't eat all of them myself (although Joony would have if I'd let him).
2. Three-Ingredient Butter Cookies.    I made the butter cookies with jam filling and sprinkles filling (because I was craving some Funfetti action).  Both were pretty good! Not life changing, but they are so simple to make and you most likely have all the ingredients at home already, so it's a great one to have on hand.

++TWO NEW THINGS TO TRY AT TRADER JOE'S::
1. Boursin. Joanna mentioned it here this morning and I went and got some (less than $4!) along with a loaf of half-baked bread.  I put the bread in the oven while I uploaded my last assignment just now and BOOM...celebration bread and cheese! It was so good I nearly cried.
2. The macarons from the freezer dessert section--6 vanilla, 6 chocolate, $5. So much cheaper than getting them from a bakery and they're so good!  You just have to defrost 20-30 min. before eating.

++TWO NEW THINGS I TRIED IN OUR NEW HOUSE:
1. Washi tape wall art! My mom helped me put this beauty up on our living room wall and I'm so happy with it:

2. Redoing a dresser. I got the RAST from IKEA, which is just a simple raw wood dresser, and then stained the frame and painted the drawers.  I'm also happy with how this turned out!

++TWO NEW THINGS FROM AMAZON:
1. A travel tray for Clarkjoon's lap. This is so simple and smart!  It makes eating and playing in the car 50 times easier.
2. A $17 shower head. SEVENTEEN DOLLARS and just how have I taken a jillion showers under crummy rental showers without making this tiny investment?  Our shower now feels like a magic rain forest hotel shower. I'm not exaggerating here, it's incredible.

++TWO NEW PLACES I HAVE EATEN AT NOW THAT I LIVE IN A BIG CITY:
1. Zupas. I got the ultimate grilled cheese and lobster bisque soup. Holy effffffffffff.
2. Kneaders. Turkey sandwich and fruit tart, best lunch ever. How stereotypical are these food choices? I JUST MOVED HERE okay. I don't know local spots. I know chains I've wanted to try forever and haven't been able to because Rexburg has a McDonald's and an Applebee's.

++TWO SHORT STORIES:
1. Pop Art by Brian Doyle. This made tears come out of my face.  I read a few other pieces by him and every freaking one is so beautiful. He has a new fan.
2. Leviathan. I go nuts when something new by David Sedaris gets published...plus, when don't you want more of The Rooster?! And more of Lou Sedaris, ugh this one is sweet.

Monday, March 9, 2015

so no one told you...


OKAY.  Do you watch Friends?  I love it.  I love it so much.  The acting is cheesy, the clothes are so dated, some of the jokes are over the top, but I love it.  We never had TV growing up, but I somehow decided to start collecting the Friends DVDs and watching them out of order as I'd get each season...and then again in the correct order, and then multiple times since then.  I love Friends.  So now, I have collected my favorite episodes by character, and then by couple, and then overall, so that all this time I've spent watching Friends (or having it playing in the background while I do housework/homework) isn't a waste! ...just kidding, it's still a waste.  It's on Netflix as of the beginning of this year, so of course I watched it AGAIN from start to finish.  HERE IS MY WISDOM! (As Joey would say, "I am very wisdomous.")

Best Rachel episode: The One With the Videotape (Top 5!)
OH my gosh, I love this episode so much.  It might be my favorite of the whole series.  Ross and Rachel argue over who came onto whom, and it turns out it's all on videotape and there's the amazing hiking in Italy story. The writing here is just so good, too.

Best Monica episode: The One That Could Have Been
Monica in a fat suit! And she's so funny and sweet, and her and Chandler are still so cute together, and everyone is just hamming it up.

Best Phoebe episode: The One Where Everyone Finds Out (Top 5!)
Okay, so everyone starts finding out Chandler and Monica are dating, and to mess with them, Rachel and Phoebe come up with a plan for Phoebe to start hitting on Chandler. It's ridiculous and Phoebe is so, so, SO funny in it. "I'll use the best tool at my disposal...my sexuality."
Best Chandler episode: The One With All the Thanksgivings
Another flashback episode, so of course it's awesome because any opportunity to see Monica in a fat suit is golden.  BUT we also get to see Chandler call Monica fat in the 80's, then profess his love to her in the present day.

Best Joey episode: The One With the Jam (Top 5!)
Joey breaks his arm by jumping on the bed (?) and Monica makes a ton of jam, and Joey eats a lot of jam and just has some really adorable one-liners. "Remember when you were a kid...and your mom would drop you off at the movie theater with a jar of jam and a spoon?"
(**close second: The One Where Joey Dates Rachel. Joey is so sweet and charming and obviously there's this whole Ross/Rachel series arc blah blah blah but a little part of me wanted it to work out with him and Rachel! Joey is just the sweetest)

Best Ross episode: The One With Unagi
Ross tries to convince Phoebe and Rachel that they don't have "unagi," total awareness needed to defend themselves at anytime.  Everyone makes fun of Ross because unagi means salmon skin roll.

Best Ross & Rachel episode: The One With the Prom Video (Top 5!)
Rachel with a huge nose! Flashback episodes are my favorite and I adore watching college Ross win over present-day Rachel.

Best Monica & Chandler episode: The One With the Birth Mother
Monica & Chandler go to meet a potential birth mother (Anna Faris!), who thinks they're a doctor and a reverend because of a mix up (which is REALLY funny because the case worker is played by Jim O'Heir, who is Jerry on Parks & Rec, so he messes things up no matter what show he's on).  Monica pretending to be a reverend is hilarious, but there's also an insanely sweet moment at the end.  "I love my wife more than anything in this world. And I...it kills me that I can't give her a baby.  I really want a kid. And when that day finally comes, I'll learn how to be a good dad. But my wife...she's already there. " TEARS.

Best Phoebe & Mike episode: The One With Princess Consuela
"If you need an easy way to remember it, just think of a bag of crap." Ugh, I love these two. Also, their wedding episode is the cutest.  I wish Phoebe and Mike had more screen time overall.

Best Everyone Episodes: The One Where No One's Ready (Top 5!)
The best bottle episode EVER. Really, maybe the best episode of Friends ever?  Monica's all paranoid, Joey and Chandler are arguing, Phoebe gets the hummus, Ross is impatient, Rachel can't decide what to wear...it's all the best things about everyone.

The One With the Embryos
Monica and Rachel go up against Chandler and Joey to see who knows the others best, they do it game show style, and Ross puts it on.  Also, Phoebe gets artificially inseminated with her brother's babies. Pretty much everyone is hilarious in this one.

Now tell me your favorite episodes/moments/characters!  What did I leave out?