Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Labor of Love- Rinks' turns 1.

I remember when I was 15 I couldn't wait to turn 16. And when I was 17, I would count down the days until the weekends- those chilly October Friday night ballgames or date nights with a guy in a fast car and a slow smile, hurrying my way through life to the next big thing. When I graduated from college, which I also tried to finish early so I could get on with being a prestigious adult, I couldn't wait to get married and then carry on with my big career in the flavor of the month. But since this exact time last year, since September 5, 2009 at exactly 3:43pm, life served up a big spoonful of karma in the form of the most precious little boy I could have ever imagined. And the life I have been trying to live in fast forward suddenly seemed to be moving at warp speed. When I brought Rinks home a year ago I was terrified, overjoyed, overwhelmed, and in amazement that a love so big could fit into a little body of 6 pounds 8 ounces. And from that day I have been grabbing on to the coat tails of life begging and pleading with it to slow down, to take it easy on my heart, as I watch each day and then week go by while my little baby turns into a little boy. Each time I hold Rinks I find myself clutching the moment and realizing that one day he will wriggle out of my arms and off into the world. And just as I predicted, with a fierce spirit and a curious mind my little soldier decided to start walking at 10 months. He never wobbled, never paused to ask if I was emotionally ready for it but rather just stood up and started walking. And now after years of looking forward to the next big thing, all I want to do is hold on to what I have at each given moment. Someone once asked me what it was like having a child, and I remember telling them it's like having your heart walking around in the world, feeling everything it feels, and doing everything you can to protect it because your own livelihood depends on it's function. And for my little Rinks, my short bald love, I want to guide each step of the way for him, removing obstacles in life like I remove the pebbles on the playground before he steps on one that might cause him to fall. And just as I know I can't possibly make time stand still, I resolve that this train is not going to slow down any time soon, so I guess that means I will just hold on a little tighter and enjoy the ride.

Happy 1st Birthday Rinks, love of our lives, and bundle of giggles; we love you more than any language could convey.

Mama and Daddy

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dumb Blonde

I have been blonde for approximately 14.7 years. I was a believer that Blondes had more fun. After all, do you think that Norma Jean would have turned into Marilyn Monroe had she not dipped her drab brown strands into a pot of platinum dye? Don't think so. But as I have gotten older, my hair has started to show it's age. No, not in the form of gray, but in the form of a horse mane that was in need of some hydration. So I thought it was about time to go little darker with my peroxide infused locks, I have visions of Jennifer Aniston hair in my immediate future. Since Ashley threatened annihilation the last time I went to the salon, I thought it would be smart to go to Wal-Greens to see what they had to offer.

Before: Blonde Ambition

And I came back with a small box of "toasted coconut medium blonde" which, ironically enough, is exactly how I would describe Jennifer Aniston's hair. I brought it home and got right to work. I lathered and waited and rinsed and dried but there are no words to describe the big reveal. Actually there are, and it would be Skanky, Hot Mess, or Craptastic.

Between: Dyed, Fried, and Laid to the Side

My former Scarlett Johansson locks of love were now likened to heavy metals. Literally, 2 inches down from my scalp looked like a shiny penny while the rest of my hair looked like a cascade of silver nickels. I walked out of the bathroom to Ashley where he just responded with a prompt, "Whoa." But I was not deterred. I am a professional who keeps their cool. So I just pulled my metallic hair back and marched right back to Wal-Greens for round two. I came back with "bronze honey dark blonde". Perfect, I think. How can you go wrong with the three metals that represent the Olympic games? You can, and I did. Now my hair was two lovely shades of bronze and gray.

It was time to call in the big dogs. So the next morning I tucked my tail and ran into the Salon down the street. Linda, whom I now refer to as the Hair Messiah, took one look at me and said, "Honey, we have got our work cut out for us." She studies my hair like a surgeon about to perform brain surgery and begins calling out various tints of color to her nimble servants. She whips up her concoction and says, "I hope you're ready for this" before she slathers the goo all over my Olympic mane.

After: The next cast member of "The Jersey Shore"

And while my journey started with the hopes of saving money while creating a sexy version of Rachel from Friends; two hours and $180 dollars later I walked out of the salon looking like Snookie from Jersey Shore. Oy!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In Da Club

This weekend was my good friend Holly's birthday and to celebrate she wanted to have a fun night out on the town with friends. I was excited about going since the extent of my wild nights these days is when I choose to get spicy peppers on my pizza, or if I'm feeling really crazy I might even go for extra cheese. I haven't always been this lame. In my prime I have been known to shake what my mama so graciously gave me while battling on the dance floor with the best of them. So after a great dinner we decided it was time for some dancing and I was primed and ready. I had on my Spanx for minimal jiggle, my most comfortable wedges with arch support, and my game face on. The music was a little louder than I remembered but the base was vibrating and I felt that familiar groove coming back, like riding a bicycle. When I look on the dance floor there is literally a full out dance battle going on. I feel like I have just walked into a scene from "Step Up." I watch as the participants go toe to toe with the latest moves; moves that look vaguely familiar, from a Lady Ga Ga video that I saw once when trying to find Sesame Street perhaps? One dancer catches my eye and eases his way over and starts dancing in front of me, prompting me to start moving too. Suddenly my mind races to think of any move that I know, my feet are moving in an awkward shuffle as I scour my memory to come up with something, but it seems that since having my baby he not only took away my thin waist, but also any rhythm that I once had. It's me against the music but all I manage to pull out is a side to side two-step that is from circa 1994. I notice that it is making me look more like the Church Lady intead of Brittney Spears in her "Slave" video, and my partner starts to ease away politely. Then, just like the Christmas miracle, I remembered my infamous roundhouse hip swirl move that used to knock em dead. I start rolling and popping my hips like my life and dignity depended on it, "Move aside Beyonce, mama's got this one!" I think to myself. After I finish my best diva moves I take a break and head to the bar to get some water. While there I see a guy who was totally checking me out. I figure he saw me on the dance floor and is now about to come over and ask for my number, to which I am going to have to embarrass him while I tell him that 'sorry, I am married, but I appreciate the offer.' Poor bastard. And just as I predicted, he makes his way over. I pretend not to notice him when he comes up beside me and says, "I saw you dancing out there." Yeah, I thought, eat your heart out. Then he continues, "You look just like a teacher. What grade do you teach?" I looked at him with horror and that's when it hit me. I have crossed the threshold of cool and entered the world of Squareville, I might as well have on a mauve embroidered cardigan with low sensible pumps. And so now I will drown the sorrows of my youth in my spicy peppers and extra cheese, at least while I am still young enough not to get heartburn.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Heartbreak Hotel

Today I was faced with every working mom's worst nightmare. I came home after work as I do everyday to greet the Nanny and my little bundle of joy. We chat for a moment about the day and then she proceeds to make her way out. And just as she is walking out the door, Rinks goes barreling after her (seriously, he was faster than Lindsay Lohan's jail sentence) and begins climbing up her leg wanting her to pick him up. As his tender, loving mother I walk over and pick him since he obviously has us confused and thought he was climbing up my leg. But just as she shuts the door behind her, Rinks starts bawling while in my arms... the arms of the person that gave him life. So I did what any reasonable person would do. I sat my 11-month old down on the couch for a face to face meeting.
"Listen," I said as he started chewing on the remote control. "Do you see these stretch marks? That was you, Mister. And do you remember that really bad diaper 3 weeks ago? The one that caused even Buddy the dog to start gagging? Well who do you think cleaned that up? That's right. Me." Rinks has stopped chewing the remote control and has now moved on to throwing the pillows off the couch, but I will not be deterred. "I don't want to burst your bubble, little boy blue, but the Nanny- the one that you apparently have gone Rogue for- well I pay her to hang out with you. But me? I do it for FREE. Because mama loves you and you need to remember that."

Rinks looks at me for a brief moment, and then starts making farting noises with his mouth.

I think he got my point.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Fun Police

I have said it once, and I will say it again. The Boy in the Bubble is likely to have more fun than Rinks as long as Ashley a.k.a. The Fun Police is around. And this past week confirmed my theory on this point.

Let me explain.

We decided to take a family vacation to the Gulf Shore beaches this week, never mind that it was burning like the 5th realm of hell, it was Rinks first trip to the beach and we were excited to see how he would react to it. So we pack up our 12 bags, beach tent, chairs, blankets, coolers, and walk down to the white sandy beaches for fun in the sun. I can see Ashley tense up as I slather SPF 100 on Rinks who is sitting on the blanket...under the tent... that is under a pier (can you see the picture being painted here?) So I begin to lay out Rinks toys as he makes his way to the edge of the blanket where he proceeds to eat the sand. I start laughing and taking pictures to document the world's most adorable moment. But then I look up to see Ashley literally rocking back and forth in his chair in a state of panic as he looks on at Rinks eating the earth's polluted salt. "What's wrong?" I ask, already knowing the answer. "He is getting sand all over him, it's in his mouth!" "That is so strange", I say feigning disbelief. "Since we are ON A BEACH." I have never been known for my subtlety, or empathy. Meanwhile Rinks is quickly becoming a human sand castle as sand makes its way into every crevice and he is giggling with delight. But the human fun-o-meter sounds his alarm at the sight of too much amusement and scoops up Rinks as he announces, "We're going to the pool... where it is clean."

And so Captain Party Pooper marches our little sand crab up to the pool to "clean him off" with 12 other kids who have all just put the P in P-O-O-L.

The Little Sand Crab himself.