Day 1.3 OJJ

Yay!! Sky Mall! I can buy a Harry Potter Marauder's Map all my own.

(I just want to apologize in advance to everyone who's getting email
notices for my updates. I'm just SO EXCITED and have to share! I'll
try to keep my posts to a dull roar till Monday, I promise.)

Day 1.2 OJJ

And I forgot my damn rings. Now I feel down right naked.

Day 1 of Operation Just Jess

I already feel like I've forgotten something important at home. Oh
wait. I have! And he's gently snoring in his crib...


2:50 pm

I was sitting at the computer when suddenly I was attacked by a flubber-cheeked zerberter. Don't know what that is? Well, lucky for you I captured one and held him captive on my lap for several minutes this afternoon. Here's proof:

Creature responds well.

Later HQ2 makes contact. Creature abandons zerberts all together and instead opts for no holds barred cuteness in response:


Tiffany at Lattes and Life turned me onto a post she found of Lindsey's over at Sweet Simplicity who just wrote a great note about leaving comments via Blogger (you follow that??). If you have an account, there's a way to allow the blog owner to email you back regarding a comment you've left, but many Blogger users don't have this feature enabled (I know I didn't!). And you don't have to use your personal/private email address. I have a blog address set up for This Is Worthwhile and it's what I'm going to be using.

Why even mention this? Well, because it's wonderful to receive comments from readers, but a pain in the ass when you can't personally respond to them. Other blog-hosting sites have a "leave an email address" built in to the comments section, but Blogger doesn't. It leaves it up to you to flip that switch, which leaves many awesome comments unresponded to except in the same comments stream - and I'm not so certain that many people come back to a post just to see if there are any comments to their comments.

So, without further ado, I'm going to share with you Lindsey's tutorial (minus images - you'll have to go to her blog for that).

1. Click on the Customize link in the upper right hand corner of your screen.
2. Click on the Dashboard link in the upper right hand corner of your screen.
3. Click on Edit Profile, which is on the left hand side of the screen next to your picture.
4. This will take you to the Edit User Profile screen.
5. Look in the Privacy section.
6. Check the box that says, "Show my email address".
7. In the Identity section, enter in an email address.
8. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on Save Profile.

When you add your e-mail address in the above spot, it does not change the e-mail address that you use to log-in. I'm assuming that most of you have a personal e-mail address and generic blog e-mail address. I entered my generic blog e-mail address in that spot. My personal e-mail address is still where I receive notifications of new comments and it is what I use to log in to blogger.

I hope this everyone updates their accounts so that I can give better and more frequent responses to their thoughtful and smart comments.


Tumbling [almost] twos

Is there a bubble suit or something for toddlers? Or an invisible force field to protect their chubby little limbs and saucer-shaped eyes?

In the past couple of weeks Hollis has taken more tumbles than in his entire life combined and they've been bigger than the run of the mill trips and falls (think more along the lines of cracking his head on a corner). They're scary because of the potential for injury.

The first incident was while we were video chatting with Anthony when he was in Greece. Hollis was on a chair next to me. I looked left for a second and when I looked back I saw a blur to my right and he was on his head and neck then flat on his back. I hissed, "SHIT!" and leaped over and scooped him up. I'm abnormally paranoid about neck and back injuries and so I was greatly relieved that all parts were moving and the worst that happened was he had a smudge of rug burn on his head. He sobbed for a few minutes, hiccuping his upset into my neck.

The next incident occurred out back in one of our plastic Adirondack chairs. I mention their plasticity because it means they weigh as much as a handful of popcorn. Again, we were hanging out, sitting side by side, talking about the weather and the birds and the leaves. I look right and when I look back to my left: NO CHAIR! He'd flipped it right over the ledge, done a flip, and was now pinned under the chair with a mouthful of crispy Texas dirt. I had no idea I had the power of flight, but I do. I flew to his side and searched his face. He was shaken up, but didn't seem to be in pain. I brushed him off, helped him spit out the dirt in his mouth, and told him that must have been pretty crazy. He just looked at me as if to say, "I'm not so sure about all this," but nary a tear appeared.

There have been other moments like these as he becomes more confident physically and more curious in general. I know that pain, injury, and failed experiments are critical to his development, but jesus christ - I feel gray hairs sprouting now. I need Valium.

I wonder all the time how my mother could have ever let us leave the house for hours at a time completely unsupervised. It's a miracle I'm alive. That any of us are alive! I used to play in a "creek" with friends, which was really just gutter runoff. I can't imagine what kind of radio active shit was in there, but there I was, neck deep in it. I used to scale fences, flip off of monkey bars, and ride across town for an ice cream cone alone. I can't imagine my life without those things to bolster my imagination and confidence, but does that mean I have to let my kid do those things too?? I can barely stand watching him fall in my own backyard let alone contemplate him OUT THERE all on his own. Someone shoot me now.

Seriously, is it just me or does our world today seem a lot more dangerous than the one in which we grew up?? What's the big difference anyway? The dissemination of information about bad things? Is that the biggest change? That now we hear all about the heinous things our brothers have done against us or are crimes against the young and innocent really on the rise? Were there really less bad men out there when I was a kid in the 70s and 80s and that's why our mothers let us run amok?

I'm glad I have a few years to work this out. I definitely don't want to be a helicopter mom, I don't think I have it in me even if I wanted to, but there's a fine line between robbing my child of a sense of self and of his own accomplishments and keeping him safe. Do I say NO to all the things he wants to dive into because it's dangerous? Will he never get to play with firecrackers? Will I not let him take apart the toaster because he might get electrocuted? Or do I let him experiment, possibly get hurt, and learn from it?

I want him to have a rich and exciting life and I want him to do all sorts of things in this life time like these things:

But can my heart really handle it?? Oy. Maybe I should just invest in some of this for me:

And one of these for Hollis:

And call it all good.


Date night at the Alamo

Anthony and I have been pretty good recently about having date nights. Somehow, him being gone more frequently causes us to be more diligent about spending time alone together. Like tonight, for example. I wore my $20 Old Navy dress and $300 Frye's boots (nothing like mixing it up, right?) and we went to the Alamo Draft House at the Village.

For those of you not lucky enough to have an Alamo near you, it's a dinner theater here in Austin. You can order drinks, food, appetizers, you name it, all while sitting in a comfy theater chair and watching a movie. Tonight, we watched G.I. Joe (it was 'aight).

And I had some lovely glasses of wine and a delectable pizza called Wild At Artichoke Hearts. Yeah. Can you say, "YUM!"? We came home after that and chilled and I am currently pondering the state of my plump little navel.

It's funny how we - we meaning everyone - need "date nights." Our lives get so hectic that it's a requisite part of a relationship these days. I'm ok with it, totally, it just make me go, "Hmmm," that's all.

So, I'm gonna sit here and continue to sip on some lovely red wine and think about the universe and love and relationships and how awesome it is that my honey is asleep in the other room safe and sound. Then I'll think some more about the state of everything afar and sunder and how I'm damned lucky that I don't have some evil serum injected into my body that makes me do things out of character like blow up the Eiffel Tower or my friend's face. And then I'm gonna be really, really happy about it and my funky life as matron of honor.

I forgot to add that we got this text about a minute after the movie started from my mom:
Momentous moment: h pooped in the bathtub!!! It was a log, just like a babyruth, OMG. He kept calling it "BeBe" & grabbing his butt. It took me awhile to catch on to what was happning. The grunting was the real give away.......
Momentous moment indeed!!


Humble pie: Double whammy

I really think about what I put out there into the ether and I hope that it connects with people. I'm not saying it's always terrific stuff, but it's real and it's definitely me. So, when someone takes notice and says, "Hey, I think you're pretty neat," I'm nothing short of floored and deeply touched. Despite it being my goal, it doesn't mean I expect it to happen.

To that end, Noble Savage and Mommy Maria have both tagged me for two different writer's nods. Noble Savage for a writer's meme (originating from Linda at You’ve Got Your Hands Full) and Maria for an award (originating from The Scholastic Scribe).

And thank you. Both of you. It means a lot to me. I'm truly humbled.

First, the meme:

Which words do you use too much in your writing?

right?, vernacular, and fuck

Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?

douchebag, at the end of the day, and mommy wars

What’s your favourite piece of writing by you?

I've recently found my stride, so I'd have to say anything I've written in the past 3 weeks.

Outside of that, it'd have to be either of these uplifting notes.

What blog post do you wish you’d written?

Wow. This is a really hard one. I've read thousands of posts and have thought a thousand times, "Holy shit, that was incredible. So thoughtful, so wise, so right on!"

If I have to choose just one, then I think it'd be this one by an anonymous poster. Even weeks after having read it I still think about it, am haunted by it, and talk about it to others. I could never have written it, never having had an abortion or done adoption, but I was deeply moved and she made me think about our current laws and society in a way I'd never thought of before.

Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn’t written?

I regret that for so many months I've tried to write about what other people might want to read. Ultimately, this is for me and for me to be truly authentic and original then I need to stay in that vein. If I'm thinking about Google trends or giveaways then I've lost myself entirely.

As far as an individual post goes, no. I don't regret anything.

How has your writing made a difference? What do you consider your most important piece of writing?'

I'm not really sure my writing's made any difference, but I hope that it sheds light on the microcosm of motherhood; what it's like to make such a drastic life change for the health and well-being of another. There is nothing quite like making the decision to forgo a career (no matter for how long) to nurture another human being. It's self sacrifice to the nth degree, therefore it's also indescribably difficult to maintain a sense of self. It'd be so easy to slip into a state of martyrdom and I hope that by talking openly about this that other men and women staying at home don't feel so alone. I know that reading others' tales has helped me immensely. I'm just trying to pay it forward.

A good friend of mine once spoke of my vaccination post and how it really helped her decide what to do. It was important to her, so I'll say that was an important post of mine, for sure.

Name three favorite words

precocious, lovely, sunshine

…And three words you’re not so keen on

douchebag, FAIL, and f#$!

Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?

My role models are writers such as the Noble Savage who pulls no punches and is wicked smart, yet warm like honey. How does she pull that off? I have no idea, but she does and I am definitely engaged and aspiring to be as passionate and powerful in my own opinions as she is. And Lesbian Dad, whose posts are nothing short of a delicious field trip into her world. Her insight, unique perspective, and mastery of the English language are, in my opinion, infallible.

I also aspire to be as open and honest as my friend Rayma who writes for her friends only. Her words are often luminous and I am inspired by her journey and her tales.

Lastly, my sister is an incredible observer of people and her words are like art tripping across a page: you get lost in their tumble.

What’s your writing ambition?

To be true to myself. To make connections. To shed light.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever gotten about your writing?

That it was real and smart. And this meme tag from NS and Scribbler Award from Maria.

The rules:
Please link to my original, then link to three to five other bloggers and pass it on, asking them to answer your questions and link to you. You can add, remove or change one question as you go. You absolutely do not have to be what you may think of as a “published” or “successful” writer to respond to this meme, I hope people can take the time to reflect on what their blogging has brought them and how it has been useful to others.

I’m tagging Baby in Broad, Cave Mother, and Chronicles of Momnia, and Wired for Noise, but feel free to do it even if you weren’t tagged.


Second, the award:

I’ve been awarded the Scholastic Scribe Award by Maria at Mommy Maria. Everyone should check out her blog. She's sharp as a tack, dry as Chianti, and funny as all hell. Her writing will transport you straight into her boisterous and lovable Greek-Canadian family and her "insane in the mundane" mental state. She's nothing short of terrific.

The award rules:

  1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass on the award to 5 deserving blogs.
  2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received the award.
  3. Each Superior Scribbler must display the award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains the award.
  4. Each blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives this prestigious honor!
  5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.
My choices for this award are different than my choices for the meme above. Without exception these ladies' writings are fun and honest; a peak into their lives with candor and a freshness unmatched elsewhere. They're not sugar coating anything, but yet you can still feel the love they experience each day in their posts. This isn't an easy thing to accomplish. A blog written by a mother is either too sappy sweet or it's all about how she's "...swapped out the milk with vodka tonight because I'm hard like that and I don't care, but I really do care, so don't judge". These ladies, on the other hand, have all struck that magical balance that I envy and strive for.

Check 'em out.

Loukia - Loulou's Views
Jill - Scary Mommy
Elisa - Diary of an Unlikely Housewife
Maria - Mommy Maria - even if she hadn't given me this award in the first place, I'd have picked her for this


Current head space

Just to give you an idea of where I'm at right now: I have an appointment with my therapist, whom I've been seeing for the greater part of a fucking decade (what can I say? I believe in the process), on Thursday afternoon. However, I'm thinking of skipping it, using the child care I've already arranged, and getting a pedi instead.


I also have about a dozen really cute Hollis things to share that are about to explode out of me. So, I'll leave you with this:

It's so fucking hot out in Texas right now that the only way I can get my son any vitamin D is by allowing him to play with the hose at his leisure. I know. We're also in a drought and have strict water covenants, but what can I say? It's either him and me or the state of Texas and I think we all know where I stand on that.


He likes to water paving stones.

He likes to water plants.

He likes to wash away his impure image -- oh wait -- that's me.

He likes to water my feet.

He likes to water himself.

He likes to repose.

But mostly, he just makes me have sunshine inside. I don't know whether or not he likes this. But I do.

Update: I canceled. Will attempt a reschedule for next week before I head out to San Fran.