Saturday, December 9, 2017

Rose turns 1

Rose had two celebrations this year: One with me and Ron on her actual day, and one with the rest of the fam over Thanksgiving weekend.

People who know me know that I don't care about organized sports and that I don't know the difference between a grand slam and a third down. (What the HELL is a "down?")  Somehow I found myself at a football game on my daughter's first birthday, mostly because two of my freshmen--both on the football team--invited us for this faculty appreciation thing.  The weather wasn't awesome, but we still had a great time--even me, even though I had no clue what anyone in the football costumes were doing.  We basically had a free pass all around the stadium, and two of the touchdowns (ok, I know what they are) were basically scored at our feet which was cool.  We only stayed for the first half--if it had been warmer, we probably would've stayed for the whole thing.

We cheated and asked, "How big is Rosebud? Sooo big!" ... not "touchdown."  You can't tell though.

After the game, Rose stayed with Ron's parents and he and I went out to dinner.

All I wanted were arancini and a cocktail.

And there were cupcakes for Rose back at my in-laws' before we went home.

Every beverage you can imagine, including an apple cider sangria.  All of the decorations here are either from the dollar store (tissue poofs) or things I already owned.

I guess you could say the party was a pumpkin and roses theme, but it wasn't something I thought too much about.  I consider Rose's birthday a fall/Thanksgiving birthday, not Christmas.  I don't like rushing the season, so I bought fall leaves themed plates and napkins.  All of my other "party" stuff that I own is turquoise and pink, and I had no intention of knocking myself out and buying a ton of new stuff.  I just made it all work together.

My mother in law did all of the flower arrangements.

You know those pumpkins I had at the foot of my driveway all of September and October AND November? Somebody stole them two days before her party. Bastards.  I bought them knowing that they would look perfect for the party many weeks later.  They somehow survived mischief night ... and disappeared on Thanksgiving. Thanks, jerks.

Twice I've ordered this Ultimate White cake from Wegman's, and twice the bakery people have hassled me: "Why are you putting white roses on a white cake? That's not what you mean--here, we'll do pink." "NO I would like WHITE please. PLEASE do not do pink roses." "Yeah, lady, but the cake is WHITE."  "YES I KNOW THAT. I KNOW WHAT WHITE IS."  "We don't think that you do." [SIGH]

Omigod: her dress. My Aunt Louise bought it for her.  The bodice is crocheted with a laced back.  It fit perfectly.  It was oddly warm that day--in the 60s--so I wore my vintage (backless) rose dress and summer sandals. Frankly, if it had been -30 that day, I would've worn the same thing because when I bought this dress in May, I thought, "I'm wearing this in 6 months for my daughter's bday, dammit." And I did.

Rose looks like a slightly smooshed cupcake here.

Mom, she looks exactly like you here. It's the squinty thing with the eyes.

That's the face of a child who needs to go to bed.

We opened gifts the next morning--too much the day before.

My cousin gave her this tunnel ball pit thing. I'm like, "Jenny, where the hell am I supposed to put this?!" Whatever, she loves it.

Of course, Rose has to share everything with Penny ...

... and Pearl (Pearl has literally taken over this chair--she seriously has laid claim to it) ...

... and Penny again.

Making it to her first birthday was MAJOR.  I consider my friend Laurie a major Momma Guru, so I was relieved to hear her say, "Oh, the first birthday is always so sad. It just is."  I was like, "THANK YOU because I couldn't understand what was wrong with me!  How many moms don't get to have a first birthday with their baby? It's horrifying. I'm lucky enough to have a healthy baby and I'm DEVASTATED because she's one?"  But Laurie said, "Because the first year goes too fast. And your brain is barely functioning and you don't remember most of it and *poof* it's gone.  And you know it's not slowing down. Don't worry, the birthdays get happier from here on out."

And it WAS a very happy birthday, but I was caught off guard by the sad factor.  I didn't expect that.  The other strange thing is that I hadn't realized how much I had BUILT UP the first birthday in my mind.  The days following the party were a little weird for me because (apparently?) I had expected that my routine would radically improve and become easier. (Ha.)  It dawned on me that for twelve months, on some deeply buried, subconscious level, I had been telling myself, "If I can just get through this first year, EVERYTHING will get easier and I will suddenly be an expert and everything will make sense again and my brain will work and it'll be just like before." And then that didn't happen ... the first two weeks of her second year were just like all the ones before.  On the one hand, this is a good thing: she's healthy, I'm healthy, no drama, pretty predictable.  On the other hand, I still have to do EVERYTHING for her all day long and it's just draining and exhausting on every level.  I think a part of me really believed that she would wake up on Year 1 Day 1 talking, walking, and potty trained, and she'd be totally capable of pushing a vacuum and driving herself to her pediatrician appointments.  And when that didn't happen, I had to spend (and I'm still spending) many, many hours readjusting my expectations.

It's ok, though. Nothing is wrong. I've never done this before, so what do I know?

Friday, December 1, 2017

November--(almost) all of it

I've barely practiced in weeks.  When I do, I have to tune out Rose playing with me.

Lots of warm days

I made my mom's cake and it was quite possibly the ugliest looking cake ever: an apple spice cake with apple butter filling.  I should've made it in a tube pan (which I didn't own) or a loaf pan (which can be complicated, ie, still raw in the center and about to burn on top).  The glaze I made for it totally sank into the top layer rather than staying shiny on top.  A comedy of errors. Oh well.

Ron looks awful because he has a raging headache.  See the apple cake in the foreground? That's what an apple cake should look like.

Annie came home for the weekend, so we went over to say hi to her and bye to her childhood home. I'm in total denial that her parents are selling that house.

She has my hair ... it's only deceptively straight.

My mom sent me this at school ...

... and this one (she looks just like my mom here, although my mom doesn't think so) ...

... and she sent me all of these this week.
I don't like selfies, but this filled up 5 minutes of time while we waited for something else ... probably for the oven to preheat or whatever.

Meanwhile: the Fluffs.

Their laziness has reached epic proportions.

I'm not exaggerating: They sleep 20 hours a day. Maybe 22.


I'm not kidding.

(Can you tell I startled them here? Can you tell I don't care?) I know because Pearl sleeps with me from 11pm-8am; Penny is on the couch at that time and I hear her come in between 7 and 8 in the morning.  And then during daylight hours, they're both on my bed (which, I SWEAR to you, is typically made 99% of the time).

Can you die from sleeping too much? I don't know.  I know you can't die from sleeping too little or I would've died back in the 90s.  Or last November.  They're still alive, so I guess it's ok? I mean, I am NOT kidding, they are never awake for longer than 15 consecutive minutes and usually they're eating during that time.

Speaking of death (sorry, that was seriously not planned), I found this guy on my front step.  Like, literally inches from my door.  I thought someone shot him with a BB.  Ron says that's not a BB.  I don't know.  But he was sad to find.

Thanksgiving at my parents'.

2016 and 2017--see me in the top photo? That's the face of a woman who did NOT die from seven consecutive days of not sleeping and was embarking on her 8th consecutive night.  Still alive ... still here ... somehow ...

School has been kicking my ass.  Not in a "I wanna quit" kind of way.  More like a "I love my job and I want to get all the details right, but my memory is broken, and my communication skills are crap, and I start a sentence and don't know how to finish it because I forget halfway through, and--HOLY CRAP TODAY'S THURSDAY??? THAT THING I FORGOT AND JUST REMEMBERED WAS DUE TWO DAYS AGO wait no, nevermind it's not due until NOVEMBER 29th HOLY CRAP IT'S NOT OCTOBER IT'S BEEN NOVEMBER FOR THREE WEEKS ALREADY I AM SCREWED."  It's not my job's fault. It's my brain's fault for being so friggin stupid.

I miss being smart.  It used to be so great.  Most days I just kinda feel like Patrick from Spongebob.  Only less pink and with a shirt on.

Sometimes I really am amazed by how dumb I've become in the past year.  There are GAPING holes in my memory. If these holes existed as a result of excessive partying, I would have fewer problems with it.  At least I would have something fun to show for it.  Instead, these holes exist because frankly something has gotta give.  Tragically, it's stuff that really matters to me. I don't even get to pick what I forget.  I would love to forget that time someone who used to be my friend SCREAMED at me--as in verbally and loudly unloaded many months worth of resentment toward me--in front of everyone at the job where we both worked.  I definitely wouldn't mind hitting delete on that.  But, no. It's still there. Crystal clear.  Meanwhile, at least FIVE times this semester I have gone to quote stuff that I used to have MEMORIZED by heart.  Really important stuff, like the definition of Mill's utilitarianism, or that thing Susan Moller Okin said in her book back in 1989 (I've flubbed that one twice, three times if you count this), or the exact word for word definition of the first formulation of Kant's categorical imperative (there are four--you think I remember the other three?).  This stuff MATTERS.  I need this stuff to be mentally within arm's length at any given time ... but it's not anymore.  It really stings to have my mind let me down so badly and so repeatedly.

Luckily, I don't think my students notice because they didn't know me a year ago.  There's nothing for them to compare me to. But I know. And I don't like it.  MOST stuff memorized prior to last November is largely untouched.  But not all of it.  Anything memorized after November 2016 comes through like a bad mimeograph or some cruddy fax.  (Yes, mimeograph--not even a photocopy.) 

The scary part is ... I don't think it's coming back.  I think my mind is badly damaged, and while it has recovered somewhat, it's not 100% and frankly I don't see how it ever could be.  This is disappointing to say the least.  All I keep thinking is, if all of this has been stolen from me, what's the insurance policy? ie, Will something else replace it? Or is it really just downhill from here?  It remains to be seen.

Anyway. Whatever.

I have a ton of birthday pictures that I have to post. I also have two stacks of papers to grade. So.