I have some of my most memorable and humorous marital conversations in the dark of our bedroom at night. Here is a snippet of one such conversation from the other day.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Posted by Jillian at 1:23 PM
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I have to say though, that the only problem I ever experience with my bike is when going over bumps in the road occasionally the skirt guard pops loose and begins to rattle. And while it is easily remedied, it can tend to be annoying. Other than that, I still make passionate love to it in my dreams every day.
So we rode, and we rode, and we rode, and we passed the place in the photo above that rents canoes and kayaks on the Potomac. It smelled like hamburgers and sunscreen and everything that is summer. I wanted to stop and jump in the river, but I had no bathing suit. I will remember that next time.
We finally made it to Georgetown and I got my ice cream. Which was quickly hijacked by Elsbeth, but lucky for me she is a very giving little girl. Jeremy asked me if I thought I could make it back and I said that actually I felt fine and thought I would have no problem. Had the sugar gone to my brain already? DUN DUN DUN
But I did it. And I lived. I did eat many small insects unwittingly on the ride back, but they were thankfully not of the crunchy variety. When it was all said and done we had biked 24 miles in a couple of hours. I was in the passionate throes of patting myself on the back when some killjoy had to go and say that he commutes that every day. AND he was older than my Dad. So I got in the car seat next to Ellie and we sucked our "fumbs" together because we're just widdle baby bikers.
The next day I was running up all of our stairs two at a time like an Olympian and Jeremy mentioned several times that he was sore and how he was impressed with my endurance and recovery. Yeah, I said, you shoot a watermelon sized person out of your crotch and see what pales in comparison. He was heard mumbling something to the effect of, Ummmmmm NO.
Then on Sunday after church we went to a local orchard to pick blackberries. We picked about six pounds and I believe Ellie managed to eat three or four (AHEM, three of four POUNDS) that didn't make it into the bucket.
Then we took a hay ride because what's more fun on a sweltering summer day than sitting in a pile of itchy straw? Come on? Ellie had the hots for the tractor man who looked to be about 80 give or take a decade. The made goo goo faces at one another while he drove the tractor WITHOUT LOOKING and I stood by suffering about a dozen mild strokes.
And then there was this slide. Jeremy and Ellie rode it over and over and over and each time the grin on their faces was priceless. I didn't get near it because I am still suffering from flashbacks of the time I fell of one of these as a child at the state fair. Damn carnies.
Monday, July 28, 2008
I would like to declare to you in a public and binding statement that you in no way played a part in the corruption of my mind. Nor did you ever influence my vocabulary with potty words. I think we should blame all of that on Dad. And the T.V. Especially MTV because as everyone knows, it's run by satan.
You made it clear to me on the phone the other day after you read my recent post that you did not find my colorful language very humorous, or lady like for that matter. And we who know you know that being a lady is something you value very much. You did a very good job of teaching me to act like a lady and so my "roughness" has nothing to do with you. It's my inner man. I call him Frank. Frank has a mind of his own, and even when I tell him to shush, I'm trying to act like a lady, he eventually pops out and I say something that makes just about everyone either chuckle or blush.
Mother, I am sorry that I am only 98% perfect and you have to chide me for my lack of grace. At least now you finally know that I'm human. I admire that you've never lowered your standards and resorted to abusing the English language like the rest of our family. You are content to sit innocently on the side lines and say, "what, what's so funny about the word tea bag?", and that is why we love you. Well, that is one of the many, many reasons we love you. The other reasons are because of all the ways you're perfect.
I hope that in time you'll be able to accept my potty mouth and inappropriate conversations because you know what's in my heart. Lots of love. And lots of inappropriate jokes. But mostly love. You know I don't make fun of other people (unless they're members of my family) and that if anyone is the brunt of a joke it's usually me. Me making fun of me. Or me making fun of Gordon. Or everyone making fun of Dad. I think it's just how we love each other. That and punching each other in the leg.
For the record, I love you to infinity and when I was a little girl and wanted to make myself cry all I had to do was think about moving out of the house and tears would start flying out of my eyes. Now all I have to do to cry is think about cleaning the house.
You should win an award.
The award for the way people should be.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Getting out of the house is a big deal for me and so I usually try to make myself look presentable. The other day I was getting crazy with my wardrobe and decided to turn a skirt that I had worn during pregnancy into a mini dress with a chunky leather belt high on my waist. I had to wear my only strapless bra and it is very ill-fitting but it does the trick.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
To properly understand this story we must first go back in time a few years. As a child I was very bookish. In fact, I preferred reading books to almost any activity. Most evenings my Mother would have to come into my room and tell me to stop reading and go to bed and she would then turn the lights off. And I would attempt to read in the dark. I have a sneaking suspicion that is why I am now legally blind, or close to it without contacts.
Because I lived in so many worlds inside my mind I never much paid attention to how I looked in the real world, or the physical one, however you look at it. Aside: There is your dose of existentialism for the day. Another effect of my bookish ways was my propensity towards chubbiness. I never played sports or ran around with the other kids much because I preferred to lay on the couch or under a tree and read. And because of this I garnered the lovely nickname of "Baby manatee".
When I look at pictures of myself (and I'm OH SO sorry that I can't figure my scanner out to post some of them for you here today) from that era it is almost painful. I can usually be found with huge round frame glasses Ala Sally Jessee Raphael, and some random large T-shirt tucked into a lovely pair of high waisted, tapered leg pants. The term wallflower was an understatement. Wall catastrophe would be a more apt description.
And then puberty hit. And I got boobs, really big boobs. It seemed almost overnight that my height shot up a foot and I became lean. I also finally got contact lenses and it was possible to view my face for once. I started high school and for the first time boys were taking a notice in me. Alot of boys it seemed. This new found attention caused me to take a bigger interest in my wardrobe and Jillian discovered the Gap. What wonders these changes wrought in me.
So our story of the mirrors begins at the onset of my transformation from the ugly bookworm. My maternal Grandparents had come to Pennsylvania for a visit and had not seen me in a while. They always did have a strange sense of humor. Mostly it was my Grandmother, but my Grandfather seemed to willingly play along. Every year for Christmas it was some strange thing that they would do for every one's present. I remember once getting one hundred one dollar bills sewn together in one giant roll and a box that contained a seam ripper and a note that read: Anything worth having is worth working for. I tried to take it to the bank in the roll in the hopes that they might take pity on me and cash them. When I got to the counter, the teller took one look at it and yelled, "OH NO!" and pointed her finger to the door. It took me over a year to sit down and carefully rip apart all of those bills.
But the visit we are speaking of happened in the fall, months before Christmas. During that time of metamorphoses I could be found around the house almost always singing, applying makeup, and even dramatically reciting Shakespeare. In. The. Mirror. I was always looking at myself. And not just in mirrors, in anything that might reflect my image. I believe that the Grandparents thought that I was perhaps a little too vain, and maybe I was, but I don't remember it that way.
I looked at myself so many times in the way that you might pinch yourself to make sure you're not dreaming when something unbelievable happens. Because although my outside had transformed before my eyes without my attempts to make it so, or even a desire for it to happen, inside I was still the bookish, chubby little girl with the big glasses. In a time in most girl's lives that can be very painful, I was having an incredible adventure. And I would look at myself and wonder what it was that had changed, and what it was that people took notice of now. I would ask myself why, and then go back to the singing and the applying of makeup.
The months came and went as months always do, and soon Christmas had arrived. A very large brown box came for me in the mail. It was from the Grandparents and I couldn't wait to open it. I cut it open and sifted through the tissue paper and found...a mirror. I thought that perhaps they had made a beauty package with makeup and hair accessories so I dug through the box for more and found...another mirror. When the box was emptied I sat on the kitchen floor surrounded by over 25 mirrors of varying shapes and sizes. I didn't understand why they had sent me all the mirrors until my mother explained it to me. I remember wanting to cry and telling my Mom she could have all of them as I headed up to my room.
In hindsight perhaps it was a good thing for them to point out my innocent vanity instead of letting me continue to unwittingly embarrass myself. After all when Elsbeth slaps her diaper front in the store and screams, "I GO PEE-PEE!" I quietly shush her and explain the privacy of such matters. I suppose it's all in the delivery. Mary Poppins truly said it best when she said, "A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down."
Both of my Grandparents have passed away now and I hold nothing against them. I don't think there was malice in their intent when they sent me all those mirrors. And while it hurt my feelings at the time, I think it is important to attempt to examine the heart of someone who hurts us, many times it is done without knowing it.
Dear "Aged One", I know that may not have been the barrel 'O laughs you were anticipating, but "thems the facts" as I recall them anyway. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and look at myself.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Dear "Aged One" I will indulge your request and tell the story of the mirrors, but not today. That will probably be tomorrow. Today I want you to enter the dark recesses of my mind with me. Please put your happy faces on because this is going to be a departure from my usual heavy on the optimism posts.
Monday, July 21, 2008
One of the greatest joys for me about being a parent is the ability to shape a young mind and impress my views of the world upon it. People give me the strangest looks when I compare having a toddler to owning a parrot. It is though, except eventually the toddler actually knows what it's saying, and "Hot Damn" is no longer cute or funny.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Ever since Elsbeth and I rode the bus and train a couple of days ago, I have not heard the end of the recounting on her part. Oh, to be a baby again! She tells the story as I would tell you about being invited into the Paris Flea Market before anyone else arrived and then given an unlimited amount of money to spend.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I looked everywhere. they were not in any of the places they were supposed to be and not in any of the places they might have been either. My car keys. Jeremy moved it the other day and now his nasty little habit of not ever putting things back in "their home" had affected me and my mobility.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Well, well, well, have you been anxiously awaiting with baited breath to hear of my trials and triumphs in this undertaking of drastic life-changing proportions? NO? Well, too bad you're going to hear about it anyway. I have yet to decide how frequently I will post updates of this little thing that I am doing. Right now I am thinking weekly, but if something note worthy occurs, then perhaps that will change.
Let me first begin by telling you something of where exactly I am and what it is like. We are living in a town home in a beautiful suburb of D.C. This place has four floors and five sets of stairs! Bless my aching legs, but hey, it's exercise right? Upon our arrival with the great yellow monster of a truck, we were greeted most warmly by anyone who happened to be walking by, and there are alot of people walking here. I was struck by the broad range of nationalities represented and how everyone seemed to live in friendly harmony together in one area.
I have lived in metropolitan areas before, Chicago being the largest among them, and never have I seen anything like this. Especially the kindness of these people. When I lived in Chicago, I would notice many different cultures and there was some assimilation, but for the most part, everyone kept to themselves and each ethnic group had it's various neighborhoods where they lived and frequented.
Here, everyone just coexists in this strange Utopian kind of existence. I find it quite fitting that as the melting pot of the world, our nations capitol could represent such a wonderful example of this.
Now, on to the experiment. My bicycle has sat forlornly in the garage since our arrival. I still have no child seat for Ellie. I am waiting to try the streets on my bike while Jeremy transports her. I actually have not seen many cyclists, many more people I see taking public transit or walking. Which is exactly what I have been doing.
Jillian's Green Experiment Progress Report:
A+ for walking to the grocery on all but one occasion and purchasing locally grown peaches and grass-fed beef and organic cheese at the markets.
A+ for walking to the post office and drug store with a 22lb baby strapped to her chest.
A++ For living without cable and resisting the urge to put a movie in every night, and instead engaging her husband in lengthy conversations about the future and what it may hold. (A little surprise for you, Dear readers, the future may soon hold a baby)
C for taking the metro but driving the 2 miles to the metro stop. I vow to take the bus to the metro or ride my bike there in the future
A+ For joining a gym, but C for only going 2X last week
A+ for diligently recycling and making good use of empty glass jars as storage containers for various small things.
**Please press play on this song and listen to it as you read this post, and for Pete's sake please disregard the video and just listen to the song...do you have any IDEA how hard it is to find this song?**
Many moons ago when I was still a young idiot, I used to work at this place. Beer cart girl ranks at the top of The Dilettante's list of most fun jobs that make lots 'o cash. On one particular day, I was making a pit stop in the snack bar for a restocking of my candy bars when I met her.
She was describing the experience of her meet and greet with Dave Matthews...as in THE Dave Matthews Band. I made a feeble attempt to pick my sagging jaw up from the floor covered in the corpses of so many bees and just stared at her awesomeness. When I had regained enough brain matter to form a cohesive sentence, I offered to bear all of her children and serve in her place for the draft. And ever since then, we've been "like tight".
As if the job of cart girl couldn't get any more fun, Amanda had a way of bringing a light and joy into any room she entered. The days when we worked together were my favorite because we would engage in some serious celebrity oggling in any one of the hundred gossip magazines she would bring in, or entertain ourselves through a slow patch listening to music and having a dance off outside the snack bar.
I have had three musical mentors in my life and Amanda is the most recent. Her ipod was filled with strange and beautiful stuff I had never heard before, but soaked up readily. You can tell when someone really enjoys music because they see it as something to be shared with others and will gladly pass along anything new and exciting they have discovered. And that's just what Amanda Did. She made me some of my favorite mixes and even added her artistic touch to the CD cases with pictures and handwriiten song lists. Of everything I lost in the hurricane, I still have almost all of the mixes she made for me, because they were in my car.
Amanda has the kind of heart that radiates warmth and kindness and makes you want to be around her all the time because you think you might absorb some of it through osmosis. She is the kind of girl that can drop two f-bombs in one sentence and still come across as a lady who isn't capable of going "number two" or looking disheveled. Even when she claims to be disheveled, she looks more put together than me after long hours of trying.
She felll in love with my Italian Greyhound Magnum and I felt compelled to give him to her. He has found a loving home with her and Dave and even makes an appearance on their stamps...their MAILING stamps for the love 'O cheerios!
She has been my trusted confidante on many ocassions and my babysitter once at a Ray Lamontagne concert when Jillian had one too many beers and threatened to "FROW UP!" She laughs at all of my jokes and she even thinks I'm cool. But even with all those redeeming qualities, that's not the reason why Amanda is my friend.
She is my friend because she adds a richness of character and a unique and winning personality to my life, and even though I can't share her heart through osmosis, she makes me want to be a better person just by watching the way she lives. When someone asks me if I collect anything I say, "I collect people, beautiful people." And in my prized collection of beautiful people, Amanda has a very special place in my heart. For when all of our outer beauty and youth have faded from us, she will shine with that inner light that makes her so very attractive to others.
Amanda got married Saturday and now she has a new last name...yep, she's one of those girls, but then again, so am I. I'm still going to call her Coop-a-loop no matter what her name is.
So, this is for you Amanda. You can thank me later when I ask you to come and stay with me for two weeks when I have another baby and Jeremy is in school.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
We finally and at last made it to our new home. Things, as I'm sure you can imagine, are a bit crazy around here. Well, more than a bit actually. Alot crazy. Yesterday was the first day I had internet, and also the first day I cleared enough empty boxes out of my room so that I was able to see more than a few inches of the carpet.
I have been feeling very fatigued and unwell for the past week and so settling in has been more slow going than I had anticipated.
So, I am asking you to please bear with me as I take the rest of this week to rest and recuperate and perhaps make something of a home out of this mess of newspaper and boxes.
Beginning on Monday, and sooner if I feel up to it, I will resume my daily(ish) postings and update you on the Green experiment and things around here. It has been nothing if not interesting.
Thank you all so much for the kind and uplifting words in regard to my previous post. I hope that you will come back after my brief hiatus. I promise this can only get better, or worse...whichever way you look at it.
Posted by Jillian at 1:59 PM
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Sometimes things happen faster than I can even take the time to stop and really think about what is happening. And for now that's probably a good thing. When I pulled out of my driveway for the last time as the resident of my house in Mississippi, I felt just a flutter of emotional reflux. It caused a burning lump in my throat that threatened to rise up and turn into a wail and a flood of tears. Fortunately for my eyes and the ears of my neighbors (former neighbors), I was able to put a clamp on that in a quick hurry.