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Friday, October 25, 2013

Six years. Six years. She got your ring, got you for six years (and counting).

Tomorrow marks our sixth wedding anniversary. There's not a lot to say except my God, it's comfy in here. I love marriage. I love my husband. I love our child, and the life we've built together. Six years. It's such a small number but it feels so good. It feels good because it seems like a nice solid base, a good strong foundation for a marriage that will one day grow into 20, 40, 60 years.

Ours is no different from other successful marriages. There's nothing that makes us OMG BETTER THAN YOU LOSERS. The best thing about us is what's best about all the other successes out there: we're made for each other. I mean... That's it. That's as best as I can describe it.

There's respect and humor, trust and loyalty. We raise our child with the same goals in mind. We like a clean house. We quote The Fifth Element (just one line) and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (all of them) to each other on a daily basis. From top to bottom of the list, there you go.

I hate to say, he completes me, or I complete him, because our relationship would have failed immediately if either of us looked to the other for completion. In order to have a solid relationship, you need to be whole when you start it. That is basically the hallmark of healthy human interaction and intimacy.

But I will say, we complement each other. What was complete before is now enhanced. What was whole before is now perfected. Right off the top of my head, Todd taught me the beauty of apologizing, of accepting it and moving on. I have introduced him to the freeing world of silliness, lightheartedness. Both are important. Both enhanced, put a bit of a shine on the old exterior.

So I guess now is when I say to my husband, sorry for posting another silly photo of you to the internet. I love you. See you in another six, another sixty if we're lucky (or vampires by then).

Friday, October 11, 2013

Miss Independence.

She's all "What? This is my 'Mom got me new boots' outfit. I had to try them on, and obviously they require my dirtbag hipster Seattle outfit in order to adequately judge whether or not they'll work for me. Hey, bro, they totes work."

Heh. Anyways. I'm pretty upset today. I woke up late this morning, because hitting the snooze button on the iPhone under my pillow is becoming easier and easier. My daughter's bedroom light was on even though after she falls asleep we turn it off for her, but that's okay because often she'll wake up in the mornings, turn it on and go doze in bed.

I decided, right before heading out the door to work, to check on her, give her a hug and a kiss so I had some good Alex lovin' to get me through the morning. Except... she wasn't in bed. A little drop of panic mingled in my blood; was she just wandering the dark house alone? Before I decided to tear the house apart in a mad mommy search, I opened the door further. She was curled up in her rocking chair, asleep.

Her bed was soaked. She peed out in the middle of the night, and instead of coming to us for help, she changed her pajamas and underpants and curled up under a clean blanket on her chair. You guys. She's three. She's too young to be taking this sort of shit on all by herself. She didn't come to us. She dealt with it alone, and she didn't even come curl up with us to sleep the rest of the night away. She just... She just hunkered down. Alone. Pee stained. Alone.

My heart could break. While independence is a wonderful thing (um hello, America), it's just too early. It sort of makes my stomach turn, imagining her in the middle of the night, little bags under her sleepy eyes, worry in her heart, as she realized what happened. Was she scared we'd be mad? And when? When did she tuck herself in into her chair? Is there a crick in her neck? What happened? Why didn't she come to us?

I surveyed the scene and the moment my eyes fell on that big pee stain in bed, my heart sank for her. I wanted to cry. Instead I went to her and picked her up, blanket and Ha-Ha and all, held her tight to my body as I carried her to our bedroom. I told Todd what happened, and she opened her eyes and said "Mama my bed, you see my bed?" and then I just wanted to die. I tucked her in, Todd came close to her, and I said "She's too independent, and it worries me."

I worry about zombies and ghosts and shit, so I know that often times Todd and I don't necessarily share the same concerns. But when Todd said "I know, same here," it almost made it worse. I'm so scared that later in life she will take far too much all alone, will stack the worries and responsibilities too high on her shoulders and will never tell a soul about them. Will she distance herself from her spouse? Will she pull away from her family?

She's only three, and already she's taking on the weight of her kid world. I've seen signs of it before, the messy trails of a little lady who craves control over life. The countless outfit changes (see photo above), the water everywhere after trying to get water for herself, or wash herself, or hell if I know what it was. But this morning was a small devastation for me as a mother. As tiring as parenthood can get, when your child pulls away or shrinks inside or refuses to show up on your radar, you are desperate to clean up pee. You beg to wipe away tears. You would sell your soul to comfort.

I wish I would have woken up, mysteriously, whenever it happened, like it does in the movies or on TV. Alex waking up to her crisis, mommy waking up because Mommy Instinct picked up on something. I wish I could have cleaned her up, consoled her, reassured her all was well. I wish she fell asleep between Todd and me, warm and secure, instead of scrunched up on an old rocking chair, cold and lonely, soothing herself, by herself.

I wish, I wish, I wish.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Zucchini Tots

You know it's a good recipe when after taking one bite you pick up your phone and text two friends about it. That's what happened this past Wednesday after I attempted the first batch of these delicious little devils. I have two friends, Kendra and Amber, who have zucchini in their gardens and are always looking for new things to do with the prolific courgette. These are absolutely perfect.

The only issue for some people is that they call for a mini muffin tray. Totally worth the purchase, for this recipe alone. Anyways, I found this on Pinterest but made some tweaks, so here goes.

Zucchini Tots
makes 24 (serving size is three, supposedly)

2 large zucchini
1/2 cup panko
2/3 cup shredded cheddar
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
2 large eggs
Garlic powder, to taste
Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute, to taste (AKA go batshit crazy)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray, or grease with butter. HAVE FUN WITH IT FOLKS.

Grate your zucchini using the large size on your box grater. This goes so quickly and easily, even for accident prone moi, that I don't recommend lugging out the foot processor and fitting it with the grating tool.

Take a clean, thin but durable dish towel (mine tore) and use it to squeeze out all the moisture from the zucchini. This takes several twists and squeezes.

Add all the ingredients, pell-mell style, in a large bowl and stir to thoroughly mix everything together. Fill each of the muffin cups to the top, pressing down to make sure they hold together when you remove them.

Bake about 18 - 20 minutes, until the tops are golden. Now, the original called for 16-18 but in my notoriously, infamously over-hot oven, it still needed at least 18 minutes. Plus, at the halfway mark I turned the pan around to make sure everything was even.

For those of you 1%ers who have convection ovens then WHATEVER man.

After they're out of the oven, I recommend popping them out and serving soon after, so long as you take care not to burn yourself. They're amazing cold and warm, but nothing beats them when they're hot.

Easy to reheat and to freeze, they are just amazing. I think they're better than tater tots thanks to all the yummy ingredients, but maybe I'm crazy.

Enjoy! They rock with a little bit of ketchup as a side to a delicious grilled steak.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Au Naturel.

Over two months ago, I developed this rough patch of skin along the my orbital bone under my left eye. It was round, rough and redder than the rest of my skin. I thought it was a dry patch, so I upped the moisturizer and forgot about it. A couple of weeks later, it was still there. I swapped moisturizer for hydrocortizone and it seemed to help.

Then we went to San Diego and it really improved, so I was like, this is definitely my skin revolting to the dry nightmare that is desert living. When we returned, my week of bloody noses each morning seemed to reiterate that yes, lack of moisture in the air will ATTACK YOUR BODY.

So early in September, I went to the dermatologist and paid $50 for him to tell me absolutely nothing. They charged me $10 for a culture that came back inconclusive. Sure, I'm complaining about spending money that did me no favors (I'm looking at YOU, "Dr" Matt, San Diegan chiropractor - $60 for putting my feet on an ice pack while you took in another patient), but hey, at least that negative culture means there aren't herds of bacteria camping out on my face.

The dermatologist gave me some ointment, which was really just devil's fire cream since it fried my skin off. SPOILER ALERT, I was reminded of Stannis Baratheon's daughter Shireen who has grayscale on her face. The rash area seemed to spread too, drifting from the orbital bone area to completely and fully under my left eye. If I thought my coworkers were quick to notice the rash, holy shit! did they notice the treatment. I looked like a victim of abuse.

What the hell was this stuff? It wasn't bacterial, the dermatologist had no ideas for me, and aside from the traveling part, and the huge flaky shit going on, it wasn't doing much. Then, I started to consider all the things I put on my face. I'm rather minimal when it comes to makeup; light foundation, eye shadow and sometimes eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss.

I had thrown out my foundation and the sponge applicator and gotten new ones, but maybe whatever was still on my face had compromised the makeup again? And then I realized...

Alexandra. My rotten little kid who LOVES all things stereotypically feminine: my jewelry, my hair stuff, my lip gloss, my... Yep. My makeup. She would take my eyeshadow brushes and "play drums" on the little squares of eye shadows, and once she used her grubby finger nails to dig out two thirds of my facial powder. Granted, I don't really dust my face with that stuff any more, but I definitely do at least once a week or so.

I think that's the culprit, because nothing else makes sense, and nothing else has changed. So I'm going to have to throw out and replace all my makeup (what does she do with those eyeshadow brushes when I'm gone? Does she suck on my eyeliner pencils? WHO KNOWS), and in the meantime, I'm going sans makeup for the week to see if this patch, which is almost all gone after just three days without makeup, will disappear entirely.

OH WOW she finally got to the point of THIS ENTIRE SAGA. Yep, I'm even going to work without makeup. Granted, I'm wearing glasses because to me it feels like a sort of barrier between the world and my bare face. And since I don't drink on weeknights at least my complexion won't be ruddy. And since I'm in admin I'll just be sitting facing a window in a cubicle with my back to the world. WHATEVER

But, can I just stop and say that it's really and truly freeing? Because it is. My morning routine is slashed to nothing, I never feel oily or stifled by a thin layer of crap, so therefore I just feel cleaner, fresher. I wouldn't want to go out to dinner like this or pair it with my killer Jessica Simpson dress I'm dying to wear out, and I know the old ball and chain enjoys a gussied up girl every now and again, but Cover Girl can suck it, because this is truly easy, breezy and beautiful.