Jun 21, 2008

A Long Bunch of Babble

We went camping last night at a campground we really liked. We were right by a river and it wasn't too crowded. It was also right by some train tracks, however, and some people may consider this a serious drawback. There was one point, sometime after midnight, that 2 trains went by at the same time, crossing paths right next to our campsites. They had to blow their whistles, of course, and it was crazy loud, so I just laid there hoping and praying that they wouldn't wake Harrison. Miraculously he didn't wake up, so I didn't have to chase the trains down and give them what-for. Anyway, this rather meaningless little train experience made me think of other train experiences in my life, and so I decided to share one with you. You're Welcome.

In the town where I grew up was a place called Red Bridge. It was a place where two sets of train tracks crossed each other, one above the other, forming a bridge. It never seemed all that red to me, but hey, I didn't name it. We used to hang out there a lot. Yeah. It's a little town. Sometimes we just went to talk, sometimes we would bring gear and repel off the bridge, sometimes we would bring ice cream and eat it in the dark. If our timing was good and we were very lucky, a train would come by on the lower tracks. This is what made the spot so fun. We liked to climb down into the beams of the bridge to watch the train speed past us.

One time in particular sticks out. We heard a train coming in the distance. Me and Ryan VanAusdal climbed down into the beams. We hurried to get to the beam right at the edge of the track so we would be as close to the train as possible. The train was coming fast so we had to hurry. And we got there just in time. Me, clinging to one beam, and Ryan clinging to a beam some 5 feet behind me. And then the train arrived and blew its whistle. The blast of wind that hit from the speed of that train, combined with the force of air I am sure was produced solely by the sound of the whistle was almost enough to send me flying. It was all I could do to hold tight to that beam while the train sped past.

And in that instant I was sure that Ryan was gone. I knew that if I turned around I would see him flying through the air, or in a heap on the ground some 30 feet away. Of course I couldn't turn - the wind was still too strong and I was clinging to that beam for dear life. Not to mention the adrenaline and excitement of that much noise, power and speed. If I had wanted to I could have reach out my hand and touched it (the train, I mean. Not the power and speed. Well, maybe I would have been touching the power and speed as well, but there is no point in waxing poetic because whatever it was I was touching, it would have taken my hand off). The moments passed with me being torn between exhilaration, and grief for my poor, fallen friend.

When the train was finally gone and I was able to climb off my beam, I saw that Ryan was still there. Of course he was still there. What is funny to me now is that I thought that a guy 3 years my senior with a man-sized upper body strength would be blown away when I was able to hang on, but that is what I thought. I'm kind of dumb like that. It makes me smile every time I think about it.

Jun 20, 2008

Parade of Homes

So, we did the parade of homes again this year. It has been a few years since we've done it, and we decided it was time once again. Harrison loved it. Turns out that exploring other people's homes is one of his favorite past times. However, his ideas of what to look at were very different than ours. Richard and I are remodeling, so we were at the parade of homes to look around and get ideas. Harrison was mostly interesting in looking at the toilets. In every bathroom. In every single house. He also had to open every cabinet, and test the faucet in the bathtub to make sure it was working. Then he needed to look in, and closely inspect every closet. He would then spend a good 10 minutes on the stairs, testing their structural integrity. All the other parade goers usually got piled up behind us while he did this, but there was no help for it - it had to be done.
So. . . blah blah blah, sentence that sums everything up nicely. The end.

Jun 19, 2008

Pyzam Family Sticker Toy
Create your own family sticker graphic at pYzam.com

Yep, that's right. Richard wears an eye patch, and I am a bikini wearing firefighter. Betcha didn't know that about me, did ya?

Jun 16, 2008

Harrison's First Word

Every parent looks forward to hearing their child's first word, and I didn't realize it, but I have been hearing Harrison's first word for a while now. When I make him hold still to get dressed, he cries and says "Nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh!" And when I take away something that he is not supposed to play with (He likes to suck on Hairspray bottles, for example.) he cries and says "Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh!" And when I make him come into the house after playing outside, he struggles SO hard to get away and says "Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh!!" And when I brake off a bit of pizza instead of giving him the whole slice he gets very angry and says "Nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh!!!"
He makes it very clear that he is unhappy and I have to accept that we have indeed finally heard his first word, and, no doubt about it, that word is "NO".

Jun 10, 2008

Let Me Be Brief

I read somewhere that short men are more discriminated against than African American men. Statistically that seems to be the case. Statistics also show that women are turned off more by a man being short than by a man being overweight. Indeed, t'was Randy Newman who said "Short People Got No Reason to live". I'm sorry if these words are hard to hear, but statistics don't lie.

What about women though? Hollywood tends to perpetuate the myth that tall women are irresistible, but most guys don't actually want a girl who is taller than them, so where does that leave the tall girls? I always used to wish I was shorter, and I have just found proof that short girls really are as adorable as I suspected.

Short Girl
By Creed Bratton

Ooh, mama, with your tiny little legs
You’re like a dachsund
In human form
And that makes you okay
In my book

I want to throw you up into the air
Like a ball of shortness
And catch you when you fall down
And put you into my jacket pocket
That I have lined with pillows and string cheese

Yeah, mama, you’re small and nice
In those little lady clothes
That you wear so well
You could be a minus-sized fashion model
And that’s the truth

Short girl
You make my day

Spoon Man

I'm sure you will be surprised to learn that Richard and I are different in many ways. For instance, he likes big spoons, I like small. When I am using a spoon, I prefer one of those small dessert spoons. Because I am normal. But if I give Richard a dessert spoon he looks at me as if to say "What am I supposed to do with this?" After probably 4 years of marriage I finally figured out that he really does want a big spoon, so if I serve us up some pudding, I grab a little spoon for me and a big spoon for him. I have taken to bringing him the biggest spoon I can find - you know how silverware sets have so many different sizes of spoon - and so I will rifle through the big spoon pile to locate the biggest one I can. I am always hoping to get some sort of a rise out of him, but he never says a word. Last night we had pudding again and as I looked for a big spoon for him I decided I simply wasn't bringing him spoons that were big enough. I opened the miscellaneous utensil drawer and found him a huge serving spoon about the length of my forearm with a capacity of at least 8 oz., tucked it into the little bowl with his pudding and delivered it to him. I tried to act totally casual, though inside I was laughing at my clever joke. As he picked up his spoon, however, all he said was "Awesome", and dug in.

Jun 3, 2008

The Harrison Files: vol. 2

Harrison loves feet. Like, a lot. Maybe this is totally normal. I don't know. But his love for feet seems to border on obsession. I want to be supportive, so I let him feel his feelings and now he is teaching me. He thinks feet are cool, and I'm like "eh, I could take 'em or leave 'em", so he is showing me all the things that feet are good for. I mostly just use mine for walkin' but apparently I have been missing out on a whole world of feet fun.

Here are some of the things that you can do with feet:
  • You can hug or cuddle with feet.
  • You can grab them by the toes and shake them back and forth like pom poms.
  • If you hold them up to your ear you can hear the ocean.
  • You can set things on top of them. This is a new one. If we are sitting still, he will put things on top of our feet, like crackers, the remote, paper clips, whatever.
  • Wrestling. Yes, feet are good for wrestling with. He likes to lay on our feet and roll around and say "Aaaagh! Eeeaaack!"
There are a few things he thinks feet are good for that I just can't get behind. For example; He is always trying bite our toes. Or the toes of visitors. Any toe within reach, really. This makes people a little uncomfortable. 20 times a day I tell him "No biting toes!" but he doesn't listen. I have tried telling him "Bite your own toes!", and will sometimes hand him his feet so he will have something besides my feet to chew on.

The other night he was sitting on our bed and started whining. I looked over to find him trying desperately to bite his own toes. Instead of pulling his feet up to his mouth, he was trying to bend over to get them. But his legs are way to short, and he is still too top heavy and each time he started to bend over for his toes he would just fall forward onto his face. It was very frustrating for him. And very funny for me. I know I probably shouldn't laugh, but babies are just too funny sometimes.

Jun 1, 2008

The Harrison Files: vol. 1

As you all know (or may not know, now that I think about it) Harrison is adopted. I don't think I could love him any more than I do, even if he was my genetic offspring, but sometimes I can't help but wonder how he feels about me. Not that he remembers his Birth Mom - he spent 2 days in the hospital with her after he was born, but has been with us ever since. It's just that he is not a very affectionate child. He never has been. He doesn't cuddle, he doesn't give hugs, he's not clingy at all - he's usually just as happy if a complete stranger is holding as he is with me. His affection is more violent than anything else. When he and I are playing and laughing sometimes he will bonk me on the head, or pull my hair and laugh and laugh. So I can't help but wonder. Does he even know that I am his mom? Do I make any difference in his life? Probably all moms ask this question at some point. It's not like I obsess over it, I just wonder sometimes.

Lately, however, Harrison wants to be held while he is drinking milk. I give him his sippy cup and instead of being happy just sitting next to me on the couch, he wants to sit in my lap. This is totally new and different. As soon as he learned to hold a bottle on his own he was practically ready to move out of the house, and now that he is walking he is usually committing hijinks while drinking to maximize his Total Daily Shenanigans. Needless to say this desire to be held surprised me. The other day I was sitting on the toilet - thinking about life - and in he toddled, sippy cup in hand, and gave me the universal sign for "Hold Me". It is really is too cute to resist, so I pulled him up and we thought about life together. It is things like these that warm my cold, lifeless little heart.