Monday, January 28, 2008

Weekend Recap

Just as soon as I posted that last tidbit, guess who decided to figure out how to walk behind his dump truck? Oh yeah, that would be Wildman. Saturday night, while Rock was on the phone, he crossed the living room, slowly walking behind his little red dump truck. Oh y'all - I am so not ready for this.

Sunday we went to Charlotte to visit my friend Kelly and she scored a major coup - Wildman let her hold him. I don't know if I've told you all, but this child will not let strangers hold him. We went to a New Year's Eve party and the hostess' daughter-in-law just fell in love with Wildman and begged to hold him. We told her she was more than welcome to hold him, she held out her hands to him - and he started screaming. So we explained that she shouldn't take it personally, that he's just really, really bad with strangers. We think it might be because he spent two weeks in the hospital after birth. He really only trusts Rock, me, Rock's mother, and Rock's dad. He won't even go to my dad and stepmother. This poor lady tried five or six times to hold Wildman on New Year's Eve. She even waited until he fell asleep on Rock's shoulder and then he passed Wildman to her. He woke up and started screaming. She was so sad that he wouldn't let her hold him. So yesterday, we were at Kelly's new house (which is so, so pretty!), just sitting on her couch talking, and she asked to hold Wildman. I said sure, she held out her hands to him, and he just dove into her arms! My jaw just about hit the floor!

Impromptu Movie Reviews:

3:10 to Yuma - Very good. I love Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. Sad, but very, very good. I love Westerns, and this was such an awesome updated Western.

Stardust - Wonderful! I simply loved it! The love story is perfect, the dead brothers hanging around is hilarious, and the scene with Michelle Pfeiffer taking away that guy's voice is a scream! "Face like a bag of frogs. Ugly frogs." Oh my God, I think we rewound and watched it 15 times. All three of us were in the floor laughing.

The Kingdom - Good, but a bit formulaic. I do love Chris Cooper, but he needed a much bigger role in this movie.

Eastern Promises - Well, I've now seen all there is to see of Viggo Mortensen. Yes, that all there is to see. There's a nude fight scene. He's not really my cup of tea; I think he's a very good actor, but that was way more than I wanted to know about him. Not for children, or the faint of heart. There's quite a bit of violence. All in all, I think it was way over-rated. It was an okay movie, and he did a fine job, but it wasn't that good.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wildman Walking

I think I've mentioned before that Wildman was born two months early. His health was great, but developmentally, he's always been a little behind. Which really hasn't upset Rock or me. I am glad that this is our second child and not our first. I was much more concerned with Supergirl meeting her developmental milestones and if she wasn't doing all the things that the books and magazines recommended a baby her age should be able to do, I got a little concerned. But as time went by, and I realized that my little girl was just fine, and very smart, and capable of developing at her own rate and in her own time, I relaxed about all those developmental milestones. So I was much better prepared, mentally and emotionally, to have a premature baby who developed at his own pace and a little slower than "babies his age" or even his "adjusted age". Which is good because Wildman isn't quite walking yet. And I'm not upset at all, because seriously y'all, one the hand there's wanting my child to develop and advance, but on the other hand HE'S ALREADY INTO EVERYTHING AND HE'S ONLY CRAWLING, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! I swear, every five minutes, it's "Wildman, No! Get out of that! Wildman! Stop! Seriously child, leave that alone!" He is into so much more than Supergirl ever was. I now see the reason for those electrical socket covers. That child would have been a crispy critter weeks ago if we didn't have those things. And he climbs, which Supergirl never did. Now he just needs to learn how to climb back down off the sofa and the bed. Now he's getting really good at balancing himself standing up and figuring out how to get his feet properly underneath himself to hold his weight, and he's even starting to try the rocking sideways holding on to something that precedes those first sideways steps.

Pray for us?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Weather/ Randomness

Because Tessie inspired me, our topic today is the weather. Seriously, I was sitting here, bored as hell at work. It's sort of a holiday, meaning that well over half the office (including Boss) is out. And the few of us who are here aren't doing shit. So I had plenty of time to write a blog post, but I couldn't think of anything to write about. So I started scrolling through my blogroll, reading everyone else's blogs, hoping for some inspiration to strike (it never does), and Tessie was talking about the weather. So I thought I could tell you all about our semi-exciting one inch of snow that only stuck to the grass, not the roads, and fell on the weekend so we got no time off work. Talk about a gyp. Supergirl loved it, though. She got to go out and play and throw snowballs and generally have a great time. And it snowed all day long and looked absolutely beautiful coming down.

In other news, tomorrow is my beloved Rock's birthday! I already have his present. I had it before Christmas, but I held it back to be for his birthday because he's so difficult to shop for. We went to a store that should have carried it after Christmas to look for something else and he wanted to look for this particular item, but they didn't have it (whew!). What's funny is that I had bought the item at another of the same chain store in a different city. So logically, they should have had it.

I also received an email today from a girl Rock and I went to college with. She wrote to me on Facebook, which I had almost forgotten I had joined. I saw an email in my regular email account that I had an email on Facebook from an Erica Jones (not her real name), and I thought to myself, "I don't know an Erica Jones." I just deleted it and forgot about it. A few minutes later, two of my co-workers were talking about Facebook. So I jumped into the discussion and said, "Hey, I'm on Facebook, too!" So one of them asked if she could add me as a friend. So I logged into Facebook to accept her friend request and while I was there, I checked out the email from Erica Jones. It started off, "Hey Shelly, do you and Rock still live in the area?". I thought, "Hmmmm...this person seems to know me." So I clicked on the profile to see who she was. Well, duh! Erica Smith had married Tom Jones (the guy she'd dated in college, whom we also knew well!) That's who Erica Jones was. Turns out, they had a baby boy in March! I'm so happy for them. I looked at her pictures and they make a great looking family. I hope that we can get back in touch with them and become friends again.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pat Conroy

JMC and Tessie have a small discussion going about Pat Conroy's book Beach Music. (In the comments on JMC's blog.) It's an excellent novel and I highly recommend it if any of you haven't read it. But their discussion reminded me that I should tell you all my story about seeing Pat Conroy.

I won't even try to tell you what year this happened. (I think we've seen that years are not my strong suit.) I really don't even remember if it was while we were in college or if it was in those first few years after we graduated. Anyway, my college best friend Kelly (yes, I know, how original, right? Our friends used to call us the Shelly and Kelly Show) and her mother invited me to Charlotte to attend an event at which Pat Conroy was speaking. He read from one of his books, I don't remember which one, but I hadn't read it at the time. Not saying much, because at the time, I think the only one of his books that I had read was Prince of Tides (good book). Then he took questions from the audience. In order to ask a question, you had to walk up to the front of the auditorium and ask your question into a microphone on the opposite side of the stage from Pat Conroy. He was angled towards you and you were angled towards him, so you were looking right at him, asking your question. Well, Kelly is great at thinking of good questions to ask, but very timid about going up on stage with famous authors. I'm not timid, but I suck at thinking of good questions to ask famous people. So I agreed to go up with her, and we went up on stage to ask our questions. Kelly went first. Pat Conroy asked her name, she told him and then she asked her question. I don't remember what she asked, but Pat Conroy beamed at her, told her what a sweet Southern girl she was, and what a nice question that was. He answered it, Kelly stepped down off the stage, and then it was my turn. I stepped up to the microphone, Pat Conroy asked my name, I told him, then I said, "You've told some very personal stories about your family in your books. How does your family feel about you telling those stories?" Well. He glared at me and then he said, "My father would have loved you." in a voice that let me know that was no compliment. Apparently, his father was none too thrilled to be The Great Santini. And that was a very sore subject for Mr. Conroy. So guess who picked the wrong question to ask? I have never been happier to get off a stage in my life.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Second Verse, Same as the First

Well, as you all might notice, I have two children. So that means there's another pregnancy story around here somewhere. Place your bets now as to whether or not I'll get the year right on this one. (Here's a hint- it's more recent. I tend to remember recent things better.)

When Supergirl was about 3, we started getting the baby itch again. Well, okay, to be more honest, Rock had never lost the baby itch and I had started to gloss over the horror that was pregnancy and labor and delivery (stories for another day or else we'll be here all week). And Supergirl has never been what could be described as "snuggly". I had started teasing her that she wasn't fulfilling her snuggling duties. (In response, she would shriek and run away.) I had started to fantasize about snuffling a little newborn baby head. So we decided that the time was about right to try for another baby. Since it took me about 3.2 seconds to get pregnant with Supergirl, I waited until we were absolutely certain that we were ready to get off Depo Provera. And then we waited.....and waited......and waited.......and waited. And this time it did take 5 months for my cycle to come back. So then we waited a few months before we officially started "trying". Once we started trying, we would count the days and I would tell Rock to eat his vegetables and do his exercises, because it was our time to try. We had one false alarm, about three months in, where I was just sure that I was pregnant, but nope. Then, in early April, my morning coffee started making me queasy, my boobs hurt so bad I thought they were going to fall off, cheeseburgers made me feel sick and I started having mood swings. I waited a while longer, until I actually missed my period, and then took a test. And it was positive. Seven months later, little Wildman came along.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Amendment to Clueless

I'm so grateful that none of you noticed this. I managed to tell the story without making it the Neverending Blogpost, but I put the wrong YEAR on it. Hello, I don't know in which year I conceived my first child. Supergirl was conceived in December of 2001, not 2000. For some reason, I always think she was conceived in 2000, born in 2001. Not so! She was conceived in 2001, born in 2002. I'm a moron.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Alright, let's see if I can tell you all this story without making it the Neverending Blogpost. The two times I've planned it out in my head it's turned into ten other stories. Swistle requested How You Found Out You Were Pregnant Stories, so here's one of mine.

Our story opens in what we call the Lean Years. I had just been laid off from a job and Rock was still in grad school. We had moved in together about a month before I lost my job (whew!) and knew we wanted to start a family pretty soon. Children were something Rock had always wanted and dreamed about and as he's 8 years older than I am, needed to get going on sooner rather than later. I had been on Depo Provera for a couple of years, and the literature I had on it said that on average it took about a year to get pregnant after coming off of Depo. So when my Depo shot was scheduled in October of 2000, I made an appointment to see my gyno. I asked her what she had seen as an average of time to get pregnant after being on Depo and if she thought a year was a reasonable estimate. She said sure, it takes 4-5 months for your cycle to get back to normal, then for most couples it takes 6-8 months of trying to actually get pregnant, so a year is a pretty reasonable estimate. We talked it over and decided that surely in a year we would be in a more stable place and ready to have a baby, so I would go ahead and get off of Depo so that we would be ready to get pregnant in a year. Oh! And we called our parents and told them that we were hoping to start a family, and that I was getting off birth control, but that it would probably be a year before I got pregnant. In November, I had a small, spotty period. In December, I had a regular period.

Fast forward to Christmas night. Rock, his mother and step dad, and I went to my mother's house for dinner. After eating way too much, I was telling a funny story, got to laughing and all of a sudden, threw up all over my mother's living room floor. (Rock later fell asleep while we opening gifts. Aren't we the best party guests EVAH?! Rock and Shelly, sexiest couple of 2000! I told Mother she had been visited by Santa's least favorite elves, Barfy and Snoozy.) Then, in early January, a big stretch mark appears down the side of my belly, right beside my belly button. Rock looks at me one day, and says, "What is that?" And I reply, somewhat testily, "That is a damn stretch mark. Which I don't know why I have. I mean, yes, I have gained some weight, but not that much weight and not that fast. I really don't think it warrants a stretch mark!" And he wisely drops the topic. Of course, I did not get my period in January. After about a week or so of the day I was supposed to get it, Rock was all, "Or could you be PREGNANT?" And I was like, "oh. well. I suppose that is a possibility." So we went to Wa!-Mart and bought a test, and brought it home and of course it was positive. And we were thrilled. I mean, yeah, it was *way* earlier than we were planning and we were flat freakin broke, but it was our baby. And that was Supergirl, who has been a joy and light in our lives for 5 years now.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

DeLurker Day

So it's National DeLurker Day! Won't you delurk and show me some love?

I've never really understood why some people feel that it's rude for people to lurk on their blogs. I used to lurk on every blog I read. Most of the time, I just couldn't think of a creative or witty comment or anything I thought of had already been said by someone else. And I didn't want to just leave an "Oh yeah, me too!" comment. And recently, I've realized that I read blogs the same way I read novels. So I'm not used to making comments on what I read. I've had to learn that the people who write blogs want feedback (of any form) and that I should say something, sometimes to show my support, sometimes just to say hello and mark that I was there. Starting this blog and reading the lovely comments that people have been generous enough to leave me has been the main way that I've come to see the value of comments. So today, won't you stop and say hi?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


So, Internets, I need your advice. I have a friend, we'll call her Carole. She and her husband Mike dated for a year, lived together for a year and have been married for four months. They are a good couple and love each other very much, but they've had some fairly serious problems throughout their relationship. The major problem, the one they can't get past, the one that keeps popping up no matter what, is that Mike talks to other girls. At first it was some girls from his hometown, with whom he was friends before he met Carole. Understandable and a bit sad that they couldn't all be friends, but they couldn't. But after he cut contact with those girls, he looked up some girls he had been friends with even further back in his past and started talking to them. Unfortunately, this isn't just "Hey, how are you?" kind of talking to each other, either. On at least one occasion, one of these girls has gotten the idea to send Mike nud!e photos of herself. I don't know about you, but I sure don't decide to do that out of the blue with no encouragement from the guy. Then Carole had a huge fight with her childhood best friend (we'll call her Lisa) and ended up kicking her out of the wedding. After Lisa tried to maintain contact with Mike, Carole stopped speaking to her. Apparently, Mike did maintain contact with her, and even had plans to have lunch with her the day before the wedding. Carole and Mike have had numerous discussions about this "friend" and Carole has repeated asked Mike to stop talking to her. Well, last Friday, Carole unexpectedly left work early and went to Mike's work to tell him why she had left work early. He was leaving work. (He has a retail job and an odd schedule, she works a more corporate type job and a more standard 8-5 schedule.) He was startled and a bit skittish to see her. They left and went home together. She knew that he had been talking to Lisa over text messaging the night before. Later that day, he received a text message from Lisa, saying, "I called you, why didn't you come?"

My questions to you:
Where was Mike going?
What should I say to Carole? She's entirely focused on Mike talking to Lisa.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Paint It Black

Over the weekend, I read Paint It Black by Janet Fitch. Those of you with memories better than mine (or fast Google fingers) will remember her as the author of White Oleander. No, she hasn't written anything between White Oleander and now. It doesn't matter. Paint It Black is excellent. It tells the story of Josie, a high school dropout turned art model, whose rich boy dilettante painter boyfriend has just committed suicide. Josie is devastated and lost and gets embroiled in a pretty inadvisable, very complicated relationship with her boyfriend's unstable, autocratic mother. Paint It Black is just as dark and complicated as White Oleander, with slightly more likable characters. The mother figure is untrustworthy, and conniving, and hurting and needy and trying to reach out for someone to help her all the while striking at the one person who truly understands her loss. She's more sympathetic than Ingrid (the mother from White Oleander), but then, she's not Josie's mother. Would she have been sympathetic if we were viewing her from Michael's perspective (the son who commits suicide)? Much of Michael's childhood is mysterious, and remains so, not only because he has lied to Josie about it, but because his mother and father have rewritten history to suit their own needs. In the end, Josie must find her own way to deal with the Michael she knew, the truth and the lies, and to go on living without him. There are no easy answers here, not for any of the characters, or for the readers, but a very realistic look into the pain of loss and the diffculty of putting your life back together when you've lost someone central. Dark, haunting and real.

Friday, January 4, 2008

What I Got for Christmas

What I Got for Christmas
by Shelly

white dress shirt
pretty silver picture frames
silver locket

These were from Rock's mother and stepdad, the parents we're closest to, physically and emotionally. They live next door (well, down the hill and through the woods, really), but you can't see their house from ours. They give practical and very nice presents. I loved everything. I have no clue how they knew to get me a locket. I've been looking for one for about two years now, but I haven't mentioned it to anyone. This one is very simple and very pretty. I was absolutely blown away when I opened it.

digital picture keychain
pretty gold necklace

These were from Rock's dad and stepmother. The digital keychain is cool and holds like 60 pictures. That'll be fun to use. The necklace is really pretty and I've already worn it a couple of times.

heated blanket
The Quiet Girl by Peter Hoeg
Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
Away by Amy Bloom
Just in Time cookbook by Rachel Ray

These were from my dad and stepmother. Yes, I requested the books. Hey, they asked for a list. You ask me for a list, you get a list of books. Except for the cookbook, of course, I've read something else by each author and *loved* it, so I'm very excited about each book. I just finished a book last night and I am going to have such a hard time picking what to read next because I have so many new exciting books!

My dad was so sweet when I opened the books, he said something about how glad he was that I still like to read so much. And he commented that he knew that part of my love of reading stemmed from the problems between him and my mom. And it does. Reading was always my escape. When things got bad, I would just go to my room, close the door, and disappear into a book. But, I pointed out to him, it's been a wonderful help to me in my life. Reading all but taught me grammar. We were basically not taught anything above the parts of speech when I was in school. Yet, I can proofread really well. I can't tell you why a sentence is incorrect in technical terms, but I can tell you how to fix it. And that knowledge has come from years and years of reading.

seasonal pillow
Wildman said "mama" for the first time

These were from the kids. Supergirl got me the candle and pillow when I took her shopping. I had to laugh when she said, "I want to get this for you!" She's a little cutie. And Wildman gave me exactly what I asked him for. Little sweetheart.

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
World Without End by Ken Follett
Robin Hood Men in Tights
Monty Python Meaning of Life
and my huge present.......DIAMOND EARRINGS!!!!!

These were from Rock, obviously! Pillars of the Earth and World Without End weren't technically Christmas presents, we bought them because a book club he's in had the best price on them, but they arrived right before Christmas, so I put them on the list. I've read Pillars of the Earth, but it's been years and since World Without End is the sequel, I'll have to reread Pillars before I can read it. The movies are old favorites and oh, who am I kidding, the man bought me diamonds, y'all! This was huge for me because we didn't do rings when we got married, engagement or wedding rings, so I have never owned diamonds before. (We lived together for five years, already had Supergirl and I was pregnant with Wildman when we got married, in case I haven't told y'all.) The night we bought them, I put them on the minute we got home, and wore them until I went to bed, even after I changed into my pyjamas! I've worn them almost every day since then. They are seriously gorgeous.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

End of Year Letter

We've all received them - those obnoxious, braggy Christmas letters from friends. The children are on the verge of Olympic medals or scholarships (at the tender age of 3!) and the parents are still in a state of newlywedded bliss after thirteen glorious years of marriage! We all know they're a steaming pile of bull, don't we? Well, JMC has a hilarious twist on the Christmas letter. In hers, she tells the truth about what's really going on with each member of her family. It's priceless and I thought I'd try my hand at writing one.

Dear obnoxious friends who have subjected us to these letters,

Let's all be honest. Your child is not a piano prodigy. Neither are my kids. In fact, here's the low-down on Casa Shelly:

We'll start with me. I'm a lazy motherfucker. Yeah, yeah, I have a job and I work moderately hard when I'm there. When I'm at home, though, my lazy ass is usually parked on the couch reading a good book. Which might explain why my ass is expanding at such an exponential rate. And why the clutter is taking over my house. If I could even locate my coffee table, I might clean it. Y'know, right after I finish this book.

As for Rock, while he is a domestic god (and he is), he is becoming a delay fish, as Marlin from Finding Nemo says. You know, one of those fish that cause delays. Anytime we try to go anywhere, he finds five more things to do right as we are walking out the door. I nearly killed him over the holidays.

As for Supergirl, she was perfecting the fine art of tormenting her brother and really thought she had a great gig, given her size and age advantage. Until he got teeth. Then little Wildman started evening the score. Now she treads a bit more lightly when she wants to take away a toy he's playing with. She's also made great strides on sassing, backtalking and disrespecting her parents and other adults this year. This has resulted in many trips to "time out". She has made some advances on learning to read and write, but she despises sitting still and paying attention. Can't wait for that one to go to school! They will be thrilled to have to deal with her.

And Wildman, our little preemie, is still not walking. Crawls at the speed of light and can stand up holding on to something. That child is a full time job. He is into everything - especially the things you don't want him into. He cannot be left unattended for two seconds. And after taking Supergirl's shit for 9 months and not fighting back, he is fed up with her. He goes after her with all he's got if she pisses him off. He takes off after her, crawling, swinging at her with his little arms, and if he gets close enough, he'll bite her. He's a little Tasmanian Devil. Oh yes, sibling rivalry is alive and well in our household.

And because we've taken leave of all our senses, Rock and I have decided to try for another baby in 2008! Next year, I should be writing to you all from the asylum!

All Our Best! Happy New Year!