Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekend Notes

Ah: Monday. I typically avoid Monday bitchery but today I woke with a headache that would not be banished by Tylenol, and some very terrible news about a close family friend. I knew a trip to the gym would provide a mood boost, but I was not prepared to enter the normally bucolic, child-free shower stall to see a used sanitary napkin strewn in the corner. May have to rethink bathing at the gym, y'all.

But despite this Monday blahness, we three had a wonderful weekend, complete with an actual night out for moi with some Dallas friends. Erin has been my cultural touchstone since moving to the DFW area. We met rather unconventionally, when our temporary apartment digs were apparently under seige by a lone gunman in an adjacent building (it was thankfully more boring that it sounds, guys). Erin was our neighbor, whom we'd never seen, and we started chatting as we gawked at the 20 or so odd police cars, bomb squad vehicles, and fire engines lining the block. I probably would not have invited her in for a beer (I'm just normally not that forward), but J had been living alone in Texas for weeks and weeks, and was sick of talking only to me.

And for that I am forever grateful to him, because Erin has been such a rockstar friend from day one. She is one of those people who truly enjoys life, and is thus up for anything. She's always inviting me to do interesting things: mojito-making classes; a weekend trip with her college chums to Lake Texoma complete with a spa visit and a night of karaoke and hard drinking at the GREATEST dive bar one could ever imagine, affectionately named: Ankles Up. She also hosts "Wine Night" at her place quarterly, to which she invites her amazing network of intelligent women to drink, eat, and talk about things unrelated to child-rearing. (Books! And academia! And other things!) Next month we're going to see Boyz II Men at the House of Blues. You see why I love this lady, right?

This past weekend it was a terribly erudite trip to the Dallas Museum of Art to see one of our favorite authors, Jeffrey Eugenides. If you haven't read him, I highly suggest picking up Middlesex and The Virgin Diaries. He was engaging, charming, and refreshingly funny. It was a great session followed by a book signing. Followed by me learning that David Sedaris is coming in April and OHMYGOD we have to see him, and the like. Being in a new place, away from family and friends, I can't tell you how much a night away like this means. It recharges me, allowing me to be a better mother and wife; and it reminds me of the person I used to be every weekend, when I could roam the city with a notebook, scribbling ideas; wandering into a museum if the mood struck, or perhaps seeing a movie in the middle of the afternoon.

It's nice to reconnect with that girl. I quite liked her, and I take comfort in the fact that she's never gone for good.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nerd Alert.

I've told myself that I will write at least one post per week here. I know I have told you this before, but I am a dreadful multitasker. When I feel like my brain should be focused on my studies, I tend to laser-focus on my studies. This is good and bad. Good, because I just received an unsolicited LinkedIn recommendation from last semester's accounting prof, who wrote that I was one of the best students he's had in years! He went on to say that after struggling initially, I finished with the second highest average in a class of 67 students. It was such a wonderful confidence boost; I still can't believe that someone could be so kind.

Conversely, my obsession with graduate school is troubling because I am, well: obsessed. Last semester I logged a ridiculous amount of hours preparing for weekly accounting quizzes. (I know exactly how many hours, too, because I ACTUALLY LOGGED THEM.)

Though I am partly concerned with my GPA (and this is because, frankly, I'm not working. When I do re-enter the fray, I'd like to have something to boast about besides expert cloth diaperer and competent sleep-trainer); I am more consumed with gaining knowledge. It saddens me to become so proficient in one subject and know full-well that without daily practice, my skill level will plummet dramatically. So I attempt to squeeze out every last drop I can; to read every last sentence in the text several times if I must while I attempt to nudge the vast expanse of Saved by the Bell trivia in my brain, and make way for statistical regression and one-way ANOVA.

(You guys, I told you: OBSESSED.)

(And seriously? Ask me anything about SBTB.)

I need to come back to the blogosphere to unwind. I miss writing; I miss creating; and I miss recording our daily lives here, mundane as they can sometimes be. Mostly, I miss you, dear readers. It is lovely to know that there are still a few of you out there.

I feel lighter already. Now, important matters to discuss: what can we rename this here space? HomeValley Does Dallas?

Also, a few updates: I have removed America's Next Top Model from the DVR. You have no idea how many times my hormonal ass CRIED during eliminations and thought This isn't the end, girl! Go for your dreams!

Besides, when I started showing my 21 month-old son how to do a fierce runway walk, I think we reached an unsettling tipping point.

Oh! And yesterday, I ran into a woman at our play gym who asked how old Hendrik was ostensibly so she could tell me her ENTIRE birth story. Twas in a birthing center, which I deeply admire, and afterwards, I romanticized my next birth in my head. I could do it, I thought. I know what to expect from contractions, if I can just learn to control the pain, I could really do it.

And then, I slammed my finger in the laundry room doors while good old Hank was vacuuming (yes, yesterday marked a great turning point in my life when he actually took the vacuum from me and was pretty efficiently doing his business). I slammed my finger so hard in those doors that I was splayed on the floor in the adjacent dining room, holding the injured digit and WAILING in pain. Then I was running around the entire first floor, yelling and willing the pain to stop. I finally made it back to the kitchen and grabbed ice as a perplexed Hendrik stared at me (while continuing to vacuum, mind you).

"Mommy hurt her finger," I croaked. "Everything's all right."

Annndddd - we're going with the epidural, folks.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hello? Y'all?

I've been away for what feels like eons. I don't know that I can pinpoint one reason. Is it the pregnancy, complete with hormonal bouts of the mean reds, nausea, and an alarming new muffin top? The demands of a ridiculously energetic and brilliant toddler, who counts complex sentences as his bitches and spends his days asking me for things like "a bit more milk?" The holiday season, complete with a two-week world tour of the greater Philadelphia region? The Advanced Stats course that began in earnest in January? The fact that I write on a blog called Queens is the New Manhattan, despite having not resided in New York City since - er - 2006? The fact that I can't get the italics to work in Blogger right now, and it is driving me MAD?

Lo, tis a devastating combination of all of these things. I am in desperate need of a rebranding (good thing I am also taking Marketing this semester, eh?), but I can't quite bear to leave all of my incoherent ramblings here behind. The time has come though, though the mama seems to have little time now that We or Oxygen or one of those dreadful women's channels runs complete seasons of America's Next Top Model every other day. And I am tired you guys: so, so tired. And drinking while pregnant is generally frowned upon, which is just incredibly unfortunate all around.

But never fear! Your HomeValley shall prevail in the second trimester, and we will - together - generate some great blog fodder. I just know it.