Tuesday, September 21, 2010

if these are wrong, i don't want to be right

Translation: FML = f*** my life. FTL = for the loss.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

jetty willson

A few photos, for those far away (or not on Facebook: MOM and GRAMMIE):

Jetty Willson Perrine, 10 pounds 7 ounces.

Happy, tired momma. The only medical intervention was the epidural (LOVE those!) and the midwife adjusting Jetty's shoulders so they weren't squared and preventing his birth.

The Perrine boys: Julian (Bing's brother), Maddox, Bing, Jetty.

"He's kind of cute, maybe. I guess... I'm not very sure of this."

"Ok, we definitely need to send him back."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

that's what he said

I still have an "awesome wedding" post percolating, but Blake's been full of some good ones lately. I usually write them on little scraps of paper and then have them floating around the house. This is cleanup time.

B: Dear God, please help us to sell the whole house so we can have a bigger house. And help us to have a pet and help us to have more rooms for more kids and help us to have bigger closets and help us to have a trampoline and video games and help us to have a swingset -
R: Ok, I'm going to take over for praying now.

R: You're voting leg hump?
M: Yeah.

Believe it or not, this was my mom's vote about a big Myers family picture (click to enlarge):

Leg hump.

Non-leg hump.

That's my husband, y'all! And as of yesterday morning, this photo is obsolete: Jetty Willson Perrine was born to Lane and Bing. All 10lb 7oz of him. Yikes!

B: Remember when we went to Billings to see Maddox? When he was just a baby and I was three? (he holds up three fingers)
A: Yes. How do YOU remember that?!

B: This is taking SO. LONG.
A: That's because you are playing more than cleaning up.
A: I don't know.
B: WHAT was I thinking?!
A: (snickering) I don't know.
B: I was thinking that getting my LEGOs out was a DISASTER.

A: You'd think the air would be blue in the labor and delivery room with me, but I don't get all mad and cussy. I revert to five years old.
R: Oh, I think that would be the end of me.
A: I pretty much just whimpered and said, "Owie," over and over.
R: Yeah, that would break me. I could handle yelling and cussing: I'm USED to that!

B: Are you? I'm a rock star. / Are you? I'm a rock star. (to the tune of Party Like a Rock Star)

B: It's just so strange that I'm in kindergarten.
A: Really? Why?
B: Well, I just changed and am bigger and I'm feeling weird about it.
A: You're growing. You don't have to feel weird about it. It's actually pretty normal. As normal as you may ever be, coming from THIS family anyway.
B: Yeah. It's just
... (cuts an awesome dance move)
I am
... (strikes another pose)
Well, I'm really awkward about being so big now.

(And that raises another percolating post: the first day of kindergarten. Sheesh, I'm behind!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

last night it was honey nut chex - my favorite!

Last night I dreamt that I visited Dooce's house in Salt Lake City, except that it was really in the older part of Bozeman. Also, it wasn't so much a recently built classically styled home as it was a hodge-podge dive of multi-era construction they were renovating one room at a time (and in my personal opinion: not nearly fast enough).

My in? My good friend Terra was, in some capacity, hired by them to work in their home. I cannot remember if it was personal assistant or nanny, but she led me in, and I had to sit quietly on a couch littered with laundry. And it was dead winter and I thought of Naomi the whole time as I tried to keep T proud by zipping my lip. No gushing or shaking her hand or proclaiming how religiously I read her and sometimes worry about her and her family.

And then I used the bathroom and wondered if the lock would hold or if Blurbomat would walk in on me in all my glory. I examined the slate blue walls and white subway tile and nodded approvingly at their design choices, though why they would tie wide, stacked, and dying bromeliad leaves to their cabinets mystified me.

I went back to the couch to listen in on the conversation, tried on one of her white skirts that was actually a curtain, realized I was wearing purple undies that showed through the skirt/curtain, and woke up, feeling faintly embarrassed.

This is why I should not eat anything right before bed.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

restoring the years the locust has eaten

A good friend (thanks Hannah!) sent these to me months ago, and I have saved them in my email inbox, wanting to share them but not sure how. I decided how today.

They are brief, well worth your time. Each time I revisit them, I cry in gratitude and hope. Big Blake's death has created in me fear that is not of the Lord. While I do not necessarily fear that Rob will die young (well, not often), I fear a God who has shown me that He is by no means safe. He is very frightening sometimes. He is good, yes, but He is not safe.

In my focus on one side of the Lord, I have lost sight of the other: His graceful, gentle, overwhelming love for me. He does not simply teach us things through difficult and painful means (though, like my son, I often learn those lessons most deeply), but sometimes through His blessings and abundance. Lately I have begun to fear that His next lesson involves living in the condo indefinitely and no more children - that my life will be in a frustrated, unhappy stasis until I learn peace in the pause.

These give me hope and a renewed sense of His compassion. They also make me want to yank out the IUD and have a baby.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

goonies never say die

Tuesday, August 24 (continued)
(warning: almost all our conversation from here on was conducted with copious exclamation points. It was just! so! exhilarating! Also, I tried something new with the photo colors and tried to use fewer CAPS!)

The beach! We are on the beach and it is warm and it is sunny with a cool breeze and there is an OCEAN! And holy crap but that thing is fah-reezing! Let's get back out and admire it from the warm sand! We're so happy we're here, but I think that maybe our skin is already burning so let's put on more sunscreen, yeah? OKAY! I think Blake's hair just turned a shade whiter!

We were very excited. The water was quite cold - even RobRob my heartthrob, the diehard, didn't get further in than his waist. Mostly because he didn't want certain favorite body parts to fall off, for I'm awfully fond of those luscious... lips of his... but I digress.

"Blake, strike a pose for the first ever photo of you at the beach! Spiderman then? Okay!"

"Mom! A wave is coming! Watch! I am going to out-sneak it!"

"Maybe not!"

B: Dad! I'm building a sand castle out of sandmud.
R: I definitely think I should get in on this.
B: You know how to make sandmud? You take two handfuls of dry sand, run to the water, swish it around, and BAM! Sandmud!

B: I'm playing Dirty Jobs!
A: Well, you are good and dirty!

I wanted to show a friend I was thinking of her on the beach (I have a very similar photo of her with my name in the sand, but she was not able to rustle up a beach-ghost with big feet for her photo).

We eventually grew rumbly in the tummy and decided to head over to the more populous beach and "downtown" (all five blocks of it) of Cannon Beach in order to get some dinner. Our plan: park on the south side of town, get to the sand, walk north, cut over into the shops, find a place Rob remembered, and eat fabulously while paying through the nose for the privilege. About two miles later, we discovered that Blake was ravenous for pizza (which we pooh-poohed) and the restaurant that Rob had in mind was closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The pizza was FABULOUS, especially eaten on the patio, for the restaurant itself was like crawling into the steamy belly of hot hot hell.

By the time we had polished off an entire, none-too-small pizza all by ourselves (with lots of hydrating water all around), it was near low tide, and I was set on seeing the tide pools. Big Blake used to tease me about being Ace Ventura. He would gaze at a macro: scenic vista. I would be absorbed by a micro: a lovely flower or more likely, an animal I had spotted somewhere. The tide pools satisfied some need in me to feel like Diego, the animal rescuer. But these animals would be safe and sound in their natural habitat, saving me from a lot of pesky 'rescue' work, so I could just admire them guilt-free, then walk away, satisfied in the knowledge that they were still safe and sound.

We saw a few starfish, and I showed Blake an anemone "just like Nemo's!" He grew quickly bored, and while I tried to just gaze into a sandy-bottomed pool to see a crab or shrimp or slug or something, he meandered over to a small, barnacle-covered rock that was only about three feet long, maybe about a foot tall, sticking out of the sand. We were foolish and did not immediately grasp a boy's need to play king of the hill and climb on anything that looked remotely climbable.

He took a few steps up while we simultaneously gasped "Blake, DON'T'!" and he promptly slipped on the slimy yet very sharp shells, slicing his leg open in two long, shallow cuts.

Oh, the wailing. It was a tragedy of epic proportions. The sight of his own blood didn't help, and those shallow cuts bled heroically, albeit briefly. Because I love him, I couldn't let him rinse it off in the salt water, which he didn't really understand. Rob and I looked at each other, silently admitting that we were done in the tide pools, then looked towards town. Being low tide, we had a nice long walk ahead of us - easily a mile - while I firmly held the hand of a wounded boy who, though in the depths of despair at his pain and humiliation, firmly held onto his grasp of proper English (which will amuse T the most, I suppose):

"It hurts so badly! (repeat approximately 400,000 times) Mom, I never ever EVER want to go back to the tide pools! (repeat approximately 15 times)"

There were moments of flinging his damaged leg/pride about while limping along, moments where Rob and I simply spoke calmly over his deranged hollering, moments where he briefly forgot the PAIN! THE TERRIBLE PAIN! and dragged his undamaged foot sideways in the sand to see the tracks it made. Upon reaching the car in the deepening dark, I pulled out my trusty first aid kit (don't you have one in YOUR car?!), we rinsed, swabbed with alcohol, blew mightily to cut back the alcohol sting, and bandaged with a satisfyingly big square of gauze held on with satisfyingly long strips of narrow white surgical tape.

We all slept like the dead that night.

Wednesday, August 25

B: Mom, remember how I cut myself in those tide pools? I never ever EVER want to go back there.
A: Tough shit. We're going back now.
A: BLAKE. One of these days, we will probably visit tide pools again, but don't worry. All that sharp stuff is covered up with water. We couldn't get there if we wanted to. Did you want to?

After a leisurely breakfast at Astoria Nugget #6: the Columbia Cafe, we stopped by at the wreck of the Peter Iredale, which Blake confidently proclaimed was what remained of One-Eyed Willie's ship. We packed a lunch and headed back to what we now called "Goonie beach" and to the tide pools where I held Blake under and made him appreciate their beauty.

Haha! Just kidding. We went to the beach but stayed very far away from the dangerous tide pools and were careful to point out how deeply submerged they were by now. Still, B elected to picnic on a sandy hill about as far away from the threatening and suspicious pools as possible. He proceeded to throw sand about with abandon but had the good sense not to complain about his slightly gritty meal. I was not as mature.

I put together our kite (thanks Grampa Steve & Grammie Patsy!), started flying it, and promptly landed it on a cottage roof, cutting my thumb badly in my frantic (and vain) efforts to not, in fact, land it on a cottage roof. Blake came running up and declared it a bad kite that flew poorly, to which Rob wryly pointed out the user error.

I told them to go fly a kite, for I had a book to read. On the beach.

The fun of very deep sand and an energetic father.

Ah, this is so comfortable! I think I'll just sleep here, sans arms and legs. They were weighing me down anyway.

We were here! Sidenote on Rob's t-shirt: he theorizes that Blake's ironic retro t-shirt of choice at 32 will probably be of a first generation iPhone.

Our magnificent hosts. Between their generosity and our packed lunches/brekkies, we saved hundreds of dollars, making the only really shocking part of the vacation our gasoline and ice cream bills. Did you know that you cannot pump your own gas in Oregon (or New Jersey)? They give you a tongue-lashing, which isn't as nice as it might sound to you weird ones out there.

Thursday, August 26

Heavy sigh. Gotta get back in the car to drive again, away from the lovely Oregon coast. Blake alternated between gazing out the window, snacking on Goldfish, and singing along loudly to the Looney Tunes theme song, blessedly with headphones.

Once in southcentral Washington, we drove into some of the most alarming dust storms I have ever seen. Visibility was as bad or worse then a hard Montana blizzard, with the benefit of drier roads (sorry for the dirty windshield - I Photoshopped as best I could).

Isn't that crazy?! Had I needed microdermabrasion, I would have rolled my window down, but Blake's sand throwing had essentially scrubbed my face clean already.

I just realized that I had indicated this installment would mention the vacation discipline. OK, FINE.

We had to stop at Costco for Rob to pick up some sunglasses to snap onto his new frames (new prescription = unending awe at how sharp and clear the world around you is! it is amazing and kind of cute!), and Blake, as always, was mesmerized by the large TVs showing some action movie he generally wouldn't be permitted to watch at home. This time it was Avatar. When I told him Dad was done and it was time to go back to the beach, he hotly told me he wasn't done yet, and I mildly told him that we weren't in Oregon to watch movies in Costco. He took my hand and sullenly walked towards the car with us, pausing for a moment to take a swing at me with his foot.

A: Oh no, you didn't just do that. Blake, what is the discipline for kicking your mom?
B: (muttering) A spankin'.
A: Yep. I'm afraid we love you too much to let you disobey, and when we drop Grammie Perrine off, we'll need to address that act of rebellion before we go to the beach. I'm sad you made that decision.

The lesson? It's absolutely no fun to discipline your kid on vacation. It would absolutely be even less fun for all of us should he learn that all our carefully taught rules and guidelines go out the window when on holiday. Consistency is really hard. The results are proving (slowly) to be really really REALLY worth it.

Also, don't kick your mother. The old mule might kick back one of these days.

Next installment: an awesome wedding, because we did it all on this precious last week of summer!

Side note: for those who have asked if I have stories about them that I'm holding back out of love, no. Very generally, the stories with the most hair-raising or knee-slapping appeal are about people who only read my blog if they suspect (or have been tipped off) that I've written something about them. Really. I'm totally sincere on this one. I don't have any good stories about you.

Or you.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

a vacation on the coast? yes, please!

Our summer has been a blur, mostly of life around home. Rob's boss actually encouraged him to take a week off, and I managed to get a week off at the same time. It was tricky though - this is the busiest time of year for my job, and there were a few hurdles to jump before I got the all clear. I spent the better part of the week just preceding our vacation cutting and folding yardage of very high-tech fabric. On the floor of the living room (SO glad we don't have a dog). With scissors.

Then I got my head out of my rear and remembered my rotary cutter and self-healing mat. My back still hurt by the time I was done, but what did I care?! We were going on vacation! A working-remotely vacation for me, but still!

The working-remotely point had ruled out Canada to meet Rob's family (towns too small to have internet access, and my passport isn't quite in order) and camping, and Chicago was just too far to drive in the time allotted. We settled on a coast that was reachable via a stopover in Spokane, as it was a non-extended-family vacation, Blake had never been to the ocean before, and it would be a wholly new experience for the three of us to have as a family. Plus, I know folks in Astoria. Great, wonderful, generous folks who might know where we could stay (they insisted on their spare rooms), and know what to do when we got there (the nuggets of Astoria!).

All I had to do was gas up the car, pack some bags and a cooler, and make sure we knew how to get where we were going.

Sunday, August 22

We got to Spokane in time to catch up with the local Bedfords. We love them lots and lots, and Blake and Jasmine played their hearts out.

Monday, August 23

We left bright and early, but not before getting coffee and donuts at two favorite places: The Serving Station and Donut Parade. While down by Donut Parade, we drove by Rob's old house, as it's mere yards away. The new owners have sanded and painted! It's now a bland beige that is much less noteworthy than the old powder blue, and we admitted it looked much nicer, then high-fived that we no longer own it. I didn't care to be obnoxious (at that moment, anyway), so I didn't get a picture.

Behold, the intrepid spider-killers with their trusty weapons! Jasmine and Blake REVEL in each other's company.

The drive to Astoria was warm and lovely, and as we drove further west, I noticed the vast difference between gardening in Montana vs. gardening in Oregon. In MT, I have to coax and wheedle each plant out of the ground, then into bloom/fruiting. Out of necessity, I pamper and coddle my tiny garden, to make up for the fact that the weather likes to slap it around. In OR, you have to beat back the flora with a machete and flame-thrower, or it will find the spare key to your house, sneak in one night, and smother you in your sleep in order to have free access to the beer in your fridge.

At one point, we were in the passing lane, moving around a semi, when a woman with California plates flew up beside us, then cut us off - we were all going about 75 MPH - with about a foot between her rear bumper and the front of our car. I lost my shit, shook my fist and yelled at her, and wanted desperately to ram her car repeatedly for her aggressive and hostile driving that threatened my small child's safety... It made sense at the time. Rob was mostly bemused by me, and Dad later told me that if you don't drive like a total asshole in California, you can't get anywhere because everyone else is already an asshole and won't let you in. He then mentioned that the Italians make Californians look like pansies.

I think I shall travel by Tube if/when we visit Italy.

Oh happy sign! We FELT welcome. My heart rate had subsided by this point.

The mighty Columbia: all us landlubbers were suitably awed by the sheer size of the ships. On a river. It was amazing. Blake approved.

We met Barney and Marcia (aka Grammie Perrine) at Astoria Nugget #1: the Baked Alaska, where Lane used to work when she lived out here. We got a little caught up on life, enjoyed the beer and scenery, and I got to remember how much I enjoy them. We settled in at their place, and Blake proceeded to exhaust their very old, very blind dog by reminding him how much fun it was to be a puppy and feel playful.

Tuesday, August 24

We lingered over a pot of coffee and fresh fruit while watching Goonies in preparation for the rest of the day. Marcia came along to point out Astoria Nugget #2: the Goonies house that's in danger of being razed in the movie.

Astoria Nugget #3: the sea lions down on the dock, which you can hear from quite a ways off.

They jockey for position and push each other around, loudly and constantly. Don't stay at the hotel down on the river - you won't sleep!

Another thumbs-up pic. It's becoming a theme. These old wooden boats are part of a display we didn't linger over. They are housed in the old tuna cannery, which is now home to other businesses, including Astoria Nugget #4:

Lane asked me to visit here and drink a coffee on the pier for her.
So we did, very self-sacrificially.

A brief moment of calm as our child proceeded to alarm all the ladies around us with how exuberantly he played on the pier. They were convinced he was going to fall in. I wasn't convinced he didn't deserve it, but reined him in for the sake of their hearts.

Astoria Nugget #5: The Column. It's painted and carved concrete, with a tight spiral staircase inside. We bought a few balsa airplanes in the gift shop and flew the planes down to Grammie Perrine. One plane, anyway. The other went off into the deep woods, and Blake was dismayed that I had no intention of going out to find it.

We dropped Marcia off at the house and meandered on down to Cannon Beach for our first time IN the water. Blake fell asleep just as we pulled into town, so we drove into Ecola State Park for a brief detour to permit as much rest as possible. We all took a little hike on the scenic walk, then went down to the beach. It was basically empty. Guess no one wants to pay $5 to access a small park, but the way I saw it, we had a mostly private beach to ourselves! AWESOME.

Next installment: sand, beach, tidal pools, sand, kite-flying, the wreck of the Peter Iredale, sand, vacation discipline, sand. We're still getting sand out of the car and Blake's ears.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

a conversation

Once upon a time, there was a lonely (but not quite bitter) widow and her son. She always had a lot to say, and even though she was lonely, she could eye her situation from a distance and laugh at the absurdity of it all. Most of the time, anyway. Eventually, she started this blog and started tricking other people into laughing with her (but almost never AT her).

A little over two years ago, this lonely widow met a man that quite unexpectedly rocked her world. As in "Pour Some Sugar On Me," gotta-have-this-man-in-her-life. It was startling, mostly for her, but there were those who were almost accusing when they asked why they'd never heard of the guy before now.

Her answer: "Um, because not even I had heard of him before now, so STEP OFF. Also, you're not the boss of me."

And they got married. And her son became their son, and he calls this rockin' man "Dad" and it's all tied up in emotions that she can't often put her finger on. Mostly joy mixed with a healthy dose of wistfulness and sometimes even deep grief. It's very confusing for her, not to mention anyone else she gives a peek into her sometimes heavy head (thanks, Aubyn, for a great phrase that this girl - who is now THIRTY but is still firmly a girl - uses all the time now).

And life started happening. Quickly. So quickly that sometimes she can't keep up with it all, much less tell everyone else about it. Plus, she now has a husband who maybe doesn't like full disclosure of all his business on the internet? It's hard to tell. Also, her son is getting to an age that is alarmingly self-aware and then she read about that punk of a teenager suing his mother for posting about all the crap he put her through during his slightly younger punkish years. While she and her rockin' man firmly believe it is their duty to give their son something to tell the therapist, they'd prefer it stay out of the courts.

So now what? She doesn't feel particularly funny about the steaming shit sandwich she's currently being force-fed (stupid condo complex and by-laws and notaries). She has NO END of great stories about, you know, other people.

But she likes these other people. And she wants them to talk to her again. Thus, the following conversation was overheard at her house tonight:

A: I feel like I finally understand writer's block.
R: Why?
A: (essentially the last three paragraphs) I just don't have anything insightful or funny to say about JUST MYSELF right now. Or I do. I could talk about Cannon Beach via a trip report and include photos. I could talk about my ridiculous sense of smell and how it's one in a line of things that make me suspect God is messing with my head. But I can't talk about work because I like my job and want to keep it. I can't talk about other people because I love them. The things I could talk about are just too exhausting to think about right now. I'd rather read or play Angry Birds. So, you know: writer's block or apathy.
R: Well, not so much writer's block as... what's the word... DISCRETION.
You've come so far! I'm proud of you.
A: (wailing into a pillow) I've never felt so stifled in my life!