kellianne: (2009)
We are back in Berkeley after a lovely trip out east.

I was totally seduced by Richmond. That place gets me, every time. A front porch for everyone! Great friends! Great food! Proximity to my family (close, but not too close). Only 100 easy miles away from Katie! AND I could have what is essentially my dream house for somewhere in the 400k neighborhood.

But, friends, it is hot there. And while it would be a great career move for ME (I could essentially make the same amount of money there as I would here, while living on about 60% of the income), it would not be a career move in the least for my husband. Plus, everyone smokes actual cigarettes, which kills the air all around you.

But still, all the benefits are food for thought. I am submerged for at least 15 minutes a day in the swells of East Bay house porn. Here, my dream home costs about 850k, which firmly requires both of us to work as hard as possible so that we can afford the life we have and hopefully retire someday. But the food is delicious and super affordable. And the air smells like flowers, 90% of the year. And, of course, there are about a million other reasons to be in love with this place over a place like RVA. Walking Niko to his school this morning reminded me of all the lovliness... a beautiful day with zero humidity, like most every day here, year round.

Anyhow. House porn. I have a problem. I guess I just feel as if, when we buy a house, wherever it is (probably in the east bay), I'm pretty much not leaving. I want to build out a garden and work on it for years. I want to know a house's very bones. I want to know (and fix) every creaky floor board. I want to watch trees grow and grow. I want to know every neighbor's drama and dog. I want to set up house and never, ever leave. I want this moving around to just plain stop.

***

In sad news, I found out while we were away that Sopor has cancer, and that it's in her lymph system. I take her today to get her stitches out (I had a bunch of the cancer removed before I knew what it was). I'm excited to let her hang around outside again, for her last days. She seems to be feeling fine after what was a rough recovery. I've never taken a pet in for surgery before, and it was ugly. I'll be happy to throw the cone away and be done with it. I just want to enjoy her and make her happy for the time she has left. She's been the best cat for me, and I'm super sad to think that she won't be with us for much longer. In fact, I don't want to write about it any more.

***

In happier news, Niko's birthday is the day after tomorrow and I am starting to feel super excited about planning it. He has requested pancakes for breakfast, an extended school day (I guess he wants to bask in the glow of his friends knowing it's his birthday), and strawberry rhubarb crisp for dinner. We are buying him binoculars. And maybe a kid's bird watching book?

I don't know what I'm doing for the party yet. I need ideas. I'm so travel weary and just want to do something small, which I'm sure will feel large enough to him, anyhow. He has requested chocolate balls instead of cake, based on a gluten free mostly dates and nuts recipe that a friend made in RVA. Berkeley kid wants gluten free, vegan, chocolate balls instead of cake! And he told me this morning that we sure need to eat extra vegetables this week because we didn't eat that many while on vacation. Sure, kid, no problem. I love it!
kellianne: (Default)
Yes a heart should always go one step too far
Come the morning and the day winding like dreams
Come the morning every blue shade of green
Come with me, go places

Come head on, full circle
Our path blocked but sure we'll
Make records, then set them
Make copies, win races
Stay with me, go places
Once more for the ages


Today is Niko's birthday. This morning he woke at 5am and called me into his room. We have been discussing his wake ups, begging him to call Mama or Papa (whoever he wants) when he wakes instead of crying. So he woke this morning and called out sweetly. I went into his room and he smashed his face up against mine, saying, "Hi mama."

We fell back asleep until 7:30, which is no small feat for even a little guy in a blacked out bedroom. As usual, we went to my bed to nurse when we woke. While we did so, I looked up his old ZeroToBaby birth post and told him his birth story while showing him pictures. He was especially enamored with the idea of being in my belly and laughed when I explained (in toddler language) how I pushed him out.

He asked to wear his choo shorts (they are dirty, but whatever), his choo hat (spots of finger paint dotting the rim), the Super Niko cape (he got for his first birthday from Samantha), and his new "woof woof" shirt. We walked to daycare holding muffins, which he was stoked that I made to share with his friends. When he got to daycare, he sat adorably on the couch and said, "Mama? GO."

How did my baby get so big? Just a few months ago he was beside himself every time I left him. Now when his babysitter, Tristan, comes by every Tuesday he can't wait for us to leave so they can continue with their private lives, in their secret language. Probably they sit around watching choo videos on youtube the whole time, who knows?

Anyhow, I've been thinking a lot lately about how- 2 years in- I am finally feeling like the mother me has fully integrated with the me that I was for 34.5 years before becoming a mother. I feel solid on my mother legs. I'm not going to lie... these two years have been rough. They've been hard on my marriage and hard on my confidence. I am pretty sure that I lost about 4,000 hours of sleep, at least. I look older, I feel older, I AM older.

When people (usually expectant first time mothers) ask me if it was all worth it, I can only answer yes. And I mean it. Yes! A good mother is a phoenix rising out of the ashes of her youth. I'm pretty sure that I'm finished burning my old self off, and I'm pretty sure that I'm a good mother.

I love that kid so much. He is all the best parts of me mixed with all the best parts of my husband, and he is fully his own. He is all my favorite dreams mixed with all the best magic. He is hilarious, wonderful, and endearing. He loves choos (trains), hows (cats), busses, dactes (tractors), and his parents. He gets excited about friends and loves it when we have a party. He does a million silly things every day and makes our family feel complete.

Thanks to everyone who helped make @nikobenson feel loved these last 2 days. He's really happy.
kellianne: (Default)
I'm sleepy! I suppose that I didn't get enough sleep after my Birthday (observed) Party yesterday... 9 hours is not enough after I tucker myself out dancing. It's not every year that I throw myself a big party and have a my favorite local band play.

Last night was really great, in the way that only throwing a party for yourself can be great. Wait. That didn't sound right. Let me explain:

I don't know about y'all, but sometimes I feel as if my life is so magically varied that I can never have a whole lot of the people I like in the same room at the same time. I have my NYC friends, my Seattle friends, my hometown friends, family friends, other groups of unrecognizable friends... and in every large section of friends, there are all of these sub-sections. Friends from work. Friends from hobbies. Client friends (who are different from work friends in my case). Friends from that bar that closed where all of these friends used to hang out together. Lots of friends, many of whom don't know each other. Because I have a really *truly* social job, which is social in a way that I really can't imagine most other jobs being, my husband doesn't even know a lot of my friends... some of whom I spend hours with every month.

SO... throwing a party is awesome, because you'll have all of these people from all these different aspects of your life who gather together and (if a party thrower is lucky) actually meet each other. That's what's really great. Favorite people. In the same room. Dancing.

Unfortunately, there were also several party crashers. Most of them were asked to leave by friends, and disappeared. Some were asked to leave and would not leave right away. The ones who would not leave appear to have absconded with the bag of a really good friend who traveled all the way here from Boston and has her ID in that bag. Needless to say, this put a damper on the end of the evening for all of us. I am pissed about it! The two people we suspect were obviously wasted, and not just on alcohol. They so disgusted me that I ignored them, and I wish I had thrown a fit about having people I didn't know at my party. This is my mistake and it sucks that I won't be able to make this mistake again. There were 2 other party crashers at the gig who were awesome, who gave me a cd and danced the night away... any good party would welcome crashers like this. But, now, when any of us throws a party in that space again, I'm afraid that we will have to heavily monitor those who weren't directly invited. Bah.
kellianne: (Default)
This weekend was amazing. It was so good to have the house filled with wonderful people for Buster to pick up. Party goodness in no particular order:

1) Impromptutu body art
2) Orange Birtday cake
3) Vince in the kitchen (he can come over anytime)
4) Lamb burgers
5) Pimms Cup: best summer drink ever.
6) Harmonizing
7) Everyone there getting all cuddly. Y'all are one cuddly bunch!
8) Hulahooping in the living room. (May is still reminding me that she's the only one who could actually turn around while hooping.)
9) Oatmeal Chocolate chip cookies brought by Jana
10) Absinthe, which led me to my drunkest moment in the afternoon (you can always tell when I'm drunk when I start to spell it out for you and confuse people, ie: "I am D-R-U-N-K and you are *insert wrong name here*")
11) Drinking Belltown Mimosas (Champagne and Red Bull? Classy.)
12) Buster with red sock puppets constantly on his hands, unable to answer the door calls.
13) Singing Happy Birthday to Buster twice. I wonder if he even remembers the second time?
14) The impromptu rainbow, unicorn and penis theme.
15) Charlotte Belle and Stephanie (Geminis!!) sending out a unicorn, cupcake, joint, flower, and glittery penis streamer from Boston! I drunk dialed them at one point and didn't know which one I was ever talking to. Delightfully confusing.
16) Talking for a while with the new neighbor, who also hails from Manhattan. We bonded on not wanting to move back. I'm excited to have a neighbor friend! That's double the roof deck summertime fun!
17) Buster's interviews were hilarious. I can't wait until he posts his edited versions online.
18) Can we talk about how gorgeous you all looked? Everyone is suddenly sun kissed and extra healthy looking!
19) I recall 5 specific times from Sunday where I either introduced myself to someone who said "WE'VE MET SEVERAL TIMES" or I confused 2 people or something to this extent. Please, folks! I've lived here for all of 5 months and it seems that the people I know know everyone. I don't think I ever knew so many people at once in NYC! It's a lot to wrap a love-walloped and drink-addled mind around, see?
20) AAARRRRRGGHHH


I woke up at 10am yesterday morning and walked upstairs to access the deck damage. Through the gray drizzle, I noted what I thought was a big raw cut of PORK on the deck. I figured I'd drink my coffee and save that mess for later. When I finally worked my way up to the roof to clean, I discovered that the raw pork was, in fact, a squeeky rubber bit of swordfish. Did Charles leave something behind?

In fact, did YOU leave something behind? I seem to have a few extra pairs of sunglasses on my hands this week. I wouldn't complain if you came to pick up your things on some sunny day or starry night. We'll kick up the grill or start a little bon fire in your honor.

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kellianne

October 2015

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