Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The In Crowd?

So.....I blast my pal Katie quite a bit about her spam preventing-code-entering-not-a-robot- thing at the end of her blog.

I can NEVER read it! Ever!! It always takes me, like, 15 times to get it to go through and makes me reevaluate if I should be making an appointment to get fitted for a wedged shoe, instead of reading blogs.

But, she was all "Jane, I get a million, of those a day".

Oooookay. Considering I like getting junk mail, spam emails? As long as they don't sign my up to donate my organs before I'm dead, its' all good! Mail is fun = email is fun! What's not to like?

Which brings me to.....

So, you know how I never blog? Well, I got my FIRST SPAM COMMENT the other day!

Let me tell you. Man, alive I thought: "Boy howdy, have I ARRIVED!! I'm somebody enough to have a SPAM COMMENT!!! "I mean, this was momentarily about as exciting as when I see Tim Gunn on  TV. Which is big. I won't lie, I have day dreams about me and Tim Gunn. First, we would go shopping together and he would compliment my perfect trench coat and then teach me how to find the most perfect pencil skirt. If it is really perfect dream, he would also praise me for having the right size, um, foundations. Sigh. I love you Tim Gunn.....

Anyway, then I got another comment. And I thought: "Huh. Ooooookay".

Then another.

Then it started to get annoying. Like when you get two, huge, Pottery Barn catalogs on the same day. Just look in your computer, Pottery Barn! It's called wasteful! Don't send me all these catalogs! How many master bedrooms do you think I have?!?

Much like the rehab/drug referrals a la the SPAM comments.  No need refer me to three rehab centers, there, SPAM commenters. It's not like I am going to compare the open bar policy.  I kid....I kid.....

Then I started to receive enough comments (ok, about 6) and it made me a feel awkward enough to worry that someone thinks I'm an alcoholic. Or should try cocaine.

Jury's 50/50.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A New Year

First off, full disclosure; this post is nothing I expect to be entertaining to read. Or even read at all, by anyone, really.

Honestly, I don't know why, but for some reason I wanted to get all this down and entered into the google nets. Maybe as proof? Maybe to make it seem more concrete or if I post it, it will make it matter more? Maybe I just want it to have a permanent place. Whatever way, I guess it doesn't matter. Just giving you warning.

So, here's the thing about Bennett.

I didn't really enjoy being pregnant with him. Alex? Man alive I loved every.single.second of being pregnant with him. I felt bonded with him and relished in every detail of what a miracle it is to have a baby.

But with Bennett it was a way different story. Physically, I was fine. The same. Good.

Emotionally? Not so much. See, with Alex, he helped me grieve for my dad. When he died, the color just seemed to fade from everything and it wasn't something I necessarily wanted to get back. Grief and guilt are funny things. An evaporation of one is really a simple exchange for the other. Somehow, if you aren't smothered in grief, then the guilt of not thinking of them every minute overwhelms you. Like you are already forgetting them or their impact on you wasn't as important because you had a happy moment of the new normalcy. An unnatural equation of the length you grieve is equal to the amount you loved. Being that I was not too comfortable to be openly emotional, I leaned on Alex a ton. There were days I would rock him and would just sit and sob, willing his innocent and easy happiness into my broken spirit. It was like I was clinging to him in order to be able to let go; to feel able to release this horrible pain and sadness without explanation. And with every rock of his glider, I could feel my sadness escape and with every smile he gave me, it was like he knew it was the reaffirmation that the color would, someday, come back. Other than just being my first born, I knew that the way he carried me through that tough time would set him apart and  I worried that bond would never be matched in another baby.

However, Bennett wasn't just another baby, he was proof the that our family was moving on.

Moving on without my dad.

Nothing had really changed since he died and it was comforting in a way. Even though I know Alex won't remember my dad, I do. And I wasn't going to have that little bit with Bennet. And it was tough. I didn't feel the bond with Bennett that I felt with Alex. I was so over being pregnant by, like, 15 weeks. Maybe it is a second baby thing, but I doubt it. Don't get me wrong, I knew I would love him when he was born, it was just a different level of acceptance or finality I had't expected.

Then, Bennett was born.

He was born, and the second I heard his little cry, all the color that drained when my dad died, suddenly, instantly it all came back. The sadness lifted like a veil; evaporated like morning fog. Just gone. And when they showed him to me, my mind learned what my heart already knew.

Bennett looked just like my dad.

I felt from the very second he entered this world, that God sent some of my dad's spirit in that sweet, little, doll baby.

I know it.

I just do.

It's corny and you could say "oh, yeah, I'm sure He did", or "that's so sweet", but from the very beginning, I have felt it. I know it as sure as I am sitting here now, as sure as I know Alex will always ask for Nutella for breakfast in the morning. I know it when I look into the eyes of my sweet, easy going baby who smiles at everything, who has looooved  my mom from the beginning. I know it when he, from day one, was a side sleeper, always has to have his feet out from under the covers or is oddly independent about things; just like my dad.

I know because I don't ache for my dad anymore. I miss him and the way our family was, but I don't carry around that hurt and pain anymore. It's just gone and the color is back; and I know it is because he is alive within Bennett. I don't feel the emptiness of him anymore, because he is here with me everyday. Smiling at me, reaching for me, laughing with me. Maybe laughing at me.

And the kicker is, is that I have heard the same thing from other people. Unprompted, independent feelings that Bennett is carrying the same light that my dad had. My mam even mentioned over Christmas that it was the first holiday that didn't so obviously feel absent of my dad.  This isn't just made up in my head or crazy hormones from having a baby or even the good drugs during the birth.

And I know why.

So even though my dad left this life three years ago today, I know the best parts of him came back two and a half years later.

May 17th. 4:01 pm, to be exact.

Friday, August 24, 2012

To My Lunch Date

So, today is my brother, Tam's, birthday!!!

Happy Birthday, Tam!!

So, I had this great idea about blogging this wonderful post about how amazing my brother Tam is, but it didn't quite happen. See, I didn't want to post anything cheesy because Tam & I are cut from the same cloth. So, that means that we would prefer someone speak about us in an abstract way, as if we were in the room, but would probably grow uncomfortable at the attention and leave mid sentence.

Then I thought I could relay some of the hilarious conversations we have had over the years, memories we have made and how close we are. But then I realized I was terrified about coming off like that episode of "Friends" where Rachel dates her neighbor who is all tickling his sister and she draws him a bath and it gets all creepy? And then it ends with Ross and Monica wrestling at the end? You know that one? Anyway. It makes me want to barf even thinking about it. Tam would agree.

Having said that.

Tam is just the greatest guy. He is the kind of guy everyone should be lucky enough to know. He is kind, caring, compassionate and completely hilarious. He is forgiving, in that, he never brought up that ill-fated army roll I did in a stranger's lawn sprinkler when we thought it was a great idea to start jogging in the mid-day of an Oklahoma summer. (FYI: Not smart.)

He showed me that being classified as "easier" from my parents was not always a wanted thing.  (Hey, they never said "favorite" but while he was busy being "Homecoming Prince", I was busy "sneaking out of my bedroom window", so you be the judge.) He taught me how to judge my alcohol tolerance, when not to skip classes in college and how sitting on the patio with my parents would be much more for my benefit than theirs.

He was right.  I have a three drink max, I don't remember why I snuck out, and I remember every night I sat listening to the oldies with my mam and dad out by the pool. And those nights are the ones I wish I could replay.

I am a lucky, lucky gal to have you as my big brother, Tam. I love you more than words.

Cheers to the five of hearts.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

An Open Letter

Dear Lady at the Mall Play Area,


Hello, there.

So, I know that you are hungry. I get that. I get hungry too. See how I am relating to you? But you know what I don't do? That would be take some canned tuna from my house, put it in a tupperware container (letting it get all steamy in my car) and schlep it to the mall only to eat it in the play area while my kid plays.

Look, you have two kids & so do I. Eating an uninterrupted meal is kind of like the Chupacabra; you seriously doubt it's existence all together because it is so rarely documented. But don't you think maybe you should just not? Eat something that smells like rotten grossness? Cause here is the thing; we are at the play area at the mall. It already smells like recess because there a zillion kids running crazy in here because this is a teensy escape from the terrible heat outside. But that should really just heighten your sensitivity since we are all trying not to barf from your putrid tuna smell on top of the fact our kids are playing, barefoot, in a petrie dish for germs. We are already nauseous, we don't need any help.

To be fair, I will give you a pass this time. This time.  Let's face it; every one of us sitting inside of the play area remembers the pre-child promise we made to ourselves that we would 'never let our kids play in that germ-fest', not knowing the need to run some energy out of our kids would trump anything. I think it all stems from the high probability of pooping in front of people during having said children breaks down our list of "I never's"  faster than we Purell our entire body upon leaving the play area.

So let's just take it down a notch. I'll chalk this up as giving you a Mom Warning and be done with it. But, just so you know, if this happens again I'm gonna have to get physical. And by that, I mean I'm going to "accidentally" spill your seafood feast all over the floor when I bump in to you while leaving. And by that, I mean I will probably do nothing but maybe blog about it later. Cause I'm passive-aggressive like that.

Damn it.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012


So, you know how the past often repeats itself? Yeah, well it has in the Tilly house!

Summer is in full swing here in Houston and it's hotter than the surface of the sun and it feels all Amazon-jungley. And with the combination of Alex being 3 and having a newborn, we "don't get out" much. Now I will admit that I am loving Alex's new found love for the "Toy Story" movies over "Yo, Gabba, Gabba" because they are hilarious and I cry every.single.time. I watch the third one, whereas "Gabba" creeped me out because of DJ Lance's skin tight orange jumpsuit. (I mean, how skinny is he?? He looks about 80 pounds on camera.....on camera!)

Anyway, my point is that I am lacking a little adult interaction. Hence when the Escobar Telecom Guy called the other day asking my opinion for their book about rating a local company or something. He asked about some recent home services I had had done or whatever and if "I-was-happy-about-my-service" this and could "I-rate-the-company" that.

Until he made a big mistake.


Huge.  (Yes, said in "Pretty Woman" voice)

He started to ask me if there were any other companies I could rate and that opened the flood gates. What was this? An adult wanting to talk? About things that were not poop, jelly sandwiches or Buzz Lightyear?? Let me tell you, I was all about letting him know about how pleased I was with John Moore pest control. And Window World. And Lance's Artificial Lawns. And some gutter company I may have made up.

Let's just say I was all too eager, put on a cartoon for the kiddo and, well, bless his heart, he eventually had to cut me off.

It was a sad situation that I had played out before.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Multi- Tasking at It's Finest

So, before I had Bennett I knew I was going to give another shot at breasfeeding. I breastfed Alex, but only made is for about four months. He started to sleep longer at night really quickly (lucky right?) and it really dipped my supply. I wasn't about to give up sleep to get up and pump, so that resulted in him eating, like, every hour during the day because I wasn't 'filling up' enough for him to get full. So off to formula we went. I was fine with it and so was he.

Naturally, I was a little curious how breastfeeding Bennett would go. Not just from my experience with Alex, but because I was honestly curious how it would go while having Alex here too. He's a little, um, spirited and when left to his own devices tends to get into things. Everything. We had to strip his bedroom of anything he could climb, toys he could use as a step stool or any potential projectile. It looks like a padded cell at a mental hospital.

But it's actually going pretty well. I actually know what I am doing this time around so when Bennett was born I was prepared; unlike when Alex was placed in my arms and I looked down at him and expected him to just know what to do. I may have even said something like "Alright, go at it" or something equally as nurturing. However, Bennett eats every three hours, day or night. It's pretty easy to set your watch too. And since life doesn't stop just because the kiddo needs to eat, I am pretty surprised about what I can get done while feeding him so I made a little list.

  • Picking up the house; putting toys away, straightening up. Making the bed was interesting the first couple times. Alex helps me with this one so I can't take all the credit.
  • Unloading the dishwasher; it gets a little tricky with the knives, but nobody has lost a finger. Yet. Maybe this one isn't such a good idea on second thought.
  • Laundry; I'm not sure this one counts since I can sit down while I'm doing some of it. 
  • Getting Alex dressed; my best showing was getting him in to a swim diaper and swimsuit. I'm still proud of that one.
  • Cooking if off limits, though. I went to grab some stuff to make salad the other night and Luke looked horrified. He asked that I not feed him while I handle food. Can't say that I blame him. After I heard that though, I realized I should have been breastfeeding anything with a mouth for the last three years if it got me out of cooking. 

I know it won't be this easy forever since Bennett will keep getting bigger. I mean, he is eating all the time.  But I think I can also get a little more creative, so we will see.

And if my post the other day didn't send the good behavior karma my way, I was attacked with this while getting us all loaded in to the car the next day. Please ignore Alex's homeless-boy hair.

And would you look who has started smiling?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So, you know how we all need great friends to go shopping with, or listen to us talk about how great The Hunger Games is or tell us how we aren't fat? And sometimes we need friends that can just let us vent and gripe and convince us we aren't alone? Well, I totally have awesome friends who have heard all about how I abandon my family for four days while I jumped on the Hunger Games bandwagon, and now I need someone to tell me I am not a crazy, crap mom.

Here is the thing, most days I really am disillusioned enough to think I have got my stuff together on this "mom of two" thing. The laundry is done, the house is clean, we have all showered and Alex doesn't look homeless and its 'll on a combined five hours of sleep. Most days I can really walk around with the confidence of a woman wearing white in a tampon commercial.

Then there are the days that I don't. Cause see, Alex is 3.



For the most part, when we are out in public Alex's toddler-ness does't really phase me. Like when Alex (total example, this did not happen last week; after school; after getting both of the boys out in the rain) reaches for the ceramic piggy bank at the 'kids table' at Central Market and drops it on the ground a second before I can grab it from him, of course, shattering on the ground. Or almost flips out when I unjustly make him hold my hand in the parking lot causing everyone in a four block radius to stare. But that doesn't bother me. I am of the firm belief that if it isn't your kid acting out now, it will be eventually. It's just the odds. So I always try to give any other moms a smile when I see their kiddo being as all over the place as mine.

What gets me is at home. It's like we fight Not even kidding. I am constantly riding his little fanny about everything. Everything. Not to crawl in the dryer; to stop spitting; to stop feeding the dog raisins (that are poisonous). Nothing that seems out of line to get on to him about, but clearly is due to his horrific reaction. And while he was away last weekend with his grandparents and they reassured me he was polite and well behaved (so it might actually be working), at home it's enough to make me want to stab myself in the eye by 2pm.

Look, I know parenting and motherhood isn't about what the parent gets out of it and I'm down with that. But what kills me, is that while I read all these great and lovely blogs nary a ONE has anything but smiling siblings and family photos filled with toothy grins. Surely MY darling angel isn't the only one on the planet who tries to stuff toys up his baby brother's nose or throws a fit over getting dressed because, evidently, it will end his life? Can it really just be my sweet Alex that melts down every.time. I don't let him play in the car after I unbuckle him because it is hotter than the surface of the sun outside and I 'm sweating like a hog? Am I feeding him too much Red dye no. 2? Is this just normal? Is there a band of three year olds out there that conspire at night on the twitter feeds what the 'new' way to act out is?

I've tried time outs on the stairs, time outs in his room, taking toys away, ignoring and redirecting and nothing seems to phase him. The only thing I haven't tried is leaving him in the parking lot with a note tied to his shirt. I'm saving that one for later. What else can I be doing? I mean, other than look down at my sweet new baby and think, "Am I really in for three more years of this?"

Luke is really helpful and has saved my butt so many times. It's like the two of them have their own language and it's called "Oh-it's-dad-so-now-I-can-calm-down-and-be-normal-and-do-whatever-I-just-faught-with-mom-about-for-a-half-hour". And while at the end of the day the situation is resolved and we have moved past the unpleasantness, it always leaves me feeling completely inept and like I need Luke to step in and do my job.  Or have a cocktail at 9am.

So if you know of any 'warts and all' blogs, send them my way because sometimes misery loves company and sometimes we just need to know we aren't the only ones who hear "NO! Go, mommy, go!" before their toddler attempts to fling a dirty diaper at you.