Monday, May 25, 2009


When I get to the weekend while I don't have a job, does it still count as a weekend? The old philisophical debate rages on.

Little E doesn't know it's a weekend. He certainly doesn't have a job--besides being an awesome kid--so why would he choose to sleep in? Christopher is home, which helps out, but life still rockets on, Monday or Saturday the same.

This morning we had a luxurious walk down to Elmwood, ate breakfast at Pano's (a spinach-artichoke-pesto-cheese omelette for me, cheese omelette with bacon for C, toast for E), got coffee at Cafe Aroma, and window shopped along the way. Heaven.

I'm not going to say every weekend morning is this idyllic, but when it happens, it's wonderful. To me this is why we're all here: to find pleasure and joy in the little bits.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's On Like Donkey Kong

An epic battle is brewing against my will. I want absolutely no part of it, but I am embroiled in a bitter conflict that appears to have no end.

Our new neighbors drew first blood, and now, it's on.

When we bought our new house--which, by the by, we adore--we needed to install a gate across the driveway. Where we wanted to place it happened to be a few inches on our neighbor's property. Christopher contacted them and the woman, a young mom of four kids, told him it would be fine. Fast forward a few weeks, past the down payment of the gate and two days before the scheduled install, and our neighbor abruptly tells us no. What inspired this 180 degree turn we have no idea, but among the reasons they gave us, and the fence company, were:

a. our property value will be decreased.
b. our drain tile and foundation will be ruined.
c. our neighbor didn't let us do it on the other side, so there's no way in hell we're letting them.
d. (my personal favorite) my wife said yes, but I'm the man of the house, and I say no.

No kidding.

Now, we were upset, of course, but after careful reflection, we realized they have every right to tell us no. That's not really our issue--if they'd initally told us no, and not given us every excuse, hemmed and hawed, none of this would be a problem.

So, fine, we put the gate farther down the driveway. Yes, it will be a pain in the neck during the winter when Cosmo has to go outside, but whatever. We now know the type of person we're dealing with, and that's that. Let's move on, right?


Monday afternoon I looked out the window to see a painter's van in their driveway. The neighbors are having their house painted and, oh boy, the painters need to get into our driveway to scrape and paint the house. One painter rang the doorbell and told me to move my car, out of MY driveway, as it was in their way.

Did I mention the neightbors never even told us that there were painters coming, and would we mind letting them use our driveway?

Now, normally I'm a very agreeable person. If I can help someone out, I almost always go out of my way to do so. But darling neighbor, the MAN of the house, couldn't even condescend to come ask us permission. Christopher spoke with one of the painters and explained that all we needed was to be asked by the MAN of the house.

That was four days ago. His wife called--I like to think of it as doing his dirty work-- and Christopher calmly explained that he would like the MAN to ask him. Not so.

This puts us in the unique and awkward position of being childish. I would love nothing more than for Christopher to go over there and talk to this guy, man to man. However this guy appears to be a bit of a bully, and Christopher does not want to lose him temper. I can't say I blame him.

I hate this. I just want them to paint the damn house. But since we've moved in, the guy next door has never even looked in my direction, let alone even said hello. I've waved and smiled to the wife, and she doesn't return my neighborly good will. We live twenty feet from each other, we occupy the same breathing space.

I have no idea what we did to piss them off from the start, but goddamn it if they're big enough to even talk to us about it. So, this is how it will be for now.

The last thought I have to get off my chest is this: a true man confronts problems head on, rather than having everyone else do his dirty work and hiding inside his house.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Non-stop fun for everyone!

Yesterday afternoon I was really feeling like I had everything under control. Then I went out to buy milk.

I was having an easy kind of day despite the intense, screaming pain in my legs and hips. As many of you know, I ran the Cleveland Marathon on Sunday. Monday was a rough one, physically and mentally, but as the day progressed, things were improving. After baby boy's morning nap we made a productive trip to the pet store and Wegmans, then returned home for lunch and--miracle of all miracles--a THREE AND A HALF HOUR afternoon nap for little E.

Sounds pretty tame, yes?

Like I said, then we went out for milk.

We returned from Dash's just before six o'clock and Cosmo, our big, goofy Labradoodle, wasn't overjoyed to see us. Turns out Cosmo decided to help himself to a container of strawberries and a box of ant traps. Not only was our freshly-cleaned white carpet covered in pink splotches, there were four out of eight ant baits punctured and strewn about the floor.

Holy crap on so many levels.

Long story short, Cosmo's fine, the carpet is cleaned, and my marriage is intact. All three of those outcomes were in jeopardy for the few hours that followed my return from getting the freaking milk.

Did anyone else know that ant traps are filled with--get this--PEANUT BUTTER?! Like my dog can resist that. Needless to say, I won't be leaving anything out on the counter again, poisonous or not.

Ahh, the lessons we learn . . .

Monday, May 18, 2009

Begin the Begin

So here's the deal: I've been on maternity leave for over a year now, with no ending in sight. While I've loved nearly every minute of it, I feel like my brain is slowly turning into mushy Cheerio bits. I've got to start exercising this gray matter before it's completely gone, so here we are.

Over the past year I've developed so many new skills--not the least of which is signing a credit card receipt with one hard (try it--it's hard!). I've also had to readjust my schedule to do adult- only chores--like folding, washing and drying laundry, washing dishes, vacuuming, and, yes, procrastinating on the computer--to fit within the timeframe of my baby's naptime. Hence the name of this blog.

Come along on this crazy ride with me--some things you might find interesting, annoying, boring, exciting, weird, or deem me mildy psychotic and/or neurotic. But it's me, it's us, and it's just the beginning.