Friday, June 24, 2005

it's our anniversary, it's our anniversary, it's our anniversary...happy anniversary!

It's our five-year anniversary today! We don't have much money, so we're just going out to dinner and a movie. We both like giving and receiving presents, but we just can't buy them this year. Yesterday we made each other swear to God that we wouldn't buy presents, and when we swear to God, we mean it because we were raised Catholic and if we swear to God and lie then we know we will be condemned to hell. So, no presents. But I told Ryan I figure we're spending all of our money on moving into a house, which is a gift to both of us. We're moving in next weekend, and we're really excited.

It's hard to believe that we've been together for nine years and married for five. We've done so much and lived all over the place and now we have a little baby boy. I love you, Ry! Happy Anniversary.

ben doing his gene simmons impression Posted by Hello

see? Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

ben can't crawl...

but he is very good at squirming out of my arms when I am giving him a bath, grabbing hold of the side of the tub, and pulling himself to a standing position. He won't do this when he is in his room exploring Weebleville. He only tries to stand when he is slippery, shampooed and immersed in water. He has begun to refuse to sit down in the bathtub. He stiffens his legs and grunts and ignores his squirt toys. He wiggles from my grasp and climbs up my arm. It is like cleaning a rabid ferret, not a baby.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

a father's day note.

Last week there were a bunch of earthquakes here in California, one of them even sparking a tsunami warning. Obsessive as we are, Ryan and I were worried about the warning, even though we lie very far inland. We couldn't stop watching the news, and I wondered if we should--just in case--head for higher ground. Realistically, even if, by some miracle, the wave made it to us, by the time it got here it would be little more than the size of a splash from a car that drove through a puddle. Still, now that we have Ben, we are hyper-aware of such things. Ben is completely dependent upon us to preserve his safety and well-being, and that is a huge and terrifying and wonderful responsibility.

After the tsunami-warning quake, there was one that hit even closer, about three miles away from us. I was at work, speaking to one of my students after class. (This student, meanwhile, failed to inform me that there was a TELEVISION directly over my head.) Ben was at home blissfully napping when Ryan scooped him up and woke him and held him close under the nearest doorway. Ryan said he's never responded so swiftly and decisively. People talk about a mother's instinct, but fathers have instincts too, and Ryan exerted his to protect little Ben while his mother was far away standing underneath a television jolting out of the bolts that secured it to the ceiling above her head. Ryan tried to return Ben to his nap, but Ben panicked, and Ryan picked him up and sat with him on the couch. Ben kept looking up to Ryan, scanning Ryan's eyes and expression for evidence that he was okay. Ryan told me later that this was the first time that he felt like Ben knew he was his dad, the first time Ben looked to him to tell him it would be okay. This is something that Ben has only done with Ryan, an early Father's Day present.

Can you believe it Ryan? We made a human being, and he is so gorgeous and so intense and we are so in love with him. Ryan, you are an amazing father and an amazing husband, and we (Ben and I) are so lucky to have you. You don't get freaked out when Ben tries to eat from your nipple or shits his pants so forcefully that it oozes from his diaper. You are happy to be here 100 percent, every day, no matter how intense or annoying I am, no matter how tired you are, and I love you so much for this, and I feel so lucky to have you. Happy Father's Day.

proud papa Posted by Hello

suspicious baby Posted by Hello

working the teething blanket Posted by Hello

tasting the air Posted by Hello

ben's latest obsession is sticking his tongue out Posted by Hello

sporting his kevin federline fedora Posted by Hello

contemplating the state of Weebleville, a serious affair Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

i suck.

I didn't get the full-time job I wanted. I didn't even make it to the final three. I'm such a terrible interviewer. I get nervous and shake, even when it's over the phone. I wish I could write in my answers. Why, why, why do I get so nervous? So, no great salary. No great benefits. Ben will have to pay for college himself. God, do I suck.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

we got the house!

When we went to view the house, there were three other couples. We dressed cute, and we printed out our work and rental history, and we thought we had a chance. But as we pulled up to the house, our hopes were dashed. A well-dressed but homely pregnant woman got out of the car. "Damn it," I told Ryan. "Pregnant women beat babies for cuteness."

To top it all off, all of the others viewing the house were doctors with children who probably made more money than us and had excellent credit. AND, they all knew each other from school. Ryan did his best to work the landlady over, making Ben wave at her and letting her touch his downy head. But, alas, when we left we felt defeated.

We loved the house. It was beautiful and charming and had an ample backyard and custom cabinetry. But we didn't think we had a chance. The other couples seemed to think the place was just okay. They were going to rent it to someone who didn't even appreciate it. When I mentioned this to my mother-in-law Mary, she suggested I call the landlady and tell her how great the house was. And so I did.

She called back a couple of hours later, and said the house was ours. We signed the lease the day before yesterday. So listen here doctors: You may have more money than us, and therefore your lives may be less stressful, but we're cuter and nicer than you are. And that is why the house is ours. The house is ours!! Hooray!!!

pretty boy Posted by Hello

caught off guard Posted by Hello

laughing at dad Posted by Hello

riding his bike Posted by Hello

little old man Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 05, 2005

your 8th month out of my uterus.

Benjamin Ian Bartlett,

You are 8 months old today, buddy! Happy birthday!!! While you are sleeping away, I thought I’d take the time to post something on your blog because certain someones have been bugging me about not posting lately. Well, certain someones, I’m tired. And I feel dumb because I did poorly on my interview on Thursday. And my house smells like mildew. And yesterday I lost a chapter of the bestselling book that I’m working on because I’m stupid.

Today we are going to look at a house to rent. Yes, it’s little too expensive. But it is our dream home. It is white with blue shutters. It has a fenced in backyard. It has a washer and dryer. And, the most important qualification for being our dream home: it has a front porch. Oh, and we won’t share any walls or floors or ceilings with anyone ever again. The people below us make it incredibly clear that they do not enjoy Ben jumping in his Exersaucer, or screaming or rolling around. They apparently have supersonic hearing and can detect the slightest motion in our apartment. While it is my feeling that they should purchase a cd featuring ocean waves or waterfalls or forest noises to counter their incredible hearing abilities, they don’t seem to agree. They are the older type of renters, the ones who have been there for many years, the ones who think because they have lived there for so long, they own the whole building and make the rules. Ben’s going to start making a hell of a lot more noise in the coming months, and we don’t want to feel uncomfortable, so we need to find a house to live in, one with a yard that he can run around in, and a porch on which Ryan and I can drink tea.

Unfortunately, there is competition to rent our dream home, and we have to pile in the house with a bunch of other people who mistakenly believe that this house is their dream home, and we all have to apply for it together. Now, although Ryan and I have good jobs and good rental history, living in New York kind of kicked our asses, so we don’t have what one might call “good credit.” So our only hope is to give you a bath, Ben, put some nice-smelling lotion on you, dress you in your best outfit, iron our clothes and brush our hair, and try to charm the pants off of our future landlords. Hopefully you will cooperate by exhibiting your Walter Mathau face, that irresistible expression that will win over their hearts. It is more likely, however, that you will screech in their faces, possibly even throw up on their carpet.

You are making progress Ben, but I am worried that you aren’t crawling yet, or even lifting your giant belly off the floor. It may be because you are an enormous baby–you are 8 months old but wear 18-month-old clothes, but I’m scared you might be behind. You can wiggle and scoot and roll, but you don’t show much interest in it. I’m thinking it might be because you have everything you could ever want handed to you by your hovering, adoring parents, so each day, I put you on the floor and sit a little ways away from you and let you roll around and reach for things that you might want. In this way, hopefully, you will learn to go after what you want. Now help us get that house, baby. You’re our only hope.

loving daddy...and trying to eat his sweater Posted by Hello

party time...holla!!!! Posted by Hello

more party time... Posted by Hello

eating the remote! Posted by Hello

strange baby boy Posted by Hello

the party is over Posted by Hello

there are 20 other pictures of jill and me that look just like this one Posted by Hello

brother and sisters--a beautiful photo of all! Posted by Hello

the big birthday cake! Posted by Hello

mary and lauren Posted by Hello

jim and bridge Posted by Hello