November 21, 2006

Riley has been talking, talking, talking lately. He seems to have many important things to say, judging by the expansive arm gestures that accompany his nonstop monologue, but I can’t understand a bit of it. He continues to occasionally speak the recognizable word, like duck, dog, baby, and backpack (and, of course, of course, because he is a rotten little anklebiter who has played favorites from the time he could focus more than two inches in front of his head, Dada), but the majority of his language is an indecipherable mishmash that rises and falls like water burbling through a brook.

He’ll come up to me, toy outstretched, and chatter excitedly like a ground squirrel, and I find myself responding like I’m awkwardly trying to communicate with someone from another country: “Well! Is that…is that for me? Well thank – wait, no? It’s not for me? Do you want me to – no? I? Oh, you’re leaving. Okay, bye!”

Oh, and he is walking, walking, walking. Gone is the tentative Frankenbaby who made his teetering way a few feet at a time, he’s a bustling little penguin now, scurrying to and fro at top speed. Every now and then he lands on the floor with a startling crash, then pulls himself together and sets off again.

We put cabinet locks in the kitchen and I cannot make myself remember their existence for love or money, I yank on the cabinets every single goddamn time and go, oh yeah.

He does this thing where he suddenly stops mid-gambol and lets out this grinning, perfectly crazy, delighted “Aahhhhh!”. He shakes his head and stomps his feet a little while he’s doing it. It reminds me of how when Dog is really excited, she shakes herself all over like she’s wet, just a quick brisk shake and maybe a sneeze at the end, with her big happy dog mouth open and smiling. It’s like there’s just too much joy and happiness and it can’t be contained, it must be let loose into the world so that other people can absorb it.

That’s what I like to think, anyway.

JB has been chasing Riley lately, arms outstretched while saying, “I’m gonna getchoo!” and Riley gets all shrieky with laughter and his penguin-steps get all discombobulated and often as not he falls down in a giggling splat of toddler.

The rollercoaster is in an upswing, I feel like we’re in the high loops. It’s whooshy and there is a lot of laughter and and I am crossing my fingers all molars and viruses stay at bay for just a little while longer, because I like it up here, I love it up here.

So, I thought I would ask you, as the holiday approaches (we are driving down to Oregon today after work, which is either genius because the boy is more likely to sleep or it’s fucking insane because it will be dark and awful and exhausting and hey, there’s no guarantees the boy will sleep), what are you thankful for right now? I know it’s kind of a cheesy question but I also know I will love reading your answers over the next few days.

Me, I’m grateful for the upswing. I’m also grateful as hell for my son in general and my family and everyone’s health and for having work that interests me and I’m grateful for Diet Coke and Eclipse gum and pumpkin cheesecake and the fact that Aimee Mann has a holiday album, but FOR REAL: thank you, gods of toddler mercurialness, for this smashingly enjoyable time we’ve been having.

Talk to you later, alligators. I hope you have a wonderful week, whatever your plans may be.


84 Responses to “Upswing”

  1. Christine on November 21st, 2006 9:27 pm

    I am truly thankful for the outstanding way my life has turned out so far. I am over the moon with joy for my two wonderful daughters, my incredibly supportive and loving husband, and for the comfortable and loving home we have built together. I know that I don’t have the ‘attitude of gratitude’ often enough.

    I am thankful that I have enough of everything I need, and that I can give to others who don’t.

    I am thankful that I have my health, and my mind, and a career that ensures I will always be able to provide for my children, no matter what happens. I am thankful that I was lucky enough to find a man who loves me more than I can even fathom, and I am grateful evry day for his patience and wisdom.

    I hope you have a terrific Thanksgiving.

  2. Sarah on November 21st, 2006 10:14 pm

    So far this year I’m grateful that the doctor fixed Jeff’s back and he can like walk, sit AND stand.
    And that my mommy DOESN’T have diabetes, and that she seems to be doing really well in the heart department.
    And that I can usually afford to buy mountain dew. Because without it I’d be lost.
    And that Dale & Chewy are adapting well to eachother.
    And basically that I haven’t been evicted, bankrupted, divorced, widowed, or orphaned. These are all good things.

  3. Leah on November 21st, 2006 10:55 pm

    This was even more excellent than normal. The squirrel, the penguin…aahhhh; that’s some snuggly writing, that there.

    I’m thankful for so many things, I can’t seem to wrap my brain around it all to write. Hence my regular shivers of delight, just like Dog.

  4. Chloe on November 21st, 2006 11:10 pm

    Hmmm. Grateful for? In no particular order:
    Caffeine and all of the drinks which contain it.
    How much fun a new relationship is… maybe TOO fun.
    Healthy family, even if they aren’t perfect.
    My cat and the nightly snuggling he provides even if no one else is around to provide some snuggling.
    I’m gonna work in a little blatant consumerism and say my pretty blue ipod nano, which makes so many unpleasant waits and drives so much more pleasant.
    And maybe a little thankfullness for booze. Maybe. Meh, actually, nevermind. But it’s done me some good turns recently, shockingly enough.

  5. el-e-e on November 22nd, 2006 6:31 am

    Thankful for a few days off. Glorious days off!! Thankful to be going to my parents’ house where I can witness them cooing and squeeing all over AJ in his adorable talky toddlerhood. (Your post resonates with me today!) Thankful for plans to take a looooooong walk on Tgiving morning so that I can just eat and drink wine and not worry about it, come 4:00.

    Thankful, as someone else said, for wonderful blog-friends to entertain me while I’m *cough* working. :)

    Thankful for They Might Be Giants, for Toy Story, and for this good life. :)

  6. wealhtheow on November 22nd, 2006 7:05 am

    I’m thankful that my husband’s grandmother should be getting out of the hospital soon, after we thought a week ago that she was dying. I’m thankful that my parents are my friends as well as my parents. I’m thankful for my wonderful husband and my wonderful cat, and I’m thankful that my life is so rich with blessings. AND I’m thankful that I get to read your blog!

  7. sarah on November 22nd, 2006 7:18 am

    I’m thankful for my wonderful husband, my health, my family and friends and that life is so good.

  8. Kristin on November 22nd, 2006 7:21 am

    I’m grateful that last month I got to marry my very best friend. I am grateful that I now get to call myself a member of his family, and he of mine, crazy as they all may be. I’m grateful that I get to be an aunt to three wonderful kids, granddaughter to the World’s Coolest Grandaddy and daughter to two people who raised an amazing son. I’m grateful that we were able to buy our very first house. I’m grateful that the heating bill isn’t turning out to be nearly as bad as we had feared. I’m grateful for our golden retreiver, who is the doggie love of my life. And also pumpkin spice lattes.

  9. Bridget on November 22nd, 2006 7:29 am

    I’m thankful for family. For the next four days with my family and no interruptions of work because NO ONE IS THERE! :)

    I’m thankful that we are all healthy and – aside from being a little insane – we are all enjoying each other and in a happy little bubble – just like you guys right now!

    Hope it doesn’t pop anytime soon either!

    Have a great one!

  10. Lawyerish on November 22nd, 2006 7:30 am

    I feel like I have so many things to be thankful about this year, it makes me sweat a little because it’s almost like life is going too well, and also I don’t want to leave anyone or anything out in my ferocious praise.

    But one of the things for which I am grateful, and which I neglected to mention on my own site, is, as goofy as it sounds, the blogging world. Not the craptastic, ugly side of it, of course, but the side of it that is this civil and insightful and sometimes unutterably beautiful community. Sites like yours and so many others that share in the joys and frustrations of life in new and hilarious ways. And the people behind them — I’ve been fortunate enough to make a lifelong friend in Jonniker, whom I had the great fortune of meeting recently. It’s amazing what this crazy Internet diary thing has turned into, and I love it. Just love it.

  11. Ang on November 22nd, 2006 7:34 am

    Have a safe and happy holiday!

  12. gabby on November 22nd, 2006 8:32 am

    1st – Aimee Mann has a holiday album? Good to know.

    2nd – I needed this this morning. I have been looking forward to the holidays SO MUCH but this morning I woke up cranky and frustrated. We have a teething baby and, well, I’m not liking it much. So it’s nice to count my blessings.

    I’m thankful for the best husband in the world. My best friend. It always amazes me that he would give anything he had just to make me happy. He is the best person, father, friend, partner that could ever be.

    I’m grateful for my baby. SuperBaby is so content and has his father’s temperment instead of my manic temper. He laughs easily and just is happy.

    I’m thankful for pie and veggie dip and sweats and netflix and board games. I’m thankful that a couple of times a year all of those things collide into a perfect do nothing day.

  13. Jos on November 22nd, 2006 8:58 am

    Clean, warm water. Soap. Toothepaste. Chocolate. Pomegranate. Computers. Love. Dreams.

  14. Ana on November 22nd, 2006 10:56 am

    I’m thankful for my incredible little boy who blows me away on a daily basis. I’m thankful for a loving, supportive, forgiving family, and for a mended relationship between my mother and my grandmother. I’m thankful that my brother is slowly becoming a grown-up. Painfully slowly, but still…progress. I’m thankful for my friends…those I’ve known for many, many years, and those I’ve just met. They help center me. I’m thankful to not be married to my ex-husband anymore, but more than that, I’m thankful for having unexpectedly met someone who has turned out to be a really good match for me, and with whom I can be myself and feel at ease doing so. I’m thankful for my health, and my son’s, and I’m thankful for being employed, even if I am not in love with what I do. Finally, I’m thankful for second and third and fourth chances, and that I’m finally feeling more comfortable in my own skin.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Sundry and family!

  15. Nikki on November 22nd, 2006 11:56 am

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

  16. Jeanette on November 22nd, 2006 12:46 pm

    I too am on a roller coaster upswing right now. All is well in my little world. I am thankful for the 23 people I will be having at my house tomorrow, I am thankful for my friends, my husband, my children, good food, good drink, laughter, sunshine, beautiful autumn trees, smiles,my life.

  17. MRW on November 22nd, 2006 1:07 pm

    Like so many others I’m thankful for my husband. There are still times after 9 years when I cannot believe how lucky I was to find him. I’m thankful for my son. As someone who was on the fence about whether to have kids, he has been the most delightful and amazing surprise for nearly 4 years now. I didn’t know I could love someone so much. I’m thankful for my family and in-laws – although we make each other crazy sometimes, I am blessed to have a good relationship with my parents and my in-laws. I’m thankful for my friends. We’ve been through some tough times, but they make me laugh, comfort me when I cry, and generally make my days fuller. On the shallower side, I’m thankful for See’s dark chocolate event, eggnog, cheese, nachos, self-tanner and possibly the most annoying, but effective work out video ever that has helped me FINALLY get back to my pre-baby weight and size after all of these years.

  18. telegirl on November 22nd, 2006 1:30 pm

    I am thankful for my loving, giving, sweet husband that took me 35 years to find… and for the baby that is growing inside me that we created. I am thankful we are healthy and happy. I am thankful my husband had the courage to go back to school and get a degree so he can do what he loves and it will make our lives much easier in the long-run. I am thankful for my wonderful family because of how perfect they are, and because they have adopted my husband as if he was always part of the family. I’m thankful for our wonderful dogs, who happen to be a bright spot in my day, every day. I am thankful I live in a beautiful place called Oregon where I can do almost anything I love; camping, fishing, skiing (at least, I will get to do it next year after the baby’s born!), or nothing. I am thankful for friends, the smell of sagebrush after a rain, the sound of the wind through a Ponderosa pine, morning playtime with the pups, afternoons at my parents’ house, good food and so much more.

  19. Mel on November 22nd, 2006 1:36 pm

    I’m thankful for the beautiful, lets take Ian for a walk weather we are having right now, even though it usually snows the day before Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for my son and husband and twin who is coming to spend the weekend with us. I’m greatful that my husband is so supportive and loving and that he has a good, healthy growing relationship with Ian. I’m thankful for friends and for good health and a great book, especially a mystery! And did I mention chocolate, especially the dark kind?

  20. Jilly on November 22nd, 2006 5:24 pm

    I’m thankful for being alive. A body like a 90 year old, but at least I’m breathing!

  21. jonniker on November 22nd, 2006 5:24 pm

    God, I don’t know, I’m thankful for something like…everything, seriously. My family, my husband, and even my damn dog. In so many ways, as hard as this year has been, it has been the best year of my life so far, and I don’t think I even realized it until right now. But it has. The best.

    So hell yes, I’m thankful for that.

  22. katie d on November 22nd, 2006 6:13 pm

    I’m thankful for the experience and opportunity of 4.5 months in Paris and that neither of the planes I took on my trip back went down in flaming fireballs o’ death.

    I’m also thankful for:
    1. my little bear Pete, who gets me through the tough times and makes me smile with his jauntiness, and who I’m hoping to get a kids’ book out of.
    2. awesome, intimate sex
    3. all the people who wrote me comments on my blog and sent me email and care packages while I was living alone in a foreign land with no one to speak to for 4.5 months
    4. this amazing, well-written blog that makes me laugh, smile, and feel mostly really great, and when it makes me feel something else, it lets me know I’m not alone in my travails.

    And my health, the support of my friends and boyfriend, my mom, and the people in my life when I was growing up who taught me to believe in myself and my abilities instead of knocking me down.

  23. Kristin on November 22nd, 2006 8:03 pm

    This is totally absurdly cheesy but I’m actually pretty grateful for you, Linda and your blog, for getting me through this confounding and isolating baby dealy I have going on.

    I’m also pretty grateful for Nolan and Robby and Jordi but only when he’s not being a beligerent asshole.

  24. Erin on November 22nd, 2006 9:52 pm

    I’m thankful that in less than a year, I will be married to a wonderful guy and we’ll be living on our own in a city that is not where our families are residing. I am thankful that this is my last year of undergraduate school. I am also thankful, of course, for my friends and family that have supported my family for the past year and all the random crazy things that have happened. I love this time of year and I love treasuring it as long as I can. I love the smell of the outdoors, the smell in the kitchen, the smell of the sound of our families getting together. Perhaps I am most thankful that my sister and I are now closer than ever and that we call each other to talk at least once a week. 21 years ago, I never would have guessed that I can now truly call her my best friend.

    But, I am not thankful for my inability to chow down on and dig in on what is supposed to be one of the best meals of the year. And that make me sad.

  25. tanya on November 23rd, 2006 10:26 am

    Been thinking a lot about what I’m thankful for today. Generally I hate Thanksgiving. It’s hard because I’m not comfortable in groups of people, particularly those that you see because you have to and not because you want to. So I’m working hard on finding things to be thankful for so this day can be something I enjoy. I’m thankful for my life, for my family and friends, for the new adventure I’m taking part in right now, for lessons learned and for all the love I’ve gotten to feel in this life. I’m thankful that I went to Cirque du Soleil last night and that I’ve gotten to be of help to my dad and stepmom. I’m thankful that I’m learning how to ask for things, and to let go of the outcome of things. I’m very thankful for the sense of calm and peace I have at this time. That’s a start, yes?

  26. tanya on November 23rd, 2006 10:27 am

    and yes, I am very truly thankful for your blog. It’s a wonderful highlight in my days.

  27. anja on November 24th, 2006 1:50 am

    There’s just one thing I can say – the person I love most was in the hospital this time last year after a suicide attempt. All I am thankful for is to have her here this Thanksgiving to eat too much turkey with me.

    Hope you and yours have a beautiful holiday.

  28. April on November 24th, 2006 2:16 am

    I’m grateful for my mom’s health- she was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago for something that looked like cancer and turned out to be a ruptured appendix. Her belly was really infected and they had to remove some intestine, which left her with an unpleasent bathroom alternative for a few months but compared to what we thought we were facing? It’s ALL GOOD and she is still here!

  29. Rayshell on November 27th, 2006 1:40 pm

    I am late in responding as I am just back to work and reading the blogs I enjoy so much! But I am thankful for our first baby which my hubby and I found out will arrive next summer! Also for a spectacular family and great friends. I hope you enjoyed your holiday to the fullest!!!

  30. Azox on February 3rd, 2007 3:36 am

    You have so much spam in here.. (

  31. Abi on February 3rd, 2007 4:48 am

    Awesome, man

  32. Ei on February 4th, 2007 2:56 pm

    Awesome, man

  33. Adriane on February 11th, 2007 5:08 am

    I hate spammers! (

  34. Amy Poehler on January 27th, 2008 12:28 am

    Hey!…Man i just love your blog, keep the cool posts comin..holy Sunday

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