April 30th, 2006

All week long I’ve been seeing signs posted here and there in our neighborhood: APRIL 29 SHEEP SHEARING AT KELSEY CREEK FARM.

Since last week I rode all the way to Eugene and back in order to observe a fence being built, I figured JB owed me a tedious activity this weekend, all the better if it was something that held zero appeal to him.

“We are going to watch sheep being sheared on Sunday,” I informed him. “And you have to go with me! To the sheep farm! Ha ha haaaaa, that’ll teach you, Mr. Fencey Von Fencerton!”

I reminded him on a daily basis (“Sheep! Being shaved! It’s going to be awesome!”) until this morning, when we arrived at the farm and walked past one of the ubiquitous APRIL 29 SHEEP posters.

“I wonder why there’s hardly anyone here,” I said. “Maybe because today is the 30th,” JB replied.

Well, all was not lost–I didn’t get to observe the hot man-on-sheep shearing action, which I had built up in my mind to be something like that dippy Australian guy running around after crocodiles (“Crikey, this one’s a beaut! Just look at the wool on this bugga!”), but the farm was so pretty and rural it was hard to believe we were right smack dab in our Bellevue stomping grounds. Riley rode in the backpack carrier, divvying his attention between the bucolic surroundings and the endless puzzle of the carrier’s straps.

Bok bok bok bok BUGAWK.

Taken in the reflection of a window.

JB, boy, and random horse.

Nothing can sneak up on the boy, for he has ninjalike hearing. Also, a deeply suspicious nature.

My turn with Riley. I love the backpack carrier, it’s so much more comfortable than the Bjorn thingamajig.

Farm relic.


In other weekend news, in the brief periods during which Riley napped, I vacuumed the carpet twice, crammed an entire lemon down our sink disposal in an attempt to rid it of a horrifically foul mystery odor, picked several million sticky seed pod things off Dog, and cycled through about forty loads of laundry. We went to Home Depot twice, bought JB a massive package of socks at Fred Meyer, and visited Half Price Books where I purchased my own weight in used magazines.

It’s funny, sometimes I imagine my younger self being able to somehow observe my life today. “Oh my gah,” she’d say, rolling her eyes (which would be ringed like a panda with fifteen layers of Wet n’ Wild black eyeliner pencil, warmed for the task with a hair dryer) at how boring I’ve become.

“You just don’t understand yet,” I’d tell her. “This life, with all its earthly conventions and humdrum moments, is so happy. You are going to be so happy.”

Then I’d make her watch me putting on pink lipstick, just to blow her fucking mind.

April 27, 2006

My boy can mostly sit up now, but has a bad habit of occasionally pushing himself backwards with great vigor. If there is no smooshy surface to absorb the collision, his head then pounds the floor with a thumped-coconut thonk! sound and after the initial moment of shock passes, the wailing and garment-rending ensues.

Most people like to talk about how bright and gifted their babies are; me, I’ll freely admit that the child has styrofoam packing material for brains sometimes. “Dude,” I told him last night as I helped him up for the third time (we were on the bed to minimize the chances of his skull getting Britney’d), “even Dog doesn’t ram her head into the ground. Plus, she poops outside. You’re seriously coming up short in comparison.”

I’ve been kind of eager for him to master this sitting business because I want to stop worrying about whether or not it’s weird that at eight months he’s still flopping over while other babies are pulling up, crawling, participating in gymkhana equestrian events, etc. At the same time, I’m trying to relish every moment that he’s not particularly ambulatory. After all, you gotta do the sitting first, then when you do the sitting, you get the power. Then when you get the power, you get the women.

(Hmm, that attempt at quoting Scarface in an amusing manner didn’t really pan out, did it? Note to self: stick head up ass, see if it fits.)

What I mean is, once he starts moving around we’re going to have to make some serious changes to our house. Hide the snarl of wires erupting from the entertainment center. Put locks on the kitchen cabinets. Shoo away the pack of slavering, foam-flecked dingos in the hallway. And so on.

There’s a baby at Riley’s daycare who scoots around on her butt, and I’m amazed and a little frightened by just how fast she can move. She’ll just be sitting there all innocent, and the next time you look she’s shot across the entire room as if her plump little rear grew a set of wheels and a small rocket propulsion device.

Well, Riley might not be the best sitter-upper yet, but I put him in the jumper this morning and after a brief period of why-have-you-thrust-me-in-this-instrument-of-torture complaining, he suddenly started bouncing, kaboing, boing, boing, and laughing up at me with his toothy pink wide-open-mouth smile. He bounced all through my shower and while I dried my hair and got dressed. BLISS.



I dropped Riley off at daycare this morning and filled out the daily form that they use to record when and how much he eats, the frequency and contents of his diaper changes, and his nap schedule. Whoever takes him in has to write when he woke up, when he last ate, make notation of any changes from the norm – contact info for the day, medication, etc – and as always, there is a little section called CHILD’S MOOD.

JB and I usually just write “good”, except for the day a couple weeks ago when Riley’s MOOD the previous day had been decidedly not good at all; rather, it had been completely horrendous from teething. JB took him in that morning, and when I picked him up I noticed something on the sheet that made me laugh out loud: under MOOD, he’d written “BIT CRANKY”.

“Bit cranky?” I said that night. “BIT CRANKY? ‘Oh, sorry about Damien here, he’s just a BIT CRANKY.’ Talk about the understatement of the year.”

The next day Riley’s MOOD notation read “I’VE SEEN BETTER.” JB was clearly starting something, so the time after that I wrote “FAIR TO MIDDLIN”. The next time it was JB’s turn the form read “NOT BAD BUT DEFINITELY SUSPICIOUS”. This morning I wrote “NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.”

No one’s said anything to us about the notes so either the MOOD requirement is pretty much useless and not being read, or they just think we’re a couple of freaks.


It seems weird to end this post on a completely sober note, but if you have not seen this amazing piece of photojournalism about the aftereffects of Chernobyl, I think you should. It’s heartbreaking and very hard to watch and I personally had absolutely no knowledge of any of it. There was a brief segment on the national news last night about the anniversary of the disaster, and they didn’t show anything like what you’ll see on that link. A fucking unbelievable tragedy.

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