i can't seem to bring myself to watch scary movies, even though a good horror film used to be my favorite type of movie. it happened when you came along, you know.
mid-pregnancy, your dad brought home a heap of new movies for us to watch, most of them were cheese-mo - it's SO VERY HARD to find a good thriller that isn't stupid. you don't know this because i don't allow you to watch r rated movies. (even though by the time you read this you are pushing 25 or 30....you still are under my rule, and have yet to see anything remotely hostile. not even "Dirty Dancing")

as we were watching one of the movies, it really made me nauseated. i just...there is something about having this innocent creature in your womb that just...well...things like cuss words and horror films just feel weird. and i couldn't take it.  Thus ending the reign of terror on our television. 

ever once in a blue moon, i still want to watch a scary movie, but as soon as the thrill begins....i remember that you are in the next room asleep and my motherly instict takes over the remote and turns the movie to something less...real and something more fictional. like that tv show "Hoarders", or the nightly news. 

it occurs to me - now that i am coming off of my anxiety meds and i am not that numb anymore -that i may have loved those movies so much because they made me feel. that's not to be depressing. it's matter-of-fact. anxiety meds make me so calm, but it's also not that fun to not be able to have real emotions.

hi. did you know your mom might be a lunatic? blame your papaw. and uncle. 

last night, however, my love of the zombie film and my love for you came together wrapped in a sweet little package mixed with my love of sleep. could it get any better?!?! i MUST be dreaming.

and i was. dreaming. of the Zombie Apocalypse.
we were in some sort of city-type area with lots of buildings. which is the perfect place to be a zombie what with a large population in a small area. zombies rarely go hungry in an urban atmosphere.
i realized that you had been bitten and your zombie-like instincts of wanting my blood had taken over. you were a zombie. and you were chasing me. i had only one option: to rip your head off of your body.

i mean, duh. naturally.

anyone who has ever been a mother knows that it isn't possible to rip the head of your child off. it's not physically possible. it's been tried many, many times with little kids that don't eat their vegetables. it's just not possible. well....that coupled with i love you, and couldn't bring myself to it...or whatever. so i had to think of a new plan: keep you AND me alive even though we were mortal (or in your case, immortal) enemies. 

think fast, momma bear...if i let you nibble a little on me, i would become a zombie, too....but...there is something about eating people that grosses me out. i mean. you never know where those people have been or if they've washed their hands after they used the restroom. i don't want that in my mouth. no matter how much my body craves and requires their flesh. not gonna do it. 

and yes. that is my ONLY reason for not wanting to be a zombie. well...along with their choice in attire. they always have tattered clothes. oh. and they walk funny, too. but those are all very valid and wildly important reasons to stay human....everyone knows this. 

in ANY case...my quick thinking brought me to a building, that was full of non-brain-ingesting people, where i hid you in a closet. it's remarkable how in all zombie movies, they never show you how reasonable a zombie can be. especially a baby zombie. i had absolutely NO problems explaining to you why you shouldn't eat me and how i was working FOR you. such a trusting little zombie you are. i wish you would listen to me that easily in reality...like when i tell you to stop eating the dog's food...or not to stick your fingers in electrical  sockets. 

after i had you safely nestled in your closet, i would go back out in the hall and find someone looking for a safe-haven, and tell them that i know a good place to hide from the horrible monsters. (which...you are not a monster, sweet zombie-jovie, don't get self-conscious....i just had to LIE to these people to lure them to your desperate tummy) after i brought them to you, i would close the door and let you carry on in peace, while i stood guard. 

when you were done gobbling them up, you would open the door and stick your head out to give me that wonderfully warm and sweet "thank you mommy!" zombie smile. complete with blood and guts from whoever you had just inhaled. 

such a gracious and loving little zombie-baby you are. i LIKE it. 



you and i need to work on your nesting skills. you may only be 7 months old, but you are a bird. act like one! nest! nest! nest!

if you don't have that life skill naturally...though i hope that you do. you may look exactly like your father, but the least you could do is develop super-human neat-freak character traits from me....but if you DON'T have that life skill, we are going to have to drill it into your skull. 

i'm outnumbered here, jovie. with the two messy dogs that never clean up after themselves, and your father...i NEED you on my side, ok? 

that being said. i am charging you with a task of extreme importance; when you are hanging out with your daddy, DO NOT LET HIM LET THE HOUSE EXPLODE! i know i know. he will deny this until the day you grow up and fly away...but in MY opinion, when they two of you get together, the house has to pay for it. 

here's an example of a normal day with me:

what do you call those words that spell the same thing fowards and backwards? like "mom" and "dad" and....well...that's all i can think of. oh! i know more! "rotator" and "racecar". let me google this...it always bothers me that i can never remember that stupid vocabulary word....

days with you and i are palindromes. 
days with your daddy are...lol....onomatopoeias. a series of BANG! POP! POW! CRASH! BOOM!

and the house explodes. 
i can't seem to get through to him on how to be smooth, but maybe i can convince you to stop peeing on everything when he changes your diapers? he's not ever going to work out how to change you without creating the perfect opportunity for the perfect storm. so maybe i can get YOU to stop making the messes? maybe you can stop getting oatmeal EVERWHERE when he feeds you? you never do that with me! and jovie come ON. when he feeds you big girl food. get it in your mouth. or at LEAST on the floor for the dogs to lick up. but all over the table? do you know how hard it is to clean a glass top table? i'd be easier removing spots from a leopard.

and maybe i can beg you enough to learn the phrases "are you done with this, dad?" and "is that where that belongs?" just to simply nudge him in the right direction of not allowing the house to collapse in on itself when he is in charge. 

and i know you think you are cute that you have him so fooled. he thinks you require this much disaster. i know that you don't. so this is really all your fault because you have your daddy wrapped around your finger.  so, young lady, stop taking such radical advantage of your daddy or you will pay for this. one day you are going to be a teenager wanting a car. or your nose pierced. or to go on a date with a boy. and if you haven't improved upon your manipulating skills, i won't let your puppy-dog eyes and sweet giggles win your dad over anymore. 

you are going to have to fool me, too, sweetpea. and that's going to take some improvement. 
you can start by cleaning your room. 


the poo bomb

your daddy and i met in 2004, started dating a year later, got engaged a year after that, and were married after 1 year of engagement. to date, we have been married roughly 4.5 years.
you are 7 months old.

now that i have that timeline out of the way, and i feel better about that...

but wait....let me say this, too:
i'm glad that you are only 7 months old and can't really speak english yet. i don't doubt that you have a slight grasp of what's going on because you are crazy smart (like me), and intuitive (like me), and also really pretty (like me), but you don't understand adult stuff. not that it is earth-shattering or anything, but i have hypothyroidism and was just put on a medication for it 3 days ago. it has me LOOPY. i forget things, and get confused, and today my head has been kinda sketchy and i keep getting dizzy and such. it's annoying. so....thankfully you aren't aware of my weird-ness at the moment. that being said, it really doesn't matter, mathematically, how long your dad and i have known each other for this story's sake, but for MINE, you needed to be up to speed.

and...i feel better about that, too.

okay. ready. set. go.

last weekend you, your daddy, and i went to his family reunion in good ole Topeka, KS. because your mimi likes us all being together, she insisted that we take an extra day to drive there and stay the night in Tulsa, OK where your great-uncle Bill lives and have dinner with him before we drove the rest of the way to Tulsa. it was kinda out of our way, your dad had to take an extra day off of work, and we could have made the entire drive in one day. BUT, your mimi was a star! she paid for our gas, food, and hotel, and do we didn't mind the extra day of vacation.

the next morning in Tulsa, for the second half of the trip, you rode in the car with your grandparents. don't take this the wrong way...it was nice to have a few hours in the car with just your dad so that i could sleep. which you know by now is my favorite hobby. AND. i figured it wouldn't be long before you got bored in their car and started being fussy forcing them to want to give you back to me....(you do that, but it doesn't fool me. i always win because i can read minds and know what will calm you down. no one else listens to me when i tell them what you want and therefore you keep crying unless i have you. i'm magical like that.)

about an hour into the drive, your grandparents pulled off the road in the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma into the parking lot of an abandoned gas station. i had a feeling you must have been hungry or inconsolable or somesuch so they were looking for a savior to help you be satisfied. MOMMA TO THE RESCUE!!! as soon as they stopped the car, both of them jumped out and ran to the back to pull your carseat out. they retrieved you so quickly i just KNEW something was wrong.

and then i saw it:

when i say completely, you need to be aware of the extent of the complete. it was under your fingernails, jovie. on your shoes. on your bow. all up your back. your arms. your cheeks. your mouth (?) inside AND out you were slathered in your own poop.
apparently you had a nice little time reaching into your diapers and pulling out the stinky paint and just...went to town being artistic all over mimi's car. i can't say that isn't impressive. 7 months old and already able to discover new ways to have fun with whatever is within reach.


under normal circumstances...well...as normal as it could be seeing as how you don't NORMALLY mess yourself...we would have been able to hose you down in the sink of a bathroom. but we didn't have a bathroom. all we had was our own intelligence and critical thinking skills.
immediately, the four of us worked together like a professional hazmat cleanup crew.

i grabbed a box of diaper wipes, mimi got the bottle water, your grandpa found a plastic sack. your dad. well. i don't know what he did....
but anyway, before we knew it, i was holding you up under your arms and your dirty clothes were on the ground in a puddle of gravel, poo, water, diaper wipes, and flies. and we were all trying to get you cleaned and changed and as far away from the putrid stench as possible.
in a dash, grandpa stuffed the trash in the plastic sack, went behind the abandoned store where there was a trailer house, and threw your mess into their trashcan that was on their porch.

while he was doing that, mimi, dad, and i were working to put all of your things back into our car the way they were and get rid of all the flies that had come from all across oklahoma to get a whiff of your poop out of our cars. so many flies in the cars. it's making me gag thinking about it. the poo i can handle. the flies? not so much.

anyway, in the blink of an eye, we were all back in our places out on the country highway. and of course, i was on the phone within seconds to your nana to tell her what a ::giggle:: shitty thing you had done.
and it dawned on me....i didn't know where you're clothes were. i think they were thrown away with the dirty undies, the wet wipes, and the mud.

"turn the car around RIGHT NOW"
"i loved those shorts. i want them back. turn the car around"
"you have to be kidding"

not at all, good sir, i wasn't kidding. and so. we turned around. both cars. the five of us...and our swarm of pet flies. turned around, drove back, forced your father to go to a stranger's front porch, and dumpster dive in their garbage for your dookie covered britches.

i know that while you are 7 months old and clothes don't matter to you, you don't see the sacrifice in this. BUT. i know for a FACT that when you are about 13, you will understand the sacrifice that your mother made your father make by forcing him to retrieve your soiled linens. in your understanding, you will probably give me a really great birthday gift, or maybe clean your room.  undoubtedly you will thank me. and maybe THEN you will be able to see the extent in which i love you: as much as i love a good outfit.

and jovie, my bird, THAT is a LOT.



you and i did a little exercising the other day.

wait. let me backtrack a little and explain (because i KNOOOOOOOW in your lifetime i haven't told you this story or romanticized myself enough and i should do it again in this venue):
i've always been pudgy. i hope to all heaven that you have your daddy's skinny figure. i honestly think it is wasted on him anyway. a man shouldn't be allowed to have a perfect physique...they should be stinky and chest-hairy and gross....so it isn't FAIR that IIIIIII am stinky and gross (but not chest-hairy, thankfully)and your daddy gets to have the gorgeous figure.
however...a few years ago, i got really thin (for me, anyway) and i was all "YAY! I'M HOT! LET'S GO DANCING! AND SHOPPING! AND HAVE OUR PICTURES TAKEN! AND LET EVERYONE SEE ME!"

that only lasted about 3 days and then i got chunky again. then, after having you...sweet little nugget...i am HUGE. big thank you very much there. no. i'm not bitter. i just want you to know that you ruined me and made me ugly and i am fairly certain it's because YOU want to be the prettiest girl in the room.

which you are.

anyway...that afternoon i decided that you and i should mix things up a bit, and we should do "mommy and me" exercises. so fun! i could strap you into the little baby Bjorn and carry you close to my heart while i did some belly dancing. or yoga. or. aerobics. regardless...i just KNEW you you'd LOVE it!

i strapped you nice and snug to my torso, searched on our netflix and found a bunch of workout videos to test out. i put them all in our instant que to be ready to watch each time we decide to get fit. which will be EVERY DAY! because you and i will spend your whole childhood motivating each other! and then we will become a mother/daughter fitness duo! and we will make our own videos! with you strapped to my chest! and we will end hunger! and give peace a chance! and save the day!!!!!

i have such high expectations. i hope that doesn't screw up your childhood. if it does, you are grounded, k?

the first was a video meant for the exact purpose that i wanted; the lady on the video had her infant strapped to a sling so that she and the baby could "bond" while she burned! perfect! you and i will be so close! we will finish each other's sentences while we work off the lunch we ate! this will be the best workout ever!
i started the tape and basically, it consisted of the instructor walking in place and cooing at her (rather ugly) baby. it was boring. not to mention irritating, as she was one of those annoying mothers who treat their infants like a fragile piece of hand blown glass instead of what you all really are: monkeys. honestly, i couldn't stomach it, and my stomach wasn't getting ANY firmer this way. so...FAIL.

i tried another video. this time? baby pilates! perfect for working the midsection which is what is all misshapen and confused right now! you and i will brow closer while we breathe from our centers and imagine strings from our navel to the ceiling! the woman had her baby on her tummy using her as a weight to really amp up the ab workouts! this will be great! you are kinda heavy, but not too heavy so it won't hurt me, but it will still be fun to use you as a human weight system! BUT. you are entirely too wiggly and i spent most of my time trying to get you to sit still. although YOU were getting tons of enjoyment out of it, it wasn't helping my figure whatsoever. so...FAIL.

onto bollywood! weeeeeee! this would be even better because i could sing to you and tickle your toes or something while i wiggled my toosh! i've always wanted to learn how to dance like this! it's so exotic! and peppy! and once you start walking, i will teach you to bollywood and you can become a professional exotic dancer! (no, ma'am. not the x-rated sort. i will CUT you, young lady) PLUS, it would be fun for me anyway because bollywood dancing is COOL! and looks a lot like the way that pop-stars used to dance when i was a kid! NOSTALGIA! oh but wait...i don't have a jingly golden belt. i just have a tiny human wrapped around my torso. also? there was too much jumping involved and you are precious cargo that can't withstand the shock of my leaping and bounding without getting some sort of brain damage. or a broken clavicle. or...nightmares. so...FAIL.

not one to give up! i tried just a regular ole workout video that didn't include babies or excess hopping or wiggling my hip out of place frantically! this really is the better option...it's your very first mommy and me workout and i should start out easy. basic grape vining and knee-lifts to get you warmed up to the whole idea before i enroll you in gymnastics and you go to the Olympics. this is so much more sensible for a 6 month old. brilliant! you are going to be such a star! and gold medals will look GREAT hanging on our refrigerator! unfortunately, by this time you had grown weary and were tired of being strapped to my chest; unable to explore the house or chew on the dog's toys with full abandon.

you started crying. i thought i could make you happy if i altered the moves to be a little more exciting for you. but i quickly realized that turning in circles over and over was only making us both dizzy and we would most likely throw up any second. so...FAIL.

we had given it four solid tried, but an hour later, we only spent approximately 8 minutes doing actual working out with no real cardiovascular success. i'd had enough. you were chewing your hand and drooling all over me, so i said "to heck with this" and sat you in the floor with a bunch of toys and plopped down next to you with a big bowl of ice cream.

i think it's only right for us to reward ourselves for all of the hard work that we had done by doing 4 different workout videos in one day, don't you?

thanks for being such a great fitness partner,