Blog a la Cart

Month: January, 2010

A healthy dose of PUT SHIT IN PERSPECTIVE!

I was having one of those moments where I was filled with self-doubt and loathing about this decision to leave California thanks to some less-than-supportive words from the director of my graduate program, and just when I was about to have my usual pity-fest, an email pinged into my phone from a dear friend (a friend, who I might add, is currently a Fulbright scholar living in Norway). The email was a response to the news of my new job and our move to the Purple Valley. His words were:

You live such a magical life.

Holy shit.

Thank you doesn’t even begin to cover  it.

This phrase could not have come at a more crucial, pivotal moment. Talk about throwing things back into perspective and reminding me to not be such an over-dramatic HO! And, more importantly, for reminding me that the opinions of an individual with whom I’ve had an antagonistic relationship ever since I informed him I was pregnant are most definitely NOT the opinions that matter.

How could I not remember that my life is magical when I get to look at this everyday:

At a cross ro-ads. And so damn overwhelmed that an intravenous sedative might not be out of the question.

In six weeks our lives are going to look a little something like this:

Yeah, that’s right. That there in the background is snow. Frosty, cold-like-death snow. That we’re moving to.

WHAT?! WHY?!? I take it back! I don’t wanna! Make the bad man go away!

Okay, whew, that’s been occurring ever since I committed to this drastic life decision at the end of last week. I may have ugly cried for two days straight at the thought of leaving 70 degrees of perfect perfectness and the most delectable Mexican food this country has to offer for the wintery hibernation of Massachusetts. AND WE ALL KNOW HOW I’M FEELING ABOUT MASSACHUSETTS! Ah, the irony of receiving a job offer in my-former-favorite-state literally a DAY after its fall from grace.

But they still have Dunkin Donuts. So that’s worth something.

In all seriousness, I am overall thrilled that I’ve been offered a marvelous job opportunity in my collegiate motherland- that’s right, a return to Billsville, the Berkshires. Just 5 years after my graduation, I’m returning to that very institution, with my family in tow. Williamstown is a magical place for me and James. The place where we fell in love. The place where we were married. And a place we’ve dreamed about raising a family. We didn’t intend that dream to happen quite so soon (did I mention that I’M NOT READY TO LEAVE CALIFORNIA?!), but when the opportunity presented itself, we just couldn’t resist.

It’s all totally overwhelming to think about packing up and moving 3,000 miles, while finishing my Master’s thesis, while James works full-time, with an 8-month old… IN LESS THAN SIX WEEKS. But we’re young, and resilient, and will come out the other side. AM I RIGHT?!?!

Don’t ask me how. Just check back in six weeks and see for yourselves.

In the meantime, I gots to get packing. And yes, I will be sharing with you all in the coming weeks my pro and con list for life in MA versus CA, because I heart lists. Like a lot. And man, does a move sure allow for a hell-of-a-lot of list writing.

See, there’s a pro!

Covered in black, which is kind of like being covered in lies. Only worse. Because we Weeks women are nothing short of dramatic.

Fired up doesn’t even to begin to describe how I’m feeling since the Massachusetts election results yesterday evening. So, know that going into this.

You see, when the 2004 Presidential Election results rolled into the Ulmer household all those years ago, my mother adorned herself in black. And remained in such a state of grief  for the entire month of November. She was in mourning. And folks, it has happened yet again. Allison, a lady in black. While I grew up in Massachusetts, a historically BLUE state (until YESTERDAY!), my parents settled into a town that was a hub of Catholic, Republican conservatism. Essentially, we were the crazy, Atheist, hippies on the hill. And wearing black for an entire month in response to a political election probably did nothing to dissuade such classification.

And trust me when we say, we are damn proud of it.

I’ve always been proud to be from Massachusetts, a state that I’ve heard referred to as a liberal, socialist nuthouse. A statement that warms my heart because it reminds me of all the progressive, forward-thinking policies that I so admire about the state’s politics. Politics that while they may frighten or threaten those more conservative in our country, pave the way for reform and social change and what I believe to be a more egalitarian way of life for all. It was the first U.S. state to legalize gay marriage. And the first U.S. state to reform health care to provide universal coverage to its residents.

That’s why, in light of all this, what I have to say is, “WTF MASSACHUSETTS?!?!”

I am filled with disappointment and a raging sense of fury at not only the Massachusetts residents but America as a whole. As always, we are two baby steps forward and ten GIANT steps backward. We refuse to think in terms of long term solutions and sustainability, and are out for ourselves, to make a quick buck. I am sick and tired of our selfish, short-sighted impulses.  The demand for instant gratification when reform and change are anything but instant,  and demand patience, endurance, and forward, progressive, out-of-the-box thinking is asinine and makes my blood boil. (I warned you that I was fired up. And dramatic.)

*Grumble*

And what irritates me the most, what shakes my core and fills me with utter rage is the blatant misogyny and sexism still so very prevalent in this nation. A country that claims equality for all, when women are still held to a double-standard and treated as second-class citizens. Listening to the news this morning, anchors were commenting on Scott Brown’s good looks and condoning his nude spread in Cosmopolitan. If a female political candidate EVER posed nude in say, Playboy, the backlash and criticism would be ASTRONOMICAL! It would never be acceptable, nor would that woman ever be taken seriously in a political arena. A woman must masculate herself to enter positions of power, because women are so codified as objects that in order to break free from the restraints of their gender, they must emulate the dominate sex. And even when they do this, they are criticized for their unfeminine ways. Yet if they cry, they are unstable. If a man cries, he is compassionate.

DOUBLE STANDARD. DOUBLE STANDARD. DOUBLE STANDARD.

I looked at my baby girl today and was filled with sadness that I had brought her into a world where even now her biological sex and consequently constructed gender identity would forever be a ball-and-chain on her agency in society. Needless to say, the house has been filled with a lot of Ani DiFranco today. A feminist musical lesson for the wee one: I have something to prove, as long as I know there’s something that needs improvement, and you know that everytime I move, I make a woman’s movement.

And all this happened during the week that we celebrate MLK’s legacy. The irony is astounding.

I have a dream that my daughter will one day live in a nation where she will not be judged by her biological sex but by the content of her character.

And for now, all the Weeks women are in black.

8 Months.

Baby girl,

Let me begin by saying that you made this holiday season memorable- in both a magical but also bodily fluid-filled capacity. You continue to push mommy and daddy to grow in ways we didn’t know were possible. Thank you for bringing us such joy and for teaching us the true meaning of selflessness.

Since the first week of your life “on the outside” your Momar has had a mild (okay, major) obsession with your hands. While most babies are complimented for their beautiful eyes, or perfectly spherical heads, or button noses, your Momar has gone on and on (and on and on) about your stunning, long fingers and delicate hands. Yeah, I know. Why couldn’t I have bestowed upon you a more prominent best feature? Ask your Doda, he’s the geneticist. This hand obsession has become a rather universal point of affection, as your babysitter has also mentioned on several occasions the beauty of those hands. And then this month you’ve taken to worrying them together, and I must admit, it is the dang cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t help but whisper, Out out dang spot, as you harness your inner Lady Macbeth.

Perhaps not the best literary character to emulate, but who’s judging. Everyone.

Anyway, I’m now on the hand-obsession train. My budding hand model. What more could a mother want.

You also are the most fun, ever. While I’ve enjoyed each month of your wee baby life, this month has been by far the most gloriously entertaining. We just have fun. So very much fun together. Now that you can kind of crawl (i.e. awk around like a drunk cat), we play all sorts of games and you squeal and laugh with delight. You understand how to play beek-a-bo, how to feed and pet Ursa, how to look at books while Mommy reads to you, how to try to escape from Daddy when he tickles you. It is the best. And I’m told it only gets MORE FUN! Holy hell, I don’t know if I can take it.

Because, well, with the fun, comes the flipside. You are now more opinionated and capable of acting on those opinions than ever before. Which means you are a pain. A pill! A baby who flips all over the changing table because you’re too bored to have your diaper changed and then you consequently pee all over the place. A baby who knows what she likes when it comes to her palette and will spit and raspberry and scream when fed anything that is not in the fruit family (i.e. anything non-sweet and sugary). In a former life, you were a fruit bat. We can coax you to eat yams and squash by coating them in cinnamon, but then you get a ridiculous red heat rash all around your month, and then you’re reminiscent of the Joker, as in Heath Ledger’s Joker, and it freaks me out.

Except, even when you freak me out, you are the cutest of cute. Seriously, there are  no cuter babies on the history of the planet, nor shall there be in the future. Of course, I realize that this is my blatant parental bias speaking, but I just can’t get over how truly awesome it is that daddy and I are so very in love with you and truly believe in our hearts that you are the most adorable baby ever born. What makes this feeling so amazing is to think that every parent (or one hopes every parent) feels comparably about their own child. And that our parents felt that way about us. The amount of love in the world is astounding.

Daddy and I are the happiest just lying around, watching you, and congratulating each other on creating and raising the sweetest baby on Earth. And to think we were all so loved and admired by our own parents. It’s awe-inspiring.

Happy 8 months, punkin pie.

143 Mama

Wintertime, and the living's easy.

Winter in So’Cal. Tough. Life.

On the brink of the Apocalypse.

And by on the brink of the Apocalypse, I mean our lives as we know it chez Cart are almost over.

And yes, we coax our baby to crawling with beer bottles. Awesome parenting 101.

Another rite of passage into parenthood.

Well, it’s been some time since I last posted. I am fully, digitally cleansed (whatever the hell that means) and while I wish I had something profound to say about this 10 day de-tox, let’s be honest, life went on as usual. I still had work and school related duties that kept me tied to the virtual world, and on the home front, I was still left up to my eyeballs in baby bodily fluids and surrounded by the stresses of parenthood. That shit doesn’t go away just because I stop writing about it.

So at least my outlet is back. And I am in the final stages of my thesis 1st draft, so I can totally justify a return to the blogosphere.

Perhaps the most memorable occurrence since my blog hiatus was the Cart household’s bout with a gastro-intensinal virus otherwise known as swimming in baby vomit (and James and Ashley vomit).

As a preface, I must say that I am the worst, and I mean THE worst puker in the history of E-V-E-R. Like the Tonya Harding of vomit. I weep, and protest, and moan, and cry some more, and demand that people hold my hair back, and tell me I’m beautiful, and cradle me in their arms while I expel my day’s lunch into the porcelain throne. Yet another reason why James is the luckiest man of earth. I know you WISH you could snuggle a sweaty, smelly, shower-deprived, virus ridden person in your arms. Apparently, we can’t all be so blessed.

Fortunately, I got the sickness last. So both James and Sunny were on the mend when all attention had to be turned to tending to my needy ass.

As I lay moaning, and whining, and generally cursing the world in bed, James just looked at me and said, “You do realize that your 7-month old baby handled this with more grace than you?”

What can I say, I am a weak, pathetic soul when sick. Or my child is abnormally stoic. While I’d like to believe that I’m raising one truly strong-willed little person, history shows that it is probably the former.

Addison, however, was a champ when she was sick. An Olympic gastro-intestinal sufferer.  She was such a happy, smiley, sweet little babe despite the evil, intestinal buggies attacking her bitty tummy. But baby puke. That shit is NO JOKE. Talk about projectile vomit, with literally no warning. We had mounds of dog towels balled up around the house due to the various land mines she’d planted, and we just had to rush to the closest sink/toilet/trash can when the expulsion would commence.

I think the only thing more pathetic than a sick child is a sick child’s parents. I, obviously, stood around weeping. Because that is clearly productive. And James ran around reading every parenting book and website imaginable, shouting various remedies, suggestions, and courses of actions in my general direction while I just waved my hands in the air like an idiot. We were awesome. Fortunately, I got my doctor on the phone, despite the fact that it was 8pm on New Year’s Eve and she eased our fears, gave us some advice, said to call if things worsened, and told me I needed to “Bitch be cool.” Of course, I’m paraphrasing, but it was exactly what I needed to chill the fuck out.

Best. Doctor. Ever.

So in conclusion, we rang in the New Year in a home filled with baby vomit soaked dog towels. Let’s just hope this shit isn’t some metaphor for the next decade, or I want my money back.

Happy Belated 2010 to all!