Tag Archives: baby

Your Formal Invitation to Violet’s Pity Party

30 May

I just dropped Buddy off with some officers and some gentlemen for another round of “G.I. Joe” on your tax dollar. For the next few weeks, I’m a single mother.

Did I mention today is our wedding anniversary? Today is our wedding anniversary.

I should be accustomed to this. I signed up for this when I married a troop. Six years and 20 minutes ago today, I was walking down the aisle, toward the most handsome man in his dress uniform. Even my wedding ceremony was wrought with reminders about the choice I was making at that very moment.

But things feel different now. We’re parents.  Last wedding anniversary, Buddy took me to our favorite sushi haunt, with a little monkey swaddled against my chest in her stylish pouch. This year, we woke up at o-dark-thirty to schlep the man an hour away, loaded to the brim with tactical gear.

I am not an ingrate: I value everything Buddy’s service has brought to our lives. Our killer health insurance, our inexpensive mortgage on a great home, and our paid off cars are gifts directly (or indirectly) bestowed upon us by the military.

But when he misses anniversaries, birthdays, family weddings, et cetera, I get a little crabby and forget to be thankful.

Advertisements

Pomp and Circumstance

7 May

WE’RE GRADUATING, BITCHES!

Ok. Not the classiest lead-in, but I’m just so fucking excited.

I know that everyone thinks their graduation is special, just like everyone thinks their baby is cute. I know that 95% of us are wrong. But let me tell you why our graduation tonight is the most specialist, amazing, wonderful accomplishment EVER!

First things first: You’ll notice that I used the third-person possessive pronoun “we.” Tonight, both Buddy and I walk for our degrees. He’s graduating with his Bachelor’s, and I with my Master’s. That’s a BFD (“Big Fucking Deal”) in and of itself: save for couples in the exact same degree program, I’ve never heard of a husband and wife graduating in the same ceremony. So that’s pretty cool.

The road to tonight was paved with bullshit and challenges. I know, I know: everyone says that. Everyone thinks their education was difficult. But they didn’t go through what we went through to get here.

Buddy started college just like everyone else: straight out of high school. A student by day, soldier by weekend, he soon learned that the military trumped college. On three separate occasions, the military deployed him, causing him to pause his education. The first time, he lost a semester. The second time, he lost four semesters. The third time, he lost two semesters before he began working on online classes during the deployment. All the while, he was diagnosed with Adult ADD, and had to struggle through the obvious road blocks to overcome the ADD and flourish in school. PTSD decided to rear its ugly head, and that fucked with his ability to concentrate and succeed in the classroom. Then we got pregnant. He stopped being a full-time student and went to work. Buh-buy, semester! Once the baby came, we decided it would be economically advantageous for him to resume his studies and stay home with the kid. His last three semesters were spent working during nap times and late into the night, around the baby’s schedule. In spite of the military; in spite of the PTSD and ADD; in spite of being a full-time Stay-At-Home-Daddy, he finished last week. He’s officially a college graduate.

Graduate school was not at the top of my priority list. I applied because my professional mentor and friend, Super Teacher, forced inspired me to. Right as my first semester began, we bought a house. Buddy was deployed, so I was doing all the house-hunting, inspection-supervising, and document-signing. Oh, and all the packing and moving and unpacking, too. Trust me, it wasn’t fun to do my reading on my bed because my desk was packed, and the couch was covered with boxes. But we moved, and we settled, and Buddy returned from the deployment. Hurdle number one: conquered. I kicked ass for another semester, but at the beginning of the following semester, I learned I was pregnant. I was tired, irritable, bitchy, and unmotivated. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t pleasant to teach or collaborate with. The semester of my last trimester, I only took one course just in case the monkey decided to arrive early. I was so pregnant and fat that I hardly fit into the desks at my university. When the baby was born, I took the next semester off to be with her. (Good call on my part, because I don’t know how I would have passed my courses with the 6 nightly feedings and 2 hours of sleep I was dealing with.) By the time that ended and I was due to return to school, I was so under-motivated that I was pathetic. All I wanted was to stay home with the kid and play; work and school meant shit to me. Already deep in debt from the previous semesters and six classes from graduating, I said, “FUCK IT” and pushed on. My last semester, I had an administrative internship apart from my teacher responsibilities, and I slaved away on superfluous tasks night and day for five months. Some days, I wouldn’t even see the kid, since she was asleep when I left for work, and asleep when I got home from class later that night. Let’s not even discuss my near-nervous breakdown, because we already covered that shit in a previous post.

Let’s recap: between Buddy and me, we served in the military, bought a house, struggled with our mental health, made the baby, baked the baby, had the baby, and raised the baby, all while attending school. Tonight, when we walk, we’re walking in spite of our obstacles. We’re sporting our caps and gowns (and me, my hood) for every life event that threatened to derail our education.

Know what? WE’RE MOTHER-FUCKING GRADUATES!!!!

Picky Eaters and Why I Refuse to Raise One

3 Mar

Over the course of the past couple of years, I’ve become hyper-aware of what I eat. I know that seems so trite, but in mainstream American culture, food is such a social and psychological medium that we tend to take our meals – and where they come from – for granted. It all started when I watched Food Inc. while pregnant. I think my hormones made me a bit psycho, but I couldn’t handle eating non-organic animal products for a while. A little bit of crazy remains, and I try to only feed Pterodactyl organic animal products (although I’ve loosened up on the fruits/veggies a bit). Recently, I’ve viewed some other food-related documentaries that caused me to give pause to the quantity and quality of fruits/veggies I eat, and how I perceive food.

I can’t stand picky eaters. I apologize to those of you who maintain specific diets, but I consider food a first-world adventure. I’ll try anything – all kinds of sushi, tripe, steak tare-tare, foie gras, strange fruits and veggies – you name it, I’ll eat it. I believe that picky eaters are depriving themselves of not only cool culinary experiences, but some important aspects of their nutrition. There are a few small children in my life who I consider to be “picky.” Their entire diets consist of “kid foods” like mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, and hot dogs. I even have a good friend who is of the fussy variety. She has about seven or eight meals that she eats, and she rotates them regularly. My birthday dinners at the ceviche bar or sushi restaurant gave her zero meal options. I feel sad for her taste buds.

Now that Pterodactyl is learning to eat table foods, I’m making it my mission to encourage her palate. At ten months old, she’s already experienced tofu, seafood, tabouli, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and all manner of vegetables. Daisy offered me an excellent piece of advice many weeks back that I would like to reiterate here: she told me to feed my child what I feed Buddy and me, and over time, the kid would learn to like the foods we do. Boy, have I taken that to heart! My kid already gets down with some curried tofu over jasmine rice, and just about cleans her plate. (If you include the food that winds up on the floors, walls, and inside her diaper, then her plate is most certainly cleared.) So far, it’s working. Pterodactyl doesn’t discriminate; she’ll eat whatever I put in front of her. I hope that this trend continues, and much like her cousins Intuitive, Diva, and Handsome, she will get down with some sushi when she’s old enough.

I’ve seen persnickety eaters grow out of their preferences. My little brother was a Tyrannosaurus Rex. As a child, he would eat only meat and potatoes, and leave the veggies to me and my mother. Now that he’s a fitness-conscious adult, he has widened his repertoire to include most of the veggies we consider American staples. He gives me hope for the two little picky-eaters in my life. Maybe they will grow to be adults who enjoy a wide variety of foods; maybe their health won’t suffer at the expense of their finicky choices.

Buddy and I are going to start juicing as soon as our new gizmo arrives from amazon.com. Part of this dietary change means that we’ll keep fruits and vegetables in the house that we normally wouldn’t, like kale and beets. While I’m thrilled that we’re going to be making better dietary choices for ourselves, the real fun will be introducing Pterodactyl to unique flavors she hasn’t yet experienced, and cultivating her taste buds. Let’s hope that, in adulthood, she will enjoy a variety of foods, from the stinkiest, moldiest French cheeses to the spiciest Indian curries available. If that is indeed the case, I know it will be a result of what I’m feeding her now, and the amazing advice her Auntie Daisy gave us.

%d bloggers like this: