Friday, March 30, 2012

Dear Brodie: Happy Birthday!

Dear Brodie,


You, little one, are TWO today.

It’s been eight months since my last letter. Remember? The one where I begged you to stop screaming? The one where I threatened to throw you in Pops’ studio until you were quiet? Well, it’s been quite the eight months and you have, indeed, stopped screaming.

Thanks so much for that.

You have replaced the screaming with all kinds of other good stuff. Okay, well, mostly good stuff. You do say, “Dammit” and “Nooo!” an awful lot. (This, really, is my fault considering those are the two words you hear me say the most)But mostly you sing. And talk. And laugh and play and giggle. You really are too cute, even when you’re trying your best to be rotten.

You like your Bubba the most. He’s the first person you ask for when you wake up in the morning and the last person you say, “Night” to before you are all tucked into bed. He likes you back. I know sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, what with the, “Brodie, go away and leave me alooonnneee!” and similar things he’s always yelling at you. But, trust me, not only as your mom but as an older sibling, he really does like you.

Bubba going to kindergarten has turned out to be pretty cool for you and me. We’ve gotten a lot of time to get to know each other better. I know I was a little worried about it at first, worried how we would do without Bubba around as a buffer, but we’ve actually done better than okay. We have a system. A pretty good one, I think. One that includes starting the day with coffee creamer in your milk. You like Crème Brule the best, like me, but you’ll settle for French Vanilla in a pinch.

You are very routine oriented, unlike your big brother, and as hard as I tried to fight it, I’ve actually gotten a lot better at the routine thing myself.

Thanks so much for that.

The last eight months have also brought out a sweetness in you that is hard to ignore.  Although, most of the time when you’re being sweet, it is accompanied by an apology. I must say that along with “Dammit” and “Nooo!” you say, “Sorry” quite a bit. We all forgive you but, eventually, some of us are going to start hitting you back. Enjoy being little while it lasts. Any day now, I’m going to start turning my head and letting your brother handle things for himself. It’s probably good that you’re teaching him how to be a fighter, too. He’s going to need all the help he can get. You’re cute, but you’re still a bruiser.

I thought that I would feel differently about you turning two. Sad, maybe? Rushed. Like, the time went by too fast. The truth is I don’t. It didn’t. I like you at two. You’re fun and sassy and a riot to be around. I love hanging out in the car with you, windows down, Gaga blaring, Dum Dum in your mouth for the ride to pick up Bubba. I love playing outside with you, picking flowers, playing with snails, watching you scoot yourself around on a bike that’s too big, but that you’ll be riding without training wheels before your brother. I love that you aren’t a baby anymore. You’re easier now that you can talk to me, tell me what you want, understand the concept of “Give me a minute” and “Coffee first, then outside”. I love that you are such a good “helper”. I love that you make me beg for hugs and kisses. I love that as much as you want to do everything yourself, you’re still okay with letting me help you. “Thank you Mommy” you say when I help you put on your clothes, button your jammies or pull on your coat.

I love that you love to go and that you’ve taught me how to be better at going. As long as we’re moving, you’re happy. I’ve lost almost 40 pounds in the last year trying to keep up with you.

Thanks so much for that.

I’ve learned a lot in the last two years. A lot about you. A lot about me. A lot about how to be a mother to you and your brother at the same time. I like the kind of mother I’m turning out to be to you. We’re not perfect, you and I, but we’ve done a pretty good job so far.

You’re an alright kid, Brodie Kevin, and I wouldn’t trade you in for anything, no matter how many times a day I threaten to drop you off at Safe Surrender. Let’s stay two for a little while, okay? I kind of like it here.

Happy birthday, monster. I sure do love you. And no, you can’t have jelly beans for breakfast. I don’t care if it is your birthday…

Alright, fine. But only a few.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Krysten + Katniss = 2gether4ever

It’s been kind of quiet here at Consider Me Krysten lately. I’ve noticed. I promise. It’s just that the lap top was in Texas. She took a vacation. Had some work done. She’s back and looking better than ever. It was a nice reunion.

Jeremy had to walk me through an actual, teary-eyed breakdown in the driver’s seat of my car the morning he told me she was broken. Once I finally backed out of the driveway, I called him twice during my 7 and ½ minute commute to work so he could reassure me, for the umpteenth time, that he would get it handled as fast as he possibly could and get her back home where she belonged.

I missed her. Quite a lot, actually, and I spent the first few days she was gone in mourning. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Me, rolled up in a ball on the couch, under the blankets, violently weeping while crying out, “I miss you, Jessica!”

Alright, so maybe it wasn’t that bad, but I was pretty shaken up about the whole thing. I like my computer. I like writing at my computer. I bought a new notebook and some new pens, tried downloading a writing app to my Nook, installed a mobile blog app. None of those were working for me.

I like writing at my computer. And my computer was in Texas.

Short of going over to Best Buy and getting a new one, which, after only three days of deliberation I decided was a bad idea, there was really nothing I could do but wait for her to come home. It seemed like a pretty sucky place to be. (Yes, Sucky is a word. Trust me, I’m a writer) It might seem a little dramatic but, as a friend of mine  empathetically  pointed out, “The difference between having and not having one’s laptop is far greater than most people that have never had to bridge it would imagine.” I was totally bummed. But, as bummed as I was, waiting got boring. So, I did the next best thing I could think to do. I read a book.

Okay, fine, three books. In a row. A trilogy, if you will.

The Hunger Games

That’s right, Ladies and Gentlemen, I hopped on the train, landed in The Capitol, and, along with the rest of Panem, fell head over hills in love with The Girl on Fire. She had me at, “I Volunteer”, and I was hooked. I’ve been eating, sleeping and dreaming Katniss Everdeen ever since. I read the books, saw the movie, wore the T-shirt (No, really. Megan ordered us Hunger Games T-shirts to wear opening day) and have since read parts of the books again, as well as started a new book called, The girl who was on fire. It’s a collection of essays from other Young Adult authors about the trilogy. Have I mentioned I get a little crazy about these things? Have I mentioned that after my sister’s wedding in June, I plan on getting Mischief Managed tattooed on the back of my neck? Have I mentioned that Megan and I left our two and three month old babies at home in Fresno with family so we could drive to Salinas for the midnight premier of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse? No? Well, it’s true. And I’m not so much trying to decide whether or not to add a bow & arrow and a Mockingjay to my summer ink plans as I am trying to decide exactly where to put them.

I needed The Games. They came at the perfect time. I needed to go to District 12, into The Arena and come out at the end of Mockingjay. The Games not only filled in the empty void left by losing my keyboard for a few weeks, they reminded me why I love stories so much. They reminded me why I love characters so much. They gave me Katniss Everdeen. If you buy into the whole, everything happens for a reason idea, then know this: The lap top had to die, so Katniss and I could live.

Thanks to those of you who said you were anxiously awaiting a new post. I’m back, I promise, and you’ll probably find Katniss around here, too. We’re kind of a package deal now. Probably not so much Gale or Peeta, though. As Jennifer Lynn Barnes writes in The Girl Who Was on Fire:

“I’m not Team Gale or Team Peeta. I’m Team Katniss…the core story in the Hunger Games trilogy has less to do with who Katniss ends up with and more to do with who she is-because sometimes, in books and in life, it’s not about the romance. Sometimes, it’s about the girl.”
Happy Wednesday and May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor.