July 31, 2009

Another tantrum.

I won't go into too much detail, though. It drains me just thinking of it. Never mind...I don't know the meaning of "won't go into too much detail."

We were at a grocery store, where they have free cookies for kids. I let Maia and Kayden each get one. However, when I approached the cookie case, I saw Maia picking sprinkles off of another pastry and eating it. So I got after her about it, told her I had to pay for it now. She was surprised and embarrassed that we caught her, so she started crying.

Well, that escalated when Keene said he would take the cookie away if she didn't calm down and come with us (we were ready to check out by that point). She started screaming, so he took the cookie and took her outside. (Yay for Keene!) She had a meltdown, screaming and kicking him.

We got her in my car, where she started kicking the seat and screaming at me when I told her to not kick the seats (that's a huge no-no for me). So I pulled over to the edge of the parking lot and made her get out and sit in the dirt. Then she threw a handful of dirt and rocks at my car.

So, we stayed there for maybe five minutes before she calmed down. Then we went home, where she screamed and cried about not getting her dessert (to which Kayden snarkily pointed out that she'd eaten those sprinkles) and how I was mean to her. She calmed down in time for dinner and ate while Keene and I talked about punishments. His punishment for her throwing a tantrum and kicking him was that he threw away the cookie and wouldn't let her have dessert that night. My punishment for kicking my seats and throwing rocks was that she couldn't go swimming with Kayden and Keene. That sent her into another fit which was fine with me.

At one point, Maia was screaming, "Daddy! You turn on my light! I told you to turn on my light." At first, he kept saying, "No, you can do it yourself." Then he absent-mindedly turned it on. I looked him square in the eye and said, "Seriously? You're going to let her boss you around like that?" He replied, "Oh, you're right."

Keene later said, "You're a hard ass," but gave me a thumbs up. I told him I'm worried that I'll be the "bad cop" because I won't take that shit from any kid. He said, "You're too fun to be the bad cop. Besides, I back you on this 100%."

Keene and Kayden went swimming while I had a long talk with Maia about respecting others' property. Then we went to the pool and watched the boys swimming and that was that.

July 29, 2009

Poor Man's Hooters

Keene's band is undergoing a big change and he went out for a couple drinks with the band to discuss this. When he came home, he said, "Turns out, this restaurant we went to is like the poor man's Hooters. All the waitresses wear these little ass-shorts and have trashy tattoos. And they all wear these little shirts with their big ol' knockers hanging out. Then this chick walked in who looked like she was straight out of a comic book, with huge boobs that couldn't be natural and this weird, skimpy outfit and all the dudes were staring--"

At this point, I stopped him and said, "Have you noticed how much you talk about other chicks' boobs with me?"

He said, "Yeah, but it's not like I was checking them out or anything. They're gross and you know I don't like big boobs. So I figured it's okay to talk to you about it because you have perfect small boobs."

I said, "I think I may start recapping my evenings when I go to Falling Rock. I'll say something like, 'OMG, this guy walked in and he had huge muscles and all the girls were checking him out. But it's okay to tell you about it because you don't have muscles.'"

(In any event, he knows I'm not a fan of huge muscles, but it got the point across.)

I'm having some emotional trouble

Usually I'm pretty good about sorting out what I feel and why I feel it. But lately, I'm just overly emotional without reason. So I'm going to vent to see if I can sort this out.

So, Keene and I moved into our place a couple weeks ago...just the two of us. It was great and fantastic. We only had the bare necessities, until that weekend when we could start moving.

Then we moved his stuff in. I had my first pangs of regret after we bickered a bit about how much stuff he has that he either plans to use in the future or plans to sell. This wasn't stuff he uses every day or even every month. However, he has been pretty good about getting rid of stuff. He even said he "looked up" to me and to my sense of organization.

That being said, I get extremely agitated when I open a closet door and his tools are completely taking it up. Or when I go out to the patio and have to jump over bikes and biking equipment. Or that his clothes are everywhere EXCEPT hung up in the closet.

Okay, so then Maia came home. It was totally fine at first and she's already shown a lot of improvement in her behavior. However, upon picking her up from school and hearing nonstop chatter for the next two hours...well, I get irritated. Occasionally I need...um, silence? Or maybe I'd like to come home and talk with Keene a bit. Moreover, she IS LOUD. I was woken up this morning at 5 a.m. by her laughing and shouting (she was playing with Kayden). I finally shook Keene and said with irritation, "Can't you hear her?!" He got up and quieted her down for a minute, but then I was woken up right after by, "DADDY! DAAAAAAAADDY?! Where are yoooooou?" I finally got up and was grumpy all morning.

So, every day, I look forward to going home and seeing Keene. But almost the instant I get home, my mood sours. Sometimes I feel trapped or claustrophobic and want to be alone, but can't. Well, I mean, I *could*...but I feel like I should be there to help unpack.

After maybe an hour, my mood lifts a bit and I'm able to help cook dinner, chat, help the kids with their rooms. But it seems like the smallest thing makes me grumpy. And I hate that.

Keene, like I said yesterday, is really taking this in stride and trying hard to please me, I can tell. I want to get over this attitude or whatever. But even still, I don't know how or why I'm suddenly acting this way. I think this move will be a great thing. The kids love having someone around to play with. I love seeing Keene every day and still miss him when I'm at work. The apartment is great (except when I see yet another spider). Bah! It's almost like post-partum depression, you know? Where everything is great, but something is just really messing with your emotions?

Here are the spiders I've caught in our new apartment.

Wolf spider:

Pillbug Hunter Spider:

And various little bastard spiders which I haven't identified yet.

And by "spiders I've caught," I mean spiders that Keene caught while I freaked out across the room.

Funnily, Keene used to be one of those catch-and-release people with spiders. However, since living with me, he knows that I have terrible nightmares / hallucinations if I see a spider, so he makes sure to outright kill it now.

It's the little things.

On a side note, I never considered Pooper's STD to be a problem until I needed him to hunt spiders. Now I have to grab his head and aim the good eye at the spider.

July 28, 2009

Keene is a good guy.

So, as you may have caught on, I'm freaking out about this whole moving in together thing. I all but told Keene it was a mistake. I've cried a couple times because I was feeling so trapped and out of control. I was frustrated about all the shit of his laying everywhere, about not getting my stuff moved in for so long, feeling like it's his place and not mine, about having very little privacy anymore, and so on. I've had bouts where I'm just grumpy, and I ignore him and Maia...want to be left alone.

Things are getting a little better each day. But man, Keene has been a trooper. He has been really proactive about getting rid of stuff he doesn't want or need. He always comforts me when I'm freaking out, talks to me about stuff we'll do once we're all settled in, buys me Starbucks drinks to cheer me up, keeps Maia from bugging me when I'm in a grump, randomly brings me water or coffee.

And never once has he taken offense or gotten mad at me. If it were me and Keene was suddenly freaking out, I'd be pretty upset. But he takes it in stride and humors me when I want to sort through one particular box at 10pm. That really helps me know things will get better as soon as this initial mess is over.


July 27, 2009

Life has taken a strange turn.

Today, I woke up, made lunch for Maia, gave her breakfast, brushed her hair and put it in a ponytail, took her to her day camp. And Kayden will be home tomorrow, so then I'll be taking care of two kids in the morning.

Every morning.

July 1, 2009

Bands to See at Monolith: Red Wire Black Wire and Caitlin Rose

(Reprinted from www.ColoradoMusicBuzz.com)

Over fifty bands will be taking the stage at this year’s Monolith Festival on September 12th and 13th. If you’re lucky enough (well, and hip enough) to find yourself at Red Rocks, you may quickly feel overwhelmed. This is no Westword Music Showcase, in which you’re familiar with (and may personally know) most of the bands performing. While there are a few local bands playing (Speakeasy Tiger and Danielle Ate the Sandwich, for example), many more are little-known out-of-towners. While I couldn’t squeeze descriptions of the entire line-up in this article, I will point out a couple noteworthy bands.

Red Wire Black Wire

A writer can describe music all day, but sometimes you just have to hear the band. I could tell you that the Brooklyn-based RWBW sounds like MGMT without the irony or She Wants Revenge without the pretension. But that’s not terribly helpful. This is a band of contrast: near-brooding lyrics paired with upbeat Pop music. They have the stylings of any other singer/songwriter, but the heavy use of synthesizers and steady drumbeats make the band stand out. The result is complex, layered songs such as the popular “Compass” or the more mellow song, “I Agree.”

Caitlin Rose

I was surprised to find this Nashville sweetheart on the bill for Monolith, a festival known for its Electro-Pop and Indie acts. However, if any Country/Western act can hold its own among that crowd, it will be her. With a voice strangely reminiscent of Patsy Cline, Caitlin Rose sings with melancholy and strength. Her music, like Country music of old, has a timeless quality and demands to be listened to on the record player while slow dancing.

Rocking in the Afterlife - Widows’ Bane

(Reprinted from http://www.coloradomusicbuzz.com/)

Some music has the ability to transport you to another time and place, cliché as that may sound. DeVotchKa turns you into a hard-working, Eastern European peasant. Paper Bird has you dancing a 30s-era jig like you’ve done it all your life. And Widows’ Bane sends you partying like it’s 1699 aboard a pirate ship (albeit, one filled with dead pirates).

Accompanied by a banjo, performed with a stereotypical pirate accent, and staying true to pirate speak, “Sick To Me Gullet,” sounds like it was transported right out of “Treasure Island.” However, the pirate shtick – no matter how fun it may be – would get tiresome very quickly if that were the extent of the band’s range.

Instead, Widows’ Bane exhibits a wide variety of musical prowess within the extremely small genre of Gothic Folk. Some songs, like “Wormwood in C Minor,” are reminiscent of the old-world style DeVotchKa has popularized; many others are in a league of their own, too fanciful to be a Folk ballad, but too humble to be anything more.

As if their rich musical arrangements weren’t enough, they’ve created a presence all their own by dressing as if attending their own funeral, telling stories of pirate battles (as well as each band members’ life and death), and even using a coffin-shaped stand-up bass. The singer, Mortimer Leech, maintains a gruff, Tom Waits-esque voice, fully incorporating melancholy emotions into his words. The rest of the band is superb with their accompaniment of a banjo, guitars, an accordion, a cello, and more.

I often say (exhaustively to others, I’m sure), the more band members you have, the more impressive you better be. And with upwards of seven members, Widows’ Bane is much more impressive than I could have expected.