Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wheel of Fortune is teaching my son his alphabet

Ryder has taken to pointing to letters and calling out their name, although mainly he says "E" and "D" for everything.  I thought at first that maybe Elmo isn't such a squeaky voiced tool of a monster and he was to thank for helping Ryder learn his letters, but I was mistaken.  The Wheel of Fortune is teaching my son his alphabet.

At dinnertime each night that Ryder is with his Welito y Welita, they push his highchair up to the table and eat while watching quick witted contestants solve the puzzle.  It makes complete sense when you think that you hear a contestant ask for a particular letter, then see it on the screen, hear it again as Pat repeats the letter, and see it light up when Vanna turns it (or not), well, you get the repetition.  And repetition means retention, therefore enabling Wheel of Fortune to be a viable education source for toddlers.  At least for mine, that is.

December rolled me like an ocean wave

December has been a great surge of activity for me, where you fight to keep your head above water and you end up exhausted and slightly disoriented.  I didn't take any time off after the excitement of our wedding ceremony, which was lovelier than anything I'd imagined, and the cold yet fun reception.  No honeymoon, as we are still on one income and I didn't really want to think of leaving Ryder behind.  His first solo overnight stay with Welita y Welito was on our wedding night.  He was fine.  I was so tired that it didn't really register, until I woke up the next morning.  I missed him almost immediately, but was grateful to have been able to sleep in for a change.  None of us knew that a little more than a week later I'd spend many nights away from my sweet son.  We were thrilled to have had our big day and ready to relax into the holidays.

We'd been burning the candle at both ends during the wedding week, getting ready for our celebration.  Ryder had been having some trouble sleeping, too, so none of us were well-rested.  We've had a few strange things going on in our house, too.  I joked that we need to call the TAPS team.  I'd been waking up, swearing that someone was tugging on the sheet or comforter, a few of Ryder's toys had been turning themselves on, random weirdness of all kinds...up until the morning of our wedding.  I was the first up and was pulling clothes together for Ryder's diaper bag, standing at his dresser.  Right behind me, in his room, a little girl's voice called out "maaaahhhmeeee", slowly and plaintively.  I don't get scared often by paranormal things, but this frightened me.  I rushed back to our room, where the boys were still sleeping.  I knew it wasn't Ryder's voice that I heard, but I woke Jaime up to ask if Ryder had been calling for me.  No, of course not.  This brush with the other side kept me uneasy for a week.  I still get creeped out, if I think about it too much.

The first Sunday of December was intended to be my rest and recovery day, a day in which I would do nothing but prepare meals and watch mindless T.V. or a movie.  And I was doing just that, up until shortly before lunch.  The phone rings and your life changes, isn't that always how it works?  One of the attorneys I work for called from Puerto Rico, where we had a trial starting the next day.  Our trial team paralegal had a death in the family, could I make the 3:30pm flight from Austin to San Juan? Amazingly, I did.  The next 8 days were a blur of travel, intensive trial work, my first courtroom experience outside of being a juror and a teeny, tiny taste of Puerto Rico.

Mid-month, back in Austin, it took about 5 days to feel normal again.  I arrived home sleep deprived and jittery from the full on adrenaline rush of total immersion into trial work.  I'd wallowed blissfully in a super comfy hotel bed, with a down featherbed, all by my lonesome in San Juan...but in Austin I was back to fighting for covers with Jaime and, more often than not, Ryder, who demonstrated his new ability to sleep sideways in bed.  I felt so disconnected from home that if someone had suggested I'd actually been gone a month, I'd have readily agreed.  It was odd to turn on the television and not have it auto-programmed to the WAPA channel. (And I'd really love to be able to walk to a breakfast buffet every morning, prepared by trained chefs who do not get called "MomMom" or "Kay").

I learned a lot in Puerto Rico, at trial.  I also tried my best to get a little down time in where I could, but that proved next to impossible.  The morning I left I managed to put my feet in the ocean and also to lay in a hammock for a while.  I'd love to go back when I can enjoy the delights of the island.  I missed my boys badly, though, and was grateful to return home to them.  I flew back on a Monday and was in my office on Tuesday, no time off.  I was brain dead and drained by the weekend.

Ryder suffered not only the temporary loss of his MomMom but also of his grandmother.  My Mom was in Mexico for a week, having dental work done while I was gone.  As a result, Ryder's been a clingy little spidermonkey right around the time I need to leave for work in the morning.  It's the residual effects of my "solo honeymoon" in Puerto Rico and not having his Welita to comfort him, I'm sure.

In keeping with the ebb and flow of my emotions and energy level this month, this week was the first total lunar eclipse of the winter solstice moon in hundreds of years.  I wished on that gorgeous moon, awed by its vivid whiteness in the dark sky.  I wished for the ill wind to blow away, taking with it our money troubles and for the moon to pull in prosperity for us.  For Jaime, to find not only a job that pays well but also one he will be passionate about, and for myself, to continue to learn and grow in my current job while I tend lovingly to my Twitter amour.  Bless us, luna.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Honeymoon Without My Honey

It's hard to believe that it's only been 9 days since my wedding. The last week was a blur of family returning home post-nuptials, playing catch up at work, a lovely media dinner at Soleil (must visit their raw bar!) and the Bleetup, with the First Annual Austin Blogger Awards. I was honored to be nominated for ATXFoodnews in the Twitter category. Yesterday I ended the week by working at the Austin Sports Expo. In short, it's been hectic.

In a shocking-not-shocking, this is my life move, I got a call on Sunday a little before lunch saying that a co-worker had a family emergency and was flying back to Austin from our trial site in San Juan, Puerta Rico.  Four and a half hours later, I'm on a flight to Puerto Rico.

Ahem. I repeat, I am on a flight to San Juan freakin' Puerto Rico! I don't know what to expect, as I've never been to trial (or Puerto Rico) before. I'd like to think of this as my honeymoon sans Jaime but I know I'll be working my bum off. I hope to have a little time to enjoy the food & city, but I'm not expecting much.

I am having some anxiety leaving my guys. Ryder waved bye bye and blew me a kiss at curbside check in. I resisted the urge to make out with Jaime like a high school girl who's just been grounded from seeing her boyfriend for a week (probably for sneaking out her bedroom window, scraping her legs on the holly bushes and waking up the dog with her squeal of pain...not that I'd know). If I hadn't indulged in half a Xanax, I may well have dissolved into tears. I'm convinced that Ryder will have grown so much while I'm gone that a Norelco shaver embossed with "A sharp gift from Puerto Rico" is in order.

Drama queen theatrics aside, I'm looking forward to the next few days. My company obviously believes I'm capable and dependable and I'll be working my tail off to prove them correct.  Wish me luck.

Matrimonial Bliss...or, "honey, we did it!"

This should say everything.