Saturday, May 10, 2008

We're Moving!!

Tales from the Tracks is moving to a new home - please visit my new address, below:

I'm in the process of creating the new site and would love to hear what you think. Feedback welcome!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mon Petit Artist

It's been a crazy couple of days here. Gavin is sick again and hasn't been sleeping. And when Gavin isn't sleeping, no one is. So, due to mental and physical exhaustion, I'm going to keep this one short. Very short.

During Sick Day #1, Gavin got into the markers when I wasn't looking and decided to color a picture. Unfortunately, it wasn't on paper. Here is a view of my kitchen floor:

Leaving no canvas untouched, here is a picture of the artist's feet:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I hate you, George W.

So not only did our reject of a leader introduce a stimulus package that will have little ability to actually stimulate the economy, but he also neglected to send me my check!

My SSN ends in 00 - 20 and I paid my taxes (yes, I owed money - tear) via direct deposit. Sooo... I should have received my check by May 2nd, which was 4 days ago. I even went to the IRS' stupid "Where Is My Stimulus Payment?" tool and entered my info. Nothing! It couldn't even locate a check that was on its way. A friend suggested that perhaps George knew I was a liberal and wasn't very pleased with what I've been saying about him. I'm starting to think she might not be that far off...

To rub a half ton of salt in my gigantic wound, there is no phone number or email or ANYTHING where you can contact them to let them know that there has been a glitch. What if my stimulus check never comes? I need a 1-800 customer service number to dial!

I mean, I get it. The President occassionally lies. Or tells half-truths. Fibs, whatever. We've been here before and I'm not entirely (read: at all) surprised. But now we're talking about money, people - my money. $300 of it. If I'm not coming after this administration for the $4,700 they've cost me in taxes to fund the War, the least they can do is send me my stimulus check.

I fully intend on writing a complaint letter. Just as soon as I can figure out where to send it.

Crazy Eights

My friend Dette, over at Dance of Motherhood, asked me to participate in this game of Crazy Eights by sharing eight unusual or little known facts about myself. Ready? (That was rhetorical. If not, I suspect you've already closed your browser.) Okay, then. Here goes:

1. At the tender age of eight, I came in 3rd in the "Most Beautiful Eyes in Massachusetts" competition.

2. The 3rd place prize for said competition was originally a romantic weekend for two, as they were not anticipating that a child might place. When I did, the judges pulled some strings and instead awarded me my very first camera.

3. When I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming an author. I wrote profusely and even "published" my own mini books (made entirely out of construction paper). My mother still has the very first book I ever wrote, entitled Watch the Flower Grow.

4. While in college, I was hired by a publishing company to write a book on dating and relationships. The cover of this book is bright pink.

5. I used to walk over a mile each morning in the snowy New England winters for my one true weakness... Dunkin Donuts french vanilla iced coffee. Oh, how I miss it living in the PacNW!

6. I'm of Eastern European descent. My great-grandfather fought in the Russian Revolution before coming over to America.

7. My son's name literally translates to "White hawk, defender of men." At his birth, my ex insisted that we'd destined him to a life of Dungeons and Dragons.

8. Last but certainly not least, I am now the owner of a brand new iPod shuffle, and I have Corrin from to thank for it! I was the winner of her most recent giveaway and honestly, it could not have come at a better time. The iPod I purchased in 2004 (yes, you read that right) had finally died and I was reluctant to buy a new one, as I am on a tight budget these days. My bus rides to work and jogs will now be so much more enjoyable because of my new shuffle. Thanks, Corrin! Everyone else, check out her blog. It's pretty snarky and quite great.

Now, the fun part, where I invite others to join and post eight things about themselves. But not so fast! First, here are the rules:

1. Each player starts with 8 random things about themselves.
2. At the end of your post, tag 8 people and include their names and their links. Please also post these rules.
3. Don’t forget to leave a comment on the blog of those you tag to let them know about this.

These people below are now tagged:
Observations of a Student
Mommies Home
Revolutionizing the Rat Race
Serenity Now!
Mother's Got a Dot Com
Health Nut Wannabe Mom

Monday, May 5, 2008

Say My Name, Say My Name...

My ex's mother came to visit this week and, in the vein of Santa Claus, brought a sack of gifts in tow. Gavin got his usual assortment of clothes, toys, and candy. Me, my ex, and Gavin also all received matching blue and white polos and the request that we take a family photo wearing our new threads. I thought it was a cute idea, albeit one I would never have decided to do on my own. My ex clearly stated that he wanted no part in this and would refuse a matching family photo. (I'll post the picture on here after we take it.)

Upon hearing of the matching polos that my ex's mother purchased for the three of us, my friend exclaimed, "Matching outfits are cute! You'll be like Destiny's Child." Please note that this is the same friend from the dumpster diving escapades.

I blinked. "Destiny's Child? You know that we're talking about me, my ex, and our two-year old son, yes?"

"I know."

I sighed at the ridiculousness. "Well, am I at least Beyonce in this crew?"

"Well, obviously," she said. Right, obviously, I thought, as I pictured Gavin shaking his little (diapered) booty.

Speaking of Gavin, we had another developmental breakthrough this weekend and I can't decide whether I should be proud or disappointed about it. Sometimes I think my boy is too precocious for his own (and my!) good. It was yesterday evening and Gavin had just come out of the bath. ("Bath" is a generous term for the activity, as Gavin is in currently in month three of a full-scale bath boycott. He is terrified to remove his diaper or to sit in a tub of water, so he literally stands in an empty tub, wearing his diaper, while I wash him by hand.)

Anyway, my ex and his mother were sitting on my couch while I attempted to comb Gavin's wet hair. Gavin was rather annoyed at me for trying to bathe him and was not interested in letting me groom him afterward.

He furrowed his eyebrows and moved his head away from my grasp. "Stop it, Erica!"

My ex started to laugh so hard he had to turn his head away. My ex's mother's eyes went wide and she looked at me, stunned. My jaw fell open.

Once my ex regained composure, he crouched beside Gavin. "Who is this?" he asked, pointing to me.

"Mommy," said Gavin sweetly and matter-of-factly. Maybe we had all just heard him wrong, I told myself.

"Does Mommy have another name?"

Gavin nodded. "Erica."

Hearing your child call you by your name for the first time is pretty jarring. It sounded so strange and so wrong to hear him call me that. It was like my identity and connection to my son had been stripped away with a single word. All at once, I hated my name.

"How smart of him to understand that Mommy has a name!" exclaimed my ex's mother. My ex had started giggling again.

"My name is Mommy," I said sharply, becoming exactly what I swore I never would. "Perhaps everyone should call me that, to make it less confusing for Gavin."

"I refuse to call you that," said my ex. "Plus, this is hysterical."

It became far less hysterical when we quickly discovered that Gavin knew Daddy's real name, too. My ex and I called a truce.

Gavin didn't call me by my name for the rest of the night or at all this morning. In his book, my first name is still primarily "Mommy." Of course, I can't help but continue to be both amazed and weirded out that my barely two-year old knows my proper name. Here's hoping he decides not to use it.