Monday, December 31, 2012

Mikyn Bombs

Well, we had a portion of the Moore family join us for a Nevada Christmas, as well as a chunk of the Rehder clan (which, coincidentally, is Mikyn's unofficial family title). It was quite fun to have our families here, and of course I made sure to take a lot of pictures! And by "pictures" I mean, "photographic memories that would have otherwise been cherished had they not been unceremoniously ruined by Mikyn L. Rehder but who is even surprised by that."

I mean, think of the greatest photographs of all time, what do they all have in common? Answer: They have no Mikyn.

And take a look at my terrible pictures, what do they have in common? YOU GUESSED IT.

Mikyn bombs.
Mikyn bombs everywhere.
Ward's face explains it all.
The hair. Always with the hair.
Where did she even learn this?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mommy and Daddy are Just TALKING!

I don't think Sloan and I have an uncommon amount of conflict in our marriage. We both annoy each other for pretty typical reasons. For example, he HATES it when I take pictures of him. So I just usually do it on my phone while it's on silent; that way I'm happy because I'm getting pictures of Sloan, and he's happy because he doesn't know.
Unless there's a flash.
Then he gets pretty mad.
And he brings the drama.
Yeah, you hate pictures. We got it.
Sloan and I kind of like to bicker, so we end up doing it a lot...and now that we have a kid, we do a lot of that bickering via our comments to Ward.

The Scene: The car. Julia is driving. Sloan is in the passenger seat, and Ward is in his rear-facing car seat in the back.

Sloan: *groan* Why are you going this way? The interstate is way faster!
Julia: Oh dear, Ward, it sounds like Daddy woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!
Sloan: *turns to Ward, fake smiling* Well, Daddy may have woken up on the wrong side of the bed, but at least he did it before 11 o'clock!
Julia: Mommy thinks that Daddy needs to understand that she needs at least 13 hours of sleep a night. It's a necessity, not a luxury!
Sloan: Daddy would be okay with that if Mommy actually went to bed at a decent hour instead of staying up until two in the morning reading Teen Mom blogs.
Julia: Ward, did you know that Daddy just hates all blogs in general now because he's super jealous of Mommy's cool blog that gets over fifteen hits a DAY?
Sloan: Obviously Mommy is delusional if she thinks that Daddy cares at all about her blog.
Julia: I mean, Mommy doesn't want to brag or anything, but her blog is THE number one hit on Google when people search the terms "Julia Rehder," "Sloan and Julia Rehder," "Miranda Cosgrove's big head," and "chinchilla saxophone."
Sloan: Ward, has Daddy ever told you about the time Mommy accidentally used a neti pot to make hot chocolate?
Julia: DADDY SAID HE'D NEVER MENTION THAT AGAIN.
Sloan: Oh, did he? Daddy must've forgotten!
Julia: Ward, did you know that for the first month of Daddy's mission in Uruguay, he didn't know enough Spanish to ask how to use a bidet, so he just TOOK A SHOWER after every poop!
Sloan:  Mommy stole an apple from a model home we were viewing and took a big bite out of it before realizing it was made out of styrofoam!
Julia: Daddy once tried to high five a quadriplegic man!
Sloan: Mommy thought all cats were girls until she was twelve!!
Julia: Daddy cried watching Extreme Makeover!
Sloan: Daddy had ALLERGIES that day, THAT'S ALL. Ward knows how that goes, don't you buddy?
*silence*
Sloan: Ward? *turns to backseat*
Ward: *snooze*

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Big Help

It must be some sort of big cosmic joke that children have an insatiable desire to "help" adults, because as most of us know, a baby who likes to help is the least helpful kind of baby. They are the anti-help. Have you ever been around a kid who wanted to help cook? Has it ever not ended with a full carton of broken eggs face down on the floor or a melted mixing bowl on the eye of the stove? Or a baby who helps you clean by pushing over a bucket of dirty mop water onto the carpet?

Ward likes to help me, and luckily he's still too small to do serious damage. When I vacuum, he gets the dustpan and pushes it along the ground behind me.
It's not helpful.

In public, he likes to get out and help me push his own stroller.
Also not helpful.
He sweeps the living room floor.
This helps me in no way.
And...squeegee the bathroom wall.
You're not even wearing pants, Ward. 
Get a hold of yourself.
I think you get my point.

And I know what you're saying in response to all of this, "But Julia, it's your job to teach your child how to work. It'll be slow and frustrating, but it's all about being a good parent! Enjoy this time while you have it, spend your days working together and learning. It will create memories that your babies will remember for the rest of their lives, and isn't that what's important? Also, your blog is so cool and you are super pretty, and I think your baby is so much cuter than Angelina Jolie's babies. And I just love your name, Julia, the way it rolls off the tongue, you're so deserving of such a beautiful name. Oh, and this might sound weird, but, are you looking for a job? Because I'm a producer at NBC. Tina Fey needs a sassy sidekick for her latest project and she asked me to see if you were interested. You don't have to answer right now, because we don't want to scare you off or anything! HAHA Just go ahead and let us know at your convenience. And whatever you're thinking in regards to salary, let me just say...whatever you want, we can work that out."

Wait, you, um...weren't saying that last part? My bad! Ha! No big deal! Well, I gotta go lock myself in the bathroom and cry in the shower run some errands! I'll, um, finish this post later. *sob*

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bah! Humbug!

Sloan: Okay, I think I know some cool stuff we can do with everyone when they come out in a couple of weeks.
Julia: Oh...I just thought we'd drop them off at the strip everyday and let them walk around drinking one of those 80 ounce guitar-shaped daiquiris.
Sloan: What?
Julia: Or a maybe one of those Stratoblaster cups? We should be careful though, I hear when the vendors run out of alcohol they just start pouring gasoline into those things. People don't seem to know the difference.
Sloan: *puzzled look* Whatever. Maybe they can do that after Mikyn flies in.
Julia: *takes off glasses* Mikyn?
Sloan: Wait, how did you just take off glasses? You don't even own glasses.
Julia: DID you say MIKYN is coming?
Sloan: I can't believe you found glasses and put them on for the sole purpose of taking them off dramatically. 
Julia: Mikyn, your sister? Mikyn, my NEMESIS? Mikyn, the girl who has Facebook photo albums like THIS?
Sloan: Did you just have that screenshot on hand? Listen, you need to chill out--
Julia: *stomps feet* I thought we agreed to just not tell Mikyn that everyone was coming to Vegas for Christmas!!
Sloan: No one agreed to that, Julia. Besides, she would obviously figure it out the moment she got to Seattle and saw that Mom and Dad were gone!
Julia: Well maybe she would have just thought they moved away or something! You give her too much credit!
Sloan: *sigh* Mikyn is coming, so you're just going to have to deal with it.
Julia: Oh come ON, Sloan, a Christmas with Mikyn isn't Christmas at all! It might as well just be...Flag Day or something!
Sloan: *shaking head* *walks away*

Monday, December 10, 2012

Who's That Fun Dad??

Julia: Oh no, Ward! Look at the scary skull man! He's gonna get you!!
Sloan: *growl*
 Julia: Haha! Good one, babe!
 Sloan: *grrrr* 
Julia: Uh, Sloan, you can stop now. He saw you...
Sloan: *growl*
 
Julia: It's over, honey. I don't think Ward really care--
Sloan: *GRRRRRR* *swipes at Julia*
Julia: *sigh* Let's go play in the living room, Ward!
 
*Five minutes later*
Julia: And then the very hungry caterpillar--
Sloan: *growl*
Julia: Oh come on!
Sloan: *grrrrrrrr*
Julia: *sigh*

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hidden Treasures

What I found while cleaning out Ward's toy bins:


A few things:
1. Putting text on this picture took me forever.
2. FOREVER.
3. Where did that hemorrhoid cream come from?? Because, I mean, no one in THIS family gets hemorrhoids! *nervous laugh* DEFINITELY NOT ME OKAY *shifty eyes* NOT FROM GIVING BIRTH TO WARD.
4. Until I had Ward, I actually thought hemorrhoids were when your large intestine started falling out of your body and I always wondered WHY IS EVERYONE JUST TREATING THIS WITH A CREAM HOW IS THAT HELPING ANYTHING? But now I know better.
5. I'm sorry for taking this post in the direction that I did. Talking about hemorrhoids seemed like a bad idea but, inexplicably, I did it anyway.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tooter

WARNING: This is all about farts. Discretion is advised.

The Scene: Julia and Sloan's bedroom at bedtime.

Sloan: *pooft*
Julia: Sloan, gross! Don't fart in bed when I'm sharing a blanket with you! Now I'm wrapped in fart air!
Sloan: *fake snore*
Julia: *sigh* *lays head back down on pillow*
Sloan: *flrrrpt*
Julia: SLOAN.
Sloan: *fake sleepy voice* Wha--? Babe, why did you wake me up? *sniff* Did you fart?
Julia: Don't rile me up right before bed! Now stop fart--
Sloan: *BWOMP*
Julia: *angry face* *holding nose* QUIT IT.
Sloan: Whew! *wafting arm* Oh man, that one made my eyes water!
Julia: Please, just quit--
Sloan: *plappity plaaaph*
Julia: That one sounded like you were sitting in pudding! What is wrong with your bowels??
Sloan: Julia, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with farting! Not only is it natural but it's necessary! *BLORP*
Julia: *grabs Sloan's face* Stop. Farting.
Sloan: That one wasn't a fart! My foot slid in the bath tub earlier and it's just now making the sound! Haven't you heard of delayed auditory reflex?
Julia: *throws covers off* I cannot believe you are a real person.
Sloan: * faaaaart* Yow! *wafting arms* These farts are rollin' in the deep!
Julia: *takes pillow, gets out of bed*
Sloan: Hey babe, where ya going?? *glubt* I wanna cuddle!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Love Hurts

Something that has really surprised me about having a kid is how physically draining it is. I mean, obviously pregnancy is a MARATHON of misery. During your last trimester, just turning over in bed feels like a power-lifting competition. And when it comes to getting out of your car, it's honestly easier to roll out onto the ground than to step out. I'm ashamed to admit that probably for the first three months Ward was alive, I was happier to be not pregnant than I was to have a newborn.

And then there's the breastfeeding, which is also a MARATHON.

And the butt wiping.

And the bottle cleaning.

And the clothes changing OH MY GOSH the clothes changing.

Have you ever had to put clothes on a feisty baby? Imagine trying to drown an angry raccoon in a bathtub. While putting footie pajamas on it. That's what it's like to change Ward's clothes. And it's virtually impossible to get pants onto kicking legs, which is why he only wears pants about 10% of the time. Not worth it.

However, something I really didn't anticipate about having a baby was how often people are getting hurt. Either he is hurting you or you're hurting him or he's hurting himself or you're hurting yourself trying to prevent him from hurting himself. It's like your life has turned into one long Three Stooges skit. Someone is always falling off chairs, tripping over shoes, running into walls. And sadly, my own clumsiness causes a lot of it. I'll accidentally poke Ward in the eye while trying to wash his hair or I'll knock his feet on the crib as I'm hoisting him out. And I think I've bonked his head about 25 times getting in the car while holding him...which, while funny, is also sad.

A common way Ward hurts me is by grabbing something behind me while I'm holding him on my hip. Then when I start walking and he doesn't release his iron grip, we're both just at the mercy of physics. Sometimes I'm the stronger force, leading to the collapse of a store display or the tearing down of drapes. But more often I'm the weaker force and end up falling backward into a bookcase or refrigerator or HEAVEN FORBID a public toilet at the park that has a dead chipmunk floating in it.

And the hardest part of getting hurt by your innocent little baby angel is the fact that you are morally-bound not to retaliate. When your kid drops a can of soup on your toe or rips out your earring or bites down on your cheek so hard that you almost faint, you obviously can't punch or smack or throw them even though that's certainly the impulse you have when you feel that white hot bolt of pain rocket through your body. You can't even get mad and yell because it's SO SAD to see that slow-cry grimace begin to spread across their face when they hear you yell.

Learning all of this the hard way makes me appreciate even more that one time when I was out playing putt-putt with my family as a little kid. It was my first time ever doing it, and as I was getting ready to putt at the first hole. My dad was walking up behind me to help with my form, but I didn't need help with my form. I had watched enough TV to know that way to win at golf was to fling your club back and swing at that ball as hard as you possibly could.

And  that's how I knocked his teeth loose.

I remember that whole sequence with absolute clarity: swinging my putter up behind my back as hard as I could and feeling it thump against something with such force that it flew out of my hands. I remember turning around to see dad holding his mouth and stumbling backwards with this surprised look on his face and me laughing at first because he was being silly, but then me stopping as he fell to his knees and blood began dripping from between his fingers. Dad didn't yell or curse or even slam his fist on the ground as he huddled there. He just took it like a man parent. (If you're wondering, I really helped the situation by sobbing so hard my glasses fell off and mom had to lead me to the the car to sip on a Capri Sun while I calmed down.)

Now I don't want you to get the wrong idea, if Ward ever hits me in the face with a golf club, I will probably throw him out a window, because I'm not as manly as my dad. However, NOR am I as ugly as my dad. If Ward messes up THIS pretty face, there will be hell to pay.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

For Time and All Eternity

Sloan and I were married three and a half years ago at his family's home on Bainbridge Island, Washington. 
As usual: I'm killin it and Sloan's just a creep.
And this December, we'll get married again. Sloan, Ward, and I are getting sealed in the Las Vegas Nevada LDS temple.
We could have been sealed at the same time we were married, a common practice, but at that point I wasn't ready to make such a major religious commitment. Though I was born and raised a Mormon, in my adult years I've been extremely slow to believe in God and fully embrace religion in general. There was no traumatic event that caused me to question my religion. No death or abuse or anything like that. I was raised in an excellent family full of people who have loved and accepted me no matter my choices. And I've always liked the Mormon church in the community sense. I think Mormons are hard-working, down-to-earth people who let a lot of stuff roll off their backs. There isn't some sort of angry or derogatory undertone in the LDS religion, and to me that is one testament to the sincerity of its message. I think it was just a combination of laziness and an over-inflated ego that caused my reluctance to take religion seriously.

I'd like to think that my immense intellect was the main detractor from taking a leap of faith. But I don't think I can say that, seeing as I can't even consistently pronounce words like "confiscate" or "grosgrain" correctly. Nor can I divide fractions...even with a calculator. And until last week, I thought that men had ovaries too. So that whole intellectual theory is pretty much out.

I was kind of at the peak of my crisis of faith right around the time I met Sloan. He stood by patiently while I did and said a multitude of selfish and destructive things while trying out my new ideas and beliefs. He quietly withstood my erratic behavior without much judgment, kind of like I imagine a parent does when their child is "just going through a phase." He listened to my rants and gave me whatever space I needed, he offered direct and sensible advice while I tried to pat myself on the back for all of the complex philosophy I was cooking up. We went on walks. He made me lunch. We did crossword puzzles together.

I liked being around Sloan because he made me feel calm and kind. I wanted to be like Sloan. I admired him for his fortitude and patience. He was a strong man who knew his convictions, but he was always slow to take offense. He was not easily dismayed, nor was he judgmental. He was just Sloan. My mom had once told me that she and my dad both loved each other for having all of the qualities the other lacked. My dad was fond of how compassionate and loving my mother was to everyone. My mom admired my father's unceasing work ethic and his lack of self-entitlement. It wasn't hard to decide to marry Sloan since it was just the downright sensible choice. He's always believed the church was true, since before his mission, which also meant that he's also always wanted to get married in the temple. He took a major risk marrying me in a civil ceremony, which was actually pretty stupid on his part. But besides his steadfastness and patience, Sloan is also an exceptionally accepting man. So you bet your bottom dollar I took advantage of THAT and convinced him to marry me in a civil ceremony until I could feel ready for the temple. I was pretty sexy back then, so it wasn't too hard to con him into it.

Don't get me wrong, though, Sloan is super annoying most of the time. For instance, this morning I asked him to bring me a towel while I was in the bath tub and he brought me a paper towel.

Anyway, the point of this post is to openly declare that I'm ready to commit to my religion! Do I still have some issues that hurt? Sure, gay marriage being one. But do I think that will be resolved in time? Yes. Do I sometimes feel like some rules are arbitrary? Like not drinking alcohol or not gambling? Yes, but I also thought the same thing when my parents made me wear a coat on cold days or return a plastic ruby bracelet to Claire's that I tried to shoplift when I was five years old (still mad about that, but I understand why I couldn't keep it OKAY MOM GET OFF MY BACK). But I guess the most important questions, the ones that I'd avoided for so long, were simply, "Do I think being Mormon is a good idea? Do I want to raise my children in this environment? Do I believe it's true?" all of which I would answer with an absolute yes.

It only took me 26 years!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Financials

In case you somehow missed it the last four hundred times I mentioned it (you stupid imbecile), Sloan is currently attending dental school full time at UNLV. I stay at home with our gremlin creature social experiment son, Ward.
Lucky me!
"Wait a minute," you might be saying, "neither you nor Sloan work? How are you staying not dead without any income? Do you steal things like Aladdin? Like where it's a justified thing since you need to survive and even though you're technically a thief you're actually really good-hearted and share your precious loaf of bread with orphan children so no one can really blame you for what you're doing?"

Um, no. We don't have to steal. I mean, we may not have JOBS, but we most certainly have money! It may not be OUR money, but it most certainly is someone else's money that they are charging us to borrow so that we may pretend that it is our money! And we most certainly use that money to buy nothing because that's all we can afford to buy with that money! And we most certainly qualify for food stamps since our income is zero!

"Julia," you may now be saying, "Let me get this straight: you had already graduated by the time you married Sloan, so you were able to support him by working full time while he finished his undergrad. And you knew that he was going to attend dental school after college, so WHY did you ruin everything by having a baby so soon? You could've kept working in Las Vegas and you'd be avoiding a lot of debt!"

Well, first of all, let me say that you seem to know a lot about me. Actually, most people know that stuff about me, so I guess it's not that weird. But it IS weird that you told ME everything about me just now, even though I obviously already know all of that stuff, so the summary wasn't necessary. Anyway, I'll let you in on a little secret that might help explain our current financial situation: our little Ward wasn't exactly...planned. He was a happy accident! An accidental happy! A funny, squishy inconvenience! He's going to end up being our $250,000 baby, I suppose.

"Plenty of mothers work, Julia. So why can't you do it?"

I don't know, reader, some questions just don't have answers. Why  doesn't the rain stop falling? Why can't we end all of the wars? Why can't Mikyn just wear deodorant for once in her life? Some things just are the way they are. I can't work while I have a 15 month old. I do not know how working mothers do it, but there is no way that I have the energy or emotional resilience to work a job and then come home to taking care of a baby. Dropping Ward off at daycare (which I think he would actually love to go to) then going to work a stressful job, then picking him up and taking care of him/the house for the rest of the evening sounds like a marathon that I simply cannot run.

So for now, we'll live in a small apartment, have only one car, and I'll only buy clothes when I...need them *shudder* Luckily we're already pretty low-maintenance people. The only thing I miss about having an income is buying stuff. And traveling. And living in a nice place. That's all. Oh! And a car. I miss having a car. But other than that, I am totally easy-going about the whole thing!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Man Who Ruins Everything


The Scene: Sitting on the couch, talking about our 5 year old niece, Kenley.

Julia: Regen was telling Kenley about the dog you guys had as kids, and when she told Kenley the dog's name was Dude, Kenley said, "Dude? That's a sexy name! Was he sexy?" After a couple of questions, Regen figured out that Kenley thought the word "sexy" just meant fancy.
Sloan: Hahaha, oh my gosh, Kenley.
Julia: She cracks me up!
Sloan: Me, too! *chuckle* Ya know, I've always wondered if she is asplenic.
Julia: *furrowed brow* Oh yeah, I wonder that too....
Sloan: *looks at Julia*
Julia: Um...*sheepish* what does asplenic mean?
Sloan: *feigned surprise* Oh, you...you, uh, don't know what it means? I guess I've always assumed everyone knew that asplenia was a form of immunodeficiency, increasing the risk of sepsis from polysaccharide encapsulated bacteria, and can result in overwhelming post splenectomy infection.
Julia: *annoyed face*
Sloan: Ah, poor baby. Don't feel bad. *pats Julia's leg* Sometimes I just forget that you're not as familiar with medical terminology as me. *puts on scrubs for no apparent reason*
Julia: *still making annoyed face*

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Where do you look when your TV remote is missing?

How I Would Have Answered This Question One Year Ago
I would look for the remote...
...on the side table.
...in between the couch cushions.
...under the couch.
...on the entertainment center.

How I Would Answer This Question Today
I would look for the remote...
...in Ward's crib.
...in the toilet.
...in the other toilet.
...in all of the trash cans.
...in my underwear drawer.
...in the drawer under the oven.
...in the dishwasher.
...in the toilet again.