Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Toddlesworth Tuesday: The meaning of fear

Toddlesworth has reached in important and unexpected milestone just in time for Halloween. We are a pretty macabre family: we watch The Walking Dead, design Murder Mysteries, and craft creepy specimen jars containing dead fairies. I even gave all of my friends and family zombie penguins for Christmas one year. It is not surprising then, that Toddlesworth has seen his share of scary things. But only in the past week did he begin to name them as such. Last week he started saying 'sombie!' and now he will specify "sdarry sombie!" "oooh, sdarry!" Saturday we went to a Halloween themed art show. Toddlesworth would be sure to point out all of the creepy costumes and d├ęcor an tell me they were scary. He would do this while carrying around one of the Styrofoam skull decorations, proclaiming it to be scary too.
When zombies were on the tv screen recently, he clung to his father and begged not to be put down. He has watched Paranorman a half-dozen times. While it is definitely not a movie for babies, he has always enjoyed it and watched it the entire way through. On this most recent viewing, however, he used the sheet blanketing him to cover his face and quake in fear and tell me it was scary. Repeatedly. And not during the scenes with the zombies/supernatural things. See, the other thing is, he isn't actually afraid of the movie. He is just learning what *should* be scary, and how to respond to it, by playing pretend. We play zombie chase now, too. "Uh, oh, mommy is a zombie! You'd better run!" I will say, chasing after him with a pronounced zombie gait and pose. He will gasp, and say "Sdarry sombie! ooh no!" and run away, checking back every few seconds with exaggerated fright to make sure I am still chasing him. If he gets tired or if the game does actually begin to bother him, he will turn to me, reach out to be picked up and say "Mommy?" and as quickly as that, all his fears, real or pretend, evaporate.
If not universal, the love of horror is widespread. As long as humans are able to feel safe, they can enjoy being afraid. I am happy to introduce Toddlesworth to the world of horror enjoyment, and Lord Covington and I will be his safe place from which to enjoy the fear for as long as necessary.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wedding Details, As Promised!

By Lady Covington, {additions by Lord Covington as so}

We recently shared that the 21st was our second Wedding Anniversary. We wanted to share a little more about our wedding.  I absolutely loved all of our vendors and would highly recommend them. None of the below endorsements are paid in any way. : )

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lullaby

 By Lady C.

We introduced Toddlesworth to a wide range of music from his earliest days, and he loves so much of it. He dances, headbangs, claps his hands and stomps his feet to the various beats he comes across. Sometimes he will be particular, and not be in the mood for a certain song or style.  There is one type, however, that he never grows tired of or wants us to stop: a live performance by either of us.

And I mean singing anything. Both of us break into song at the drop of a hat, silly little things, and we've done so since we were first together, possibly before.  Obviously these songs are spontaneous and terrible, but Toddlesworth is incredibly encouraging! I will sing him a silly song explaining the differences in dinosaurs, and he will ask for a second verse!

We have put him to sleep with music nearly every night since his birth. Lord C. has always been more into singing him metal anthems, whereas I go the more traditional route of lullabies or toddler suitable songs. 




Since Toddlesworth is so into rhyme and meter, it was easy to turn his nightly books into another lullaby, especially when I'd read them dozens of times and had them memorized. One book in particular became our go-to lullaby; Sylvia Long's version of Hush Little Baby.  In this version of the song, instead of buying your baby tons of things like horses and dogs and songbirds and diamonds, you are showing them bits of nature and partaking in the natural world with them. (Hush Little Baby, don't say a word, Mama's going to show you a hummingbird, if that humming bird should fly, Mama's going to show you the evening sky. As the nighttime shadows fall, Mama's going to  hear the crickets call. etc.)

There is just one problem: I am tone deaf in general, but I am especially comically bad at singing this particular song. For some reason I always have trouble getting the tune right, and it is easily overwritten by anything I've heard recently, including other songs I've sung to him that night. ABC's? The little one said roll over? Itsy bitsy spider? Yep, it has been all of these, as well as, according to C, some things that sound much more sinister. ("One, Two, Freddy's coming for you" is what he said it brought to mind.)

I suppose in my day I've liked artists who were subjectively (and possibly objectively) terrible on purpose. If my audience is receptive and even requests an encore, who am I to judge? I'll keep singing whatever songs he wants, as many times as he wants, and I'll make up verses and iterations, and I'll continue to engender my child's love of music.

I'll just hope he ends up with more musical talent than I have.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Midland Mayhem

So, several things were going on during my recent trip to the homeland.
I got to spend some time with Lindsey, a friend who is also Toddleworths' babysitter. It made the car ride(s) so much better to have company- we spend over 14 hours in the car over three days!
I got pictures of and belongings out of our wrecked Aveo.
I went to the Texas Sized Garage Sale.
I visited a house that I once lived in, that has since been home to a now-evicted hoarder.
I did some research for the upcoming Mystery Project Lord Covington and I are getting ready to tackle, and got very inspired!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Toddlesworth Tuesday: Toddlesworth Levels Up

By Lord Covington

A dear friend of mine, we'll call him Miggy, and I have had a long running discussion about how realistic the level system of Dungeons and Dragons is.  Miggy has always said that learning is a more gradual thing, and you don't suddenly know how to do things you didn't before.  I have always been of the opinion that epiphanies are real things, and that you can have moments where new abilities manifest.
      Toddlesworth seems to share my point of view.  Lady Covington has expressed concern that he lags behind in language.  Then, seemingly out of nowhere, he demonstrates new abilities.  When we thought at 18 months he wasn't stringing more than one word together as he should have been, he began saying things like "what that?" "i sit" etc., several times a day.  It was as though he knew how, and just hadn't felt like  Maybe he just does it to prove us wrong.  It's not like being obstinate runs on both sides of his family or anything.
          Last week, Toddlesworth added "Happy" to his vocabulary.  This week, he began stringing 3 word phrases together!  He fell, and said " I fall down".  Since he wasn't injured, I think laughter is perfectly acceptable.
          His musical appreciation has leveled up to off Toddler Broadway now.  He has begun to request, well, demand, specific lullabys instead of taking what we sing.  I attempted to sing him to sleep with 'Stars' from Les Miserables.  He, with his eyes closed , shook his head and said " No! Bay-BEE?"  I asked him, do you want to hear Hush Little Baby?" "Yeah", he replied sleepily.  And so it went.  But he still appreciates the musical, though.  We were watching the opening scene to the 2012 Les Miserables. After 'Look Down played, he walked around for 5 minutes singing " Dooooown" , like baby Jean Valjean.
        He needs specific music to get his groove on as well, and is suddenly better able to indicate his preferences.  He has had  a toy called " Brainy Baby" that lights up and plays music for months, and has always enjoyed it. Latley he has began a fast caper/ shuffle across the rug. Its almost like an extra floppy, swaying tap dance. ( I solemnly promise to catch hm on video soon)  However, out of all the songs and beats, he will only dance to "Rockin' Robin.
        I remain swelled with pride that he loves music and words so. It's interesting to me how he suddenly is more capable in so many directions, seemingly without precedent.  I look forward to a new and exciting adventure next week.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Anniversary: What's In a name.

According to Lord Covington:

   Today marks two years of being officially married.  When reflecting on the times past, it sometime is difficult to establish the significance.  We originally were waiting until our country stood behind marriage equality; which, while improvements have certainly been made, we do not yet recognize love and commitment of all citizens.  So you can imagine my dumbfounded shock when Lady Covington proposed to me at a restaurant one day.
           We were eating at a Greek/ Middle eastern restaurant in Corpus Christi.  We were talking about any number of revolving topics that filtered past us every day. She was talking and I felt a weird tension in the air, and wondered if I had done something wrong.  The next part takes on a dream like quality.  I feel like she moved aside from where she was sitting, and there, in the setting sun, was her proposal, just outside the window of the restaurant.  Lights seemingly written in the air said simply "Will you marry me ?".  I was flabbergasted and more than a bit confused.  I had plans of my own to try to convince her that our union was a good idea, and here she was out ahead of me.  I'm quite sure I blushed, as my face seemed roughly 30 degrees warmer than the rest of my body. Obviously I said yes.
          When we used to argue about getting married officially or not, her idea was that marriage would be a celebration of our life together, rather than the institution itself somehow raising the status of our love and commitment. We have been living together since 2003, and were basically married in all but legality.

           I used to criticize weddings and marriages in that they were simply declaring your union before the eyes of humans, and that God had nothing to do with it.  However, in declaring your love before people, for a moment, they get to share in the unique joy that is before and after yours and yours alone.  That in and of itself is pretty significant.  That might just be enough for me.

According to Lady Covington:

What Mr. Covington doesn't know is that the transition from being absurdly anti-matrimony to pro-proposing was not as sudden as it would seem from his point of view.

A large part of me still thinks that marriage is a patriarchal scam, while also believing everyone ought to have the legal right and support of their country to partake in the same, and this part was extremely outspoken in my teenage years. However, there was always another part that was a closet romantic. C. would try to convince me in the early years of being together that we could get married and if I didn't like it we could always get divorced. I told him that that was not an option; if I did get married it would be the " 'til death do us part" type. I would consider marriage in general, but my disdain for the institution of it (and lack of federal marriage equality) would make me quickly suppress any interest as fluffy princess crap I didn't need to care about.

But I did occasionally partake in caring. In the beginning I thought "If we got married before I finish my degree, he might finish at the same time and we could have the same name and walk across the stage together" "We're coming up on five years together, that's the minimum I told Bibi I'd have to be with someone before I considered marrying them." (During a busy wedding time at the hotel we worked at then, I realized it was because there was a rush of 07.07.07 weddings.) "Oh, that's cute. I'd prefer 08.08.08, it's like triple infinity!"  I think I was going to bring this up on the vacation where we got into the major wreck, I lost some of my memories of the time just before the wreck, but I do remember that in the first 24 hours after waking up I did have the thought "Well we couldn't possibly get married on 8/8/8 now, I probably wouldn't even be able to walk down the aisle then!"

I continued pushing these thoughts away, until I tried doing some research for my niece for her upcoming wedding. She wanted to do things a bit differently, and she wanted to wear a green dress.  I started doing a quick Google search for 'green dress' and stumbled across Offbeat Bride.  Little epiphany light bulbs danced over my head.

I could do things Differently?! The scope of ways to challenge the normal mode of weddings was immense an appealing. 
So you think you'd like to be married, but you can't stomach the idea of your guy asking for your hand in marriage? You do the proposing. (I can do that!)
You want to get married but also want to show your support for marriage equality? Here are some ways to do that! (I can do that!)
So you don't like alcohol or drunk people? Don't serve alcohol!  (Done and Done!)
You don't like the standard theme and colors of a wedding? Make up your own! (OMG, the possibilities!)
Pick your own songs! Write your own vows! Do whatever the heck you want because it is about you guys!

We watched my niece get married in  January 2010. She was young and it was an ill-fated match, but it was beautiful and their love could be seen shining from across the room. I cried. I'm crying now thinking about it, and I'm yelling at the little voice in my head that is currently telling me not to like this stupid lovey dove crap. 

This cemented it for me. I would be doing this.  I had already been looking at rings. "Well, if I were to propose, I'd want to find this exact ring for him."  (Found and purchased!)  I planned several different proposal techniques, some ended up being undo-able. I made a giant light up 'Will you marry me?' sign. I carried the ring around for months afraid he'd find it. I knew that it would be a surprise, coming from someone who had been telling him for 7 years that I didn't want to get married. My proposal ended up explaining myself along those lines, and I'll admit it wasn't that romantic. It did get the desired response, however!

We planned and crafted for two years before the wedding date, and we have reminisced about it for two years since. It was a celebration of ourselves, our craftiness, our creativity, our love, our tribe and community, and most of all, our future. We will leave you with a slideshow of the wedding, and tell you a bit more about it later this week!






The Highs and Lows of Parenting

By Lady I. Covington.


Toddlesworth and I are visiting my mother in Midland Tx. This is due to being jerked around a bit by the insurance company after the recent wreck(s) we had. I'll go into more detail on that and the rest of my trip to Miland soon. For now, I want to talk about some of the highs and lows of parenting I recently experienced

Yesterday was the best example of the highs and lows of parenting I've had in a long while. The day started a bit before 5:30, when Toddlesworth woke up screaming. He had lost his pacifier off of the bed we were in. I don't know how I can go to sleep with my glasses and phone right beside me and a peacefully sleeping pacified baby, and wake up with a screaming baby and none of those other things, but this was one of the days where that happened. I have terrible vision. I'm not legally blind but I've got to be pretty close. My glasses go on as soon as I open my eyes, and stay on until I go to sleep. I take them off to shower, but keep them on to swim.  So I was blind, with no light source, trying to search for a missing pacifier and comfort a screaming baby.  I did eventually find it with some help but it took him an hour to go back to sleep. By then I was up for the day.
So that was a low. 

The first major high point came as soon as he woke up. He toddled out of the room and to me, I asked if he needed to pee and he agreed he did. (He will sometimes deny it when I know he does need to.) I put him on the toilet and he peed, and he pointed to the pacifier and said "Gggrreeen!"  That is the first time he has matched up a color correctly with me. He loves colors, and can say many of them, but up until now when he liked the color on something he would just point to it and say "Color!"

We had a busy and fun day, and Toddlesworth was pretty well behaved the entire time. He was mostly cooperative when he needed to be held (My, I wish I'd brought a baby carrier!), and when he wanted down he'd point to the ground and say "Walk?"  When he was walking and wanted to run, he'd ask "Run?" and wait for me to say it was ok before he started running. My goodness, parking lots are much easier to navigate when your child asks you before he takes off running! I hope he keeps that up. We also tested out 'put your hand on the car' I think it will work in the future but this time he just decided that meant he had to touch every surface of the rental car.

The next low point came after dinner as we were watching "The Walking Dead." This next part is gross in a way that doesn't involve walking corpses, so if you've got  a weak stomach skip to the next paragraph! Toddlesworth got a tiny bit of candy stuck on the roof of his mouth and gagged it out. I thought he was ok, but a few seconds later it made him keep gagging and he vomited while standing on the couch facing me--basically directly onto my chest. I gasped in shock but out of instinct I was able to cup my hand and catch this disgusting torrent of potato bits  while I asked my mom to grab him. (Ok, I'm pretty sure I screamed "Don't get the camera! Get the baby!!" After grabbing a trash can it was much too late for, (He had already released another torrent of partially digested potato matter into my arms by then) my mom grabbed him. I stood up, cradling my armful of vomit like a baby, dumped it into the offered trash can, and headed directly to the shower. After I was cleaned up and he was wiped down, we headed to bed.

 Once we got settled into bed, Toddlesworth asked for Hush Little Baby, then 5 or 6 verses of "Ten in the Bed" He seemed like he was pretty thoroughly asleep, but before I could make my escape he turned over and threw his arm over my neck and nestled into me. That was pretty wonderful from a kid who's standard mode of affection includes repeatedly poking me in the eyes. I know it is a normal thing for kids to like their parents, but it is still a wonderful feeling.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Overcoming

By Lord C. Covington

"Remember what they taught you:
How Much of it was Fear:
Refuse to hand it down:
Your Legacy: stops here.
  -"Melissa Etheridge"
          Fear was as constant a companion growing up as my shadow.  I was raised amidst the Satanic Panic of the 80's, and in a Pentecostal household.  This was a world inhabited by word of Angels, Demons, and anonymous white van riding kidnappers. I was indoctrinated to know that demons were always ready to attack or possess me.  My father, a marine who served 3 tours of duty in Vietnam, made sure we swept our house for I never-knew-what before my mother and sister were allowed to enter our home.  My grandmother, a formative influence on my life, taught me never to trust any adult, because they would likely molest me.  Every night I sang myself to sleep with hymns to keep the demons that I knew were there at bay.  My box fan sounded enough like running water in the bathroom that I could convince myself my mother was nearby, and I could fall asleep.
         This fear has been mitigated by a life that has given me few empirical reasons to be fearful.  However, it informs the core of many aspects of my thinking.  I have always had, and will always have difficulty trusting people.  In tense interpersonal situations I tend to shut down emotionally.
         Toddlesworth is already a braver man than I, even to his own detriment.  He approaches the world with an exited curiosity, rather than a reserved suspicion.  There was a pit bull a chain roar-barking at him, and he merely pointed at it with a joyous expression and repeated " dog? dog! dog?".  The dark makes him sleepy, but never fearful.  He has been in a car collision, and most of his crying was over being woken up, and was over quickly.  I am determined to foster his curiosity over his anxiety.  I am determined to raise him to the light rather than teaching him to cower at the darkness.  As his father, I can do no less.  I think he will be a better person for it.

         
      

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Introducing Furry Family Members


We currently have three pets (and aren't looking for any more!): A large brown lab/shepherd mutt, a slightly smaller shorthair theoretically purebred border collie, and a black and white (tuxedo) cat.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Toddlesworth Tuesday: Toddlesworth's Evolving Ritual

Toddlesworth has had a waking and bedtime ritual since he has been able to talk.  Upon getting sleepy, and usually while sitting on one of our laps, he will begin to lean repeatedly back and forth, hugging each of us.  He will point at me and say " DAH-ee", with an enormous grin. He will continue pointing and insisting "DAH-ee, DAH-ee. Dah." until we confirm that I am, indeed, his dad.  He will then cuddle Lady Covington, and say " mah- MAH". with the same grin. If we don't acknowledge his naming of us soon enough, it will turn into poking and insistent questioning. "mah-MAH?! MAH?"  Sometimes I think he's just bubbling over with pride at his words and wants us to know. Occasionally, he will do this with pictures of us on our driver's licenses or something similar. His ritual fills me with a warm serene glow.
        This week, he added a new action to his ritual.  He was laying on our bed, gazing sleepily at us.  "DAH-ee", he beamed, pointing at me.  "I'm your dad", I reassured him. "Mah-MAH", he repeated, pointing at Lady C. "Yes, that's your mom."  Then , for the first time, he pointed at his own chest and said " Meeee".  I was awestruck.  Lady C. and I exchanged stunned glances before assuring him "Yes! Yes, you ARE you!" How often does anyone get to witness the 1st symptoms of self awareness in another being?  I am blessed and lucky.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Stranger than Fiction

We have bypassed strange and moved into the land of the completely absurd.

Just earlier today, we discussed our history of our ridiculous history with cars.

Today we made a short trip to a family reunion about 45 minutes away from home. We stayed there from 4 to 8 ish, walked around with my nieces and nephews, saw lots of tiny hopping frogs, then decided to head home.

We got onto the road that would spit us out two minutes away from home, discussing all sorts of things, including the ridiculous amount of car issues we've had. We were travelling peacefully, Toddlesworth was sleeping in the back seat, in a new carseat which had been given to us by a co worker.

No less than 15 minutes later, about 10 minutes away from home, from a side road to the main dark road, a dark truck booked it past a stop sign. I saw the speed he was heading at, realized he could not be planning to stop, and had only time to shout a warning before impact.

C managed to swerve left and avoid being completely T-boned, but the (dark truck?) still clipped the back passenger tire area. We spun 90 degrees and ended up on the wrong shoulder, facing the road. The guy didn't stick around, but continued on his way, leaving us with a confusedly awake toddler, a scraped elbow, and a bashed up rental car.

Great.

So our insurance is going to be taking a hit this week in any case. We'll have to deal with all that fun stuff in the morning.

For tonight, I'd like to stop and make an important point about car seats. The car seat we received was set for a smaller child, it would have been easy to strap Toddlesworth in as it was and say it was good enough, that I would fix it after the short trip.   I'm grateful I took the extra minute to adjust the straps. Even though it was a minor impact, it could easily have been worse. Without proper car seat use, even this minor impact may have been enough to seriously harm our baby.  My adrenaline after the wreck was due in a very large part to knowing how close my son may have come to serious injury.
Please, be sure your car seat is in usable condition. This includes being new or being sure it has not been in any accidents (depending on brand, some minor impacts are ok).  Be sure the straps are fitted properly to your child, snug, and untwisted. Be sure the latch system or seatbelt is as tight as possible (put your knee in the seat and your whole weight into it to get it as tight as possible!)  Rear face as long as possible. And of course, never rear face in the front seat of a car with airbags!

This is the first time we have been in any car incident with our baby. We are glad the car seat did its job. Remember, a car seat is the safest place in a car wreck-but only if it is used correctly!

Through the Flames and Out of the Wreckage


I started writing this two days ago, only a few minutes after I got the news that my husband was in a car wreck. Luckily he is fine. An SUV ran a red light and hit him. The car was totaled and rolled onto its side. I don't know all the details, I have yet to even see pictures. We are of course very fortunate that he was not injured. We are also very lucky that the car that hit him had insurance. This is only a very minor setback in our lives, and it's not the first time we've had a car incidents. I hope there is never a more relevant time to mention our unfortunate history with automobiles.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Introducing Lord Toddlesworth



                Lord Toddlesworth is a product of weirdness, soy, and love.  His birth was going to be at home, which in our case is a hotel.  While ultimately it didn’t work out that way, our entire birth plan set the tone for his life to come.  
                His experiences are unusual on a daily basis due to his setting, and sometimes his wardrobe.  He has often served as an ambassador to the hotel.  People walk in, see me and give me a look that says: "Uh Oh, a long haired scruffy guy, this seems dubious."  Then Toddlesworth comes around the corner in his 3 piece Alpha Baby attire complete with pacifier chain, and their face seems to say "Oh well, he's got a baby, this place is probably ok."  He has also attended events such as after hours and grand openings, and one Bridal Fair where he handed out paper roses to brides-to-be.
                These experiences have lead to some unusual bits of know how that I just didn't expect from a toddler.  We have baby locks on all of the cabinets at the hotel front desk.  He has been caught, at less than a year of age, using a spoon to try and wiggle the lock loose.  I saw him just a few months back demonstrate knowledge of  using hotel key cards.  Maybe he's just training as a future master thief, who knows?
               Aside from Baby Larceny, Toddlesworth has an advanced and hilarious vocabulary, particularly when it comes to songs or anything that rhymes.  He had the (gift?) of metal music since he was but an embryo.  It is what he responds to the quickest, with very solemn head banging.  When he says the word "Rock!" there is always a grrrrowl to the word.  He also says " Yay-yah!" with the same growl.  Imagine Metallica's James Hetfied, only with a tiny toddler voice.  Go on, do it, it will make you smile.
              He receives thrice weekly excursions to the state park, since we live 5 minutes away from one.  We weren't sure how he would react to all the stone stair climbing and hiking the first time we went.  As it turned out, we were sort of playing catch up to a happily hike/stomping toddler.  He seems to enjoy nothing so much as finding a stick ,and marching off down the hiking trials swinging it. He also enjoys swimming in the lake, any time he is allowed.  If not allowed at any particular time, he is perfectly content to sling rocks while laughing hysterically at the places they end up.  
               Our son is unusual, or as we think of him, atypically awesome!

Pacifier chain!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lord and Lady? Why so Snooty? Or, The Origins of the Covingtons

We aren't really, I promise!
It is a bit of an inside joke, or fond reference. We wanted a more egalitarian form of name changing than the usual 'she takes his' mode, and we decided to both change our last name to a third option. There were a couple options on the table, but Covington was a clear outlier because it had already held significance to us both for the greater part of a decade.

The irony is I don't remember why we decided on that name in the first place. I'm sure it was because it sounded properly snooty and English.

You see, once upon a time, in 2003, after having only known each other a few weeks, Lord Covington and I decided to take on the massive project of writing (casting, directing, making props for, etc.) an interactive murder mystery dinner theatre.

We were in college, living in the dorms, and near broke.  Our target date was spring break, where a small group of dorm weirdoes, obviously including us and our friends, would get the place 'to ourselves.'  Our cast consisted of equally broke college students, as did our audience/participants. We spent weeks writing and rewriting clues, characters, and designing 'sets' and making props.  We scraped up what we could of our monies and bought refreshments. Dinner consisted of spaghetti and garlic bread which featured in the plot. Because there was a vampire. 

Did I forget to mention that part? Covington was the name we gave to the owners of our haunted, zombie ridden, Victorian mansion. Long ago they were cursed to have a monster born into the family with each generation. The distant family members had been gathered together under pretext, the organizer of the event was to find the monster and kill it.

Usually, at a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, the guests sit down and eat, and watch the play. Ours was different in that there was no static audience. Everyone was an active participant. They all had a character name, a title/descriptor/job, and a special ability they could use three times in the evening. It was basically a simplified LARP without calling it that and scaring people away. The murder mystery was a complete disaster and a roaring success. Nothing went according to our plans.  People moved props that "should" have been too heavy to move, they ignored trap doors. They pretended to mix the potion ingredients instead of actually mixing them. They ignored very important clues but somehow kept meddling through. People who weren't involved at all walked around the corner into our ghost bride and ran away terrified. However, none of the participants knew our plans, and they all had a wonderful time, never noticing when things went slightly wrong. From 8 pm until midnight, they ran around trying to discover clues, escape a mob of zombies, find out who the vampire amongst them was, escape the crazy haunted mansion. It was glorious.

We ran a slightly better version with better props two years later (and again better two or three years after that) but we kept some props from that first murder mystery, even now.  Our favorite, the one that truly embodies the attitude and state of affairs of that first attempt is a crowbar. It was cut out of cardboard, colored with a sharpie borrowed from the front desk of the dorm, and bent to resemble the 's' shape of a crowbar.

We kept that crowbar prominently displayed on our wall throughout many moves, as in inspiration, as proof of what we could do together, and a reminder that even though things don't always go perfectly, it doesn't mean you can't have fun!

I believe that our baby was the first to be called Lord Covington. Since he spent a large chunk of our day with us at work, even when very young, I took every opportunity to dress him in onesies with ties, or in fancy vested suits, jackets, even name tags. Once he started walking "Little Lord Covington' gave way to "Little Lord Toddlesworth."   We plan to introduce you to Toddlesworth on Tuesday, and have Tuesdays be a weekly update of what he has done or how he has developed that week as well as a possible reflection into his short past.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The start of things

I'm hoping this will be the start of something big. 

I don't plan on this being a food blog, though it may occasionally feature in. So why include vegan in the title? In college, I met the man I would marry. We went vegan within a week of each other, without telling the other, all before we were together. I realized soon afterwards that that particular oddity would lead me to be seen as strange more often than all my other atypical bits put together. I was all but shunned by my some people in my circle of friends... which included the oddballs, the outsiders, the weird of the weird. Even though I was not militant about it, they scoffed at me when I mentioned my dietary choices; they seemed to take it personally. Somehow, this bit of weirdness was just Too Far.  I would say thereafter that I got more flak from coming out of the cupboard than from coming out of the closet. It proved to me how much I needed to be true to myself, and embrace all my weirdness.

I would say I was always atypical. After college, I thought about starting a blog, multiple times. I always convinced myself I had nothing interesting to say, that I led a boring life. In addition, my then boyfriend was the writer, not me. I hadn't wanted to be an author since I was in grade school. Surely I couldn't write about anything someone else wasn't already doing better?

Over time I came to realize just how off the wall and weird my life with my now-husband was and is. It is a reoccurring epiphany in our household. Some people have done stranger things, some people have traveled further or delved deeper into those things that make us atypical, but we are so varied in our weirdness I'd hazard a guess that there aren't many out there who have done half of the things we have.

And so I start this blog, in an attempt to chronicle the atypical life we lead; the areas in which we are developing our atypical family, and also to backtrack and make note of all the odd branchings that led us here.

Here are some of our atypical qualities that we hope to go into greater detail on:
Our relationship and all its strange aspects.
The odd career paths we've been on and are currently undertaking.
Our hobbies.
Our family life.

We hope you'll enjoy sharing our present, reminiscing about our past, and musing with us about what the future will bring!