SlutsUnlimited

Just a dirty girl from the dirty south…co-parenting a baby boy in New Orleans.

Repass.

September 28th 2014

Wilder is 48 weeks old.

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I’m back, and glad to be here. I want to begin with an apology for not posting for the last six months. It has been a turbulent time with some really fantastic high points and a few dark, low points. I am grateful for all the women who have approached me over the last few months with positive comments about this blog and gently encouraged me to come back to it. I have every intention of eventually completing entries for the past weeks. Thankfully, although I have slacked on the blog, I have written in my own journal every day. The perfectionist in me did not want to post anything current without chronicling the past, but the realist in me knows there are only 24 hours to each day. I think the break from posting here was equal parts lack of time, and desire for privacy. Our family, like most new families, has had its struggles and victories. I wanted to give us all space before I put things out there on the internet. I feel like we have grown together in a beautiful way, and while I do not assume we will go effortlessly into the future, we now are better prepared for the turbulence that is parenthood.

It is nearly impossible to fill in the last six months quickly so I beg you, dear reader, to have some patience with me. Several things have changed. I am now a manager at Lucky Pierre’s in the French Quarter. I’m still working 40+ hours a week, but at least now I truly care for my job. Lee is back in school studying interior design and doing quite well, which we are all proud of. Andy had to face the sad news that Flanagan’s will be closing its doors forever on November 9th, as the owner of the building refused to renew the lease. He has been there 10 years, so this was quite a blow. Luckily his business partner purchased the Voodoo Lounge on Rampart Street, so he is working at both bars until November. This has made things much more hectic for our households. Wilder has continued to grow and become lovelier by the day. In late June Wilder started spending two nights a week at Lee’s house and that has been truly wonderful for the relationship of Lee, Wilder and Clint. We sought the help of family therapy in early summer and it has been immensely helpful for all of us. I highly recommend it.  Wilder has traveled to New York, Texas and Florida – all trips without me, and he did great. This summer has taught me to be immensely thankful for good health and to love those around me. I think for now that is a sufficient, albeit brief, catch-up.

On Sunday the 21st I attended a memorial for my dear friend Veronica Russell. I had known Veronica for 8 years and I, like all who knew her, was shocked by her passing. She was a mere 44 years old when she passed away leaving behind a legacy of accomplishments in the New Orleans art community and beyond. I had first met Vee through roller derby. But it was her enthusiasm on the stage that drew us close through the years. When I wrote my first play, I envisioned her and Chris Lane as the lead characters. I knew they were the only two who could pull it off. By some stroke of luck, they agreed to be in my play and those rehearsals have become some of my fondest memories. I had never before written a play, let alone produced or directed one, but with the help of Chris and Vee, we somehow made that play sell out for every performance after opening night. I learned so much about theater and myself during that time. I credit Veronica with helping me to become the playwright that I am today. Our relationship was so fruitful and although I am terribly saddened by our community’s loss, I am beyond grateful that she chose New Orleans as her home and influenced so many of us here.

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Photo by Sally Asher

Wilder went with me to the memorial, and stayed for the beginning of it. I went on stage with the roller derby girls and we sang “You Are My Sunshine” which was devastatingly beautiful. I wanted to stay all night to support Sally, Trixie and Chris who poured their hearts into making the memorial perfect, but I had to slip out early. I’m not comfortable with public displays of grief, as they make me feel entirely too vulnerable. I also know that my tendency would have been to drink to numb those feelings, and I didn’t want to travel down that road. I came home with Andy and Wilder instead and looked through some old photos of Veronica and myself and cried softly in my bedroom. She will no doubt be missed by us all.

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Photo by Shadow Angelina

Having had a three day weekend one would think I would be in a good mood returning to work. That was not the case. While I do love my job, it doesn’t come without its drama. One of our mangers- in- training made a small mistake that became blown out of proportion by one of the drag queens. Drama with drag queens, you don’t say?!? The original incident was less important than the bullshit that followed. It was cleared up, but not without listening to 5 different versions of what was supposed to be the same story. At least things aren’t boring there. Thankfully the day went by rather quickly. Lee and I had plans to attend Vinsanto’s New Orleans Drag Workshop Dragulation. It was a fun night and the performances were amazing. I think several of the queens will make a nice addition to our club. But more important than the actual show was that Clint watched Wilder for us while we went and was able to get him to bed all on his own. This is a BIG step. I’d say it was a spectacular evening.

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On Tuesday Wilder had his fist tumble out of the bed. He was napping with Lee on the futon at the studio. Lee got up to switch the fan off and in those few seconds Wilder climbed right off the bed smacking his head on the ground. He had a little goose egg on his forehead. Lee felt so terrible, which is exactly how I had felt a few weeks back when Wilder fell on the bookcase catching his mouth on a shelf and busting his gums. Of course we all strive to watch him every second and be aware of the dangers that tend to be present everywhere, but it goes to show you how quickly things can happen and how resilient little kids are. I called Dori and told her about it and she said she wrote Paul’s first tumble out of bed in his baby book. Guess it happens to nearly all parents at some point.

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Wednesday brought a new addition to our crew at Lucky’s. A previous neighbor of mine started working with me in the morning helping to get the club set up. She has a four year old son who has had his share of health problems which has kept her from being able to commit to full time employment since his birth. It was great to reconnect with her, and I am happy that the hours work for her schedule. Talking with her made me think about the challenges that stay-at-home mothers must face when trying to re-enter the work force. There is little recognition for the hard work that it takes to be a stay-at-home mom. I don’t think I could happily do it all the time. I’m glad that her coming to work with us has opened my eyes to this issue.

Thursday mornings are always busy because Lee keeps Wilder on Monday and Wednesday nights. I was able to fit in not only gym time, but a pedicure before work. For me, pedicures are less about relaxing and more about simple maintenance. My toes were beginning to look like talons. Work was a blast because we had group rehearsals today. The girls (I always call them girls, even if they are biologically men) were working on Lady Marmalade, and it was awesome to watch it come together. My cousin Crystal even stopped by and we had a really nice visit. She is training for a half-marathon in November and is doing so well. I can’t express how proud of her I am. She seems to be happier and have a better outlook on life. I think having a goal is good for all of us, even when it is something that makes us uncomfortable at times. I was excited to pick Wilder up after work because I had missed him. Although I am very grateful that he spends time with Lee and Clint, I have to admit that I miss him a lot when he isn’t home with us. I suppose that is a good thing.

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I woke on Friday to the strangest dream about Cody. (Cody moved back to Oregon in June). In this dream he was essentially “breaking up” with me as a friend. We were at a prom or some type of formal function and he was walking out with me when he produced a list of all the reasons he could no longer be my friend. The list was very thorough and quite shocking. I woke up and immediately texted him. He laughed about it and we had a phone call which brought a smile to my face. I thought for sure that after a few months of Cody being gone, I wouldn’t miss him as much, but that hasn’t proven to be true. I hold on to the hope that one day he will move back. Andy had graciously let me sleep in so I returned the nicety by purchasing him a purse on the internet. A chrome bag actually, but he calls it a purse nonetheless. Andy spent the day working so Wilder and I got to hang out. We went shopping then went to Flanagan’s to visit Andy. We also went to Taylor’s gallery and hung out for a while. Taylor loves Wilder and the feeling is reciprocated. Wilder loves the gallery and is quite the conversation piece for people perusing the art.  We dropped back into the bar before heading home and I immediately handed Wilder to Andy over the bar so I could use the Ladies room. I heard a customer say “I love this place” and it made me sorrowful to think of Flanagan’s closing. There is smoking and video poker at the new bar, so Wilder isn’t allowed to be in there. As much as I know change is inevitable, some things I’d like to make last just a little longer.

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On Saturday Wilder made 11 months old! We celebrated this by taking a three hour afternoon nap together. Growing is tough business. When I woke from our lovely nap, I had a text message that my cousin Lisa is expecting a baby girl. This is fantastic news, and I’m excited that Wilder is going to have a female cousin to play with. Also, perhaps the presence of another baby will spark my family’s interest in mine. They haven’t been much involved in Wilder’s life and while I understand their reasons, it still is something that has bothered me. Lee’s family lives in Texas and they have spent more time with Wilder in his first year than my own.

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Andy, Wilder and I went to a Project Lazarus fundraiser at Catherine’s house that night. It was a lovely party and Wilder was a hit. We saw many people we knew and ran into a couple that had been in our birth class with us. Their daughter had just made a year old. They questioned us as to whether or not we would be having any more children. It seems as though Wilder is at the age where this has become a common inquiry. As much as I love the idea of another child, I don’t love the reality of one. I think that Wilder will be our only child. They agreed that their daughter would probably be their only child as well. I hear this from a lot of parents and it’s something that both surprises and encourages me. Perhaps Wilder won’t be a weirdo if he’s an only child. Only time will tell.

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Photo by Catherine Cauley

I got frustrated with Andy late Saturday because he went out after the fundraiser and then didn’t answer his phone several times when I tried to reach him. When this happens I do not fear he is doing something scandalous, I fear he is hurt or dead. New Orleans is a dangerous city and crime is never far from ones front door. I think the combination of the wine I had at the fundraiser and my own fears made me react strongly but I truly hate to worry about someone. I made my point, even if it wasn’t the best delivery.

The week ended with a pleasant day at work followed by quality time with Wilder. I have gotten in the habit of trying to put my phone in a different room when we are playing so that I can be present in our interactions. I remember when I was younger, desperately trying to get my mother’s attention when she would be on the phone and how angry it made me that I felt ignored. I don’t want Wilder to feel this way especially if I am doing something trivial like checking Facebook. It’s an interesting time in history to be a new parent. There is so much technology that can be both good and bad. I finished the week feeling very inspired about future writing projects. Now if I can just find the time to make them come to life.

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Picture perfect.

March 23rd 2014

Wilder is 21 weeks old.

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The week began with what is usually a big party day for me – St. Patrick’s Day. This year though it consisted of a quick Guinness and a small shot of Jameson, then home to my dumpling of a son. Part of me was glad that the holiday fell on a Monday so I didn’t suffer too badly from feeling like I was missing out on all the fun. Andy worked because as one can imagine, a place named Flanagans gets busy on St. Patrick’s Day. I had a wonderful night at home with Wilder, as he was in a happy mood and we took a few pictures to memorialize his first Irish holiday. I have this tradition of having a drink with my former employer, Jason, on St. Patrick’s Day if he is in town. I knew that he wasn’t in New Orleans, but I texted him anyway to keep up with traditions. I also decided to inquire how his new club was going. He had recently opened up Lucky Pierre’s at 735 Bourbon Street after a long period of the location being completely closed. We had hung out briefly on Mardi Gras day during the adventure that Cody and I shared. I mentioned to him in my text that if he ever needed a day manger I would be interested in the position. He was responsive to that suggestion and told me that he would be in touch. I immediately felt a sense of excitement and fear. I know that I need to find a new job, but change always brings up anxiety in me, even if I know if it is change for the better. I want to be a better parent to my son and a better partner to Andy and I know that this begins with finding a job that makes me hate life a lot less.

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On Tuesday I told Cody about my text conversation with Jason. He responded in the way I expected, with depressed indifference. I know that I will really miss seeing Cody every day if I do find another job and while I’d like to imagine that he would come with me, I know he doesn’t have the financial bravery to do so. He does understand my absolute need to find a new path of employment though and I can only hope that if a new opportunity comes to fruition that he would be happy for me. I find myself so frustrated with the negativity at my work. I know that I will always have to deal with unhappy people, I just hope my next job isn’t a company full of them.

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Cathy returned from her travels and will be with us for a limited time before she goes home to Texas for a bit. It was so good to see her and I am glad that she is part of our extended family. We moved to our new office suite in the building which was time consuming and annoying. It just goes to show, we  moved to a much nicer office with a lot more space and amenities and everyone was still miserable about the whole thing. I know part of the misery is because it will no doubt be a limited time before we move again. Being a consultant pays well, but the lack of certainty in your financial future is annoying. I was at work on Wednesday night until nearly 10 pm and my cousin stayed until 11 pm. All of that for an employer who doesn’t honor overtime pay. Just another obvious reason I will not be making myself at home in the new office.

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Wilder had a revelation this week when he discovered his penis on Thursday. He has obviously touched it before, but not with the intent and interest he exhibited this past week. Now every time I take his diaper off, he immediately reaches for his penis, as if to check to be sure it is still there. I think it’s awesome that he is gaining body awareness. If he is anything like his parents he will have no qualms about nudity.

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Amanda helped to ease the pains of moving to a new office by dressing up as the King Cake Baby mascot. It was equal parts terrifying and hilarious. On Friday, Cody, Patrick and I went to lunch at Flanagans. It turned out to be the one day that the cook didn’t show up for his shift and so Andy was kind enough to go in the kitchen and make us food. We had a quick meal and a few beers then headed back to the office for an unproductive Friday afternoon. When we got off work, Amanda and I went to R Bar because our friend Jo was guest bartending there. What was supposed to be one drink turned into quite a few. We had a great time and I felt like it had been forever since Amanda and I went out for a post-work drink. Luckily Andy didn’t have any pressing plans and he was okay with me staying out after work and not coming right home. Later that evening Cathy watched the baby while Andy and I had a dinner date. We went to Slice. We were having a good time until Andy said something that pissed me off, but instead of letting it ruin our evening. I just let it go. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting a little better at this whole relationship thing. It’s only taken ten years.

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Wilder must have been really happy to have Cathy watch him because he was apparently exhausted and slept nine hours straight for the first time ever. Andy and I both woke up several times to check on him. That’s something I didn’t realize, but even on nights when he sleeps long hours, I still wake to check on him. We had the photo shoot for our Easter picture on Saturday. I had scheduled it so that everyone would be available. I was a little frustrated because I was told that Clint had somewhere to be, so I rushed through the group picnic shot without feeding a cranky baby. Everyone looked quite dapper, and it was an affair to get Lee, Clint, Andy Cody and Cathy all together. Amanda was nice enough to come and snap the group photo. I was able to capture some really great images of us but I didn’t quite get the one shot I wanted. Clint ended up staying the entire time and I was kicking myself in the ass for rushing the picnic shot when I didn’t need to. I was grateful though for the pictures we managed to get.

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That night we went to Pauly and Louis’s art-show in the Bywater. Andy, Lee Kyle, Wilder and I had an excellent time looking at the beautiful works of both boys and mingling with our friends. Cody met me there and then Andy dropped him & me off at the R Bar. Daphne was guest bartending on Saturday night so we began drinking there. We left R Bar and went to Lucky Pierre’s so that I could show Cody the place that I was hoping to work at. We caught part of a burlesque show which was entertaining, but it was apparent that the place needed some direction. We left there and headed to good old Flanagans where we had more drinks and some really delicious fried oysters. We probably could have called it a night there, but I wanted to make an appearance at a friend’s wedding reception in the Bywater. We caught a cab and went to Bacchanals where the timing turned out to be perfect. We caught the beautiful bride outside and were able to wish her and her new husband congratulations. Andy happened to be heading out to meet us so he picked Cody and I up and gave us a ride to Allways Lounge. The three of us watched The Dirty Dime Peep Show, which Cody had never seen. It was a filthy, fun time. After that show, Andy went home and Cody & I went to Mimi’s for the final round of drinks of the night. When I got home, I sent Cody a bunch of texts that thoroughly embarrassed me the following day when I looked through them. Sending drunken pictures is my hobby.

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As one can imagine I had a horrible hangover today. I attended Ellen’s birthday brunch at Coquette. The food was delicious and the company was phenomenal but the place was absolutely freezing. I had to leave before dessert because I wanted to die and I was a few degrees away from vomiting. Ellen understood. She’s been in my shoes before. I spent the rest of the day lying around feeling awful. Veronica came over this evening so that we could do some preparing for Chris Lane’s birthday roast which happens this coming week. I think we have some really good material. It was lovely to spend an evening with Veronica, even if I was feeling the pains of my private bar crawl last night. Wilder was in a happy mood and he enjoyed having some lovely company as well.

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The tooth is mightier than the sword.

March 16th 2014

Wilder is 20 weeks old.

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I started the week with a case of sun poisoning, which left me extremely lethargic. I am usually very diligent about wearing sunscreen but I was hadn’t realized that Crescent Park is nearly devoid of shade. I made it through the work day with the promise of an evening to relax because Lee Kyle stays over on Monday nights to spend time with Wilder. As an added bonus, I get to spend time with him as well. We got into a deep discussion about cultural appropriation and why that has been such a hot topic around New Orleans lately. I loved having this discussion with him because I know some of his art has come under the scrutiny of others. I feel it is very easy to judge the intentions of others when you aren’t engaging in a true discussion with them.

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I was inspired by my discussion with Lee Kyle and the next day I emailed a dear friend of mine to ask his feelings on cultural appropriation as he is a different type of artist, and quite successful. He had an eloquent response to my inquiries which included a discussion of classicism and its effects on neighborhoods and attitudes. He brought up “the parish” which is Chalmette, where my family is from. I am not sure why but my response to this reference really stuck with me and forced me to think about my family. I tried to pin-point the moment that I began to feel a sort of shame over my family who was from a place synonymous with blue-collar workers, ignorance and racism and I think it was when I first returned for college and was going to Tulane. I found myself very emotional over the whole thing and ended up talking with Lee Kyle about it that night while I cried. Obviously because all of my immediate family is dead, I can’t have these talks with them. And I cannot apologize to my mother who I know I always made feel less intelligent than myself. I think that is the real kicker. I never want Wilder to feel embarrassed of where he comes from. I hope that he is always prideful of his family, regardless of how different we may be from the norm. It’s amazing all the new perspectives that have overwhelmed me since I’ve become a parent.

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Wilder had his belated 4 month visit to the doctor this past Wednesday. He is growing like a weed and weighed in at 16 pounds. He was given a clean bill of health and the doctor agreed that the shape of his head is improving. I had a rough day at work because I got into an argument with one of my co-workers. He was declaring that he didn’t expect to live into older adulthood and I found his comments to be fairly insensitive, seeing that he knows the history of mental illness and suicide in my own family. Sometime our office just isn’t big enough for everyone’s attitude and psychotic breaks. I left work feeling sad and overwhelmed, still dwelling on my feelings from the day before. I went to the park with Andy and felt the frustration of the silence that has become too common place between us. He never really asks about my day at work because he knows my response is going to be that it was awful, and I hate it there. I am hopeful that we are just going through a phase and this isn’t our future. Quiet reflective walks of self-doubt and un-fulfillment.

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Thursday marked the beginning of a new stage in our lives as parents. Wilder began teething and it was far, far worse than we expected. I was honestly just getting used to being a parent to an adorable four month old. We were having a really good run. He wasn’t having his nightly screams and our time together was peaceful and lovely, then Thursday came. Wilder stayed up nearly all night screaming and pulling at his tiny mouth. Nothing was soothing him and I was sure that at some point he would pass out from pure exhaustion. I felt that the doctor must have activated something in him the day before, because she had warned us about teething and then it was upon us, like a giant fucking wave. And I think Andy and I both felt that we were drowning. I don’t know how the three of us we made it through the night, but we did. I called the doctor’s office first thing in the morning and they assured us that everything that was happening was normal. Perfect! Now just to deal with his until he has all his teeth. No problem, right? I don’t need sleep or sanity. My heart hurts for little Wilder and his inability to rationalize pain. And poor Andy. He is really such an amazing human being. He handles situations like this with grace and patience. Wilder and I are both very fortunate to have him. Pray for us.

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Friday fell to pieces pretty quickly. With a little over two hours of sleep in the preceding 24 hours, it was easy to predict that I was going to lose my shit at work. I did. My boss called and yelled at my cousin about my deadline, which in my defense was pretty pointless on his part. She came to approach the subject with me and I just started my normal tangent of “Fuck this shit. I guess I’m just going to have to turn over a half-done project because apparently when someone is actually trying to do something they get rushed. Maybe I should fuck-off like the majority of people in this company and I’ll have all the time in the world.” Crystal just let me rant and then told me not to worry about it. I’m not going to worry, I just hate the way things are handled in the company. I need to find another job desperately. That night was Hope’s birthday and we went to her party at Flanagans but both Andy and I were too tired to really celebrate. Working a full time job and being a parent is fucking exhausting.

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Saturday was a lovely day. Ellen came over in the morning with the girls and she reminded me not to take parenthood so seriously. I am so glad that she is such a big part of our lives. Andy and I have hope in our future because of her and Joel. Here’s to all the parents out there who continue to have their own personalities after they have kids. Andy watched Wilder so that Amanda, Lee Kyle and I could go see Equis. While there were parts of the play that I found fault in, I truly enjoyed it and my amazing company. After the play we three laughed so hard while I took pictures of Lee and Amanda on the porch of a blighted house in the Marigny. It will probably be a Starbucks by next year.

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Today welcomed Daphne back from Europe. She came over with gifts for all of us. She does this every time she travels and by the time Wilder is a year old, he is going to have an entire collection of treasures from all over the world. The day continued with more fantastic company. Liza Rose came by with her son Oren who fell in love with the dogs. By early evening we had a house full of kids. Katya was in town visiting Jackie from France and she stopped by with her two daughters and one of Jackie’s “kids”. Wilder loved all the young company and he jumped excitedly in his little bouncy seat. Katya picked him up and sang sweet French songs to him and he loved it. He laughed and smiled the whole time as if she was telling him sweet secrets only they could understand.

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Magic & mushrooms.

March 19th 2014

Wilder is 19 weeks old.

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This past week was a whirlwind. Monday began very early with a cranky Wilder who didn’t sleep very soundly on the first night in our hotel suite. He woke at 6 am and instead of going back to bed, we got up for the day. I had plans on going for a Lundi Gras morning jog through the quarter, but walked with the baby over to the French bakery instead and ate too many croissants. I let Andy sleep in with the hope that one of my friends would stop by to visit, but it was a cold and quiet day. When Andy woke he went to the bar and I hung out with Wilder while he worked his way through a few screaming fits. I couldn’t blame him though, as I get the same way when I don’t sleep well. When Andy returned I took a nice long nap and had a serious bout of sleep paralysis, which I used to get rather frequently when I was younger. I blamed this incidence on the probability of ghosts in our hotel suite. Later Andy and I went for a stroll and he bought me a few new dresses, which I was very grateful to receive. Lee Kyle came over later with his sewing machine to make some last minute fixes to our costumes for the next day. Andy went to play a show at Allways and I had every intention of going until I realized that it was fucking freezing outside and didn’t want to walk any further than across the street to the bar. I did just that and ended up staying out later than I had planned. Andy met up with me after his show and by the time the two of us made it back to hotel, I was being drunken –bitchy about being hungry. I caught on quickly to my mistake, stopped being so ridiculous and instead of eating something, we had sex and went to bed.

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Waking up on Mardi Gras day I discovered that it was raining and really cold. In the mid-thirties cold. In fact this was the coldest Mardi Gras I can remember. At first I was very fearful that the day would be ruined. We all got up around 8:30 and began to put our costumes on. The plan had been to meet the St. Anne’s parade down by Mimi’s, which is something that I do every year. But one step out on the balcony and I knew there was no way I was going to make that happen. Cody showed up a little after we awoke and he hadn’t slept yet, so I sent him up to the bed in the loft. Jennifer Jane stopped by and we had an impromptu photo shoot on the bed in our costumes. I decided that I needed to get my shit together if I was going to enjoy the day, so I had some toast and a beer and ate some mushrooms. Not long after that, my hangover started to catch up with me and the corset I was wearing provided no relief from the nausea I was experiencing. Misty, John and their friends stopped in and I was not very social until I excused myself and went upstairs to throw up. I awoke Cody to the sounds of my vomiting, which I suppose is par for the course on Mardi Gras day. Thank god Misty and her crew had stopped by because they got the party started. Ellen was working at the bar, but her husband Joel brought their daughters and I started to feel much better about the day. Cody got up and we headed over to Flanagans. There were quite a few people there waiting to see our costumes, and I immediately had a cocktail thrust into my hand. What followed was an amazing day of wandering the quarter with Cody, enjoying the mellow high of mushrooms combined with the sweet buzz of good whiskey. I was extremely grateful that Lee Kyle (who is diligently sober) agreed to be responsible for Wilder so that I didn’t have to be on baby duty at all. We went to One eyed Jacks and danced in the VIP section while people watched. We went to Flanagans over and over and (haphazardly) hid in the liquor closet at one point, laughing at our own stupid jokes. We wandered in Jackson Square and lamented the fact that the freezing rain had cleared away all the cross bearing bible-thumpers. We danced in the streets with wandering bands and I made Cody take my picture with two cops (I was dressed as a pig). We went to Monaghans which brought back many wonderful memories for me, and Cody met some adorable Icelandic people who come to New Orleans every year for Mardi Gras. He talked with them for over an hour. We headed down to the Hustler Club and had a cocktail with the owner and his girlfriend and made a cameo in a reality series called Adventures in Boobyland. We held hands and walked fast to stay warm. I made out with a few people and convinced others to make out for my viewing pleasure. Finally after we were very intoxicated, we stumbled back to Flanagans for a final drink and to meet up with one of my friends visiting from out of town. He and his crew came over and we sat on the balcony, overlooking the end of Mardi Gras while eating pizza and talking lovingly. After my friends left, Cody and I both showered and watched a wakeful Wilder while Lee tried to nap and Andy went across the street to the bar. Wilder was wide awake and still ready to party for quite some time which required some Baby Einstein. When Andy returned from the bar around 1 am Cody and I went upstairs and cuddled and slept. I woke around 9 am and joined Andy and Wilder downstairs, feeling better than I expected to be.

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Ash Wednesday arrived and we needed to pack up all our crap and get back to the house. I had lofty goals of working a half day, which I laughed about not long after waking. Cody helped us haul everything into the car, then grabbed a cab and headed back uptown. When we got home I unpacked our things and started some laundry while Andy ran to pick us up some take-out. After eating some fried chicken (which is a very rare occurrence), I took a wonderful long nap. I felt a little remorse over my intoxication, which I lovingly call a “shameover” but decided not to waste any energy on it. Sometimes you just need to let things go.

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Andy took good care of me on Wednesday and I was ready to reciprocate when he fell ill on Thursday. He started experiencing really bad stomach pains coupled with a slight fever and vertigo. Lee Kyle had Wilder while I was work and when I got home I kept him away from Andy in case his illness was contagious. I called the doctor’s office on Thursday and they called me early Friday morning saying they could see Andy that day. They ended up running a series of tests which determined that he has some intestinal issues that required medication. He was very worn down on Friday after spending all day at the doctors and hospital, so Lee Kyle stayed over and he and I kept Wilder away from Andy once again.

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On Saturday Wilder and I got up at 6 am to make the most of the day. We met Dori and her son Paul at the park, which allowed her and me a chance to catch up outside of work. I was surprised at how well Wilder did in the sun, as he generally shows a strong aversion to direct sunlight. Dori gave me a jumperoo that had belonged to a friend of hers. When I got home, after cleaning it thoroughly, I put it together. Wilder loved it. He actually made his first “real” laugh that day while watching the dogs from the new perspective it provides. He finds the dogs very entertaining. If he gets upset I will often take him outside and hold him while I play catch with Kara. He giggles when she brings the toy back and sits waiting for me to throw it. Free amusement.

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The week ended with Andy finally feeling better. I was able to escape the house alone and go for a jog at City Park. When I returned home Andy, Lee Kyle and I took Wilder to check out the newly opened Crescent Park on the riverfront. It was a beautiful day but I should have worn sunscreen. Andy felt well enough to watch Wilder for the afternoon, which allowed me the chance to meet up with Amanda for a few beers. We went to Marie’s and enjoyed the weather while drinking with a few other day-timers. We then called Cody and had him meet us for lunch at Santa Fe. After a few pitchers of margaritas we were feeling great. We went for a stroll through the neighborhood and ended up encountering a fellow who lives in the attic apartment of the Luling Mansion, home of the old Jockey Club. He told us the history of the beautiful building, including his own personal, charming story. After that awesome diversion Cody and I headed back to my place, and Amanda went home to hang out with her husband. We decided to bake a cake for the evening’s viewing of the season finale of True Detective. I must admit that Cody is far better baker than I (although most people are). The cake turned out to be delicious, and we even hid a golden king cake baby in it (in reference to the yellow king) which Lee Kyle got in his slice. The boys and I all quieted down to take in the episode and Wilder fell asleep calmly on my shoulder. It was a perfect night.

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Gold flake.

March 2nd, 2014

Wilder is 18 weeks old.

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This past week started out pretty fucking shitty. As most of the people in my life are aware, I don’t typically enjoy my job. Before Wilder was born I was working on a project on the West bank that was less than fulfilling. When I was first sent to that location I was told it would be for a project lasting up to a year. Two years later I was able to escape, mostly because the budget was being reduced and my pregnancy required more frequent doctors’ visits, which made working downtown much more simple and time effective. I returned to work four and a half weeks after our son was delivered. I would have liked to take more time off but having absolutely no benefits whatsoever and whopping hospital bills, I didn’t have much of a choice. I’ve been working at the downtown office since then on a different project that is not exciting either. But the commute is easy and the hours are more flexible. This project is coming to an end soon.  My boss came into town this past week which doesn’t happen very often. As he was strolling past my office he very casually said, “When you finish that, you’ll be going back to the West bank.” There was no discussion, not even much of a hello. Needless to say I lost my shit. I told him that I would consider the West bank if it was there or unemployment. I wanted to say a few other choice words but restrained myself. I’ve been working for this company since 2007. I’ve never had a paid day off, no health benefits, and no incentives at all. What the fuck have I been doing? As frustrating as the moment was, and the anger that seethed in me the rest of the afternoon, it catalyzed me to look at my career and begin to implement some changes. I have become addicted to the monetary aspect of my job. It hasn’t ever fulfilled me in any other way. I understand that money is important but isn’t personal happiness also worthy of consideration? I’m way too responsible and considerate to walk out on a job, but if I wasn’t I would have said “Fuck this shit” and left without looking back. When I spoke to Lee Kyle about the day’s events, he told me that I should have just quit because life is too short to spend eight hours a day, five days a week feeling completely unsatisfied. I have begun planning a proper escape because at this point it is inevitable.

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On the bright side of things, our son is growing and becoming more adorable by the day. He turned four months old this past week and even started using a different (less complicated) type of bottle. He’s been enjoying trying new baby food and it’s adorable to watch his expressions when he tastes something for the first time. He seems to prefer vegetables over fruits, so maybe he will have more of my dietary habits. With Mardi Gras quickly approaching, I feared I would have moments where I felt like I was missing out on some of my old traditions. But honestly I would rather be home with Wilder most nights. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived here for so long or because I’m getting older. Either way, I’m thankful to get to spend any extra time with him that I can.

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Andy’s birthday was the past week and he turned 39 years old. We celebrated first by having really hot sex in the shower. I’ll be honest, since Wilder has come along I’ve definitely dropped the ball when it comes to spicing up our sex life. We haven’t been very adventurous, mostly because one of us is always exhausted. I realized that I really need to work on bringing back some of the excitement. The sex is always good. Really good. But it has become very predictable which is not either of our styles. I was reminded of this that night. I won’t go into too much detail but let’s just say we used to rarely have sex in bed and now it’s the #1 spot. I can’t pursue other sexual relationships if I’m not giving ours my absolute best. So if you need me, I’ll be browsing porn to up my techniques.

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After sexy shower time we went to dinner at Oxalis in the Bywater. The food was delicious and they have a really great selection of whiskey. We ran into some friends there and it was a great start to the celebratory evening. We then went to Flanagans where we enjoyed a king cake I had ordered from Domenica. It was filled with bananas, caramel, mascarpone cheese, pecans and then covered with more caramel and gold flake. It was fucking delicious.  I had a few drinks with Andy and our friends and then bowed out around midnight because I had work the next day. Andy was out until very late and he got pretty wasted. He rarely ever drinks so I felt bad for him knowing the hangover he would be having. At times I get annoyed with Andy’s lack of pageantry. I don’t have a single photo of him from his birthday night.

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I knew that Mardi Gras weekend had rolled around because I got my first drunk-dial from a good friend who was having a hard night. I never mind being the recipient of these types of calls, because god knows I’ve made so many in my lifetime. In fact, that’s where the name “Slutsunlimited” comes from. When I used to drunk dial my best friend Jackie years ago late at night, she would answer by saying that instead of “hello.” It stuck. I’ve always felt sluts should be limitless.

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On Saturday I met Dori, her husband and some mutual friends at Flanagans. We planned on some quality day drinking which is generally a good time. Andy went with me and wasn’t drinking so that he could drive. Not long after we arrived (and right after I did a car-bomb) Andy realized that he had fucked up the schedule and needed to stay and work for a while. This meant I had to stop drinking, have a few glasses of water and wait at least an hour before walking back to the car. I don’t drink and drive. I had in my past when I was younger and less seasoned, but now that is something I won’t do. So my day drinking was cut short but it probably saved me from having an awful headache.

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We finished this week by prepping to stay in a suite in the French Quarter for the next few days of Mardi Gras. We packed up all our stuff, which now consists of way too many baby gadgets and headed on down to the hotel. We will be staying right across the street from Flanagans until Wednesday. I was very excited to have the hotel room but also nervous about Wilder’s reactions to his new surroundings. Also the place might be haunted, so there’s that. Tonight was very nice, though. Lee Kyle stopped in and visited with Wilder. I went over to the bar and made out with one of my new crushes who happened to be there. Then Andy and I cuddled together, and actually slept the whole night together in the same bed. I’m very excited about this coming week and Mardi Gras.

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Guilt shopping.

February 23rd 2014

Wilder is 17 weeks old.

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I’m pretty certain that every parent has felt this at least one time, but honestly, my son is so fucking cute I can hardly stand it. Even though we have surely entered the pre-teething stage which is accompanied by tons of drool and intermittent crankiness, I’m still head over heels. His newest maneuver is an attempt to roll over. It consists of a lot of wiggling and turning, but a full roll has yet to be achieved. He is also very interested in music and singing. He loves to watch anyone sing and he’ll often sing along with coos and squeaks. Every day when I leave for work I am fearful that he will have big experience that day. It’s an interesting case of parental fear of missing out, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous that Andy and Lee Kyle get to spend a lot of the day time with Wilder.

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I started getting up super early this past week in order to make it to the gym before work. I know that I have more physical determination in the morning than in the afternoon. Losing weight has always been a struggle for me, but now I have even less time to myself that can be devoted to exercise. As much as I love sleep, I also love being able to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, so I know that getting out of bed is a requirement. Also, pre-work gym time tend to make me less likely to snap at a co-worker. It’s a win-win situation.

Jennifer Jane came over for dinner this week, and as always it was a pleasure to see her. She and Andy began talking about Dexter and although I haven’t seen the show it was quite comical to watch them get into such an animated discussion. We drank wine and ate delicious snacks. All the while Wilder hung out with us, just content to be listening to our conversation. I’m thankful for friends who love our son and don’t mind boozing it up at our house every once in a while.

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I had been thinking a lot about the prospective of Andy moving upstairs into the main house with me (as opposed to living primarily in his apartment downstairs) and it was giving me some anxiety. I attempted to talk with him about my feelings, but unfortunately this coincided with a time where I had drunk a few glasses of wine. What I meant to say was, “I am nervous about you living in this part of the house because we have never co-habitated and I know that I can be somewhat unreasonable when it comes to my expectations of cleanliness.” But what I actually said was, “I don’t think I can handle this living together thing. You don’t mind living in complete filth and it drives me absolutely insane. Your dogs are ill-behaved and I’m afraid that if we live together I will resent you and we will never have sex again.” He reacted the best way he could, which included acknowledging my concern and saying that if needed he would move out of the house altogether. Not exactly how I wanted that to go.

I know that I’m fucking cuckoo when it comes to cleanliness. I get this trait from my mother. People joked that having a baby would mean that my house wouldn’t be as pristine, but they were wrong. I can’t relax in a dirty house. I’ll skip meals, writing, even sleeping if the house isn’t in order. In my personal view of things, I think I have become a little more lax, but for Andy (or just about any other sane individual) my need for extreme cleanliness can be overwhelming. This is the #1 reason why I have preferred to live alone. Followed by my need for time alone. When I’m out and about it is a surprise to no one that I like to be the center of attention, but in my home, I like to relax. I know Andy doesn’t care if I walk around in my underwear, in fact he’d probably prefer it, but some days I don’t feel like being watched when I do a naked rendition of Patsy Cline’s “South of the Border”. Since Wilder’s birth, Andy has basically been living in the spare room, mere feet from my own bedroom. It really shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but the thought of him making the actual move into the upstairs, is still very daunting. We don’t need to rent out his apartment, but nothing would make me happier than to have it available for Cathy when she comes. Truth is, perhaps Cathy can move in with me and Andy can stay downstairs. Sometimes I wish I was needier, like the majority of my female friends who crave sleeping with their significant others. I don’t want that. Never have, and I don’t expect it to change anytime soon. If Andy does make the move to the upstairs of the house, we will still maintain separate bedrooms. What difference will a few small flights of stairs make? Maybe we will find out.

The day following my verbal assault on Andy’s cleanliness I felt badly about my choice of words. Whenever I feel guilty about something I’ve done to someone, my first thought is to apologize and then follow that apology up with a gift of some sort. There were years during my vodka/Xanax phase that this tactic nearly bankrupted me. Andy’s not huge on receiving gifts, but with his birthday approaching I was able to make a few big purchases under the pretense that they were birthday gifts and not guilt purchases. I bought him some new bedroom furniture with the understanding that he would use it when he moved upstairs. I also purchased two large dog crates, because, well, I’m no fool. He was happy about it, and in the light of a new day we were able to have a much more meaningful conversation about him moving “in”. For the time being, we aren’t going to make any changes until after Mardi Gras.

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On the evenings that Andy works at Flanagans, I get to have time alone with Wilder. I cherish these moments when I act like a complete idiot for his entertainment. I make up songs about everything, from poopy diapers to poor Lady Edith on Downton Abbey. Wilder is mesmerized by my idiocy, which only makes me want to make him giggle more. I adore cuddling with him and rocking him to sleep. I know the time will come too quickly that he won’t need these things from me, so I try to enjoy every moment that I have with him.

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This past Saturday was a busy day. We started with Wilder having his first taste of baby food. He tried carrots and seemed to enjoy them after he understood what was happening. He was quite confused at first, as to be expected, and some of his faces were hilarious. He didn’t have any type of reaction so it looks like carrots are a go. Yummy and they stain everything too! Lee Kyle stayed over to keep an eye on Wilder so that Andy and I could see part of the Chewbacchus parade and then go to the Apocalypse Ball. It was fun to get into costume and Andy looked amazing as always. He is so much better at doing theatrical makeup than I am. Between him and Lee Kyle I often feel like the ugly duckling. We had fun at the parade but it was cold outside and there was a long stall. After staring at the sub crew of Dr. Who for 45 minutes we decided to head over to the ball. The ball was a blast. Easily one of my favorite Mardi Gras activities. Reminds me of MOMS ball but smaller attendance and more people that I like seeing naked. We stayed a few hours but neither of us drank much because we didn’t want to be hung-over for the Barkus parade the next day.

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This was Harlow’s first year as a marching member of the Barkus parade and she was very excited. The theme was Dogzilla and she and Andy went in costume. Unfortunately it rained most of the morning and early afternoon, so her march was a wet one. Andy said she kept trying to run into people’s homes on the route. He ended up carrying her part of the way, which is no easy feat with a 55 pound pit bull. Even though the weather was atrocious, Wilder and I went to the parade. Lee Kyle was kind enough to drop us off and pick us up later so we had curb side delivery to Flanagans. Amanda met me at the bar and we had a few cocktails before opening up our umbrellas and heading over the few blocks to the parade route.

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We were the only people standing in the street waiting for the parade because it was pouring down rain. As the parade began to near, more people huddled under their umbrellas in the street. I had picked a prime spot because I wanted to get a few good pictures of Andy and Harlow, perhaps with the baby. I was doing great, despite the weather, enjoying the parade with Amanda and Jennifer Jane who had showed up. Out of nowhere this rather large man makes his way through the crowd and stands right in front of me. Trying not to be that girl, with the baby no less, I stepped to the side of him where I could easily see again. Moments later, obviously oblivious to the people around him, he steps in front of me again. On my third blocked maneuver, I gently tapped his shoulder and said, “Hi, I’m really trying hard not to be a cunt here, but you keep stepping directly in front of me and it is getting to be frustrating to say the least.” He looked taken aback and then immediately retorted, “I live here, right down the street and I’ve been here all day.” I told him that I didn’t give a fuck where he lived and that he hadn’t been there all day unless he had a fucking invisibility cloak because I was the only motherfucker standing in the pouring rain when the parade started. As I was saying this, Amanda calls over my shoulder, “She has a baby, so you need to shut the fuck up.” I couldn’t help but laugh at how the situation had developed and how it became immediately apparent that I, Wilder, alcohol and parades are a bad mix.

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After Andy passed and I was able to get a few photos, I stepped out of the crowd and began making my way toward the bar. I saw the guy I had briefly argued with and tried to extent an apology for the way things had escalated. He once again pulled the “I live here” card. I told him that just because he lived in the quarter that didn’t guarantee him a spot at the front of the crowd for every event in the neighborhood. I explained that Andy owns a bar and that I don’t have any entitlement because of it. On the streets, we are all the same. He pointed out that Flanagans was one of the bars he frequented and that Andy was a close friend (though I’ve never seen him before). Then he refused my apology, and stormed away claiming I ruined his entire day.

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I felt bad, but I had tried my best. In reality, the guy was an asshole. As we were watching the angry man storm away, an older gentleman who looked like Santa walked up to join the crowd. He smiled at Wilder and we started chatting with him. Amanda has an affinity for old men; she loves talking with them and will often end up in deep conversation on the street or in a bar. Turns out this guy is an independent Santa. He looked very convincing in the photos he showed us. He asked about Wilder’s age and if I was a first time mom. I answered his questions, to which he replied, “Can I give you a bit of advice?” Now normally I’m not too hip on taking advice from strangers, but this guy was Santa, for God’s sake. Of course I wanted to hear what he had to say. He got a bit misty-eyed and said, “I had a son. He passed away at the age of nineteen in an automobile accident. The most important thing I can tell you is to cherish every moment you have with your little boy. You never know when it could be the last.” Of course, I stared to tear up, as did Amanda. We hugged Santa goodbye and headed back to the bar. When Lee Kyle picked me up I told him the story and he was overcome as well. A little later after being home for a while, I still felt a tinge of guilt over the way things went down with the angry man. Perhaps I should buy him a present.  Nonetheless, a rainy parade presented such a bittersweet reminder to love the ones you are with.

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Champagne wishes and petit four dreams.

February 16th 2014

Wilder is sixteen weeks old.

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I have always functioned best on a schedule. I’d like to pretend that I am one of those people who can be spontaneous at the drop of a hat, but the reality is that I’m too much of a control freak. Having a baby has helped to break me painfully from my rigorous scheduling in many ways. Now, though, that we are trying to implement a structured bedtime and routine to accompany it, I feel like my nature has its benefits. Wilder has been falling into a rhythm of sleeping and eating at rather predictable intervals. I am very grateful that he will virtually nap anywhere, but we try to always have him home for bedtime. He has been doing great sleeping in his rock and play and I trust that soon we will be able to transition him to his crib. It truly is amazing how quickly he is growing.

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This past Tuesday Wilder turned 108 days old and we had his puja celebration. I hadn’t slept well on Monday night as I was strangely experiencing anxiety over the celebration. I adore throwing parties but I had never done anything of this type before and honestly I was nervous that I might fuck it up. The boys and Cathy had assured me that things would be fine, and they were right. We had a lovely group of over 40 dear friends show up to celebrate. Both Jackie and Keith did an amazing job in leading the chants and it was absolutely joyous to see so many people participate (even if some of them thought it was weird). A dear friend and fellow yogi Nancy Maas was kind enough to photograph the event. Wilder was on his best behavior and he sat in his little seat in the middle of the crowd while we all chanted. He was only fussy for a moment to let us know he was hungry, but after he ate he was happy to be passed around the crowd and cuddled by the guests. The puja presented me a wonderful opportunity to express my gratitude to both Lee Kyle and Andy for all their love and support. I openly and loudly admitted that I had been foolish thinking at the beginning of this adventure that if needed I could do everything on my own. Wilder has helped me to realize the beauty and strength in the community that I have cultivated. He has opened my eyes in many ways and I am often surprised and elated by what is right in front of me.

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Photo by Nancy Maas

As lovely as the puja was, I was sad that neither Dori nor Amanda could attend. The 11th also happened to be Amanda’s birthday, but she wasn’t able to make it due to nursing school. After the ceremony ended, Cathy, Lee Kyle, Andy, Wilder and myself went to Mandina’s for lunch. It had been a while since I had eaten at Mandina’s and I was immediately flooded with memories of my father. This was one of his favorite restaurants and we used to eat there every time he visited when he lived in New Mexico. I also had my college graduation dinner party there. Many fine memories in that building. I was happy that we were able to make a new one with our new family. We headed home after lunch and I relaxed on the couch with a very sweet baby while Andy took care of his bar duties. Cody came by and watched some Downton Abbey with me, which ended the day perfectly.

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This past Wednesday Wilder had to go in for his (belated) 3 month check-up. Having taken off Tuesday for the puja, I couldn’t accompany Andy to bring him to the pediatrician. He received three shots and according to Andy he was only briefly upset. The doctor said that he was growing well and his heath was good. Our only concern is the shape of his head. Since birth he has had a slightly flattened portion of his right posterior skull. She assured us it was nothing to fret about at this point, but I’m determined to keep an eye on it. Andy called after the appointment and I could hear Wilder crying, which made me teary-eyed as well. I love that little boy so much, more than I actually thought possible.

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Andy and I finally found some time alone together and we spent it fucking. It was highly enjoyable, as it always is. I love Andy and he loves me but that doesn’t mean that I don’t worry about the decline of general passion in our relationship. I think in some respects it hasn’t actually changed much, it’s just that now we see much more of each other. When we lived more separately, it was easier to be excited to see one another. Also, before Wilder our responsibilities to each other were much less. As happy as I am to be a family now, there have been some unexpected complications in nearly all my personal relationships. I’m also generally the type of person who gets more sexual satisfaction from clandestine affairs than from long term relationships. I think this is why living apart from Andy was so healthy for our sex life. As much as I thrive on routine in nearly all aspects of my life, I like spontaneity and unpredictability in the bedroom. Call me a slut, it’s just my nature. The good news is that we have an open dialogue about these things, so it isn’t difficult to address my desires.

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I made it to yoga class this past Wednesday night and was able to visit with Jackie following the class. It’s so rare that we have time to converse privately with one another that I consider it something special when it happens. We sat in my car for nearly an hour, which was not nearly enough time to truly catch up. I miss Jackie but I’m grateful to know that no matter what is happening in each other’s lives, we are always there for one another.

I have a unique work environment because not only do I work with some of my closest friends (who mostly were my friends before the job) but I also work with my cousin. This means that our conversations at work are almost never work appropriate. This past week I got into a discussion with my cousin concerning some of the unique traditions in our families. I’m not sure how the memory came to me but I was reminded of how my mother was naked a lot in front of us when we were younger. She had the habit (which persisted until she died) of wearing only her underwear while applying her makeup, which she always did either in the living room or at the dining room table. She never really cared who saw her in this state and all of mine and my brother’s friends had seen her breasts at some point. Odd as it may sound, we never really found it to be strange. My cousin’s mother, my aunt, also choose to be half-dressed a lot of the time. I suppose that to them, there wasn’t any shame in nudity. I think this affected me in many ways included my own penchant for being naked in my house. I would assume that 85% of my close friends have seen me half-naked if not entirely. I’m glad that I have the openness about my body, even if it did come in a rather strange way. I wonder how this will affect Wilder’s perception of his own body? Hopefully in a positive way.

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At work, we also got caught up talking about the Woody Allen situation which led to a discussion about rape in general. This brought up memories and feelings about my own rape. It’s funny how the anger never really completely dissipates. I think all the yoga and therapy and forgiveness in the world won’t completely diminish my feelings of shame and rage. They are surely lessor than before but always present. I don’t think about that situation very often, but when I do, it’s still hard.

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Thursday night I was ready to shake off the heaviness of the discussion of the work day. Cody accompanied me to the Valentine’s Day addition of Big Dicks House of Big Boobs (BDHBB), which is a DIY strip club where ANYone can dance. Lee Kyle and Jennifer Jane were performing together as part of her birthday celebration.  Cody had never been to any of the BDHBB parties, so I think it is safe to say that he was pleasantly shocked by what he witnessed. I chatted with Corinne, the mastermind behind the parties, and she said that this might be the last for quite some time. I was saddened by this possibility but know that all good things must eventually come to an end. We had a blast there and then went to Mimi’s for one final drink before heading home. Cody and I were intoxicated, and thankfully Lee Kyle was sober. When Cody and I arrived at my house, we munched on food straight from the fridge then passed out in bed around 3 am.

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The 7 am alarm felt pretty harsh the next morning, which was Friday the 14th, Valentine’s Day. I reluctantly roused Cody from sleep and attempted to make us breakfast before we headed into work. I’m pretty sure he was still drunk when we left the house. Apparently we weren’t the only ones to have a rough morning. Crystal had gotten into a small fender bender on her way into work. She was obviously shaken up, but luckily no one had been hurt. Needless to say, it was an unproductive day on the job. That night, despite my hangover, I made dinner for Cathy, Lee Kyle and I. Afterwards we took some adorable Valentine’s Day photos. Andy worked and I was in bed early, resting up for the parade the following night.

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Saturday night was Krewe de Vieux! This is one of my favorite parades and probably the only one that I have consistently seen every year for nearly a decade. I was very excited that this would be Wilder’s first parade. Clint’s friend Lauren lives near the R Bar so we were fortunate to have her house as a home base. We put Wilder in his Stokke carrier and he did wonderful. Not only did he make it through the whole parade without crying but he even napped for a bit. There was quite a sweet scene when a brass band serenaded him and he looked on with awe. I couldn’t have been more proud, he is a true New Orleans baby. After the parade, I left Wilder with Lee Kyle, Clint and Cathy and I met some friends at Flanagans where Andy was working. I had a few drinks and flirted a little and then walked over to One Eyed Jacks to see The Walkmen’s (final) show. It was incredible. I was flooded with memories of all the times I listened to their music and the many times I had seen them live in the past. I had a great viewing spot, thanks to the sweet staff of the bar, and I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a show on the same level as I did this one.

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Sunday rolled around with more sex and delicious pizza. I talked with Andy about the prospect of taking on a (few) new lover(s). He laughed and said, “Seems like your vagina is back in business and the line starts behind me.” I thought quite a bit about what it would mean to enter into this situation again, especially in our new living environment. It’s seems equal parts exciting and bothersome. I figure it would be easier if I could immediately present some rough guidelines for new lovers, but that would take some of the mystique out of the whole situation. I decided to ponder it while I ate more pizza. I pondered for longer than I should have.

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