memories

Bros, man.

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I am a funny person. I am quick witted and sharp – when not sleep deprived. My friend Shaun used to call me Stephanie theresthejoke Stearns. I know this about myself. I succeeded at Stand-up comedy, my true love Sketch Comedy and of course theatrical comedy. All of those episodes of Three’s Company paid off every night in Bunbury when I walked into that door and the crowd laughed hysterically.

When I met Zach I realized that I had met my match, perhaps he was even funnier than I was? All I knew was that the dude was adorable and made me laugh till my sides ached.  It was like hanging out with the guys from my sketch troupe but way better cause I wanted to make out with him and spend all my time with him and tell him everything. So, we went ahead and got hitched and had Max and then Huck.  It came as no surprise to us that Max had great comedic timing from a young age.

Yesterday after Mother’s Day Breakfast and gifts were handed out but before we headed to the National Cathedral and Cactus Cantina for our traditional day, Max, Zach and I were relaxing while Huck played with grandma and Max suddenly and without prompting began to laugh and then sighed and made a new declaration in the kingdom.

“Huck is the funniest person in this house.” 

 

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I’m fairly sure that while we kept it to ourselves, both Zach and I thought “Excuse ME, Mister, but I am the funniest.” But no. We aren’t. We are trapped between a mini-future SNL news man and a tiny Chris Farley and it’s the raddest ride ever. It makes me happy all the way to soul as I remember that though I have worked with some of the funniest people to ever walk this planet and am married to one, and had the blessing to also have some of the funniest friends known to man, I remember that no one- no one makes me laugh like my sister, Heather.

And I am so, so grateful that these two monkeys have each other, and hope they’ll make just a little room for  their baby sister. Maybe, if she is lucky, they will let her in on the joke.

I loved the camera necklace the boys picked out, I loved the Starbucks delivered bedside, the roses, the cards, but truly Max and Huck loving each other is the best gift ever.

 

 

 

Things I want to remember

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The way Huck says “mine” all the time. “You mine girl, mommy?” “Where mine sitting?” (chair) “is mine ligh-queen!” (Lightning McQueen)

Today as I was getting him in his car seat, which as we all know is PRIME cheek munching time, what with them being tied down and all, I told him “You so delicious and cute Boo!” He took his hands and put them on my face and said “You pretty mommy.”

Melted right into a puddle.

The way I say “Huckie, you’re so smart!” and he says back “NO! I BooBoo!”

Everynight as I lie him down, whether he is awake or asleep the last thing he says to me is “You go check on Max.” Max continues to be his absolute hero, and Max can’t get enough of Huck. The first thing he says in the morning is “Let’s get Boo!”

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Max is still really struggling with anxiety, particularly at night. We’ve got our routine down but recently he’s asked me to sing Baby Mine to him again. After a 3 year hiatus, lullabies are back on the table and I am thisclose to truly being Smother Goldberg. (Sidenote: do you guys watch The Goldberg’s? Because HILARITY)

Yeah, I just gif’d in a blog post. So there.

Happy Easter from ours to yours.

 

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I had a small family growing up. Like super small; me and my mom. Thankfully in preschool I met Sister Dub and her mom and we formed our own family but it was still small. One of the great heartbreaks of moving from Los Angeles and away from Sister Dub, Ammar and Isaiah and Janice, Curt and Ben was that we had these grand plans of making our childhood dreams come true. Big gatherings with lots of food and laughter and and friends and family and of course…lots of children laughing and racing around. I still find talking about moving hard. Max likes to hear stories about the family before bed and the other day he asked about the day we left LA and I couldn’t make it through without crying. Almost 6 years later and I still can’t believe it.

Being in a new city with no friends and baby is hard. It’s impossible to make friends and I was trapped in the house with undiagnosed Postpartum Anxiety, so I rarely even made attempts. My mother in law kept assuring me that life would get better when Max started preschool, and she was so right. I soon met Riley and Jake…and more selfishly their moms and dads. Riley’s mom KG comes with a huge fabulous and amazing family and they took us right in. We spend summers at the pool and fall at the pumpkin patch as one big gaggle of kids and Riley sisters and it’s just heaven.

Yesterday we spent the entire day at their home,  Huck and Max’s besties Isaac, Jake, Matty and Max’s future wife (so he insists) Riley, plus big Isaac’s sister Brianna her best friend Erin and Erin’s big brother Aiden raced around on 4 wheelers, bounced in the bounce house, swung on the swing set till they couldn’t swing no more and left exhausted, covered in dirt and chocolate each and everyone one of them melting down in the way that little kids only do when they’ve had the greatest, longest, funnest day ever.

We had an Easter Egg Hunt to end all hunt with each kid scoring 50 eggs. There were chocolate fountains and fresh turkey and ham, appetizers of all kids and more bunny cupcakes than I have ever seen. We all sat around chatting and laughing, intervening in kid-drama, kissing random boo boos and begging them to eat something other than candy.

We all failed in that arena.

It was heaven. It was a childhood dream come true. Zach and I surrounded by good friends who are becoming family. Our children’s joyous screams of laughter the perfect sountrack as we shared stories and told tales.

It was heaven. I of course thanked them profusely for having us, but they’ll never really know the gift they give us just by including us. A real dream come true and I hope someday to be able to give that gift to my children and their families, however they come to us.

 

Happy Easter.

 

It’s better to be plain.

photo credit Road Theatre

photo credit Road Theatre

Let’s call him Brandon.

He was young and handsome, with a devilish glint in his eye. He was charming and charismatic, like most of the men in my class at acting school. We sat in his car outside my Pasadena apartment talking late into the night, in the way that only 20 somethings can, still enjoying the new found freedom of apartment living and bar hopping. Leaning our heads back on the headrests and alternately staring into one another’s eyes, both of us summing up whether or not we were either tipsy enough or attracted to each other enough to kiss. I was fresh off a heartbreak that really wasn’t a heartbreak. You know, when you’re more upset and sad about the way it went down that the actual loss of the person. My pride was hurt, but my actual heart wasn’t. It was a very confusing time to be me. Mix in some heavy duty insecurity and a hard core eating disorder and I was ripe for the picking.

Somehow we ended up on the subject of my ex and how it all happened. There was another girl, you see, as there frequently are. She was gorgeous. She was talented. She was mean as a snake. Worse than all of that put together, she was better at being eating disordered than I was.

It was only when I was hospitalized the first time for my eating disorder, at 24 and after my second heart “incident” ,that I realized there is competition among us, the eating disordered.  I sat in group therapy at a treatment facility without an ED specialized unit and listened to people of all  walks of life tell horrific stories, the details of which are still fresh in my mind all these years later. There was only one other girl besides myself who was eating disordered. Her hair was cropped short, for the electric shock therapy she received twice weekly, and she folded perfectly in half on her metal folding chair in the cold therapy room. Her knees up by her face and her feet on the seat. her hands pulled inside her sweatshirt sleeves as she spoke. But all I could see was the space. There were probably 4 or 5 inches from the tips of her toes to the end of the seat. So much space. She was so thin. I was so jealous. Even know typing this I feel myself flush, my heart speed up a visceral reaction to the remembrance.

Later that night in my room, alone. I tried it. No metal chairs of course.Our rooms were an attempt to provide a home-like atmosphere while ensuring there were no sharp edges where we could injure ourselves, either on purpose if we were suicidal or accidentally from passing out.  I had bulimia. Girl had anorexia. A much more desirable eating disorder. In the hierarchy of eating disorders it’s the tops. Every night since I was 17 I had prayed that God would take my bulimia and leave anorexia in it’s place.  An unanswered prayer as it were. So it was that I tried to approximate the size of the folding chair and measure myself against her. I was barely 90 pounds at that time, a skeleton, but my feet left no space at the end of the chair. I didn’t measure up.

“Just once I want to be one of the beautiful people.” I said tipsily to Brandon. The girl whom my ex had become fascinated with, as everyone was, definitely qualified as “beautiful people.”

“No, you don’t Stephanie.” He said staring into my eyes and moving the tiniest bit closer. “It’s better to be plain. Like you.”

Then he tried to kiss me. I laughed, though I wanted to burst into tears from being told out right that I would indeed, never measure up, never be beautiful, never be the thinnest, the most talented, the desired one. But somehow, I laughed. Then, finding some self esteem somewhere I opened the car door and got out.