Wednesday, December 29, 2004

And Of Course, More to Be Grateful For

I've been having a hard time conceptualizing the devastation in Southeast Asia. I read the headlines, which are appalling, and I read some of the first-person accounts, but I don't really get it. A wall of water? What does that look like? The death toll might rise to 100,000? How many is that? I throw the newspaper in the recycling bin and go to work.

So now the amateur videos have been found and are being played on the news. It's a bit more real, but I still can't quite wrap my brain around it. I can't imagine grabbing onto my child and then having him slip from my grasp. Or, maybe I just don't want to. I don't want to think that there is anything in the world stronger than my grasp on him.

Another Thing to Be Grateful For

1. The trend of wearing pants so loose that you always need one hand holding them up will probably be over by the time my boys are teens.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Things to Be Grateful For

(in no particular order)

1. Gift Cards. What's with the animosity towards gift cards? Why do I keep hearing that people hate giving them? As far as I'm concerned, it's two gifts in one - the item, plus the gift of shopping! Nothing says "Go shop with someone else's money" like a gift card. The only problem with them is that you either have to spend a bit more than the card's value or you end up with a whole bunch of 25 cent cards. I've got them from L.L.Bean and Land's End. Looks like I'll finally be able to get a warm jacket. One year my MIL gave me one for Sephora. Ah yes, that was a good year.

2. Leftovers. We have lots and lots of sweet potatoes with apples left over.

3. Chocolate. Especially chocolate with caramel inside.

4. Two-year-olds. A. is just thrilled with his 3 new Thomas cars. I hope he's this thrilled every Christmas. He shouts out "Kiss-Muss Yights!" whenever we pass a decorated house. And my heart melts when he tells everyone, "May Kiss-Muss!"

5. Onion dip. I'd forgotten how good this stuff is. And so easy!

6. We have a leftover bag of potato chips to go with the onion dip.

7. We also have leftover beer, which will come in handy in March.

8. Family traveling out for the holidays. My dad came from AZ, and Big Sister and Niece came from Portland. And we got to see Medium Sister and all her kids (Big Nephew, Medium Niece, Medium Nephew and Little Niece), who live about 40 minutes away, several times over the last couple of days. I'm very lucky - my family is fun to hang out with.

9. My nomination for crafty blog got into the finalists of the BOB awards! ljc fyi Go check out the projects page.

10. Jon Stewart's America (The Book). I ostensibly bought it for G, but guess who's nightstand it's on?

I'm feeling a bit like I have to really post something fantastic and original since it's the week that BOB finalists are chosen. I don't believe this post qualifies. I also got a really flattering comment on another blog (read the Monday 12/27 entry). Oh the pressure!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

We Hate the Opera, Too

Big Niece and Big Sister went to the Nutcracker a few weeks ago in Portland. Behind them sat a mother who kept telling her kid, "You don't even KNOW how beautiful this is!"

At the end, she gave a one-woman standing ovation, and when the rest of the audience didn't join her, she said (loudly), "Damn Liberals!"

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Wish Me the Luck

This morning, G-the-Christmas-Elf was in fine spirits, bustling around and humming christmas carols. He's really a bustler. The verb "to bustle" was created for him. It became cute as soon as I'd finished my first cup of coffee.

Tomrrow, Christmas Eve, we're having 14 people for dinner. Two of those people are little, yet they each take up a whole place setting. It will be very cozy at our dining room table. Wanna know what we're having?

Honeybaked Ham
Mashed Potatoes with Gruyere
Sweet Potatoes with Apples & Brown Sugar
Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots
Green Salad
Jello (for the nephews/nieces who don't like Auntie Lunasea's fancy-ass cooking)
Mulled Cider
Cherry and Apple Pie with Ice Cream (also homemade choc chip cookies and choc chip shortbread)

MMMMMmmmmmm. It's gonna be good. I'm not the best cook, but I can follow a recipe.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

More Talking in His Sleep

Regular readers will be familiar with G's nightime guarding of my safety. We've had a bit of a quiet period, but about a week ago, my safety again appeared in jeopardy.

The other night, he startled and sat straight up.

Me: "What?"
G: "Don't fall off the bed!"
Me: "I'm not going to fall off the bed."
G: (pointing to the edge of the bed) "Well, I'm on this side of you, but THAT'S on the other side of you!"
Me: "Thanks for the geography lesson. Go. Back. To. Sleep."

Last night I reached for the Maalox that's always on my nightstand while pregnant, and he jumped up and grabbed me.

G: "What...what?"
Me: "It's OK, I'm just reaching over. I'm not going to fall."
G: (dubiously) "Well.....OK."

He lies back down, wrapping his right arm tightly around my legs to keep me on the bed. I kick him off. It's bad enough having indigestion without being restrained on top of it.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Blogging Fool

Nominations are being accepted through December 24 for the BOB Awards! The idea is to honor the little guys out here in blogland. There are 10 million nominations for the "Mommy Blogs" and less than 100 for the "Daddy Blogs." You can also nominate crafty blogs, big-name blogs (like Dooce or Mimi Smartypants), blog whores (people who will do anything for a link), etc. I think it's a great idea and have nominated some of my perennial favorites.

Oh, and you can't nominate Busy Mom, Genuine, Zero Boss, and some other favorites because they're on the panel. Besides, who's gonna go up against Busy Mom? She'd run ya down with the Busy Van.

Sergeant Christmas

This is a picture of A shouting commands tonight as we decorated the tree. Most of the commands were for G to "Play Trains!" with him, but they also included, "right here!" and "over dere!" and "juice!"

G finally got down on the floor and played trains with him for a while, and here was their conversation:

A: Play trains? Play trains!
G: We are playing trains.
A: Play trains!
G: I believe that's what we're doing.
A: Play trains!
G: I'm not sure we could be playing trains more than we already are.
A: Play trains!

"You see, kids, there's all sorts of trash in the world."

I always thought heroism involved going above and beyond the call of duty. On Higglytown Heroes (one of my least favorite Playhouse Disney shows and of course, one of A's favorites), the garbage man is our hero because he's going to pick up the kid's trash. Oh, but wait! It's not trash, but leaves? "Well, that's a truck of a different color." Garbage Man doesn't pick up leaves. But it's OK - because there are so many different kinds of trash in the world, the sanitation heroes split the work and Leaf Man/Woman will come pick those leaves up. And then, Recycling Man will sort and recycle! "Wow, sort and recycle! It doesn't get any better than that!" I swear that's an actual quote.

On every episode, the featured townspeople sing, "You can be a hero, just like me."

Arrrgh. Let's just leave out the fact that these kids are those roly-poly nesting dolls that live inside each other. That's creepy enough. But while I believe sanitation workers to be absolutely necessary to our quality of life, isn't it their job to pick up the trash and leaves?

On another segment, the hero was the supermarket worker who helped the kids find the pasta aisle. I thoroughly appreciate supermarket workers, don't get me wrong, especially when they reach things that are very high on the shelf for me, but is it heroic to know where the macaroni stars are? I believe it's worthy of a thank you, maybe, but not a medal. The guy in front of me at Target today, who took one look at me, my full cart and toddler, and unloaded my entire cart onto the belt for me, now there's your hero. And he didn't even work there. And when I saw him in the parking lot afterward, he was walking with a pronounced limp. So there.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Whatever Works

A thinks our Christmas tree is called, "Kiss-Mus-Yights-Vewy-Hot."

Why is it....

that when you have a cut or a sore on any other part of your body, you try to avoid bumping it or otherwise hurting it more. But when the sore is on your tongue, you can't stop rubbing it against the edge of your teeth so that it will hurt more?

Friday, December 10, 2004


There's a gas station attendant in my town who is very lucky to be alive tonight. After being stuck on the bridge for an hour and a half behind not one, but TWO accidents with a baby sitting on my bladder, I got off at the first exit and pulled in to his stupid station. And he wouldn't let me use the bathroom. He pointed to the sign that said they were very sorry, but the restroom couldn't be used after 8:00pm. I actually sputtered. I don't think I've ever actually sputtered before.

I always thought they locked the doors early and made you talk to the attendant through the little window to avoid robbers. No, it's to keep pregnant women from jumping across the counter and strangling the attendant, trailing urine the whole way.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


OK, my head's not spinning so fast anymore. It's floating about 2 feet above my neck, but that's because I've got a bad cold.

The interview for the part-time job in CA went well, but they'd already filled the position G thought he was applying for and were looking for an early-childhood specialist. He's many wonderful things, but an infant specialist is not one of them. Still he made a new friend in the interview, and hopefull will get some RAD referrals for his private practice. (He's completed a year long training in treating Reactive Attachment Disorder).

He also had a long talk with the dude from Kaiser Portland. He told him our situation, which is that we would be due with New Baby right around the time they'd want him to start. The guy in Portland said, "Oh, you don't want to do that. That's not fair to your wife or your family. We get openings every 6-8 months - why don't we wait for the next one?" G didn't feel like he could really argue with him ("No, damnit! Screw my family! Give me the interview!") He was very nice about it and G made another new friend.

So he now has some new friends and probably doesn't need to take the full-time job at Kaiser down here in order to transfer up. He didn't really want a full-time job here, and he's not excited about the one he'd be up for. It's too much like what he did for years in residential treatment.

OK, so plans for the time being are a little more settled. We need to buy a sofa for our new office, and we'll move in over Jan 1st. Sorry, Oregonians, but don't worry - it'll still probably happen, just in its own time.

This just in: A new little blogger on the block. Head on over and congratulate Henry and Michelle on their new little blog topic!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Measure of Evil

Big sign on the church around the corner: "Give Satan an inch and he'll be a ruler."

(darn minister changed it before I had a chance to get a photo)

Twists and Turns

Well, life does throw some interesting curve balls, doesn't it? (By the way, if you're a member of my family and you're reading this, SSSSHHHHHHH! It's not public knowledge! I mean, except that it's on a public website, but don't be telling anyone, 'kay? And if you live in Oregon, don't be getting your hopes up. Till we figure out what to do.) This is a bit of a rambling blather...

Here in the Lunasea household, your beloved Lunasea has been working her pregnant ass off, taking every referral who calls and can fit into her schedule. Being self-employed, I do not give myself paid maternity leave or health benefits (I mean, I have them, we just pay an arm and leg for them), so I need to save up a bit for the 6-8 weeks I won't be working. Save - hah. We're barely making our bills. G's practice has been down since summer, and he's been working like a dog trying to get it back up. That means he's pretty preoccupied and anxious and talking in his sleep a lot.

We've been debating whether or not he should continue to work on marketing his practice, or just go get a job here in the Bay Area. We are (and by "we are" I mean "he is") still applying for jobs in Portland, but they seem to be few and far between.

He's got an interview for a part-time position today about 30 miles away - it would be a good security blanket, but probably not enough hours to qualify for health benefits. It would also allow him to keep his private practice.

He also has an interview next week for a full-time position at our local Kaiser. The good parts: short commute, benefits, steady income, paid vacation, and it might be a gateway to transferring to Portland. The bad parts: we're moving our office Jan 1st and if he takes a full-time job, he's going to have to close his private practice, and I'm on the hook for the whole darn office by myself. We'd probably have to find a subleaser. He's also just not crazy about working full-time for someone else. And above all, I want him to be happy because it makes my life much easier. Yeah, and because I love him.

Let's throw something else into the mix: Kaiser Portland called out of the blue this week and (finally) want to talk to him about a job. This would've been great news back in September. Right now, we just signed a year and a half lease for a new office, I'm about to enter my third trimester, we'd have to sell our house, buy a new one, terminate with clients, say goodbye to our support network here, and move (G wondered aloud if my BIL would be willing to drive the truck over the mountain pass. "What truck?" I ask. "The U-Haul," he answers. "We've got a fully furnished 3-bedroom house, an office and a garage so full we've never parked our cars in it. Sweetie, our U-Haul days are over," I reply).

And, we'd only have one income for a while. I'm not at all sure which is easier - moving when I'm 7-8 months pregnant or moving when I've got a baby and a toddler. Anyway, it's probably not going to happen because we're both too overwhelmed by the chaos right now.

On the other hand, shouldn't we grab for opportunities when they come? What if this is our only chance? Are we being wimps? The opportunity arises and we run for cover, saying, "Uh, yeah, that's what we thought we wanted but maybe not. Come back later." Ultimately, we would like to move to a better neighborhood with better schools. And that's unlikely to happen here in the Bay Area. And interest rates are good, prices are good and especially in Oregon, there's less competition for houses in the winter.

On the other hand, it really is a bad time to move. Who's going to want to buy our house right during the holidays? I'd have to switch prenatal providers in my 3rd trimester, I'd be in a new place with family but no friends, no mom's group, no job, cold rainy weather and I'd be unpacking a whole house. With a toddler, a small bladder and sore hips. Still, the new baby is easier to take care of when it's inside me than it is outside me.

Oh, yeah, and there are all the conflicting feelings that come up watching him ambivalently apply for jobs that I'd be very qualified for and would probably enjoy. He's more suited for private practice than I am. I'm more suited to working in an outpatient setting than he is. I've also interviewed a heck of a lot more. He was noting that he hasn't had an interview in over 10 years. Know what that means? That means that at 7am this morning, the three of us still in bed, A. lying on my head, he suggests, "Say a few words about how you do play therapy." Ack. Just let me go to the darn interview.

I do like my private practice for the most part, but it's isolating and I don't like the ups and downs of the income, and that I don't get paid when clients cancel or don't show up. However, I'm due in 3 months and am not really in a position to take on a new job right now. Because I am the possessor of the uterus in the family, I feel like my options are limited. I know, I know, they can't disqualify me because I'm pregnant. But let's be realistic - all other things being equal, why wouldn't an employer take someone who's available now over someone who will be taking at least 6-8 weeks off a few months later? And do I really want to jump into a new job while I'm learning to juggle multiple motherhood?

My head is spinning and I'd like to get off. Would someone please get out their crystal ball and tell us what to do? Now, I know G hasn't been offered any of these jobs and we may have no choices at all. I also know that things, one way or another, tend to work out. For the most part, I'm able to remain optimistic that we'll figure it out. But then there are days like today, where it doesn't really look like any of the options are particularly happy ones.

Taking a cue from: my box of high-fiber cereal that says it now has "Tastier Twigs!" Talk about making the best of a bad situation.

The other night:

G sits up and peers over me at the clock. "What time is it?" he asks.

Although he's the one staring at the clock, I answer, "Almost midnight."

"It's 11:58! What does that mean?" he corrects me.

"That it's almost midnight. Go back to sleep."

"But what does it mean?" he asks, really intently.

"It means it's time to sleep!" I'm getting a little impatient.

"No! It means something else!" he insists.

"Go back to sleep."

He got up and went to the bathroom but then went back to sleep. He remembered the next morning that he was thinking there was some hidden message in the time. I wish he didn't think so much in the middle of the night.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

A Coupla Posts All Rolled Into One!!

1. What's the secret to Shrinky Dinks? I've tried twice now to make cute shrinky dink wine charms, and you're supposed to wait until 30 seconds after they lie flat to pull them out of the oven, but you're also supposed to only bake them 3-5 minutes. So what do you do when they're not lying flat after 5 minutes? Hmmmm? They're supposed to be pliable when you take them out, but mine were hard as rocks. Curly, wavy rocks.

2. What do you say when people tell you your child is cute? A's got very nice red hair, and he happens to be pretty cute in it, with the blue eyes and long eyelashes and all. "Ya can't get that from a bottle!" as we've heard many times. It's nice, don't get me wrong - I'm just never sure what to say. It's not like I personally designed his hair. When I say "Thank you," I feel like I'm taking credit for something I had nothing to do with. But I can't say nothing, and A isn't the best at saying "Thank you" himself yet. He couldn't care less that he's cute.

My family has also heard about, and sometimes witnessed, people asking where he got it. My hair has maybe faded a little bit, and I've got a touch of gray here and there, but c'mon - I'm clearly a redhead. Even my eyebrows and eyelashes are red. The other day someone said, "Oh, wouldn't you just love having hair like that?" "Yeah, I do love having hair like that." To be fair, most of the queries about where he got the hair come in darker places, like church, but still. How do you answer that? "Well, you see, the redhead gene is a recessive gene, so he has to get it from both his dad and I." ((Yawn)). I guess it if happens in church, "God gave it to him" is as good an answer as any.

Even more awkward is when people with children comment on how cute my kid is, and I feel like I'm expected to return the compliment about how cute their kids are. But what if their kid's not cute? I mean, all kids are cute in a sort of way, but if someone says, "Oh, he's so cute!" and I come back with "Thanks, so's yours," let's face it, it sounds lame. I try to find something remarkable about their child, like "she's so focused!" or "what a good climber!" But if you're just sitting in the supermarket checkout line, it can be difficult. "Gee, he really wants some cookies, huh?"

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Sometimes I Think Too Much

When I think hard about it, the idea that I'm growing a completely separate human being (with a penis, even) inside my own body just weirds me out.

TV Update: Loving The Apprentice. Although I think it was a bit unfair to fire Andy just because he didn't jump in the middle of the boardroom blondie catfight. I liked Andy. He was like the younger brother no one ever had. Missed Survivor last week (was busy hauling plates up those stairs) and heard it was the best episode yet. Greeeeat. Also loved Desperate Housewives last Sunday. My favorite part was when Lynette was on the couch trying to sleep, the doorbell rang and she said, "Go to hell. Gotohellgotohellgotohellgotohell." Oh, how many of us have been there?

The day after Thanksgiving, we were eating Oreos in Big Sister's kitchen and we came across one that had the wafer turned inside out - the engraved (?) side was next to the cream filling, and the plain side was on the outside. Do we get a prize for that? I immediately took a photo for the blog.

Oh, and the ants are on our ceiling. They're a stupid, stupid clan.

Excuse me, gotta go steal a holiday banner.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Home Sweet Home

Ahhh. I've never been so glad to arrive home as I was last night. Getting through the airport is a pain in the ass. And when I'm tired, G's tired and A hasn't had a nap, it can be hell. I found myself thinking, "Everyone just needs to get the hell out of my way," - rather uncharitable for the holiday season and not the best attitude with which to approach air travel.

Highlights: Seeing Big Sister and Big Niece (neither are particularly big, but they're the oldest sister and the oldest niece, so I call them Big); The Grotto's Festival of Lights; watching A play with and manipulate his older cousins; and the salami sandwiches I had in lieu of turkey. Oh, and when we came home....the fish I'd forgotten to feed was still alive and there were no swarms of ants to greet us!*

Random Traveling with a Toddler Trip: If you're bringing one of those cups with the built-in fold-down straw, open the straw before takeoff and landing. If you wait until you're in the air to open it, it will squirt its contents all over you and everyone else in your row. If you don't know one of those people, you could spend the entire flight apologizing.

*The ants were back this morning. See? They're just messing with me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Bah Humbug

I'll be honest - Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday. In fact, the only people who I've heard say it's their favorite holiday have been men. Even in egalitarian households, it seems the women end up doing most of the work. To me, Thanksgiving doesn't mean a time to reflect and be grateful for my blessings. It means turkey that's gone cold, jello molds and lots and lots of dishes that won't be done until 11pm. Because I never host it (once I did but that's a whole 'nother post) I always end up doing the dishes. So if I ever host it again, to h*ll with environmental consciousness and tradition - it's paper plates all the way. (And someone else has to cook the turkey - but again, that's another post).

We're leaving tomorrow at 5am for a 7am flight. Yep, 5 AM. Aidan will be so excited to arrive at Grandma and Grandpa's house that I'll bet $1000 he doesn't take a nap.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Update from the Battlefield

The latest on the ants at our house: they're IN THE MAILBOX. WTH? Swarming inside, not around, the mailbox. Which happens to be just a rectangular tin thing on the side of our garage. Not very exciting. And we haven't received any tasty goodies recently, either, so that's not the attraction. They're just messing with me, I know it. I hate them.

G. gave up his pacifist nature and sprayed the h*ll out of the ones under the sink this morning (mmmm....lavender-scented Raid - as Raid goes, though, it's not bad). Their numbers in the house have diminished, but they seem to have quite a few kamikaze ant squads among their ranks, because the dishwasher is still under siege. ::::heading to the kitchen to turn it on Super Ant Killer Cycle:::::

Also, a special "Howdy-do!" to readers who arrive here searching for the Japanese band Luna Sea. There are at least a couple of you a day. I believe you want to go here. They should totally put a link to me on their website, since I'm sure they get bunches of people looking for me.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Brain Dump

1. The woman in front of me at Borders today was buying The Zombie Survival Guide. She wanted it wrapped, so the clerk sent her to pick out the paper while she rang me up. The lady came back, shook her head and said, "Never mind. My boyfriend wants to read it before it's wrapped." Is there a Zombie Threat Alert I don't know about?

2. I've been busy trying to get G's website up. I put it all together in Microsoft Publisher, signed up with a hosting service, got the domain registered, and seem to have crashed right into the limits of my ability. The images don't load at all, and only the first page loads (it's got 4 different pages). The links on the home page don't work, I'm guessing because the other 3 pages have been stolen by the web gnomes. I'm completely lost. I had to go buy "Absolute Beginner's Guide to Building Web Pages," (that's why I was at Border's) and will have to read up tonight. G is breathing down my neck to get it up and working. Hey, for a free webmistress, buddy, you get what you pay for.

3. Rooollll on you Beaaarrrrrrs!! Go Cal!

4. We're watching Wiggles "Yummy Yummy" video right now. Got it for $3 by buying some yogurt. There's this mega-mix in the middle with floppy Wiggles puppets and a psychedelic rotating background. The Wiggly puppets dance closer and closer to the camera and then back away. It's hilarious. I love it. If I can't drink right now, I can at least watch this.

5. I'm sorry I don't have much more that's funny or interesting. I tried to cut A's hair tonight for the first time. The only way he'd sit still for it was in his high chair with Cheerios and a Thomas video. High chairs, by virtue of their high backs, don't give you a good angle from which to cut the back. I'm a little afraid of what it's going to look like tomorrow. But I did it tonight so I could take him to a professional tomorrow if it's just beyond help.

6. Going to Portland for Thanksgiving. We have to leave at 5am for a 7am flight on Thursday morning. And we're responsible for appetizers and a sweet potato/apple casserole for dinner that night. Which means security is going to have fun checking our luggage and finding cheese blocks, salami, and sweet potatoes.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Confessions of a Sesame Street Junkie

I turned on "Sesame Street" this morning for A. so I could go get dressed with limited interruption. Here's the embarrassing thing: I can't tear myself away from it to go put my clothes on.

See, Elmo is looking for new members of his band to replace Grover and a few other slacker monsters who had to be fired for problematic drug abuse. He's now recruited Miles, and now he's working on Gordon and Gordon's Dad. Gordon has a flashback to the 60's where he, Bob and Luis are in a band and wear tie-dye T-shirts and man, Luis is telling the guys about this hot chick, man, her name is Maria and she can fix anything, man. And Bob is playing the drums and looks like a beatnik corpse, or maybe Gilligan. Seriously, get some makeup on that guy. Gordon has an afro, of course.

And now Gordon's Dad is having an "American Dreams" flashback where he's (it's actually Miles) dressed like the early Smokey Robinson singing "Do the Macaroni." All generations are surprised to find that the generation before them was cool at one time.

And soon Gordon, Miles, Gordon's Dad, and Elmo are going to sing "Wubba Wubba Wubba" together and I CAN'T MISS IT.

Oh, here we go - they've sung their song at Hooper's, and now we're onto a video about the letter K. I can skip this. Phew - looks like I won't be in PJs all day.

Magically Delicious

I've been on a Lucky Charms kick lately, them being so good for me and all. But on the front of my box, it says in huge letters: NEW! GREEN CLOVERS! I'd take a photo but the box is already in the recycling bin - I'm eating them that fast*.

My question is: since when are green clovers new? I know I remember the leprechaun saying, "pink hearts! yellow stars! green clovers!" I'm pretty out of the loop when it comes to sugary kids' cereals, but did they get rid of them for a while? What a mistake.

*By the way, the correct way to eat Lucky Charms is to eat out all the oat things first, then have spoonfuls of marshmallows left. It takes some concentration, especially because sometimes those sneaky marshmallows stick to the bottom of the spoon, but if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.

Monday, November 15, 2004

The OTHER Invasion of 2004

So I got home tonight and opened the dishwasher. It took my addled yet still razor-sharp brain a moment to process what I saw. It looked like a large shaker of chocolate sprinkles (we used to call them "jimmies") had exploded inside my dishwasher. But wait a second, these sprinkles were moving!

Yep, we had ants. Coating the inside of the *&^%$' dishwasher.

So I did the best thing I could think of - I slammed it shut and turned it on. I let it run about 10 minutes while I wiped more ants from under the #%^&* sink. I opened it again, added soap (might as well get them clean while we're at it) and started it up again.

I have done my time with ants. I have done my time with ants. In college, I lived in an old apartment building full of charm and ants. Every single @#$%^ winter morning, my roommate or I would wipe at least a million of the suckers from our kitchen. We never had food in the apartment (this was college, remember), yet they still came back. We were on the 3rd floor, and they never bothered the first or second floor. We killed all their comrades, and they returned fire. (Reminds of that Paula Poundstone joke, "Hey, there's no food here and we're all getting killed. Maybe we should try next door." R.I.P. Paula's Career.) We complained, we threatened to get an exterminator and send the bill to the manager, we set traps, we did everything we could think of. You know what the manager did when we threatened to hire the exterminator? He was going out of town that weekend and asked the college boys who lived in the apartment next to us to check on the ants. Because the ants were going to be so much more afraid of the drunks next door than of us. Grrrr. We declined their alcohol-laden offer. Although in hindsight, their breath might have worked as a fogger of sorts.

Then the weather would get better and the ants would finally leave us.

I have done my time with ants. You all need to leave. This is a dictatorship run by me (and G) and your kind are not welcome here. For all my environmental concern, I'm not afraid to bring out the weapons of mass destruction (Raid) when it comes to your kind. However, G is a liberal through and through, and I know he'd see it as hostile imperialism, and would try to find kindler, gentler ways of persuading the ants to leave. Because I am a benevolent dictator, I will listen to any suggestions available before bombing the h*ll out of them.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Missing: My Body

I seem to have lost my body to My Little Parasites (and I mean that in the most affectionate way possible). I'm just a co-tenant in this baby-making-and-soothing icubator and my lease isn't coming up anytime soon. I still nurse A a few times a week. My arms are for lifting and cuddling him, my legs are for carrying him, my hands are for helping him up and down stairs and cleaning poops and messy jelly faces. My belly belongs to his brother right now. I told G recently that he could have my body back in a couple of years, but right now it's taken, and I have to get it back before I can give it again freely. I'm amazed by the way it knows how to grow and feed a little human, but I miss feeling like it's mine, too.

At 5 months pregnant, I'm looking more pregnant and less like I had too many Krispy Kremes. I love looking pregnant - this huge change is happening in my life and I can easily share it with the world (a total blogger mindset). As I got bigger and bigger with A, two years ago, people seemed to get nicer and nicer, too. People smiled more, were more likely to hold doors for me, let me go first in the grocery line, etc. I remember one exchange where the grocery clerk insisted that Bag Boy Timmy assist me with my groceries even though I'd declined the offer. "We don't want you go to into labor!" Well, as a matter of fact, I was 2 weeks overdue and we DID want me to go into labor. If hoisting a couple of 12-packs (soda, although beer was looking pretty good to me at that point) into the trunk would do it, fine by me. Timmy, get back to bagging - I'm handling it.

But I digress. While I like looking pregnant, I'm not so crazy about feeling pregnant. Feeling the baby kick is cool if you can get past imagining that scene in Alien where the monster bursts out of the tummy. But, as I was preparing for A, when I read about "what to expect," I read about the symptoms, i.e. indigestion, constipation, etc., but what they should have said was, "You're growing something the size of a watermelon in your belly. What do you THINK is going to happen to all your internal organs?" It's more descriptive to explain that they all get smushed. To the top, to the bottom, to the sides, especially if you're only 5 feet tall. And, because my pelvic joints are getting a tiny bit old they don't like being pulled and stretched. They rebel and refuse to work anymore. So when I have to get up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom, as I am apt to do even when I don't have a watermelon sitting on my bladder, I can't walk for a couple of seconds until my hips unfreeze and decide to move. Even then, I have to use my dresser and the walls to support me - I move absolutely like a 90-year-old lady too stubborn to call the nurse. My inner thighs, quads, hamstrings and glutes feel like I run an uphill marathon daily. It makes rolling over in bed quite difficult - and I'm not even at the stage where I need a crane to lift the belly.

I can see why women are made to have babies in their 20's. Now, I know quite a few younger women who have had more difficult pregnancies than I. I'm not gestationally diabetic, my blood pressure is fine, placenta and cervix seem to be working OK. I'm beyond grateful that my body gets pregnant easily and seems to grow babies without serious complications. Really. Still, I think my body would have handled this better 10 years ago.

Which reminds me, how 'bout that 59-year-old woman unexpectedly pregnant with twins after having her tubes tied? I saw the story on the TV monitor in my OB-GYNs office, and you should have seen the horrified faces of the women in the waiting room. I think the guys were kind of scared too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Links, Oh We've Got Liiiinks...

Well, one link. Thanks to Trisha for this link: Eric Conveys an Emotion. Check out his rendition of "Being Born." Damn, I wish I'd thought of that.

Almost Forgot

My thoughts this morning as I pulled out of the driveway:

1. Gotta avoid that huge dumpster of our neighbors. When are they gonna get rid of it?

2. Bert's singing "Do The Pigeon" on the car CD player.

3. I've never liked this song. I'll skip ahead to "C is for Cookie."

4. I'm on my way to work, so A's not in the car with me, and yet, I'm hearing Bert singing "Do the Pigeon."

5. If A's not in the car with me and I'm hearing Bert sing "Do the Pigeon," I'm driving the wrong car to work.

6. Oops.

Fortunately, because my mind is like a steel trap, I realized this in time to pull back in the driveway, transfer all my crap over to the other car and start over again.

Warning: Cute Kid Post

One of the reasons I write about cute things A does or says is that I have yet to open his baby book, let alone take a pen to one of the pages. I've done maybe 4 pages in his first year scrapbook. So, either I blog about him or his entire childhood is lost forever.

Any time = "Ten Fordy." He says this with such conviction whenever anyone asks about time that it's hard to believe the clock and not him. G was thrown off once when A said "ten fordy!" and it actually was about 10:40am - he thought we had a time-telling prodigy.

Any money = "Five Dollah." He associates loose change with the kid-next-door's Kool-Aid stand this summer, which apparently grossed about five dollars in loose change.

If he farts and I try to model good manners by saying, "Excuse me," he answers, "Bless you!"

Location of anything: "Right dere!" or "Over dere!" said with a vague hand-wave regardless of the actual location of said item. I don't believe him anymore, which means it take longer to find the object because sometimes he's actually right.

Sippy cup placed in a plastic measuring cup with a handle = "Coffee!"

Colander and cheese grater taken out of the cupboard and put on the table at any time of the day = "Di-yer-time!" (dinnertime) Sometimes he'll add cans of tuna or soup for a bit of variety. But if you ask him what's for dinner, he'll invariably respond, "Juice. Milk. Water. Tatoes." Which is weird because he never eats potatoes.

What we do after bathtime = "Towel 'round joo!" It's a quick ritual involving wrapping the towel around him and letting him parade naked like a veil-wearing naked bride through the house.

What he thinks will get us to turn on the TV since the election: "News! Time for news!" He doesn't actually watch the news, but I guess it's better than nothing. And there's always the hope that the news will be followed by "Clifford Big Dog."

Throwing clothes on the floor and falling face-first into the pile = "Laundrytime!". The clothes can be dirty or clean. This is not how we have traditionally done the laundry in our house, so I'm not sure where he got this.

What you say whenever Mama's doing something crafty with scissors: "Nice!" I think he gets this from us telling him his drawings are so nice.

We've gotten to the stage where anything he asks for is asked in a yell, as if he's prepping himself for a fight. "Cheeeeeeese!!!!! Cheeeeeese!" he'll suddenly yell out of nowhere, getting the tears ready. It reminds my of my nephew, who used to ask for a cookie by saying, "Why CAN'T I have a cookie?" Might as well cut to the chase, I guess.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Near-to-Last Political Post

OK, you conservative readers are going to hate this, but I've gotta link it anyway: IQ and Your Vote. Hmmmm. Got it off my sister's blog.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Adios, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehn

No, I'm not leaving. And if you never watched "The Lawrence Welk Show" growing up, skip this post because it will be meaningless to you. Being born in the mid-60's to older parents, I had the pleasure of watching Lawrence Welk every Saturday night. ABC news had a feature on LW tonight, which got me reminiscing. There are woefully few photos on the internet of the LW show - I was looking for one of all the singers marching in red, white and blue suits and dresses. Where did they get all those suits and dresses?

Anyway, my strongest memories are of my then-teenage sister dissing several of the performers. She complained that Arthur Duncan, the token black tap-dancer, always did the same dance each week, every single time including the buck-and-wing. She was right. (edited to add: She tries to fool you by showing some sympathy to Mr. Duncan on her blog - believe me, it's belated). Also, Mr. Heartthrob, Tom Netherton, was called "Weepy Eyes" in our house because he got so emotional while he sang.

For my part, I couldn't stand Joe Feeney, the Irish Tenor. I dramatically left the room when he came on because I said his voice hurt my ears (sorry, Mr. Feeney - I was 7). I still don't enjoy tenors much. I also wasn't crazy about their "Champagne Lady," Norma Zimmer - what the heck is a "Champagne Lady?" I also remember the poor substitute for the Lennon sisters (who were off to find their fortunes by that time) - the Polish sisters. Ugh. They were 5 sisters singing "Beer Barrel Polka" each week. Michelle was the youngest, probably about 7 years old, and the camera always focused on her because she was so cute. She did her best to bat her eyes at the camera. I hated her.

Oh, and how 'bout Guy and Ralna? They apparently couldn't sing unless their arms were wrapped tightly around each other like conjoined twins. I heard they got divorced. And Anacane, who apparently didn't mind being referred to as "Our Little Mexican Girl" by Mr. Welk.

If you happen to catch it on cable, it's a good, albeit sometimes disturbing, watch - completely unintentionally camp and retro. You won't believe people at one time watched it seriously.

In Other News:

Did you know that the guy who sings the Louis-Armstrong-sound-alike Hoots the Owl on Sesame Street's "Put Down the Duckie" is the same guy who does the voice for Elmo??? That's what I call versatility. Seriously, that just blows me away.

Alanis Morissette is guesting on NBC's American Dream. At least they have her singing in a beatnik club instead of American Bandstand.

Anyone else addicted to "Desperate Housewives?" I find the one-note characters a little irritating at times, but I'm still intrigued. Any guesses on what the big secret is? And is the cute guy good or evil? I still think he's good, despite last week's meeting with Mr. Mafioso.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

So Here's What I Don't Get....

(yeah, I know, yet another liberal rant - well, my guy lost, so cut me some slack)

So some religions don't think it's moral for two men or two women to love each other romantically. OK, fine, they can believe what they believe. But what on earth makes citizens who practice those religions think it's OK to make a constitutional amendment or law about it?? Sounds like a religious issue to me. Sounds like something that should be LEFT OUT of the legislature.

I'm with Drama Queen - if they're going to outlaw gay marriage because of what they think God wants, then cheeseburgers should be banned too. Meat and dairy, together?? Not in my country! I also believe we need to stop eating animals with cloven hooves, right? Not that I know which ones those are.

I will allow that conservatives have good points on some issues. This country would be a mess, frankly, if we were all Democrats. We need some balance (hello, W?). However, I have yet to hear a compelling argument against gay marriage. And I've been looking. It's a step away from bestiality? Listen, I don't know where you live, but if you can't tell the difference between a human and an animal, perhaps you shouldn't be getting married at all. It threatens traditional marriage? So is the idea that straight people will be getting divorced left and right to marry their same-sex friends? It's not contagious, guys. Seriously, what's the rationale? Why NOT give gay partners the same rights as straight partners? And civil unions fall far short of doing that, by the way.

Saw in Texas that they are amending textbooks to define marriage as the "life-long union between a man and a woman." I guess next on the agenda is an amendment banning divorce? Oh, they don't BELIEVE in divorce? OK, I don't BELIEVE in fundamentalists. *Poof* - they're gone.

Do they really mean to tell us that my friends, who've been together for years, are eagerly expecting their first child next year, and have a very healthy relationship, are more of a threat to straight unions than Britney Spears, Nicky Hilton, or Jennifer Lopez? How does that make sense? I'm genuinely confused.

It's a big issue in the Bay Area right now because some Democrats are blaming Gavin Newsom for Kerry's loss. Seems a bit like displacing the blame to me.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


So what's the only thing that could cheer me up after my presidential candidate loses and 11 states vote to ban gay marriage (because it's SUCH a freakin' threat)? A gift from a reader! Yep, I got Sarah McLachlan's CD off my wish list! Shout out to Chris, whoever you are, Trisha, YOU ROCK.

And, as if that's not enough, I got a package from my sister who just sent me two pairs of maternity corduroy pants, out of the blue, just because. How bathed in generosity am I?

A full year of DSL with no problems, and now we lose it twice in two weeks. Now they're saying it has something to do with our recent request of a change in our billing cycle. I guess if you change anything regarding your billing, that's BILLING, not service, they turn it off for two four days to punish you.

Anyway, I'm stuck on AOL 4.0 (Yep, that's 4.0, a full 5.0 points behind the current version) on a malfunctioning, psychotic Windows 98 laptop and dial-up service. I'm such a tech snob - I can't believe I used to function this way all the time. But then again, I used a typewriter to write all my papers in undergraduate years, too. Kids today have no idea.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Happy November 2nd!

On Election Day 1996, eight years ago, I realized G was flirting with me as we watched election results on my tiny TV in my tiny cottage and shared a bottle of wine. The rest is history. Election Day 2004: I'm drinking Caff-free Diet Coke, G is at work late and the end result of all that flirting is eating macaroni and cheese.

I feel slightly cheated - at my polling place, there were none of the lines that are so popular elsewhere. This is the most exciting (and terrifying) election I've witnessed. What makes it so exciting for me is not the tightness of the presidential race, but the high turnout of voters. I think it's cool when we all get together to participate in the democratic process. I think it's cool when we all get together to do anything, actually.

My DSL is out again - of all the days to go out. But SBC/Yahoo assures me that this time it's them, not me. Yeah, I've heard that line before. Heck, I've USED that line before.

If Bush wins, all I can say is, I hope you Republicans are right. At least a little bit.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Another Fickle Young Voter

Remember A trying to get us to turn on the TV with pleas to watch John Kerry? This morning's conversation:

A: Teletubbies? Sesame Street?

L: No, no TV right now.

A: Stanley? Wiggles?

L: Sorry, buddy, no TV right now.

A: (sigh) John Kerry?

L: I don't think John Kerry is on right now.

A: (pause, thinks) Bush? George Bush?

He's barely 2 years old! He obviously takes after his papa with the political/news obsession. We don't coach him (really!) but G does watch a lot of cable news shows, especially lately. So of course we had to turn on Meet The Press. I mean, we do want him to be informed. Now I've just got to get him addicted to "Ellen."

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Thoughts on the New Tape

Hmmm. The news people keep saying Bin Laden seemed "conciliatory." I guess when you consider his previous missives, he was pretty mellow this time. But "conciliatory" sems a little strong - it wasn't like he was saying, "Hey, guys, can't we all just get along?"

I thought it was interesting that he didn't denounce either Bush or Kerry...maybe he's still undecided.

Fishies and Butterflies

Every year around my birthday, G plans a short family trip for us. This year I wanted to take A to see the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It's awesome, but it gave me nightmares about chaperoning A's field trips when he gets into school. We spent much of the day dodging middle-schoolers with clipboards. G and I were exhausted from chasing A around, and there were two of us and one of him. I can't imagine trying to corral six hyper kids.

We took a family photo inside a clam shell, and saw tons of very pretty jellyfish.

A slept on the way down, so of course there was no nap for him in the afternoon, which meant no rest for the aquarium-weary parents. But G showed the ultimate in spousal devotion and took him for a walk while I napped. He got a whole lot of points for that.

Today we had a leisurely "continental" breakfast in the hotel and then walked to the beach. It was a beautiful day, so we also checked out the monarch sanctuary. It's the wildest thing - millions of monarch butterflies winter in this tiny park in Pacific Grove. They hang like barnacles on the eucalyptus tress, and at first you can't see them. But as they start to wave their wings, you see that what looks like leaves are thousands and thousands of orange and black butterflies. It's wild.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Happy Blog-Day to Me

Just realized my blog's birthday was a week and a half ago. Everyday Lunasea has been a presence on the web for a year now! She started out as "La la la la lemon", which I still think is a cool name for a blog, but only Sesame Street fans understood it, so we changed her name to Everyday Lunasea.

And my real birthday is tomorrow. I can't help but notice that nothing on my wish lists (to the left) has been bought. How can I help you if you won't help yourself?

We're heading to Monterey this weekend for an overnighter. Everyone asks, "Oh, are you leaving A?" No. I actually want to bring him. I'm excited to show him the fishies because I think he's going to spin into ecstasy. He tends to be very enthusiastic, which I'm usually happy about. The leader of story time at the library today said, "Gosh, he's so animated! Especially for someone his age!" Yeah, well, all the other 2-year-olds are jaded.

Sometimes it can be embarrassing. Last year at Thanksgiving, he nearly passed out from excitement when my sister turned the lamp on and off in the family room. We do have electricity at home, too, I reminded him. You'd think we raised him in a dungeon.

Monday, October 25, 2004

More Nightmares

A. may have had his first nightmare last night. He hasn't woken up crying in months, but there he was, sobbing, at 6:30am. So G. brought him into our bed. He crawled over to me, laid across my chest with his head on my left shoulder and his shoulder in my neck, then sacked out again in that position. It was sweet and quite uncomfortable at the same time.

We've been quite stressed here in the Lunasea household. We decided to move our office to a location closer to our home. It's a great big beautiful office, and a shorter commute, but I had to tell my clients today that I was moving my practice. For some of them who drive, it's no big deal and they'll follow me there. For others, including a high schooler whom I've seen for over a year, it means the end of our work together, which made me very sad. Professionally, it's a good move. Personally, I'm connected to these people and I'm sad.

We're watching Larry King interview John Kerry's daughters. And besides being distracted by the huge LiteBrite behind him, I'm noticing the blonde one (Vanessa?) has some kind of large writing on her right forearm. Anyone know what that is? I thought it might be triathalon numbers, but those are usually on the upper arm. If it's a tattoo, what the heck is it supposed to be?

Apropos of nothing, my niece got a tattoo of a crescent moon with stars wrapped around it on her big toe when she was 18, and 10 years later it looks like Chiquita Banana. (I thought it looked like Chiquita Banana from the very beginning, but she finally sees it now, too). She's considering pretending it's a gang symbol so she can get it removed for free. The Banana Gang.

Wow, Clinton looks skinny. He almost looks frail. I wish he'd timed his bypass a bit later, like after the election, or two years ago. A bit of bad planning on the part of his body. 'Course, his body is no stranger to bad planning.

"I'm Chiquita Banana and I've come to say,
You better get the hell outta my way." Heh heh.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Oh Man, That Was Scary

I had the worst nightmare: I was stuck in a land with an old Windows 98 laptop, AOL 4.0 and a dial-up modem. I called tech support, but you know how phones work in dreamland - the cordless receiver's battery gave out and the tech guys kept hanging up on me and then the tech guy said, "Now OUR system's down - I'll have to call you back." I couldn't move the phone closer to the computer so I could use the speakerphone (remember, the handset's battery died) because my husband had taped AND THUMBTACKED the cords to the bottom of the table and I couldn't get them undone. I was out for the evening when they finally called back and G. had to field the calls but he didn't know that the password had been changed earlier that day to ALL CAPITALS and it was a huge mess.

Oh, and you were there, and you were there, and you too, Toto! But you couldn't hear me! It was awful!

And, the worst part, it wasn't a nightmare at all! But, I'm back and all is right with the world once again. Phew.

Blogexplosion: The mystery credits remain, indeed, a mystery.

Go Red Sox! (sorry, H) I always root for the underdog.

G wants to create a website for our private practice. We're moving in together (Oh! The committment!) into a new, big, bright office across the bridge. As the house's unoffical webmaster, I have been tasked with creating this website. Does anyone know of any good, business-like FREE templates I could use? And what about hosting sites? Are you pleased with yours? We don't mind paying around $12-15 a month, and don't need much except good tech support.

Thursday, October 21, 2004



Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Deep Thoughts

Why I Never Read My Horoscope: Today it says, "You can either make someone happy or make life miserable." Just as I'm thinking, Hey, that's not such a bad choice, it goes on...."Ask yourself where you want to be farther down the line and act from that place." What the hell does that mean? That it's OK to "make life miserable" if it'll get me where I want to go? Also, is it my life I'm making miserable, or someone else's? Did Bush get this horoscope before he invaded Iraq? These are important points that aren't covered by Christopher Renstorm in the newspaper.

Overexposed: Does it bother anyone else that Terry O'Quinn is the assistant director of the CIA on "Alias," the high-ranking general on "West Wing," and the crazy guy stranded on the island in "Lost" this season? I didn't think so. Oh, and does it bother anyone else that John Amos, who used to be General Fitzwallace on "West Wing," keeps getting killed off every series he's on? OK, I only remember him as the dead dad in "Good Times", but still.

Oh, oh, and that reminds me - if one of the characters on ER falls in love with you, RUN AWAY as fast as you can. They are seriously jinxed.

Speaking of Lost: (and we were a while ago...) One big story here is that there are a bunch of missing hikers in the Sierras. so what does Channel 2 News do? They go to REI to interview the clerks about products to help hikers. They show racks of space blankets and some balding sales clerk who has every confidence that the hikers are in good shape because maybe they had stuff from REI. So for a story on hunger do you interview a grocery store clerk?

Storm Watch '04: We had RAIN here for a day and a half. Couple inches, at least. And the WIND! You shoulda seen it! Maybe 60 MPH! Really big puddles! After watching Frances and Ivan rip apart Florida, it's hard to get excited about California rain.

Get Busy: There are exactly 7 shopping days left until my birthday. I will, however, accept late gifts.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Rackin' Frackin' Monday

1. Got a paper cut opening junk mail.

2. Fell in the driveway of a supermarket while walking along the very busy street to my office. Just went "kerplop!" and skinned my knee. I did my very best to maintain my dignity, though. As I got up, I did NOT look around to see who was laughing at me, and I did NOT look accusingly back at the asphalt as if it had tripped me on purpose. I just brushed my hands off and moved on.

3. Got a parking ticket. Metermaids ("Parking Enforcement Officers") NEVER, EVER check this street unless there's street cleaning or I decide to park for more than 4 hours.

4. As I pulled the ticket from under the windshield wiper, I noticed the back left tire was pretty low. "Oh well," I thought, "I need gas anyway, I'll just put some air in it at the gas station." As soon as I pulled away from the curb, it became clear than the tire was fully flat, not just low on air. You know that sound of the metal rim on the asphalt? Yep. I didn't have my cell phone (left it in the diaper bag - of course) so I drove slowly to the nearest gas station. I figured I could call my emergency road service and they could change it for me. The gas station I pulled into had half the lot roped off and there was nowhere to park my car and wait. Crap. So I pulled out again, slowly crossed the busy intersection into another station. Fortunately, though, this one actually had a mechanic on site at 8:30pm and he was able to fix the hole that this big honkin' nail had made in my tire. Guess G_d decided to cut me a break.

So, I got a paper cut, skinned my knee, got a parking ticket and a flat tire. And how was your Monday?

In other news: This could go above, but it's actually kinda funny. I awoke to the dulcet tones of my toddler throwing a fit in the family room. He wasn't stopping, so I gave in and got up. G (who'd gotten up with him a full hour earlier than usual) told me in a rather tight voice before handing him over to me and going back to bed, "He wanted to watch Little People and it wasn't time for Little People." A is quite addicted to the TV, and although we are careful about what we let him watch, he'd really like to have it on all the time. So we're trying to limit it a bit, and he is not happy about it.

Anyway, he has a couple of tricks when we say "no" to the TV or videos. First, he tries bringing us the remote and instead of asking to watch TV, he'll tell us to "push green circle," like we just need to be directed on HOW to turn the TV on, or maybe we don't realize that pushing the green circle will result in the TV being turned on and by the time we realize it, it will be too late and we'll be drawn into Elmo's World.

Second, he goes through the list of shows he likes, just in case it's the show we're objecting to and not the TV. "Little People? Farm Animals? Thomas? Teletubbies? Sesame Street? Stanley? Clifford Big Dog? Dragon Tales? Wiggles? JoJos Circus?" We keep saying, "No, no TV right now." So he was very unhappy about it all this morning. Finally he handed me the remote again, and said in a very plaintive voice, "John Kerry?"

Poor guy was so desperate to watch TV he was offering to watch the cable news channels that G watches. The news channels and any red/white/blue sign is "John Kerry" to him. This weekend he pointed at an American flag at my sister's house and said, "John Kerry! Pez-ident!" That's my boy. Didn't work with the TV, though. But I gave him props for trying a new angle.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Friday Night at our House

G: Wanna try to cut my hair?

L: Are you serious? I've never cut anyone's hair.

G: Yeah, I got this nifty Vidal Sasoon hair trimmer, and I can walk you through what Irma does. I don't want to spend the money to go to her anymore.

L: Are you serious?

G: C'mon, we need a mirror.

So G sets himself up in a chair in the bathroom and I get A's stepstool and stand behind him. I read the "directions" that come with the hair trimmer and look at the cartoon pictures of "long cut" and "short cut." I turn on the hair trimmer and understand why barbers get carpal tunnel.

G: OK, so she starts with the trimmer and sort of goes like this and this (waving arms) and then she uses scissors on the top.

L: (tentatively takes trimmer to side of G's head)

G: OK, lemme see! Lemme see! Irma does it shorter.

L: I'm going slow until I get the hang of this thing! Sit down! Look at the shower! Don't be a backseat haircutter!

G: (reluctantly takes his eyes off the mirror)

L: OK, I'm getting the hang of it. There's this weird sworl of hair thing on the back of your head that I don't know what to do with. Where do I stop using the trimmer and start using the scissors?

G: You know, trimmer on the sides and scissors on top.

L: Heads are round. There's not exactly a corner between the sides and the top.

G: (checking the mirror) My hair doesn't look this thin when Irma does it.

L: OK, let me have the scissors. (pulls hair up with fingers and snips) I think we're supposed to use hair shears, not desk scissors.

G: Well, that's all we had. Irma uses the comb first and then she uses her fingers to hold the hair.

L: (rolls eyes, uses comb instead, snips a couple of times) Pppphhhhhhbt! Yuck!

G: Irma doesn't put the comb in her mouth, either.

L: Well, I don't know how I'm supposed to hold the comb and the scissors and cut at the same time.

G: Not too much off the top! Not too much off the top!

L: Sweetie, you don't have too much on top.

G: OK, it's looking OK, I guess.

G: I'll clean up. (that was my favorite part)

And that's pretty much the reaction we've gotten. No "Hey, nice haircut!" More like, "Oh, hey, you did that? Not bad." I think there are tricks so that it's not so patchy on thinning hair. Maybe you're supposed to leave the hair longer in those places. It's really not as easy as it looks. I find myself examining his head a lot more than I used to, trying to figure out this mystery of haircutting.

Friday, October 15, 2004

All in the Family

Check it out! My sister's got a blog! If you go comment on her blog, she'll get hooked like me and then we can both become obsessed and neglect our children.

Jumping on the Bandwagon

Because all the cool bloggers are doing it, I went and joined Blogexplosion (see button on the left). It's a great time-waster as it sends you to random blogs around the world. I got one by a Norwegian pastor who says, "It is good to have an hole day to spend on these things - my hope is that nothing happens so I must go other places." Isn't that the truth?

The biggest problem I see is that it catches you in a loop. You can't go check your e-mail and come back to the site you were looking at without a great deal of difficulty. And linking is tricky because it won't easily give you the URL of the blog you're looking at.

And it's a little paranoid: if you try to go to a site not on Blogexplosion a little window pops up and says, "DID YOU TRY TO CLOSE THE WINDOW OR IS THIS A RENEGADE SITE TRYING TO CLOSE ITS OWN WINDOW? REPORT IT! FIGHT TERRORISM!"

And it has directions like this: "Mystery Credits are automatically assigned to your site/s based on your auto-assign value. For example if you win 100 mystery credits a minimum of 75% of them will be auto-assigned to your sites leaving you potentially un-used credits depending on how you have set up your auto-assign value in your account." I'm a reasonably intelligent person, but I don't like having to read things three six times. Keep it simple, guys.

But no, really, I like it.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

A Worthy Cause

I'm considering starting a donation fund to buy G some new fleece. He's had this blue striped fleece pullover for as long as I've known him, and as you can see, it's got a nice shawl collar straight from the early 80's plus a handwarming pouch for ice-skating. He likes to wear it while listening to Yanni. The fleece pants are skintight, but have ankle cuffs.

Please, won't you help? Stop the fleece crimes today.

(I think it's pretty clear that a fund for a new couch is next).

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Debate-O-Matic III

OK, so I worked late tonight and only heard the last half hour of the debate. It was enough.

Bush: Let me say that I respect all religions since MyOpponent got to say that last time and I didn't.

Kerry: Yeah, well, I can list the Holy Books: the Koran and the Torah and I don't know what Native Americans read but they blessed me too. In fact, I used to be a priest and God told me he was on my side.

Bush: I have a painting in my office that's a Texas painting, from Texas, and it says, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. No, that's not it. Forgive and forget, that's it!" Don't hold the past against me, look to the future! At least with me you know what you're getting!

Kerry: Yeah, well, I used to be a painter, too. Let me throw in John McCain's name a couple of times so you moderates all know he's my friend.

Bush: No fair! He's voting for me! He promised!

Kerry: My eyes are rolling so far back into my head I can't see you anymore.

Moderator: Do you like women?

Bush: I love women. They speak English.

Kerry: I know all about women. Women love me. In fact, I used to be a woman.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Tuesday Randomness

1. I picked up the toys today. We have no storage system for them yet (I want to buy something big, plastic and cheap, G wants to go all Pottery Barn on me) so it currently involves stacking the toys against the wall, but still, we can walk across the floor again. Whenever I asked A where something was, he'd answer, "Under couch!" He was often right.

2. I bought a nipple shield (not the Janet Jackson kind - this kind) the other day because nursing A has begun to feel like rubbing my boob against a cheese grater. I stuck it on (what's with there being only one in a package???) and A took one look at it, peeled it off, put it on top of my head and said, "Hat!"

3. Our neighbor's cat died the other day. Tino was a nice cat who let A poke him in the face. A has never mentioned Tino except when he's seen him outside wandering into our yard. But, the day after Tino died, A woke up saying, "Find Tino! Find Tino!" Weird. He's asked to find him twice since then. If I was groovy, I'd think Tino had visited A in his sleep to say goodbye. But I'm not that groovy so I'm just going to take it as a commentary on how we should appreciate our neighbor's cats and Find Them while they're here.

4. They should make nipple shields like condoms. They don't, and I've got a good half an inch to fill with the standard size. I've seen enough porno to know that my nipples are not that weird, although I have to admit, I didn't pay that much attention to the women's nipples. No wonder A thought it was a hat.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Miracle in California

If a dish has more than two ingredients, I need a recipe for it. The only thing I can really make without a recipe is a grilled cheese sandwich, and even those don't always turn out so well.

So it was quite a show of bravery for me yesterday to saute some shallots and garlic I found at the bottom of our fruit basket, throw in some leftover vegetables (butternut squash and potatoes), add chicken broth, boil it for a while, puree the whole thing with some leftover sour cream (without measuring or timing ANY OF IT) and then eat it! It was probably a bigger show of bravery for G. to eat it, knowing I'd made it without a recipe. He peeked into the pot and asked what I was making. "I don't know...maybe soup," I answered.

Guess what? It's really, really good! G. was very surprised and said many times last night, "Wow, this is really good! Hey, A., your mama can make tasty things out of leftover vegetables!" In fact, he was a bit too surprised and enthusiastic, if you ask me.

If you know how to cook, you'll think this is ridiculous. But people who know how to cook know things like why you saute onions until they're translucent before you add all the other stuff, how long to cook chicken, and how to add this or that to balance flavors. I am only successful with these things when what to do and in what order is typed out there in black and white. So I am very excited by my Cream of Butternut Squash Soup. If fact, I think I'll have some now - and that's quite an endorsement - I never eat my own leftovers. I'm ready to take Martha's place. On the show and in the magazine, not in prison.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Debate-O-Matic, part II

I was going to comment on the VP debate, but I can't say anything that isn't said way, way better and more humorously here.

I'm working tonight, so I only got to see the last half hour of the town-hall type meeting. Still, I saw two really good parts:

1. Bush wouldn't appoint a justice to the Supreme Court who was for slavery. Whew! That's a relief. And he knows what you're really asking there, lady with the question about the 3 can't trick him, you bleeding heart tree-hugger!

2. John Kerry got to mention Michael J. Fox and Superman in the same answer. Now, you can't be American and be against Marty McFly.

Client line of the week: "Were you RAPED for breakfast?" - asked of me by a man on the sidewalk whom I ended up hospitalizing. My response: "No, I had a bagel."


...the next male in the household will sleep quietly. A. has inherited his dad's sleep-talking/yelling tendencies. The night before last, it was, "Stuck! Stuck!" and last night it was, "Doh! Doh!" It's not a waking-up-whining cry, it's an all out yell. We do check to make sure he's not really stuck. Actually, G. checks, since it's his fault.

It reminded me of one of the campers I had as a camp counselor. It was a camp for foster children, all of whom had some trauma in their backgrounds. My camper was, by day, a sweet, mild-mannered little girl. By night, though, she became a drunken sailor and would call out all manner of swear words and phrases. I believe she used every one I'd ever heard of and several I was unfamiliar with. The trick was explaining this to the other camper in the cabin who heard it all. "Um, she doesn't know what she's saying - she's not saying it on purpose." But Whew! - the other camper had some newfound respect for her after hearing her expetive-laden rants.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Good things about having two boys....

1. They adore their mamas.
2. We won't be on the hook for expensive weddings.
3. I can avoid the Barbie thing completely - unless, of course, we have a little boy who is really into Barbie, which is a bridge we'll cross when we get there. Even the boys I know who have liked dolls, though, haven't been as ALL ABOUT BARBIE as the girls.
4. G. gets to take them to the bathroom when we're out.
5. They're less obsessive about their clothes.
6. They're less obsessive about their weight.
7. Fewer hair products.
8. Probably won't be stealing my makeup (see #3).

OK, I know these are sweeping generalizations. But I'm going to be surrounded by penises (in fact, I'm making one as we speak) so I gotta look at the bright side.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


When am I going to believe that I'm actually, truly pregnant? We got the results of the amnio yesterday and my main reaction was, "Really? You found chromosomes that weren't mine? There's a baby in there?" I mean, I've known for over 3 months, so you'd think I could wrap my brain around it by now. It still feels hypothetical when we talk about names or whether G. should give up his office and turn it into another bedroom.

By the way, it's a boy. So I really know they didn't accidentally pick up my chromosomes.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Mystery of the Day

Got a referral from a Google search on "fox news legs crossed problem." Any ideas on what this person was looking for?

Monday, October 04, 2004

So...what's new with you?

I haven't been writing much because I feel like freakin' crap and only want to write about how I feel like freakin' crap. And that's not very exciting. But just in case you want to know, I'm exhausted, sleepy, nauseated, itchy-nosed and now I've got a cold. I thought the worst thing was my stupid nose - I was wrong. The worst thing is the scratchy throat that makes me gag with each breath.

I feel like G. should be wheeling me outside to enjoy the sunshine in a wheelchair with an afghan over my lap.

Cute things: Took A. to ToysRUs recently and was brave enough to enter the Thomas aisle. He pointed at one of the thousand members of Thomas' family and said, "Cowbell! Cowbell!" Huh? I picked up the coach he was pointing at and it turned out the coach's name was Clarabell. I'm pretty sure he can't read yet, but still, how smart is he?

All day yesterday we had a big pile of diapers in the middle of our family room floor. A. decided that's where they should be, and took great umbrage at any attempts to remove the pile. In fact, we discovered that he not only knows the phrase, "Stop it!"; he also knows the phrase, "Leave 'lone! No! Leave 'lone!" I think he got that one from my telling him to leave the VCR alone. He keeps trying to play our Frank Sinatra CD in the VCR. We have to check it now before we try to put a tape in.

P.S. Spell checker wants to replace "freakin'" with "foreskin." I think we should take this as a commentary on circumcision.

Friday, October 01, 2004


My favorite line of the night: "The enemy understands a free Iraq will be a major defeat in their ideology of hatred. That‘s why they‘re fighting so vociferously."

Vociferously? I know they're pretty noisy, but I don't think the volume is the biggest problem. I think the fact that they have bombs strapped onto themselves and aren't afraid to die is more of an issue.

Actually, Bush's line about Osama bin Laden not deciding how we defend ourselves was pretty good, but didn't undo the damage (I hope). This presidential debate was the first that's ever kept my interest. I always plan to watch with the critical eye of the informed voter, and I always end up glazing over right after the handshake. But this time I did a pretty good job of following it (not too difficult on Bush's side), and was pleasantly surprised. Although it was clear Bush had been coached to always refer to "The Enemy," as if there was a generic brand of terrorist that comes from somewhere over there, the coaches didn't do a very good job of preparing him. I guess his people thought it would be enough for him to keep repeating "my opponent flip-flops," over and over and it would therefore be clear that since he's repeating the same thing over and over, Bush stands by his word. Vociferously.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

"For God's Sake, man....

...don't eat the bacon!" G ran out of here about 40 minutes ago, just made it to his office in time for his first client, and still finds the time to call home to warn me not to eat the bacon on the kitchen counter because he doesn't know how long it's been out. "Did you leave it out last night?" he asks.

Hmmm. Well, since I didn't put it away, I guess you could say I left it out. But since you put the other stuff away last night, like the tomatoes and lettuce for the BLTs, and left the bacon on the counter, I guess you could also say that you left it out.

Anyway, you've all been warned. Don't eat the bacon.

Support Nasal Research

I'm dismayed at the lack of research being done on nasal transplants. As a sufferer of various nasal maladies, I can tell you that a nasal transplant (or even a nasal-ectomy) would change my life.

Allergy sufferers don't get a lot of sympathy, I guess because people rarely die from hay fever. However, our quality of life really suffers. We can barely breathe, we buy enough Kleenex to put all of Mr. Kleenex's descendents through college, our noses itch constantly and we're tired a lot. I have calluses on my inner upper lip from stretching it over my teeth trying not to sneeze. I'm going to end up with a Wicked Witch of the West nose because I'm rubbing and pulling it constantly to relieve the itch.

Really, it's a tragedy. G seems to have fine nasal tissue. Sometimes, he even leaves the house without a pocket full of Kleenex! Can you imagine?? If I forget my Kleenex (or Puffs, whichever, but not the waxed cardboardy stuff), I have to stop and buy some.

For those of you who are not allergic to everything that can be borne through air, imagine that the inside of your nose and sinuses are covered with mosquito bites. Now imagine that those mosquito bites, in addition to itching constantly, also swell and leak mucus. That's the horror we have to live with daily.

I don't see why they can't take someone who has a normal nose (like G) and grow some tissue, like they do with livers, and then give me some. Imagine a life not spent breathing through a tissue! If it doesn't work, fine - cut the damn thing off. I don't want it anymore. I'd rather have a non-itching hole in my face.

By the way - yeah, I've tried all the allergy medicines. Systemic stuff like Claritin and Allegra barely touch my hyperallergic membranes. Flonase worked the best and my health plan stopped covering it. I've done the shot routine (4 shots twice a week, thankyouverymuch) and it worked for a year.

Monday, September 27, 2004

TV Night

Why do I do this to myself? I arrive home on Monday nights a full hour before G gets home with A. So, obviously, I sign on to the internet. Not so obviously, I turn on "7th Heaven," because it's the only thing I can find on between 8-9pm on Monday nights. Have you seen this show? Tonight Lucy, possibly the most whiney character on TV, is giving her first sermon at Dad's church. Next week: Dad's entire congregation gives up hope and converts to Catholicism when it realizes Lucy's the new associate pastor.

Suvivor: Still don't like any of the women. But overall, this is shaping up to be a good one. Loved the tribal council - I think it was smart of the older women to vote "Dolly-the-sheep-farmer-how ironic-is-that-name" off. They can't lose the balance that quickly - remember what happened in Africa? They had to shuffle the tribes because the young brats (remember Lindsay?) took control so early. Oh, and what a great challenge with the puzzle pieces! I thought the men were being unreasonably negative about Rory, but he was pretty annoying while Sarge was trying to direct traffic.

The Apprentice: Adios, Stacie. "It was borderline schizophrenic!" said Ivana, the mental health specialist. It was nothing like schizophrenia, it was more like mania, and c'mon - it was the scariest thing you've ever experienced? Do you really think the producers are going to let her take out a butcher knife and do you all in? I'm sure they'd let a few of you survive. It annoyed me - OK, so maybe she's a loose cannon, but I didn't like the way they characterized her as dangerous. I also thought she handled it fairly well, especially in her closing speech. She wasn't as defensive or attacking as she could have been. I wouldn't want to work with her (you're in charge of picking up the toothpaste and you don't even check the dimensions or size of the shipment?), but Maria and Elizabeth were so obviously stacking the deck against her to save their own scrawny necks.

And, I know we didn't see the whole "unstable" thing because of editing, but this is the second time in a row he fired someone NOT based on their performance on the task, which I think is a bad precedent and makes the whole thing look more like a crap shoot or popularity contest. Can't wait for this week. Don't forget! It's on Wednesday this week!

What's up with Alias not starting until January???? Pppshhh.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Cool Moms

Who wants to start a band with me? Would you not be the coolest mommy in your playgroup? If there are no takers, I'll just have to move to Detroit and learn the tambourine.

Last night I'm defrosting chicken in the microwave and everytime it beeps, A. comes running into the kitchen yelling, "Dinnertime!" I swear I do use the stove sometimes. Then he starts putting various bowls and pans on the table, also announcing, "Dinnertime!" Then he climbs onto a chair and starts miming eating out of the skillet. I swear I give him his meals in a bowl or on a plate. Usually. And yes, I did eventually feed him.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

It's a......Baby!

So. Had the amnio today. Once again I was shocked to see the little heart beating on the monitor. Everything looks like it's in the right place so far. They couldn't tell the sex because baby had his/her legs crossed. The doctor suggested that the amnio is no more uncomfortable than getting blood drawn. He forgot to add, "...if someone were to punch you in the uterus while you were getting your blood drawn." The poke isn't a big deal, that's true, but the needle-through-the-uterus is a bit more intense. Not really painful, exactly, just startling. I flinched, and immediately apologized (more to the baby than to the doctor) for moving when there was a needle perilously close to baby's private parts. They switched on New Age music and one of the assistants rubbed my legs. I knew I should've shaved them when I shaved my belly this morning, but I was short on time and I didn't think anyone was going to be doing anything with my legs. As soon as the needle came out, Boom! Music off and no more leg massage. Sheesh.

I came home and G appropriately bought me flowers and took care of A until his nap so I could "take it easy." I napped, and dreamt about bleeding again. I've had lots of these dreams during this pregnancy. It's always about the amount of a period, so it's not a hemmorrage, but it's still too much blood and I realize the baby's in trouble and I need to get to the hospital, but I know they probably won't be able to do anything. I hate these dreams. I always wake up and it takes me a minute to realize I'd been dreaming and that I wasn't bleeding.

But I'm beginning to believe that I'm going to have a baby. Much as I prepare for him/her to leave, and as screwed up as my brain gets, and despite the fact that I'm still drinking some caffeine, he/she doesn't seem to be going anywhere and in fact seems to be developing all the little organs and body parts he/she is supposed to. Maybe we ought to start telling people (I mean, besides the blogosphere).

A Bit of a Ramble About Religion

Found it! A while back I read this post on So Close, a blog by a woman struggling with infertility. It articulated many of the problems I have with God "answering" prayers. I always wonder why God seems to answer the prayers of track and field winners, and not those of people sitting by the bedside of dying babies.

My BIL died almost 20 years ago in a helicopter accident. They found the body of one of the helicopter's workers, but they never found his or his co-pilot's body, so there was a about a week period there where no one knew if he was dead or alive. Lots of prayers around that one, and they still never found him. At the time, I was living in the dorms at college, and a woman in my building was trying to recruit me into the Church of Christ. I asked her what she thought about why God would have let this happen to a man with a wife and a 9-year-old daughter. She suggested that maybe he was trying to "bring someone closer to Jesus." Hmmm. If that's true, the problem is, I don't think it worked. So shouldn't God have known that it wouldn't work? What did he say? "Well, shoot, thought that would work but that group's as heathen as ever. Guess I'll just have to go kill someone else." I don't know - but I don't think so.

There's a story that's often used to prove the existence of angels. As I remember it, there was a woman walking home in NYC and just as she got to her building, she felt a hand on her shoulder and a voice saying, "keep going." So she rounded the block and by the time she got back, there was all this police action at the building. Apparently a woman had been murdered in the elevator a few minutes prior. The idea was that an angel saved the first woman from death. But whenever I heard this story in Catholic school, I always wondered what kind of slacker guardian angel had been assigned to the murder victim.

The thing is, when I'm really depressed, I need to believe that God is there helping me hang on, somehow. I don't ask for Him to lift me out of it. But I do ask for strength and faith. And an open heart. Honestly, I don't think he hands it down with an "OK, just waiting for you to ask!" I think he's already put it in me and my prayers just remind my soul that it's still there. Know what I mean? What do you think?

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Reality Show Update!

You know that Staples commercial where the dad is dancing in the aisle to "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" because it's Back to School time? That's how I also feel about fall because it's a new reality show season! Yay! We just saw Survivor and The Apprentice last night because I'm such a good wife that I tape them and watch them with G, who works late on Thursdays. I don't even watch them early, that's how good a wife I am.

Survivor: So far, so good. I don't like any of the women yet. That FBI agent is a piece of eye candy, though, isn't he? Brady, is it? And how much would you hate to be Chris - the guy who kept falling off the balance beam? Did anyone else say to themselves, "And that is why I will never be on that show. I would SO completely be that guy."

The Apprentice: Oooooh, this is gonna be a good one. I wish they'd gone more into how that ice cream with all the donuts was, because I was having a hard time imagining how chocolate, jelly, maple and old-fashioned donuts would taste mixed into one ice cream. I do think they need to stop making the only black woman on the show the crazy one. Someone told CaroLYN (not CaroLINE) to bring out her inner bitch - that was great how she reamed the tall blonde chick for making fun of the kids last week. And why did she hate Bradford? For getting her name wrong? I didn't think giving up his immunity/exemption was that horrible a mistake. It was a bit cocky, but I thought he had a good rationale for it. Guess no one else will ever do that again, though - maybe that's why they had to fire him. It was probably Donald's idea to introduce the exemption this season, and he sure as heck wasn't going to let Bradford set a precedent.

Big Brother: Don't watch it. They cancelled The Mole and this is still on? I'm protesting.

White Girl

Well, yesterday turned out to be a complete wash. Went to the library, got some books, came home and totally crashed. I mean TOTALLY. I thought it was just pregnancy tiredness but then I looked in the mirror and my face, usually a rosy pink, was white as a sheet. That usually means I'm anemic. And can't do much besides sit and breathe. So G ended up taking care of A most of the day while I rested and waited for the iron pills to take effect. My face is pink once again, and all is right with the world.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Saturday Morning Randomness

Courtesy of Busy Mom (go on over and wish her a happy 40th): Bad Senior Pictures. Hilarious. I'm a little embarassed to say that my dad still displays my soft-focus holding-a-rose senior picture. You know, the one where I'm looking back over my shoulder and holding a long-stemmed fake rose perilously close to my cheek, as if to say, "Still a Virgin and Proud of It"? Yeah, that one.

Check back later. I'll add stuff as I find it.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Confessions of a Neighborhood Snob

One of the reasons among many that I want to move to Portland is that, in many neighborhoods, there are lots of families in close proximity. I went to the park by my IL's house and immediately struck up a 1/2 hour conversation with a nice ER doc and his 1-yr-old son. Turned out we had a lot in common, including years spent living in Berkeley. When starting his family, he chose to move to Portland because it felt more family-friendly than the Bay Area. This view seems to be supported by Cafe Mama, a Portland blog I have been frequenting. However, I'm afraid that what it really means is that there are more upper-middle-class, college-educated professionals than in my current city.

Ick. This has rocked my view of myself. I've always been very supportive of multiculturalism, diversity and the like. I believe racism is taught and modeled, and I don't want that around my kids. And my town, I seem to think I can't relate to any of the parents around here. I just haven't connected with any parents around here. But I'm afraid I'm being a complete snob. Do I judge them for the broken-down station wagons in their front yards? Or the kids running around without any sort of adult supervision? There are lots of kids I recognize in the neighborhood and I even know the names of some, but darned if I know what their parents look like. And I've lived here 4 years.

I belong to a great playgroup that grew out of an new mom's support group, but it's 30 miles away, in a more expensive area, so it's not conducive to spur-of-the-moment playdates or coffee chats. At the same time, I don't exactly fit in on the playgrounds to the east, where the really rich people live. My teeth aren't white enough, my skin isn't tan enough, my hair isn't highlighted enough and I don't own enough Polo by Ralph Lauren. Besides, they always travel in packs, those mothers.

I decided I was being close-minded about my city and vowed to look at the parents at the local playground with new eyes. The next time A and I trekked to a playground, I found a bench full of older Sikh men having some kind of rousing conversation in what might have been Punjabi. Two teens showed up with a cute, very active little girl. She was calling one of them "Mama" so I asked that teen how old she was. Turns out she was just a week older than A. We commented briefly on her rather frightening climbing ability (A still climbs up stairs on his hands and knees and absolutely cannot figure out how to climb up rungs on the equipment, which is just fine with me). That was about the extent of the conversation, since Mama was 17 years old at the most, and I'm being generous. If I had to bet, I'd guess she was about 15 years old. She seemed sweet enough, but I just didn't see us getting together for coffee.

Later, another mom came by with a baby. The baby's father arrived and I guessed they were Tongan. We swung our kids in the baby swings for a while and I tried to start a conversation with the standard, "How old is yours?" She responded hesitantly in English. I commented on the amazing amount of teeth the baby had (compared to A who was still all gums at his first birthday). She smiled and nodded but didn't say anything and I smiled and nodded back while my heart sank.

What makes friends? I think there is usually some common ground, and living in the same city isn't enough. If you're thrown together with someone, like at work or school or the hurricane shelter, you can search for the common ground and usually find it, I think. I'm glad A already sees and interacts with many cultures. I like that there's evidence all around that people worship God differently, and not everyone lives the same way. But am I awful for wishing I could find someone more like me to talk to at the playground?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

And now let's go to, Bill?

Is anyone else fascinated by the poor reporters who "get" to report on hurricanes? Tonight I kept flipping through the cable news channels to see Anderson Cooper (wow, Anderson, who did you piss off at CNN?) crouching behind a potted plant on a balcony, while he discussed another 600 lb plant that had been swept away nearby so maybe behind that plant wasn't the safest place to be, several poor guys in slickers bracing themselves trying to get MPH readings on the wind, and another CNN guy (guess Anderson fled into the safety of his hotel suite) with orange ski goggles begging for a helmet. Fox News, not to be outdone by the girlie stations, actually had their guy WADE INTO THE OCEAN. I don't know what he said because I was distracted by the idiocy of wading into the ocean during a hurricane.

The reporters assigned to New Orleans were looking cool and dry, with a gentle breeze blowing their bangs. They were either thanking their producers, I think, or were annoyed that the wetter guys were getting all the air time.

One weather expert, on MSNBC I think, was explaining how the wind gets faster around the eye because of the decreased circumference - "It reminds me of tetherball in school and there was always the bigger kid who wrapped the string around your neck." Now that's a tough school.

And on our local radio station KSFO: "Not everyone, of course, has evacuated New Orleans. Some, the elderly and the infirm, aren't able to leave. I understand they've opened the Superdome as a shelter. But I remember in 98 when they did that, there was incredible damage to the facility with graffiti and vandalism." Those old, wheelchair bound hoodlums - ya gotta watch 'em.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Lunasea's Blog Tip: Number to Avoid Messy Transitions!

1. Hey! I am NUMBER ONE on a google search for "glycemic index" and "Honey Bunches of Oats." Note to person searching: if you're going to eat breakfast cereal that begins with the word "Honey," don't even bother with the glycemic index.

2. On our way back from AZ last week, I was asked if there were any matches or lighters in my checked luggage. I thought there might be a book of matches in my backpack, so I dug around and sure enough, there they were. The airline employee told me to take them out of my backpack, which, as I mentioned, was going to be checked, and carry them on with me. How does this make sense? Aren't they safer in my checked luggage than in my purse, where I and the guy next to me with a shoe bomb have free access to them?

3. G and I had our first movie night in over a year on Saturday and remembered 9/11 by seeing "Fahrenheit 9/11." It was pretty frightening and strengthened my resolve to make sure Bush isn't re-elected.

4. In that movie, there are some very gruesome scenes involving charred bodies. G and I went out to dinner afterward and G made the mistake of ordering the 1/2 rotisserie chicken. Looked a little too much like the scenes in the movie and he was really wishing he'd ordered the pizza.

5. I've been kind of obsessed with misplaced quotation marks lately. I have a client who does the sort of two-finger twitch in the air to denote quotes around what she says, but she does it incorrectly. For example, she'll say "my 'husband'" with quotes around husband, and I'll say, "You mean you're not really married?" and she'll look confused and say, "No, we are."

My MIL does this a lot. She'll put A's name in quotes, or "Happy Birthday" in quotes, and everytime I see it, I hear her voice saying, " 'Aidan'...if that is in fact your name..."

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

You've Been Talking In Your Sleep

A. appears to be taking after his dad in nocturnal utterings. He will wail or complain unintelligibly about something from his crib, and by the time I get there, he's zonked out again. Now I've gotten smarter and wait a few moments before getting up.

G. does this too, but he usually speaks clearly, more or less. He tends to do it when he's overstressed or really tired. He often falls asleep faster than I do, and of course it usually happens just as I'm falling asleep. He rarely remembers it. Let's revisit some of my favorites from the past:

1. We were dating, and I was pushing him for a commitment or exclusivity or something. This was after 8 months of dating so it's not like I was being unreasonable. But although he is now a reformed commitment-phobic male, at the time he was freaked out. One night, out of the blue, he leans up on one elbow and tells me forcefully, "THE RULES HAVE ALL CHANGED!!" Then he flopped over on his other side and went back to sleep. That was the first time.

2. A recurring theme is him waking me up to see if I'm OK. He'll grab me, shake my shoulders and say, "Are you OK??? Are you OK?? What's wrong? What's happening?" At first I thought I'd stopped breathing or something, and it completely freaked me out. When I'd say, "Yes, I'm fine," he'd flop over and go back to sleep. He never remembered it the next morning. Occasionally I'll answer with, "NO! STOP WAKING ME UP!" with little result. I call these the Midnight Welfare Checks.

3. Another repeating theme is his fear of me falling off the bed. This is not grounded in reality - to my knowledge, I've never fallen off any bed. But he'll grab me as I roll over and say, "Don't fall off the bed!"

We've had variations on this - one time he said, "I SAID, don't fall off the bed!"

Me: "I am not going to fall off the bed!"

He displayed his belief in my sleeping technique by getting up, walking around to my side of the bed, slipping his hands underneath me, and standing there.

Me: "What are you doing?"
G: "Making sure you don't fall off the bed."
He did, and again remembered nothing the next day.

Another variation, which has happened at least twice, involves me telling him once again in the middle of the night that I have no plan to fall off the bed, and him saying, "OK," and pretending to let it go, but when I roll over and have my back to him, he'll quietly put his hand on the back of my T-shirt and grab a handful of shirt to hang on to. Very sneaky, his ways of keeping me on the bed. Because you know I like to live on the edge. Such a risk-taker, I am.

When he does it a couple nights in a row, I'll say to him before we go to sleep, "I am NOT going to fall off the bed, just so you know." It seems to work - he's never done it on a night that I've reassured him.

4. One of the 384 reasons we don't co-sleep: A. was just a few weeks old and he was usually sleeping in a bassinet next to our bed, but occasionally, if he was having trouble sleeping or I was really exhausted, I'd nurse him in bed and he'd sleep between us. One night, G. jumps up and starts tearing through the bed sheets.

"Where is he?? Where is he?!"

"OH MY GOD," I thought, "he put A. in the bed and I didn't know and now he's lost in the sheets and he's probably suffocated!" So I jumped up and started digging too. As I did, I woke up a bit more and said, "He's not in the bassinet??"

G: (looking over at the bassinet) "Oh. Yeah."

Yep, flopped back over and fell fast asleep. As you might imagine, I did not. It probably took at least until A's next feeding for my heart to quiet down.

5. We then purchased a snuggle nest just so there was no danger of losing A. in the bedsheets. It turned out that in his snuggle nest, he was a bit of a bed hog in our queen bed, and for once there was the real possibility of me falling out, but we were trying to be good attachment-parenting people.

So A's a few weeks old, I'd finally succeeded in nursing him to sleep, and was just falling to sleep on my own, when G. sat up, picked him up (waking him, of course) and cried, "Help! I need help!" (no kidding)

Me (jumping up): "WHAT? WHAT HAPPENED?" You might notice that I often speak in capital letters when awoken in the middle of the night.

G: "I couldn't tell if he was breathing!" By this time A. was wailing, eliminating any concern about his lung function. I also knew by this time that G. was sleep-talking because his voice was clear as a bell - when he's really just waking up, he sounds a little groggy. But when he's sleep-talking, he looks and sounds wide awake.

Me: "Oh my GAWD! You don't wake him up!!" Got up and went to the bathroom as an alternative to strangling him.

Me (coming back): "If you want to check his breathing, you watch his chest or you see if air is coming out of his nose. IF HE'S BREATHING, YOU LET HIM STAY ASLEEP."

G. apparently woke up while I was in the bathroom. The next morning he said he couldn't figure out why I'd come back from the bathroom yelling at him.

We had no problems with A. having apnea or anything, but every parent checks to make sure their infant is breathing. I understand that. But especially if you're freakin' asleep, you don't wake the baby up. So we stopped co-sleeping soon after that. Even our crunchy doula said that was probably a good idea.

6. G. jumped spread-eagled on top of me in bed, and cried, "Everyone stay still!" I turned my head to ask what's going on and he repeated, "I SAID, EVERYONE STAY STILL!" So I threw him off me and told him to go back to sleep.

7. A regional example in Florence, Italy: "Watch the saint's board! The saint's board!" (urgently pointing at the corner of the room) "See! The saint's board!"

Me: "What do you want me to do??"

G: "It's gonna...we have to...we have to stop it."

Me: "What do you want me to do??"

G: flops over and goes back to sleep. He actually remembered this as part of a dream where there was some sort of electric board lined with saints (not unlike the colonnade at St. Peter's in Rome) and it was lighting up the saints one by one and apparently if it got to this one part of the board, something terrible would happen. I appreciated that he could give me some sort of context for the saint's board because usually I'm on my own trying to figure out what the hell he's talking about.

8. Recently, he sat up on the edge of the bed, and just sat there. He never does this consciously, so I knew it was a sleeping thing. I asked, "What are you doing?"

He replied, "I'm waiting for the Superheroes to arrive."

Me: "OK, you let me know when they get here."

G: "OK." Flops back into bed and sleeps. I can't fall back asleep because I'm giggling and really wishing I had a tape recorder.

9. Last, most recent one: "We are all gentlemen because....because...."

Me (intrigued): "Why?"

G: grunts, falls back to sleep.

G's gonna love this entry. I don't mean to cap on him, but except when it happens several nights in a row or nearly causes a heart attack, I find it pretty amusing.

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