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.

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