Saturday, December 31, 2005

Christmas Bits

We (Me, G., A., and Ben) visited my mom's grave in December (it was the 19th anniversary of her death), and it was very hard to explain that we were visiting A.'s grandma, kind of.

"But I don't see her, where is she?" he asked.

Well...she's sort of there and sort of not. I didn't want to say "she's in the ground," because I was afraid that would freak him out. So I said she died, but this is where we go to remember her. He came to his own conclusion and told someone recently, "Sometimes people die in the ground." As we left the cemetary he said, "That was fun!" He's nothing if not positive.


Everytime we went somewhere Christmas-y, like Major HMO's Work Party, A. wanted to know if Baby Jesus was going to be there. He couldn't figure out why the kid never came to any of his birthday parties.

This happened at least five times during December:
We'd see a nativity set and I'd point and say, "Oh look! There's Baby Jesus!"
He'd repeat, "I don't see him," until I was practically climbing into the display to point him out.
A. looked at me like, "We're celebrating a statue and we go to visit grandmas that aren't there. Great."


He is very confused about snow and Christmas. How could Christmas Day have come and gone and there still be no snow?


"I can't go with you to the store, Mama. I have lots of work to do," :::heavy sigh::: "How am I ever going to get all these puzzles done?" Fortunately Grandma was there (the live one) to help.


Yesterday we went out in between the rains to ride bikes. We came upon something flat in the road in our court. Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a hair net or scrunchy of some sort.

"It's dead. Let's leave it there," suggested A. He gave it quite a wide berth for the rest of the afternoon.


A. was running around my sister's coffee table, and my nephew grabbed him and tickled him.

"You can't do whatever you want to do!" A scolded. Hey, the kid's actually listening to me.

The next time it happened, A. told him, "That's not a conversation!" We plan to set him up to conduct sandbox seminars on social skills this spring.

Friday, December 30, 2005

More SleepTalking

G (grabbing me as I start to roll over): Heyheyheyheyhey!

Me: What?

G: Stopstopstopstopstop!

Me: WHAT? I'm just rolling over!

G: No no no no no no.

Me: Let go. I'm just rolling over. I won't fall off the bed.

G (leaning up on one elbow): What's the problem?

Me: The problem is that I want to roll over and you won't let me.

G: Oh. Yeah.

(flops over and goes back to sleep)


It was the middle of the night, and I was awakened by the bed shaking. As a native Californian, of course I thought it was an earthquake. When you think you feel an earthquake, the first thing you do is pause to see if it stops. Many times the earth jolts and that's it. But if it continues, you have to act. I knew that if it continued, I needed to run to A's room, grab him and then head to the strongest part of the house. According to G., that's where the most walls join, so that would be at the entrance to our hallway. Anyway, I sat up to see if it was a jolt or a real earthquake.

G. also sat up, grabbed Ben, who was sleeping between us, and yelled, "C'mon c'mon c'mon c'mon!" at me like an order. In a split second, I wondered why he was yelling at ME to get Ben when a) he was already holding him, and b) he was closer to the doorway, therefore closer to the safe spot.

The shaking stopped, and I rolled over and nursed Ben back to sleep as he had been so rudely awakened. Such is the life of a Californian.

I checked the paper the next morning, and found no mention of an earthquake. So I asked G., "Did you feel that earthquake last night?"

"Oh, yeah, that wasn't an earthquake. That was me thinking Ben wasn't breathing."

We've been through this before. When you want to check to see if your child is breathing, there are several options. You can hold your finger under their nose. You can lay your hand on their chest and feel it rise. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PICK UP THE CHILD AND WAKE HIM UP. Unfortunately, during these times, G. is asleep and not in complete control of his facilities. Something else occurred to me.

Me: "So why were you yelling at me?"

G: "I wanted you to start CPR."

So that was the earthquake. It was G. hallucinating in his sleep.

(last night; once again I am trying to roll over in the middle of the night)

G (grabbing me): Hey hey hey hey!

Me: I'm just rolling over. Relax.

G: Yeah, but I don't want....I don't want....I don't want something heavy to fall on his head.

Me: I don't either, he's in the pack 'n play, and I'm just rolling over.

G: Well, OK.

Now that I type it out, I wonder, was I the heavy thing that G. was afraid was going to fall on his head? Perhaps I should be insulted AND sleep-deprived.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Day After

Last night in bed (in G's childhood bedroom) I figured out that of the 8 winter holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) we've celebrated since A. was born, six have been spent traveling, and two have been spent at home. We've spent two Thanksgivings in AZ, and two Thanksgivings as well as two Christmases in Portland.

It's exhausting, especially with two children, both of whom turn into Demon Spawn when overtired and overstimulated.

So. Anyway. We looked at a house today across the street from G's sister here in Portland. Very nice neighborhood, big ol' house, lots of very dark floral wallpaper and rust shag carpet. It's not exactly for sale, but the guy is a widower who knows the house is too big for him and is thinking about moving out, eventually. His son showed us the house, and gave us a price that the guy would move out tomorrow for (for which the guy would move out tomorrow?). A bit of a stretch for us, but a pretty good price considering the size of the house, the lot, and the considerable resale value if we updated it. And it's not THAT much more than our house in CA would sell for.

Sigh. I'm all for relocating as long as it's hypothetical. But as soon as it moves into the realm of the possible, I freak out. On the whole, I'm opposed to change. When we returned from looking at this house, G. dove into real estate and job listings. I busied myself collecting recipes and happiness tips from several years of my mother-in-law's Family Circle magazines, ignoring any large decisions that might need to be made.

It rains here. A lot. It can get really cold and there's ice storms, too. I do not know how to drive in snow. You have to put a coat on when you go outside. And yet, everyone has detached garages. Go figure.

Driving in California, you have to get the hell out of the way to avoid accidents. Driving in Oregon, you have to stop. In the middle of the street, sometimes, because that's what everyone else expects you to do.

The idea of getting a driver's license from another state is freaky to me - I feel like such a wimp but I've literally never been more than an hour from SF. Can I hack Northwest Life? Do I want to leave all my friends and my sister down here? Well, no, of course not. But I don't think they'll all come with me.

A. has a cousin just 7 months older than him nearby in CA, and in OR, Ben would have a cousin 7 months younger. I guess that's how we'll decide - which son do we love more? (just kidding).

I have a feeling that when we return to CA, this will move back into the hypothetical arena and we'll occasionally bring it up as a possibility sometime in the future and I won't really have to make any decisions. Just how I like it.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Just Call Him Addie

Anyone who grew up in the 70's probably saw the heartwarming TV movie, "The House Without a Christmas Tree." That was our house until tonight, minus Jason Robards.

I didn't think we should have a tree because we weren't going to be here over the holiday and it would just turn into a super tall fire hazard in our absence, or we'd have to haul it outside before we left, and who wants to get rid of their tree before Christmas?

But G. really thought A. should have a Christmas tree, so he went and bought one today. He called from the car to tell us that he'd bought an "A.-sized" Christmas tree. When he told A. it was "A-sized," A. responded, "How 'bout we get one you-sized?" Too late - G'd already bought it.

A. could not contain his excitement. He wanted the tree right in the middle of the floor in the family room. He tried to help with the lights, so they all ended up on clustered on the bottom left-hand quadrant of the tree. G. spread them out a bit, and then it was time for ornaments.

Because it was an A.-sized tree, we couldn't fit all our ornaments on it. So I picked out the best ones, and A. dug in and picked out random ones, and they all made it onto the tree. Here's a photo of four ornaments on one branch:

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Polls are In

OK, so not counting my sister since we're from the same house, we've got 5 wrapping Santas and 7 Santas too busy to wrap. Hah. Not exactly the 95% blowout G predicted, eh? Although it's not a landslide, I'm feeling quite validated.

Still not sure what we should do, though. It's not going to make sense that Santa wraps the gifts he leaves at Grandma's but not the ones at our house. Yeah, and the rest of the story - a big guy fitting down all the chimneys in the world on one night - is so logical.

We visited Santa at the biggest mall around here on Saturday night. We coached A. well, and when the elf approached us in line to ask which overpriced picture package we wanted, he blurted out, "I want James and Edward!" I told him he was supposed to tell Santa what he wanted, not the elf.

I did lots of, "Oh, look at those cute girls on Santa's lap! I think he just gave them a candy cane! Doesn't he look nice? Do you want to walk yourself or do you want me to carry you? This is going to be fun!"

He said he wanted to walk, but as we approached the big guy, A. freaked and bolted. He's not fast enough, though, and I caught him and wrestled him up to the Santa throne. Santa said, "Oh, I could tell this was going to be trouble." Thanks, Santa, aren't you just a jolly old elf.

A. calmed down if I was holding him, though, so he did manage to tell Santa that he wanted James and Edward (key players in Thomas the Tank Engine's world), and showed visible relief when that part was done. And he wanted his candy cane. But we still needed our photo, so I sat on one knee holding A., and G sat on Santa's other knee holding Ben. I felt sorry for Santa.

Then the camera got stuck or something, so we all had to wait several minutes. Ben kept looking backward over his shoulder at Santa like, "what the hell....." but he did smile at the appointed time. A. opened his mouth and said, "aaahhhh!" and I look like I haven't had any sleep in a week, but G and Ben look cute. And now we have our 2005 keepsake of the yearly torture we subject our children to.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Does Santa Wrap His Gifts or Not?

Does he or doesn't he? This is a yearly debate between G and I. At his house, Santa's presents were always wrapped and tagged (written in handwriting eerily smiliar to G's mom's...and G still believed until about 25 years old). At my house, Santa came in and dumped his bag of unwrapped gifts around the tree. It was understood that Santa was way too busy to wrap all his gifts, and that's how we could tell what was from Santa and what was from Mom and Dad. It saved a lot of time, both Mom's and everyone else's who didn't have to wait for the kids to unwrap every goddamn thing.

So at your house, did/does Santa wrap his gifts to you or not? (G predicts that Santa wraps his gifts 95% of the time - will he be right?).

In other Santa news: I love that we have kids to believe in Santa Claus. I love the whole Santa thing. I remember I figured it out pretty young but pretended for a long time, because I was afraid that if I let on that I knew, the loot would diminish. But c'mon - if Santa has a workshop, why do all the toys come labeled by Mattel? And how come he wraps presents at some houses and not others?

But I point is that we're expending quite a bit of effort preparing Aidan to meet and talk to Santa Claus without screaming. Not for his benefit, of course, but because we have photos of three previous Santa visits, and I don't intend to miss this one. So we're talking it up big time.

He doesn't watch commercials on TV, so he doesn't know about the tons of toys out there he could ask for. All he wants are James and Edward to add to his Thomas engines. I asked if that would be enough, and he looked at the family room, waved his arm and said, "We have lots of toys." So I suggested maybe Santa could bring some clothes, and he agreed. How cool is that?

I love this age.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Today's Rant

I heard on the radio that the American Family Association is recommending a boycott of Target. I'd noticed a bit of uproar here and there accusing retailers of "banning" Christmas and forgetting "the reason for the season." And I thought, Who the hell do you people think you are???

From the website: "They (Target) are fearful they may offend a small minority who oppose Christmas, but they aren't concerned about offending Christians who celebrate the birth of Christ as the Reason for the season. Therefore, they banned the use of Christmas."

OK, deep breath.

I don't understand why the AFA would be offended by Target calling this the "holiday season." No one wants Christians to stop celebrating Christmas, and I can guarantee you Target doesn't want Christmas to go away. In fact, although they're calling it a holiday season to be all inclusive and such, I saw a huge department of Christmas trees and nary a menorah on my last visit there (maybe I was in the wrong section).

They're not saying Christmas is BAD, they're saying, "Gee, not all of our customers celebrate Christmas, and if there's a chance to take money from those that aren't Christian as well this December, hey, we're there."

No one is offended by Christians celebrating Christmas (well, I guess I can't say no one, but not the majority, anyway). What's offensive is the assumption that everyone celebrates Christmas, or at least should celebrate Christmas, you know, if they want to go to heaven and all. I completely understand why my Jewish friends roll their eyes at the Christmas excess and take off for Mexico over the holiday. I'd do the same thing if the roles were reversed.

If you want to put a nativity on your lawn, go for it. We've been teaching A. that the reason we celebrate Christmas is to say a big ol' "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. I can't wait until he's old enough to play a sheep in the nativity play at church. But don't you dare erect one in my government buildings and don't tell me I have to have one on my lawn. And don't tell me that Christmas is the only holiday worth celebrating. Oh, yeah, and while we're at it, don't try to convince me that everything started with Christmas. I'll go "Christ-was-probably-born-in-the-summer-and-you're-actually-celebrating-an-ancient-pagan-rite" so fast on your ass you won't see straight.

Deep breath.

I just think it's very sad. And so not in the holiday spirit.

"But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." (~Dennis Miller)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Let's Conversate

I dated this guy once who used "conversate" as a verb. Drove me crazy, but I'd had really long dry spell and was desperate for any guy who wanted to be with me. He also wore a plaid blazer and was a Republican, which was OK until he kept telling me over and over how he hosted a group of inner-city kids at his college and told them what ivy-league life was like. "See! I'm helping the needy! " That little romance didn't last long.

Now A. is heavily into "conversation." Whenever we're sitting down, he'll say, "Let's have a conversation!"

I say, "OK, what should we have a conversation about?"

He usually has something in mind. Over Thanksgiving, he wanted to have a conversation about sinks. So we did. Later that afternoon, he climbed up on the sofa where I was hanging out with my sisters and decided he'd like to talk a bit more about sinks. I muttered that I really thought we'd already said all we could say about sinks that morning, but he was undeterred. Fortunately, my sisters and niece hadn't been in on our previous conversation, so they had some fresh ideas about sinks, although my niece felt a bit put on the spot when A. decided we should go around and say what our favorite thing about sinks was. They rallied and we all gave sinks a thumbs-up.

Today he wanted to have a conversation about potatoes. Apparently you can turn potatoes into chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. They're good to eat. And you peel them. Into the sink.

Needy Lunasea

Got this off Kynoord's blog. You google your name with the word need in quotes, and list the first 10 responses. Like, "Lunasea needs"...(don't forget the quotes). I used my real name, though, because "Lunasea needs" doesn't come up with anything.

So let's just say Lunasea needs....

1. US!! (this off the "drinking liberally" forum)

2. to come back and hook up with Scott.

3. support to do some of her schoolwork.

4. a new computer.

5. to provide details re; the in-line, in situ filtration.

6. specialized service for a patient who is psychotic and has a personality disorder...

7. a Job

8. a hotel liaison for Capclave '07.

9. to work on her:. •. computer skills and speed. •. timing. (ed. note: and, perhaps, punctuation)

10. to know what your priorities are.

Very weird how well it knows me. Wish everyone would just get off my back regarding the in situ filtration thing, though.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Maybe Mr. Nose Could Get Me a New One

Our local mall's Santa display has been taken over by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with lots of tie-in merchandise. Poor Santa looks a little lost. And you know the song Burl Ives sings, "Holly Jolly Christmas?" The line, "Oh, ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see..."?

A. was singing it tonight as, "Oh, ho, Mister Nose, la la la la la..."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Don't Read This If You're Vomit-Phobic

A. has got to be the most stoic vomiter I've ever seen. The other night we were returning home from a b-day party with both kids in the back seat, and I turned around to look at A. I'm not sure why I turned at that time - I don't know if I heard something or was just turning around to see if he was asleep. A's mouth was wide open, his eyes were a tiny bit surprised, and out of his mouth was pouring liquid. It wasn't quite projectile, but it streamed nicely from his mouth to his pants, mostly skipping his shirt. No noise, although later G. said he heard something that sounded like cellophane but more liquidy.

A. wasn't leaning forward, clutching his stomach or coughing. Instead, it was like we had a faucet in the backseat that looked like him. It reminded me of "The Exorcist," and was just a bit spooky. I said, "Oh my goodness! He's throwing up!" It just kept coming, and all the while A. was staring at me with a, "do you think could you do something about this?" kind of look. I had no idea what to do. I couldn't believe he'd eaten or drunk that much. We're talking gallons. Or quarts, at least.

I looked around for a towel, or maybe a receptacle of some sort, but of course we didn't have one. A.'s thrown up maybe once since he was one year old, so we're not really prepared for this sort of event.

So we have about 20 miles to drive home, and all A. said was, "I'm not feeling so good." He was very quiet the rest of the way home, and G. and I kept opening the windows because the car was not smelling so good, either. We kept asking him how he felt and he responded, "I'm still not feeling so good."

We got him out of his clothes and I carried him to his bedroom, and all he said about it was, "I didn't like that." I was trying to figure out if he was done throwing up, so I asked him if his tummy felt empty, and he said, "I'm not throw-upping anymore." And true to his word, he didn't. I realized I really have no idea how to handle upset tummies because he never gets them, or if he does, he doesn't tell us.

When I was about 9 years old, I got carsick on the way to Tahoe and threw up all over myself in the car. We were about 10 minutes from our destination, and I remember riding the 10 minutes just disgusted and annoyed that they were making me ride in the car all vomit-y. Now that it's happened to my kid, though, I realize, what the hell else were they supposed to do?

By the way, they need to make vomit-resistant car seat straps. Those things will hold a scent forever. So far, Oxyclean has worked best.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Office Golf

A. made up a new game today. My dad has a putting green in his backyard, and A. loves to swing at the balls. So his game is that you hit a ball and then yell, "Office!" My son the doctah - we can only hope.

And check out how hip we are - we saw "Rent" today while the rest of the family watched the little guys. It was fantastic, but I already was a Renthead. G. wanted to see Harry Potter, but I talked him into Rent instead. During one of the best scenes, the memorial service where Tom Collins sings the reprise of "I'll Cover You," the older couple in front of us walked out. This movie doesn't seem terribly popular here in this red state. I've never wanted a DVD before, but this one's a keeper.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I Hate My Nose

So we're spending Thanksgiving in Arizona. Last year I wrote about how Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday. All it means to me is a whole lot of dishes. Turkey and stuffing is fine, but I'd be just as happy with a pot of spaghetti and meatballs. But this year we're spending it with my family at my dad's house in AZ. There are two new babies in the family and lots of arms to hold them, and two three-year-olds who amuse each other, so it's all good. My dad also turns his little backyard pool way up to nice-warm-bath temperature, so that's relaxing since we don't all fit in the hot tub.

Except that I am having the World's Worst Allergy Attack. I don't know what to - this is the desert, for God's sake. I think it all started with my friend's cat, who sent me over the edge last weekend. I went to her goodbye party on Friday (thank God she's taking the cat with her), and started sneezing all over again. Once I am reacting to something, anything else I'm allergic to (which is pretty much everything), even at a level which wouldn't normally make me react, makes me go nuts. So there's a yippy little Bichon Frise here who normally doesn't bother me too much, but that could be just too much for my little histamine sensors. And our bed is very comfortable with a featherbed and feather pillows, which probably don't help.

Still awake? I know talking about allergies is b-o-r-i-n-g, but man, you haven't seen these allergies. I want my nose amputated. I can't breathe, I can't sleep, I can't smell anything - we made what was apparently a delicious dinner tonight but I WOULDN'T KNOW. They have possessed me and I can do nothing. Tonight I'm breaking out the Benadryl, so tomorrow I'll be doped up but hopefully breathing. G tells me that he doesn't even know what an itchy roof-of-the-mouth feels like! I bought three boxes of lotion-enhanced kleenex today and it might not be enough.

So. My dad lives in a retirement community outside of Phoenix. It's very quiet here, except for the air force base a few miles down where I guess our military practices bombing techniques because every once in a while you get these break-the-sound-barrier booms. There's a lot of old people and not very many playgrounds. On his computer, a little pop-up screen comes on every time he gets a new message. These people are prolific. Right now there are a lot of people chiming in on "Re: plumber." And my dad has a big sign over his desk saying, "VA - Ear Wax. 2/7/06 9:15." Just so you know. I think that's a long time to wait for ear wax, but what do I know?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Fashion is Passing; Style is Eternal

Guess where we went today? I don't know if you can tell - the hat is upside down.

Three-Year-Olds Love Nonsense Words.

A: Hey Mama!
Me: Mmmhmm?
A: gobbledy-gobbledy brrrrrr
Me: Oh, are you making up your own language?
A: Yeah! It's Smanish!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

More Things A. Said

Pretending to read the sign at the playground: "Thank you for the California seals. Goodbye."

When I got home from work tonight: "So how's your clients doing?"
Me: "Well, some are sad and some are OK."
A: "Hmmm." :::pause::: "Well, sometimes people can feel much better."
Me: "True, but then Mama and Papa wouldn't make any money."

Wonderful Radio, Marvelous Radio

I really wanted to dislike the whole "random radio" phenomenon. "We play 70's, 80's, whatever we feel like." Supposedly it started when someone realized that everyone's got their iPods on shuffle, and decided to do a "non-format" formatted radio station.

Well, I don't shuffle. I don't have an iPod. But if I did, I wouldn't have it on shuffle. I would have carefully arranged playlists to match any mood. That's what I have set up on iTunes on my PC. Sorry, but I'm not going to mix the Wiggles with Eric Clapton, or Warren Zevon with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (on the other hand...huh. Maybe that would work).

I have made so many carefully mixed tapes in my life that it seems a travesty to use the shuffle button. I've thought long and hard about why I'm making a certain mix, which songs would fit on it and what order they should go in.

OK, so I thought I'd hate random radio, and here I am listening to it all the time. For one thing, the first time I tuned in, our local station was playing "Dancing in the Moonlight" by King Harvest which is one of my all time favorite feel-good songs that doesn't get enough play anywhere else. And you can't turn off "Brandy, you're a fine girl, what a good wife you would be," right in the middle of the song, cheesy as it is, and then what are you supposed to do when it leads into "Funky Cold Medina?"

And I'm a little embarrassed to admit that tonight was the very first time I actually listened to the lyrics of "Funky Cold Medina." So that's what it's about. I thought Medina was a funky, cold girl.

And, I love running spell check on my blog. It wants to replace "iPod" with "aphid," and "Nusrat" with "muskrat." That could keep me entertained all night.

Monday, November 07, 2005

My Pumpkin Boys

Believe it or not, A. is not mimicking Ben. When he was a baby, he smiled exactly the same way Ben smiles, with the big open grin. He's seen so many pictures of himself making that grin, that he continues to think that's what one does when one is told to "smile!" Our best attempts at getting an actual smile continue to be thwarted. And Ben, of course, is just the smiliest dimpled guy around.

Have You Seen My Wallet?

Last weekend we went to SF, and it was great (except at the beginning when G couldn't get into the room and thought I'd been murdered by the concierge, but that was resolved quickly enough). We had wonderful weather, and I got to ride a cable car for the very first time, despite having lived here all my life. We saw the new DeYoung Museum, and G didn't like it and I was surprised that I kind of did, since I don't usually like modern architecture.

So in going to SF, I put my cash and some cards in a wallet. I don't usually carry a wallet - I have a small bag with a long strap that I can wear across my body so I don't lose it, and everything else is in a diaper bag or a backpack. But in SF, I actually carried a purse. And when I got back, I continued to carry the purse.

Big mistake.

Day 1: I go to the grocery store with both boys. Ben stays in the car seat and I put him in the main part of the cart, while A. rides in the front. It leaves little room for groceries, which is why I only take them when it's a small emergency trip. Like if I'm out of Diet Coke. So I park, and there's a cart right there by where I park. Cool. Except, as I find out when I'm in the Diet Coke aisle, there's no bottom rack to it. Well, I can't pile Diet Coke boxes on Ben, now, can I? (Can I?) So I go back and get another freakin' cart and move both boys into it. Except I don't have my little across-my-body bag, I'm carrying a purse which I put in the front with A. and which he doesn't have the presence of mind to remind me to take with me when I switch carts. Darn three-year-old.

Fortunately, I discovered it very quickly (well, in the checkout line) and it was morning, the store was slow and a bagger had picked it up. Phew.

Day 4: I am still carrying a regular wallet, except now I actually carry it in my hands or it goes in my back pocket. I go to pick up photos at Longs. I have to pick up photos at Longs because our digital camera broke again (OK, it was dropped, unless you're from Kodak Repair, in which case I don't know what happened). I'm excited to see them because they're the Halloween photos. I pay for them, and crouch down in the aisle, carrying Ben's car seat, to show them to A. I guess I must have set my wallet down, probably on top of the blank VCR tapes. I get up, go out to the car, put Ben's car seat in, and say, "Hey! Where's my wallet?" We run back and forth from the store to the car several times looking, but it's already gone. It was fairly quiet in the store, but the woman behind me in line looked shifty, so I blame her. There wasn't that much in it, just my BRAND NEW driver's license, my debit card and my library card, and some cash.

A. was annoyed with me because I didn't bring snacks for him (it was supposed to be a 10-minute outing). So there I was outside Long's Drugs, searching through the garbage cans in case someone took the cash and dumped the wallet, with an infant in a car seat and a toddler whining, "Maaammmmaaa, I'm veeeeewwwy hungry!" And still no one gave me a dime. Sheesh.

Day 5: I dutifully put the leftovers in the plastic container, and then put the container, full of leftovers, back on the shelf. G. found it this morning. I have, however, switched back to my handy little bag. I had to, since I lost the damn wallet.

I blame the time change - Ben is still getting up between 5 and 6am. I'm fried. He's a bed hog and we don't have a room to move him into. So I'm basically up all night and then up early. Sometimes G takes him in the morning and I can at least get an hour of uninterrupted sleep. I just try to remember that there will come a day when he doesn't want anything to do with me, so I'm relishing this time, when he just wants to sleep next to Mama. And I think I've stopped losing wallets. Putting leftovers back in the pantry, though - no promises there.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

B-day Quote of the Week

I'm awfully happy the tumor my mother thought she had turned out to have red hair, dimples and a killer smile.

Yeah, right back atcha, sis. 'Cept for the tumor, you know.

Backstory: My mother was 42 when she had me. She hadn't had a cycle in a long time and had been told by doctors that she had gone through early menopause. So you can imagine the surprise (especially my father's) when what they thought must be a uterine tumor turned out to have a heartbeat in one of the pre-op appointments. My father was stationed in Germany at the time and returning to the U.S. She said they weren't going to let her come back before having the tumor removed. I don't know how far along she was at the time, but one would imagine it was rather far along since they didn't do ultrasounds back then. So here I am...the tumor with the expensive education, as my father probably calls me when I'm not around.

In Other News:

Ladybug Boy loved trick-or-treating. I wasn't sure if he'd go for it because the trick-or-treaters scared the heck out of him last year. But once he figured it out, he was all for going up to strangers in unfamiliar houses and getting candy.

"Candy is sooo delicious!" he informed me.

He did a great job, for a kind-of-shy kid. I had to remind him to wait until the door opened to say "Trick or treat!" but he did it nice and loud, said "thank you" appropriately and "Happy Halloween!" when prompted. He was so cute that people gave him extra candy so thanks, everyone - he is cute but you don't have to live with him on a sugar high. And then he got extra candy on top of that when people saw Ben all done up in his Pooh Bear sleeper. Ben's not gonna appreciate that Laffy Taffy, people, so you don't have to give Mr. Ladybug extra stuff for him. Considering that we stayed on our street, his bucket was pretty damn full.

And he was not happy when he found out that you don't get to trick-or-treat whenever you need more candy. He thought it would be a good idea to go again tonight, and it's hard to explain a yearly holiday to a 3-year-old.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Should We Be Worried?

Got a hit on this blog today from someone from the "Commonwealth of Kentucky Information Systems" searching Google for "everyday chemistry with embalming fluids." Hmmm.

And, by the way, I am number five on that search, thankyouverymuch. Not a lot of everyday chemistry you can do with embalming fluids, apparently.

Sip Bacardi, 'Cause It's My Birthday, Yo

So. Here I am at 40. Things get serious now. I know 40 is the new 30 and all, but it's still grown-up.

According to my horoscope, it's going to be a stellar year. Things in my career are really going to pick up. Too bad I only work two days a week.

So what are our plans, you ask? This morning G and the boys frosted a square chocolate cake for me. I'd take a picture but our digital camera is broken AGAIN. Right before Halloween, can you believe the timing? Anyway, there are two presents for me on the table but I have to wait until G comes home for lunch to open. I tried to manipulate A. into telling me what they were, but he's not cracking. He'll only say that there are "presents" inside. The kid's got a will of steel. Or he doesn't know.

This weekend we're taking our first night ever away from the kids together. We'll head to SF and stay in a hotel with a KING SIZE BED ALL FOR ME HA HA HA and no babies in it! I don't know where G's going to sleep.

G made reservations at three restaurants (here, here, and here) so we'll be doing a lot of eating. No, just kidding. I guess we'll have to pick one. Middle Sister will be dealing with the boys. She's says she's excited, but she's never spent a night with Ben the Bed Hog. I may have forgotten to tell her that he's used to sleeping with us in the big bed.

I already got some Omaha steaks from my sisters. Mmmm. See, my dad's wife, who lives in AZ with my dad, always sends out stuff from Omaha for Christmas. The first year we got steak. Mmmm. Then she remembered that G. doesn't eat red meat and it's been fish for us ever since while my sisters dined on steak. The fish is good, don't get me wrong, but why should I be punished because he can't digest red meat? I complain every year (not to her - I dropped some hints and they didn't work, so I gracefully stopped), so this year Big and Middle Sister sent me some Bacon-Wrapped Tenderloin. And free burgers and knife set came with it! Score!

And I got some things from my wish list from Big Niece, who had the presence of mind to order gifts and get a card in the mail on time even with a 1-month-old baby.

And I got a card from Larry Gutierrez, who says one of the best things that happened in 1965 was that I was born. He's got my last name wrong, but it's the thought that counts. I believe he's an Allstate agent and how he got my (wrong) name and birthday, I'll never know. But I vaguely remember thinking "Who the hell is Larry Gutierrez?" last year too.

Didn't get a card from my dentist this year. I think that means it's time for a cleaning.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuff, As You Can Plainly See

Does anyone else look at this picture and say, "Jerry Jordan's Jelly Jar, J J J!"

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

28 hours until....

I turn 40. I'm just sayin'. You people on the East Coast have even less time.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

So Who's the Lady?

Me (walking behind the snack bar counter): Who's next?

Lady: I am.

Me: What can I get you?

Lady: Well, I want you to dial this phone number and find out if these Northern Atlantic birds can swim for this paper I'm doing.

Me: Seriously?

Lady: Yes. I don't know if they can and I need to find out.

Me: Look, there are lots of ways to find out. Why don't you go to the library, use one of their computers and check the internet. I'll bet you find the answer very quickly.

Lady: No, I want you to call this number and find out for me.

Me: Look lady, this is a snack bar. If you want a soda or a snack, I can get it. But I'm not going to call that number for you. Who's next?

That was my dream last night.

Friday, October 21, 2005

How to Melt My Heart

A: I want the family on the family room.
Me: What?
A: (repeats)
Me: (pretend not to understand because I'm in the middle of cooking dinner) What do you mean?
A: C'mon, the whole family in the family room.
Me: Oh, you want the whole family to be in the family room right now?
A :(thinking: Jesus. How dense is she?) Yeah! You gotta come to the family room and get some lovin'.
Me: Awwww. (go to the family room to get some lovin')

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Dead Ants

Q: What did the Pink Panther say when he stepped on the anthill?
A: Dead ants, dead ants, dead ants, etc.

Yeah. Well. No matter how many dead ants you have, there are always live ones. G asked me sadly, "Have we lost the war?" Swarming ants. All over the wall. We've got Ant PTSD. Except there's no Post- to it because they keep coming.

You may remember our ant battles. They continue. We live on top of Ant Mecca. There are ant swarms every time we dig in our soil. There's an ant highway across the doorway of our garage and several smaller turnpikes across our patio. I've picked more ants off Ben than I care to think about. When they're outside, we leave them alone. But they continue to think they can come into the kitchen (and the bathroom) and it needs to stop before I blow Ant Mecca up.

Yesterday, I saw a big ant huddle near the window, and I investigated because these are stupid ants and they never find food, even when it's laying right out there on the counter, so what could they be huddling around? They dispersed like high schoolers at a fight when I approached, and in the middle was a BIG ant. It was almost twice the size of the others, with a big ol' rear end. Do you think she was the queen? Well, queenie, you jus' been dethroned! Lunasea in da house!

If she was the queen, and I killed her (not only am I doing better than the U.S. Government in the war on terror), will the other ants go away too?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Books, Softball and Adventure


When I was a kid, I used to tell my parents that I was afraid of the dark and ask them to leave the hall light on. I also made sure to position my bed so that it got most of the light. I wasn't really afraid of the dark - I wanted to read after bedtime. I'd hide under the covers if one of them came near my room, and since my dad went to bed at 11pm and turned all the lights out, that was the latest I could stay up reading. Occasionally they caught me and warned that my eyes would be ruined. I do have horrible eyesight today (400/20 I think), but guess what? Stick some glasses on me or put contacts in my eyes and I'm good as new.

Aidan wants "lots of books" in his crib with him when he goes to bed. He doesn't even want us to read to him anymore. Just pile them up in there and leave the hall light on, thank you very much. I can't believe I'm letting him do this. I had to sneak my after-hours reading for so many years, it's just a slap in the face that he can be so blatant. I don't have the heart to refuse. He sleeps right on top of them, too, and is upset when he wakes up and finds fewer in there than when he went to sleep (sometimes I sneak in there and take some out to make room for his body). I totally understand books being a security blanket. And he can't actually read, so I'm not too worried about his eyesight.


So sometimes he doesn't get enough sleep. Last night he fell asleep around 9:30, and was up at 6am. He was a pain in the neck for most of the day, but got better after I threatened him. He wanted to go to the park after G got home from work, so we went and found that the adjoining ballfields were hosting 8 adult softball teams.That's a lotta softball. So we stayed, had hot chocolate, sat in the stands and cheered the "Go Dumb" team. Aidan was the best cheerer there - he kept yelling, "OH! LOOK AT THE BIG HIT!" and "OH! THAT WAS A BIG THROW!" It was great. Too bad it tended to be between plays (and innings). And often for the other team.

He gets VERY enthusiastic when he's tired, and it's pretty funny. When we were walking to the car, he yelled, "THAT WAS A NICE TIME, MAMA! THAT WAS PRETTY FUN!" You just can't stay mad at someone that enthusiastic.


And while we were at the pumpkin patch yesterday, we were climbing this big pyramid of hay bales. I held his hand, but he's not the most adventurous kid on the block. He kept saying, "I don't know. I'm just not sure," as he climbed (phrases that Sir Topham Hatt uses on Thomas). We were passed by several 18-month-olds. It was like climbing with my grandmother.

Oh, and BTW, G is back at work but not completely better. After our Slice O' Americana evening, he passed out before 8pm.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Live and Fresh: Lunasea!

Who gave this woman* her own show? I first saw her during the Hurricane Katrina coverage, and thought she was losing her voice because she'd been working long hours. Nope, turns out she always sounds like that.

1. To the pilot of a rescue helicopter as they're flying over a house with a guy trapped on the roof: "How important is it, what you're doing?"

2. To the guy they rescued: "How happy are you to be rescued?"

3. To the mayor of a town wiped out by Hurricane Rita, after he pointed out the demolished diner where he ate lunch every day: "Where are you going to eat lunch now?"

It's good for a laugh, but it also annoys me as my dream job is to take over "Fresh Air" on NPR. And I don't sound like I smoke two packs a day.

*The current photo on Rita Cosby's page is Hugh Hefner and some playbunnies. I'd look up a photo of Rita to avoid confusion, but I'm too sleepy.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Spam, Sperm, Whatever

I use HaloScan comments on this site, and somehow the spammers haven't gotten through yet. But I have a "footnotes" blogspot (see 100 Things) and today they found me. In fact, Josh found a lot of useful info about sperm banks on my site. Just wanted to say...glad I could help.

<<Josh said...
Found a lot of useful info on your site about sperm bank - thank you. Haven't finished reading it yet but have bookmarked it so I don't lose it. I've just started a sperm bank blog myself if you'd like to stop by>>

Still Stuck in the Infirmary

It's official: G. is really sick. He's got the pneumonia in his chest, that boy. A-coughin' and a-hackin', he be. Takin' them anti-bi-otics and should be as good as new in no time at all, iffen you believe them docs at that hos-pee-tal.

I remember when I was dating and if I or my boyfriend was sick, we'd do the whole flower-chicken soup-kleenex thing. Now it's like: "Hmm - he appears to be breathing, so he must be OK. Gotta get the kids dinner. Oh, did you want some soup? Here's the can opener."

No, that's not true. I heated the soup for him and even poured it into a bowl. I'm pretty sure I gave him a spoon, too.

Desperate Housewives watchers - I have a question. When did aliens take over Lynette's body? No way would the old Lynette sit there and let Joely Fisher be such a bitch to her, or insinuate that her kid's first day of kindergarten wasn't important. She just wouldn't let herself be caught there. I don't believe it and it's irritating me. I keep thinking, "this was sooo written by men," which isn't fair and I'm not sure why I think that, but I do.

Lost watchers - funniest line I've read all week: on the TWoP recap, about the end of the episode where Jin runs out of the jungle with his hands tied behind his back and all the "Others" are running after him with spears: "Looks like Jin forgot to use his Capital One card." Hah!

Commander in Chief: I'm a West Wing fan, but I checked this show out when there was nothing else on and I was working on the 'puter. It didn't bother me that the level of political conversation compared to WW is like Marcus Welby vs. ER, but it did bother me that the POTUS leans down to her young daughter and admonishes her for reading her sister's journal: "You're not supposed to read big sis's journal," and little sis gets all sorry and apologizes to big sis immediately. Riiiight.

"Hey, Aidan, you're not supposed to sit on Ben's head." Yeah, that'll work.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Stuck in the Infirmary

It's just after 8pm on Friday night and all my guys are out cold. The boys are sleeping, and G. has the flu. He's been completely out of commission since Wednesday night.

"Can you refill the Brita? I don't even have the strength to lift it," he moaned. I took his temperature and found it to be a burning 99.3, so he went off to bed. "Good thing men don't get pregnant," I muttered.

It was quite a switch from A., who last week was sick and steadfastly refused to admit it. After I finally got some medicine down his throat, if he coughed at all, he'd glare at me accusingly and say, "My cough is still there! So you and your fancy cherry-crap flavored syrup can go to hell!" He clearly said the first part; the last part was implied.

Later G. clocked in at 101.3. But then we discovered our fancy temporal thermometer is off and his temperature was actually over 103 as determined by the old-fashioned mercury. Hmph. Guess you really are sick. Stay away from me, and for God's sake, don't get the baby sick.

In other news:

Did I mention I'm turning 40 in a few weeks? It seems like a big deal, if only as a marker of the last 10 years. When I turned 30, I was single, in grad school with no idea if I would ever finish, and living in a small studio. Around that time, I wrote out this little piece of paper that I carried around on which I had written all my biggest goals:

1. Finish the Ph.D.
2. Be in a happy marriage or relationship.
3. Have children (was going to do this with or without #2).
4. Have a house with a garden.
5. Have an organized, clutter-free life.
6. Be able to run 5 miles.

Four months after turning 30, I met G. Four years after that, I married him, and here I am living in a house with a garden (that I don't touch because Goal #2 has control issues) and our two little boys. I had my Ph.D. orals the week I found out I was pregnant with A., so that got finished too. I ran a 5-mile race in 2001 and have been largely pregnant (literally) or nursing since then. I do work on the organization and have gotten much better, although "organized" is probably not an adjective often used to describe me.

So what's left? I still need to learn to drive a stick shift. And see the Alps. But the major things: check, check, and check.

And yet there's more:

A. has begun playing more complex games. They're great because he tells us exactly what to do, even it if results in a strategic paradox. He loves to hide in the closet and yell, "I'm in the coats! You can't find me anywhere!"

He also tells us exactly how to react: "I'm a robot! You can't believe it!"

So much of parenting is by the seat of the pants. It's nice when they give you clear instructions.

Friday, September 30, 2005

The Fun Never Ends

Well, it has just been a barn-burner of a week here at Chez Lunasea. Ben has cut two teeth, which means he bites me in a very tender place and I'm thisclose to weaning him. He thinks it's funny when I yell. G. rejected my suggestion of putting some very tender part of his body in Ben's jaws to see what it felt like. Still, it's kind of cool to have a kid who gets teeth right around the time he's supposed to. Aidan didn't get teeth until he was well over a year.

I'm a great-aunt, now, too, which almost makes me feel older than my upcoming 40th birthday. Big Niece had sweet great-nephew-baby on Tuesday. It's fun when someone else is going through it. I can be all, "Oh, a brand new baby! How sweet! I'm so excited!" without all the raging hormones, pain and thoughts of "oh my god what have I gotten myself into...I've changed my mind..." that ricochet through a new mom's head. He's hella cute, which isn't surprising since Mom and Dad are quite cute, too.

So I'm sorry I've been out of touch. But really, the longest conversation I had today was with Aidan and it involved the laundry. The most excitement we had today was with Ben and it involved my ability to be on this side of his head, and then, just like that! be on the other side of his head. First I'm over here by this ear, then I'm over by this ear! How does that happen? It was hysterical in 6-month-old land. Poor kid was crying he was laughing so hard. And you wonder why I've eaten half a carton of ice cream tonight after they've finally gone to sleep. The ice cream never talks back, it doesn't want another glass of water or to know what every freakin' sound was. It just lets me enjoy it. By the way, it's Dreyer's new Drumstick flavor. Oh yeah. That's what I'm talkin' bout.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

As Jung Would Say...

From Trisha - free association:

Crave: Sleep.

Whole package: Of Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Pecan & Caramel Clouds all to myself.

Roommates: Taught me a lot. About drugs.

5:30: The time Ben wakes up all shiny and happy.

Lesbian: Really wanted to be for a while. Didn't work.

Poignant: Watching A. grow up.

Hurtful: Thinking about A. dealing with playground politics.

You and I: In high school, the song I thought I would play at my wedding. (i.e. "Just You and I")

Grateful: For it all.

Giggle: In my sleep. When it happens.

Helping You Understand the Theory of Relativity, Effectively

According to our State Professional Organization's Magazine, professionals with my (master's level) psychotherapy license are not perceived to be particularly smart, understanding, effective or helpful.

So, in their infinite wisdom, State Professional Organization suggests that I make "more effort to appear helpful, smart, effective, and understanding." I should also consider how the books in my waiting room and my dress reflect on me as "helpful, understanding, or smart."

Well, which is it? Am I supposed to appear as all three at once, or one at a time? What exactly is "helpful, understanding or smart" dress? My Travelsmith dress which requires no ironing and went with me to the best museums in Italy? But it's black, which may not be a very understanding color.

Geez, the pressure.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Small Dogs Can Do Big Things

This is the dog.

This is the light fixture:

And this is A.: "Oh! I broked it!"

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Shameless Plug

So I've done three recent digital scrapbook layouts that I'm really happy with. They haven't garnered many comments on the site where I post them, which is why I'm looking to you people to stroke my ego. They're just so much better than what I could do previously, even if they're not publish-worthy.

Remember the theme "What's on Your Refrigerator?" That was my theme for my circle journal, so everyone else in the circle has to do a layout on that subject. And I'm doing layouts for everybody else's themes as well. These three are, respectively, "Color My World," "Words of Inspiration," and "Art Attack." I really like the rainbow one. I didn't want to take pictures of flowers because that seemed too obvious, so I challenged myself to find the rainbow in objects I use everyday. The "RAINBOW" letters are cut out of a photo of Ben's exersaucer liner.

"Words of Inspiration" is supposed to be in shades of red, but hopefully the owner of that journal will forgive me. I tried putting a red overlay on it, but it just didn't work. I love this one. I love the photo of Einstein. And that's me with the wax figure of Einstein at Mme. Tussaud's in London. It was one of the few times I had the courage to ask a stranger to take a picture of me.

The "Art Attack" one was hard for me. The journal originator had a color swatch she wanted us to use, and I wanted to do something that wasn't totally linear and graphic. It still is, kind of, but whatever. I'm not a designer. I just like to play around.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Disaster Alert

We're heading into Day 5 of "No Poops from Ben," and although the danger of hazardous waste from this situation is serious, please be assured that we are taking precautions. We have set aside several changing pads, two cases of wipes, face masks, and are prepared to turn on the tub faucet and the shower should the need arise. There is no need to evacuate at this time, however, it would be prudent for those in the immediate area to prepare for possible evacuation. At the very least, have your disaster kits in easy reach.

As they say about the Big Quake in California, it's not a question of "if," it's a question of "when."

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Good News!

I've updated my wish lists over there to the left. Just trying to be helpful, since there's.....

and I know I'm so hard to buy for.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

In Search of More Google Search Hits

We have a Thomas book that plays tunes when you press a button, and the book has all the lyrics to the songs. But A. likes to make up his own lyrics.

Real Lyrics:

Don't give up
Show determination
Don't give up
You'll be a big sensation.

A.'s Lyrics:

Don't give up
Your penis gets hard sometimes
don't give up
your penis gets hard sometimes.

As I pick myself up off the floor, he says, "That's a song I sing sometimes." Great. Make sure you sing that one for Grandma and Grandpa, 'kay?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

No Bob the Builder This Year

What does my train-loving, hammer-wielding 3-year-old want to be for Halloween?

A ladybug.

"He'll change his mind 10 times between now and Halloween," I thought. But he's stayed very solid for the last 3 weeks and I know from experience that it's not a good idea to wait until 2 days before Halloween to get a costume, so we bought a ladybug costume today. He wore it around the house and made a very cute ladybug.

When he was around 18 months, someone handed him a little boy doll, and then took it away, saying, "Oh, but that's a doll. Boys don't play with dolls." Naturally, my response was, "Of course he can play with dolls if he wants to." He has a baby doll given to him before Ben was born and beyond a little initial interest, leaves it completely alone. He likes going into the play houses in front of Toys R Us, but without a word, he skips the Barbie one. We didn't push Thomas the Tank Engine on him, but he gravitated to it like one of those little magnetized freight cars.

But now he wants to be a ladybug, and I'm having a bit of a hard time with it. I keep feeling compelled to turn him into a guy ladybug, like Francis from A Bug's Life. I think the best plan is to dress Ben up as a flower, and take lots of photos of them for submission to their high school yearbooks.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Bodily Fluids Day

Today was one of those days where I didn't leave the house. It's a good thing, too, because I would have missed the celebration of Bodily Fluids Day in our house. Ben marked the occassion with numerous harfs, which made it pretty much like any other day.

But A. really outdid himself.

The Good: His diaper was very full this morning, so I left it off for a little while to let his skin dry out. About 10 minutes later, I turned around and he was sitting on the potty chair! And sure enough, pee was happening! In the bowl! It had also happened on the floor in front of the potty chair and on the seat itself, which meant quite a clean-up, but still! He actually understands the idea of feeling it come and getting to the potty at that time! Synapses have been crossed - new connections made!

The Bad: And then about an hour later, diarrhea. All over his clothes, all over my pillowcase, which he was leaning on during the blowout, and there was me with only two wipes. Yuck. He's three years old, so I've had my share of gross diapers, but this one was a lifetime best, I think.

This is exactly the kind of post that Mommy-Blogger-Haters complain about. I'm tempted to go paypal some money to Blog Explosion so that I can bring a whole bunch of unsuspecting bloggers to this post. I'd like to see them change that diaper. Wimps! You can't handle the truth!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

One thousand ninety-six days...

...that A's been around. Existing outside of me, that is. He left my body and began taking up his own space in the world three years ago today.

He made me a mother, and a mother is what I am supposed to be. Although there are times when I want to sell both of them on e-bay and escape to Hawaii; although it's a rare day that I get to brush my teeth, wash my hair AND shave my legs; although I don't fit into any of my clothes anymore and the only new lingerie I've bought in three years has been new white Olga nursing bras to replace the threadbare ones;

everything I did before A. came was a prelude to being a mother.

Thank you for making me a mother, A. Thank you for your shining smile in the morning, your "Hi Mama! What can I do for you?" and "Watch this, Mama!" Thank you for running to me for comfort, for feeling safe enough to be mad at me, for wanting to share your super-duper-exciting new train cars with me. Thank you for listening so carefully and repeating almost everything I say, verbatim. Thank you for wanting to snuggle in Mama's bed (not Papa's bed...Mama's bed). Thank you for making me laugh every day. Thank you for being so great that I was willing to have another one.

I adore you, my sweetest little redheaded boy. Don't grow up too quickly...stay small for "a little bit while," OK?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The News

I have been riveted to the cable news coverage of the hurricane aftermath. It's been fascinating and disturbing to watch.

During one half hour on Thursday, I switched between Fox News and MSNBC. The commentator on Fox referred to the "criminal element" and wondered what to do about these looters and shooters no less than 5 times in that half hour. And that was with switching back and forth. MSNBC was beginning to realize the lack of relief effort and was calling for more help.

By Friday, Fox had changed its tune. I'd never seen reporters get so emotional about what was happening. Later that night, they sent Geraldo (can you imagine? 4 days without food or water, you're locked into the convention center, and here comes GERALDO? What, it's not enough to ignore us, they're going to torture us too?) and he cried and gnashed his teeth over the state of affairs there. Now, this is Geraldo, so whatever...but then they switched the camera to Shepard Smith, who expressed amazement that the government can set up checkpoints to make sure no one leaves NO but can't deliver water. Smith said, "They can't go a block and half that way, where there's food and water and hope! Over there there's hope! Over here there's nothing!" Sean Hannity cut in with "a little perspective." Smith knew he was being cut off and smoldered at the camera. The anchor asked, "When will the relief get there?" Smith growled, "I have no idea."

More on the Fox coverage here (totally liberal anti-Fox site, BTW). What gets me is all the exclamations of, "This is happening in America??" We have very poor people in America who couldn't evacuate the city. We do not put these poor people on the top of our list of "people to save." There were priorities, and evacuating the poor was not one of them. OK, they didn't know the levee would break. But why did it take so long for FEMA to realize that thousands of people were in the convention center when we knew it out here in California?

There is racism and classism in America. I frequent a message board that is heavy on conservatives, and I see lots of people who aren't getting it. They get mad whenever anyone brings up the idea that race may have played an issue in this disaster, or play dumb and laugh at the idea that a hurricane is racist. They defend the government and accuse the refugees of creating their own problem. They brush the concerns off as just more Bush-bashing. If one good thing comes out of this, it will be that racism and classism will be put on the table in a way it hasn't before. But my fear is that many will just refuse to acknowledge it, so the "discussion" will continue to be one-way.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Lunatic Katrina

Did anyone catch Joe Scarborough on MSN tonight? He did his report right in front of a ship emblazoned "Luna Sea." Thanks for the shoutout, Joe. Didn't realize you were a fan.

Although he didn't say so, he was, of course, making a not-so-subtle reference to the relief efforts in the South. He referred to it as "amateur hour," and told viewers that if any of their politicians say that they were surprised by Katrina and that's why the relief was uncoordinated, those politicians didn't deserve their trust or their vote. I suppose he has some experience in the area, being a former politician from Florida, but I'm not sure a perfect plan exists for evacuating entire cities within a few days, when so many are poor and without transportation.

It's hard to wrap my mind around what it would be like to feel completely stranded with no water, being shot at by snipers, and feeling completely forgotten. People are dying, babies are dehydrated. There's just one nurse in this whole area where people have gathered because they thought there'd be water and buses. I heard a hospital official say that they needed to evacuate their patients and couldn't because the next link of transportation, whatever was supposed to pick up the patients from the ambulance and take them to another hospital, just wasn't there. Can you imagine waiting for four days and not hearing anything? The church around the corner put up a sign that said, "Hurricane: don't panic - trust in God and he will save you." Pretty frickin' easy to say out here in Northern California. That sign is down today and there's just a plea to pray.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Summer Nights

A. will be three in exactly a week. The "terrible twos" weren't all that terrible, but now that he's almost three, everything's a negotiation. He wanted to take a nice little walk around the block after dinner. Or, rather, he'd "ride" his bike and I'd walk with Ben in the sling. I put "ride" in quotation marks because he refuses to use the pedals and prefers the Flintstone method. Such a lovely walk in the summer evening after dinner while the light lingers and the heat is still rising from the pavement...

When he started "riding" his bike earlier this summer, a walk around the block would take over an hour. He was sloooow. We'd have to start out right after dinner in order to make it home before dark.

But now he's pretty fast on his bike, even with the Flintstone method. I believe he could probably win any race where everyone has to use their feet instead of the pedals. I thought, hey, this could be good exercise and it will certainly be a quicker stroll around the block. Well, we arrived home a good hour and half later because we

1. had to stop at every driveway. He got off his bike, walked up to the garage of the house, said, "watch this, Mama!" and ran down the driveway yelling "wheeee!" It would have been significantly more impressive if the driveways in our neighborhood weren't about 5 feet long and perfectly flat;

2. had to stop and stare at many things, including anyone watering their lawn, the guys down the street beating something into submission with a baseball bat (we didn't get close enough to see what it was) and various rocks. We also had to think long and hard at each corner about which way to go, even though we were going around the block;

3. had to stop and chase random kitties. I explained that the kitties were scared and that's why they were running away and maybe it would be better if we didn't scare them. "But I'm not scary, Mama! I'm friendly!" We also had to stop and listen for a long time if we heard a dog behind a fence.

4. And then there was the dog who made me age about 20 years by running up behind us, off his leash, and barking at us. The big, black dog. Who was probably a lab or something but could have been a rottweiler for all I knew and his teenage handler was WAY TOO SLOW running behind him. Oh Sweet Jesus he scared the crap out of me. I had a quick vision of grabbing A. off his bike and running home with Ben hanging around my neck and A. dangling down and the dog mauling my legs. A. said, "Oh, that's a dog. That's a dog right there," and continued down the road.

Evening is not the best time to have these walks. My patience is usually thin, and I'm not the same mom who made a game out of picking up the Legos this morning. Finally I growled, "OK, buddy, we need to pick up the pace. Ben is getting heavy, and I need to put him down. But I can't put him down in the middle of the sidewalk, and we need to get home. C'mmooooooon, let's go. This way. C'mon, faster, faster." You can imagine how well that worked.

So we got home, got him into the bathtub, managed the meltdown when he realized his special teddy bear soap was dissolving in the water as soap will do, put him in jammies, read something about Thomas, and put him in his crib. That was an hour and a half ago and he's still awake. I want to skip to 4 years old.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


So Windows won't start when I reboot my computer. I have to press F12, wait like 15 minutes to get the boot menu up, choose "normal boot" and then Windows starts. Any ideas? That black screen with the flashing cursor scares the crap out of me.


Our neighbor has started taking care of her nephew two days a week. W. and A. share a birthday, and he will be turning 4 on the same day that A. turns 3 (next month, for those keeping score at home). So we invited him over to play trains for a little while yesterday. I figured it would entertain A. a bit and let him gain social skills and all that stuff. And give me a break. Hah.

A: "Don't couple me! Don't couple me!"
W: "I'm not cuddling you! Sheesh!"
A: "No, coupling is when trains are joined, not cuddling. Oh, never mind."


W: "I'm gonna tell your mom you're not sharing!"

So he finds me (finally reading the Sunday comics, damnit), tells me A.'s not sharing one of the 40 train cars spread out on the floor, I tell him to play with another one, for pete's sake, and A. thinks it's a new game.

After that, everytime A. said something, he'd encourage W., "Go tell my mom! Yeah! You go tell my mom! Mama! W. gonna tell you sumping!" Took the wind right out of W's sails.


W: "You got anything to eat?"

What? I have to feed this kid too?

W: "I like macaroni and cheese."
Me: "Great, but I'm not making you macaroni and cheese."

I considered calling next door to see if he had any allergies, then decided it was too much trouble to find their phone number and gave him some string cheese. His eyes only bugged out a little.


W: "I have to go potty."

Me: "Can you go on your own or do you need help?" pleasepleasepleaseplease.....

W: "Yeah, I can do it myself. I don't have to poop right now." thankyouthankyouthankyou


W: "Do you have any country music?"
Me: "Sure, I guess could play some."
W: "I like that song....take me the place...I belong..."
Me: "Okay okay okay. I don't have that song, but I'll play some internet country radio."
W: "Make it come out of the TV. Can we play football?"


W: "It's good that I'm over here because I only have two friends."
A: "Come with me to the Island of Sodor where adventure awaits you! Get many new stories on DVD or VHS!"
Me: "Um, yeah, he watches a lot of Thomas. Don't tell your mom he said that, OK?"

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Surreal Life

In The Car:

A.: "Does Papa make noise?"
Me (uh-oh, what has he heard?): "Um, yeah, I guess."
A.: "Papa makes noise, the trees make noise and my socks make noise."

A: "Aidan lives in our house and Ben lives in our house."
Me: "Mama and Papa live there too."
A: "No, Papa lives at the office and Mama lives at Target."

Getting Dressed:

G. today to Ben, after I woke up soaking in (Ben's) pee: "You're a leaker. You should work for the government in Washington you're such a leaker."

Me: "Oh, you've got some bruises on your legs."
A: "What? I got boozes?"
Me: "Yeah, bruises are what happens when you bump your leg. They go away in a few days."
A: "They go away when the birds are in the sky?"
Me: "Uhh, well, they go away in a few days whether or not there are birds in the sky...."
A: Ooooohhhh. OK.


Guy in parking lot (I think they look for moms with kids because they know we can't just jump in the car and run them over. We've got to make sure everyone's buckled in first) : "Excuse me, ma'am, do you wear perfume?"
Me: "No."
Guy: "Oh. Um, well, we're doing a marketing survey for a new perfume. Would you like a sample?"
Me: "I just told you I don't wear perfume."
Guy: "Oh. Um, well, could you spare a few dollars then?"

By that time everyone was buckled in so I jumped in my car and ran over him and his marketing buddies.

Lady in parking lot (what, did I have my approachable clothes on today?): "Do you go to Bible Study?"
Me (lying): "Yeah. All the time. At the church around the corner from me."
Lady: (who could tell I was lying because she's holy): "Well, we're having a bible study downtown. Have you ever heard of the "Breaking the Bondage" series?"
Me (Crap. She's got me there. If I say "yes," she'll expect me to know about it, and I'm not quick enough to think of a good S&M joke) : "No. I haven't." (heavy sigh)
Lady: blah blah blah blah invite you.
Me: Great. Thanks.

By that time everyone was buckled in so I jumped in my car and ran over her.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Ben's Baptism

....the highlight of which was a performance by G. and A. of select scenes from Thornton Wilder's "Our Town."

Friday, August 12, 2005

This is Not About G's Boss

I don't think G. wants me to blog about the various colorful personalities with whom he works, which is killing me much as not blogging about the fascinating psychotic delusions I came in contact with on Mobile Crisis did. Great stories. Damn.

But I've got to ask this, because perhaps we have an expert in statistics out there. His boss was raving about the fantastic outpatient program they have there. So fantastic, in fact, that they had a negative 17% relapse rate. How do you get a negative relapse rate? The patients are doing so well it's like they were never there?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Some Haiku for Today

You are still awake
Will we ever sleep again,
My fussy baby?

Mac and cheese for lunch
Once again, dropped on the floor.
Still OK to eat.

Spit-up on keyboard
Long drips stretch down to the floor
Better get the rag.

I should not complain
You sleep three hours at a stretch;
Enough time to dream.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Life With Little Children

I envy my co-worker. She had kids when she was young, and now they are grown. She's probably 10-15 years older than me. Two days ago she came into the office in a velour sweatsuit (how long has it been since my sweatsuit top matched my sweatsuit bottoms? More than 20 years) and said she'd been working all day on her "books," her budget, business expenses, etc. She was just coming in to pick up some bills.

And I envied her. A whole day to work on your budget? Wow. She is the master of her domain.

I'd heard mothers exclaim, "I wish I could just finish a thought!" It seemed a bit melodramatic to me at the time - geez, who can't finish a thought? But now I

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Of Potty Training and Preschool

I do not believe how many people take pictures of the insides of their refrigerators. I've received woefully few pics of refrigerators so far (I know, you're about to send yours in...), so I went searching on the 'net. A few pics of fridge doors, but mostly - the insides. Why? One completely beer-stocked fridge pretty much looks like the next. Although sometimes there are people inside which adds a bit of variety. But after page of alcohol-filled fridges. Jeez.

Here's my cover page. I still need photos of fridge doors, so send yours to

So we looked at our second preschool today. It was on a large parcel of land with a goat, a llama, a sheep and two ponies. They offer riding lessons and swimming lessons in the summer. I liked it quite a bit, BUT...all the kids are potty-trained. A. still sees no point in using the potty when he can just go in his diaper and not interrupt his activities. I tried putting Thomas the Tank Engine underwear on him last week. He peed and pooped in them and wasn't the least bothered by it. Didn't even tell us.

So he may not be able to go to that preschool. The other one does have a diaper classroom, and he'd stay in there until he masters elimination. It's more expensive, naturally. I always said I wouldn't worry about it or push it until he's 3. OK, that's coming up next month. We (by we, I mean he) sat on the potty and read books tonight, and he seemed OK with it, but nothing happened. I don't want it to become a power struggle, and from everything I've heard they'll do it when they're ready and not a minute sooner. As the child who has done everything last in his playgroup (crawl, talk, walk, use the big kid swings) and who was forced to be born under duress two weeks late, he definitely has his own timetable.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Send Me a Photo of Your Refrigerator

So I joined this digital circle journal group. A circle journal is where each person in the group decides on a theme for her journal, and sends it on to the next person, who is supposed to do a scrap layout or a collage on that theme. They then send it on to the next person, and so on, until it completes the circle and they get it back.

I did a paper circle journal and it was supposed to take 9 months but I just got mine back, 1.5 years later. Still, it's really cool and it now has 9 different layouts on the theme "Replenishing Your Spirit." Yeah, I stole it from Oprah. Sue me. I got to see how these women all over the country replenish their spirit.

So, this new one is a digital one which is nice because there's no chance my notebook will get stuck in Missouri and never make it back to me. The theme I've chosen is, "What's on Your Refrigerator?" because I always like to look at people's refrigerators when I enter their kitchens. It gives me a little peek into their life.

The problem is that my digital camera fried (big "pop!" a flash of light, and it's dead). So I'm supposed to start with an introduction page, but I can't take a picture of my own refrigerator because I don't have a camera right now. So if you'd send me yours to, I'll have some photos to explain the idea. Then I'll post the page I make, OK? I'd like a bunch so I can make a collage. And, I want to see what's on your refrigerator. C'mon, get going - what are you waiting for?

Busy Busy Busy

Phew. Big weekend. We had a shower yesterday for Big Niece, who is REALLY BIG Niece now - she looks full term and has 2 more months to go. She carries it very well, I must say, and looks fabulous. But big.

I turned into Crafty Gal and painted flower pots with polka dots in her baby colors and put light blue silk hydrangeas in them (she's having a boy) and tied brown organza ribbon around them. Then I made little tags, punched a star shape, ran a ribbon through them and tied them around teddy bear note pads for favors. I also wanted to make her a labor necklace, based on the Native American Blessingway ritual, where we all strung two beads on a necklace and said our wishes for her and the baby. Not a dry eye in the house. We're a weepy bunch anyway, but it was very touching.

And the baptism went as well as baptisms go, I think. Ben actually seemed to like the water being poured on his head. I'm always watching the kid so closely that I miss most of what the priest says, but I think he's Catholic now. The priest asked all the godparents to say a few words about their wishes for the child, which again was a rather weepy affair, but very sweet. G and I blamed each other for grabbing the video camera bag and forgetting to put the camera in it, but other people took lots of pictures. Good thing, since our camera also fried itself at the beach and went to the great darkroom in the sky.

Middle Sister's adopted daughter K was also baptized today, which was very sweet that they shared the ceremony. And we had the same Irish priest who baptized A. It was fun to hear him speak Spanish (it's a largely Latino denomination) in an Irish brogue. Middle Sister also almost forgot Big Nephew, who had fallen asleep on our couch. Everyone was loaded into the van, and she runs back in, so I think she forgot something, and watch her shaking something on the couch. Turns out to be her son, who staggered to his feet, said his goodbyes and climbed into the van. We would have found him eventually and mailed him back or something.

Then we had a whole bunch of people at our house and someone had really black soles and apparently a wooden leg which he/she dragged across the kitchen floor over and over. But we got lots of compliments on the food and Middle Sister brought her artichoke dip which is absolutely to die for.

Middle Sister said to A., who was watching over the distribution of his toys to the many children here today and being rather bossy, "You mom calls you The Enforcer, doesn't she?"

He replied, "No. She calls me in the afternoon and says, 'I have to go to the bathroom.' "

Thursday, August 04, 2005

My Summer Vacation


1. A. walking into my sister's kitchen and exclaiming, "Whew! I've had quite a day!" (I believe he was quoting from Dr. Seuss' The Sleep Book).

2. Being pelted with sand by the "gale force" winds at the Oregon Coast.

3. Not being able to talk to each other on our walk on the beach because we all had tissue stuffed in our ears. See #2.

4. Picking sand out of my baby's eyebrows.

5. Pouring sand out of my bra (note: I didn't even nurse on the beach. This is fine, evil sand that seeps through clothing).

6. Fried clam strips and beer at the Dory Cove.

7. A.'s song about the Dory Cove, sung to the tune of "Deck the Halls:"

"Dory Cove-y, Dory Cove-y, fa la la la la, la la la la."

sung for the enjoyment of everyone waiting for a table.

8. Getting a Columbia windbreaker at the outlet center for $20. Score!

We didn't do much else. We couldn't hang out at the beach, or outside, really, because of the pelting sand. We went to the outlet center several times. We ate out twice. We walked to tidepools once and saw starfish. We played a jelly belly game where you eat a random jelly belly and try to guess the flavor. Harder than it sounds. No internet access. Lots of naps.

It was good to have other people available to entertain Fussy Boy Ben. And the older cousins (and the cartoons they watched) were endlessly fascinating to A., so that was helpful too.

In other news:

Ben's getting baptized this weekend along with his cousin Kelly. Why should I hog all the good Catholic weirdness? He deserves as much Catholic guilt as his brother. And there's still that Limbo thing.

I'm watching "Being Bobby Brown" as I type. Wow. Oh yeah, no crack there. If there was ever a couple made for each other, though, there they are. The scary thing is that Bobby turns out to be the reasonable one. When I was a teenager, before her singing career, Whitney was a very popular model in Seventeen magazine. You know, she is still really pretty. Oh hey, there's a sweepstakes on the show's web site where I can win an ipod. I won a free diet coke yesterday, so maybe I'm on a lucky streak.

Xtreme Road Trip

San Francisco, CA: The award for Courage Shown By Parents of an Infant and a Toddler was presented to Lunasea and G after their grueling car trip with two small children. Event organizers reported that it was a very difficult decision, with several deserving finalists. What pushed the Lunasea household over the edge was their risky and, some would say, foolish, decision to drive the 13 hours from Lincoln City, OR to San Francisco in one day, in a fairly small car, with two cranky babies. During the drive, they performed the extremely dangerous maneuver Crawling Into the Backseat and Squeezing One's Bottom Into the Too-Small Space Between Car Seats While the Car Is in Motion not once but several times, previously only seen on Fear Factor: Parents. This activity requires intense concentration by the driver, extreme physical agility by the crawler and is also illegal.

Then they attempted to quiet a screaming infant and a shrieking toddler simultaneously. This feat was made more difficult by the Toddler Obstacle: Sticking One's Peanut Butter Bagel Right in the Middle of One's Face. They faced a formidable opponent in A., whose lung power is legendary and whose shrieking has been known to shatter glass. While cleaning peanut butter can be challenging under the best of circumstances (and Lunasea would like it to be knows that it was not her decision to give the toddler peanut butter in the car), it was made even more risky by the lack of mobility given to a parent squeezed into the Too-Small Space Between Car Seats.

Asked to what they attributed their success, Lunasea said, "We just kept going. We only stopped to nurse, to look at a fish ladder at a dam, and for Burger King. You have to get into the zone, use cruise control and just keep going."

G. added, "I'm just glad it's over."

Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Fast Hath Ended

I have some reflections on being without internet access for a week:

I really don't need to know the answer to almost every question within 30 seconds. I do just fine even if I don't find the answer. In fact, not running to the computer every time I wonder about some oddity helps me differentiate what's really important from what's just brain fluff. It also improves my imagination as I focus on the possiblities, instead of looking for the facts. And I don't need the computer for entertainment. There's entertainment all around me, in the clouds, in my children, in conversation.

HAH! Just kidding. God, I'm glad to see my computer again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Buon Viaggio!

So I'll be gone for about 10 days. Someone planned a "vacation" without internet access. I'll be spending 5 days at the Oregon coast with my in-laws recreating G's childhood vacations. This is the first time since G was little that his whole family has stayed in a house together for 5 days, so you know I'll have LOTS of material but no blog access. Sigh. G's very excited, though, and keeps telling A. how great it will be to stay at the beach and get crabs. (In a pail, to eat, you smart-asses). A. is afraid that his Thomas train is going to get all sandy. I've tried explaining that we're not actually going to be living on the sand with the crabs, but you know how 2-almost-3-year-olds are.

We're driving up, because Ben hates the car and we like to torture him, A. and ourselves.

G: "Hey, I think we're gonna rent bikes up there!"

Me: "Oh?" (thinking: there's a reason I haven't ridden a bike in 20 years - thank god I have a 4-month-old to get me out of this little adventure)

G: "Yeah, but my mom is afraid the kids are going to get hit, so we'll probably ride on the beach."

Me: "How is that going to work?"

G: "We'll ride down by the water, you know, where the sand is harder."

So if you're on the Oregon coast and see some people trying to ride bicycles on the sand and dodging waves, pulling kids in trailers, make sure to wave. I'll be the one sitting on the sand with a fussy baby, watching, taking pictures and wondering what e-mail I'm missing.

Oh, I wanted to relate this little conversation with the lady in the drive-thru box at KFC yesterday:

Me: "How big is the large size of macaroni and cheese?

KFC: "$2.79."

Me: "No, I mean how big is it? How much is in it? Like how many ounces?"

KFC: ::::pause::::: "It's twice as big as a small."

Me: "Oookaaay. How big is a small?"

KFC: ::::::longer pause:::::: "I don't know. It's smaller."

So I got a large, which is just about 2 cups. I'm guessing the small is about 1 cup. There was no one there that could've figured this out? ::::insert rant about what they're teaching today's youth here::::

So try not to be too funny while I'm gone, 'kay? I hate missing stuff.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Home Schooling

We were channel surfing this evening and we came across American Ballet Theater's "Swan Lake" on PBS. A. was entranced. He watched raptly, not even diverting his attention when the charismatically-challenged Caroline Kennedy came on to explain the plot. I saw this as a natural learning opportunity and told A:

"Did you know all those dancers poop and pee in the potty?"

Monday, July 11, 2005

And Another Thing...

Ben's taking an unusually long nap this morning, so I'm making the most of my two-handed freedom. You gotta read Corndog's riff on the headline "Scientists Use Computers to Simulate Terrorist Scenarios." I'm too inept to link to specific blog entries, so you're going to have to scroll down to Tuesday July 5th's entry. Or better yet, read your way down. Very funny stuff.

Giving People the Wrong Impression

A. is walking in a big circle around the family room with his right pointer finger up against his cheek, saying, "I not sure wass on. Seh-me Steet or Teletubbies or Payhouse di-ney? I not sure. I jus can't think."

Just so we're clear - I HAVE NEVER done this. I've answered "I'm not sure," when he asks me what's on TV before I try to distract him with another activity. And maybe I've said, "I can't think," to G. before, but I've NEVER walked around the family room in a circle with my finger against my cheek in bewilderment at the TV schedule, OK?

Pacifier Wars

We're having the pacifier wars here in the Lunasea household. It's Ben's mouth vs. Ben's hands. He's always been a super-sucker* and really, really likes his pacifier. However, he also has just enough coordination to pull his pacifier out of his mouth. What he hasn't gotten yet is the concept of cause and effect, or the skill of putting the pacifier back in his mouth. He gets really mad when the pacifier leaves his mouth and yells at me, his eyes saying, "Woman, why must you ruin my life so?"

I've told him, in my best wise voice, "If you want pacifier in mouth, it is most wise to not pull it out of mouth."

I replace the thing maybe 200 times a day. I tried putting spare pacifiers and various objects in his hands so they would be full, but he's able to loosen a finger, insert it into the pacifier handle, and pull. So then he's holding 2 pacifiers. Then he realizes that the pacifiers are close to his mouth but not inside, and does all kinds of head and neck contortions to get one of them back in. So far, he has been unsuccessful.

I've also tried taking the pacifier away and making him do with his fingers. Doesn't work - he knows the difference and is quite unsatisfied. When we're trying to go to sleep at night, I've tried putting him in a sort of headlock with my hand and wrist snugly over his chest and shoulder so he can't reach his mouth. Some people read Goodnight Moon as their bedtime ritual, we have a mother-son wrestling match.

I've tried nursing instead. He does the same thing by pushing my boob out of his mouth. I have one arm underneath his head, and my other arm alternates between keeping his legs on my lap (he likes to hurl himself off my lap in another fantastically self-sabotaging move), holding the enormous boob up (here come a bunch more Google hits), and holding his hands still so he doesn't push the boob out. I'm an avid breastfeeding advocate, but it's not exactly a relaxing, tranquil bonding experience with this little guy. It's more like lunch at a really chaotic cafeteria in a foreign country. Works for sustenance, but it's not exactly comforting.

G. points out that is a perfect metaphor for life - how many times do we blame our misfortunes on outside forces, when really we're the ones taking the pacifier out of our own mouths? Ah, more Life Lessons from Our Children. How touching.

*He can give me a good hickey in less than 3 seconds if he sucks on my arm. My rather limited experience tells me that's not normal even for a fully grown male.

Friday, July 08, 2005


Me and Ben. He does this very cute thing where he presses his cheek up against mine and grins into the mirror. Trying to get a picture of it isn't working too well.

According to A.:

  • "No, thank you." - A. on potty training.

  • A, about the animals gathered on the train table: "Dey having a con-ver-sa-tion."
    Me: "Oh, what are they talking about?"
    A: (pause) "Bout da con-ver-sa-tion."

    - A. being a proper child of therapists and making his animals process their communication styles.

  • "I'll be just a sec, OK?" - A., mimicking me.

  • "You say, 'Crap'?" - A. missing nothing after I've dumped half a box of cereal on the floor.

  • "Wow, what a mess." - A. a few moments later.

  • "SBS spider climbed up the water spout..."

    More Things that Make Me Cranky:

  • I hate stuffed animals that say "I love you!" How long does it take us to learn that we may love things, but they don't love us back?

  • Lady today at Quizno's, looking at Ben: "Wow, he's so beautiful he almost looks fake." Me: "Um, thanks." (Didn't really make me cranky but I don't know where else to put it).

  • More horrible children's books: G. actually threw "Carl Goes Shopping" away. Slacker parents leave the baby alone in a department store with a rottweiller. Rottweiller puts baby on his back and goes gallivanting around the store. They steal food and dog biscuits and become a liability nightmare. Maybe I'm hyper-sensitive because we've had several incidents of dogs mauling kids around here, but the pictures are so realistically drawn that there's no reason a kid wouldn't think their friendly neighbor rottweiller is a perfect babysitter. Or maybe I'm just jealous that I can't leave my babies with Carl.

  • I don't think I like the Doodlebops. I've given them a chance, and I'll watch them instead of Barney any day ('course, I'd watch pretty much anything short of a snuff movie over Barney). Still, I don't like the guys' manic energy. How long can they really keep it up? The male actors I knew in the theater world like Moe and Rooney ended up living fast, burning bright and going into rehab, if they were lucky. I find myself staring at them and thinking about them off-camera - wondering how long it takes to put on all that makeup, and if they light up when the cameras stop rolling. I never wonder those things about the Wiggles.

  • Found this press release:"The ultimate goal will be for the DoodleBops to explode into selective rock concert venues in November, which is a key family entertainment time period," says someone. Exploding DoodleBops in November! Don't say I didn't warn you!

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