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 home...country road...to 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 seriously....page after page of alcohol-filled fridges. Jeez.

Here's my cover page. I still need photos of fridge doors, so send yours to lunasea237@gmail.com.

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 lunasea237@gmail.com, 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."

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