Monday, December 25, 2006
I am not finding the time to post here from Pennsylvania; I am finding my family far too interesting and entertaining to have much time for that....besides chasing Bubbles around my brother's 15 room house.
I will post pictures soon - I could do it right now, actually having the technology at my fingertips, but another round of presents and another glass of wine are calling, so I claim laziness.
But the merriest, happiest to all.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
So, now that I have sent out most of my Christmukaholidaze cards (oh yes I did! first time since Elijah was alive - and it was that one of my babies on the beach in Kauai...sorry I digress)...I can share it with you!
'Mele Kalikimaka' is what we did not say on the card.
And I will not divulge the location; not under torture, not even under bribes of chocolate. But if you have some miles that you want to trade for information, let's talk.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The day that Bubbles is older than Elijah.
I thought I would have a lot to say about this.
But I do not.
Dh and I discussed this tonight, leading to mildly shocking results.
In that he thinks the time is so different; the time with Elijah is so incomparably different to the time with Bubbles - and there I enthusiastically agreed. Until I realized that he thought it so on the opposite side of my own impressions....
In that I think time is so different; the time with Elijah is so incomparably different than the time here with Bubbles - because he (Bubbles) has developed so fast, achieved so many milestones, it (the time with Bubbles) seems so much longer to me!
I mentioned these details to dh and he was quick to agree...up until the point of it feeling longer.
Can you imagine my surprise when he said it seemed shorter?!
Even when I said the unthinkable (which I am allowed to say), "Even if Bubbles died tomorrow, and then two plus years later we talked about it, you would still think it felt shorter with Bubbles than Elijah?!"
And he said, "Yes, I think so."
And for the same reasons. The same, exact reasons that I gave for it feeling longer.
Time is existence, and all existence is time.
What more can I say.
Monday, December 11, 2006
But I know her baby died. That is the only important detail. And I can only imagine her pain. Really. This mama got nine months to bond with her baby. To track his development, imagine what he looked like, anticipate his arrival, his existence, to feel him move, to love him. And then she was robbed of that most beautiful moment.
The first moment.
And the rest of it, too.
And her friend, her friend is a beautiful person who asked me what, if anything, she could do. She couldn't even ask those words. I just assumed that was what she was asking when she told me what happened. And, guess what? I don't have the right answer. All I can say is what helped me, and hope that some of it at least, will help this mama too. I am not sure if this was her first child, but I think he was. And yet who considers her a mama besides herself? I hope at least a few other people in her life can give her that hard earned acknowledgment.
But what I told her friend - who is strong and brave enough to want to help - was that these situations are very alike, but very different. Even if the details were more alike, our grief would likely be different. That said, I am still very 'in touch' with my grief, and although I sometimes wonder if I am stuck in 'the anger phase', I was more than willing to share what helped me in those raw first few months. This is not the first time I have been asked this question, either. When people seek me out to ask me what they might be able to say or do that could possibly help, I know right away that these are the best friends. These friends could even possibly save their bereaved friend's life.
When I mentioned that my sister-in-laws cleaned out almost all of Elijah's things from the house and packed them away in the garage, one friend was shocked. She thought it was cruel. I guess it could seem that way to some, but for me I could not look at any of my son's things without being reminded how 'dead' he was. So suddenly. I knew that someday I would want to see his pictures and hold his toys and smell his clothes. But not for months. I asked them to put his things away. I remember coming home from the hospital that morning after Elijah died and calling my friend to come and help me take down his crib. She did. It was excruciating. Excruciating does not even come close. I have yet to find a word that does.
After that, I asked that his things be put away, and not by me. I appreciated this help. It paralyzed me to think that I might have to touch it all and put it away myself.
I hope that someone will offer to put his things away and keep them very safe for her - if this is what she wants.
I hope that this mama has a picture of her baby, and I hope that when she is ready to look at it, someone will ask her to share that picture. It is not morbid or grotesque; it is the only photographic remembrance she has and will ever have of her child.
I hope that this mama was able to hold her baby for a long time if she wanted to. I hope that she was able to bathe her baby, and touch his toes and kiss his tiny fingers. I hope that she was able to cry and sing to him until she was ready. (you never are. never. but still you let them go.)
I hope that her friends will ask her about her time with him. I hope that she will talk about it with them soon. I think it helps. Her friends wanted to love that baby too; they are ready to share her tears and her pain. And her anger. Make plenty of room for that.
I hope that someone will offer to make a quilt for this mama out of the clothes and blankies that were meant for this baby. Most mamas will not want to use these in the future. But some will; the clothes will always hold some special significance.
I hope that her friends will call her nearly every day, just to check in. Just to say, "Hi, I was thinking about you and how is your day going, and 'crappy' is a totally acceptable answer."
Just to leave another message and say that she doesn't have to call you back, but you're just checking in, and you will call again later. She doesn't have to pick up. That isn't the point. The point is that she has a lifeline. I am not exaggerating when I say that this 'tactic' saved my life at least once, very likely twice. I had about three friends who called me constantly. For months, maybe a year. And when it had gone on too long without a response, they would ask for one. Just a quick check. But usually I talked. And cried. And sometimes I talked about my baby. And my anger. And they listened to it all. Whether I was talking or not.
Most of all, I wish for her some way of meandering through the following months just seeking some sort of peace, and not seeking 'normal'. I wish that I could speed up time for her; this really is the only concept (time) to which I can attribute any positive measures of healing and coping.
Losing a child feels like the biggest rip-off of your life. It is.
I am truly sorry for your loss. I can not even begin to imagine your pain. I know you have so much love you wanted to share.
I will be here for you.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
(No! We hadn't noticed. Perhaps we should take him to a doctor!)
He then told us that he would like to have him tested for a variety of ailments; and he had a sneaking suspicion that our son perhaps had something called Menkes Syndrome. He followed this up with, (and I am NOT kidding), "Now don't go home and look that up!" (Oh what a silly concern! That parents would want to know something about a fatal illness that a neurologist 'suspects' their child may have!)
And then he ordered some blood tests, scheduled an MRI of Elijah's brain (no small appointment - another full day at the hospital, sedation, stress, then more waiting), and sent us on our way. Hopefully to go home and do what we usually did - not look things up.
A few days later, we went back for the MRI. It was everything we had expected. It was not the first. We were told that the neurologist and radiologist would go over the results and we would get a call within the week. Meanwhile, we went to see another doctor over in Genetics. We had also waited months for this appointment. On the day of that appointment, I remember that we were so stressed, we could barely answer the med student's questions about Elijah. I finally just explained to her that we were incredibly stressed after this week of testing and was there any way possible that she could maybe find out if our son had Menkes (since we had not yet received a return call from neurology about the initial bloodwork) so we would know if we should even bother answering her questions or not? She was uncharacteristically nice and immediately got up and went to go check on the computer, which was apparently accessible to any doctor within the hospital. She came back with good news: Elijah did not have Menkes Syndrome. And she was very sorry that nobody had called us with the results that had come in days ago.
After dh and I hugged each other and Elijah, we were able to continue with Genetics, though they had no answers for us or our mystery baby. They commented that he was 'quite small'.
After the MRI, we anxiously awaited that phone call with the results. We knew that we would have a follow-up appointment with the neurologist in January, but we were hoping for some sort of results after the MRI was read. We were also getting ready to take our family on a much needed vacation in Kauai, and were hoping to have some 'closure' on the stress (I don't know what we were thinking!) before we left. I had been particularly overwhelmed with the overscheduling of doctors appointments, which was turning out to be a lot of output for no information in return, and in our personal lives I was sick and tired of hearing peoples' shocked reactions when I answered the question of how old was my baby. Even the doctors seemed to be overwhelmingly insensitive when greeting our family - can you imagine what it does to a baby and his two year old sister to constantly hear, "WOW! He is so small! What's wrong with him?"
Finally, the call from the nurse in the pediatric neurology office came. I answered the phone as I was packing diapers and bathing suits. She said, "We have the results from the MRI of Elijah's brain. The results are abnormal, and the doctor will explain this to you when he sees you in January."
My brain did a quick review:
It was November.
My child's brain was abnormal.
How? I did not know.
But I would find out in January.
Then I responded.
"You just told me that my son's brain is abnormal, and that you can't tell me how or why until I come back in January?"
"Yes, the brain is abnormal (note: 'the' brain. not 'his' brain). But the results are inconclusive. There is no diagnosis. So the doctor will explain it all to you at your follow-up appointment."
"Yes, well you know, that just isn't going to work for me. You need to have Dr. Asshat call me today. You don't tell a mother something like that and then tell them to wait until their next appointment!"
"Look, this is pediatric neurology. Any diagnosis is bad. Your child does not have a diagnosis. He does not have a brain tumor. I will ask Dr. Asshat to call you, but you are going to have to wait until your next appointment."
"YOU look, lady. If YOU are the person who DOES call those parents of the kids that have brain tumors, then your office has bigger problems than making parents wait. And I AM A MOTHER. I love my son and I just put him through a LOT of tests, and I am NOT going to wait two months to hear the results. Do you have any idea how long two months is to an eight month old baby? I suggest you have Dr. Asshat call me today by 6pm, or I am going to call you every single day until he does."
Did I mention before that nurses don't really like me?
The doctor (note the use of the word 'the' doctor instead of 'Dr. Asshat'- the way I de-personalized him there!) did call me back by 6pm that day. The results were inconclusive. Yet another doctor without a clue what was going on with our baby. His brain was not developing normally. He was found to have a small corpus callossum. And microcephaly. (the microcephaly Dx was later overruled by another doctor who felt that, since his head and brain were proportionally correct for the rest of his size (not age), he could not have microcephaly.)
"What could this mean for him?" I asked.
"There is no way of knowing," was the answer.
"Did this mean that he could die young?"
"There is no way of knowing. But no reason to believe so." he quickly added.
Isn't there anything that he could tell us with this knowledge of his brain development?
The simple answer given to me that day was, "No."
Months later, through my own research, I discovered that nearly all children with growth disorders have a small or abnormal corpus callossum, as this is where the pituitary is located. It was this discovery that finally got us a referral to Endocrinology.
In January, we went to our follow-up appointment with Dr. Asshat. We waited in his narrow office for a long time. Finally, he appeared, with a harried looking intern scurrying behind him. He took one look at Elijah, exclaimed, "Wow! Ten months, really? He's so small! I wonder if we should do an MRI on him?"
I nearly choked.
Then I glared at him. I said, "That is why we are here. You already did. Over two months ago. We are here for the results. I am sure it mentions that in the chart you are holding."
He glared at his assistant.
He looked embarrassed, mumbled something at us, and pushed his assistant out the door in front of him as they hurriedly exited.
We stared at each other in disbelief as we waited again in the narrow office.
After a few minutes, the intern came in to show us the MRI results. She showed us a MRI of a normal brain and then showed us the MRI of our son's brain, implying that, once we saw the difference, it would all be crystal clear to us. She pointed out the differences. She said that there was no diagnosis they could make from this MRI, other than the likely label of MR, as a result of the 'microcephaly'. What is MR? If you are a parent and you have never heard this, then aren't you lucky? It stands for mental retardation.
After she was done 'explaining' the MRI, The Doctor came back in and asked if we had any questions. I asked him all the same questions I had asked him on the phone two months before. His responses were the same. I asked him if we should come back again in a few months.
His hand was already on the doorknob when he turned around to face us, gave a royal wave with his hand, and replied with mock flourish, "My work here is done!"
That was fine with me, as I wanted to return there almost as much as I wanted to pluck my fingernails out. Also, we had already decided to stop allowing the doctors and people surrounding us to only focus on what Elijah could not do. We were well aware of what he could not do. But how about one goddamned person in his life focusing on what he could do? Well, we took on that role.
After the terrible phone call, before we took our beautiful children to Kauai, we decided that we had had enough. We were going to enjoy every aspect of our children, every special thing that made each of them different. And no more listening to doctors who had nothing to say.
The night before we got on the plane, I said to dh, "We are going on vacation. It's his vacation too, and I think we all need a break from hearing 'Ohmygod he's so SMALL!'. He is the size of a three month old, so we will lie. We tell people that he is three months old."
It was agreed.
When we boarded the plane, the flight attendant took one look at the blue-eyed cherub in my arms, and proffered the typical greeting, "Oh...how old is he?"
"Three months!" I answered quickly.
"Ooooohhhhhhh....he is adorable! What a precious baby! Look at those cheeks! Oh Lynn- come and look at this baby!"
That was the first time in his eight months of life that a stranger had greeted him that way. My eyes met with dh's, and we both got a bit watery.
What had we done? We had already allowed the world to shit on him because we weren't jaded enough to be dishonest.
We never were honest about his age again. And for the rest of his life, in those situations, he got what he had missed for the first eight months of his life: all that extra lovin.
added note: It should be mentioned that I sent a scathing letter about this doctor which may or may not have intiated the survey that was then conducted among his patients. He is no longer working there.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Well, I guess we're done with that one.
So. I am the owner of a new XPS notebook. AHEM. I have no idea what all that means, but I do know that it is more excitement than I require, and will probably buy months of renewable awe from a person like me. Me, the 'owner'.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
As stated before, I am tired.
And the problem with being tired and blogging, is that it is hard. For me. Because before NaBloPoMo, I didn't write very much when so freaking tired. But I made this contractual obligation with myself, you see. And I was determined not to break it. Even if I type gibberish, which, upon looking back over the month of posts, apparently I felt at liberty to do. And again, here.
But the real crux (nice word, that) of the problem with being tired and blogging, is that I don't usually feel compelled to write and share something every single day. Some do.
Some things I write about are easy. Cupcakes are easy. Other things that I write about, I think about for a day or two. Or more. Like many who blog, I assume.
But the following 'Love Thursday' words? I wish I had more time to form them, to tell you more from my heart what I mean. But I am tired. And I am a slave to the contractual obligation to self.
Today I was working with a woman I do not know very well, but I do admire and respect her; she has years of working with babies and mamas, toddlers and parents. Between the classes, we were chatting, and it came to pass that I mentioned Bubbles was not my second child, but I had had another son. The statistics were quick to follow of course: Elijah, 13mos 11days, two and a half years ago, myriad of undiagnosable delays, undiagnosed growth disorder, mystery baby, very sweet, very interactive, died from....well, bronchitis. And tracheomalacia (if they're still listening). Yes, it is hard. Yes, our whole family still suffers. Umm....yes, and...umm...this little guy on my lap, Bubbles, see him? Well, yes, he is just what our family needed.
And her response was shocked and sweet and kindly and maternal and then she said,
"It must be easier though, now?"
"Easier?" I glanced at Bubbles. And at her. (?)
"Well, easier not to have to deal with all umm...that. all those...issues...I guess. Easier that way."
I said, "Well, it is my family's history. It just is. And the healing is a lifelong process."
I don't think I answered her question, but you know what? It was a stupid question. I have come to learn (and someday perhaps will accept) that people often say stupid things. Nice people, too. Stupid, stupid, stupid-ass things.
So I got over myself and was fine for the rest of the presentation. (Until later in the day when I was stuck on an entrance ramp with my car alarm going off every time I touched anything but that is really another story!)
But let me share something with you - to any of you who are left reading after the month of posting whether I had something to say or not - My son's death was not relief for me in any way. I did not feel released from his needs - I felt lost and without purpose for years.
His death was not and has not ever been anything grateful in our family. No, I don't sit around thinking, 'thank goodness we don't have to deal with a wheelchair!' Sometimes I sit around calculating how old he would be (3.8yrs, can you believe it?).
I have never, ever felt that my life was better because of his death. Honestly, I did worry often about who would take care of him if we died before he did. The thought would make me worried, scared, sad....and then angry at the world for shitting on him for being different.
But never did I feel that his death was a blessing. Some think that way. I do not.
If anything, and let me be perfectly, crystal clear about this, when you are the parent of a child who has more needs, different needs, special needs, quite often the response is to love that child just a little bit more than your other children (whom you would never, ever compare in the same realm). Because he needs you more. You bet he does. What with the world shitting on him and all. So don't be fooled into believing that some child's death was a 'blessing' or 'relief' for the family, just because he was living a different kind of life than yours.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
Bubbles is a friend of Leelo's.
He likes to carry around the 'O-balloflove' and some socks.
Enjoys: baths, a good joke, sharing a vanilla milkshake, sandy blankets, eating cats.
Turn ons: breasts, oatmeal, outside, noise.
Turn offs: denial of breasts, oatmeal, outside, noise.
Most reliable personality trait:
Most likely to: Snuddle (think snuggle+cuddle)
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Anyway, by the afternoon, my across-the-street neighbor, Annie Sanders wanted to come check out my booty and I was all too happy to show it off. While I was busy in the living room playing with Suntan TuesdayTaylor, Annie Sanders, was off entertaining herself with 'the head' at the kitchen table - the only place make-up would be allowed in this house, young lady.
Except that when I wandered into the breakfast room to find her, what I found was my beloved head, covered in warpaint-like make-up...ummm....gulp...that was fine, she was certainly washable, right? Except, and here is where it got ugly, the little tray of creamy make-ups, the blue, the pink, the purple and even the black, all of the make-up that I would surely be allowed to own - ever - in my childhood (I was correct) were all gone. Gone. Gouged and scraped from their tiny tray until barely a trace of each color remained.
I remember that I first asked her why she did that? I mean sure, she was only eight, capable of doing far more stupid things than a nine year old like me, but why? Why, Annie, why? I thought you knew how I excited I was to get this. And play makeup with you! And sneak makeup on each other instead of the head! But you ruined that. Because you are STUPID and DUMB and you ARE TOTALLY SMELLY AND I HATE YOU. GO HOME NOW!
Well, yeah, Annie Sanders did go straight home, I went straight to my room, and I never saw that head again. The present that never was, boohoo. My stylist career was over before it even had a chance to bloom.
My friend, The Boss of Seattle, has a great Christmas toy story too...
She got a Baby Alive. (That lucky bitch, because my mom would not get it for me after the urban legend(?) of the Baby Alive being found with maggots inside of her.)
If I have to even remind you, Baby Alive was the doll that ate the sugary gel you fixed for her and then pooped it out.
(Ohgod, I think I am a bit in shock because when I just searched for that doll link, I discovered that Baby Alive has been revived. From the dead. Scary.)
Anyway, The Boss got her Baby Alive and played with it so much that the batteries were dead by New Years.
The Boss came home from school her first day back and found that her mom had put Baby Alive in a shoe box. She questioned her mom, who looked at The Boss (who was then called Julie) and sang her a melodic little song:
Baby Dead, cold and blue
She can't eat and she can't poo
And, as The Boss still indignantly declares, "She thought it was funny!"
Well, she has every right to be indignant. But I have to admit, just typing that little song made me snort out loud. I am a bit sick.
Do you have a toy story?
Saturday, November 25, 2006
My dear friend (known as OBfriend on this blog) who I encouraged to start her own blog and I met at a great park. And these other moms, who blog, who I wanted to meet, were going to the same park. But it wasn't planned, really. It was just sort of mentioned. Then it happened.
I am tired, and I am overwhelmed by the prolific amounts of actual real things that crafty people can create. And I mean that in a good way, as in 'in awe'. I am lucky that I have friends that quilt and sew, because my children have keepsakes that I could not possibly create. I have inherited the same gene that cruelly prevented my sister and myself from being allowed to enroll in the first grade brownie troop: that inability to sew. My mom told my sister that she could not join the brownies, because she (my mom) refused to sew and therefore could not help her with that badge (or, the sewing on of badges). And that she could join the girl scouts when she (my sister) was old enough to sew her own darn badges, etc. And the same stood for me, five years later. End. Of. Discussion.
Anyway, I got to meet the lovely Michelle and her very fast four year old and her six month old toddler. (oooh - Michelle - you really should meet Amanda! She also has a six month old toddler!)
Also, the beautifully, radiantly, 36 week pregnant Sara, as well as her pig-tailed preschooler, Kaia. And another mama, and I am not sure if she blogs or if I can use her name. She was also quite nice.
By the way...my son dumped and played with an entire box of most certainly overpriced organic vegetable crackers. We do not normally endorse this sort of behavior in our homes. Who owned the crackers? I totally owe you some beer. Or crackers.
Soooo, meeting these lovely women and feeling shadowed in their creative presence was....well, it was super! They did not judge me (did they?), and it is my hope that I can befriend these lovely women and their children (or bribe them with cupcakes if I need to) and they will teach me their ways.
Okay, not so much the sewing ways, but the knitting ways.
Did you know that Sara told me that she will teach me how to dye pre-hemmed playsilks (there will be no sewing involved!) with koolaid in a microwave? Yes, these women are smart.
Okay, maybe they will just agree to meet me at Kelly's Bakery and be my friend.
And then with the knitting.
Anyone out there wanna teach me guitar?
Friday, November 24, 2006
Her first entry came home with this note from the teacher:
This is a very descriptive story.
I can really hear your fear.
Your pictures look like real black widows.
I am scared of black widows.
They can bite you very hard.
They can climb all over you and bite you if they feel like being fierce.
Their poison can kill you if you are small and I am small.
They are creepy.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
My daughter, the super.
My son, the one who is alive.
My son, the one who is dead.
The 406 days that I had with Elijah.
The 406 gifts that Elijah gave me.
I am still alive to raise my children.
The health of my family.
Memories of my father.
My family, in blood and in law.
Oceana Blue Banana - the best of all the great neurotic cats.
Breasts, and their generous nutritional miracle.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I was listening for him to wake up any minute (never, ever does he sleep longer than 60 minutes) and heard a bit of rustling. When I came upstairs, I found him with a small collection of bedside water bottles and a New Yorker magazine.
Seriously checking out some gallery opening in SoHo, no doubt. Of NUDES!
The boy is not even 13 months old.
Okay, in his defense, the page was opened to one of those stiff card-insert ads, which is what the cartoons are. The cartoons which are on the opposite page from the one over which my son is drooling.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Okay, now that that's out of the way.
After Elijah was born, my friends really thinned out. It is probably fair to say this was for many reasons. Like, for one, nobody in their intellectual or empathic mind could possibly understand, unless they were living it, what it was like to be parenting a child who had special needs - not dealing with the child so much as the diagnosis...or lack thereof...and the endless parade of doctors...and the membership of this new parenting club you never voluntarily joined. And that can be quite isolating in itself. Then there is just the basic reality of the fact that you have no more time to socialize, what with all the OT and PT and EI appointments... And then there are the other ones. The ones who just don't call - well, they didn't know what to say...as they tell you this apologetically when they finally do call or run into you at the farmers market.
After Elijah died, my friends really thinned out. I guess it would be fair to say that this was also for many reasons, but-
hey - fuck that. Fuck FAIR. My child died. So fuck off with the fair.
Oh. Sorry - got carried away.
Anyway, rest assured, the good friends were there for me, supporting me and calling me every day to make sure I was still breathing. Which is why I am still alive. Really. But today is not their day. (sorry, good ones.)
I have a friend; a friend I still love, a dear soulmate-at-one-point-in-your-life type of friend, and I am sad for the great distance between us. I mean that in all ways possible.
About four months after Elijah died, I heard from this friend. I'll call her AJ.
I had been back from our fleeing-to-maui trip just about long enough for me to have run into every single person I knew in town who asked me where my baby was. And long enough for Supergirl to have begun preschool, where again I dreaded each well-intentioned platitude that was stuttered in my direction. But handled with
But once home, oh did these platitudes make me seethe. What stupidity! You would not even believe what people say to a bereaved mother. Or maybe you would because I now realize that people only say these things because they are parroting what they think is appropriate to say in the awful situation (which means that death is handled very poorly in our culture, in my opinion), and do so without thinking a whit about it.
But I would spend my time coming up with nasty little comebacks in my head for each of the most abused platitudes, some to be used, but most were not.
For instance, the 'He's in god's arms now' used to set me off on a 'what about MY arms? what about MY EMPTY ARMS' tyrade. And the whole 'God never gives you more than you can handle' - well, 'How the hell do YOU know what I can handle? Did you see me on the edge of the cliff last Tuesday?'
And you wouldn't even believe the crap I endured (involving 'better places' and 'angels') from FAMILY. Well-intentioned, but really. 'Better place'?? 'FOR THE BEST'?? Just because he was 'DIFFERENT'???
Don't get me started. That's another Tuesday - there are many to come.
ANYWAY, this friend, Oh yeah -AJ- called me. Months later. Which is fine. She was a good friend - it would be okay and we would pick up where we left off - just like always, right?
We were talking for a few minutes before I lapsed into my 'can I just tell you what is SO LAME about people' shpiel. A theme that had been batted back and forth between us and repeated for years (nearly decades), but now taking the 'can I tell you what crap I hear about my son's death' twist. A conversation that can never really be anticipated in any relationship, you know? I went on for a while...and a while longer....and longer...and there was very little response on the other end. I felt awkward. I felt lost. Umm..AJ? Don't you think this is crazy? Weird, huh? Can you believe that?
Finally, she responded. Maybe it was a fair response. Maybe I really was going off.
She said, "Well, I just don't really know what to say to you. I mean, you are going off about how stupid things are said to you all the time by other people. And I just don't want to say something stupid. Something that you'll tell someone else is stupid."
I was really surprised.
I tried to come up with a way to tell her that I wasn't talking about my friends, I was talking about other random people. And acquaintances. Why would I talk to my friend about dissing my friend? Or some fumbling thing like that.
But the conversation ended soon after that. I couldn't say anything without her worrying about how I might take her response, so it wasn't really a conversation then.
Ironically, this is a person who demands a very high standard of political-correctness in the people that surround her and work with her.
I haven't really made sense of it all. It just bothered me.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Who's all done? Don't tell me just so I can mock you for being anal and all.
I am trying to have the 'no-plastic-Christmas'. I know we will get it, I am just trying not to give any more to the kids. I am sick of it. There are too many pieces of colorful plastic crap in my house and I don't like how it looks, I don't like the smell, and I don't even like they way they sound when they click and clunk together.
I have recently tried to separate the plastic toys into the toy shelves and baskets (and a fair share into the garage!) that are upstairs , where there is a bit more room. Downstairs is tiny, and I have a large, closed basket of select mixed toys, and then a few more open baskets of wooden animal figures, wooden memory tiles (which serve equally well for building), the favorite velvet birthday gnomies, some silks. These are the items that Supergirl and Bubbles can play with (or dump) freely, and the ones I have to put away at least 5-10 times a day, rather than the 'once over' in the evening that the upstairs gets.
The way that these 'pleasant' toys are played with makes a parent happy. They inspire the most fantastical scenes in the smallest and most simple spaces. The best present I ever got for Supergirl was her own set of silks - the same scarves I use in music class for dancing. These silks have been used for: costumes, capes, lakes and mountains, stepping stones, butterflies, treasure wrappers, tents...the possibilities really are endless.
There is a HUGE difference in my attitude and generally improved aesthetic when I am picking up the pleasant 'waldorf-y' toys, than when I am scooping up the mounds of clackety colorful meaningless plastic crap (to which my children are attached. or not.).
When I finally listened to sensitive me, I heard what
Don't BUY any more plastic crap! Get RID of much of your plastic crap! and, PARE DOWN and surround yourself with nice and pleasant.
So, Bubbles is getting nothing plastic from us, other than the fleece footy pajamas he so desperately needs.
He IS, however, getting some lovely additions to his gnome-land. He loves his little velvety gnome set, and they are to be joined with some friends and their lovely nesting homes.
If he is lucky, they may bring some more friends and more homes.
I have been ordering my music/dancing silks and my 'pleasant' toys from dear Sonya over at AToyGarden.com for a few years now. She has lightning-fast shipping, high-quality toys, and the best customer service of any webshop to which I have ever been a regular. And she paid me nothing to say any of that. I just want to help you find the best deals on the most lovely toys...just like I want for my own bank account and my own children!
Supergirl is also getting as little plastic as possible...for a five year old girl! She is getting some of these lovely dolls that have cloth and wire articulated bodies. They do have plastic heads, but even so, they have glass eyes and gentle detail. And no Barbie proportions. They do have many puppies, which is another of Supergirl's current obsessions. She will also get more high quality art supplies. Another 'best gift we ever gave her' was the beeswax crayons! These last longer than any other crayons, and once you see the colors they produce, you will want to hide all your other crayons away, just to see the artwork that pours out of these amazing crayons. Yes. Crayons, amazing. Really.
So, what are your children getting for christmas this year?
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Wow. Okay, I think I am done for a moment. But THIS? A handful of THE most shockingly pure and sincere chocolate high I have ever had?
It has me all crazy with hard core chocolate goodness. And all warm with love and gratitude for dear, dear, Minnie. Who has captured my heart not just with her radiant pregnant-ness (you just feel grumpy, dear) but also her dedication to chocolate and the many forms in which it can be ingested. And her holiness-by-proxy of living in the vicinity of St. Scharffenberger's Church of Chocolate. And her fondness for nibs.
Oh, the nibs. Nibs are essentially bits of pure roasted cacao beans. I myself splurged on a box of nibs very recently, when they were placed too close to the unbleached cupcake liners at the fancy grocery store for me to refuse. Not sure what I would actually do with the nibs, I warned my family away from them and hid them on the top shelf (why do I hide things that have to do with baking? my family does not know their value or intend to create enough alchemy to find out!).
But when I read what Minnie had done with her nibs I squealed with internet glee and she sent me the recipe:
Carmelized Cocoa Nibs
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups nibs
1/2 cup granulated cane sugar
put nibs and sugar in meduium heavy-bottomed pan use high heat and
stir vigorously with wooden spoon. as it cooks it will smoke. when
just a few specks of sugar remain unmelted remove from heat and stir
scrape the mixture onto a baking liner or pan lined with parchment
paper. let cool and then devour as you see fit.
And today was the day.
Upon opening the lovely box, the contents revealed a bag labeled, simply: CHOCOLATE. What an understatement!
Because I am cheap, and because my best heavy-bottomed pan is small not medium, and because I was nervous that I would wreck the whole box on the first try, I only made half of this recipe (and used half the box of nibs).
When the nibs started to heat up, the first thing I noticed was the smell, the heavenly smell. It's what Peet's smells like to a coffee lover on a cold rainy day, but the chocolate lover's version.
I did stir vigorously, and did manage not to burn the precious nibs. When it came time to 'remove from heat and stir in butter', I held myself back and did what it said. Which was difficult for me, as I believe in a generous application of butter when baking, but I stuck to my 1/2 tsp (for the 1/2 recipe). Right as I spread the nibs out on my silicone baking sheet to cool, the baby woke up from his nap....otherwise I think I would have spread them out a bit thinner.
This minor problem was solved by placing the 'nib brittle' in a paper bag and gently crushing with Nana's old wooden rolling pin.
Then there was the issue of how to consume the nibs, beyond the obvious method of, well, consuming them.
I decided they would be the perfect topping for my bittersweet tofu mousse. So,
And yes, they are a quite lovely combination.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
As with many five year old girls, she also is very 'in' to drawing. She drew herself through half a ream of paper when we were in Hawaii; the girl was constantly moving or drawing. Now that the weather has its inclement moments, she has been productive enough to prompt this mama into desperately searching for a portfolio in which to deposit it all (literally, it can cover every surface after a good 2 hour drawing binge).
Combining these two current events, a recent favorite drawing featured a friendly monster with many well articulated teeth.
The drawing was left on the table to be admired, which it was, and during a phone call in which I was distracting a lap-baby, I absent-mindedly let Bubbles color on a piece of paper in front of me. I was just happy that he was not eating the crayon. So I let him go on coloring. On the piece of paper in front of me. That was the backside of the monster picture. But who knew?
Later, Supergirl noticed this.
"Mama. Someone scribbled on the back of my picture."
"Mmmmhmmm, yes well I believe it was Bubbles when he was in my lap. I let him have the crayon." I was ready to get apologetic if I needed to, but I was going to feel this one out to see if I could get off with a mild infraction.
"You mean that was Bubbles? Who drew on my picture? Who made that drawing?"
"Well, technically the back of your picture, but yes. Bubbles."
And then Supergirl turned and crowed at her brother:
"Bubbles! You made a picture with a crayon!! You are such a clever baby! You are the cleverest, best baby, aren't you? Yes you are! You are the little artist baby! What a good little boy!"
And my heart grew. Can you believe it?
Friday, November 17, 2006
THIS is something that makes me passionately angry.
A woman was allegedly asked to leave a Delta plane before it took off, because she refused to cover up her 22 month old nursing child with a blanket.
Yes, I am serious.
The Boss of Seattle called Delta to complain and was told by a woman who answered, "Well, she was offered a blanket and refused." At which point The Boss went off on her just a teeny bit and suggested what kind of madness had taken over her brain to assume that a baby wants to be covered up while dining!
Please feel free to write to Delta or call them. I am sure they would love to hear from you!
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Now I smell a little funny, but I feel like a new woman. With nice jello-like milk-filled breasts. Not hot searing rocks of pain that cause me to wince when someone comes close to them or (ACK!) wants to latch on to them! Unfortunately, Bubbles is not deterred by the cabbagey garnish - I was secretly hoping he would share his mama's aversion to cabbage and that this may provide an opportunity for night weaning. Sigh. It is not to be.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Please be a friend to Leelo and get his OT center what they NEED for Christmas!
Squid and her family thank you.
I think I have the flu, if the aching legs and back and puffy eyes and chills are any indicaton.
I hate the flu. I hate it for more than your average reasons, too. Not just because it SUCKS. Two days before Elijah died, I had the flu. The kind of flu that you dare not go near an already sick baby. The kind of flu where you dare not leave the bathroom and the cold bathroom floor appears inviting. The kind of flu where your hair follicles hurt because they are growing too fast.
In my very real memory, and in my reality, that was one entire day and night that I missed holding him. 48 hours before he died.
So I hate the flu; it makes me depressed and teary. And today, driving past Elijah's beach, I just had a meltdown. Even though Bubbles was in the car.
I hate the flu.
7pm update: the flu appears to be a feverish case of mastitis. which disguises itself as the flu. until the breasts turn into - owww - let's not talk about it, shall we?
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Yes, it is still a cell phone charger.
Thank you, Amalah for the inspiration, or should I say I totally pinched your dramatic headline. Though you appear to be done with it.
I know this was supposed to be about letting go of the grudge. Shut your gob, it was my idea in the first place so it can be whatever I want it to be.
Monday, November 13, 2006
"You know, Mr. Bubbles, you don't need to scream when you want more. You could just ask. Look, at this age your sister could already sign at least 4 words."
No, see that's what I am talking about. Look. Look at me - see, this is the sign for more. Look - watch Mama - see? Just do this! Not screaming!"
Okay, well, that will also be fine.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
All you who raved about the food? May we all please take a quiet moment to praise costco? Seriously. I do not think I have ever, EVER done such an easy meal that then turned out incredibly, edibly good. And I do mean those two things connected. I have had easier meals, and I have had more delicious meals, but this one was embarrassingly simple for the payoff. How simple?
Well, perhaps if I had not underestimated the amount of frosting and time needed to engineer the horizontal separation and then the frosting and 'decorating' of a vanilla bean cake baked in a giant roasting pan - with a baby on my hip - and then become immensely behind in the rest of the kitchen duties, it may have been a bit more simple. Oy.
But really, previously I have had very lucky potlucks, or very labor intensive food prep on my part. But I sold out completely this time to more pre-made meal assistance than ever in my party history (except for the cake. never the cake.) and had some exquisite additions from friends, and we had a great meal. In my 'how much work did I do and how much fun can I have' hostess kind of review of 'a great meal', of course.
Costco, thank you for the blue cheese pecan dip, which appears to be made primarily out of 4 deliciously high fat ingredients (mayo, sour cream, blue cheese, pecans...you really had to wonder?). Next time I may cave to your processing fees and buy your vegetable tray as well, but TJ's has all the same veggies, but organic. But I forgive you because your pre-marinated turkey breast was perfect with TJ's box-o-stuffing and pretty damn easy to cook, too. Which matters when the cook also wants to make and drink lemon drops. Oh wow. mmmm. I will share my recipe for lemon drops later. And I do have a secret! When I am running out of posting ideas, grudges and love later in November.
Did you know that costco sells gravy?
I had such a great time because the food part was so easy! Thanks to the friends who brought mashed potatoes, bean salad, shrimp platter, cheese and bread, lox...etc...it made the menu that much more varied.
The weather never cleared up enough to dry things out and hang out outside with a fire, and I was terrified of the impact the kids would have on the supergirl's teenytiny bedroom adjacent to our bedroom/family room/full of more toys room (house is small.) - but they were amazingly subdued for hours with a game of stuffed-animal-chucking (and I thought those things were useless), and just when things started to reach critical mass (there were about 12 of them), my dear sainted friend, blessed Juju showed up with her face paints and balloons and took the banshee right out of them!
Bubbles' current favorite foods are the ones I made everyone eat for dinner. His favorite things to do are go to music class with me when I teach, or to rock out on the vast array of instruments we have for him here at home. For the ceremonial singing of the birthday song, I passed out maraca eggs for everyone to sing a 'cha-cha-cha' version. The effect was quite festive.
Bubbles again loved his yummy vanilla cake and was feeling generous enough to share.
After the cake, we had a jam session with kids and adults, which was a dream
He stayed up way past his bedtime.. rockin' out and drumming with the gang, then climbing quietly into his uncle's lap and contentedly watching the rest of us play and dance around him as his eyelids grew heavier and I eventually carried him off to bed. I love that kid.
So, it was a smashing success, as you can see.
My favorite moments?
#1 My baby feeding me cake.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
BUT, I don't have time today.
In about five hours, 20-30 people (who knows? who rsvpees??) are going to descend on my house for a birthday party for the Bubbles. A real 'party party', you know? Did I mention it was raining? Did I mention how small my house is?
Anyway, a party. With adults and alcohol. For a one year old.
And I have to get cooking. Because here is the menu:
Veggies and blue cheese pecan dip
Kid food – goldfish, olives, cheese, etc
Tofu pasta salad
White cake w/vanilla bean buttercream and raspberries
Later - pictures of cake!
Friday, November 10, 2006
And...then 'one' is so bold as to brag - to 'one's' said still present-less wife - about what a great deal he found on 'this incredible70's vintage tube stereo! !!! !!!!!' on craigsbigfatfreakinglist, for the cash price of - well, let's just say, the price of a super duper used laptop -
Well, then 'one' cannot really expect his wife to share in his excitement or tolerate his pouting about him not understanding her lack of excitement.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
I remember more about the therapist part than the hypno- part. But that's because I really needed to talk to someone who could then put the nasty details into a more mystical conceptualization for me. And that really did help. I think. I am quite sure that it helped just because the woman - who spent hours and hours of time with me in our two 'one-hour' sessions - was so incredibly patient, kind, intuitive, experienced. And I was incredibly wobbly.
One thing I do remember very clearly during our session was when she asked me to imagine my unborn child and Supergirl playing together.
But I couldn't envision my unborn child (Bubbles) playing with Supergirl.
How could I - all I could do was rub that belly and imagine a blank slate. Nothing more.
And when asked to picture my children playing together, all I could picture was Elijah and Supergirl together. Snuggling in Kauai. Snuggling in the bed at home. Snuggling. Swimming. Playing. In a subdued sort of way.
And then that goddamned ~poof~!~ again...oh, he's dead. Kinda blew that hypno-moment.
I tried, I really tried. I wanted so badly to be able to imagine my children - my children, plural, as siblings - playing together. Growing together. Snuggling together. Fighting together. Loving together.
But I could not. I could not do it without the fear.
I am still afraid to have those moments where I glance into the future and I see the two of them playing, romping, growing, snuggling, arguing, loving....
But I do have them.
Because I am living them every day now. Every day, when Supergirl asks when Bubbles will wake up because she misses him. And when they rock out on the instruments while I make dinner. And when she cries because he has gone to bed without a proper kiss goodnight. And when they play 'Boo' in the car. Yes, outrageously ordinary stuff like that.
And I cannot believe my good fortune.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Today I went to a meeting for the pre-girl scouts group - the daisies. It was actually a meeting for the parents of the intended daughters of the intended club to hear about the daisies and the daisy mission and when, where, how, etc. The girls all ran around playing in the school playground while we followed our handouts with the intended leader. Very closely. Very, very closely.
Before I have my little say, I have to say, I have mixed feelings about this. I may have to revisit this issue
a few times over and over in our lives.
I had agreed to go, because the woman who is starting this troop is a friend of mine – from a baby group era kind of friend – though our lives could not be different. When I mentioned to dh my reluctance in going to this, starting this whole business already, he said he had absolutely no problem with me bailing completely, because he did have a problem with the whole scouts thing in general. And starting Supergirl in that club. He suggested I tell them that I am gay, and that on principle, we could not participate. I figured the god thing alone would probably cover that, but just in case, it was a good thing to remember.
When I picked Supergirl up from school, I had run there late, after swooping a barely awake baby into the jogger, only to have him poop immediately and then deal with that and then finally barreling down there, I was one of the last mommies. I was still somewhat discombobulated, and just gathered all of her many school items, and turned the stroller back around. But luckily, the leader had come out to check and see where I was, and caught me just in time. So I did go back to the playground for the meeting. And there were many of the moms from my original mommy-babies-mountain group and a few others, so I stayed. But right away I said that dh completely opposed this for Supergirl because he his gay. Of course one mom had to go and point out that one of the Brownies has two moms. Busted.
When I sat down, my friend Diane was next to me (phew) and she confided that she herself had been asked to leave the girls scouts and never come back. I wanted to ask her why, but the meeting was begun. Ahem.
I admit, I was skeptical at first, but after the meeting I was pretty convinced. I thought it could possibly maybe be an opportunity to have fun with friends, make crafts, get exposed to charity on a group level, etc. And maybe all of that is true. But after painstakingly going over the sets of goals, trying to swallow and reinvent the mission statement, glancing at the pages and pages of registration and permission and donation forms, and after hearing at the very least four times (in twenty minutes) that we would need to remind our daughters that this was a meeting and not a playdate (I understand her mission in saying so, but really – four times?!), and then the discussion about the uniform that got a bit out of hand…well, I had to do some thinking. Because I couldn’t just slink out of there – I know everyone.
I am grateful to the mom who sat across from me - the mom I barely know - who said, "Well, this 'promise to serve God and my country' thing is going to present an obvious problem."
I nodded, but it seemed that some of the moms didn't think that the problem was obvious.
She added, "I don't mean to sound subversive here, but couldn't we change some of the words? Like just say 'support my community'?"
Still, a few nods, but nobody said anything.
I said, "I appreciate you bringing that up - I find it an issue as well - and a rather unnecessary one for this age group. What if we had them pledge 'I promise to serve my family and community' if they have to say anything - at least that is relevant!"
Some nods, some squirms, not much else was said.
The leader decided on "I promise to serve my community and my country".
I figured any more I said at that point was a waste of their time, because - Oh! The meeting days were always on my teaching day. Truly.
Then there was a little discussion about the uniforms, one in which most of the moms were wanting to play it very low key, low budget, this is for one year sort of thing, and one or two moms really wanted to go all out on the digs. As part of 'fitting in with a group and a comraderie ' sort of thing, but it smacked of clique-erie to me.
All the while, Supergirl maintained her steady trot and jump-roping pace around the playground, never once stopping to ask what we were doing there today.
Finally there was a lull. Nobody else had any questions when asked, so I finally asked what I had been dying to know.
"I have a question. I want to know what it was Diane did that got her kicked out of girl scouts when she was a little girl?" Was I the only one that wondered?
Turns out that she and her sister talked too much. Their rigid leader asked them to leave. Forever. In one of those ironic funny tangents that I adore, when I was about the same age, I got suspended from ballet for goofing around and talking too much! The ironic part is that Diane is Supergirl's ballet teacher, so it was funny to tell her.
My verdict for now is that I am going to treat this whole thing the same way I treated dicksney princesses and large-breasted plastic dolls: I will pretend I have no idea until she herself shows an interest in such things. And then I will revisit it with her in a real and respectful and investigative way. Because why on earth would I want to sign her up for something that appears to be more for my agenda, but it really isn't my agenda at all?!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
This is an easy one. However, this is NOT one of those grudges that will be dissolved by exposing it. Here are just a few of my political grudges (really, I don't have all day):
The Corporate Party
Human Rights Violations
Lies, Lies, Lies
Uterine Rights Wars
Unconstitutional Invasion of Privacy
Karl Rove Karl Rove Karl Rove
The Policy of Victimization
War, War, War
Feel free to add to my list!
I hope you have done your research and know what you are doing before marking your ballot! I will leave you to your own devices, but cannot refrain from making a couple of 'gentle' suggestions here (in CA):
NO NO NO on 85 ~ NONONONONONONONONONO
NO NO NO on 90 ~ NONONONONONONONONONO
Now here is my message of hope:
GO VOTE OUT THE MOFOS!
Monday, November 06, 2006
It was very sweet, the way they put it together: Each child said what they liked to play and then drew a picture of that, so each 'index card' says something like, "Call Emma if you like to play dress-up." or, "Call Zack if you like to play on monkey bars." and, "Call Supergirl if you like to play Narnia." (that was predictable)
My favorite is the drawing that was done by the sweet little girl who is the daughter of a veterinarian.
"Call Amy if you like to throw animals up in trees."
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Let me begin by saying I am not a material girl. I am not fond of jewelry, I hate bling, and I am pretty resourceful. Don't get me wrong - I love my 500TC sheets. But I only need one set. I would rather explore new places or lie on an old familiar beach in Hawaii than accumulate things.
This good nature and lack of interest in THINGS has been taken advantage of in the past by dh. And you know what I mean.
Dh is not a shopper and he is not a good planner. So of course it has worked out well for him that I am not counting on 'things' around those general gift-giving times.
In the course of our lives together, I have asked him specifically for one gift: the Elph I love and use frequently. That is ONE gift in over SIX YEARS.
I, on the other hand, do enjoy shopping, and have given dh some killer gifts over the years. Someone was lucky enough to get a video Ipod, just after it was unveiled, for his happy christmas!
I knew enough to give ample notice to him to make it really easy when he wondered what on earth to get me for my fortieth birthday.
My two year old computer is about as reliable as a two year old human. Dh has an obsession with acquiring files and files of movies. Never to be deleted. On my computer. By default, 'my computer' has become 'the family entertainment system' because it sits on our kitchen table and I have no private office. This means that there are frequently arguments over who gets to use the computer. For instance, if I go upstairs to put Bubbles down for a nap, dh puts on a movie for Supergirl. On the computer. But when Bubbles falls asleep, that is mama's only time to work. On the computer. So then I interrupt the movie and take back my mouse, and sometimes Supergirl has a fit and Bubbles wakes up. And then I get very very pissed. OR, the sheer volume of files he has loaded down on the hard drive, is constantly shutting the computer down. While I am in the middle of writing or working. You get the picture.
Also, back in July, I asked dh if I might please borrow his laptop for BlogHer. He said NO! No, because it was 'his whole life, and if anything happened to it...' Well, I just don't like being treated like a five year old. Couldn't use his precious laptop? We had one big can-of-whoopass fight that night!
So, although dh is a techie, I am not. I asked for a simple solution to all that forced sharing: get me a very basic, non-flashy, used, cheap laptop/notebook to use when I have time to work, rather than constantly fighting for access to 'my' computer. I suggested the ubiquitous Craigslist, reminded him that nothing fancy was needed, and made my wishes known. And then in August I reminded him again. And again in late August, and then once more in September before we left for Hawaii. I even said, "Don't blow this. You need to get me a present this birthday. I am turning forty."
His sister called him from Pittsburgh to tell him, "Don't blow this. You better get her a nice gift. REALLY."
I would like to point out, that I was not asking for a laptop as a luxury item. I was merely trying to minimize the fights over the computer and streamline my work hours.
SO....around came my birthday, and out to dinner we went. We went to a 'highly recommended for it's child-friendliness AND good food' restaurant. The kids were incredibly well-behaved, and the food was uncharacteristically good for Hawaii dining.
And then dh handed me a card. And was holding in his hand a small plastic bag. I read the card; it was sweet and thoughtful. And then he presented me with the bag. He also provided this disclaimer, "This is not your present - it's just a part of your present."
I opened the bag, and pulled out a cell-phone charger. What?! Yes, a cell phone charger.
I looked at him strangely. Was this a joke?
He then went on to say, "I am going to get you a new phone! One with a camera! But they are cheaper if you get them with a plan. So we will just do that."
I blinked. And again.
I swallowed. Hard.
I said slowly, "Let me get this straight. You just gave me a cell phone charger for a cell phone that I don't want, we don't have cell coverage where we live, I don't have it on 75% of my commute, but you want me to get a PLAN? I don't want a $40 per month plan. I pay per minute and pay only about $15 per month, because I can never even USE the phone!"
He responded, slightly embarrassed since we were, after all, in a restaurant, and I was not exactly whispering. Well, what was he thinking making some presentation out of giving me a fucking unwrapped cell phone charger in public? Did he want a big kiss? "Well, I didn't know you only pay that much."
I was incredulous, as it was all sinking in.
"You just gave me a cell phone charger and the best thing you could come up with for my FORTIETH BIRTHDAY was a present that I HAVE TO PAY FOR EVERY MONTH???"
And here is where it got special:
"Well, I was going to help you pay for it."
Wow. Wow. HELP. me. pay. for. it.
My birthday present.
My fortieth birthday present.
Help me pay for it....
I gave him the charger and said, "That is pathetic. Try again. I cannot believe you would do that to me."
And he mumbled something about going to 'Plan B' but he would have to order it, mumble mumble.
And I said, "No you don't need to order it. You get it on Craigslist like I told you two months ago."
Then we enjoyed the rest of our dinner, cake and all, with the children being lovely and me giving him narrowed-brow looks. And feeling pissed. And materialistic. Because I was so disappointed.
Later that night, dh discovers that a horrible, insidious worm has infected his laptop, locking him out as administrator, and disabling his every necessary action to continue working to his deadline. He spends hours trying to de-worm the patient, to no avail. He tells me this late on my birthday night, the blue light of the pool flickering behind him as he nervously runs his hands over his perspiring head - this is serious, and his job could be on the line.
But timing is everything, and he should know that too.
So I say, "Wow. That totally sucks. Because if you had gotten me what I asked for for my birthday, now we would have a back-up. Because we would have another laptop. And here's the thing: I would probably even have let you use it."
Watching karma in action. That was my birthday present.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
I am, however, taking the kiddos and going to visit a friend in the burbs for the night. A college roommate calibre of friend, dig? That might help. That, a handful of halloween candy and a big glass of wine. Maybe three. Or it won't help at all and life might still suck as we know it today.
So, this is what you get when I commit to posting every single day, whether I feel like
And this. Pictures of my baby in a chicken costume. Because babies dressed like chickens are funny.
Friday, November 03, 2006
And ~ ~ ~ poof! ~ ~ ~ the words were gone!
Not too long ago, I was making another absolutely necessary stop at the Trader Joe*s in downtown Santa Cruz. My friend (the Boss of Seattle) was visiting and we were shopping for dinner, extolling the virtues of what a child-friendly town this is, how much there is to do with children here, how lucky (am I) to live here!
We gathered up our mass of children (totalling five) and the groceries and made for the parking lot. Julia had a car there but all the kids wanted to ride in my van (because it is just so cool), so we loaded them in with the groceries. Predictably, the baby started to fuss. Because, as most parents know, the engine must be running and the car must be in motion in order to bribe a baby into being strapped into a restraining bucket.
So I hurriedly began checking the seatbelts, closing the doors. Meanwhile, a car pulled into the space in front of mine and its driver began ranting at me, gesturing, etc. It was difficult to hear him over the ramping up of the baby's fuss and my increasing need to put the key into the ignition immediately. But he solved that by getting in my face.
Apparently he was upset over the shopping cart. The one that was in the (ample) space between my front passenger side bumper and the parking space next to me. He shouted, "What is WRONG with you LADY? You can't put a cart away? JESUS are you so RUDE (!) and insensitive that you can't put a fucking grocery cart away?"
I looked at the cart, and back at him, and said, "Well, I am not going to leave a carload of LIVE CHILDREN here just to put back a grocery cart. Really. Just back off. It is fine there."
And he continued to make me his mission of the day by steadfastly maintaining his diatribe,
"What if someone else wants to park there? You people are so goddam rude!"
I wasn't sure what he meant by that, but a young woman had pulled into the space in question, so I tapped on her window. "Is this cart in your way?"
She was talking on her cell phone - she glanced at the cart, shook her head and smiled.
I looked smugly at Angry Guy and said loudly, "SEE? IT'S FINE, JUST FINE! EVERYTHING IS OKAY!" and started to get into the van. He continued shouting at me.
Finally I just said ,"Listen dude, I don't know where you think you are, but this is SANTA CRUZ! Just CHILL! You need to mellow out!"
Well, this didn't help, because he started shrieking, "I am FROM HERE! YOU PEOPLE are just ruining everyone else's scene! I am FROM HERE! This is MY HOME!"
Wow. It finally dawned on me what he was trying to say. My people and I were somehow wrecking this guy's scene. In the parking lot.
I couldn't stand it any longer, I took the bait.
"WHAT people would you be talking about, angry guy?"
"YOU BREEDERS! YOU FUCKING BREEDERS!"
Well, he's got me there. On both counts.
I am a fucking breeder. That is a well known fact.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
There were cupcakes. Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream. Yum.
It was Bubbles' first cupcake, but he did quite well. Once he got over the gobs of frosting, he ate the cake like an apple. He actually managed to ingest most of the cupcake, which leads me to believe he has been totally leading us on with his 'small appetite'. Ha.
I am going to start putting everything I give him in muffin or cupcake form. HaHA!