Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween: No going back now!

Tonight was Supergirl's first time trick-or-treating. I actually managed to keep it all hidden from her until last year when she came home from preschool asking, "What is this trickytreat and candy thing?" So, I had to come clean, and I was going to take her last year, but I went into labor instead, thus wrecking the plan.
Supergirl, not yet having any accurate concept of time, asked if we could do it 'next Halloween' and I of course agreed. So, tonight we went with some very special friends (The Big Girls!) to a posh development where the houses are close enough together to score the big booty for those seasoned trick-or-treaters. On the way over, Supergirl was heard saying, "Well, I don't know if I will like trick-or-treating, because I have never done it before."
It was explained simply to her:
You dress up. You go to houses. They give you candy.
"Oh!" she said, "I would like that!"

......And she did!
She kept up with The Big Girls throughout the whole development, tripping along in her way-too-long Lucy Pevensie outfit, me trailing behind with a strollered fluffy sleeping chicken.
On the way home, I gave her my flashlight to examine her booty, and she couldn't believe her eyes !
"Mama! I have thwee short licowishes, and five lollies!! Those are my best kinds!"
Of course, I was only interested in her chocolate, which is apparently only her third best kind!
She had her one treat and fell asleep as soon as we got home - what a dream!

Oooooohhh - I just stuck my head in her candy bag. For all the wholesome snacks and desperately trying to restrict sugar regimes we mothers undertake....does anyone else get off on that nostalgic smell of a halloween bag? That choco-cherry, bubblegummy, processed with peanuts, slightly minty with a hint of plastic smell?
Well, I just smelled it and it was nearly as complex as the pinot I am polishing off with my pilfered kitkat!

Grudge Tuesday: An Anniversary Story

Dear Labor,
Are you shocked that I remembered our anniversary?
How I love to catch you off-guard!
I bet you thought you were extra spooky, creeping in on Halloween last year, but I was not surprised, if you remember.
I wanted to send you a special anniversary note to let you know that we won't be seeing each other anymore. Really, I am completely and utterly over it with you. If you are smart (and this is unquestionably my core issue with you - you are not!), or if you don't want your sorry ass kicked (really, I have access to drugs that can and will knock you flat), you will take that as a very clear message to never ever come around me or my little family again.
Before we part forever, though, I need to get a grudge off my chest:

Why do you hurt so fucking bad?

Really. Why do you find the need to make your presence so staggeringly painful? Does it fill you with glee to know that women across the globe, from the beginning of time, have feared you so? Because I just think it is completely unnecessary. Overkill. Too dramatic, too much, you know what I mean? It wouldn't hurt you (mind the pun) to tone it down a bit, back off. Not that you'd listen to me - after what - 60 million years? - why start now?
But really, since I am getting myself out of this predictable relationship for good, I have no problem just laying it down for you:

You suck. You are nobody's friend when you act like that.

Do you have any idea how many more people would love to invite you into their homes and offer you tea and sweeties and warm herbal baths with soft background music if you just would stop tormenting your hosts?
Do you??

Even my husband has less-than-fond memories of you, and you hardly invaded his 'space' in the same way! He thinks your whole act is completely overstated. And he most definitely does not want to see you again. Seriously.
Anyway, I know I will probably have to brush shoulders with you again socially, at which point I will politely grind a piece of high-grit sandpaper between my teeth, just to pretend that you don't bother me.
But when we do meet again? And when you show your true colors and get all abusive and vile on some friend of mine? Well, you better brush up on your nastiest, most profane insults, compadre, or bring your earplugs, because I will unleash my unusually long and well-practiced invective on you, you nasty motherfucking motherfucker, but you already know that, don't you?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Your mother was right about this one!

My friend Diane was talking to the substitute teacher when I walked Supergirl into her classroom this morning.
"Umm, Sam's eye is a little strange today. He had a pirate patch over it on Saturday at the carnival - just for about an hour, really - but now it's crossed."
I look at another mom, Jen, and we get wide-eyed, stifle giggles. We are terrible people.
Substitute says, "Oh, yes I can help him with that. I know some exercises. I guess now you know not to put a pirate patch on him."
We look at each other again, this time starting to tremble. Why is this so funny?
Diane replies, "Yes, we called the doctor and Sam should be fine. He just keeps running into things today."
'snort!' -We are terrible, awful, rotten parents. It is not funny that Sam is running into things. Even if Sam is our friend and we know he would appreciate our juvenile sense of humor, this is not funny. Stop laughing! We are evil.
Then Diane (who shares Sam's great sense of humor) turns to us (we who poorly mask our giggles) and says, "I mean, sure our moms warned us about making faces and then our faces freezing like that, but who believed her?"

Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhahahahahahahahahahahahaha, the sweet release of acceptable hilarity!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday - I feel me some of the love

Dear Romany Malco
I love your ass you.
Thank you for listening.

PS ~ Please tell Conrad to get himself the HELL outta town fast! And please tell Nancy that I totally want her wardrobe when she is busted.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Grudge Tuesday

I used to throw a solstice party that rocked the mountain every June. One of the most important events at those parties was The Grudge Fire. An old pagan ritual that we adopted at the first party, the premise is simple: You burn your grudges and let go of them as a purification for the coming year. The actual process is somewhat more complicated: You would write the grudge in red ink on white paper, smear it with honey (to sweeten its passage), fold it and then toss into the fire. Then you would repeat a chant, and if you were brave enough (or pissed off enough, depending on the grudge), you would jump over the fire as it burned. We haven't done the Solstice party or The Grudge Fire since Elijah died - the timing was just too soon, too wrong. So guess what? The Grudges have been piling up. Since I believe firmly in this, I also believe that the exercise of writing it usually does a pretty good job of 'burning' it. Also, really, how can I feel the love on Thursday, if I can't bitch on Tuesday. That's my logic today, and I have had way too much coffee for you to go picking any arguments.
After Elijah died I pretty much wanted to die move away flee.So we asked everyone we knew if they knew anyone who would put us up cheap for a month in a vacation home. I had done a lot of giving in my past, but not too much asking, so I was suprised at the kindness of strangers who offered their homes in places like Orcas Island and Maui. We went to Maui for a month, the worst month of my entire life, and were generously hosted by a friend's incredibly sweet, brilliant, and witty aunt and uncle. Most of that trip is a blur to me, snippets of memories of sobbing in bed, impossibly and inappropriately beautiful sunsets, an inordinate amount of driving around (and around and around, it is an island), and tons of water immersion therapy (underwater screaming). So even the memory that has created this grudge has clearly been influenced by my stark view of life at that point. And a dash of anger.
Our hosts in Maui lived next door to his (the uncle's) brother and sister in law. We had been there over a week and had not yet met them. Their grandchildren were visiting and splashing hellos from the pool up to Supergirl, who desperately wanted to play with them. Dh suggested we get together with them, and our hosts thought it would be fun for the children as well. Another few days went by without a reply. Dh and our hosts planned a 4th of July bbq, and Dh again suggested that the brother and his family come over - and that would be a perfect time to meet the kids and let them swim together (in our hosts' pool), and again our hosts agreed.
Finally, on the morning of the 4th, Supergirl was told she would finally get to meet the kids, oh joy of joys! Later that day, before any wienies were roasted or watermelon sliced, our host embarrassedly pulled Dh aside. It seems that there was a story of substance that we needed to know about. About forty years before, the sister in law had given birth to premature twin girls. They both died within days. A horrible, indisputably sad story. The problem, it seemed, was that she (next door) knew why we were there. She knew that our one year old child had just died, and she was very concerned that I would talk about our loss. Or talk about Elijah at all. Because she did not want to have to be subjected to my pain, thus causing her pain to resurface (?). So would we mind, please, not talking at all about Elijah, his death, or why we were not home right now?
Can you just feel how uncomfortable Dh was as he had to then deliver that news to ME? I took it pretty well. I only made one or two snide remarks and then settled on feeling so sad for her that she still could not acknowledge her own loss, forty years later. I decided that would not be me. And of course I agreed to censor my conversation, for Supergirl's sake at the very least.
The kids hit it off and had a great afternoon. The mama of the grandchildren was very nice, and we also connected. She was pregnant with her third child and I know this is going to sound shocking, but the subject of pregnancies came up. At one memorable point in our conversation, I said something like, "Oh, my second pregnancy was completely different from my first!"I had slipped. But the comment did not slip by unnoticed. There was an audible pause in the conversation behind us, followed by a sigh, then they haltingly went back to their own topic. I could tell by the mama's reaction that she already knew, but by then the heat of embarrassment had crept up my neck. And the rest of the afternoon I was so nervous. And anxious. And worried that I had hurt someone's feelings.
My son had just died, 7 weeks before that, and I had to feel ashamed for saying 'the wrong thing'.

Goodbye, grudge. Don't come back.

I'm in

Sunday, October 22, 2006

In which I use an extremely clever acronym

Dear Breastfeeding Ignorant Traumatized Child Holder;

Please come back to my class so you can read this when you walk in the door:

Would you nurse him in the park?
Would you nurse him in the dark?
Would you nurse him with a Boppy?
And when your boobs are feeling floppy?

I would nurse him in the park,
I would nurse him in the dark.
I’d nurse with or without a Boppy.
Floppy boobs will never stop me.

Can you nurse with your seat belt on?
Can you nurse from dusk till dawn?
Though he may pinch me, bite me, pull,
I will nurse him `till he’s full!

Can you nurse and make some soup?
Can you nurse and feed the group?
It makes him healthy strong and smart,
Mommy’s milk is the best start!

Would you nurse him at the game?
Would you nurse him in the rain?
In front of those who dare complain?
I would nurse him at the game.
I would nurse him in the rain.

As for those who protest lactation,
I have the perfect explanation.
Mommy’s milk is tailor made
It’s the perfect food, you need no aid.

Some may scoff and some may wriggle,
Avert their eyes or even giggle.
To those who can be cruel and rude,
Remind them breast’s the perfect food!

I would never scoff or giggle,
Roll my eyes or even wiggle!
I would not be so crass or crude,
I KNOW that this milk’s the perfect food!

We make the amount we need
The perfect temp for every feed.
There’s no compare to milk from breast-
The perfect food, above the rest.

Those sweet nursing smiles are oh so sweet,
Mommy’s milk is such a treat.
Human milk just can’t be beat.

I will nurse, in any case,
On the street or in your face.
I will not let my baby cry,
I’ll meet his needs, I’ll always try.
It’s not about what’s good for you,
It’s best for babies, through and through.

I will nurse him in my home,
I will nurse him when I roam.
Leave me be lads and ma’am.
I will nurse him, Mom I am.

Thanks to Jen for the poem.
All boobies bodies are beautiful!


If you are 11 months old and you are sick, this is how it might go if you live at my house:


Did you take his temperature? I think he does have a fever.


Okay, where is the thermometer?


I don't see either one.

#*%!#!*+#@*!!! I'LL GET THEM MYSELF!!

Calm down, it's just a bug. Like what Supergirl had.


He is strong and healthy. He is not weak. He is not going to die from bronchitis.


And the decision was made to send Supergirl off on a playdate, lest she witness more maniacal screaming by her emotionally unstable mama.
Another ten bucks for the therapy jar.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Love Thursday

I couldn't decide to blog about the ridiculous birthday story I still haven't spilled, or to write about how incredible waves of sadness washed over me as I passed Elijah's beach yesterday, which is something I do every time I drive an hour up the coast to go to work.

Then I checked in on Jen and remembered it was 'Love Thursday'. I don't like to be too committed to schedules you know, so don't expect any regularity on my part. But it did help clarify what I wanted to say today.

As Bubbles approaches his first birthday (!), he also approaches the oldest age Elijah ever reached (13mos,11days). Why is that significant? HellifIknow. They don't cover what is a 'normal' grief reaction in those damn baby books. But it is significant, as was the day I realized he had been gone longer than he was alive, and the days I should have been baking him cakes - those days were also significant. And the first time Bubbles sat up unassisted or said 'Mama', or reached some other milestone that Elijah never did - those were somehow connected to Elijah and also significant in a way for which I have yet to find the words.
I know that Bubbles is not Elijah, of course I do. And yet, for me, somehow these two baby experiences are undoubtedly linked. Should it be significant that right now Bubbles has bronchitis, the last Dx given to Elijah before he died? Well, if making your mama more worried and slightly crazier than her usual jello-solid self counts as significant, then the answer is YES! Overwhelmingly, HELLYES! And usually, when I pass Elijah's beach on my way to sing happy music, Bubbles is in the car with me and I tell him, "This is Elijah's beach. Elijah was your brother. Hi, Elijah!" (the 'Hi' part is what Supergirl always says. I stole it).
So yesterday when Bubbles stayed home sick with dh, it felt a little a lot more lonely driving by Elijah's beach.
We knew when we decided to have another baby that part of the reason was because we had so much love for another child in our family, and my arms were too empty. Which is exactly what I would tell any asshat who ventured into the 'don't try and replace a baby' territory after Elijah died.
Well what I am bumbling around trying to say, is that, much in the same way as when you expand your family with another child and your love grows exponentially to accommodate that child, that growth never ever shrinks. So when Bubbles was born, my arms were again filled with baby, and my heart grew again to fit in all the swelling love I have for him.
And the emptiness that sometimes overwhelms me, the emptiness that resides in the stretched-out space of my heart that grew when Elijah was born....what it really is, is love. Because that love will never go away, and I am coming to understand that.

I love you, Elijah.

Forever is such a long time.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Little Miss Split Personality

Mama! Did you order my Halloween costume? Did it come in the mail yet?

Hmmm? Oh yes, ordered, no it's not here yet.

Oooooo I can't waaaait!
Oh! Mama! Mama!

Hmmm? Yes, sweetie?

When we go back east it will be snowy like Narnia, and I can be Lucy Pevensie for Christmas, too!

(ed/mama note: this decision was welcomed with much rejoicing as it replaced her earlier fervor to be cinderella! imho, lucy is a much better choice for a heroine!)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sick Leave

If you are five years old and you are sick enough to stay home from school but still well enough to complain about it, this is what you might get to do at my house:
Eat Ask for tofutti crepes with strawberry sauce - no dairy for that nasty bronchial cough. Take one bite.
Take a warm bath.
Play Don't Break the Ice 6 times (the baby can not eat the pieces).
Make pictures with cool Halloween stickers that your mom bought at Target. Whine about how you hate your pictures.
Watch the latest season of Charlie and Lola.
Eat a marshmallow.
And sparkling apple juice.
Make fresh homemade playdough - color of your choice, and oh how lovely warm playdough feels on a cloudy, grey, stay-home-sick-day.
Beg for sugar and dairy products - receive and consume bag of dried mango.
Watch more DVDs because your mom is putting the baby down and totally just doesn't care anymore how many videos you watch.
Make ghosties with your mama and whine about how it is not fair that your ghost isn't as 'nice'.
Cut snowflakes while your mama catches the scraps before the baby who loves paper eats them.
Not get in trouble for leaving paper scraps where the baby can eat them.
Make chocolate cupcakes with mama.
Lick spoons.
Watch oven.
Eat chocolate cupcake.
Whine for another one.
Demand Ask for Refuse to eat matzoh ball soup.
Beg for a vanilla milkshake.
Scream "I want GRAVY!" until your mama figures out that you really mean dairy.
Watch Mama roll her eyes, bite her lip, sigh a lot.
Take another bath.
Negotiate how many books you can have read to you.
Go to sleep.

(listen, did you hear the sound of mama opening the wine bottle?)

Friday, October 13, 2006

CALIFORNIA civil code, section 43.3

I am so angry right now I can barely see the keyboard. Perhaps, like driving, I should put blogging off while feeling so emotional. Or I have another idea - perhaps you could share my outrage and join in my indignance!
In my working life, part of my job is to teach happy music and dance classes to small tykes, who are accompanied by their parents. The happy music part is why I did not teach for a long time after Elijah died. Singing happy music to other kids right after my kid died was not very happy.
So now I have thrown myself back in to that arena for the last seven months - sometimes the music is happy, and sometimes it is silly, and sometimes it is hard for the teacher who remembers singing a lullaby to a baby that is now gone, and it is tearful.
But never before has it been raunchy!
Today I was asked to meet with a director at the rec center where I teach, as a parent had withdrawn from class dissatisfied. Of course I wanted to hear why - I am not above improvement and was hoping for some constructive criticism about me or one of my teachers. I was told that the parent had withdrawn her son from MY class, after her son was (AND I QUOTE) "traumatized by seeing the teacher's boobies". And apparently, according to this mother, her son also ran around the house in a trauma-induced stupor, chanting 'teacher boobies, teacher boobies' all week.
Oh sure - have a laugh and then compose yourself, because this is hardly funny.
Translation: Her 3 year old son witnessed my son breastfeeding during the lullaby at the end of class.
The director went on to inform me, that while she of course wanted to hear 'my side' of 'the incident', she had already discussed this with the supervisor and they 'decided' that I 'can no longer breastfeed in class'.
And that is when the shit hit the fan. First thing I did was whip one out to feed the little man, who was feeling my angst and feeling a bit peckish. And then I looked her in the eye and said, "No."
"No?" was her quick echo.
"No. As in 'No, I will not stop breastfeeding my child in class'. I am inflexible about that. Period."
And then the conversation went on, with me explaining how I had worn a nursing shirt and a nursing bra, and the physical impossibility of unhooking both sides at once. And she exclaimed, "Oh - I didn't know you had a bra on! I just had to follow up on the complaint!"
At which point I just went jaw-agape and asked her why we were having this conversation, as I was confused why I was having to even explain to this woman that I was wearing a bra! And the full impact of being told by two women that I 'could not breastfeed' in this public place was starting to hit me. And I was not happy.
I am - on an airplane or in a restaurant - a militant breastfeeder. Five years ago, a man across the aisle from me on the plane we were sharing suggested that I nurse 'back there in one of the empty rows'. I told him to go ahead and move back there since he was obviously uncomfortable (as he stared at my breast). But when I am teaching I try to maintain some sort of sensitivity toward the masses. I purchased ugly nursing clothes to try and make the baby happy and still be discreet as all eyes were turned toward me. Do I care if they see me nursing? No. But they may not want a full frontal. So I try and make the breastfeeding discreet. Because that's just the kind of person I am.
For the record, the complaining mom also claimed that she was concerned that having my own child in class could potentially distract me from teaching, neglecting to mention that my own child has a nanny in class who takes him out as needed and that he was not even in class until the very end last week (accompanied by said nanny). So she has some issues with fabrication, as well as 'boobies'. And also for the record, my children acknowledge them as 'breasts'.
Upon returning home I felt compelled to send the director and supervisor an email expressing how disappointed I was in her support of a prejudiced position, and added the following content:

Cal. Civil Code § 43.3 (1997) allows a mother to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present. (AB 157)

Also, when I got home, I took off my shirt and my bra, danced around flappin for awhile, then asked my baby if he wanted some nasty sexy mama boobie juice.
Because that's just the kind of person I am.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

What else is not fair today?

Life as we know it may be over, unless by some miracle, Santa Cruz can supply me with a replacement. Which is where I will go as soon as the baby wakes from his eerily sound sleep.
And I need a replacement white noise machine, not life - just to make that clear. Yes, since a certain little peanut slept so soundly on an airplane five long years ago, we decided then and there that our family would all learn to sleep to the sound of the roar of jet engines. It also was a great solution to having babies and larger children together in our tiny house and not having to maintain an hour of silence while one of them slept. Now we are all addicted, especially Bubbles, who will wake instantly if it is turned off (who did it? i will kill them!).
And it died. After five years of faithful service, wherein I lovingly and desperately replaced adaptor after adaptor, then batteries that sent me into a shameful ecological spiral (more batteries).
And yet, now my baby sleeps soundly. Why? Why does he sleep while deprived of all that comforting roar of slumberland? Because I have the radio turned up really loud.
To static.
Oh help me, Santa Cruz.

What's not Fair Today?

That when it is your turn to be sharing day at kindergarten, you can't share everything. Just one thing.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fun with food and mermaids

Look what kind of fun you can have when your parents take you to Hawaii and let you run around nakey and play with the cocktail accoutrements. And a rice cake.

Her life doesn't suck.

Monday, October 09, 2006



Back to work. Full force. With baby in tow, which sure adds to the fun but HELL it complicates things!
Five year old who throws screaming fits about socks and waistbands and breakfast (won't eat it) EVERY SINGLE MORNING before school and our family is so traumatized and tired of it.
Yes, we are all having a bit of adjustment period. I can speak emphatically for my own PHSD (post-Hawaii-sadness-disorder). Boohoo for me, I know.
But so much to blog about and no time or access to full time brain cells.
Because, as I may have mentioned before, MY BABY DOES NOT LIKE TO SLEEP. This includes napping for more than 30 minutes or sleeping at night for more than ONE HOUR at a time. Yes, I have an eleven month old who still wakes up hourly for a little rendezvous with the boobs. And, because I am a terrible parent who continually caves to her skinny (yes! just ask the pediatrician!) bleating baby, it continues to happen.
My baby has taught himself to cry pitifully, "Nononighnigh, nononighnigh!" And yes, I am serious.
And yet, in all other ways possible, he is perfect. Really. I would go into details more right now if I wasn't so sure he is going to wake up in the next seven minutes!
I have so much more work to do in Hawaii, I feel I did not investigate thoroughly enough and must go back ASAP. Since I have one kick-ass letter to write to a certain airline who totally owes me some cash or new tickets after that little fiasco, heh?, hopefully that will happen very soon. As I explained to Supergirl's school, relocating takes a lot of investigation and contemplation. And visits to Hawaii.
I had a blog-iversary and didn't even notice. Well hurrah for me.
I have a very entertaining birthday story to share. At least that is the way I have come to look at it.
I swam with more naia and honu than I could count.
But ah - he stirs!
For now, I leave you with this: