Thursday, November 30, 2006

love thursday confession

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.


Supergirl, 2 yrs, Elijah, 8 mos.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I am tired.
My baby 13 month old DOES. NOT. SLEEP.
And neither do I, and I am tred.
I am tire.
i am tird.
i m tried.
i am torrid.
i am tired.

So there.
There is my po, NaBloMo.

Only one more day til the gibberish may cease.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Grudge Tuesday: 69 days

Birthday Present Watch:Day 69
Necklace or noose?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Bubbles is a Friend of Leelo's

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: fickleness JOY
Most likely to: Snuddle (think snuggle+cuddle)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Toy Stories

When I was nine years old, I got a barbie glamour head for Christmas. After begging for a full year,my parents Santa finally caved and gave me the hideous thing, no doubt hoping that I would get the 'I want to be a make up artist and a hairdresser' itch out of me by glamourizing a plastic head to my heart's content.
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

In which I vow to become more productive

I had the pleasure today of having a playground meeting of mommies. Who are bloggers. Which was sort of planned and sort of spontaneous. CRAZY!
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 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

Supergirl's Story: A Work of Nonfiction

Supergirl has a journal - in her kindergarten, when they bring home a writing 'prompt', the teacher asks that the parents write the words for the children, so they can focus on the flow of sentences and descriptive words; lock into the creativity of writing at an early age, which I love. LOVE.
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.
Great job!

Supergirl's story:

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

Simple Gifts

In which I declare for whom and what I am thankful (the short list):

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.
My mother.
Memories of my father.
My family, in blood and in law.
My friends.
Oceana Blue Banana - the best of all the great neurotic cats.
Breasts, and their generous nutritional miracle.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


When the baby woke up from his nap (on the big bed) it was eerily quiet.
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

Grudge Tuesday

Disclaimer: I realized that a good many of my grudges are set in the PESD (Post Elijah Stress Disorder) time frame. So, as I mentioned before, even the memory that has created these grudges has clearly been influenced by my stark view of life at that point.
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 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 downward cast eyes and inaudible mutterings grace, in most cases, I would like to believe.
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

Tis the Season

Christmas shopping.
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 she I was saying:

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 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

Chocolate Crack

WOOOOOOOHOOOOOO! ~ excuse me, I will be right back ~


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
in butter.

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, if you give a mouse a cookie... I had to make some mousse.

And yes, they are a quite lovely combination.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sometimes it's not what you were expecting, which is nice.

Supergirl is obsessed with losing her teeth. A few of her friends and classmates have lost their first teeth, and it seems to be all the girl can think about lately. She even declared that she intends to 'be the toothfairy' next year for Halloween. She talks about losing her teeth. She talks about wishing she would lose some teeth. She talks about dreaming that she is losing some teeth. I suppose, like the jump-roping chants she brings home and makes me feel nostalgic, it is one of those childhood rites of passage. One that she cannot wait to claim as her own. So impatient is she, that she has managed to wriggle one less-obstinate lower front tooth into slightly wiggly compliance!
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

Breasts! On A Plane!


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

Miracle Drug

Did you know that if you put a leaf of cabbage (slightly crush the spine with a rolling pin or a bottle of wine which you're going to need because your breasts hurt so bad) inside your bra, it will mysteriously and effectively suck all the mastitis and infection out of your body? I am sure the one dose of antibiotics I took didn't hurt, but come on - one dose? Or one night of wearing cabbage in my bra.
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

Be a Friend to Leelo

Okay, not too sick to beg you to help...
Please be a friend to Leelo and get his OT center what they NEED for Christmas!
Squid and her family thank you.

Hate. Flu.

Oooowch. Moan.
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

Grudge Tuesday: here's one

Birthday Present Watch: Day #55

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

A short but memorable conversation


"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

A very happy birthday party

Well, the party was a smashing success, if I may say so - as the not even british hostess!
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, 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, 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
come true for our little guy.
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?
#2 When at one point I realized that the two parties going on between our house and dh's cabin/office were primarily this: dh's crowing about his great find and his captive audience surrounding his new/old stereo, AND a group of primarily women guests gathered around 'my' computer screen (on the kitchen table) reading the birthday story. ha. kinda funny if you appreciate irony.

#1 My baby feeding me cake.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Must go scrape vanilla beans...

It did occur to me that I could possibly spend the rest of the month blogging about the birthday and the fallout beyond. Ha! Aren't you psyched now?
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

Tijuana trash

Kid food – goldfish, olives, cheese, etc

Caesar salad

Tofu pasta salad

Turkey breast


Mashed potatoes


Juice boxes

Crystal geysers



Lemon drops

White cake w/vanilla bean buttercream and raspberries

So I leave you with pictures that were supposed to go with Love Thursday, but Blogger has been having some, er, well, problems.

Later - pictures of cake!

Friday, November 10, 2006

When good people do bad things (they get blogged about)

If 'one' has not yet been shamed humbled enough into presenting 'one's' wife with a birthday present, and - Oh, excuse me, you just tuned in? Well, let me specify it was my fortieth birthday - are you still with me? Good, because the next sentence is going to begin with 'and', and I do want to make sure you are with me.
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.

Can one?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Love Thursday: My Babies LOVE Each Other!

When I was pregnant with Bubbles I went to a hypnotherapist specializing in people like me. That being, I assume: women, whom for whatever reasons, have more-than-average angst about their pregnancy. I am not a very good candidate for hypno-therapy, and I told her as much when making the appointment.
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

Apparently, Daisies have God

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

Grudge Voting Tuesday

Doing my part for NaBloPoMo AND the elections, AND Grudge Tuesday:

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
The Oilgarchy
Environmental Negligence
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):

Now here is my message of hope:


Monday, November 06, 2006

Play Dates Are Fun

Supergirl's kindergarten class put together a student directory - to make it easier to set up those play dates, you know.
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

A Birthday Story, or, More About Karma

Dh has had nearly two months to make this right. Since he hasn't - well, he was warned.

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

A Foul, Fowl Mood

I am in a foul mood. I am disappointed in the state of men in general and I am very very tired.
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 screaming writing or not.
And this. Pictures of my baby in a chicken costume. Because babies dressed like chickens are funny.

Friday, November 03, 2006

There's a new insult in town

I had a whole lot more to say about this, but one of the tiny little men in my computer hates me.
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?"


Well, he's got me there. On both counts.
I am a fucking breeder. That is a well known fact.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Love Thursday - an easy one

Thank you, Blogger, for your service. Thank you also, for your inadvertent help with Day Two of NaBloPoMo, by not letting me post one single picture yesterday, though I sat and clicked and restarted many many times. You know what I am talking about.

So, the Bubbles turns one: pic version 1

Ready to let go and walk. If only his mama would let him.

Oh yes, I was mentioning about the two-handed drumming:

And did I mention the crazy rocker within my baby?

Let your freak flag fly, baby.

The Birthday.
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!

Cherish is the word I use to describe you.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy!

Dear Bubbles
Remember the day we met? You were looking a bit 'deer in the headlights' and I was about as alert as cooked spaghetti, but then our eyes met and the haze cleared at once as we fell in love. Once I provided you with some instant gratification in the form of breast, you quickly forgave me for making you wait an extra hour while I slept, to make your entrance. Shhh- don't tell Supergirl, but the real reason I stayed in the hospital that extra night? I wanted you all to myself. I wanted to get to know you in private. And now? Now I can' t remember very well what life was like before you joined us.
You are just what our family needed - and how clever of you to know that, since we didn't even know ourselves! You knew that my arms ached for someone to hold; you made sure that I didn't ever have to put you down for the first six months! You knew how important it was for me to be able to feed you, and you have made those breasts your best friends! You knew that our family had lived through too much sadness; you came beaming that big drooly grin of yours! You knew that Supergirl needed to feel like a sister again - bossy, admired, needed; you take care of all of that and throw in a little hair-pulling as well! You knew that there was not one milestone of yours we would ever take for granted, and you expertly expect the proper amount of cheering when one is achieved, encouraging us with your own hearty, "YAY!"
You are so strong, so fun, so excited for life, so perfect.
I love how, when we nurse in bed together, you tuck your body in and I curl around you, and we are interlocked like an Escher print. I love how you crane your big melon around to see me if I am not looking directly at you when you are in my arms. I love how you give me a hug whenever I ask you, "hug?". I love how, when you gleefully reach for your freshly undiapered penis, you watch me until I deliver the usual exclamation, "Access!" and then you crack up. Your pediatrician tells me she has heard many pseudonyms for those parts, but claims that never before has she heard it labeled 'access'.
I love how you have managed to crack your sister up for at least seven months now and you don't even know any knock-knock jokes. I love how you announce yourself when you are about to do something dangerous or forbidden - like climb up the stairs without a spotter, or eat aluminum foil or cat food.
I love how you say ,"ummmmmmmmm" when you taste something yummy, even our strange furry cat, who, although she does not appear to like you very much, oddly lets you taste her.
I am excited to see you grow, and afraid to say it, much in the way I was afraid to expect a live, healthy baby before you were born. But I know in my heart that you are a strong child, physically, emotionally, and willfully, and I know that you will grow, you will flourish, you won't leave us too soon. Just keep in mind that my brain and my heart are not always in agreement, and your old mama will always worry. That is my weakness, not yours.
I know many will disbelieve, but you already mimic imaginative (and anthropomorphic) play. I know you watch your sister play with the animals and dolls. She is capable in fact, of giving voice, character, conflict, and conflict resolution to almost any inamimate object.
But the way that you, after not even a year on this earth, can take a wooden cow in one hand and 'a guy' in the other and make them have a conversation?
Well, that is just awe-inspiring. And probably an off-Broadway play in the making. What do I know about theatre?
The cow says, "Mraaaoowr! Eeaargh! arraapklaraarrrr! GARRRRRRRRR!" and 'the guy' responds to the cow while shaking violently; "Eeeeee. teee, ee-ee-eep-ee! Eeedgh."
Someone would have to be made of stone to not find that completely:
A) Endearing
B) Brilliant
C) or Both

Speaking of your incredible talents, you are quite the musician. You play a keyboard without pounding, you strum a guitar without crashing it over - as you have for months now, because you like to hear what you are playing. You have gotten over your impulse for tasting drumsticks, and consequently have developed the amazing skill (for any 12 month old human I have ever met) of drumming with both hands, both holding drumsticks. This is not as easy as it sounds when balance itself presents its own challenges! You have alway been musically inspired, musically responsive. But you are so into creating music now that I find myself wiping the drool off my chin in amazement - and I am a teacher of musical babies!

Really, you are the most amazing child. Thank you for choosing our family.
I love you.
Love, Mama