April 27, 2006

Doesn't a lightning rod on top of a church show a lack of faith?

First, my apologies to CG - in my previous post, I forgot to issue a warning that I would be departing from my normal Ick Free Factor policy. Sorry ‘bout that, CG. Hello? CG? Damn. I think he’s gone for good.

Anyway, it appears the Dragons of Dung have been slayed for the time being. I have my prune juice and thermometer armed and ready, just in case. Actually, Arun didn’t care much for the prune juice. Sadly, the cheapskate in me can’t let a whole bottle go to waste, so, um, well, you know what THAT means. Stayed tuned. Or not. Your choice.

It’s nice to have my smiling, happy boy back. He’s excited again to play with his toys and grab for any unsuspecting felines who meander too close (How desperate can a cat get for attention? Come to MY house. I'll show ya). Anyway, this has been a good exercise for me. I know logically that I have it easy. REAL easy. Like, SMEASY, easy. The hardest thing about Arun has been his incessant need to be held, which has waned a bit in the past few months. Gee, how lucky am I? My kid just wants to be snuggled all the time? POOR ME, right? So, when little things like constipation happen, it’s pretty big for me. At 4:00 am when my baby is crying in pain, my Brain says “Whoa, just a little constipation. No worries.”, but my Heart tells me ”Holy fucking CRAP. Is he dying? Should I go to the ER? Maybe it’s NOT constipation! Why is he seizing his legs up like that? Maybe it’s COLON CANCER. Holy fucking CRAP. He's in PAIN. What do I DO? What sort of mother doesn’t take her baby to ER when he might have COLON CANCER?”. Fortunately, my Brain prevailed and there were no visits to the ER. But it is a good reminder that I have it SO GOOD. Except for jaundice and a slight complication when he was born, we have a pretty healthy kid who has even managed to avoid getting any colds so far (I have pulled out one of our many snot suckers a few times in anticipation, but had to put it back. I finally delegated one of them for a bath toy.)

I think the hardest part about yesterday’s twilight hours scare was the stark reminder of how irreversible this connection is to my son. I have only felt this frightened twice before. When he was born, we had that slight complication (he had swallowed meconium in utero) and they whisked him away right after he was born. I didn’t get even get to SEE see him for nearly 2 hours but I was so dazed from the birth and drugs that I didn’t really FEEL it. However, 5 days later when I saw his little noggin totally hunched over in his carseat, I bawled like there was no tomorrow. I was positive his neck was BROKEN and that my crazy driving had done it. I sobbed on X's shoulder and he was just baffled. Of course, a quick phone call to my sister confirmed that all newborns hunch over and henceforth, I christened Arun the little Noodle Neck. But that was the first poignant moment in his teeny life that struck me hard. The 2nd Frightening Moment happened in San Francisco when I was convinced Arun had a life-threatening fever and was going to die while I was stuck in a strange city. A quick purchase of an expensive Who-the-Hell-Comparison-Shops-When-Their-Kid-Is-Dying thermometor proved that yes, I was just a freak with a healthy kid who needed to get a fucking grip on herself already. So, I do try to fight what I call the "rising paranoia in the back of my throat". However, I suspect that to be a mother means that there will always be a little bit of that paranoia in the back of your throat and that there is NOTHING that can ever make it go away. And I suppose that maybe, just maybe, it SHOULDN'T go away and that perhaps, that's what this whole Motherhood gig is all about. Perhaps.

On that note, I need to sign off so I can take my sweet boy outside to play with scissors and marbles in the middle of the street. In the sun.

With no sunscreen, of course.

Poop on you, Constipation!

Who says Helmet Head ain’t sexy?

April 26, 2006

You’re gonna put that thermometer WHERE?

We have a little Constipation Consternation going on right now. Arun chose to express his pooping displeasure at 1:00 am, 4:00 am, and 6:00 am. The only solution for HRH was to walk him around as he slumbered. (Rancid Tangent: I wish I would have bought one of those personal pedometers before Arun was born. It would be KICK ASS to see how many miles I have walked in my OWN HOUSE. Seriously. I have established routes and pathways dependent upon the degree of tiredness and/or sickness. X, in particular, ROCKS in this area and even has a special route that includes the STAIRS. Something I am still too paranoid to attempt since I have a tendency to fall down them.) Anyway, in short, I am operating on a total of 2 brain cells here. I certainly blew out a few cells as I attempted the old “thermometor trick”. Believe you me, nothing says I! Love! You! like sticking a thermometer up your kid’s keister at 4:00am. I have spoken to the doctor, so I have a few more tricks up my sleeve. The worst is that this constipation thing follows right on the heels of Teething so both of our shut-eye tanks are running near empty. Of course, X is in Virginia while I fight the Dragons of Dung but at least this should garner me many, many Pity Points when he returns on Friday. I do feel so bad for Arun, though. He was crying so hard this morning that he couldn’t even NURSE. Any dude that turns down commitment-free boobage must really be down and out.

Damn, this week sorta sucks. Before X left yesterday, we bickered over a TOASTER. Yes, I am grateful that the worst of our problems involve crappy 20-year old toasters, but I hate it when he leaves on a note like that. Yeah, we made up before he hit the skies, but now, my kid can't poop.

Woe is me.

April 24, 2006

Are you listening?


“Somebody” in this house turned off the computer without saving my draft of today’s post (I compose off-line, then post on-line). He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Blamed is, shall we say, in Big Trouble? I had a thrilling, intriguing post regarding Toys - it was a fascinating insight into how I keep my sweet baby (who would never turn off his Mama's computer) entertained and it even included Controversy. Okay, maybe it wasn’t fascinating, thrilling or even insightful, but STILL, I had something to put out here today and now I Have To Start Over. I love my husband, but maybe a little less today. Wish him better luck tomorrow. He leaves for Virginia, so his prospects are good that I will love him again tomorrow, say around, 7:15 pm. Fortunately, for X and I, the Heart Grows Fonder every time Southwest Airlines hits the sky headed towards Baltimore (and Coming Soon! To An Airport Near You! Dulles! Yippee!!).

Saturday night was Canasta Night and it was wonderful. It was my first Kid Free Canasta since Arun’s arrival and I play a much better game when not concerned with his goings-on - needy little shit. I probably play a much better game when not tippling the wine, either. At Canasta, Goofy Girl, mentioned that she had read The Blind Assassin, which I highly recommended in earlier posts here and here . I got the impression she hadn’t enjoyed it very much. However, I think listening to a book and reading a book are two VERY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES. For example, I have read AND listened to all of the Harry Potter books, except the Half Blood Prince, which I have only read for now. Both listening to them and reading them are equally enjoyable, yet very different experiences, so for Serious Harry Potter Fans, I highly recommend doing BOTH. This said, I think that most books fall into either the Must Listen or Must Read categories, but not both. David Sedaris? I didn’t “get” Sedaris, until I started listening to him. His books are fucking hilarious when listened to, because you fully get the effects of his intonations that only he can express. But reading him? Not nearly as enjoyable. Same goes for the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy book - probably better listened to than actually read. So, I was disappointed that Goofy Girl had listened to Blind Assassin because I just can’t imagine that it would be a good listen. I still stand by the statement that this was one of the best books I have ever read. In fact, after our discussion of it on Saturday, I woke up this morning and laid in bed for awhile thinking about it AGAIN. So, while I am willing to admit that I would rather read a book than listen to it, I will say that my most recent read, Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bordain probably would have been a better listen than a read. Parts of this book were absolutely fascinating - X and I eat out a lot so much of our disposable income is devoted to eating out and trying different restaurants. However, other parts of this book really dragged - Bordain has this “wink-wink” type of style that was irritating. He is trying to pull off the ole "Asshole with a Heart of Gold" schtick and he was marginal at succeeding. Still, if you are a foodie, this book is for you. You will truly have a good understanding of the restaurant business after reading this.

In other news, on Sunday, we completed our sign-up for the Fair Share Farm - the CSA (Community Based Agriculture) group we have joined. We got to meet the farmers, Rebecca and Tom, who seemed very cool. As part of our membership, we need to complete two 4-hour shifts helping to harvest. I am very excited about this. X, the Grumbling Grinch of Gardening, is NOT. I am the first to admit that my ideal of gardening is to plant a bunch of shit, then crack open a beer and watch it grow - I hate weeding, watering, and pruning. By August, most of my stuff is dead, but fortunately, with enough beer, I don't even notice by then. However, I am still very excited about our farm shift and was insistent that X get in on it. I suspect I will have a nice blog entry come July 10th, the Monday after our shift. We have our first veggie pick up in mid-May and I will probably begin a section detailing our pick-ups.

Because, yes, I am THAT fucking desperate for non-baby material that I will start posting about VEGETABLES.

Slapdashed Snap:

Okay - a weird picture, but I just loved the juxtaposition of Arun’s sweet little shoes next to mine (I had sprayed all of them on the porch with the water/stain resistant stuff). I don't think I have bought a new pair of shoes since Average Jane's Wedding Do-Over in December 2004 (AKA the Renewal of 10 year vows in Vegas), so I have been able to bury my usual guilt for making such a purchase. A little. As you can see, I did break down and buy a pair of Skechers. Until now, I have been a victim of Reverse Marketing since I was loathe to buy anything that Britney Spears was hawking. Bleh.

April 20, 2006

What if you’re happy and you DON’T know it?

Do you still clap? What’s with all this clapping business anyway?

Today is my birthday. I am 35 - it’s weird to already be halfway through my 30s. It seems just like yesterday I was celebrating the beginning of this decade by drunkenly twirling barefoot around on the dance floor to the tune of Dancing Queen with my sister, who was very pregnant with Older Nephew at the time. Anyway, the day didn’t start off so well. Last night, Arun was more than just fussy, he was downright crying. For once, I felt like a Storybook Mommy who gladly paces the floor at 3:00am and bravely faces anything - even 4:00 am - to make her poor baby stop the pathetic wailing. Most of the time, I feel like The Old Me who just happens to have a sweet baby to haul around. And honestly? Often, I feel like a freaky fake of a mother. The kind that does a great Carmen Miranda using baby rattles (not that I do that. Ever. Maybe once. OKAY, twice.....) and can create inventive lyrics to Wheels on the Bus (Aliens ride the bus, don’t they? When their spaceships are in the shop?) but I don’t feel like a MOTHER. Sometimes this gig just seems like too much fun. Too easy. So, it still amazes me that when the going gets rough, and I end up not caring about my own needs and am able to just focus on Arun. Odd. Who knew?

So, I’ve been listening to the Teach Yourself Hindi CDs I recently purchased. While I question the “teach” yourself part, I do recommend this series as a great refresher course. It’s great for any language that you might feel comfortable in, but just need some touching up on your skills (i.e. I can’t imagine being a beginner with this series). Also - I will be looking into the Spanish series as well. Why not? So, the thing that cracks me up this series, is that they have a set of conversations that represent a variety of situations. For example, apparently, Mohan is a “secret smoker” and he is trying to bum some money to buy cigarettes for a “friend”. Except, Auntie Madhuri ain’t buying it. Neither is Anjali, for that matter. There’s also a conversation surrounding the Making of Pizza that looks equally entertaining. While I have a hard time believing I will need these particular conversational skills, it is certainly enjoyable to listen to it.

Anyway - Arun and I are off to Lawrence for dinner with my mom.

Rancid Rave: Check out the Google Logos blog. It’s a blog that features all the fun Google logos from 1999 to present. On the one hand, I love just happening upon the logos, but on the other hand, I think it is cool there is an archive of all of them out there. There are also a ton of logos created by others than the Google guys. While all the logos didn’t necessarily make it to the Google search page, they are still cool to see. Anyway - I will definitely be checking this out some more. I always get such a kick out of those logos.

April 19, 2006

Holy Shit. Six Months. Where does Time fly?


Project Name: Arun
Code Name: Grunts While Pooping
Start Date: Jan 18, 2005
Estimated Completion Date: Oct 16, 2023
Reporting Period: Oct 2005 - Apr 2006

1. Gained Weight -- 17 lb. 15 oz. (No Issues to Report this Period.)
2. Gained Height -- 28 in. (No Issues to Report this Period.)
3. Smiles on cue. (Manageable Issues Exist.)
4. Wakes up at 7:30am sharp. (Manageable Issues Exist.)
5. Falls asleep at 8:00pm sharp. (Serious Issues Exist.)
6. Eats solids in a clean and timely manner. (Manageable Issues Exist.)
7. Asks politely for food and toys. (Serious Issues Exist.)
8. Maintains neat and tidy clothing. (Serious Issues Exist.)
9. Keeps Project within Budget Constraints. (Serious Issues Exist.)
10. Displays a charming and affable persona. (No Issues to Report this Period )

1. Master the art of crawling on all fours.
2. Transition from breastmilk to curries.
3. Understand and appreciate the nuances of racial harmony found amongst the Sneetches.
4. Learn how to treat the pets gently, rather than grabbing chunks of fur by the fistful.
5. Get the hang of waving"bye-bye" and "hello".
6. Become proficient at saying Mama, Daddy, Kitty and Rock Chalk, Jayhawk.
7. Begin studying for the National Spelling Bee.

April 17, 2006

How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

So, we weren’t feeling particularly “church-y” yesterday and skipped Easter. Sorry ‘bout that, Jesus. (Status of my Eternal Soul? Code Red.)

Taxes are completed, e-files are accepted, checks are inked, envelopes are stamped. I just need to join the Parade at the Post Office this morning and then I AM DONE. I really try not to complain about taxes because I do consider myself incredibly fortunate to have to pay them. Seriously. I have what I refer to as a Lost Tax Year in my records because I didn’t even make enough money to have to file. But DAMN. This year sucked. We sold our rental house in Virginia and it was a freakin’ mess. It still wasn’t as bad as 2003, though - the year that X lived in Missouri, worked in Kansas and owned a house in Virginia. I worked in Missouri, lived in Kansas and owned a house in Kansas. Then, to make things super gooeylicious, we got married that year.......... Oops. Tangent much?? ........... Anyway, the thing that gets me about tax prep is that I halfway know what I am doing. If I don’t know what I am doing, I at least know exactly where to research to figure it out. Based upon certain tax questions I have gotten over the years from friends and family, there are WAY too many people out there doing their own taxes which is pretty scary. I do question Block’s and TurboTax’s marketing strategies - despite their very cool, slick tax programs, you still need to know what TO DO WITH IT.

So, Thursday, Arun and I went to the University of Kansas to visit my mother. She works there and has been very antsy for us to come visit so that she can show the furry kid to her colleagues. It was lovely to be on campus during school hours. I frequently drive through campus as a treat when going to my dad’s house, but that is usually on weekends and after-hours. I haven’t actually parked and walked through campus during school hours for years. So, we parked by the Union because I wanted to check out the bookstore for some language books. I was hoping they would have some good Hindi and Malayalm resources. I totally scored in the Hindi arena, but wasn’t surprised to find nothing on Malayalem (the language is only spoken in Kerala, a province of India). I have been dabbling in Hindi for a long time now and will probably never be fluent, but I am very excited about these new books and CDs. So, are X and I going to teach our own little demi-desi Hindi or Malayalem? We have discussed this quite a bit and X is emphatic that he would rather Arun learn SPANISH, as that is more useful. So, at the most, Arun will learn some Kitchen Hindi and Malayalem - at least, he will be able to order his Indian meals with correct pronounciations and accents. Teaching Arun Spanish? Not sure about that. I am not fluent in Spanish - when studying it in college, I could hold simple conversations because I had so many Latin American friends (I still contend that to be able to gossip in a foreign language exhibits true mastery). But now? I could safely get myself off an airplane with it, but can't really hold a decent conversation anymore. I am sad that Arun won’t be learning Malayalem, at least. This would be the easiest for him to learn, but X thinks it is silly and I can’t convince him otherwise.

Anyway, the rest of the weekend was spent in Lazy Heathenism rife with good food, coffee and wine. X had an appointment in downtown Kansas City, so I dropped him off and then went walking around in the Rivermarket. After X was done , we ventured out to Parkville for some coffee. We have a copy of The Best Little Coffeehouses in Kansas City (sorry, couldn’t find a link for it, but it can be found all around town) and have been gradually making our way through it. So, Saturday, we ventured out to try the Parkville Coffee & Fudge spot on Main Street in Parkville. I give it a big ole “BLEH”. Seriously - AVOID THIS PLACE. They served some of the worst coffee and their fudge wasn’t all that, either. Thankfully, we followed up that disaster with some dumplings at the Blue Koi on 39th, so the evening wasn’t a total lost cause.

Must-See TV Blog: The thoughtful folks over at Throwing Things have provided a great link to a blog written by the great television critic, Alan Sepinwall, named What’s Alan Watching?. At a minimum, this is certainly worth it for checking out his Monday morning quarterbacking on the Sopranos episodes.

Simian Snaps:

I love this photo because I waited so long for him to find his thumb and had given up on it. He would never take a pacifier and because of it, we have spent many stressful hours trying to get him to sleep. He had no mechanisms for self-soothing and it was very frustrating. So, he JUST started sucking his thumb on Thursday, although he is not doing it when he is upset or sleepy. Apparently, it’s Just for Fun, at this point.

I took this photo of him in front of the Watson Library because I spent hours, hours, and hours doing research in this library and studying there (pre-Internet, folks. GASP!) By the time Arun heads to college, they will probably issue some sort of micro-chip for the brain thus rendering libraries irrelevant.

It was hard to get him to be still for this photo because now he gets too excited when he sits in the chair.

Dead SEXY. .....Bow, chicka bow bow......

April 14, 2006

Why isn’t palindrome spelled the same way backwards?

Since I am finishing the Annual Inking of the Checks that must be sent to the Irrational Revenue Service, this will be brief.

Before I leave, Arun has a personal, heartfelt message for the Kansas Bored of Education:


April 13, 2006

Why isn't chocolate considered a vegetable, if chocolate comes from cocoa beans, and beans are a vegetable?

Or at least a fruit? I think cocoa beans are technically a fruit.

Arun has been super crabby these days and I think it is due to teething and not the dairy as I originally suspected. At least that is what I told myself yesterday evening as I oinked my way through a hefty share of cheese and chocolate fondue........ But wait. I should start at the beginning.

Yesterday morning, we went to the breastfeeding support group. As I’ve mentioned, it’s like La Leche League for the Faint of Hearts. It was a Sad and Happy session. One of the gals, J, had to say goodbye to everyone because she is at the end of her maternity leave and will be going back to work fulltime. I could tell she was also sad to leave us, although she really likes her job. Conversely, another gal, S, decided in the last week to NOT go back to work fulltime, so she won’t be leaving us, after all. Next week, we all have plans to check out the walking trail at 135th and Switzer, so I am pretty excited. I really think I am going to be able to keep this group going. What’s exciting is that the dynamic will keep changing as new mothers come and go. I am hoping to have at least a core group going by the time I am done breastfeeding Arun. I really like these gals and I think it is a great opportunity to surround myself with positve, relaxed mothers - what I aspire to be.

After all the breastfeeding group, we came home and both took naps. This is odd for me, I am so not a napper, but Arun has been very cranky the past 4 nights. If we weren’t co-sleeping, I would not be liking him very much these days. As it is, he has actually been waking up and CRYING - something he hasn’t done since he was a newborn. After we got up from our nap, we got ready to meet R and her daughter K. We were to meet at the Plaza at 4:00 pm. to just walk around and maybe grab a bite to eat. I headed out on I-35 merely to quickly find myself at a standstill in a traffic jam for over 20 minutes. The type of standstill where people are getting out of their cars and just hanging out. All this, while Arun decided that he was going to cry, cry and CRY SOME MORE. That whiny, achy cry that breaks my heart (not the screeching sort that pisses me off). Fortunately, once we started moving again, Arun went to sleep. Regardless, I was pretty frazzled by the time I met with R and K. After bemoaning the number of chain restaurants on the Plaza, we quickly decided on the Melting Pot. Indeed, as my taste buds tend to run the show, I will turn traitor on local restaurants faster than you can say “cheese and chocolate”.

We meandered over to the Melting Pot and I warned R that since we had strollers we would need to take the handicapped elevator to get down to the restaurant - the place is down in a basement-like space. The handicapped elevator is one of those contraptions that is like an open-air lift and it is SUPER slow. You feel like a complete moron on it as the people on the stairs just beside the lift fly past you at a much faster clip (it reminds me of that great scene on Seinfeld where George is using the handicapped chair lift). To make this experience even worse - the damned thing STOPPED mid-air while we were on it. And Arun commenced with his screeching (Reminder: The one that pisses me off. NOT the one that breaks my heart.). Yep, we are stuck there on a handicapped lift, mid-air and my son starts crying - like we didn’t need the attention already. The guy helping us with the lift had to run up and down the stairs himself several times trying to figure the damned thing out. Anyway, we finally made it down to the restaurant and had a lovely dinner . To boot - our kids were very well-behaved with very little screeching and no melt-downs. Leaving the restaurant? I carried the stroller and Arun up the stairs myself.

Doggie Do: We have decided not to get a dog for right now, which is not much of a surprise. It really boils down to 2 things - we don’t know yet if we will be moving this year or not and we have 3 very sweet, patient cats that we are neglecting already. They haven't given us an iota of trouble considering how much their lives have been disrupted with all the new furniture, room rearranging, and of course, the arrival of Arun, who never misses a chance to grasp big tufts of hair from them these days. Why mess with a good thing? However, I have ended up with a dog of sorts. Years ago, I bought a Dr. Seuss dog and Arun has been using that as his transitional object when sleeping in his crib. These past few nights, he has been so fussy in sleeping with me, that I desperately dragged the dog in bed with us. It seemed to help although I feel like such a loser sleeping with 2 cats, 1 baby, 1 stuffed dog........ However, there is hope - yesterday afternoon, he fell asleep with his monkey that I recently bought, so maybe that will be his transitional object instead. Is it controlling of me to want to force it on him? The monkey is smaller and will fit more easily into a suitcase when we travel. Selfish bitch that I am, I can’t help but want to push the monkey on him and take the dog away. Bonus for doing that? The dog is WHITE and the monkey is BROWN. The dog already has a chocolate stain on him from manhandling by the Younger Nephew, so the poor canine's future wasn't too bright anyway.

Snaps From Our Plaza Outing Today

We were determined to get a pic of the kids together in front of the bunny, but mostly ended up with snaps like this:

Or snaps where only one baby was smiling - like this:

Or this:

FINALLY, we got this:

And this:

( Look at those baby blues on K! Isn't there a law against such gooey sweetness???.......)

What the hell is up with the malevolent turtle? Perhaps, it's the shoddy orthodontic work??

And this. WTF??? Is it a horse? A lion? A saluki? It's hair (mane?) reminds me of Weird Al Yankovic for some reason.

It’s snaps like this that will probably drive Arun to beer funnels when he’s a teenager.

And for that stupid Pelican pic, he shall chew the uber-expensive RidiculousShoe that his daddy worked his ass off to pay for.
Take that, you crazy picture snapping bitch!

April 11, 2006

How about Paying it Backwards?

Cousin J may have mono.

Her mother, Cousin B, called to tell me and one of my first reactions was concern for her schoolwork. As I said to Cousin B, she had just got caught up after having her wisdom teeth taken out and now this? Then we both clucked about J and her schoolwork for awhile. I think I aged 10 years in that conversation. After all, Cousin B used to pick on me when we were kids and would steal my Barbies away from me. Anyway, now to the selfish part of this problem. I will have no babysitter this week AND X is out of town. Yep, I thought I was spoiled before, but now I KNOW exactly how spoiled I am. This week I was going to do yardwork, go to Lowe’s, get a haircut, make a Costco run - now I can look forward to all that with Arun in tow. Also, I am very worried about Arun getting this mono shit. He has been pretty grumpy lately and hasn’t been sleeping well, but I am still pretty sure that was due to the fact that I have been consuming more dairy than normal (Rancid Tangent: My boy can handle spicy Thai, Indian, and Mexican but not DAIRY? WTF? The little Wuss. Now, I do drink soymilk simply because I like it, but CHEESE? I LOVE ME MY CHEESE. The hard cheeses aren’t so bad, but the soft cheeses really tear the little fella up. I miss soft cheese so much, last week I actually had a dream about eating some de-lish buffalo mozzarella....) SO, Cousin J, will know by Friday whether she has mono or not. And until then, I can fight the rising paranoia in the back of my throat.......

New Topic: It always gives me a jolt when Real Life NonBlogging friends talk about my blog with me - I forget that I casually passed along the URL months back and that all this time, they have been reading about my fascinating and glamorous life I have created here (a life that they know damned good and well DOES NOT ACTUALLY EXIST). So, last night, when I was talking to my friend M, she eagerly asked me “What’s this about R.W. saying Asshole #1 having regrets??”. First, I should totally out M, because SHE is the one who INTRODUCED me to Asshole #1. In essence, it’s all her fault, right? ......stabbing pointer finger in air.... Okay, seriously, I was glad she brought it up, because if anyone could possibly understand that exchange with R.W., it would be M. When I told her that it is incredibly satisfying to be able to say honestly, “I have no regrets”, she UNDERSTOOD because she was there to witness the Agony. Would I want to re-live the Agony? No, but I can truthfully say it was worth it because I ended up with X who I would have never met if I hadn’t met Asshole #1. And I consider X to be sort of a Prize - at a minimum, he makes a mean cup of espresso.

Tomorrow: Doggie Do, but not what you think.

Simian Snaps
What I love most about these pics is that they demonstrate that regardless of how much my life has changed since Arun came along, there are still aspects that haven’t changed or are simply better now that he IS here. I have always enjoyed sitting outside - both on my deck and my front steps. But to sit outside with my son? Even better.

I included this one to point out that no, NO, those are not teeny black caterpillars attached to my son's forehead but are instead, his EYEBROWS. Good GOD - what's gonna happen to the poor kid when he hits puberty? I see some sort of hair removal system in his future.

April 10, 2006

What do I do when I can’t think of a title?

So, we haven’t really decided on the whole dog thing yet. Well, X thinks we have decided not to get a dog, but little does he know, we haven’t actually decided. The hardest part about deciding is the fact that we don’t even know where we will be living next year - the thought of moving 1 baby, 3 cats AND 1 husband scares the crap outta me already - adding 1 dog to that mix?..... shudder...... This Spector of Moving has hung over our heads the entire time X and I have been together and we’re going on a good 5 years. I suspect it is to the point that my friends and family think we are just crying Moving Wolf. But! No! Seriously! We might move! Maybe. Perhaps. Anyway - the dog jury is still out, although we are leaning towards not getting a dog right now. Because there’s a chance we could move, ya know.

Last week, I promised an Axe Story. I ADORE my axe and in particular, I love any situation that affords me the opportunity to get it out and whack away at shit. So, the Previous Owner of our house, in all his Holy Asshole-iness, left on our deck some cart-thing that he had obviously “handcrafted” all by his lonesome self. The very fact that he did NOT take it with him when he moved says EVERYTHING. Last year, I had meant to do something about the Crappy Cart That Was Rotting Before Our Eyes. Then, Arun decided that he would like to make his way into our world. And I willing obliged while the cart patiently continued to rot....... So, last week, I decided to do something about the Crappy Cart. Cousin J was watching Arun, so I had ample time with no interruptions in which to deal with the mess. First, the Cart was quite heavy - although there were wheels on it, there was no lifting it off the deck by myself - even with X’s help. Furthermore, I was impatient to do it and didn’t feel like waiting for X to come home. So, I pulled it to the edge of the deck and tipped it over the 1st step. I thought about it for a good 30 seconds, then decided “Aw, what the hell? and pushed it off the deck once and for all. With a might CRACK!!!, it landed in our yard all crumpled , but still intact. Then, I merrily took the axe and hacked away at it. Am I the only who gets pleasure outta this stuff??

In other news, I fear for my kid's Crawling Future. He has no desire to lay on the floor or move about. If he is in a Super! Good! Happy! mood, he will scoot around on his back and occasionally roll over onto his stomach, get a gander of where he's heading, then roll on over to his back again and continue on his merry way. Yep - the gates are going up and now we have to shut the basement door. But, like I said, he has to be in the MOOD. Otherwise, he really prefers to just sit and hunker down amongst his toys and books. So, while he started sitting unassisted well over a month ago, he's NOWHERE near crawling, or even showing the desire to. No, no, I am not carefully checking off his developmental milestones, I just think it is interesting. It helps that between the Blogosphere and Real Life, I know a TON of kids right around the same age as Arun. I think it is fascinating how all of our kids are ALL OVER THE PLACE developmentally. I also appreciate having a sort of Cyberspace Playgroup for learning about other kids at the same age. Just with less hairpulling and tantrums.

Baby BedHead

Take pity on me, ‘kay? Some mornings, I barely have time to take care of my own tresses, let alone HIS.

There. THAT'S better. Notice how my carefully guarded anonymity is threatened by the reflection in the fireplace glass doors.

April 7, 2006

So, who won the Battle of the Bunny?

Christine, over at The Rabbit Lived decided to close shop this week. I was shocked and saddened by this, because I have been following her story for nearly 2 years now. I wasn't sure what to write or how to do it, but fortunately, Diana over at Piffle DID. Therefore, in the ultimate act of Blogging Bummery, I'm linking to HER eloquent rendering of Christine's departure from the blogging world.

Even though Christine is heading off into the blogging sunset, it's nice to know that the bunny lost, her son is healthy, and that everything will be fine.

Do I work?

This post will end up being the Weekly Wrap Up variety......

Tuesday: X and I declared it to be Babysitter Appreciation Day and we took Cousin J to dinner with us. It was very cute. First, she was a little shocked. Then, she was like “Um, OKAY!”. We took to her to an non-Olive Garden Italian chain where it just happened that her boyfriend works. Therefore, J was able to give us all the gossipy goodness on everyone around us. Once we were all on board as to our server’s sexual appetites, she moved on to the cooks. Ah, gossip as only a high schooler can pass along. I think this is why I like talking to J - it reminds me that while I thought I was such a grown-up as a high schooler, in reality, I was most probably lacking in the “social graces” area, after all. It’s interesting, I had wondered what would happen to my relationship with J once she started babysitting for us. Since we are of different “generations” (J’s mother and I were of the “great-grandchildren” (our grandmothers are sisters) and J is of “great-great grandchildren”), I didn’t really know J - she was just the cute little girl of my cousin B and I would say “hi” and she would shyly say “hi” right back, but that was the extent of our relationship. Now? I find myself really liking her and being frustrated with her situation at home. It’s not a bad one, per se, but she doesn’t get along with her stepdad and that is really bothering me, because I totally understand her frustration, having dealt with a few stepdads in my time. As teenagers are wont to do, she is pushing away from her mother. I also find myself worrying about her future. She admits that she is only doing the minimum amount of work to just get by. Finally, I am REALLY worried about her boyfriend - he’s older than her. So, while I thought for sure that I would get to know J better and that would be nice, I had no freakin’ clue that I would start WORRYING about her. Interestingly enough, X is worried about all these things, too and it was his idea to take her to dinner.

Wednesday Day: I have been going to a breastfeeding support group at the medical center since Arun was 5 weeks old. I have grown to really like the group - it’s like La Leche League Lite. We are all committed to breastfeeding our kids, but it’s not like we will be feeding our kids through the fence during recess when they skip off to kindergarten notthatthereisanythingwrongwiththat . There has gotten to be a core group of us that come nearly every session - it’s a mix of SAHMs and Part-Timers. The one sad thing is that many mothers come and go, because they eventually have to go to work Full-Time. I was bad about getting phone numbers and such, so I have lost touch with those mothers forever. Anyway, this group is really cool - there is no weird competitive bullshit, everyone is pretty easy-going, and it’s fun to hang out with other mothers that have babies around the same age. Also, all of us have professional backgrounds. I realized that I wanted to make a connection with these gals before we stop breastfeeding and thus, quit attending the sessions. Therefore, I started a little side group of my own. On the alternative Wednesdays that the sessions aren’t held, I have organized a walking group (and I always announce it at the breastfeeding support sessions, so that no one is left out). At first, we had to do the mall (BLEH), but now the weather is nicer, we decided to meet at the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead. I hadn’t been there for nearly 3 years, so I was pretty damned impressed with all the improvements! I will definitely be taking Arun there for walking again and can I just say I can’t WAIT for the flowers to bloom in the butterfly garden? However, the only downside of Deanna Rose is that it gets freakin’ crowded, which defeats the purpose of walking. Particularly when you are organizing your own Buggy Brigade. Therefore, for the next walking session, we decided to start exploring the various trail systems that our county has established. I am pretty excited about this group and I do hope that it becomes something eventually. It is fun to meet the new mothers coming into the breastfeeding pipeline and it's a great way to share experiences. Getting through the first few weeks of breastfeeding was simply one of the hardest things I have ever done. If my going to these meetings to share my experience and lend a kind word helps even just one other new mother, than I am glad.

Wednesday Night: For dinner, I met my ex-coworkers from the Fed, Really Tepid Gal and The Mouth (Quick Backstory:Really Tepid Gal used to be Really Cool Gal until she told my Not So Supervisor that I wasn’t going to be coming back after the baby was born. Like, when I was only 4 months pregnant. The Mouth is the gal who talks. A LOT.) Anyway, it was GREAT to see them. That is, after we dispensed with all the Fed gossip. The problem with the Fed gossip is that it NEVER CHANGES. The cast of characters remains the same because those people never leave. Let me repeat that - THEY NEVER LEAVE. All that ever changes at the Federal Reserve is the script (aka reorganizations) and maybe the stage and sets (the Fed is constructing a new building). Boy, if I ever doubted becoming a SAHM (NOT), dinner with those gals confirmed I made the right decision. I left that dinner shaking my head. When I got home, I gladly wiped my kid’s poo-streaked ass with a SMILE.

Thursday: I spent the day with my friend J. I blogged a bit about J back in January - in short, for those just joining the party, J’s husband died in a pretty gruesome car wreck. They have 2 children ages 2 and 4. I have tried my best to see J and spend time with her. It never feels like enough, but you do what you can do, eh? Overall, J is doing great. She has shown such a strength of character as she puts one foot in front of the other to rebuild her life. However, sometimes it can be a bit stressful because frankly, J’s and my parenting styles are very, very different. I am not going to go into details because it’s not about “wrong vs. right”, it’s just about different expectations. However, those expectations are different enough that sometimes my stomach hurts. Also, after we spend time together, I find myself very angry - not at anything in particular but just the whole unfairness of it all. I am angry that her children won’t know their father. I am angry that my friend is left by herself. I am angry that I can’t really do anything for her but listen. But at least I can do that.

Friday: Oh, glorious Friday. Oddly enough, even though I don’t “work” (hahaha - see my joke? See it? SEE IT?), my days still follow a pattern of Weekday and Weekends. In part, this is because of X’s schedule and also, because I try to do all the “work” I do on the Weekdays and leave the Weekends for fun stuff (Read: I stick the kid in the crib on the Weekends and just leave him to fester in shitty diapers.) Anyway, we have no plans today and it is nice to have a day stretching out before me that is free of obligation.

Next Week's Preview: Careful with that Axe, Cagey

Have a great weekend!

Bonus Simian Snap:

This pic is actually pretty old - when pillows could still contain him. May I point out all the safety hazards?

April 6, 2006

How much is that doggie in the window?

I have wanted a dog for quite awhile, but was never in a place that I could have one - I either lived in an apartment or had a job that required many hours and/or travel. Over the years, X and I have gone through the considerations of whether we were ready to commit to a dog or not. Yet again, we are that juncture of Doggie Do or Doggie Don’t. I want a dog SO BAD. I have always been slightly resentful when people refer to me as a Cat Person...... Åu Contraire Mon Frere...... I am a PET person. I grew up with all sorts of animals -- dogs, cats, geese, ducks, fish, turtles, ringnecks (when I could catch ‘em). I can’t imagine my own children growing up without a dog - they are such a different pet than cats. To say cats are better than dogs (or vice versa) is such a silly argument that I have never understood. A dog is a DOG and a cat is a CAT. No comparison. Anyway , for sure, we will certainly get a dog - it’s just the timing we haven’t worked out. We thought we would wait until Arun was 3 years old, but it didn’t help that last weekend while Arun was playing with our neighbor’s dog he started giggling hysterically - deep, belly-rocking giggles. Only at bathtime had we witnessed such giggling. Our hearts just melted watching that.......

Currently, we are in a good place for a dog - we have a house, a fenced-in backyard and since I stay home full-time, I could be dedicated to proper training. We are looking into different breeds, although we won’t do pet stores or purebreds, we’d like to know what sort of mix we should get considering our personalities and lifestyle. I am partial to huskies and terriers - we had Alaskan Malmamutes, a Siberian and Cairn Terriers when I was a kid. However, we lived on 40 acres when I was a kid - I don’t think a husky or a terrier would fit my lifestyle now. X is partial to Labrador Retrievers - his roommate in college had one. I am not sold on Labs, but I can’t put my finger on it. We both ADORE Border Collies, but don’t think our lifestyle is conducive to a dog with herding instincts - working dogs just don’t do well cooped up in the ‘burbs. Soooo.....pondering, debating, researching ........

The other night, Arun and I were sitting on our front steps enjoying the weather and watching the sun set. A girl walks by with 2 dogs - or rather, they were walking HER. One of them stoops to poop and the girl whips out a bag to scoop it up. And then it hit me like a flash. I live in a house where only 2 of the 6 occupants are toilet-trained which leaves Yours Truly to dutifully tote loads and loads of fresh poo on a weekly basis out for the trash. Maybe we SHOULD wait until at least Arun is toilet-trained or even better, when HE can help with scooping.

Savvy Site: Check out Turn Here ( Short Films, Cool Places). They feature little film clips of places around the world. It’s still in Beta, so the choices are limited, but still - it has some potential. I will be keeping an eye on this.

April 4, 2006

Gee, Baby, Ain’t I Good to You?

I swear to God my kid smiles. Yet, most of the snaps I take show him staring bug-eyed which would make one think my kid is just plain frightened all the time. At first, it was a product of his unfortunate relationship with the red-eye flash on my camara. Now, it is due to the fact that much like a magpie or a pimp, my kid really likes him some shiny shit. As such, when I decided that once and for all that I was going to prove to the Internet that my kid does indeed smile, I primarily ended up with snaps like this:

Or this:

Also this:

56 snaps later and only after getting on the floor to perform my incredibly moving impression of a kittycat....... finally, DEAR LORD, FINALLY I got THIS, the Holy Grail of baby pics:

April 3, 2006

What the hell am I doing here?

I realize now that I wasn’t really in a Life Funk, but rather a Blogging Funk. I love my life, I am in an incredible Happy Place right now, I enjoy all the little things I do and I am still amazed by it all. But it doesn’t make for the most fascinating blog at times. I should have had a blog in my angst-ridden 20s instead of my 30s - the boyfriends and booze alone would have made better blog-worthy happenings. This Mommy Bloggin’ is a tough bidness and the competition is somethin’ fierce, dude. I can’t compete! First - obviously, I am no writer. And my family isn’t Mormon - just your average WASPs. Futhermore, as hard as I tried, I wasn’t fired from my job because of my blog (Dammit!). Also, I don’t live in a hip place like DC or New York City. Plus, I don’t have a cool profession like being a veterinarian or a doctor. To boot, I don’t do day care, so there are no interesting stories there. I was going to write a sarcastic "Dear Arun" letter, but was even beaten to the punch on that one. AND my kid hasn’t even been sick yet - just one day fighting a cold where I had to drag out the snot-sucker thingamabob a whole TWO times - so no drama THERE. Furthermore while pregnant, I didn’t even suffer from boob or ass sweat - or at least not enough to blog about anyway. Hell - even my kid’s BIRTH was pretty non-eventful. I never bothered with the whole Birth Story because really all it consisted of was "contraction, contraction, moan, groan, push, push, OUCH". The most interesting parts were when I got all tripped out on Nubain and then I almost didn’t get the epidural because I dilated so fast. While it WAS fun to see X totally ride the nurse’s ass on that one, it didn’t make enough for a WHOLE post.

No, no.... I am not complaining because my life is boring. It took me a lot of Booze, Boyfriends and Blubbering to get to Boring. I’d rather be HERE, thankyouverymuch. In fact, I saw my friend R.W. again last week and he started in on the whole “Asshole #1 had regrets” spiel. Bah. I stopped R.W. cold with an emphatic “Well, I don’t have regrets”. Because I don’t. Hell no. Make that a HELLLLL NO. If I hadn’t dated Asshole #1, I would have never met X. Being with X in my 30s? I’d totally do my 20s all over again to ensure being with X in my 30s. Except maybe with less hangovers.

So, I thought a lot about the whole Existential Blogging Thing over the weekend. Basically, I came to the conclusion that I need to totally get over myself already and just post about what I wanna post about - which frankly, is my kid, my knitting, and my books. Maybe some TV, too. And my Grandma's questionable taste in home decor. And, in that very vein, I am going to commence with my regularly scheduled, boring post on What I Did Over the Weekend......

So, Friday’s lunch with R and her daughter K went great. It was pretty exciting to see 9 month old K totally snarfing on the chicken curry and green bean thoren that I made. R’s Relaxed Mothering style is exactly what I aspire to be, so I like hanging out with them. Her daughter is so happy-go-lucky, I am hoping some of that sweetness will rub off on Arun.

Saturday, X and I went to dinner at la casa de Dorothy where we were joined by la familia de Goofy . It was fun to hang out, sample some yummy wines and eat pasta - X and I don’t normally eat pasta, so this was a special treat. As usual, Dorothy foisted off more toys on us. I think the actual quote was “TAKE THE TOYS”. Hell, she even carried them out to the car. Can't beat that with a stick, eh?

Sunday, I went to a book club meeting. We discussed the latest selection Night by Elie Wiesel. Honestly, this made for not such great discussion. Was it a good read? YES - I highly recommend this as a read - particularly, if you are trying to learn more about the Holocaust. But as a discussion point? I can’t recommend it. The group was all in agreement that the book was eloquently written and the story tragic, but the discussion waned quickly from there. Lately, we have also started including a movie as well. Since we had read High Fidelity, we watched that movie yesterday. I can't say I was very impressed with the movie - it didn't seem to really catch the flavor of the book as well as I had hoped - they also left out some of the very funniest lines from the book.

Anyway, in other Rancid Reads, I did finish Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant which was quite underwhelming. This book fell flat for me - it’s as if the author was trying very hard to write a movie-worthy book. I also finished About a Boy by Nick Hornby. LOVED this book. The movie has always been one of my very favorites, so I was curious about the book. One thing I really appreciated is that it was different than the movie. In fact, one plot point about the movie had always rang false for me and I was quite pleased to learn that book was different and didn’t include that particular plot point. Right now, I am reading Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Can I just say how much I am LOVING this book? I want to EAT this book it is so yummy and delicious. I think this book could also be sub-titled the “softer side of Economics”. I am also reading The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler. I may have to update my blog profile because Tyler is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors - she has a gift for capturing those small nuances that make up everyday lives. Finally, a while back I had recommended the The Blind Assassin by Margeret Atwood. I should add to my recommendation that this book is a bit of a bite in the ass to get into. It took me well over 100 pages to hit what I call the “The Hook” (the point of no return). However, it was well worth slogging through those first 100 pages - I am STILL thinking about this book.

I’d like to end this post by saying how very, VERY cool I thought it was that last night’s episode of The Sopranos ended with Pink Floyd’s “One of These Days”. It was also very appropriate considering the lyrics - I’d like to see that happen to Paulie. pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease Because I think we can all agree that Paulie is one SICK FUCK.

Welcome to the jungle.............in Kansas.

Where apes are apes and men are afraid.