Friday, October 31, 2008

Pile o'Pumpkins

I'll have photos of the cutest pirate ever for you on Monday. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Did You Know That I Totally Know Michael Kors?

Yep, you read that right. I totally know Michael Kors. The famous American designer and Project Runway judge? I know, you're so jealous, right? Here is a photo of Mr. Kors in all his fabulously tan glory:




Okay, you got me. I'm lying. I don't know the actual Michael Kors. But, I do know my friend and he looks exactly like Michael Kors, only younger and less tan.

And you know what else? Looking like Micheal Kors isn't even the coolest thing about my friend Greg. The coolest thing about him is that he's an artist. Check out these super cute paintings he did that I'm getting for Oscar's toddler room (you know, when it stops being fuchsia):





How much to you love them? So cute, right? And I bet you're even more jealous of me now than if I actually did know Michael Kors.

Know what you should do? You should go check out Greg's new Etsy shop here and see for yourself all the cuteness he has up for sale.* Maybe buy a couple of pieces. Class up your kid's room a bit. Give him/her a little culture. Think of it as an investment. I know I am. Seriously, I'm counting on Greg cutting of a superfluous body part and suffering some kind of tragic death so those bad boys can put Oscar through college.** It could happen.

______________________________________

*Yes, I'm using my blog to shamelessly promote my friend's Etsy shop

**Greg, this is actually my plan to pay for Oscar's college tuition. I hear that the pinky toe isn't used for balance. Just saying.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just Fifteen Minutes: A Story About My Mom

My mom has an amazing talent. It's one that I as a mom totally covet. She can lie down and take a fifteen minute nap and be totally refreshed. Really. And it's NEVER more than fifteen minutes.

I don't know how she does it. It takes me more than fifteen minutes just to fall asleep and if I can get at least an hour I feel more sleepy than I did when I first laid down.

But, ever since we were kids, she's had this amazing skill. She's some kind of Jedi napper. She doesn't even use and alarm clock or a timer or anything. She just lies down, falls asleep IMMEDIATELY and SPONTANEOUSLY wakes in exactly fifteen minutes. And she can do it at any time of day, morning, noon, or night.

And when she wakes up, she's fresh as a daisy. You'd think she's just woken from a ten hour slumber. But No. Fifteen minutes.

Can you imagine what your life would be like if you could get a refreshing, satisfying nap in fifteen minutes? It would change everything for me. Too tired to fix dinner? Take fifteen and whip up a five course meal. Too exhausted to fold those five loads of laundry sitting in the basement? Just lie down for fifteen minutes and fold, fold, fold. Maybe even iron while you're at it. Can't pull it together to get to the grocery store? One fifteen minute siesta and you could be dancing in the isles of Giant.

I think the Jedi napping must be why my mom is such a happy person. She's NEVER TIRED.

Do you hear that, fellow parents? My mom is NEVER tired, and she never was. This lady, who raised three children, worked full time, shuttle our asses around to various after school activities, and took care of the house, was NEVER TIRED. And if she ever was tired, she just closed her eyes for fifteen minutes and became a new woman.

So, while I may make fun of my mom for being a complete and total nut bar, I will always admire and covet her Jedi napping skills. The force is strong with her people, very, very strong.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Playground Graffiti

This past weekend, Nelson and I took Oscar to a playground in our old neighborhood, about two miles from where we live now.

The last time we were there was maybe five or six years ago and we were running our remote control hovercraft over the basketball court. We couldn't remember what the playground equipment looked like at all, and being as Oscar wasn't even a twinkle in our eyes yet, we had no reason to ever notice.

We were pleasantly surprised. The equipment was nice, not more than a few years old, and there was a play gym specifically for toddlers and one specifically for elementary aged kids.

We spent most of our time over at the toddler play gym, but decided to go over to the big kid gym so Nelson could take Oscar down the tall slides.

And that's where we encountered it. Playground graffiti.



"Toy Story 2 was OK!" It wasn't awesome, it didn't suck; it was just ok. I like this piece of graffiti. It's honest and to the point, but not without enthusiasm. No mincing words here. Just a child-about-town's review of the film.



"Spider Women was Hera." Appropriately, this piece of graffiti was found on the rock climbing wall, because where else would Spider Women be playing? Notice that there was not one Spider Woman but MULTIPLE Spider Women. Note the charming improper use of "was" for "were." And likening Spider Women to Hera, queen of the gods, is quite clever. Clearly this tagger is an amateur, but I think she has real potential.

I've been to my fair share of playgrounds but this is the first authentic graffiti I've seen. I like it - these are kids with a message. They have something to say and they're gonna say it.

I like it. I'll be on the look out for more.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Listless Mondays: Pet Peeves

I am a woman of many pet peeves. Even more so being that I'm pregnant. Here's a list of things you should ABSOLUTELY NEVER do in my presence, or just things that annoy the crap out of me in general.

1. Over cooking pasta - Pasta is supposed to be al dente, people, not mushy. It should be firm, but not crunchy. The only people who should be eating mushy pasta are babies and other people with no teeth. Do you have teeth? Then cook your pasta properly.

2. People who pause at green lights (I'm looking at you, Nelson) - Green means go. So GO GODDAMN IT! Pausing at a green light is the opposite of safe. It is down right dangerous. Proceed forward. Should you use caution? Yes. Should you come to a complete stop, causing the cars behind you to stop short and possibly attempt to drive on the shoulder to pass you? No.

3. Inappropriate parkers - If you don't have a sticker with a stick figure in a wheelchair, don't park in the handicap accessible spaces. If you are not enormously pregnant, do not park in the expectant mother parking. If you do not have an infant, do not park in the parents with infant parking spaces. I assure you it is way more difficult for me to haul my fat-pregnant ass and stroller to the store than it is for you to haul your fat non-pregnant ass to the store. Oh, and screw you and your Lexus - you don't need to park in more than one space. One space per car. That's what the white lines are for.

4. Wet cuffs - You know when your washing dish or washing your hands, so you pull up the sleeves of your shirt/sweater, but they fall back down in the middle of the washing so the cuffs end up getting soaked and then you have to deal with wet cuffs all afternoon? Yeah, I hate that.

5. Shirt stains that appear only after washing - grrr.

6. Adults who chew with their mouths open - Holy crap this is so disgusting. The sight of it is bad enough, but the SOUND of the chewing is what really drives me insane. I mean who doesn't know that one is supposed to close ones mouth when chewing? Isn't that common knowledge, or am I being a politeness fanatic?

7. Dogs licking themselves (Valentine, I'm looking at you) - Oh god, there are few things that give me the heebie jeebies more than the sound of a dog licking itself repeatedly. Valentine does this - it's like a nervous habit. That wet slurping sound just makes me want to hurl.

8. Litterbugs - Trashcans are for trash, sidewalks are for walking. Keep your filth to yourself and have a little respect. Capishe?

9. Dirty dishes in the sink - PUT THEM IN THE DISHWASHER!!!! What's that you say? This dishwasher is full of clean dishes? EMPTY IT! Really, I don't mind, I swear to god. It will not hurt my feelings. And, if you don't know where something goes, ask me, don't just put it in some arbitrary location.

I must have about a thousand more, but I'm curious about what YOUR pet peeves are, if you're willing to share.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Misty Watercolor Memories

Scene - Our living room, Sunday afternoon.

Action - Sorting through old coats to donate to charity.


Nelson: So, you're going to get rid of these four coats.

Jenni: Yes, I haven't worn them for years and years and years.

Nelson: Okay

Nelson begins putting coats in a large bag.

Jenni: Hey, wait! You might want to check the pockets. Those coats are from my drinking days. You might find a $20.

Nelson begins going through pockets. Finds old flyers, candy wrappers, matches. No cash.

Nelson: Why would there be money? You never had any money back then.

Jenni: Oh, right. Because I drank it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Well on His Way

Oscar is a boy, and unabashedly so. The child LITERALLY plays in dirt. As in, he sees a pile of dirt and stops to rub his hands in it and throw it and get it in his hair.

If he sees a bug scurrying across the ground, he's on it, grabbing it, picking it up, showing it to me.

He chases the dogs, who are 30 and 40 pounds larger than him, and thinks it's hilarious when they knock him down (I, however, have mini heart attacks.)

His favorite book of the moment is about dinosaurs. He makes me read it to him 10 or 15 times in a day. Also, in a row.

He loves playing ball almost as much as he loves playing with cars and trucks.

Really, these are stereotypes, right? Boys are dirty, boys like dinosaurs, boys like bugs. I buy that, I do.

But today? Today he farted. And then he laugh.

He farted and he laughed.

Daddy is so proud. Oscar is well on his way to manhood.

*********

AS a side note, Phobia Fridays are canceled indefinitely. I'm just not feeling them these days. In fact, I have a bit of blogger's block. All I can really think about is how pregnant and uncomfortable I am. I could write about that ALL DAY LONG. In fact, I started two other posts today about completely different topics that ended up being about my very pregnant state. I'm going to try and limit the pregnant posts to once, maybe twice a week to spare you.

This weekend I'll be searing for my funny again. Have a good one!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Where is this Kid From Again?

When Oscar says dog, he now pronouces it "dawg. Dawwwwwg."

He's also occasionally replacing the word "no" with "nah."

It's true, we do live south of the Mason Dixon Line. But not that far south.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Are You Ready? A Story About my Mom

There are a couple of things you need to know before you can dive into this story. First: When my mom says "maybe," as a reply to a request is ALWAYS UNEQUIVOCALLY means "no." Second: When my brother and I were kids, we lived in the sticks, 35 minutes from the grocery store and a good hour from the nearest shopping mall. The high school was a 45 minute bus ride from my house (not that I ever rode the bus with the masses - I nearly always got a ride from an older, cooler kid that had a car.)

Okay, so this story is really about getting out of the house with my mom. As kids, my brother and I had to harangue my mom for DECADES to get her to agree to take us pretty much anywhere. She was always all, "Maybe. Maybe." This may have been because even as teens/pre-teens, my brother and I were holy terrors.

So, lets say we finally convinced my mom to take us to the mall on Saturday afternoon. Victory! Or so you'd think.

"Okay, Mom, lets go! Are you ready?"

"Yes. I have to get changed."

Twenty minutes later: "Okay, Mom, are you ready?"

"Just give me a sec. I've got to fix my hair."

Ten minutes later, "Okay, Mom, lets go!"

"Hold on. I need to finish my make-up."

Another ten minutes later, "Come on, Mom! Let's go!"

"Just a minute. I need to have a cup of coffee."

Forty-five minutes later, after she has brewed and drank an ENTIRE POT of coffee, "Mom! Come on! It's been more than an hour. Let's go."

"Okay, I just have to smoke a cigarette."

Yet another ten minutes and a very skinny cigarette later. "Are you done? Let's go!"

"Wait a second! I have to go to the bathroom."

Really? The bathroom? Seriously? After and entire pot of coffee and a cigarette and eight years spent getting ready? You have to go to the bathroom? Really?

Four days later, "Mom, are you done? Can we go already?"

"What? Where were we going again?"

"Mom! The mall, we are going to the mall!"

"Oh, okay. Just let me smoke a cigarette first."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's Raining Peas! Hallelujah!

Are you ready for yet another story about yet another poor parenting decision? Well, here it is anyways.

Oscar and Danny have not been on the same napping schedule for a few weeks now. Danny still naps in the morning while Oscar now naps in the mid-afternoon. I usually get 30-45 minutes of overlap, if I'm lucky.

It's not ideal, but there are advantages. First, I only have to break out one high chair. Since they are napping at different times, they are also lunching at different times. High chairs are huge and my house is not, so only having one of them cluttering my dining room has been pretty sweet.

Yesterday, Danny ate first. Oscar was rudely awakened two hours early from his nap by a barking dog (or by me yelling at the dog for barking and potentially waking the baby), so he was ready to eat right afterwards. Only he didn't want to eat in the chair. He wanted to play in the living room with his pal Danny.

I've said before, I don't have a lot of patience these days so I decided he could just eat picnic style in the living room. Except that one-year-olds don't really know what picnic style is.

The veggie burger was fine. A bite here and there between playing. Fine. Then, I broke out the peas. MISTAKE.

It started well. He was snaking on them enjoying them. And then, he snatched the plate, tosses the peas, and we were all covered in a hale of smooshy greenness.

After heaving what may have been the biggest sigh of my life, I went to call the dogs into the living room to clean up the mess. All three refused to enter. The dogs that spend literally ALL DAY trying to get into the living room to snatch snacks and toys would not help me out here.

So, I went for the broom. When I returned approximately 22 seconds later, Danny was gleefully STOMPING in the peas. No, he wasn't just walking from point A to point B. He was STOMPING in a CIRCLE in the peas, laughing, laughing, laughing.

I removed him from the mashed pea area (he cried) and began sweeping. Oscar came over and grabbed the broom. You know, to HELP. Four hours later, when we finished, I realized I had no dustpan. I literally turned around to grab a book to use as a makeshift, and Oscar had managed to spread the pile of peas back out in an even further radius than they had been originally. He was only too happy to "help" me sweep them back up.

On the upside, my floor is way cleaner than it has been in weeks.

On the downside, I think I'll be finding dried out peas in my living room for the rest of my life.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Listless Mondays: Oh So Random

listbutton

I'm joining Anna's Listless Monday again this week because I've got a little bit of blogger's block. feeling entirely scattered and am unable to come up with a cohesive theme for my list. A cop out, I know, but it's the best I can do today.

1. I read. A lot. Modern fiction, mostly, with some non-fiction. But, it's generally the good stuff. No Nora Roberts or James Patterson over here. Not that I have anything against them, I just generally don't like romance novels or suspense novels. That said, I'm currently reading Stephanie Meyers' Twilight series. The suspenseful teenage vampire romance novels? Yep. I'm devouring them. I started them Saturday afternoon and I'm already on the third. If I weren't so totally absorbed in them, I might realize my new obsession with teenage vampire romance is a little in appropriate for a woman in her 30s. But I'm obsessed.

2. As happened when I was pregnant with Oscar, I have completely lost my ability to focus on anything substantial, hence the Twilight series obsession. I forget to take something out for dinner almost everyday. I forget to do the laundry. I forget how long it's been since I've showered. I'm loosing it and I still have just over six weeks.

3. This baby is due in less than seven weeks. Do you hear that? That's the sound of me screaming in panic.

4. I just accidentally typed "scraming" in the sentence above and it reminded me how much I like the word scram. You really don't hear it often enough these days.

5. Oscar has been trying to put on his own socks and shoes. He has no idea how to do it. He sits on the floor and tries to wrap his socks around his feet. Or he will stand and try to force his feet into the socks, the way you put on shoes, but the sock is just flat on the floor and slides around. He does understand how the shoes go on, but not that he needs to undo the Velcro first. He usually ends up bringing them to me so I can put them on. And once they are on, he immediately sets about taking them off. And trying to put them back on. This can go on for 3o minutes or more.

6. The Sprout is moving around a lot and it hurts. I've been having dreams that it's trying to come directly out of my abdomen, face first. It just starts pushing it's face out of my body, and my skin stretches and forms the shape of it's face. It's so creepy.

7. My mom is loving the stories about her. She thinks they are hilarious and is showing all her friends. For the record, she maintains she does not dislike fat people.

8. I'm peeing an average of four times a night now. It's only going to get worse.

9. I've got nothing else. So scram.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The One Where I Turn into a Teenager

In my life before Oscar was born, I was a fundraiser. As a fundraiser, I met my fair share of celebrities. And by fair share I mean three. This, of course, does not include politicians even though if you are from or live in DC, politicians totally count as celebrities. I've met lots and lots of those.

The year before Oscar was born, I met my best celebrity. I was a fundraiser for a liberal non-profit in DC and we were throwing our annual awards ceremony/fundraiser/pain in my ass. It was only the second year, but things were really coming together. We had some amazing honorees. One of them was Tom Morello.

Oh, Tom Morello! When he agreed to accept our award I do believe my heart may have actually sang. Rage Against the Machine was one of my FAVORITE bands in high school. It was from them that I learned music could be loud and beautiful and angry and really mean something. Rage was absolutely part of my political awakening. They made being political and standing up for what you believed in cool.

Not only did he accept the award, but he agreed to actually perform at our ceremony. As stressed as I was about raising money and make the event perfect, I was really excited to meet him.

Now, normally, I do not get to meet any kind of celebrity (pseudo or otherwise) at events because I'm busy working my ass off. But I was determined to meet Tom Morello. I wasn't really sure it was going to happen, but I was going to try like hell.

Flash forward to the day of the event. It is early, during set up. The set up crew is caucusing at the site - me and about four junior staff members. I'm doling out orders and my co-worker Becky looks behind me says, "Oh. My. God."

I turn around and THERE HE IS. Tom Morello is standing RIGHT BEHIND ME. And then I died.

"Hi. I'm Tom Morello? I'm supposed to be receiving an award her tonight and I'm here for sound check?"

You know, in case a group of 20-somethings didn't know who Tom Morello was.

"Hi, we know who you are! I'm Becky!" said Becky, over my decaying corpse.

Then I came back to life and we all introduced ourselves and I gave him a CD to autograph for our raffle. And then I took him over to the stage to do sound check. And then I died again.

Okay, so he was wearing jeans and suspenders and combat boots and his UNITE hat and he had perfect skin and he was humble and he was shorter than I expected and he was a regular guy and seriously one of the most beautiful people I've ever see in real life. It was totally one of the coolest moments in my pre-mommy life and I'll never forget it.

So, tell me, have you ever met a celebrity or someone you really, really admire? How did you react?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Dog Ate My Face: A Story About My Mom

A few years ago, my mom was dating this guy. We'll call him Larry. Because that was his name.

My mom met Larry through an online dating service. Larry was maybe 5'6" and weighed about 400 pounds and dressed exclusively in khaki pants and Hawaiian-style shirts. I know these facts because : a) I saw photos; b) My brother was living with my mom at the time and reported these facts; and c) My mom also told me these same facts.

Right now you might be thinking, "Wait a minute! You said your mom does not like fat people!" And a person weighing in at 400 pounds is most certainly overweight, no matter their height. I still swear this is true, and I think his weight really bothered my mom. The reason I think this is because literally every single time she talked about Larry, she mentioned his weight and the fact that it did not bother her. But if if really did not bother her, she wouldn't bring it up constantly right?

What's the catch? Well, Larry was waiting to undergo gastric bypass surgery. He had to wait because he was so large, he actually needed to loose weight prior to the surgery so that it could safely be performed. So, he was on his way to thinness and better health.

Also, Larry was what my brother and I call Rich People. Larry owns several lucrative businesses throughout the state where lives. And, everyone knows when you are Rich People, no one seems to mind as much if you are overweight, unattractive, or even an asshole. You don't have to be good looking if you are rich.

And, on top of all of that, Larry was really, really nice and really, really funny, according to my mom and brother. To this day, my brother insists he's the nicest guy my mom ever dated that he met. He really enjoyed taking my mom out to really nice dinners and buying nice bottles of wine and opening car doors for her and stuff like that. He was good to her.

But, there was a problem. Larry, who was about 20 years my mom's junior, was looking for something a little more serious than my mom. See, she and my dad had only been split for a year or two and she wasn't looking for anything long term. She's just gotten out of a 27 year relationship, for lawds sake. She'd only been dating for maybe a year.

One weekend, Larry went on a golfing retreat at the beach with his buddies. Being Rich People, Larry also owned a house at the beach. He had a Harley he'd drive down there like once a month and he and his pals would get drunk and play golf and ride motorcycles.

Generally, he and my mom wouldn't talk during these weekends, but he'd call on Sunday as soon as he returned. My mom is pretty low key and low maintenance and she didn't want to bother him on his guys weekends, so this arrangement worked for her.

Sunday turned into Monday turned into Tuesday turned into Wednesday. So my mom called him and left a message, just checking in to see how his weekend was and to make sure everything was okay.

THE FOLLOWING MONDAY he called her back. He told her he'd be bitten in the face by a dog and was horribly disfigured and could not bear to ever see her again as he was now so ugly. She told him she didn't care and wanted to make sure he was okay, etc. but he was insistent. He was too ugly to be seen.

My mom called and told this story to me and my brother, who was visiting at the time. We burst out laughing. Seriously? I'm so ugly I don't want you to see me ever again?

"So, he dumped you?" my brother asked.

"No, he was disfigured," my mom said.

"Mom, he dumped you," I said. "No one gets horribly disfigured by a dog and refuses to see people ever again. It's a line."

"NO! You think so?" she asked. "Maybe I should go check."

Oh, my mom, I love her, but she is clueless.

After convincing her she would be a crazy stalker if she did this, she finally admitted he had probably dumped her. He had been trying to get serious and she just wasn't ready.

She sighed.

"Oh, well. It's not liked I loved him or anything," she said.

IT'S NOT LIKED I LOVED HIM OR ANYTHING. They dated for four months and this was her entire process of mourning the relationship. It's not like I loved him or anything.

And then, Larry was gone, never seen or heard from again, although we did get confirmation from a third party that there was no dog bite, he just didn't know how to break things off. I think she was dating within the week. She was sooo over him. I mean, it's not like she loved him or anything.

Although now, several years later, when my mom calls one of us and is all like, "I haven't heard from you in so long..." we always respond, "Sorry, a dog ate my face and I haven't been able to call."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Red Ties are Soooo Last Season

Remember five minutes ago when I was all wordless for Wednesdays? Well, scratch that.

I have a confession. And embarrassing and shameful and tawdry confession. Are you ready?

*Deep breath*

I will NOT be watching the presidential debate this evening.

I'm not skipping it because I'm politically apathetic (I'm just the opposite); I'm not skipping it because I already know who I'm voting for (although I do); I'm not even skipping it because it is guaranteed to be boring as hell (and it certainly will be.)

No, I'm skipping tonight's presidential debate, the last debate in the most important election of my lifetime thus far, I'm skipping it because I absolutely cannot miss the season finale of Project Runway.

I mean, it's Fashion Week! The entire collections of the three top designers, Kenley, Korto, and LeAnn, will be revealed! Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum and Micheal Kors and Nina Garcia will all be there, not to mention all kinds of celebrities in the audience. I've waited all season for this moment. I simply cannot miss it now.

I know that these debates are scheduled like a year in advance, and the Commission on Presidential Debates could have had no way of knowing when the season finale of Project Runway would air. And lets be honest here. Which program is going to be more exciting? The one with cutting edge fashion, nasty attitudes, and loads of celebrities, or the one with two guys in suits repeating themselves over and over?

I mean, the candidates aren't going to say anything different tonight, right? Obama will be all like, "He's just like George Bush!" and McCain will be all like, "You can't trust that whippersnapper!" So they are sitting at a table facing each other this time. Big whoop. Nothing either one of them will say is going to change my mind at this point, so I might as well watch something with a little suspense, a little excitement, a little style, right?

Right?

Wordless Wednesday #4: Oscar, Oscar Pumpkin Eater

For more Wordless Wednesday click here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Mom is Crazy

I'm not sure why, but I don't really talk a lot about my mom on this blog which is crazy because she is walking blog fodder. Seriously, she totally nuts. In a good way. So, with the help of my brother, I'm going to start digging through my memories for hilarious and heartwarming stories of my mom. For the record, at least 50 percent of her crazy is mine and my siblings' faults. The other 50 percent is all hers.

Some background about my mom*:

1. She's in her early 60s
2. She was a hippie
3. She got her first tattoo when she was 52 years old
4. That tattoo is a rose and it is on her boob
5. She now has something like six tattoos, including a tramp stamp
6. She was 3o when I was born
7. She calls marijuana "grass" (see number 2)
8. In the 80s, her hair was similar in style to David Lee Roth
9. Now, her hair is similar in style to Sammy Haggar
10. She is 5'1", but she pretends she's 5'3". No one is fooled
11. She wears garments with fringe
12. Jesus Christ Superstar is her favorite musical
13. She has a belly button ring
14. She pronounces the word "idea" with and -er on the end, so like "ideer"
15. She wears seven rings on her fingers at all times
16. She often dresses age inappropriate
17. She tells the same stories over and over and over and over and over
18. She does not like fat people, although she will tell you different
19. She say really insulting things to/about people and has no idea that she's doing it
20. She has a good sense of humor
21. Her earrings often touch the tops of her shoulders
22. She's epically bad about sending things in the mail
23. When my brother and I talk about my mom, we refer to her by her full name, first and last
24. She smokes Capris - these are the long skinny cigarettes, if you don't know
25. Her blue leather sofas smell like cat urine

Okay, so those are some fun facts about my mom. Stay tuned for an actual story about her this week. I promise it will be drenched in awesomesauce.

*I so wish this was yesterday's list.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Listless Mondays: Things that are Annoying me Right Now

I'm joining Anna's Listless Mondays today, since I too am a lover of lists. So, here are some things that are annoying me RIGHT NOW:

1. Name that baby: We have a name for a girl child, but none for a boy. When we discuss names it goes like this - I suggest awesome name, Nelson rejects; I suggest super cool name, Nelson rejects; I suggest epic rock star name, Nelson rejects. Fine if he doesn't like the names I've suggested, but he could at least come up with some suggestions. I'm due in less than eight weeks here. Lets do this thing, okay?

2. Low hanging fetus: There is SO MUCH PRESSURE I feel like the child weighs like 30 pounds and is about to fall out of my girl parts. Seriously, I am expecting an arm to pop out of my vagina and start waving at any minute.

3. The fuchsia nightmare: Oscar is still not moved because of Nelson being so disabled by his cold this weekend. Next weekend we have a birthday party. I'm beginning to think this move will never happen. Grrrr....

4. Oscar hates me: He has officially decided that he is no longer happy to be caged in the play/living room. He demands to be on free roam in the house at all times. He eschews his toys for knives and razor blades and has been eating glass. Okay, not really that last part but my hugely pregnant state makes it significantly more difficult for me to keep his safe and he rampages through our home. Also, he leaves spatulas and spoons and Tupperware littering our floor and I trip AT LEAST 97 times a day.

5. Oscar's new game: This is a good one. His new game is "eating" things he should not. Examples include paper, cardboard and mulch. Only, he doesn't really want to eat them. He only does it to freak me out. Really. He makes sure I see him putting these things in his mouth and laughs hysterically as I try to get them out. Sometimes, he PRETENDS to put something in his mouth, just to see me sweat.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Phobia Friday: The Man Cold

That season is upon us once again: cold and flu season. And with cold and flu season comes the dreaded man cold.

What is a man cold, you ask? It's only the worst cold ever, basically on par with the black death. Now, not all men get man colds, but ONLY men can get a man cold. Until just last year, I though this phenomenon was confined to just my husband, but apparently it is a world-wide epidemic.

For the last week and a half, I've been waylaid with a cold, as has Oscar. It's been miserable. Runny noses, post-nasal drip, sore throats, congested chests, chesty coughs, headaches, backaches. You know. A cold.

Yesterday morning, I get a call from Nelson (who was at work.) "I'm sick. I'm going to the doctor."

"What's wrong I?" I asked, concerned.

"It my head. And my throat. It's really sore," he said.

"Oh, sounds like the cold that has been going around the house," I said.

"Oh, no. This is much worse. My throat. It's an infection."

"Okay," I said.

He goes to the doctor. Diagnosis? A virus, a.k.a a cold. She told him to take decongestants and get some rest. She gave him a prescription for an antibiotic if he wasn't better by Sunday.

"Maybe I should just fill it," he said.

"No. You do not need antibiotics for a cold, only if it becomes and ear or sinus infection," I said.

"SIGH. Okay."

And today? Today, it's bad people. Really, really, bad. He called out of work. He woke in the middle of the night to go and get our down comforter out of the closet, "I'm freezing!"

This morning, it was the chills.

When he finally came down stairs, he took them one at a time. You know, because having a cold impairs the ability of people to come down stairs. And he groaned, literally groaned with each and every stair. And he has continued to groan with each step he took all morning long.

IT'S A COLD. Yes, it sucks. Yes, he feels shitty. But, is he dying? Hardly! Is he really having difficulty walking? I find that hard to believe. It is the SAME COLD I had, and I'm pregnant with my shitty pregnant immune system. I couldn't even take decongestants. And I barely mentioned my ills.

But, being the excellent wife that I am (ahem), I made him some soup and some tea, got him the remote and a blanket, and set him up in the couch. He's watching "How it's Made" as we speak. Text book man cold.

I keep trying to remind myself, I know not the pain and agony of a man cold. I only know what a regular cold feels like. Nelson is enduring a level of suffering I cannot, even though I've endured natural child birth, possibly comprehend.

I really just hope he can make it, I hope he can survive the day. Because if I have to deal with another day of this? I might kill him.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Asshole Pediatrician

Oscar is on the mend! No fever yesterday, although the rash was at it's worst. I was pretty much convinced he had actual measles and was going to die. Today, the rash is nearly gone and he back to his sweet, laughing, slightly whiny self. And I couldn't be happier. Except for the whining.

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When I took Oscar to the doctor on Tuesday, we didn't see our regular pediatrician. We go to a large practice and all the doctors take turns having a day of doing "sick visits" where they don't have patients scheduled all day and just see the sick kids as they come in. This is actually pretty awesome because it means you can always get an appointment the day you need it, and you don't really have to wait.

We saw Dr. K, who is actually the first doctor we ever saw at the practice when we brought Oscar in at just under two days old. She really annoyed me because she was so condescending and basically said that my home birth was not clean. "I'm going to really check his belly button because I don't know how clean your home birth was, " is what she said.

This was just so disrespectful and stupid. It's a commonly know fact that there is actually less risk of infection to the mother and the infant in home births as opposed to hospital births. AND it's not like I gave birth in dirt floor shack assisted by a witch doctor. My baby was delivered at home, in my bed, by a Certified Nurse Midwife. I was so pissed.

Obviously, she is not the doctor we see in the practice. We see Dr. Jones, who we love for many reasons. 1) He's a straight shooter - he says what he means and never beats around the bush; 2) He's often crude and borderline inappropriate and as someone who herself is often crude and borderline inappropriate, I appreciate these qualities in others; 3) After his first meeting with Oscar, I snagged a look at his notes and he wrote that Oscar was "cute" like that was his diagnosis or something and I liked that; 4) His name is Dr. Jones, like Indiana Jones, so we say his name with a funny accent whenever we talk about him.

Okay, so sick visit Tuesday, Dr. K is the sick doctor. She comes in, I tell her what's been going on. She is pleased that I've been treating his fever with Motrin and Tylenol, pleased that I've been keeping good track of his symptoms (his fever at different times of the day, when it began, when the rash began, when the runny nose began, etc.)

Then she asked if I'd been taking his temperature rectally. I had actually been using an ear thermometer because our rectal thermometer is broken. It registered his temperature at 124 degrees and I was CERTAIN that was incorrect. So, she said, "Ear thermometers are inaccurate. If you're going to take his temperature that way, you might as well not bother taking it at all."

First, ear thermometers are accurate within half a degree, just like oral thermometers are accurate withing one degree. And second, ASSHOLE! She was so snotty about it.

I told her I was certain he'd had a high fever because I could feel it on his trunk - kid was on fire. She accepted this, because unless the fever is above 103, you really can't "feel" it to the touch.

So, then she asked if he'd had any behavioral changes. I told her yes, he's been cranky, waking at night, crying inconsolably, showed little interest in playing, and was eating less. Her response? "Well, if you were running a fever that high and had a runny nose you'd probably be cranky and not interested in playing either."

No shit, Sherlock, but if you were going to be such a condescending asshole about my response then why did you ask me in the first place? Maybe this was her way of assuring me his behavioral changes were nothing to be concerned about, but why even ask me about it if she was going to be a jerk? Why not just say, "Crankiness, crying, fatigue, and loss of appetite are normal symptoms. Have there been any other changes?" I'll tell you why. Because she likes being a jerk.

Diagnosis #1 - reaction to his vaccination. I'd figured this, but with the runny nose it could have been an ear infection which is why they wanted us to come in. She said not to bother taking his temperature because the ear thermometer was in accurate (again), but if he felt warm, to keep up with the Motrin/Tylenol treatment.

Diagnosis #2 - Dr. K is an ASSHOLE. I hate her.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Nesting. Oh my God the Nesting.

Two batches of muffins, an apple pie, four dozen chocolate chip cookies. All from scratch. Since Friday. Still to go, another apple pie, oatmeal cookies, peanut butter cookies, and one more batch of muffins. And, I've got my eye on Swistle's Chocolate Mint Brownies for this weekend. Or maybe her Salty Brownies. Okay, if I'm being honest, I'll probably make both.

In the moments where I haven't been tending to a screaming, sick, teething toddler I've been baking my ass off. No, I've been baking my ass into the next time zone is more like it.

I'm seriously baking like it's Thanksgiving. If my house doesn't smell like baked goods, I start to panic. It's like I'm turning into Donna Freaking Reed over here.

In truth, I've always found baking cathartic. Good baking is a science. Precise measurements are key, each and every ingredient is important. Unlike cooking, which is more of an art, adding garlic here, using less salt, etc. That just doesn't work for baking. You can't just leave out the baking powder or vanilla. It would ruin your cake.

And? We've had complete refrigerator/freezer/pantry reorganization this weekend. It was so awesome, better than vacation. Well, not really but still awesome.

So, with Oscar, I didn't start nesting until four days before he arrived. I scrubbed my fridge within in an inch of it's life and baked five freezer meals in one day. And I'm not talking tuna casseroles here. I made freaking stuffed shells with turkey and artichoke hearts. I was a woman possessed. Nelson was afraid. He kept saying, "What are you doing? Will you stop? Why are you doing this now?" I believe my exact response was, "I CANNOT have a baby if our fridge is filthy."

Also, I've made the decision that Oscar will be moving into the fuchsia nightmare this weekend. I don't care if it's fuchsia. We can paint it later. He'll never even know the difference. When I declared this move to Nelson, he got a look of fear in his eyes.

And if he thinks the closets aren't next, he's only fooling himself. He knows I cannot be stopped.

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Oh, and funny slightly-related-but-not-entirely story! When Nelson came home yesterday afternoon, he was full of admiration for my apple pie. It was pretty gorgeous, perfectly golden crust, uncracked vents, the edges meticulously crimped, sprinkled with just the right amount of Cinnamon and sugar. It could have been in a magazine. Martha would have been proud.

He said, "You should take a photo of this an put it online. I bet there is a website called rate-my-pie dot com."

I said, "Yeah, I bet there IS a website called rate-my-pie dot com. And I bet the kinds of pies they are rating are not of the fruit filled variety."

Nelson, "Geez, you're probably right."

From the man who exclaimed about Hooters, "But don't those women realize men are just coming in there to look at their breasts!"

Oh, how I love this guy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Happier Day

He is still sick. Fever and a rash all over his little body. Screaming and crying at a volume you cannot even fathom. The terribly condescending doctor we had to see today (she was the one conducting the sick visits) says it is likely a reaction from his last vaccination. Ooooh, want to tell you about her so bad, but I've only got a minute and I'd rather post this cute photo. Hoping tomorrow is a better day.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Bloggy Love

Nelson is back and it's fantastic! Unfortunately, Oscar has been pretty sick, waking up from yesterday's nap flushed with a fever well into the 104s. It's down about a degree today, but it's already been a rough one, rocking his hot little body and willing it to fall asleep, which he desperately needs but is fighting off like a ninja.




Needless to say, this has exhausted me. I had about three different ideas for posts today and all have fled my brain. But! Then I remember that I have some bloggy love to spread. See, Jen over at Steenky Bee gave me this super award:



I am so humbled, particularly considering Jen gave me this award after I completely rocked her world by tell her about Viggo Moretson's vestigial tail. No, really, he does.

So, the deal is, now I have to award five bloggers I heart. So, here goes.

1. I absolutely have to start with Veronica over at Sleepless Nights. Veronica is one of my favorite bloggers, and people, that I've never met. She's got a hilariously dark sense of humor and I always appreciate her honesty about the difficulties of parenthood. So often I read her blog and think, "Oh, Veronica, me too! Me too!" She's also pregnant and caring for a toddler. It's good to have a sister in your suffering.

2. This next one goes to a blogger I've only recently discovered, Anna at abdpbt. I like her so much that after reading one post I added her to my reader, and every time I read a new post I have to go back and read like four more from her archives. I think I might be obsessed. She's so snarky and funny and a really lovely writer. She's a woman with a past, a sense of humor, and loads of talent. AND she lives in LA, so you know she's cool, and probably really blond and thin. But I'll forgive her for that.

3. Another LA blogger I heart is Mike over at the Newborn Identity. He's keen, for reals. He's a stay-at-home-dad to the cutest little girl with the biggest blue eyes you've ever seen. And he is FUN-NY. And, his mom is always telling him he's fat, which leads me to believe we might actually have the same mom. And he used to play with dolls and he STILL scored a hot wife so I have mad respect for him.

4. Next, I've got to give the love to Stimey over at Stimeyland. You probably already read her blog because she's a badass, but when my blog grows up, I want it to be just like hers. She's honest, she's funny, and she defaces her husband's political mail. And, when she's not defacing mail, she's raising three boys who are each a handful in their own right. Stimey is also what I refer to as a "local blogger" meaning she's from the same general area as me. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever run into her at the grocery store or the park or a museum or library or something, where I'd be all like "Stimey!! OMG, I lurve your blog soooooo much," and she'd be all like "Heh, okay, thanks, crazy. Step away from my children and don't follow me home, alright? And STOP TOUCHING ME!" Oh, if only.

5. And last, but my no means least, I have to give an award to Moo over at Moo's Moo. Oh, Moo, what was my life without you? Was I even really living? Moo and I are kindred spirits and we also seem to be living parallel lives what with our unaffectionate, absent fathers and clueless stepmothers and annoying in-laws. We may very well be the same person. Moo is never short on drama and hilarious stories. And, she says the word "y'all" which, while I never say it in my blog I do say in real life.

So, awardees, if you please, it's now your job to pass this prestigious award on to five other bloggers that knock your socks off. You can just click and paste the badge for your sidebar, if you're into that sort of thing.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

31 Weeks at the Pumpkin Patch


Only nine weeks to go. Nine weeks. Did I just say nine weeks? Holy f-ing crap.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Phobia Friday: Being a Crap Parent

I've had a rough week. In spite of all the help I've gotten from family and friends, I'm exhausted. The kid has run me ragged. RAGGED. Today has seen the worst of me. Today makes me feel ashamed and embarrassed and inadequate and unworthy of having a child who's so sweet and loving and adores me so much, and unworthy of having another.

This morning, I looked at my son and said much too loudly, "I've had enough!" And I left the room. I fled to the kitchen where I burst into tears. Apparently 75 minutes of non stop whining is my limit today.

"I just want to shower or get dress or go to the bathroom or eat something or drink something without being whined at," is what I said to myself.

He was fed, watered, dressed, had ample toys to play with. All I wanted was to drink a glass of water and eat one bite of my bagel. And I feel so guilty for it.

My brother came up seconds later and sat with Oscar, who did not whine once, until I returned to the room. And then, there it was, full tilt. The happy babbling baby was gone with his first glimpse of me. Super.

After 10 more minutes of the whining, I just put him down in his crib. He's up there now, playing, talking to himself, content. I have a few moments to sit here and write about this and try to get over it. Try to get over feeling like a failure because I cannot cope with my own child today; a failure because it's not his fault but still I blame him; a failure because he's only one for chrissakes and this is how a one year old behaves; a failure because if I can't handle him, how am I going to handle two; a failure because he is a good kid and deserves better.

Once when I was about ten and my brother was about six, my mom walked out on us. We were fighting and she just said, "I can't take this any more," and she took her keys, got in the car, and took off. We were crying and chasing after her. She came back five minutes later, having regained her composure and just went about her day.

I'm not angry and I don't blame her for this. My dad worked long hours and so did she and she never had any help. But, I always knew this was not something I ever wanted to do to my kid, to make my kid feel abandon and afraid and alone. And I fear that that is where I am headed.

Sometimes I am not the mother I imagined myself to be.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ah, Yeah...


The One Where I Let Oscar Run Amok and Wreck the Joint. Again.

Amok! Amok, amok, amok!

So, in another moment of spectacular parenting (I seem to be having a lot of these this week), Oscar tossed another soda and it exploded. This time, the mess spanned three rooms and five feet. The kitchen, the pass-thru, and the dining room were all hit.

Let me start at the start. I get up each morning at six (groan) so that I have time to shower and eat breakfast before Oscar rises between 6:30 and 7. This is the earliest I've had to get up on a regular basis since high school, but I've made my peace with it. I'd rather get up early and be clean and full than deal with my toddler when I'm hungry, smelly, and cranky.

This morning I get up and I hear an, "Oh!" I go to Oscar's crib and see him, standing, up before the sun, ready to greet the day. I tossed him some toys, got my shower, and brought him down for breakfast.

While I was fixing his breakfast, he went for the boxes of soda. Now, I should have learned my lesson. I should not have let him take a soda out of the box. I should have put him in the gated living room so he was secure. But, taking the soda and/or gating him in the living room resulted in epic whining and I just wasn't ready to deal with that at 6:30am.

Well, I also wasn't ready to deal with the soda that he threw with such force it exploded in three different rooms.

Defeated (already! at 6:30am) I pick Oscar up, clean him off, and put him in the gated living room where he proceeds to whine like there is no tomorrow. I finish making his smoothie and give it to him and commence mopping the floor with two wet dishrags under my feet.

I know this is my fault. I need to move the sodas to the pantry where he can't reach them. But, right now, the summer platters and Tupperware to be returned and something that smells funny are all over the floor in there and I haven't had time to clear it all out. But, it'll get done tonight because finding mystery smell thing > dealling with exploding sodas.

At least this one was of the lemon-lime variety.

I was also going to tell you how yesterday Oscar dumped a glass of water all over my brother's Xbox, but that's just too sad to recall here. I'm feeling like such a loser parent.

AND, there's gonna be another one in two months. Twice the soda, twice the laughs.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Random Bits #3

GOOD NEWS! I got a call from my midwives yesterday and it seems I was mistaken; my insurance will in fact cover a home birth. Yippie! I can't even tell you how stressed I was about having to drive to the birth center while in labor. I realize that driving to the hospital/birth center is par for the course for most women, but I've never had to do it. And, I've made Oscar's childcare arrangements for the birth. I'm beyond happy. Bring on the baby. Ha ha.

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Oscar seems to feeling better today. I know this because he woke me, quite cheerily at 4AM! and basically refused to go back to sleep. He did play in his crib quietly for two hours though and proceeded to have a fantastic morning tearing around the house and even ATE BREAKFAST which he hasn't done in, oh, two months or so.

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In other Oscar news, his 15-month check up went great. He's still in the 90th percentile for height and the 25th percentile for weight, so it looks like long and lean he'll be. I'm trying not to hold that against him.

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People keep parking in front of my house partially obscuring my driveway. This really, really annoys me. Do they not see my driveway? Do they not know it's illegal to obscure a driveway? Are they trying to drive me mad? I peer out the front door window and scowl a them. The do not care. I'm turning into a crazy old lady, aren't' I? If I start hollering about those darn kids and their rock and roll, please put me out of my misery. Oh, god, I just used the word "hollering." The transformation has begun.

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In what may be my best act of parenting yet, I fell asleep this morning while watching Oscar play in the living room. You know what woke me up? Oscar smashing a book into my face, demanding that I read it. And, you know, pay attention to him. After waking me up at 4AM. I'm sure two children will be much, much easier.

Operator, I'd Like to Place an International Call...


Does anyone know the country code for Spain? And also, how to dial a phone?