Sunday, December 30, 2007

Beer Belly

The breastmilk just isn't cutting it anymore- he's on to a more manly beverage.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

An Overly Paranthetical Ramble

Oof. I haven't eaten a vegetable that wasn't cooked in butter and cream of mushroom soup for over a week. I have consumed so much chocolate and coffee and alcohol it's a wonder Eli hasn't stopped eating in protest (okay, not an ALARMING amount of alcohol, but more than usual, the usual being none.) I got such good presents- bracelet, sunglasses, lotions and chap sticks aplenty, new jammies, a new DVD player (at last!) Pistons tickets (yay!) the new Philippa Gregory book (ohmygosh her books are like literary crack to me) and also some lovely gift cards which I used to buy shoes and a silky new party shirt and a sweater. (The silky party shirt? A little more low cut than I realized when I bought it, but OH WELL let's flaunt these girls while I've got 'em, 'cause Lord knows after nursing a few more kids they are going to seriously be DOWN TO MY KNEES.)

I have already taken the tree and decorations down- I find them kind of depressing after Christmas, so I just put it all away and try to get excited about the New Year and all the New Stuff instead of feeling mopey and wistful about Christmas being over. Except I still end up feeling mopey and wistful, but that could be because the sun hasn't shone in about three days, and there is no snow, only dead grass and barren limbs and a gray, ashy sky. And also because my Christmas CD in the car has Jonie Mitchell's "River" on it, and it is so pretty that I keep skipping to that track, but it's a little too depressing to listen to over and over again, it seems, without casting a melancholy shroud over your own mood.

Nonetheless, mostly I am very happy, because all the exhausting parts of the holiday (shopping, wrapping, loading and unloading the car, pretending to like your relatives) are past, but there are still a few more days of the lying around in pajamas together and eating candy and watching Christmas movies and not minding that the house is messy. Those are really the best parts, as far as I'm concerned.

But I do wish the sun would come out.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho

Here you are- Merry Christmas! A festive shot of my new haircut, with bonus double chin angle for no extra charge!

The highlights have since been touched up, so it does look a little less ghetto than what you see pictured. They were touched up, however, by a complete MORON who, when told to try to match the blond shade growing out in the bottom half of my hair, liberally streaked the top half with BRASSY ORANGE. It's not immediately noticeably, but when you look at it under direct light, it's pretty glaring. And horrid. Bah humbug.
But my Christmas shopping is done- AND I actually feel confident this year in my gifts for Jim (i.e. they are not just a ton of lame SHIRTS that basically say, "Here, you should dress better!") I am getting very excited. Our various celebrations start on Christmas Eve and end the day after Christmas, so that's three whole days of presents, people! And family and love and stuff. *ahem.*
I hope you have a Merry Christmas, everyone, and that all your wishes come true. My wish is that it would snow again, because what we currently have is a Brown Christmas situation. There was about ten inches of snow a week ago, then rain, then all the snow melted into wet dirty mush. This seriously happens EVERY. YEAR. I am getting pissed here, Mother Nature!

Monday, December 17, 2007

One Of Those Days

I felt like the worst mommy ever today. Most Likely To Permanently Screw Up Her Children. First, Eli finally learned how to roll over- and promptly fell off the couch, missing the oak coffee table by inches, but still managing to bump his head on the floor and completely freak his little self out. Also to completely freak ME out. Because here's the bad mommy part:I wasn't even there. I heard the thump from the kitchen and ran to the living room in time to see his face scrunch up in horror and his mouth open in a scream.
He's generally fine if we lay him on the couch, positioned so he won't just roll off the edge, of course, and so I often put him down there while I fold laundry or play with Addy (or blog, or totally space out...) But I must have been puttering around, tidying things up, and gone to return some dirty dish to the kitchen when it happened. I felt SO AWFUl. He was fine; no red marks or bumps on his head or noticeable weirdness of any kind. But, to use a line from a few days ago when I was judging other people for their stupidity, WHO DOES THAT?! Who leaves a baby old enough to be learning to roll over alone on a couch?
Then, while I was comforting him, Addy ran off on her own, and returned with some mysterious red mark on her forehead! Now, she's very fair and gets blotchy anytime she bumps into anything, but what the heck! My children are clearly not safe in my care; they're just falling all over the place. I need a rubber room.
Fast forward to naptime. Cue the screaming and forty-five minute circus. Again, I feel like the stupidest mother alive. See, almost the day after I posted about Addy's fit-throwing over naps and bedtime, she quit throwing the fits and finally got used to the no-bottle policy. But then- THEN- I went and screwed it all up the other day. She was overly tired and crying even as I was getting her ready for bed, so I tried to comfort her by getting in bed with her, reading extra stories, letting her up for snacks and drink, etc. (You: Smacking head. "Oh no you DIH-UHNT!") Yes, I did. I am a moron. And now she's throwing fits again. She is in fact throwing a fit from behind her baby gate even as I type (it's eleven thirty at night.) I already dealt with this today, and am still recovering. I can't go up to bat again. But I have no choice, because Jim got called back to work at seven thirty and I am here alone. Alone with the special lasagna I made for dinner that he DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TIME TO EAT.
If there weren't brownies in this house, I might have snapped awhile ago.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

People For Whom Strangling Is Far Too Good

That would be the parents of Riley Ann, otherwise known as Baby Grace. I would rather not describe the whole sickening thing, so if you are not familiar with the story, just follow the link.
This kind of thing makes me physically ill, and this particular case has been bothering me on and off ever since it hit the news. It just fills me rage that some people would give anything to be a parent- a GOOD parent- and other total wastes of oxygen like these two "parents" are able to reproduce at will. God help us.
But then I got to thinking, we are supposed to be God's hands on earth. So instead of just sitting around feeling nauseous and furious, I would really, really love to be able to do something to protect other kids from this sort of fate, preferably by removing them from dangerous situations BEFORE something tragic happened.
Ideally, I would have some sort of enormous home (funded by an endless cash supply, of course) where people who are total assholes and have no interest in properly caring for their offspring could drop their kids off, no questions asked, at any age, and sign them over. Just say, "Here is my kid. I don't want to/am unable to care for it any longer." And then my agency would legally adopt the child and take care of it.
I realize I am not exactly in a position to do just this. I have no idea how one would legally go about setting up something like that. I just know that I want to do something, even if it's just raising money and giving it to people who ARE doing something like that. Does anyone have any good ideas about how to make a difference for abused kids, or have any referrals for me to organizations that are doing that very thing?

Friday, December 14, 2007

People I Want To Strangle

-The guy at the paint counter who completely ignores me for five minutes while he unloads stock, as I stand, LITERALLY drumming my fingertips on the desk, ten feet away. And then, when I have put in my order and come back ten minutes later, as instructed, to pick it up, he is too busy chatting with another employee about some sweet new scanning gadget (SERIOUSLY??) to address me. I wait patiently for another five minutes, then finally interrupt to say tersely, "I'm kind of in a hurry. Is my paint ready yet?" Shrugging, he glances at the paint mixer machine and says, "I don't think so. Another few minutes." As his fellow employee gives me a raised eyebrow- "Bitch," that eyebrow is saying to me.
-The clueless moron working at the drive-thru carryout who, with a line of three cars, mine included, waiting, stands chatting away with his friend in the first vehicle. Seriously, just stands there, chomping a toothpick and shootin' the breeze with his pal while we are all idling behind them, dollar bills in our hands, waiting for our gallons of milk or whatever. WHO DOES THAT?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Long Goodnight

Burning Question of the Day: How do you handle kids who keep getting up and up and up out of bed even after you have read the story, sung the song, given the kisses, turned on the CD, and said the prayers? And maybe you've even read the story a couple of times, and changed the diaper a couple of times, and sung the nighty-night song more than once, and the kid is STILL popping up?
Specifically, I'm asking about bedtime policy. I understand the importance of routine, and we've gotten better about that. Our routine has become regrettably long, but it is in place. We've even broken her at last of taking bottles to bed. But this means she has no happy juice lulling her reliably to sleep. Now, she will willingly go to bed, but then, unless she is dead tired, will jump out five minutes later to yell for us. Over and over and over again she will yell for us to put her back to bed, until she has at last exhausted herself of the whole tucking in process. This could mean she gets up twice, or it could be ten times. Just depends on the level of crazy she's hit before bedtime.
So what do we do? Is there a certain number of times we should go in, and then after that, just let her yell? Do we not go in at all, not even the first time? Is she playing us for fools, or are we just helping her get over the hump of learning to go to sleep without her beloved ba-ba?
I mean, I'm fine with it if it's a temporary situation which will eventually (SOON) resolve itself, but if it's just some stalling ritual destined to become more and more elaborate each night, then I'd like to nip it in the bud. Suggestions? Ideas that worked for you? If nothing else, commiseration?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My Monday

The problem with buying festively wrapped Reese's cup minis is that you cannot in fairness be snarfing them all day in front of your salivating toddler while telling her, "No more candy, eat your banana!" You have to invent reasons to sneak off to the kitchen and furtively shove one in your mouth, then saunter off as though it's all Business As Usual.
But that was not my point. My point today was about Preschool Politics (i.e. other parents' subtle and not so subtle comparisons of YOUR child to THEIR much more remarkable and advanced child) and how I loathe them so very much. First of all, let me say as a disclaimer that I am no less prone to this shameful habit than any other parent. I feel the urge to brag about my kid's cuteness and genius, too, and I am no stranger to those private comparisons to other people's kids. But I try to keep them PRIVATE. I try not to, say, ask every other parent in the room when, specifically, their child turned two, then nod at my own child knowingly and say, "Ah, THAT's why..." The end of that sentence presumably being, "...These other kids seem like such drooling idiots compared to you."
I love all the other parents in our Kindermusik class, but there's this one dad who drives me nuts on a regular basis. He just acts so superior, and his kid is always dressed in preppy little outfits complete with Bass Weejuns. The dad is always asking him questions designed to show off his brilliance, such as, "William, can you count to ten in Spanish for the group? William, can you show Miss Amy how you learned to tie your shoes already? William, can you explain The Theory of Relativity to the rest of the kids?" And so on.

Bonus Humiliating Anecdote!! So the holiday season is upon us, and with it many occasions for some indulging in the spirits. So I was thinking, since I'm not on the pill yet and not getting periods, it might be a good idea to take a p.t. test just to be absolutely sure I'm good to go with the drinking this Christmas (alcoholic that I am.) So I go into the Dollar General (the ghetto Wal-Mart!) to buy one of their cheapo generic tests, only to discover that you have to request them at the counter now. As opposed to what I used to do when I was trying for Eli, which was grab them buy the handfuls out of a big ole' Bin O' Pee Sticks.
So I stand in a line winding halfway to the back of the store, then quietly state my request to the cashier. Who SHOUTS ACROSS THE ROOM in front of the approximately thirty customers waiting behind me, "Hey Andrea, do you have any PREGNANCY TESTS at your counter?" Andrea yells back, "No, but there's some in the back! Have a stocker go get you one!" Cashier No. One then SHOUTS to a nearby stocker, "Hey Chris, go get this girl some PREGNANCY TESTS!"
To make a long story short, I scurried out of the store, redfaced, without the test. I'm pretty sure I'm not in the family way, and definitely not concerned enough to wait for five minutes with a whole line of people tapping their feet behind me waiting for Chris The Stocker to go fetch me my pee stick. Gaah.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Unfortunately, she knows just how cute she is.

Addy hearts Eli. Eli... Tolerates Addy.

Eli, keeping an eye on Addy for any sudden moves.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mom Hair

Oh geez. I'm getting night-before-big-haircut jitters. One's life is sadly lacking in drama if you're getting the Nervous Tummy about a haircut.
I think I'm for sure going short. I had it pretty short at one point, the summer I was pregnant with Adelay, and I mostly liked it. Other people seem to like me better with long hair, but hey, it's my head. My only fear is that despite my best explanation of what I want out of this hairstle, I'm going to end up with the dreaded Mom Haircut. Wish me luck, people.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Remedy

...For a morning in which every room you step into presents new chores to be done and new messes to be undone...
...For a morning in which the hours are flying by too fast to even shower, but the minutes themselves, of wiping bottoms and fetching snacks and letting dog in and out, are going by way too slow...
...For the deep longing to get the h out of the house, but you can't because winter has come at last, gracing you with icy roads and a snow covered car...

Is watching Waitress while eating vanilla ice cream covered in Nutella spread. Nothing like fudgy goodness, with a reminder that one's life could always be worse on the side.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Pretty In Pink

Adelay, just for the record, is not always a girly-girl. She loves to run and wrestle with Daddy, and is very good at kicking and throwing balls. One of her favorite things to do is drive her truck around the house. That said, I need to express my mounting annoyance in regard to her TOTAL OBSESSION with all things pink.
She has shown a preference for the shade since even before she could verbally identify it, and now that she can, we never hear the end of pink. At our church about a month ago, they had a slumber party for all the girls, and one of the activities was nail painting. Well, I made the mistake of letting- nay, ENCOURAGING!- her to get her fingernails done. Of course she chose the pink bottle of polish, and of course, she soon discovered that I had a bottle of pink polish hidden away in our bathroom at home. So now she must have her nails, fingers AND toes, painted pink at all times. If it begins to fade or chip, she notices, and demands, wiggling her hands urgently in my face, "Pink! Pink!"
She also has what borders on a fetish about pink socks. The last time I replenished her sock drawer, I bought about ten pairs, and two were pink, one dark and one light. It was then that Adelay became suddenly aware of the existence and importance of socks in her universe. The importance, specifically, of their color. Every day when I got her dressed, she began to run to the sock drawer and search frantically for the pink socks. If they were dirty, I had to talk her off a ledge. I finally wised up and just bought a whole crapload of pink socks. Problem solved, right? Except that now she suffers pangs of horror every time she changes clothes, because she cannot bear to banish a perfectly good, perfectly PINK pair of socks to the hamper, no matter how grubby they might be.
This morning this whole obsessive-compulsive tendency came to a head. We were seriously late for Kindermusik, and I was trying my best to get the whole dressing process finished without sounding like a stuck record of a song called, "Hurry Up." But as usual, the more I tried to light a fire under Addy, the slower she wanted to move. It came to the sock exchange- I pulled off the dirty ones, threw them in the basket, and put on a clean pair. Simple enough. Until the child wrenched herself from my grasp and fell to her knees before the clothes basket, weeping actual tears and sobbing incoherently about "The pink! The pink!"
I thought maybe she was upset because I hadn't let her throw the dirty pair in the hamper herself, something she loves to do. So I pulled them out and handed them to her. Still she wept, and began to root through the basket, flinging every item of clothing onto the floor, searching for some imaginary pair of pink socks. Snot and tears were running all over her face, and I couldn't understand anything she said. Every attempt I made to talk to her or physically remove her from the situation was met with hysteria. It was seriously like a scene out of a mental institution or something. A sock induced nervous breakdown.
I finally just worked around it, putting on the rest of her clothes and brushing her hair as she screamed and flailed. She didn't stop talking about the friggin' socks until we pulled into the parking lot of the Kindermusik location.
She has also of late developed a passion for (shudder) Barbie. Not that she plays with the actual dolls, but she has a Barbie movie, "Barbie as Rapunzel," which she loves with the whole of her little pink loving heart. Almost every morning she wakes up requesting to watch Barbie, and we have had to institute a "one showing of Rapunzel a day" rule. When we tell her, "no more Barbie," she grows sober and grief-stricken. "No mo Bah-bie," she will murmur softly to herself, staring at the TV sadly.
If only this were so.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Wallowing In Our Own Filth

Or, The Post House Showing Let Down. It sure feels good to wake up in the morning and know that there's no compelling reason to dust or vacuum anything, and that it's just fine to go ahead and make a huge, greasy breakfast, then let the dishes and splatters just be for awhile (awhile = all day) while we sit back and sip our coffee.
You could also say it's a Post Christmas Decorating Let Down. I always forget that, while fun and festive, putting up a tree and all the related trimmings is a long and kind of chaotic process of rearranging furniture, digging in closets rarely explored, and stepping over boxes and cords for the majority of the day while things get situated. It's good old fashioned family fun, sure, but it's also a massive pain in the rear.
All of this to say, our house is happily messy right now, and while I am sometimes a clean freak and unable to relax in clutter, at the moment the clutter and mess feels like a big sigh of relief.

Addendum: I made an appointment to have my hair cut (or CHOPPED OFF) next Saturday. I was going to just walk in somewhere today, sit down, and let them do as they would with it, but then chickened out and called a stylist I at least knew and trusted. So now I have a week to decide whether I want a trim, or an actual whack job. You'll all be waiting with bated breath, I know!