lemon_says: (lemonbaby)
When we were little, Beth's family was very cutting edge. They had cable television and a microwave. Sometime around 1980, Beth and I figured that if we rested our heads against the microwave while it was nuking our instant mashed potato snack, we'd get radiation-induced superpowers.

It didn't work.

And yet I have been informed by BabyCenter that it is not wise to stand directly in front of my microwave. This edict isn't really that hard to follow since I don't use it often anyway--although sometimes I like to give P fits by approaching it with a Tupperware container or plastic plate, as if I'm planning to have leached-BPA soup for lunch--but I can't imagine that if a year spent leaning my head against a 1978 microwave didn't give me a brain tumor, two minutes of heating frozen peas isn't going to turn Z3PO into the Invisible Baby.

I still have people ask me if I'm sure it's okay to color my hair. I assume so; I've colored my hair throughout two other pregnancies and neither child seems to have suffered adverse effects or turned redheaded. If I didn't color my hair it would be stark white, and if you think being pregnant and using a cane isn't attention-getting enough, add long, curly white hair to that and see how many funny looks I get. (Yes, I'm only 35. Yes, I went gray at 13. Yes, it's the curse of a heavy dose of Scots/Welsh ancestry. Yes, I KNOW you are amazed. No, I don't feel particularly sympathetic that you--OMG--found a gray hair last week. My natural hair color hasn't seen the light of day in 20 years.)

I'd like to paint the bathroom, but I'm sure if I mention that I would like to do that, I'll have no shortage of people reminding me to wear a mask/use low-VOC paint/wait until after the baby is here. Now, I'm not saying I want to take up a career in the painterly arts; I just want to slap a coat on my bathroom. (Here's also where I admit that I did peel/burn/scrape 70 years worth of lead paint off this house before I knew I was pregnant with Anya, and yes, I still wonder if that's why the child can't find something in her direct line of vision.)

[livejournal.com profile] blakdove's mom keeps reminding her not to lift her arms over her head or her baby will get tangled in the umbilical cord and strangulate. Despite knowing this is untrue, it gives me the willies. You also are not supposed to sleep on your back because the weight of your uterus presses on a major vein and slows your blood supply, thus slowing the blood supply to Our Friend Fetus. This seems like poor engineering, but I have built a small fortress of pillows around me that keep my off my back and keep Devil Hip properly positioned. Sometimes I think I can see P over there, across the pillow fort. I wave hello.

If I order blue cheese dressing, I get sidelong looks from mothers who gave up all soft cheeses while incubating their young. If I mention we had sushi, someone always says, "I hope you didn't get the raw kind." Well, no, I didn't, but thanks for shaming reminding me.

In case you're wondering, there's a whole list of things that should have occurred to me and didn't, and BabyCenter helpfully has a guide to such concerns. (Things that are ok: hair color, waterbeds, Spanx. Things that are not: rock concerts, blackened food, and tooth bleaching.)

I do try to stay on top of these things. I was surprised to learn somewhere mid-second-trimester that I should have stopped using a night cream lotion months prior, and every once in a while someone says, "You aren't still doing X, are you," and I say, "Oh, no, heavens no," and I'm thinking, whoops. Who thinks of this stuff? Waterbeds? Concerts? I thought I was paranoid, but apparently I'm on the low end of the paranoia scale when it comes to safety.

Meanwhile, I still live in fear of refrigerators because of one passage in an A.S. Byatt novel. Because why worry about a practical fear when your refrigerator is out to get you?
lemon_says: (Default)
I see on the chart I Googled that the tenth anniversary is marked with gifts of tin or aluminum. We're going car shopping. Does that count?

So, ten years ago, my mother asked P if he really knew what he was getting into, and P and I giggled our way through our beach ceremony a couple months after we started dating, feeling like we were getting away with something.

And here we are, having been married longer than all three of Jennifer Lopez's put together.

And really, I can only think of a couple of times that I would have hit him with a blunt instrument and buried him under the house if that hadn't meant I'd have to go work in an office again. (Closest he ever came was when Anya was a baby and never slept and at one point he actually said to me, "You need to do something about this." He saw the error of his statement before it was even all the way out of his mouth, but he still hastened to get away from any projectiles headed his direction. I'll grant the man was sleep-deprived too. Anyway.)

I honestly had forgotten the date until I looked at the corner of my computer while I was checking FB. It's not that we don't care; it's that if nearly every day is nice, you don't have to try so hard to make the anniversaries perfect.
lemon_says: (WTF)
I often see things that make me wonder who the target market is. Obviously the infomercial market is for people who can't drain spaghetti or slice a banana. Little girls' clothes with "diva" are for mothers who refer to themselves as "MILFs." Title loan ads are directed at those who don't really want their cars back.

Who, exactly, is the target market for these underpants?

Is it just me, or do these look more like something one would wear in order to prank one's unsuspecting lover in a Crying Game situation than for a maternity announcement?

WTF?

Jul. 26th, 2011 04:34 pm
lemon_says: (Default)
Can anyone enlighten me as to why LJ has suddenly decided to tag entries for me to link to other sites? If I wanted to link to an ad for yoga, I would freaking do it myself.
lemon_says: (Hip)
I hope everyone is celebrating properly. Take a long walk. Sit Indian style (they don't call it that anymore, you know--it's "criss cross applesauce"). Do some yoga. Thank your hips for being useful.

I have been enjoying the day. I had great company, as [livejournal.com profile] eshayden and I walked the kids to the coffeehouse and then [livejournal.com profile] gratefulbambina brought her kids over. We had a lovely, rambunctious day. There was dirt-digging involved, and at one point there were zombies chasing cowgirls.

Ez is currently trying to perform some tricks he saw on "America's Got Talent," so he has wedged himself into a hula hoop and is attempting to roll around the house. You'd be surprised at how much distance he has managed. Anya is doing handstands. No, they aren't jacked up from seven kids running amok all day, eh?

I had to run out quickly for an OB appointment for about an hour, so the ladies watched my two and theirs. I talked to Dr. A--the head OB--about the sonogram tech and all her many ways of annoying me and accusations of dieting, and she said that she's not remotely concerned about anything with Z3PO's size (or mine), so I can cancel that next u/s "growth check" and as long as the fundal height keeps being good she doesn't think I need those. Now all I have to do is make an appointment with the orthopedist to make sure nothing has shifted and he's not going to be all peevish about my damaging his handiwork. I'm thirty weeks already. That went fast, didn't it?

And then we had cinnamon rolls, because every day is better with cinnamon rolls.

So, go bend down and touch your toes, or run up some stairs or something. And have a cinnamon roll. Do it for your hips.


Edit: Here's a conversation with Ez for you. I let the kids watch America's Got Talent and on one of the results shows there was a performance from "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." Ez sat there watching in silence for a while, then said, "Yeeeah, those people shouldn't go to Vegas."

Me: Those people aren't in the competition.
Ez: What are they doing there?
Me: They're just a performance. It's from a musical. They're already kind of famous.
Ez: REALLY?
Me: Yes. People pay to see this show.
Ez: Why the hell would they do that?
lemon_says: (Hip)
Tomorrow is Hip Day.

It will, I'm sure, be like any other day, but I tend to feel a bit ominous on the 25th. I can't shake off the knowledge that when you go to bed, you have no idea under what circumstances you'll go to bed the next night. Three years ago today I was fine; three years ago tomorrow I wasn't and got a permanent parking pass to prove it (as I should have; I mean, really, what is the point of being handicapped if you can't get at least good parking and board the airplane first?).

I have these moments where I think, Jesus, this should not have been this big a deal; I should not still be dealing with this three years later, and I suppose that it's possible that that line of thinking is behind why I still have trouble dealing with some aspects of this mess (along with that whole only-semi-functioning leg thing).

I do wonder if I'll ever be able to shed the last of the apprehension and look down, to stand near the railing without flinching or climb a ladder and breathe at the same time. Maybe someday I'll get out of bed and my first thought won't be is this leg going to hold. I guess in the meantime my hands will still sometimes shake, and I will sometimes still dream about seeing my feet in the air and the terrible sound of cracking on impact. And though I get closer to accepting the permanence of all of this, I'm not there yet and I still get pissed off and miss my old body.

So, even though you'd think I had learned my lesson at one year, when that magical anniversary didn't mean it was all just fine, or at two, when I was still limping, I guess I really still haven't. I read that article where the guy who broke his kind of like mine, only in fewer pieces, said that five years later he felt almost like himself again, and I think, two more years to go.
lemon_says: (Default)
Oh my GAWD, is there anything more painful than car shopping? If it weren't so irritating it'd be hilarious. Apparently P's biggest issue was not that he wants to keep the Scion so much, but that he misunderstood how used a car I was willing to accept and thought the ones I liked (rather, the ones that WOULD WORK) were too expensive. He was thinking I didn't want anything more than like a year old. Why, yes, that would be lovely...and totally unrealistic. (See, we would have known this earlier, but because of activity the last couple of weeks, almost every conversation we've had recently has been via email, including the one about the baby's name. I was about to put up "Have you seen me" signs, but then I woke up and someone in my bed was snoring, so I assumed he'd turned up after all.)

A Great Big Car Payment is especially unrealistic because his company just re-upped insurance and Humana is freaking out over Obamacare, so our insurance payments are now jacked up to about $800 per month with $75 co-pays, and having a baby is treated like a surgery and will cost us $5000 out of pocket. I'm still so angry about that that I could spit nails, but let's not talk about that right now because it makes me get all cross-eyed and sweaty and profane.

Anyway. Cars. So, the most important thing to know about car shopping is that the ones that get the best reviews tend to be made by people like Audi and Mercedes, and then we are patronized by the reviews that refer to anything less as "cheap" or "sluggish," things like that. Even the CR recommended picks have cons, of course, but it gets tiresome to read about everything that could be less than perfect about the only cars that are realistic. Gee, the Buick SUV is roomier than the Kia? No shit?

And you read some of the recommended picks and have to wonder how the hell that car got recommended, if "stopping distances in our braking tests were disappointing." And the ones that CR rates highest have lower-than-median owner satisfaction rates. [livejournal.com profile] themysteriousg, I honestly am beginning to believe that you would do just as well to throw a dart at the board with all the third-row SUVs listed and your odds would be just as good. Pick one that's a pretty color. It don't matter.

I think we have reached a point where there is simply too much research available.

But lo, we are now "on the same page," as they would say in one of the seminars in which poor P has been trapped for days on end, so now it may begin truly in earnest. I think. So we shall peruse Consumer Reports and Edmunds and decide if we would prefer to have a car that brakes or one that has a functioning transmission.
lemon_says: (Delicious)
This week has been insane, mostly in a good way. We've been really busy with Camp Lemon (which means I'm keeping a friend's kids, which entertains MY kids, so it's win-win all around) and errands and a gazillion other things, mostly of little consequence.

We walked down Stone Mountain. Half the people I passed asked me, "Did you actually WALK UP?" Probably because it was 200 degrees and that whole baby thing, eh? We rode the cable car up, which has a big sign with a pregnant person with a line through it (which Ez would read as NOT ALLOWED PREGNANT PEOPLE, as he enjoys translating such signs and always reads the NOT ALLOWED part first). I'm not really sure what they think is perilous about riding a cable car up 850 feet or so, so I said sure, I'm still clear to get on a plane and hopped on. It was that or walk up, and that was not going to happen. Walking down was challenging enough. Now I have shinsplints. Durr. But Pip went with us, and the seven of us trekked up and down and around and had a picnic. It is really a delightful bunch of kids. I had several people give me these sidelong looks or say, "Wow, you've got your hands full" or "you're brave," and it didn't dawn on me at first that most of them probably thought all those kids are mine. That would be challenging, since Colton and Anya are four months apart and Ez and Spencer six months, but maybe they thought it was sets of fraternal twins? Once I realized people thought that I felt compelled to say, "They aren't all mine," and then I got on my own nerves because it's none of their business.

And for the third time now, I was out with just my two and people would point at my midsection and say, "Is this your first?" The first two times I just said no and gestured at the kids, but the last time I said, "Yes, I found these two in the parking lot."

So between our art projects, bowling, hiking, and errand running, I've decided to end this week today instead. Tomorrow is Saturday and if P tries to leave the house, I'll staple him to the wall.

Either that or I'll just take the kids swimming.

Astonishingly, I passed my gestational diabetes test. I am astonished not because I thought I had it--I was certain I did not--but because I had sneakily blown off the test for three weeks until they called and started pestering me to come in RIGHT AWAY, as I had already violated the RULES by not doing it prior to 28 weeks. It's a non-fasting test, but there's a hella high fail rate because of that, and then you have to go take the 3-hour fasting test. I had also had a popsicle about an hour before with the kids, and not like a frozen-real-fruit-treat, but a plastic tube of water and corn syrup kind of popsicle. Flav-o-ice, right? That glucose is so nasty that if the nurse had stopped eyeballing me during my five-minute allotment to drink it I would have dumped it in a plant; it occurs to me that that is probably why she was watching me. I took six minutes and got gently reprimanded.

Let's see, what else... in baby related news: I have finally started purchasing a few garments for Z3PO so she doesn't have to wear doll clothes or hospital-provided t-shirts; got a new nursing pillow for really cheap (less than half price, brand new!) since I think I donated the Boppy; and am collecting a new fluff selection, as I sold all the diapers after Ez potty-trained.

Non-baby-related:
1. Is there anything more superficially annoying than a grown man flipping the bird in photos? Really? You're 35, and flipping the bird in all your FB photos? From this I gather that you peaked in high school. (Women doing so make me assume you drink too much. Yeah, I'm judging you, bird-flippers.)

2. I'm annoyed that Borders is closing, but not out of any outraged loyalty or anything. It's not just the e-books; it's the prices. Amazon is cheaper and ships for free. My annoyance arises from the fact that I loathe B&N, as the employees are generally dumber than a bag of hair and they don't have computers on which I can search for my own items. I have to ask one of the dim employees, who don't understand the filing system any more than a layman. You know what would make me happy? A bookstore that filed using the Library of Congress classification so you can actually locate the book. Anyway, when I read that we hot-footed it up to Borders and spent my $20 in Borders bucks while they still have books to sell. Anya got Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Anybody else love that as a kid?

3. Had a lovely dinner with [livejournal.com profile] blakdove and her family this evening. For some reason, her husband makes Ez really nervous, which is a little funny because R has a PhD and worked in the child mental health field. P says Ez thinks R's onto him. I fed them roasted butternut and bacon pasta, which is made of awesome. The kids love it, P (who doesn't like squash all that much) loves it, everybody seems to have liked it so far. After the first time I made it I thought it needed some dry mustard in the cheese sauce and P and the kids requested more bacon, so tonight's had those adjustments.

4. Harry Potter fans, read this. Brilliant. But don't read the comments because some HP fans are stoopid and crazily defensive, and it will make you sad for humanity.

5. I just learned that Big Ez doesn't go back to preschool until the end of August, weeks after Monster's back in. He is going to "waste away from boredom," which is what he tells people happens to him when she's away all day.

6. Twice in the last week, in separate, unrelated forums, I have read about secret ways to trick elevators into doing your bidding and not stopping on other floors. I need a test elevator, but the only place I go where I have to stop at all the floors on the way to mine is Crawford Long, and I suspect those people would react badly if I make it skip their floors. Should I do it anyway, or does that make you as bad as the people who push all the buttons when they get out?
lemon_says: (Default)
We were on our way to the bowling alley this morning. My sister had Anya and A, one of my charges this week, and I had Ez, C, and S, the other two. As we're driving along, Ez asks what "year" the boys are, meaning Chinese zodiac.

Me: Well, I think A is a dragon, but I'd have to look it up. And C's a monkey like Anya, and S is a dog like you.
C: When is the year of the rabbit?
Me: This year is one. And I'm a rabbit.
C: Okay, so that was what, like 1523?


Yes, my friends, I am 488 years old.
lemon_says: (lemonbaby)
Yes, I do.

But no, I'm not telling.

My mother knows that we don't share the names until there's a baby here to accept the burden of what we've chosen, but she still tries to trip me up from time to time. Today's effort resulted in me telling her we've selected Guadalupe.

My mother, you might recall, said, "But what are you going to call him," when I told her Ezra's name. I said, very slowly, "Ezzzzzraaaaaa." Then she sort of snapped out of it and decided it was her favorite boy name ever. She had been surprised because it was rather old-fashioned. Not too long ago I had someone ask me, "Is that one of those new, trendy names?" I said, "Well, new, like Moses or Noah is new." That got a blank stare, so I clarified that it was one of those trendy Biblical names.

Some of you might not know Anya's name is really Aniele (pronounced sort of like ahn-YELL, although it's really got a diphthong in the middle and is more of an ahn-IELL, but people have trouble with that). Nobody but my dad and I ever call her Aniele, but she likes it and says she's glad she has a "secret real name" that she likes as much as her nickname. It was P's great-grandmother's name and I loved it the first time I heard it, so there was no debate on her name. We bounced around a couple of names for Ez but actually decided pretty quickly.

This time, I have pretty much abandoned any notion of cooperative effort. P asked if I had thought about names and I said, "Yes. I like these two. Pick which you like better." I've read all the names in the world. Two times before I have played on the Baby Name Wizard (man, you can waste some time on that site, even if you aren't anywhere near having a baby), and with E I have weighed and considered and discussed. It's not that I don't appreciate P's input, but really, I'm not entertaining other first-name suggestions at this time. Strictly speaking, he picked A's, we both picked E's, and now it's my turn. I'm not entirely unreasonable; if he'd hated my choices I gave him enough time to get used to them. ;)

Graduation

Jul. 13th, 2011 03:45 pm
lemon_says: (Hip)
I have graduated.

I am now an "appointment as required" patient, rather than a "maintenance" patient at the pain clinic. That means I have stepped far enough off the meds that I'm no longer a danger to society (or myself) if left unmonitored.

Do they make cards for that?
lemon_says: (Default)
We spent the weekend walking. Seriously. We walked miles. Underground, up mountainsides, through gnome villages...miles, I tell you. Several years ago [livejournal.com profile] travellight and I were talking about Rock City, and how much we'd enjoyed it as kids. P said, "I never went. My parents didn't do those roadside attractions." Aghast, Susan and I had to explain to him that Rock City and Ruby Falls ARE the destination, not to be relegated to the level of the World's Largest Frying Pan. (And really, don't go getting snarky about roadside attractions. I have been to Wall Drug, the Corn Palace, and other attractions too numerous to mention, and I have never NOT enjoyed a roadside attraction.)

Near the end of our field trip, P told me he was going to send his parents a nasty email for never taking him to Rock City and Ruby Falls, so I suppose it was a hit. [livejournal.com profile] mrs__smith and her family joined us and we hit both those and the Chattanooga Children's Museum. That place is huge. We were there for about four or five hours, I swear.

Anyway, some of those places up there on the mountainside are, as one would expect, rather high, and the night before we went to Rock City I lay in that hotel bed and every time I closed my eyes I thought about how I'd have to go across this big swinging bridge, high above the rocks and trees. As it turned out I did all right on the rope bridge; it wasn't until I got to this one point called High Falls, walking across a stone bridge waaaay up there, where I very suddenly broke into a sweat and started shaking. It was hot anyway, but I turned white and then bright red, and sweat just started pouring off my head, which felt like a balloon floating over my body. I made sure P had the kids and then did a beeline for a bench far back from the edge, but my eyes started welling up and my hands were shaking so badly that I got embarrassed and had to hide for a few minutes to get my composure back. I was mostly all right afterward, so I suppose that's not bad for what we'll politely call an episode, all things considered. I went to higher places, but there was something about that particular area that just got to me. I think it's because there was a spread of rocks about 15 feet down that you could have hit if you fell; I used to say, years ago, that I wasn't afraid of very high heights because you didn't have to worry about whether or not you'd live. It was all over at that point, but I was afraid of what I'd jokingly call "low heights," the ones that wouldn't kill you but could maim you. One of my old roommates told me that was a ridiculous phobia; I'd say now it was prophetic.

The leg, it is not working today from all the walking. Alas. I assume it will be working better tomorrow, but right now it's quite, um, hitchy, and the sympathetic little children are following me around staggering and making zombie noises. They're such sensitive little souls, aren't they?

Big Ez returned to drama camp today, and was pleased that they remembered him fondly from last year. When I picked him up, his instructor told me that he was quite the ham. There are about 8 girls and 3 boys. They were doing a workshop this morning and the girls were being princesses, and she told E, "Okay, you're a prince," and he immediately dropped to one knee in front of the row of princesses, with one hand over his heart and one extended. I can't wait to see the performance on Friday.

Monster and I spent the morning painting pottery, and the studio also had beads so she beaded herself a necklace. We had a really good time. E's camp is all the way out in Marietta and he's only there until noon, so there's no point coming home between dropoff and pickup. We have friends out there that we'll see the other days, but we were at loose ends this morning.

Anya told me today, "On days like this, I store up all this sunshine so that I always have some inside me, even on a rainy day." I liked that.
lemon_says: (Simpsonize)
My dad is a Car Guy. He built half his cars. Back in the 60s he had a Cutlass that was so notorious that the cops recognized it a mile away, and so did all the other Car Guys who drag raced through Orlando back when it was still a backwater. My mom told me once that she and my dad were driving through the suburbs in the early 80s, in a green station wagon full of Brownies, and they just looked at each other and couldn't stop laughing over the "how did we get here" aspect of it all. I imagine he thought more than once about the MG when he was piloting a giant bubble-top van full of kids through town.

My high school boyfriend built his own car, a 280Z, out of parts and pieces of other ones. It was his pride and joy. Years later, I dated a drag racer who once rigged his souped-up Eclipse so it would start when I pushed what I called "the red candy-like button" (in a Ren voice, in case you get that reference), which was actually usually a nitrous button, but I couldn't press that in downtown traffic, you know.

I get loving a car. For a long time I felt like my car was tied to my identity--especially my purple pickup truck, which I loved dearly and got me through college and grad school and many road trips, including the one where we got married. I used to joke (until people got way too freaking touchy about it, even though everybody NOT in a little red hatchback knew what I meant) that I would never want a Civic because I didn't want to lose all my driving skills, or that I couldn't have a green minivan and still respect myself (probably because I'd be out blocking intersections somewhere). Even now I don't have a mom car. But the time has come when we must put away childish things like personal preference and just get a damn car that holds everybody.

There have been two main things on our minds around here lately: one is poor P trying to shoehorn some stairs onto this house working within the limitations that he has (we think he got it last night), like property lines and what can get in under a repair permit.

The other is the car.

We're going to need a third-row car. P thinks of this as being one of those nebulous, futuristic problems and says we'll address it "down the road." Sometimes my husband forgets that time continues to pass while he is planning. Also, he's not the one who has to wedge his hand down between two car seats to try to fasten Monster's booster seat four times a day. I dread having to do that in carpool line next year.

There are some reasons he doesn't want to address it. One is that he'd like the house done first. I get that, but...well, nothing has happened with the house either. Second, new cars are expensive. Even if you don't buy a NEW new car, it is expensive.

Honestly, I think the main reason is that he doesn't want to give up his Precious. He loves his Scion dearly. I like the Scion. It's a great little city car. But here's the issue: it will only hold 2 car seats. No big deal if he's not the one who needs to drive all the kids, right? What if something happens to the other car, or the other driver? What if we got stranded somewhere? Do we just pick a child to leave on the side of the road? My car will at least (legally and safely, if not comfortably) hold three car seats. Not so much the Scion. I understand where he's coming from; our last few cars have been for me to be the primary driver (bigger as we got more kids), so we'd sell his car, he'd get my car, and then I'd get the new car. This was the first one in a while that he got to pick on his own, to his specifications, and he loves it. I just wish it were possible to squeeeeeze one more seat in there so he could keep it, but I just don't think it's going to work. Besides, mine is closer to being paid off.

But no, I'm still not getting a minivan.
lemon_says: (lemonbaby)
Before Monster was born, we all speculated about what she'd be like, even though we didn't even know she'd be a she. I would complain from time to time about how she'd get her feet lodged under my ribs and push so hard that it really hurt, and my mom would say, "Oh, please! How much can feet an inch long hurt?" And then after Monster was here, and she held that little head up on her pencil neck from day one and stood up when she was a month old on those sturdy, strong little legs, my mom conceded that I might have had a point. We knew she'd be small but mighty, an assumption that has proven itself true repeatedly--including last night when she joined P in some gruesome workout thing (like P90X or whatever the hell that is, but not that one) and totally whipped his ass. He took a break and got some water, and she perkily announced, "It's ok if you need a break Daddy! I'll just do jumping jacks until you feel better! Then we'll do the third level!" The kid's freakishly coordinated and athletic, incredibly compassionate and perceptive.

I didn't know before he was born, but it didn't take long to see that Big Ez had a strong sense of humor. He's always gotten the joke, even way back when he was a baby. Most of the baby photos I have of him show him grinning his big toothless smile. Anya was a far more serious baby; she wasn't the kind of baby who would laugh heartily if you tore paper or made silly faces. She'd give you this patient, polite smile and wait for you to do something that was actually funny. Once Ez got here, it was like she had a personal entertainer, though. He's a performer with an engineer brain.

But we didn't know all of that, of course, back before they made their debuts on the outside. We didn't know that Monster wouldn't sleep and Big Ez wouldn't grow for a while. And I can't remember what I thought they'd be like, if I had a lot of expectations. I don't think I did.

When Monster was so little and just would not sleep, I was so tired that it made me crazy. I worried about her not sleeping, even when the ped offered the ever-helpful observation, "Perhaps she is not tired." My mom would say, "When she's two, and you know her really well, you'll look back at this and it'll all be clear." And it was. Monster just wasn't tired. And the times when Big Ez was being passed around and held a lot and then he'd just have a total meltdown and refuse to eat or be calmed, he was just being the way Ez is when he is in a swivet and doesn't really know what he wants anyway.

So, I wonder who this little person is. I wonder if I'll get one this time that both sleeps and grows, one that doesn't scream in the car for six solid months, one that smiles as much as Ez or is as strong as Anya. It's been long enough since Ez was a baby that it's strange to think of another baby here, to speculate about how she might be like her brother or her sister, and how she might just be like herself. If she'll be as much a Libra as Anya is a Gemini or Ez is a Scorpio (and Jesus, is he a Scorpio), even though I kinda think astrology is mostly bunk. And of course, I worry that I have been too fortunate, too lucky with my kids already to expect another so healthy, so relatively easy (except for that car screaming thing).

Two things.

Jul. 5th, 2011 05:57 pm
lemon_says: (Huh?)
Thing of the first: I'm sad that people feel compelled to make snarky comments about the Anthony trial, and anyone who DID follow it. It's a murdered kid, you know? That half of Florida helped look for for six months. And it seems so strange to be smug about being willfully ignorant of a current event that was all over every news source of any degree of repute. Not having closely followed it, fine. But making nasty cracks about how this was just a media thing and all that? Seriously? You're just blowing off a murdered kid? Wow, you are way cooler than I am, if that seems hip to you. (Again, if I already talked to you on FB about this, I'm not talking about you.)

I'm not talking about people who didn't know every detail; I don't expect people to follow every trial, and this one was particularly awful. I'm a little surprised at the "Casey who" comments, because frankly, that's bullshit unless you were LITERALLY living under a rock. I just am sorry that in all this fuss, somewhere the fact that a small child was thrown in the woods to rot seems to have slipped the radar.



Thing of the second: Read this article, but read the link first if you're inclined to be all trigger-y.

Please explain to me who is more screwed up, the journalist, or the "close friend" who helped her work through this PTSD issue.
lemon_says: (dunce)
I'm not really. That's just what my sister and I say when one of us is clearly better at something than the other and gets to be the smart one. A couple of years ago my mom was talking to a woman about homeschooling and public schools and all that, and my mom told the woman, "I wish I had homeschooled. My older daughter is very intelligent," and then she paused (she swears she intended to specify that her older daughter is very intelligent and refused to go along, while I knew how to work the system and how much I had to do to get by, but we've still never let her live down this incident). Since I was sitting there, I said, "Yes, I'm the pretty one." The woman looked really startled until she noticed I was laughing, and my mom did fall over herself to clarify that that wasn't what she meant, but it was still funny as hell.

When it comes to technology, I'm totally the pretty one.

Don't get me wrong. I am entirely tech-friendly with regard to using computers for your standard stuff--although since I live with Revit Boy, it makes it seem like mostly I'm just here for the internet, which I guess nowadays I sort of am--but I have no inclination to learn code or anything like that. Really. Don't care. I was a grant writer and a ballroom dancer and then a paralegal; mostly I needed to use Excel and Word and know how to delete my Luddite boss' history when he searched something obscene and panicked when he realized other people could see it. I had one boss who got a new digital camera and kept taking photos of her own eye. I had one who told me to change my printer cartridge before emailing a document to a client in Miami because he wanted her to have a clean copy (he once pissed me off and I retaliated by changing his wallpaper to a screenshot of his desktop and moving his icons around and confusing the hell out of him for days).

That said, I've hardly used the computer for more than LJ in about seven years. Before that I kept up the necessary level of competence to be just slightly more so than most of the other people in the office, with a couple of computer wizard friends on speed dial so I could save the day when necessary.

I was never good at video games. Part of this is that I never really liked them. I know, as a child of the 80s I should have spent hours in the arcade, but I didn't. If I played at all, it was Burger Time, Pitfall, or Centipede. Later I could manage Tetris. But I never had the inclination or the skill to figure out what combination of buttons and voodoo would help me find the secret doors or whatever, and I still don't. We have a Wii I don't know how to operate.

I am ashamed of this. My sister, the smart one, works for a freaking video game company, and when I tell people that they freak out over how cool it is and how did she get that job. And I can't turn on the Wii.

Anya has a DS Lite. She knows better than to ask for my help and figures out her new games on her own. I would have to read the directions. Ez has long admired the DS, and Anya will occasionally feel benevolent enough to let him chop vegetables on Cooking Mama.

My aunt always wants to know what to get the kids for their birthdays and insists that I give her the first notice on the Big Gift. I was talking to her a couple of weeks ago and said, "Oh, go ahead and put this one on your list for Ez's birthday. His friend Spencer has a Leapster Explorer, and it's the only toy I've ever seen him be jealous of, so that might be perfect." I didn't think much about it until a couple of days ago when I got a shipping notice for a Leapster Explorer, the charging system, a camera attachment, and a game. Ezra's birthday is in November. I called my aunt, and she said, "Well, I gave Anya her present in March. He wants it. What difference does it make?" It arrived last night.

The kid has been playing with it for so long today that I'm going to have to be the Bad Mommy who takes it away. At one point he got a little frustrated with the character he was moving and asked for my help (P was busy making me some emergency snickerdoodles), so I poked at a few buttons. Big Ez gave me this look, took it back, and said, "Never mind, Mommy. I think you're trying to do this," and poked at a couple of buttons that made the penguin do some flips and things. (It was, for the record, what I was trying to do.) Nobody had told him how to do that, to my knowledge, so apparently he has inherited either his father's or his aunt's dexterity and understanding of video games.

Don't get me wrong; I don't want one of those husbands who sits around and plays MMORPGs instead of having dinner with the family, and I won't let the kids turn into those with the DS constantly in hand. But I am glad that the kids at least will be better prepared for when our flying cars only have a console to use for driving. You know, like the ones we kids of the 80s were so sure we'd have.
lemon_says: (Anarchy)
Big Ez was annoying Monster in the car on the way back from the movies and our errands today. It wasn't anything serious, just recreational heckling. Repeating what she says, doing the gesture that indicates "I'm watching you," (you know, where you point to your eyes and then the other person). When we went to Florida my mom was riding with us, so we moved Ez's seat over to the center to give her more room, and we just haven't put it back yet, so they're right next to each other. Normally this is not a problem.

But today, the boy just couldn't stop himself. He was carefully not doing anything TOO annoying so he couldn't get in real trouble. I reminded Monster that she could always just ignore him and look out the window, but that is hard when there is someone who has made it his personal mission just to be annoying.

Finally I said, "Okay, Ezra. That's enough. Pretend there is a wall between your seat and Anya's seat, and you cannot touch her or her seat."

There were about two minutes of silence. Then he said, "What's the wall made of?"

I said, "I don't know! Glass?"

Thirty seconds later, I heard Anya mutter, "Can it be a brick wall instead?" and I looked in the rear view to see Ez, doing his best mime-in-a-box routine on the "glass wall" between their seats.
lemon_says: (Default)
1. Saw the OB yesterday. She was appalled at the behavior of the Sonographer From Hell, and as I was leaving the appointment she was walking across the hall to "rectify the situation" of the techs making unnecessary and upsetting comments to patients. So if you go to CL for a sonogram and the tech won't even tell you if there's a baby in there or not unless the doctor is sitting there, it might be my fault. I was...assertive.

2. The older brother of a girl in Big Ez's preschool class was recently diagnosed with leukemia. I am friendly with the parents, but don't know them that well. The neighborhood has really been amazing--I think they had to put a big chest freezer on their porch to accommodate all the casseroles--but I'm not sure what to do. I thought of making him something (blanket? Stuffed animal?) since he has all these chemo appointments and it might be nice to have some kind of personal item, but I don't know if he's too old for that or what. He's six, I think? Fortunately he responded very well to his first chemo treatment and seems to be doing well. It's so hard to think about what the family is going through, but I think of them often. If you're the praying type, please give Owen and his family a good thought.

3. I think I'm taking the kids to a movie tomorrow morning. The only bad thing about this is that the one with the best reviews is Mr. Popper's Penguins. I hate Jim Carrey, but the other kid flicks right now are supposed to be dreadful (including Cars 2, btw). I used to enjoy going to movies. My roommate and I would go to movies about three times a week, literally. We saw everything. Now I look at the "what's playing" list and it's just...ugh. Really? The best we have to choose from are Bridesmaids or Bad Teacher or Hangover II? I'll just return to anti-movie hermitdom.

I'm not getting snobby here; it's not like I only watch foreign films or Academy Award contenders or anything--although that doesn't say much, as I remind you that Titanic actually won. I mean, I love a good cheeseball dance movie, for example. I have seen the Twilight films. Believe me, I'm not against the occasional totally lowbrow movie. I don't even want to talk about how many times Beth and I watched Zorro: The Gay Blade. I just get tired of lame sex jokes and pot jokes and really broad, obvious stuff. Why can't Christopher Guest make another movie? And if he won't, I can even get into a puffy epic-sweeping-saga. But this spate of SNL-type stuff is just really stale. I read the extended reviews and figure, well, glad I didn't plunk down $10 to see that one.

4. Anya reads me Amelia Bedelia books most days. Pete cannot stand Amelia Bedelia. The things you learn about your spouse. Like, he really hates that woman.

5. I made something with papaya for dinner a couple of nights ago, only to discover I am the only person living here who does not think papaya will make my tongue fall out upon first bite. Rather than throw out the remaining papaya, I bought another one and am going to make papaya jam. I don't imagine this will be the most popular thing I've made, so if anyone wants some, speak out.

6. I am in a funk.
lemon_says: (Hockey words)
Forgive me my ambiguity. While you are otherwise perfect, apparently I need to clarify a couple of points.

1. All those times I said, "Please do not leave dishes with food on them on the sink or counter," what I actually meant was, "OMGWTFBBQ STOP LEAVING FOOD SCRAPS IN THE SINK AND ON THE COUNTER JUST RINSE IT DOWN THE SINK OR PUT IT IN THE TRASH JESUS H. CHRIST IT'S NOT THAT HARD I DO IT EVERY DAY."

1a. Included in this is slightly-used paper towels. Stop folding them and leaving them on the counter. YOU AREN'T GOING TO USE THEM AGAIN. I stopped buying paper towels for ages because this is a family of paper towel abusers. Use a towel or a rag, or a cloth napkin. There should never, ever be paper towels lying around on the counter. When it has served it's purpose, you may throw it into the trash or the recycle bin, depending on level of contamination. DON'T LEAVE IT ON THE COUNTER EVER AGAIN.

2. When I said, "Please turn your clothes right side out," I did not mean, "Hey, it's cool. I already am doing laundry half the day, so go ahead and leave it however you want because I LOVE to spend half an hour flipping clothes right-side out." What I meant was, "TURN YOUR OWN DAMN CLOTHES." You might notice that many items have been returned to your dresser wrong-side-out. Laundry is returned with the orientation in which it was received. Check before leaving the house to see if your label is sticking out.

2a. Check your own pockets.

3. What I meant by, "Please do not use the ottomans as a dumping ground for your things," I meant, "Stop leaving your shit where it doesn't belong."

3a. When I say, "I don't find that ornamental," what I mean is, "Just because you CAN hang your hat/dirty socks/backpack/daddy-pack/bike helmet from that doesn't mean you have to." It also means, "Do we really need a stack of something on every horizontal surface?"

4. When I suggest that you have a snack that you can prepare yourself, I do not mean that if none of the many, many items in the Help Yourself Box (selected with your assistance) suit you I will hop up from what I'm doing and make you the elaborate snack you crave.

5. I realize that the last week has been very busy and full of delightful activities. That doesn't mean every day for the rest of the summer will. I do not have to "make it up" to you when you have to go to Kroger with me, particularly when there is food I will eat here. I can live on toast if I have to, so unless you want to join me, quit your bitching and get in the car.

So, my darlings, my precious, I love you dearly and am delighted by you nearly every moment, but I fear that my ambiguity about these few items has caused some confusion. I hope that this missive lends some clarity so that you will always be sure you are doing the Correct Thing, and I will not be stomping around muttering under my breath and wondering why the hell I am the only one who notices that there is petrified food on the counter and piles of things everywhere.
lemon_says: (Default)
I'm surprised Susan hasn't outed me yet, so I'll tell on myself. The other night at dinner, at a restaurant, I shot a total stranger across the dining room with a rubber band.

There, I said it. Get your jollies.

On to the menu.

Mon: Black bean/sweet potato enchiladas, rice
Tues: Grilled guava chicken, green beans, roasted potatoes
Wed: Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta
Thurs: Skillet-glazed ham, quinoa w/sauteed apples
Fri: Arborio Rice, Parmesan, and Green Pea Pancakes (I'm undecided on what else to do along with this. Suggestions?)
Sat: Baked dill salmon, confetti barley
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