Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Twas the night before Christmas, about 2:00. The presents were arranged, the stockings hung by the chimney with eggnog and an overabundance of chocolate consumption to fuel the final stages of preparation.

Opening presents requires great concentration. Notice the right hand in action? Daddy set that up, but still, action.

Look Ma, no hands. And a lolli-lobotomy.

Hannah was fascinated by the dog eating a Christmas treat.

Holly studies up on Lego building codes.

Nice niece.

The iPod Touch is much more fun once you get it loaded up with stuff.

So many manuals, so little time.

Again, Daddy on the technical manuals and Barbie set up, while Mom runs the camera and attempts to load an iPod with loathsome games. Fail to mom, score for Dad.

I told you "One day, my prince will come. Why does he look like a beach bum?"

I had told Claire that Santa gave some presents and Mommy gave others. A few days after Christmas Claire came to me unbidden and said "Thank you for the robe, Mama. I really love you. But who gave me the Barbie?"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas tradition: the ties that bind

This is for Write of Passage - see here for details

As a child I struggled against my mother's Christmas traditions. I found certain of the strictures beyond enduring and others filled me with comfort and joy, just like the songs we sang at church.

Christmas trees were decorated on Christmas Eve only, and taken down on Epiphany. During the pre-Christmas season of Advent, an ancient German glitter bespecked cardboard bird was hung in the house, and our parents told us Walter would tell them and Santa how we'd behaved, and if we would deserve presents. Our Christmas morning began with stockings to be opened by each person at their speed of choice, either as fast as possible in one's own bed, waiting for the others to get up and enjoy each other, or slowly, over the course of the day or even the twelve days of Christmas. All stocking presents were wrapped in gaily colored paper, and every single thing in the stocking, even Kleenex, was wrapped except gold coins in the toe and candy canes at the top, peeking out, just so. Our breakfast was always, and I mean always, Little Sizzlers sausages, grapefruit halves, and Sara Lee pecan coffee cake. We had to go to church and on our return we could finally get at the presents. Before we began to open "tree" presents we would first open the "couch" presents that were all presents from anyone other than immediate family. All tree presents were wrapped in white tissue paper and tied with red ribbon, no exceptions. Friends might call me at 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. to compare our respective loot, only to find I had not yet opened any of the real presents.

Some of these traditions remained difficult to carry on. I challenge you to wrap a bicycle in sheets of white tissue. When my sister married her husband balked at the white tissue. My husband snorts with laughter when I swear at the layers of wrapping as I put tissue on gifts, then ask him to stick his finger in to help me knot the ribbon. Five family gifts this year went out from my house in white butcher paper as a compromise, and I probably had only ten presents in white under my tree. After blackmailing my daughter with Santa's ever watchful eyes, I didn't hang my Walter bird and tell her he'd be observing her, because I thought that might be a lot of pressure for a three year old, and, she might put his eye out. Still, I wrap every gift in the stockings save candy, at great personal cost to my sleep in the weeks before Christmas. I don't attend church anymore, and I miss the Advent hymns, but I can't remember them well enough to torture my children with more than an opening line. My tree must be large to hold all my cherished ornaments and it looks just like my mother's always did.

When I was young I hated the waiting; now I can hold onto presents for days without batting an eye, in fact, I feel joy in the savoring. This may have been the beginning of me actually learning anything at all about patience. When I was young I did not know how comforting patterns were, and how disturbing to have the people around us change. As a parent, the necessity of routine is much more apparent, and I know now what it is to feel lost when the pattern is lost.

This year my mother ate her sausages at our Christmas brunch at my sister's home, and liked the sausage links I brought. Perhaps a woman shouldn't know and love the taste of a certain type of frozen sausage but she does. I brought a sauage I like better and so we didn't have Little Sizzlers but she liked fresh maple links more. We laughed, but it hurt just a little to see her change. It's her second year without a Christmas tree in her home, as the physical effort to put it up and take it down has become too great for her and my dad. Change is coming, and it won't be easy. I hope it tastes as good as maple.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fa la la la la, la frickin' la

Time? Where have you gone? You frickin' taskmaster. You've left me here twisting in the wind, a cold and bitter wind I might add. If I destroy a clock and a calendar in a ritual burning and I perform all the right incantations could I get some time added to my life? I see that bumper sticker that says time spent fishing cannot be deducted from a man's life, but if I paid to add some fish to that guy's river could I get a couple extra hours?

Today found me taking a day off work, sending the girls to day care, sorting through the entire mighty toy collection in our living room so I could downsize it to make way for new items that might be coming if a certain redhead stops screaming no at me. We like a largish sort of tree, once that needs its own zip code, so it is best to remove some pieces of furniture before the tree gets here. All of this meant that I might as well dust the mantle so I can proudly display my Christmas cards sans dust bunnies and parts of dead flies, and I finished up eleventy zillion Christmas cards but didn't get them to the post office, and I baked twelve loaf pan sized carrot cakes of joy to serve as gifts to day care teachers and neighbors who please me. I sent clouds of powdered sugar out beyond the expected mess perimeter making the cream cheese frosting and blamed Lord Honey for the cake he dropped and broke (I think he wanted to ensure one carrot cake would stay with us.

For a few days earlier in the week I felt like I could make it all happen. Sure it would be busy, there would be no knitting or blogging time as every non work non child moment would be filled with planning, purchasing, ordering or wrapping, but still I was filled with the joy of the season and the feeling I could do it all. Not any more. Now I think I might scream. My mind is filled with questions such as why the tender touch doll available in different races has the Latino doll smiling the most, white next, black after that (and not a big smile) and the Asian doll is virtually not smiling at all. Why? What about these posable wooden families who come in "contemporary outfits, these 4-pc wood families have flexible arms and legs for sitting, standing, and greeting company." Will they have a lot of company? The laundry day play set will likely fall flat at our house, since my children have never seen me use an iron. Some of these things just plague me. And I know I'll be running around next week without a bit of peace. Not one bit.

Five days left people, five days left. Ho, ho, ho.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Four years and two babies ago

Exactly four years ago tonight, Lord Honey and I came home from our wedding and went to bed, to sleep. We were exhausted and exhilarated and ready to fly to Hawaii the next day, if only to get warm. I remember feeling so overcome with emotion, and grateful, and hopeful, it kind of cracks me up to reflect on how I felt. I had wondered if Lord Honey was the right man for me, but made up my mind to give it my best. Now looking back, with all that water under the bridge, the reasons to worry look pretty different. And how would you know just what water would go under your bridge, and just whose skills would be needed? That multiple times I would call Lord Honey from a hospital room, shrieking about a baby coming too soon, or a baby coming now, or a baby that came and then went floppy, and all the rides in the car back and forth to the babies, and all those sleepless nights. And he was calm, Water, bridge. Bridge, water. Talk amongst yourselves, we need to grab a cup of coffee. And then the little things, more like puddles on the edge of the water under the bridge, like Lord Honey singing "The Battle of New Orleans" with me in a call and answer fashion while I shower and then finding the video of the song on You Tube. These were things I didn't see coming when I made my wedding vows.

Sweet Hannah got sent home from daycare today, after her caregiver was worried by how much she coughed while she napped, so she woke her up! So we opted not to put the girls at the babysitting night they were hosting at the day care, and instead stayed home with the wee ones and had pizza and watched Up. While I put the girls down one by one, Lord Honey crashed on the sofa and now refuses to go to bed although he cannot wake up enough to watch our grownup movie. This must mean we really are an old married couple. I had at least hoped for some anniversary action, but by the time I go to bed I'll be too tired myself. Maybe next week.

Friday haiku: anniversary thoughts

The deli clerk at
our grocery store says Jason
is "not bad looking!"

Unfailingly kind,
faithful and true, and gentle
and tolerates me.

He works very hard
finishing our new garage
and doesn't complain

that he's on the roof
and its just seven degrees
with no sun shining.

Some marriages fail
when faced with adversity
I think ours will not.

Our life doesn't suck.
Today, I'm glad we married
four short years ago.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

News: small babies don't weigh a lot

This earth shattering news brought to you courtesy of Hannah's metabolic clinic visit this week. And the other big shocker: they want her to eat more protein and well, more food generally. Because they want her to weigh more. Wow! The dietitian will contact me with information about "power packing" Hannah's food to give her more calories without more mass. She actually told me when her daughter was too small she fed her avocado sandwiches on bread laced with oil. I'll sign up for that one anyway, with a side of cheese.

Now that I've got that out of the way . . . once again I went to a doctor's appointment that lasted nearly four hours, and felt wholly inadequate for all but the time spent in the waiting area where I stood Hannah up to play with toys and helped some non English speaking folks find the toys for their child. I was adequate then.

I am trying to feel grateful that Hannah's doctor would call as soon as the labs came back to tell me how her carnitine levels were, and discuss dietary issues from the diet analysis, but instead I just feel grumpy. I wonder if he calls because he is worried about me being a lawyer and that I blame the other hospital for letting Hannah go so hypoglycemic to begin with so now he is worried about dealing with me. Anyway, it is never good when the doctor calls right back. He did rightly observe, though, that Hannah is very beautiful.

I am working on gratefulness, I am.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Haiku Friday: Saturday version

There are better ways
than professional training
to spend a Friday

So I ate candy
and knitted with much fervor
and some snide remarks

Forgot to haiku
or finish the old projects.
Babe needs a poncho.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Did you miss me?

My sister did. I remember last year when I had started reading blogs regularly and I read some through November and I LOVED NaBloPoMo when it wasn't my job to post every day. I started this post on Wednesday and still have not hit publish. So be it.

Claire has been exceptionally, heart wrenchingly funny. She was naked and getting herself dressed when she said, as if she were quite annoyed, "Godsakes, it's cold in here." I decided not to correct her and tell her no dear, you say "For God's sake" because, well, correcting her use of profanity or expletives just doesn't seem quite right. The next morning Jason was trying to get her to say it again, asking her if she was cold (she said yes and put her coat on) and to describe how cold she was (very). After demonstrating her ability not to fall for her Daddy's ploys, that evening as I was driving the girls home from day care she leaned towards Hannah and said in a stage whisper "TAKE THE BAIT!" After I recovered I asked her why she told Hannah that, and she said "Mom, I was watching Madagascar today," as if that explained everything. Next day she crawled into bed with us in the morning, and said "Mom, where do ladies get husbands?" so I told her how I met her father. "Where will I find a husband?" I gave her some ideas, like college, in about twenty years, but she is thinking she'd like to get married and have babies in the next two years.

Hannah is an eating, pooping machine, apparently in a growth spurt. I live in fear of her metabolic clinic appointments, where I am terrified someone will tell me I am not up to snuff and that I can't keep Hannah. will I ever let go of this fear? They always tell me she could be bigger (I'll discuss that with her) and that her diet has too much fat (hello, breast milk) and then they poke her to get some blood and I cry all over her head. Good times, good times. So Monday will kinda suck that way and then I can return to pre-Christmas madness and power knitting.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The end of something, but not the end of everything

NaBloPoMo is coming to a close. I can't say I am entirely sorry. I don't need one more self imposed "must do" to feel crappy about, so I won't be restarting NaBloPoMo for December, but I have liked some of the things I've written this month. I meant to post a special dedication to a sweater I have been knitting for a long time, but I haven't finished the sweater because I've been blogging every evening. There was something I wanted to say about my gratitude for the village that's raisin' up my with me, but apparently you guys forgot to come over and babysit so I could write children more. You are bastard people and you know how I feel about your ass-faces. And did you all notice that I never once posted about poop? I meant to. I may still.

Reflecting on the internet addiction, though, has been fun. I am still thunderstruck at how enchanting online interaction with perfect strangers can be. You are all very good for my mental health. Thanks!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The pie ate my blog post

I ate the Turkey Ala King.

I ate the pie.

I sat down to blog.

I fell asleep in front of the computer.

The pie made me do it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A girl and her boy

She says they're getting married.

I hope he gets a better car soon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Haiku

Lo, I am afraid
of sales with lines out the door
and the shopping hell.

We stayed home, and worked
the girls and I, and darkened
no box store's wide doors,

But I will go out
on the day after Christmas.
Sock stuffers half off!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

When the turkey has a bun in the oven

Don't tell the guests until the bird is showing. There will be a pregnant pause. Someone will want a cigar and naming rights. Tu-corn-hen, anyone?

The guests will keep a watchful eye for any other surprises.

And then they will eat stuffing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanks to you, life

Thanks to you life, I now have two daughters, and two stepsons. And a husband, just like another big child, but who is nonetheless wonderful with all his Lord Honey ways. Nothing is much the way it was five years ago. This year has been my hardest ever in oh so many ways, and yet, it is my favorite year so far.

This year I am very thankful. My daughter's metabolic disorder now seems like something we can live with. The cerebral palsy kicks my bootie, but still, Hannah is such a delightful person that I can handle what comes our way. I think. Claire is a joy to behold and converse with. My job is not the worst, and I have a job to complain about, which is nice.
So I'll leave you with the lyrics to one of my theme songs, which you might know from Shrek, by the Proclaimers:

I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today.
Uh-huh, Uh-huh, Uh-huh, UH-huh.

Google you wack job, you - I love you

Google, you wack job

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Do tell, Google. What about my email from a blog comment says I might buy a Glow Stick? Exactly what? I am flattered that my references to stupidly written poetry might bring up links to Pablo Neruda, but Glow Sticks and Walking Sticks? My friend Mwa commented on the post referring to a child's view of the penis, and reading the post in gmail turned up these potential ads. Lord Honey will be so pleased about the comparison to a Walking Stick.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Of sticks and tails and compasses

Claire to me: Mama, I see your bum.

Me: Yes.

Claire: Daddy goes pee-pee standing up.

Me: Yes.

Claire: Why?

Me: Because he can.

Claire: My friends have a stick there, but you and I don't, huh, Mama?

Me: That's right.

Claire: It's like a tail.


Claire: It's sunny, Mama. But it is dark on the other side of the earth.

Me: Yes, honey.

Claire: We are sharing the sun with the other peoples, huh Mama?

Me: Yes.

Claire: I don't want to share.

Me: Well, we don't have a choice, honey, we have to share, every day.

Claire: We have a beautiful sun, Mama.

Me: Yes.


(in the car, coming home from day care, talking to her coat that bears, inexplicably, an attached compass, which I find odd on a 24 month sized article of clothing that is prone to be washed with some frequency)

Claire: My name is Claire Elizabeth, what's your name?

(slightly different voice) I'm a compass. Compasses don't talk!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dream Weaver, I believe you can kick me in the can

So a week or so ago, I had an Obama sex dream. It was quite involved in terms of location and guilt over my marriage vows, and Obama was even sexier than non dreamy Obama, but I woke up feeling so, so guilty about Lord Honey. It took a few minutes for me to realize I hadn't done anything wrong at all, and I was in the clear, thus able to be absolutely normally bitchy in getting Lord Honey up and at his day. It was hours before I remembered I should have felt guilty about Michelle Obama, too! Last night, I dreamed I found a red headed brown skinned baby at a grocery store, and the people in the know determined that the baby could be mine. I kept trying to hang on to the red headed non-gendered baby, but as the baby was in a car seat in a grocery cart, the baby kept disappearing with faceless Hispanic women who also wanted a baby in a blue car seat. Over and over I got that baby back, even in a longish line for 'flu shots which caused no small amount of confusion for all the parents. Eventually I got the baby back and did my Thanksgiving shopping, but I still had to fight for ownership in the pie department. Neither of these dreams would have stayed with me had I not been woken mid dream, last night by Lord Honey doing the angry naked man foot stamp dance when he found Hannah had a surprise nighttime poo blowout, and, well, you know, finders keepers and all that. After he demanded I tell him where the extra jammies were (third drawer, like always) I was sort of enjoying the angry naked man foot stamping too much to get out of the bed and help. I did relent, and get clean bedding for Hannah, after the angry, naked man said not to leave toys on the stairs, and to remember he sometimes used the stairs in the dark. And if none of this had gone on, I would not have remembered this very odd dream baby. Odd because it doesn't seem likely I'd ever make a baby of that size, with that skin color, since I only make miniature translucent babies. Odd indeed, and I don't feel guilty.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The eatin' of the beast commences soon

Let's talk about food. Roast beast! Fit for a Grinch himself to carve. Yorkshire pudding! Mashed potatoes! Gravy! Steamed vegetables with butter. Creamed spinach. Dinner at Chez Ginger. I am going to admit this right now: I will eat a bit of the crispy fat from the skin of my roast beast. Yes, I will. I am in training for trepidation day later this week. Use it or lose it, they say.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

More magic

I got thinking about magical thinking yesterday when I was reading comments on a blog I like to read about a boy with cerebral palsy. The blogger asked her readers to comment about who was the more emotional parent especially in regards to their special needs kids. One commenter said she does all the specific worrying so bad things won't happen, and I was reminded that my mother does more magical thinking than any other sane person I know. When she was a child she believed if she felt confident about a test she would only get a B but if she worried about failure she would more probably earn the A. She seriously thinks about driving under freeway overpasses and worries about the outcome if an earthquake should occur as she is under all that concrete. If she expects the worst she can be pleasantly surprised when something else happens. When my Dad was diagnosed with colon cancer three years ago, she had dead and buried in her mind immediately, because that was the only way to keep him alive, in her eyes.

Sometimes my own catastrophic magical thinking holds me back, too. I was feeling particularly grateful a few years ago, when I had managed to buy my first house, was single but not unhappily so, and felt like I was really, really blessed. Because of our collective good fortune, my friends and I had a plan to do a sub for Santa that we have done every year since, ultimately raising $1000 - $2000 each year for severely mentally ill adults who live in a county funded group facility. I paid off my car because part of the plan to get into a house involved me having no car payment. I picked up the title at my credit union at 4:00 p.m., and the next morning on my way to Jazzercise a young woman blew through a red light and creamed me, totalling my wee truck and wrecking my neck. The accident happened about three months after I had an allergic reaction to Ibuprofen, so I couldn't take any thing for pain except narcotics and steroids for inflammation. I had to wonder if I set myself up by feeling fortunate. And as it was, since my neck was trashed, I didn't feel quite so fortunate for the next year or so as I had surgery and recuperated.

My mom is suffering while they again wait to see what my Dad's insides are up to. I am eternally grateful that I didn't adopt her way of thinking. I try to see my glass as half full and not half empty, or with a lipstick print or crack in the glass. I often tell my sister "don't borrow trouble" when we talk about our aging parents and their stubborn refusal to pare down their belongings and move to a place more suited to their health concerns. But maybe I am the magical thinker now, assuming that all will work out in the end.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Haiku Friday: Magical Thinking

It's not like Disney
a bit more like Tim Burton
It's kinda crazy

You think influence
reaches from your mind outward
and can change the world

We all do it some
some people more than others
full of the crazy

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Highbrow and low brow, no wonder my sunglasses are always crooked

Tonight I enjoyed my children quite a lot, because it is so fun to see Hannah dance when she cannot yet walk, and to see Claire observe her sister and react to her is delightful. Hannah seemed to learn to say "Hi" quite distinctly but we'll wait for tomorrow for a verdict. I read to Claire and cuddled her in her bed and then cuddled Hannah after reading her a book and pointing out pictures and naming the objects for her review (moon, book, sky, mama and baby, bed). After a good long Hannah snuzzle I went to sit by the TV with Lord Honey, while I would knit Hannah's sweater with high-end Baby Cashmerino yarn purchased at the locally owned classy knittin' store, then I created an improved baby binky leash for Hannah out of whole cloth so it can bear her name for the day care regs without making her suck Sharpie ink into her nearly organic mouth all day. Then. Oh friends, then, we watched one of the few shows we can enjoy together, Bones, because it has a honey for each of us and is clever enough, and then, before I came upstairs to pump nearly organic breast milk for my nearly organic baby, then we watched It Only Hurts When I Laugh on truTV and I did laugh until I snorted at every pratfally, ball-crunching, bike flying, wedding cake dashing, roller blade rocket launching, animal attacking escapade they could show. I laughed especially at each segment where folks landed on their faces with a resounding smack. It is a sickness, I know, to be so entertained at others' misfortunes. And now you know this about me too. I won't buy my yarn at WalMart but I am happy to watch their parking lot for entertainment value. Wanna come over?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Shiny, shiny gold bling

Lord Honey has a new utility knife, the gold model. Note the gold trim, and gold tipped blade. Don't you just want him to be your . . . handyman? And yes TeacherMommy, he does carry it in his Carhartts. I have seen this man cut wood, metal, sheet rock, hose, tile, wires, plastic bits without regular names, and painlessly remove a splinter from my child's hand with such a knife. The last three or four were yellow and rather ordinary as such tools go. But this one? This one speaks to me. Now I go off to bed singing "the handyman can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world work good."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blog for a preemie, my preemie

No one has a good explanation for why premature births happen so frequently, or with such horrible consequences.

Claire came early. Only five weeks early, but early enough to buy a four week stay at the "hostable" as she still calls it. My pregnancy was complicated by low fluid once, which had bounced back, and some general ongoing extreme nausea, but no other signs of trouble. At a regular checkup I was pronounced good to go, but I asked for a non stress test (my first) because I thought I should be feeling more movement despite the anterior placenta which I had been told could be blocking some sensation. We did the non stress test, a quick ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid (really they were looking at size but didn't mention that) and I was asked to go in the other room to talk to the doctor who had reviewed the results, and diagnosed placental poop-out. He said he wanted to admit me immediately and take the baby and that the baby would be small. Basically I was floored, I had not seen this coming at all, and neither had they. I couldn't find Lord Honey initially since we had not yet started having him carry my cell phone in case of emergencies. Due to my control freak issues, I did insist on being allowed to leave and pack my own stuff and come back in an hour. When it was obvious the next day that my body did not feel ready to have a baby, and induction was not working out, we agreed to a c-section, and got our three pound two ounce girl, red hair already apparent.

My sister says she was worried about Claire until she saw her and looked her in the eyes, and she knew she'd be OK. I didn't know that yet myself.

I was terrified, I was exhausted, and I felt guilty for every unhealthy choice I'd ever made. I never expected a premature baby. I wondered if I might be unlucky enough to be on bed rest, because that was my idea of hell, and I worried about Downs because I was thirty eight but it never occurred to me my placenta would poop out and I would have a low birth weight baby. No one can say why this happened. Some placentas just don't work for the long haul. I had health care before and after the pregnancy. I took pre-natal vitamins. I don't work at heavy labor, on my feet, and didn't then. I wasn't exposed to toxic stuff. I wasn't the victim of violence. We just drew the short gestation straw and got intra uterine growth restriction for no known reason.

Everyday she got just a little bigger, and then came home, and she hit five pounds. Then six and seven and at some point we stopped counting obsessively, when it was clear we wouldn't move into the big girl car seat in her first year, or second, in fact we moved her at nearly age two, when she might have been nearly twenty pounds.

I don't have any new ideas about what you can do to fight prematurity. I do give money to the March of Dimes, who funds research in this area, and in others that affect my family, such as metabolic disorders and cerebral palsy. Be aware and be active about health care issues you think need support, and love those babies. Claire was about the same weight as the famous Maddie at birth, although she was weeks older. Even after a year Maddie was still at risk for complications that ultimately cost her her precious life. Many other stories abound on the internet, and you probably know some affected families yourselves. I have a colleague who right now is chasing back and forth between two hospitals for her twins who were born at twenty nine weeks. We appear to be one of the lucky families, who went through hell and maybe still have PTSD reactions but who brought home a baby who became a strong and healthy child. I wish Claire were the size of her peers, instead of just barely bigger than her baby sister, and just going into 2T clothes now at age three and a half. I wish she were not a head shorter than her classmates or that I felt confident she would never again battle reactive airway disease of any kind, but again, we are lucky, because when you meet her, you kind of get the impression she is capable of just about anything.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The butt scootin' boogie

This is the way we cross the floor, cross the floor, cross the floor
This is the way we cross the floor, early in the morning.

And evening.

And bedtime.

And how she gets rug burns on the leg that slides. Maybe I should get her some baby Carhartts?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Girls who love books too much

Another NaBloPoMo copout brought to you by OMG I am so tired. Don't you like to see my daughters, books in hand? Good, me too. Gotta go nap on the sofa until bedtime.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Grace in Small Things: Number Forty

1. Cheese! In the name of all that is holy, how can I love any food this much? But I do. I just ate sharp Cheddar on my evening sandwich, after graced my broccoli in my Lean Cuisine lunch. In my fridge as I write, I having both provolone and Muenster for my pre-dinner dinner, and an unidentified cheese sauce also have shredded Parmesan, cottage cheese, string cheese, Muenster, Havarti, marble jack, shredded Mexican mix for the taco salad I will make tomorrow, and for the children, Babybel mini wheels, which my daughter calls cheese eggs. I love them all. I am grateful for them all. Thank you cheeses.
2. The warmth of my home as the weather gets nasty.
3. Hannah eats. And butt scoots. And nods her head yes if I ask her if she'd like to read a book with me.
4. Claire's red hair.
5. I have eleven gift card tins so far for Christmas presents for the office staff and day care providers, plus twenty treat bags for Claire's class, and four Christmas candy boxes for the neighbors. Nothing yet to go inside, but my packaging needs are covered from last year's post Christmas sales. I enjoyed taking stock today as I searched out the twinkle lights and hid some stocking stuffers (shhh, don't tell Lord Honey he is getting a Death Star ornament). Ho! Yay, verily I say, HO HO HO!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Haiku Friday- the spoken word

The tiny redhead
repeats everything she hears
to my great shame.

"I have stinky pits."
For example, when driving,
"watch out you asshat!"

"Daddy is sneaky."
"Hannah, don't poop until we
get to Florida.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We all find our support

One of the physical therapists we work with to address Hannah's cerebral palsy issues likes to say "we all find our support." He explains if he is near a wall you'll find him leaning on it. What he wants to tell me is not to be so close behind Hannah that it is easier to fall back against me than do her own work. Yes, he tells this to a woman with short arms, large breasts, and a small, tippy, wannabe toddler. We do all find our support. Mine starts with Z and ends in T and rhymes with Olof.

I spent some months trying not to go on an anti-depressant. Six months, actually, after Hannah's second set of issues became apparant. I was feeling like I didn't have PPD, but an acceptable level of stress and aggravation as would any forty something year old mother of two, one of whom came home from the hospital with a three hour expiration date. Who wouldn't cry? I didn't see the tears as depression, I saw them as a fairly normal reaction to an abnormal situation. I thought I was OK but sleep deprived. Then I watched as Hannah's little fist never unclenched and I knew something was lurking about. My husband and pediatrician did not want to jump to conclusions but I wanted answers and googled my way into a state of panic, then got my fears confirmed by professionals in the know and got started on supportive services to help Hannnah get her motor skills going.

After a few evals and visits I found I started each new discussion with "look, I am a crier so just know that now, make a note or whatever, and try not to notice or I cry some more. Let's talk about Hannah. Gulp." I couldn't get it under control to save myself. Every time I thought about right now I'd cry, thinking of where she wasn't on standard bell curves, and when I'd think of the future I'd cry to picture how Hannah's walk might look and whether she'll drag her foot, and how other kids will treat her, and the enormity of it all just kicks me in the gut.

I didn't want to use a powerful medication while I was still making milk, and my husband is distrustful of drug companies and would not be excited to see me reliant on medication. But, it seemed to me that my family needed me not to be so weepy. Hannah needed me not to cry at every damn therapy session, Claire needed me to not be so tense that every moment at home needed to be a therapy moment for Hannah. It wouldn't hurt Lord Honey to have me not be so unhappy, so I went with what seems to be the most favored option for breastfeeding mothers and took the plunge. And now, a month or so in, the reason to do this seems much clearer now, it was for me.

The world looks brighter. I still cry in therapy sessions sometimes, but not every time. I cried when the PT wanted to see her try a walker and nearly hit him when he asked me why I found it upsetting. Therapists often seem to forget that patients/parents might not have come to the fork in the road marked "acceptance." I still have something to wrestle with: I didn't want to be the brave little toaster who could. I didn't want to be the mother of a child with a disability. I'll be wrestling this demon for a while, I think, because I don't want Hannah to be disabled, and I don't want to define her that way. Using my super strong spidey sense powers of prediction, I think she'll end up being the child everyone is impressed by because she is smart and beautiful and happy, and she will be strong and probably even a brave little toaster. And it feels a little weird to say this out loud in writing, but she won't be the person with a disability who makes other people uncomfortable with icky evidence of ill health and need, so we'll coast on that, while other mothers of children with more severe needs are pitied or avoided. That is also strange. And someday, I will want to smack a stranger who makes a comment I won't like, and I will struggle with teaching my daughter to accept herself and also try to make herself stronger. The road ahead looks long and rocky, but better lit now with Zo' on board.

I am lucky to have this child, this sister, this family to care for even if I needed a little blue pill. When those eyes search mine I know it all over, I am lucky and fortune smiles on me. Wish he'd do the laundry, though. Let me cheer this blog up by showing you Hannah eating asparagus. Tomorrow we'll get back to less weighty topics, like asparagus pee.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wave the flag and pass the khaki yarn

Today is Veteran's Day. Yesterday, when I was at a a craft store laying in supplies for making yet another binky leash for Hannah, one which will now involve embroidery of her name so she will stop eating Sharpie ink, I saw a display for a knitting project where a person could knit a helmet liner and ship it to an organization that will send it to our armed forces in action. I don't really know when I will get this done, hopefully before winter ends, but I will. I just attended a wedding of a young couple who will be separated for a year while he is deployed in Afghanistan, and a lawyer I know is expecting another deployment next year, and will leave our work group. At dinner last night, I visited with my friend who is the widow of a helicopter pilot. While he wasn't killed in action, his service did likely cause his early death from leukemia after exposure to toxins while living in a bombed out hangar in Afghanistan. He wasn't always a great man, but I wish he could have stayed alive for his son's sake. I am saddened that anyone has to serve, but awfully glad it isn't me or mine, because I am selfish that way. I hate that our people are dying and maimed and I hate that anyone needs them to put themselves in harm's way in the first place. So today I give thanks for our service men and women who are less selfish than I. One of you is getting a helmet liner pretty soon. And, thanks.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Heard at the house of Ginger

Mama, are you old?
Not yet.

Mama, are you going to die?
I hope not to die for quite a long time.
I don't think it will as much fun as I'm having now, with you.
I don't want to die either.

Mama, I am going to have a baby.
When will the baby come?
In a couple weeks. No, maybe in five years when I am big like you, and I have big nursies like you have.
Will it be a boy or a girl?
A girl named Hannah, and she has a big sister in my belly too.
Will the sister be born at the same time as the baby?
Probably the next day.
Will the big sister be older than baby Hannah?
Silly Mama, big sisters are always older than little sisters!

Mama, here, wear my Minnie Mouse ears.
I can't, sugar, they don't fit me.
Mama, you have a big, fat head.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Eggnog season again!

That good for nothin' Lord Honey drank all the spiced rum, because he got home ahead of me. Single ladies, this is a good reason to stay single. Now although I have expressed my glee at breaking out the eggnog, let's temper this thought with the next most logical one to follow - it is Christmas shopping season as well. Wasn't that sobering??

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Motherhood, please be nice to my friend

I read some lovely posts today, such as this one, about mothering and so on, and then I also spent some time with a friend who is at the beginning of an unplanned pregnancy. Wowie Zowie! Depths of despair, for my friend who had hoped she was learning not to make so many unwise choices, and yet she also is full of all the feelings we mothers have that are purely and utterly joyful. Katyboo called it an amazingly awful, heartbreakingly fabulous roller coaster, and she is so right. I am saddened that my friend will have to be mother and father to this child, and that it will be the second child for her who doesn't get to live with his father and mother together, because my friend and her then fiance could not make their relationship work for the long haul. Yet, she is a wonderful mother, and her son is one of my favorites in my daughter's school. Everything about this friend is geared towards loving being a mom. In fact, if I had to tell you what this person wants most in life, it isn't anything super exciting, she just wants a husband who comes home to her and more kids. I know this friend will face some extra trials for being single, and will have to work so very hard to teach her children that unplanned doesn't mean unwanted. I do hope she succeeds.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pleased as punch, or possibly punchy

Dang it all, I am happy. Inexplicably pleased. People, I am full of the joy. I took the girls grocery shopping this morning and pretty much sang and danced my way through the aisles. Partly the dancing and singing was to please Hannah, who has shown great enjoyment of music, and partly because I couldn't help myself. We sang along to bad hits of the 70s and Claire singing the months of the year song she learned at preschool, and any other old thing that popped into my head. The cow bell for service worked in the meat department, just the way we like it to, and the milk was good for a week, which always pleases me. I planned a meatloaf I think might be outstanding, and saved a few pennies with coupons, then fed the girls lunch, and found that Hannah ate like an actual baby instead of a bird. I bought stickers for Claire despite her having got in trouble for sticking them all over the house last time, and she pinky swore they would not get stuck anywhere Daddy wouldn't approve. Hannah keeps getting wee recurrent fevers this week but doesn't seem very sick, in fact she seems vibrant, and no one has hamthrax at all. Hannah's molars are coming through but we are not sleeping any less than the regular six or so hours, so no harm no foul there. And hello, mobility, soon we will have to keep the baby gate closed just as if we had a regular baby because Hannah is butt scootin' across open space. The sun is shining and the leaves are twinkling through the air in that goldeny October way without remembering it is really November. My life today feels like that commercial (possibly for a breakfast cereal) that winds up with a song "and it's gonna be a great day!" Please excuse me, I might even be annoying myself. And how are you, my bloggy friends? Where are you and what are you doing? Do tell.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Haiku Friday: time, the dirty rotten scoundrel

Fricken' hell, Friday
it's already here, again
time moves so damn fast

I could do without
each year's Daylight Savings Time.
Changes steal my sleep.

And how do the days
ever since I turned adult
march by so quickly

Haiku Friday, brought to you by the number I don't think so and the letter L for late. Read this one while you think of "They Might Be Giants" singing their song Older . . . and join in.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

More than I can chew

Daily posting? Daily posting? What the hell? This was my idea of a good time? Mine? So many questions, so few answers.

So I'll update you on Halloween. The boys came at 7:00 without any costumes but professed an interest in trick or treating. Not being one to let major rules violations like lack of costumes interfere with Claire and Hannah learning how to Trick or Treat, I dressed the boys in two of my old costumes. Devon was a convict, and I made Gerek go as Moroni. (Moroni is the iconic golden statue of an angel that sits atop the Mormon temple, and yes, this costume is quite possibly offensive to some, but that gold toilet plunger? Is dang funny)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Humidity will surely kill me but so will the high desert

I didn't mean to start my travelogue all complainy but I did some laundry yesterday that reminded my of my profoundly shocking amount of sweat in Florida last week. I always meant to be a "lady" who didn't perspire but who would glow, and instead I just am the soggy person. My husband at one point said I looked as though I had just poured a bottle of water over my head, and I told him I had but in fact my shirt was that wet first with actual perspiration.

What I really liked about Disneyworld:

I don't think I really could have guessed just how excellent all the details could be. Who knew standing in lines could be that entertaining? Who knew the dog in Pirates of the Caribbean would sing A Pirate's Life For Me along with the humans? And the pig would tap his hoof in time with the music? And they would sell Yeti balls in the gift shop attached to the Everest roller coaster. And the lions never cross the road to the prey on the other side.

I love singing and dancing almost as much as little Hannah, and she loves it alot.

"Be Our Guest" is an awesome song.

When I lost cash, out of my pocket, because I am full of the awesome that way, it was turned in to Lost & Found and I got it back! Imagine! Only $12 but I enquired just to see and sure enough, it was turned in and returned to me.

I like roller coasters, I really, really do.

What I really didn't like about my trip:

Heat combined with humidity make for a very damp Ginger. Very damp, sodden, even.

Babies are not supposed to be sick on vacation, but at least I have a supremely good natured baby.

Programming without Disneyworld as a central theme will return soon. I'll be going back to how my nose and skin hate this climate as much as my psyche hates the South. And the like.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Disney-wo-woold by Claire, age three and a half

Whose house is this? It is a place we are staying this week. Why? We need a place to stay while we go to Disneyworld. Why, Mama? This house is yellow. Where is our other house? Whose car is this? We rented this car to use in Florida. Where is our car, Mama? In Utah. Why?

Whoa. Whoa. This place is too big. I want to go home. I love this place. Why? Mama, why? Look it's Minnie Mouse. I love Minnie! I want to meet Minnie. I'm getting out of the stroller. NO, I don't want to meet Minnie. NO! Aarrgghhh! Let's go away. What is that, Mama? I don't like funnel cake. I want some funnel cake. I need apple juice. That roller coaster is too big. It's scary.

Mouse ears! I want mouse ears, Mama. Pink ones! Let's get some for Hannah too!

I don't like Peter Pan! I want to go ride Dumbo the flying elephant again!

I love the Magic Carpet ride!

I don't want to go on Pirates of the Caribbean. Wah, I'm scared. Mama, will you sing "Yo Ho a Pirate's Life for Me"?

I love Nemo. I want to ride Nemo's ride again. I don't want to go to Turtle Talk with Crush. (Crush says to Claire) Whoa, Dude, let's hear from the girl in the flowered shell. What's your name? I am Claire Elizabeth. What's your question about turtles, Claire? I speak Spanish, but my Mama doesn't. Whoa, Dude. How's that work? Uno, dos, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve.

I want some monies, Mama. Look Claire, I got you this Princess coin purse for your monies, to keep them safe. Why, Mama? To keep them all together so you don't lose the coins. I want paper money, Mama.

My underwear are boring today. My underwear bore me.

I love my Ariel pillow. Can we stay in the yellow house today and not go to Disney-wo-woold?

Can I have some plastic money?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hannah's view of Disneyworld

This is how Hannah looked for much of her trip. Since she is such a good baby in all things, we had her nap in her stroller twice a day. The rosy cheeks are courtesy of both the heat and her internal fever setting, and since we weren't about to spend all that effort and money to get the girls across the country to have fun, as soon as her little cold became apparent on our first night in Orlando, we just dosed her with baby ibuprofen and dragged her out to the parks. My secret tip for any moms planning to take an infant on such an adventure is to bring your own stroller that has a full recline position, and nap the babies in an air conditioned restaurant. This method even worked for three year old Claire, when I threatened her with having to go back to the condo if she didn't lie down in the stroller and hold still while I made laps through an air conditioned eatery. For either girl it worked quite quickly, and then the child minder could relax for an hour with a cold Coca-cola. Hannah particularly enjoyed the live shows such as the Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Beauty and the Beast, and would stand in my lap and dance, watching everything with wide eyes.I had never been to Disney anything so I didn't realize the enormity of the parks, and of the individual attractions that would appeal to babies of all ages. I didn't get great pictures of Hannah in the It's A Small World ride, but I think she enjoyed seeing such a big place full of beings roughly her size. I think I have mentioned here that my goal when we learned about the MCADD was to teach her to see this illness as just a part of who she was but not by any means the most important part. I got smacked with the cerebral palsy and knew we couldn't really go through her life pretending she didn't have illness and injury to contend with, but right now, she doesn't actually appear to others to have any issues, and I want her to grow up not feeling burdened by what is on her plate. I'm still struggling with balancing the daily therapy as the most important thing I do with her with the reading and interacting and mental stimulation so she doesn't get delayed by not having age appropriate activities and just figuring out when to be overprotective and when to be cavalier about the ups and downs of life. If she were more sick I would have kept her home but she rallied so well each day and showed such delight that I am glad I took her out and filled her mind with magic.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaBloPoMo here I come

For this month, I will attempt to post every day for thirty days, as part of NaBloPoMo. It may be that I will end up serializing my trip to Disneyworld for you, but I will come up with something. Why am I doing this? Probably because I so enjoyed it when the first bloggers I found and read did it, and I looked forward every day to having more to read. Probably, also, to follow the example of Aunt Becky at Mommy Wants Vodka, who posts and entertains every day. I will not be writing a novel this month, so this is a much more manageable goal.

Tomorrow I am certain I can begin with Disneyworld but for today I have to finish the end of the trip, which means putting away all the laundry and the small shampoo bottles, finding the mail clippers, matching up infant socks in two very close sizes and the like, as well as pretend to be part of family movie time with the whole pack of kids, while I actually only stay long enough to get my share of buttered popcorn.

Not really in character for me, I am wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Haiku Friday - Disney Days

We're at Disneyworld
Mouse ears, rides, 3D and shows
We are all melting

I've gone upside down
And backwards. Through time and space
And hung with mermaids.

Claire loves princesses
Hannah loves to sing and dance
Lord Honey went fast

My best friend is the
Eternal queen of all fun
And Disneyworld guide.

Got the girls their shots
I worried about swine 'flu
Instead we got colds

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mad about the mouse

My feet may be wee bloody stumps but we are having a great vacation. As I type I am pumping milk for Hannah in a nicely air conditioned family bathroom whilst my children are minded by my best friend and my husband takes off on his third mission to Mars today. I will likely have some 'splaining to do when Lord Honey sees the bruise I got on my ass shimmying up onto this changing table to spend 20 pumping but there was no way I would spend any 20 minutes extra on my feet today so up I went. Hannah loves the undersea Nemo ride, Lord Honey loves space, and Claire loves her pink Minnie Mouse ears. More to come if I learn how to do pix on a Blackberry.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Haiku Friday - packing everything she owns

How many t-shirts?
Disneyworld is big and warm
so much to savor

Drinks, treats, and french fries
To savor is to spill, smear
We will be dirty

We all need good shoes
good stroller wheels and suncreen
and some books and toys

Post your own Haiku and link at Jan's to join in.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Girls, girls, girls

This is how her head looked before I let her tip over, right in front of me, as I helped her work on learning how to cruise, and even in my grasp I let her smash her wee noggin on a pointy cornered toy. I am full of the awesome!

In other news, Hannah had her updated testing for Early Intervention, and now rates at eight months in gross and fine motor skills, but a whopping fifteen months in language, out ahead of her actual fourteen months. That's my daughter! She rated high because she has words besides mama and dada, namely book and baba. She is working on boo for balloon. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is that she can sign milk to us and nearly bursts with joy every time we see her squeeze her imaginary teat. I was rocking her to sleep two nights ago and she would nestle in to my neck, sit up and dramatically sign for milk, take two swigs and stop to snuggle, then lather, rinse and repeat. When she tired of milk on demand, she sat up very purposefully looked me in the eye and stuck a finger to my mouth. I guessed she wanted me to sing (questionable choice) and when I did the babykins jumped with joy that she had yet again successfully pulled my puppet strings. I cried and she smiled joyously. Everyone went to bed happy, except Claire.

This one is full of sass right now, so I look back longingly at this view, taken a short two weeks ago, when she was full of good cheer and not too many screams. It seems she is not enjoying her best friend at preschool right now, and she gets amped up beyond all reason at things of little consequence. And, she is three and a half. While I was enjoying Hannah's expanding communication skills, I found Claire had crawled out into the hall outside her bedroom to spy on the activities in the house that go on after bedtime, and she fell asleep on the cold, hard floor. I kept hearing the breathing and thinking Lord Honey had the monitor turned up extra loud, only to find it was a different child, snoring away in a different place altogether. We seem to be going through a slightly more difficult stage, where she wants to do more but doesn't know how to get there. And it all kinda pisses her off, some.

I am in fluster to get all my regular things done so my life doesn't come apart at the seams while I am away, pack for all of us for a week away, and get all who are girls inoculated against the H1N1 menace. Busy, busy, busy.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Please forgive me

My posting has been light, and so has my time for reading all the blogs I love to stay caught up with. Hannah has a head cold, not anything too severe, and thankfully we seemed to have passed the I am sick therefore I don't eat phase of infancy (god help me if I've spoken too soon) but it does mean that much more cuddle time and that much less get things done time.

Did I mention that the other day I found a fully formed green booger in my bra, at the end of the day, a full two hours after the last time I had been cuddling the baby? Two hours. Fully formed, nostril blocking sized, and green.

Our personal version of the Big Dig has been dug, the footings and foundation poured, the pad and driveway poured, with only the following collateral damage: Two retaining walls, one chunk of asphalt driveway, one zone of asphalt in the public alley, a fair bit of my grass, and one chunk of neighbor fence. It seems entirely possible that we will remain married through this project. Hope springs eternal! But I might strangle Lord Honey if he ever again raises a conflict we have in the choices we must make either right before bed, to rob me of sleep, or three minutes before I leave for work when he says do you want that patio? It's $850, tell me now. Arrrgghhh! Lord Honey spends every evening digging something out, putting wires in, cutting ragged asphalt to prepare for pouring new, all to save us money so I can't tell him to stop, even if that leaves me with all the inside stuff on my own. I am looking forward to completion, not just to have covered parking.

My mind seems extra full right now, of what to pack for Disneyworld with two wee kiddos, and how not to get the H1N1 'flu without getting the vaccinations, and wondering just why I thought breathing recirculated air for four hours was such a great idea. Why? Disneyworld? Because I was going to a conference and thus the trip was subsidized by my employer, only to have the conference cancel after getting non refundable airfare in order to take the fam on the cheap. Yes! Being in an enclosed space during pandemic season! Yes. It is a good idea!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Haiku Friday - the daily grind

I'm in a stupor
we never get up on time
I need the coffee

just to get to up
to be a thinking person
means a second cup

by mid day I need
the caramel macchiato
I love you Starbucks

Join in and post your own Friday haiku - put a link at Jan's.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Teeny tiny update and attack of the Blue Meanies

All right, you ladies who weren't going to have more kidlets soon - in lieu of a real blog post I am posting some pictures to make your uteri twitch.

Hannah is lovely and smiling as ever these days:

Claire is busy as ever and sporting a sassy new haircut:

In yet another awesome parenting event, when Claire painted this ceramic pot at a friend's birthday party, she got a glob of blue paint on her dress. When I washed her face before bed we wet the paint blob and reactivated it. Innocent Claire got yelled at for spreading blue around, but I thought she'd stashed a marker and gone on a tear with it. When she took her dress off, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, as it has a snuggish neckline, she left a trail of blue up her forehead and into her hair and then at various and sundry points around the house. I had to stop yelling at her when I finally found the source and realized she wasn't in fact painting the town blue wilfully but only accidentally. We put this on the list of things she is not doing, like peeing on the floor and calling me stinky Mama.

What she isn't doing

I didn't tell her about the Not Me Monday meme, but Claire apparently knew anyway.

She crawled into my bed this morning and said "I'm not calling you Stinky Mama!"

"I'm not peeing on the floor."

"I'm not painting my face with markers!"

"I'm not calling Hannah stinky butt!"

Friday, October 9, 2009

Haiku Friday - standards

Now I know the truth
a mother first, me second
I ate old stale food

I was so hurried
to do things and then get home
and care for my girls

I ate the Cheetos
stashed in my car for one year
and a Tootsie Roll

Emergency snacks
don't get much better with time
but the Tums were fine

Friday haiku - it's not just for breakfast anymore. See for yourself here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The new profanity

Across the internet I have been coming across new ways to swear, of which I have become overly fond, as I am a dyed in the wool pottymouth. These are my new favorites:


The only one I really don't understand is jizzlewax. Maybe I don't want to know.

My favorite new to me word today is embiggen, to enlarge, or in a metaphorical sense, to empower. Let's use it in a sentence: If you want to see the picture in greater detail, press embiggen. Or in a metaphorical sense: The fates decided Ginger wasn't large enough, and so she was embiggened.

Please add your own in the comments, because I look forward to trying them all.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hannah makes a milestone

Well, I didn't get a picture of it yet, but Hannah sat up by herself today while we were at my sister's for my niece's birthday dinner. We've been working on that for about six or eight weeks or so with her PT. She lies on her back, rolls to her side, and pushes off on her strong arm. After she proved herself to her adoring fans, I walked away leaving her helium balloon dangling over her head, and she sat up without an audience to be able to grab her balloon. Since I am never one to stop talking, I have been telling her how a girl who can sit herself up is a girl who can get things done and other such platitudes. That usually comes right before she pokes me in the eye and squeals like a baby pterodactyl. I still don't know how to do video so I'll post a series of pix soon.

She has indeed made enormous other progress lately such as her right arm being able to go well above her head when she tells you she is "SO BIG" and has come a long way since July

She enjoys standing and working on her balance

While she wears her cute wee boot to support her foot

And I finally found a use for law books that get tossed once a year when the new codes get delivered to my office. Reduce, reuse, recycle, apply duct tape. It is never to too early to teach your kids of the wonder that is duct tape.

And yes, a toy store did explode all over my living room, what of it?

In other parenting glory, Claire got her first homework assignment today which I forgot to tackle before bed. Three and a half is not too young, right? They say the idea is to give parents examples of the progress the child is making, but I cannot lie, I was dumbstruck when I found the assignment amongst her "work" of finger painted pumpkins and worksheets extolling the virtues of the letter B.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I almost got my seasonal 'flu shot

Because I work for the city, my insurance covers me for a free 'flu shot at one of many locations hosted at city offices to inoculate city employees. I missed most of the clinics at the admin buildings near me due to scheduling conflicts and then I checked the list and realized if I got up early on Friday and hustled I could hit a location near to my house on my way in to work. At the city cemetery.

On Monday I'll be dropping by the parks department.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Haiku Friday - Lord Honey's Ditch Witch

the hole must be dug
put electrical wiring
well below the grass

eighteen inches deep
and a full sixty feet long
this trench is not small

he started with spades
and he swore with much vigor
then chose to upgrade

without this rental
he'd still be hand digging
and fairly pissed off

men love their machines
and today we are praising
Lord Honey's Ditch Witch

Yo, haiku to you. Go on, join us. You know you want to. Post a link here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

update on girls

I have been unable to post lately, since I keep finding myself too angry, anxious, or tired to share the thoughts bouncing in my head. For example, tonight when I came home my husband had been trenching the back yard to install a conduit for electricity for the new garage, cut a sprinkler line, and had to shut off all the water while he fixed the pipe. Immediately Claire and I were desperate for water, just because we had none, had to squabble over the half liter bottle I dug out of my gym bag out in the car, and then I had to cook and clean up without water. So I will simply update the blogosphere on the girls. Easier and more palatable.

Here they are in all their sisterly glory, posing on the sofa I was getting rid of, Claire was quite concerned when I told her I was getting rid of furniture as well as getting new things - I'd asked her to pick up toys with me to clear a path and she said "Mama, if they take these toys with the sofa I'm going to be very mad" quite matter of factly. She spent the rest of that day speculating what I'd be getting rid of next, including Hannah.

The face of an angel hiding the secrets of the universe. On Sunday she saw a picture of Barack Obama sternly observing an Israeli-Palestinian handshake of suspicion. We had a nice time when she asked me "What's Obama doing" and I gave her a brief lesson in the intractable nature of mid-East politics. She skipped off singing her newly minted Obama song, which made me glow with pride. After I sorted out all the girls' summer clothes she spent the rest of the day asking me what she could wear for fall. Today she told me "I don't want to go to my birthday, Mama, because I want to stay new." She has been very concerned about being old, and thinks avoiding birthdays is the way to handle the issue. Middle aged women might agree.

Hannah is as always charming, charming, charming and binky flinging just for fun. And she wants all the broccoli. I am fairly certain she is saying "bo" for book, and I think I heard her say "no" but I wasn't sure why. Despite balance and strength issues she is actually able to stamp her tiny foot in aggravation.

Alien daughter mind-melt vs. infantile death grip. Death grip wins.

Come closer, might I poke you in the eye or examine your teeth? Using my super sharp claws? Look into my eyes. Do you feel sleepy? Look deeper, deeper. I'm going to head bang your mouth! Squee!

OK, I have to go worry about how I can't refinance my mortgage due to plummeting home values, wonder why I have booked a family trip in late October as the suspected pandemic might hit full swing, and obsessively Google vaccine related issues on an internet bogged down by everyone else doing the same damn thing. Please excuse me.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Helping out, husband style

I am too tired to drink more, I really am. Could I beat him into compliance? So, we have very different ideas of what we should do on a Saturday, and my idea never includes playing video games while I ignore the children. He'd done a fair bit of outside work, I'd done child wrangling and house managing, and I thought the kiddos deserved fresh air on a lovely day like today right before the end of summer. I asked him to join us in a jaunt to the park. He preferred to stay home and rest. He would then need to leave for ninety minutes to pick up the boys. I said I'd rather the whole family got to play. I suggested he might work on the dinner before he left so I would not need to cook everything after I got back from wearing out the girls, after he had his moment of peace. He asked what was on the menu and graciously agreed. He could start cooking while being peaceable, as I do every night while I simultaneously pump milk and entertain the littles. I told him we'd have pasta with garlic, shrimp and parmesan cheese and steamed brocoli. When I got home he was pleased to tell me he had helped, as he had boiled. the. water.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Haiku Friday: Mornings at my house

Morning beverage
Coffee, milk or apple juice
a drink must be had

not much time to spare
not everything is scheduled
someone has to poo

my husband sleeps late
yet reads the morning paper
I scream about time

I eat the breakfast
not because it tastes just right
set an example

we are not too late
gathering up all the things
someone has to poo

I say it each day
tomorrow I'll do better.
On time once last year!

Join us at Jan's for more 'ku.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Do they make a splint for my psyche?

Hannah gets her orthotic brace today at the local Shriners hospital I can't really explain my tension and fear filled reaction except that having a brace will make cerebral palsy seem so much more real, like suddenly we are an ad for Easter Seals instead of just a family. So far Hannah is incognito, and among her peers at the nursery, there are two kids in her group who are also not walking, although they both crawl and pull up well. I don't mean to say that having people know she has a problem is the issue because that is simply not as important to me as that she is making progress to do as well as she can to have the brightest future. But, but, but having a brace on her wee foot makes this seem so much more real, that we can't just pass as a family whose child isn't fast to hit milestones but faces no barriers. Last night as we worked our wee exercises (camouflaged as play as always) Hannah pulled herself up to a stand for the first time, so the time is right to stabilize her foot to give her greater abilities. I know the purpose of the brace is positive but I also know I am going to cry, again.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

State Fair - a state of affairs

Come little children of all ages, let me guide you through the highlights of the Utah State Fair. I am obviously a plaster pig with artistic proclivities. Obviously.

Here is a sampling of what we have on offer at the State Fair, along with carnies, deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Twinkies, a sideshow act claiming to feature an actual live human being, and nearly forgotten musical acts from every era and genre.

Here we have Ms. Potato Face.

Baa baa black sheep, covering up her wool, and resting while observed by small children.

Some people eat too many curly fries at the Fair, and have to rest.

More resting.

Horns are often bigger than you might think.

She only looks like a gourd.

The butter cow. Ten thousand heart attacks in one refrigerated display case. The best part of the state fair, every year.