Thursday, April 29, 2010

B-day, be done now, please

I started this post ages ago but couldn't get it out. Now I am reworking it and starting over, and making this post just in the glory of the daughter, with more photographic proof of her outstandingness, even with chocolate ice cream smeared on her chin. and I posted yet another picture of myself with my girls, because I didn't hate this one as much as I often do, and to you show you all that I am not so insane that it is always apparent.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stinkeye, party of one

So a few hours before the expensive big party my darling girl would have at the Little Gym, in honor of her fourth birthday, I told her she had to nap so she would act nicely all day and not get in any trouble with me for lack of manners or what have you. She glowered. Lord Honey looked at her angry face and said "is that a unibrow I see?" She scowled more deeply and replied with withering scorn "it's a stinkeye, Daddy."

But she cheered up and faked a nap, and dressed up in her finery.

With all the new princesses in the house, poor Ken is plumb worn out. Just because we live in a state known for plural marriage does not mean we must all live in a state of plural marriage. I think I better get some more princes.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The March of the Babies

We are not marching. We are celebrating the girl who lived, the brave little toaster, the three pound baby that could. I could make her go on the March and ask her to understand, but instead I am selfishly celebrating my miniature girl, who turns four next week. We will host ten to fifteen other four year olds at a Little Gym class and eat a Costco cake and open a lot of presents wrapped in pink paper. For any of you out walking and supporting the March of Dimes, I give you my eternal thanks for helping an organization that helps preemies like mine, low birth weight babies like mine, children with metabolic disorders and kids with neurological diseases and injuries, again, like mine. Since I got to to keep my kids, I am celebrating them and donating to the teams walking for these kids and all the other like them:

Little Maddie Spohr, an angel flying too close to the ground


Ames, whose twin sister Simone lives on


and micro preemie twins Holland and Eden, whose mother asks only that people pledge her team for a dollar (or more) per pound of baby birth weight they had (nine pounds and three ounces for me, so under the new math I rounded up to ten)

and a whole lot of other babies whose needs are great and who look to us for help.

The proof is in the pudding:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Easter dresses, ducklings, Oreos, and the Black Knight Always Triumphs

Heading out to the park to see the baby ducklings and take the Easter dresses on an outing, with sunscreen.

A cousin is the best kind of date to go walking with.

Make way for ducklings eating wheat bread.

Poohsticks. Or crumbs, whatever.

The rapture of the first Oreo of summer.

Eating an Oreo with two hands. Something I'll be sure to report to the OT.

That knock on the forehead? It's just a flesh wound.

The Black Knight Always Triumphs.

Friday, April 16, 2010

What passes for Domestic Bliss

Many years ago I had a dog who liked to sit on the sofa when I was out, even though he was not allowed to do so. When he'd hear my car he'd pop down onto the floor and as I came in the door he'd get up from the floor, stretching nonchalantly as if he'd just now used his legs after hours of holding still. The sofa cushions were still warm from his body and covered in golden retriever hair.

My family very much needs to move our morning wake up time back by an hour or more, for a variety of reasons, for the naps for the baby in the morning at day care, or for me to get to work on time so I could leave earlier and begin dinner before Lord Honey brings in the kids, etc. For a lot of reasons this would be a great move, but has been difficult to achieve.

My parents are possibly the most rigid people on earth. They truly do not vary their bed times and waking hours at all. Daylight Savings Time is the greatest upheaval in their lives. To try to accommodate the change, they change all the clocks on the upper level of their house by 15 minutes every two days and go to bed and wake by that schedule, until the change is complete. I decided to employ this strategy and set both clocks in our bedroom to an earlier wakeup time, maybe by fifteen minutes per week until I achieved my goals.

Night before last I was changing the two alarm clocks in our bedroom to go off fifteen minutes earlier than we have had set for ages. As I bent over to reach Lord Honey's clock, on his side of the bed, my leg went up behind me in a stretchy sort of arabesque pose. It felt great so I left it there a minute, then switched legs and held that pose. Lord Honey walked in and saw me. Now, he may be married to me, may have had to check my c-section staples not once but twice, and probably as the man who shares my bed he knows better than anyone what my physical flaws and general mass really are, but I still don't like him seeing me stretch in such an odd and probably unflattering way. I dropped my leg immediately and said nothing about the clock change, just explaining that I was stretching.

The next morning, after his customary three pushes of the snooze button Lord Honey finally dragged his skinny white ass out of bed, and after a cup of coffee accused me of acting like Jarvis, my long dead couch sleeping stretch faking dog. "What?" I spluttered. He cocked his Spockian eyebrow at me and slowly stretched his leg behind him in a purposeful arabesque. "You didn't say anything about changing the alarm time, dearie."

Now, If he wants me to have a laugh, he stands nearby and stretches his leg out behind himself nonchalantly.

And this is is how it is that we stay married, for better or for worse.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

East, West, hame's best

Oh my goodness, did I miss those children. Sometimes I truly hate this conference I must attend every year. This year was a big step forward since I did not have to set an alarm to pump or to call Lord Honey to make sure he got up to feed the baby, so sleeping through the night, to the degree possible in a hotel bed, was awesome. We had a lovely afternoon in Zion national park, with a gentle easy hike that only mildly left my calves in shock from moving my fat butt very far, and the sun was shining, the birds were singing, the squirrels were munching, the wild turkeys fanned their tails, and nothing' but blue skies were smiling at me.

But those kids! My arms ached to hold them. I always thought muscle memory was about your own muscles but my muscles and cuddly bits were missing my girls. By the time I got to my car at the airport my palms were fairly itching to get home and squeeze a baby leg. I felt a physical craving for slobbery kisses and stinky bottoms. However, Hannah had other plans. For a full two hours she was mad at me, demanding to be held and then wanting to go straight out of my arms and into her dad's so she could turn her stinkeye gaze at me and suck purposefully on her binky when I asked for a kiss. At one point I was holding her and talking to her dad, and I said I thought she was still mad at me even though I was now allowed to hold her, and she glared at me and hit me three times without blinking. Each blow was benign, and not designed to hurt necessarily, but I got the message. I am pretty sure we have no cognitive deficits to worry about. Control issues, maybe.

Friday, April 9, 2010

24, 18, 12, 1

It took me twenty four months to finish this sweater I started while I was pregnant. Now, in the meantime, I also knitted Claire's sweater, had a baby, dealt with the remodeling of my main bathroom and entire basement while at the end of pregnancy and recovery from a c-section and trying to get the new damn baby out of the hospital, figured out the new damn baby had higher than expected needs, took up blogging, and suffered through my husband building us a new garage. OK, I was busy. Still, twenty four months in the making. You'd think it would be bigger.

She was eighteen months of age when I got the sweater done, and a little older when I put it all together. All my hopes and fears for her are knitted into this fabric, and she is now so hard on clothes I don't think I'll ever let her wear it. When I give a knitted garment or blanket to someone I love, I think of it as a perpetual hug. Except these baby sweaters that are so precious I kind of want to lock them up in a box and hang them on a wall.

She is approximately a twelve month size person, just switching now to a convertible car seat. Her pants are sometimes 12-18 months sized because the butt scoot method of locomotion takes a toll on a bare leg hanging out, so it is better to get longer pants, but only those that are elastic waisted as my girls are too thin to get much back to hold them up. The torso remains a twelve month size, despite my best efforts and liberal dispensing of butter.

When I started this project at my annual mandatory conference two years ago, I could not even envision the baby who would wear it, let alone what she would do while wearing it, such as feed a blue monkey a toy bottle of milk, and then serve herself. I could not imagine her "ooh, ooh, ooh!" monkey sounds. I didn't know her hair color, or how much she would look like her sister, or if she'd be a girlie girl. I didn't know whether we had picked a name that seemed right for the person. I could not begin to understand that I would at times fear that I might have to choose a burial outfit for this baby if I failed to remember to feed her one night because I was just too tired to be responsible for making her eat. When I left that conference two years ago I had the back completed and almost four months left of cooking the bun in the oven.

Many months later I picked up the sweater again, determined to knit up a wee pink coat of armor that, when worn, would protect her from harm. These sleeves were months in the making, months where I might knit two rows in an evening then set the project aside for weeks while we dealt with crisis after crisis or were gearing up for physical therapy every evening. Had I known about the cerebral palsy I might have picked a different sleeve style, because cuffs can carry a lot of detritus and snag quite easily. I spent ages making up the finished garment, never having woven in ends in garter stitch before but wanting it to be the best it could be, even if it was a for a creature who is always on the verge of leaking bodily secretions.

I finished the baby sweater as the baby approaches toddlerhood. I can say she is not yet a toddler since does not yet walk independently, but mostly I say she is still a baby in a baby sweater because her downy head still smells of strawberries and cream and inherent baby-ness. But not for long.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Hannah used her crawling skills to great effect at finding eggs. See her on an uneven and unfamiliar surface? Isn't she just a wee star at crawling?

Notice her careful examination of shiny things. Next stop, jewelry.

Claire got 31 eggs in the little kid egg hunt. Only one child in her group got more (40) but this kid was seven years old and significantly taller. Significantly. She has a future in hunting. Hunting what I don't exactly know, but I think she'll be very effective.

It's hard to go to bed after eating all those Peeps.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Going some place where the gum isn't stinky

Things that baffle me today:

I apologize for the poopy Mama haiku post. I'd been on a run of enjoying my kids, getting all simultaneously joyful and angsty about Hannah's progress, and hoping for something slightly more intellectual, but then, I resorted to bodily excretions, again. And I will again today because my aging dog is at home, aging, and what with the aging and all, she miiiight be crapping all over my house again as I write this.

My friend was telling me about the Amazing Race this season and how two undercover narcotics officers are on a team. How undercover can they be, given the show? Anyway, she said one cop said something like "if I can find drugs in a person's buttcrack, then I can find fake grapes in an empty vineyard." This pretty much exemplifies how it is that I am not watching much TV, because if I saw that, I might laugh until I snorted coffee out of my nose, and really, I don't like TV all that much anyway.

Because Claire crawled into my bed last night and stayed from 1:30 until I kicked her out at 3:30, I had a dream about the fake pot I didn't smoke, kittens, making out with a man I didn't like twenty years ago and haven't seen since, and then being stuck with Jason and my children in a toxic wasteland where Jason had taken a job because it was all he could get and we had to live in barracks (kind of like the internment camps in Utah's west desert, maybe) that were so contaminated the powers that be put soap in the drinking water. I kept asking, hey, my kids are not drinking that bubbly stuff, right? My subconscious is wholly unreliable.

In a substance abuse assessment I read today, I found the following statement "she spends up to six hours a day practicing trapeze work in order to become an acrobat with a circus, and she likes to relax by smoking marijuana."

I followed this truck today, but we did not end up at the same place.

Some gum is so strong that Claire thinks it is too stinky to chew.