Thursday, August 30, 2007

Second Base

"Have you ever kissed a boy on the mouth? Have you ever been felt up? Over the bra, under the blouse, shoes off...hoping to God your parents don't walk in? Over the panties, no bra, blouse unbuttoned, Calvin's in a ball on the front seat past eleven on a school night?" - Bender to Claire in The Breakfast Club

You and I have been together for nearly a month now and I think it's time we take this thing to second base. Here are ten things about me that you don't know:


  1. I am enrolled as a bone marrow donor and have been for about 15 years. I even got called once to go to the next round of testing. Unfortunately, I wasn't a close enough match.

  2. Although I am no cook, I make great chicken soup from scratch. Despite being half Italian, I can't make sauce (gravy) to save my soul.

  3. After next Sunday, I will have been to see Jimmy Buffet in concert each year for the past 10 years.

  4. I am terrified of bugs.

  5. I have claustrophobia, not so much that I can't get on an elevator but if I'm crowded in, I'll have little palpatations. I take the stairs when I can.

  6. I can touch my nose with my tongue.

  7. I am the second girl in a family of three girls and one boy.

  8. I was involved in an accident while test driving a 1996 VW Jetta. (I decided against buying the car.)

  9. I have a very good eye for color and design, that I inherited from my father, a contractor. At the time of his death in January, I hadn't spoken to him in about four years.

  10. I am a Trivial Pursuit savant. I remember the most ridiculous details about people, places, and events but frequently forget where my keys and cell phone are.


And now, Helena, it's time to return the favor.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Goddamn Clock - tick, tick, tick

I have two boys, ages two and nearly five. I love them as only another mother can understand. I say this with no fear of alienating or insulting their father. It was Andy who quoted Stephen King, of all people to me: "The soil of a man's heart is stonier. A man grows what he can... and he tends it." and understands that the love of a mother is just different from that of a father.

Put simply, I feel like there's someone else out there who's supposed to have our last name and make my two boys share the bigger bedroom. I turn 39 in a week and a half. As one of my very favorite bloggers, The New Girl, put it, "it's either now or never and I don't want the answer to be never."

So here I sit; firmly on the fence. Andy's pretty much on the fence, too - although definitely leaning to (d)one side. I have one very close friend who stopped at two and regrets it. I have other friends who went for the third and LOVE it. I know still more (okay, one) who has three and regrets/resents it.

I look at our little family, fitting neatly into the SUV but able to travel in the little compact when called upon and think, are we ready for a car with three rows? I look back at this past weekend at Storyland and think how much easier it is to say "you take him, I've got this one" and know everyone's covered.

It's the man-to-man vs. zone defense argument. It's reading all these posts about newborns never sleeping and remembering the overwhelming, crying-while-rocking-the-baby-in-the middle-of-the-night exhaustion. It's thinking about boy #1 in kindergarten, boy #2 going to preschool next year and me beginning design school. I think about all these reasons NOT to do it and still I think that I'm supposed to.

That's "supposed to" as in the universe, not society. I think about all those people who have told me that they knew they weren't done and that their last child completed their family in a way they did not even know was lacking. I think I might be one of them.

So, my friends, let me know. You lurker(s), comment! Give me your input. Email my link to your friends. I want it all - the opinions, the anecdotes, and the horror stories. How often do you have the opportunity to profoundly influence a total stranger's personal decisions?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Nana Rant

I actually like my mother mother-in-law quite a bit. She is a loving, well-educated, warm, wonderful woman. She is well-versed in politics, religion, economics, etc. Blah, blah, blah....good person...you get the idea.

So with all this going for her, why is it impossible for her to remember that my two-year-old naps each day between approximately 2:00 and 4:00 pm?? Once again, she arrived at about 3:00 pm today sending my darling Maddie-dog into heart-stopping, ear-bleeding yelps of ecstasy. Maddie is hard-wired that way; she's a mini schnauzer and barking is her thing. Nana should know better.


So now my afternoon interlude has been interrupted by this:
video


Ugh.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Spa Day for Maddie

Sitting-on-my-lap-having-an-anxiety-attack-while-I-drive-Maddie-before:

Proud-and-confident-middle-aged-Schnauzer-after:

Damn, I wish a day at the spa would do this for me.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Quote of the Day

"...Eight...nine...ten...lemon...twelve..."

My two-year-old as we're counting while walking down the steps.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My First Tag

My frend Helena has tagged me to come up with a list of my ten currently favorite things. It's taken me a couple of days because it's not a question I normally ask myself. But here goes:

10. Yoga. Yoga is just crunchy enough for me - I still shave my legs but I sit with them crossed listening to Eastern music and greet my fellow yogis with "Namaste." I've built muscles, posture, and attitude. It is called meditation in motion and that's the way I feel.

9. Starbucks' Iced Venti 2% Chai Latte with 2 extra pumps. Sublime. I always sigh on the first sip. Ahhh.

8. The Bourne Identity: I know I'm totally late to this party but we have two kids and don't get out much. And shortly after they go to bed, we go to bed. I read a quote that basically says 'much in the same way that Connery was meant to play 007, Matt Damon was meant to play Jason Bourne'. I concur.

7. My new red peep toe pumps. They are sexy and pretty and fun and they give me attitude. I bought them to go out to dinner for our anniversary. I wore a great black and white dress, these shoes, and carried an absolutely adorable red clutch. I either looked very trendy or like a prostitute.

6. Tasting Flights: Ordered at the above mentioned anniversary dinner. It's so wonderful, you try smaller portions of things you probably wouldn't order without 'tasting' them first - you get the idea. The result: Andy really liked the avocado and lobster salad and I can still live without beets, no matter how cool or 'in' the waiter says they are right now. Incidentally yellow beets = turnip.

5. Asparagus with goat cheese. I bastardized a recipe I found in some magazine and came up with the following. It is delicious with grilled filet mignon and baked potato.

Pencil Thin Asparagus
Slivered Almonds
Diced Proscuitto
Crumbled Goat Cheese
Coating of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Toss all in a Ziploc to mix well
Place in a glass baking pan in a single layer
Bake in a 425 oven for about 15 minutes

4. My new wall color: It's sort of a brick red/wine red with a little less purple. I love it. I bought a new rug that's too small but the perfect colors and Andy hung the flat screen TV on the wall today. For the first time in five years, I almost have a real, decorated room!

My remaining three faves are part of a very important and long-standing end of summer tradition of which I first partook in 1997. This year I celebrate my 10 year anniversary.

3. Corona Lite: Anyone who knows me knows I've always been more of a wine girl than a beer drinker. Not this summer. I LOVE these. They're light, they're refreshing, and you can't beat them with thick wedge of lime thumbed down the neck of the bottle.

2. My brother's gumbo. I cook because we need to eat. My brother cooks because he loves it and because the ability to cook is passed down through the Y chromosome in my family. His gumbo d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s - so good it makes your mouth water even as your eyes water. This is the spicy food that put me into labor with my two year old. Really.

1. If the gumbo link worked, you may have guessed my number one. It's that time of year again Parrotheads: we're headed for the Labor Day Weekend Show with Jimmy Buffett! We show up to the parking lot around 10:00 am for the 8:00 pm show. It's a 18 hour vacation in Margaritaville. I can't wait!

So now I tag Jen at Monkey Planet and Mrs. Chicky 'cause I like her even though I've never met her.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Mommy, you really need to be a big girl and stand up when you go pee."

Like I need to say it, but this was said when HRH walked in on me just a few minutes ago. That'll teach me to not lock the door. My previous response to his question concerning why I sat down had simply been "because I'm a girl."

Despite untold visits while I'm showering, changing, peeing, etc. as well as my own innate immodesty, apparently further explanation of basic plumbing is required.

Humph.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Technicolor Smile

I rolled over and kissed Andy on the cheek after we had already said our goodnights and told him he was a great partner. It had come to me particularly strongly earlier in the day.

I called him after taking the kids to McDonalds and on my way to Starbucks. I couldn't go home yet because the cleaning lady was still there doing her thing. I wanted to report that I'd heard from our former daycare provider and that she would be happy to take the kids for the full day tomorrow. This would leave me free to complete the painting of our bedroom, which has been a work in progress since LAST July.

So now my bedroom looks like this:That's a big fat lie. I stole this picture from the HGTV website. I'm awful about taking before and afters.

Anyway, our bedroom albeit small is now a lovely deep merlot. The floors are refinished and the furniture is in a more pleasing arrangement. I'm having our ivory and black toile duvet cleaned and will eventually get matching window treatments.

I was so pleased by nearly completing the LAST ROOM IN OUR HOUSE that I actually stopped to take stock and realize how much I like our little house. Sure, I want a bigger bedroom and my own bathroom and I'd love a family room on the first floor but I live in a house nicer than the one I grew up in and I've managed to inject so much of our personality into it in a relatively short period.

But more importantly, I'm raising my kids in this HOME with a husband that understands the importance of once-a-month cleaning ladies, not cooking, and mental health days from my own children. And I have a smile this big:


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

When the cat's taking a shower

The boys found and used my camera while I was taking a shower. Here's life through their eyes.
The game of hauling over something to climb up on, clamoring onto the arm of the couch, standing up on said arm, then swan diving onto the cushions has a name. It's called "the ride" (as in "Hey, RC! Wanna go on 'the ride'?") and it isn't allowed.

Exhibit A. Only a 7.9 from the East German judge.

Exhibit B. He sticks the landing!

The feet at the top of the picture are RC's. Those on the bottom are HRH's. This one's my favorite.

I'm guessing HRH had RC pinned for this one. These are not happy eyes.
Nostrils. Don't know if HRH is holding the camera the wrong way or if RC got to be the photographer for this one.

Next time, I may leave the video camera lying around.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Privacy?

So my husband is up in our room getting dressed and HRH walks in on him. Rough transcript of the conversation that followed:

HRH: Daddy, I really like your peep.

Daddy: Thank you, HRH.

HRH: It's really handsome and really big.

Daddy (simultaenously puffing out his chest and yanking up his boxers): Yes, it is. Thank you again. Please leave now.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bubble Boy

Apparently, I need to buy me one of these:


It's been nary two weeks since having the staple removed from the side of his head following a run in with the stove. This past Tuesday, HRH slid on the floor and smacked his head resulting in a bloody nose. My first thought was "I just can't go to the emergency room AGAIN."

Then just yesterday, while playing outside he crashed into my three year old neighbor and somehow ended up with two very badly skinned knees. He looks like a losing prize fighter or maybe a walking advertisement for Bandaids. It's everywhere, I tell ya! I downloaded some pictures from June only to find this one:
Yeah, that's a Dora the Explorer bandaid on his right knee. I've taken to asking my material witness, I mean, neighbor if I have the clumsiest kids in the world or if everyone goes through this. Until the bubble arrives, my child will be strapped to the couch, surrounded by pillows, eating unhealthy snacks with his new best friend:


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Running Down the Clock

HRH returns to school in 34 days. But who's counting? That whole "oh, the summer's almost over" boo-hoo thing in my last entry? I'm so over it. Bring on the pumpkins and barn coats!

Re-entry from vacation is proving a lot more than just dirty laundry. It's a return to all mommy, all the time - without the diversion of days at the beach, trips to mini-golf and the batting cages, and ice cream for lunch. Without Daddy to tag team. It's a return to zone defense rather than man to man. It's about the routine, stupid!

I'll save the blow by blow and say that I ended Monday evening by telling Andy that although I am absolutely certain no one could ever love my children the way I do, that sometimes I truly wonder if I am the best person to provide their care on a day-to-day basis. This statement was met with the knowing silence of self-preservation.

I did/do want to be the one to raise my children and despite the above paragraph to the contrary, I believe I am the best one for it. I think it's more this image I had of a little mini-preschool where my two-year old would be reading by now and we'd be coming up with wonderful little arts-and-crafts macaroni projects on a daily basis.

Andy's cousin (who quit work about the same time I did and had baby number three this spring) said it best; some days it's just about running down the clock: Naptime in an hour...Daddy's home in two more hours...45 minutes 'til bedtime; I can make it...

So my goal for the remaining one month and three days is to keep us busy, remember it's not about the laundry or cooking, to enjoy what's left of summer, and keep us busy (did I say that already?).

Tuesday was a playdate at my cousin's - mommy rant time in the kitchen while the four little Huns dismantled the playroom toy-by-toy. Today was a rainy day trip to the indoor playground, bringing my 11-year-old niece along for good measure. What was it that Chris at Notes from the Trenches said about the good things about an ADHD kid with insomnia? That's my intelligent, beautiful, kind, hyper girl. She keeps up with a pre-schooler and toddler with one Ritalin tied behind her back.

Just remember, Carole Brady had Alice, and Mike was gay. Friday's almost here. Two more days on the clock...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

PTVD - Post Traumatic Vacation Disorder

Favorite vacation moments (in no particular order):
  • Going back into the water just me and HRH even after I was really all set with swimming. He was so happy, I even got an unsolicited kiss blown to me.
  • Having Roger Clemens doze on my lap while I was sitting in the water in an innertube. My sister-in-law commented that it was like he was back in the womb. It felt like that for me too. Like I had him all to myself again; heartbeat to heartbeat.
  • Sitting in a harborside restaurant with just my husband, talking uninterrupted and realizing we have plenty to talk about - and that we like each other.

The good news: We spent a HOT and SUNNY week on Cape Cod.
The bad news: The place we rented last year with central A/C was already booked for our week.

The good news: The place we ended up renting allows dogs.
The bad news: The place we rented smells like it allows dogs.

The good news: HRH can be a wonderful big brother when called upon! He and RC were sharing a bedroom and his little brother was truly frightened about sleeping in the pack-and-play away from his own crib in his Make Way for Ducklings bedroom. We decided to give them a few minutes to see if RC would settle down. HRH kept saying "don't worry, buddy. I'm right here." over and over again to soothe his baby brother.
The bad news: Whenever RC had been quiet for a few minutes (nodding off perhaps?) HRH would say it L.O.U.D.E.R.

The good news: I did not cook for an entire week.
The bad news: There really is no bad news here.

The bad news: The vacation's over and now it feels like the summer nearly is too.
The good news: We were all ready to be home and home is a pretty nice place to be.*

* Except for the laundry - and the cooking. But no dog smell!
 

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