Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I was quiet as a mouse when I snuck into your house and took roofies with your spouse

The state of the hole:
Seriously, look at this! And look how beautifully they curved the wall and did the molding!Still unclear when the actual elevator is going to arrive. But we've got some beautiful holes in the meantime.

Rat update:

Stacey said the rats ate the parsley as well. Those motherfuckers are shameless. Next they'll be asking for mints and turndown service.

Nick's giant electrifying trap has not yet arrived.

Speaking of elecrifying:
We have a bunch of electric green paint, and I have to figure out which room could appropriately be that particular color. It's a color I like. It's just, uh, complicated.

See, we have this kitchen that's painted yellow - I'm sure you've seen it in some of the photos or videos. And we have a room right behind it which shares a wall. It's kind of arbitrary where the kitchen ends and the back room begins.

As I have an overdeveloped sense of confidence in my color-picking ability, plus caution is boring, I picked the kitchen yellow from one small paint chip. And I picked the back room green from one small paint chip...

It turns out that strong yellow lining up next to electric green makes you dizzy. And nauseous. You'd hit the edge of one and practically fall down.

It's all yellow now.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Splishy splashy kisses

If you ask Jordan if he wants a bath, you get one of two answers: "No!" Or a dash for the stairs all, "Take a bath take a bath take a bath!"

Either way, once you've got him near the water, he can't wait to get his clothes off. You cannot take them off fast enough.

It's kind of interesting how the bath has evolved, as he's grown from a little lump whose head you had to hold up to a big boy who can do all kinds of things for himself. And prevent you from doing the things you want to do for him, like maybe wash his bottom. Ahem.

But as Jordan can do more and more stuff, it's gotten both more fun and more irritating, depending on what he's up to.

For instance, he will lie back in the tub, but first he'll announce it. "Jordan lie down!" He'll lean back with a mixture of fear and glee on his face. And then he'll look up and say, "I see you!"

This I love more than I can say.

He will also, however, try to sprint from one end to the other, which seems a surefire way to crack one's skull and head straight to the emergency room. Also a surefire way to annoy one's mother.

One of the things that started out as irritating has become superfun, though. He'll lie down and then kick his legs to splash me. And since I hate being splashed, I'll close the sliding doors on the tub.

It's this process of kick kick splash splash, doors close kicking stops, doors open, kicking starts, doors close...

At some point I started mashing my face against the door as soon as I closed it and made kissy faces. And this is now what we do. We close the shower door and mash our faces against the side.

We both find this hilarious. We do it a lot.Although now that I'm looking at that picture, I wonder if my nose gets that red as well?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Reason will not reach a solution I will end up lost in confusion

I need a lot of external validation.

This may come as a surprise to you.

I know exactly where this comes from, thanks to thousands of dollars in not-covered-by-insurance therapy. But blaming your dead dad is a cheap shot.

But it's just a fact. I know when I do good work, and I know when I've produced something I really like. But I also know that when it's something creative, like textiles or writing...I need the opinion of others. Preferably the positive opinion, although I prefer honesty over blind positivity.

Ever since my friend Sam told me that LG stopped being entertaining when I got married, I've periodically wondered whether I should keep writing here, or if I'm just boring the crap out of people.

I feel like weird, funny things used to happen to me all the time. And then I stopped going on Internet dates.

I still work in a crazy factory of sorts. But you know, the boss whose office I wanted to put the bugs in left a long time ago, and for a while things have been pretty normal there as well.

So I wondered if it's that odd things no longer happen to me? Or is it that I'm so occupied with work/kid/life that I don't notice?

And while I don't blog for praise or for the good of humanity, I do like the interactive aspect of it. I'm deliberately writing in public, right?

If I think I'm boring you, I'm going to beat myself up over it. Which is why, periodically, I also get all dramatic, back of hand to forehead, swoon on the divan, I should just give up right now! I have nothing further to say!

And then I'll realize I have a story I want to tell. Or I'll see my mom's neighbor, Martha, who I adore, who tells me that she loves LG. Doesn't just like it, loves it.

Or I'll hear someone call my name in Target, and turn to see an attractive blonde woman wheeling a baby in a cart towards me, saying, "I just want to tell you I love your blog! You said you like it when you meet people who read, and I saw you a couple aisles away and I've been stalking you!"

So I beamed and thanked her and said hi to her baby, and I refrained from spontaneously hugging her. I really have to pat myself on the back; I've seriously reduced my hugging of unsuspecting strangers.

Let me clarify that. I don't sneak up to people in the produce aisle and give them furtive hugs. But I do have a penchant for hugging people I barely know.

Boy, did this make my day. And then she walked away and another woman in the aisle turned to me and said, "I bet that really made you feel good!"

I beamed at her as well. (No hugging.) "It did! It really did!"

Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

You know how sometimes you hear yourself asking a question but it's already out before you can stop it?

If you don't live here, let me tell you, you've never heard so many sirens in your life. There is always an ambulance or fire engine, or police car passing by.

I think I always knew that there were a lot of police cars in the city, but I'm even more aware of them now, because Jordan loves them so much.

Sometimes police officers will see us gawking and will turn on the lights. It's like magic to Jordan.

So the other night Nick and I were out for a walk, stopped at a light at a big intersection. A cop car turned on its siren, sped through the light and down the street. It was really going fast.

It occurred to me that I would never be able to drive that fast in city traffic. I seriously can't imagine.

Which prompted me to say, "Wow. Do you think they get some kind of training in driving that fast?"

These are the kinds of questions that make Nick all sarcastic and all, "No. No training. I think they just say, 'Go ahead, drive this car as fast as you want! Turn on the siren if you want and just have fun with it!'"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Month 22: Airplanes, mud, and dining suggestions

Dear Jordan,

This has been a huge month for you. You were on an airplane! Multiple airplanes! And the runway! And you got to TOUCH AN EEPLANE!

"Touch an eeplane" for you is a perfectly valid conversation opener.

As is, "No alarm today."

This was your conversation starter with pretty much everyone you met at the wedding we attended. This necessitated our explaining how interesting our alarm system at home is, and how the rental didn't have one.

You have gotten simultaneously needy and bossy.

In the last month, you've stopped wanting to walk anywhere, and demanded to be carried. You don't ask; you demand. "Uppa Mama!" "Daddy cayy you!"

I think you get shy in crowds, which was why you wanted to be carried around at the wedding. That I get; I get shy too. It was frustrating, but understandable.


Whereas you used to revel in your new-found ability to walk, and in the freedom it gave you, you now refuse to walk down the sidewalk, even to the park. To the point where you will throw a tantrum. NOOOOOOO WAAAAAALK MAMA CAYYYYYOOUUU.

You have definite preferences depending on the day. The days you are all about Daddy, you are not subtle. If I'm around, you look at me, wave, and say, "Bye bye Mama."

You are having a wonderful summer with your nana. I come home so many days and you're both soaking wet and running around on the back deck having a great time.

I've gotta say, though, she's not the role model I thought she was. In fact, she's a corrupter.

She's single-handedly introduced you to: milkshakes, ice cream cones, chocolate pudding, and pound cake.

I should thank my lucky stars she's not a crackhead. I mean, for many reasons, of course.

But seriously, sometimes I'm feeding you dinner and you're not all that interested, and you look at me and suggest, "Go to the Diner?"

Which is where Nana takes you for batter-fried shrimp and milkshakes.

Yesterday I came home and you had chocolate ice cream all over your face. You'd had an ice cream cone and gotten it all over the steps. And in the process of washing the steps, she of course squirted you with the hose, because oh, you love the hose. Almost as much as you love dirt.

It was impossible to tell where the chocolate ended and the dirt began. You were delighted.Your little friend who'd stopped by in clean clothes and real shoes was very envious. Until we took you both out back, got you nakey nakey, and put you in the pool. You love it. You run around saying, "Jordan's nakey!"

That served as your bath. I missed a lump of dirt in your ear, I later discovered. Nobody's perfect.

These are the best days, they really are. Although I keep thinking that, and then they get even better. So these are the right now best days.

Love love love,


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In which I use the rat word a lot. It's icky. Don't say you weren't warned.

If you live in DC, you know about the rats.

Particularly if you live near restaurants, oh, do you know about the rats.

The rats of DC, some of them are as big as cats. And they're not afraid. If you happen to cross paths with one, the rat will give you a cursory glance, yawn, scratch its ass, light a cigar, and waddle on its merry way.

We regularly have rats in the alley. If you're sitting on the back deck, you can hear them squeaking and rustling.

So about a month ago, our downstairs tenant Stacey told Nick that she thought that the guys working at our house had banged into her mint and basil and chopped them off.

Nick immediately said to me, "I don't want to say this, but I'm going to bet that rats ate her plants."

We like Stacey and her boyfriend (and their dogs) a lot, so on the chance that it wasn't rats but rather Hector Bigwood and his accomplice, Nick brought it up with the builder. Whose guys said no, they hadn't banged into the plants.

And then a couple days ago, we got an email from Stacey, which said: You were right.

She'd planted more basil, mint, and parsley and set the pots outside.

The rats ate the basil and the mint. They left the parsley.

This is the final straw for Nick. We can't use rat poison because we don't want to endanger the dogs. He's searching around for those big old-fashioned rat traps.

So gross all around.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sh*t Jordan's dad says

Reading Us Weekly: "I think Justin Bieber wears lipstick. Look at this. His lips are the same color as Shania Twain's."

Responding to a Centers for Disease Control survey question asking if he's concerned about his child's language development: "Concerned? No. We're extremely interested, but not concerned. Well, what are the options? What? Who would admit to being UNconcerned? Fine. Put me down as highly concerned. But I'm not concerned. I'm interested."

To the DC Department of Records woman who suggested that he misspelled his own middle name when filling out the form for Jordan's birth certificate: "Please don't insult me like that. I've been spelling my name for almost 40 years. Let's just agree that I know how to spell my middle name and someone in your office made a typo, and move forward from there."

Commenting on the fact that Jordan was having a complete meltdown because we had no more dill pickles: "I hope he's just tired and unable to hold it together. Because if that's not it, Lisa, we have a real pickle problem on our hands."

Friday, June 17, 2011

The neighborhood crime report

We live in the city, and while we live in a charming neighborhood, there are decidedly un-charming city things that go along with it.

Like human feces in the alley, mandatory Christmas cards to the trash collectors, and crime - both large and small.

This week: One of our neighbors emailed Nick to say that two petunias had been stolen down the street.

The owner of the petunias looked out the window just in time to see an older woman scooping them out of the soil and putting them in her purse. I'm not sure why he informed our neighbor of this, but our neighbor responded by planting pansies as replacements.

His email to Nick was about something else; this neighborhood crime report was extra.

I immediately thought of Michael Ondaatje's grandmother, Lalla, the botanical burglar.

Nick, however, immediately thought of Jordan's grandmother. As in MY mother.

We were sitting in the living room, enjoying a glass of wine, when Nick read the email on his Blackberry. He read it aloud, then raised his eyebrows at me.


"You don't think Betty..."

"Don't be an idiot. Betty wouldn't steal flowers."

"Are you sure? She takes cuttings of other people's plants."

I was going to deny this, not because I think it's a big deal - she's always done this - but because he was acting like cuttings were like a gateway drug. One day, little snippings of plant shoots, the next day, swiping someone's oak tree in the dead of night.

But he said it with such certainty that I didn't feel like I could deny flat out.

So I was all, "What? Have you ever seen her do that?" (See how I'm tricky like that?)

"Yes, Lisa. She does it while we're walking down the street." (Um. See how he's observant like that?)

"Oh. Well, yeah. But that's completely different."

Seriously. It is.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

You work up to it

I think if someone had handed me a two-year old and said, "Here you go, be a mother," I'd most likely have lost my shit at the park last night.

However. You work up to it. It's just as every other mother friend has said.

I remember when Jordan was a few months old, and Maude came to visit with Benjamin, who was about two and a half. He was looking through a magazine, and at every single page - and I mean Every. Single. Page. - he said, "What's that?"

And she replied. Every time. "That's a woman. That's a watch. That's another woman in a blue dress."

You get the picture.

I was all, "How does your head not just melt?"

And she said, "You work up to it."

It's exactly true.

Which is why, last night, when my child was screaming and flailing and fighting - NO GO HOME! NOOOOOOOOO! NO LEAVE PARK! NO DINNER! NOOOOOOOO AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH - I was able to keep my cool.

When he fought and fought, while screaming at top volume, I still managed to strap him into his stroller. He's big and he's strong, and this required some serious effort on my part.

When he took off one shoe and threw it, and then another - PROTEST! I'M SO ANGRY I'M JUST GOING TO...THROW MY SHOES! MY SHOOOOOOOES! WANT MY SHOOOOOESSS - I calmly picked them up, and put them back on his feet.

When he flailed so hard his stroller - the big, BOB jogging stroller - was bouncing up and down, I was able to walk normally, pretending nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Even though the angry contents of the stroller was still screaming.

Nick called just then, and it was good timing, because you can never describe the drama trauma as well later. He heard it loud and clear.

Call me petty; I want credit.

Jordan managed to keep it up full force about half the way home. At which point he agreed that he might like to eat a pretzel.

You work up to it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When you sleep, where do your fingers go?

I'm pretty sure I'm right when I say that 4:30 am is pretty much the best hour for waking up and fretting.

I mean, what else is there to do when you're randomly awake at that hour?

I tried breathing deeply. I tried thinking the boringest thoughts I could come up with. I tried emptying my mind and making myself sink into the mattress.

Nothing doing.

I'm a sleeper. I like to sleep. I am not a night owl, nor am I an early bird. And why are both of these birds? I never noticed that before.

Yet, there I was, at the pre-crack of dawn, wide awake.

I got myself out for a run at 5:45. By then it was light and there was no hope of falling back asleep. Whenever I exercise early, and it's clear and beautiful outside, I think, "Oh, I should always get up and run before work!"


So I've been up since 4:30. It makes for a long-ass day. I already feel like it should be Wednesday, you know?

Monday, June 13, 2011

One of the funnest things about blogging

Back when I was pregnant, one of my now-friends Janelle started reading my blog.

If you were with me through the journey back then, you've most likely read her comments.

And OK, technically she still counts as an invisible friend, since I've never actually met her. But we've emailed a great deal and we're Facebook friends and one of these days we might actually meet in person and introduce our boys.

She was also pregnant back then, and due ahead of me. And then she had her boy and then she and her family packed up and moved to Mexico.

And now she's just had another baby! A girl!

She was counting down the weeks on FB and I was following her updates leading up to the date...and then last weekend was a busy busy one for us.

So I learned that she'd had her baby when she left me the above Facebook message Saturday night. Which just, how awesome is that? And so glad she was prepared. I mean, what do you do postpartum without a squarch bottle?

Congratulations and good planning, Janelle!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Say my name say my name

What did you call your mother growing up? Mama? Mommy? Mom? Something else?

And do you want to be called the same thing by your child?

I always called my mother "Mama," which is what she'd called her mom as well. I still call her that sometimes, in fact.

When I refer to myself, because it turns out I spent a hell of a lot of time talking about myself in the third person, I refer to myself as Mama. As in, "Mama will help you." and "Mama is making breakfast."

Jordan's first babysitter, David's mom, calls herself Mommy, and so she'd say, "Jordan's mommy." Nick also tends to say "Mommy" although he knows I dislike it, and tries to correct himself.

So Jordan was calling me Mommy, and I certainly wasn't going to correct him, although I'd use Mama when I was speaking.

Now that David is gone, Jordan is using Mama more often than Mommy, which makes me happy. For some reason, Mommy just bugs me. I don't like how it sounds.

It seems silly, I know. But it's going to be my name for years.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Don't blame it on good times; blame it on the boogie

I'm pretty sure nobody wants to turn their kid into a nose picker.


I came home last night and Jordan and Betty were having a fine old time out back. They had the hose out and the little plastic pool was full. Getting doused with water was the only way to be comfortable.

So there was my boy, running around the back deck all nakey nakey with this big booger all hanging out. I thought about seeing if it would just come out on its own with all the splashing in the water. But after a while it was clear that it was hanging on for dear life, and while it didn't seem to be bothering him, it was driving me crazy.

So I reached over and said, "Oh, big boogie!" and pulled it out. I said it like it was something kind of exciting. So he wouldn't fight me the way he fights every blessed time we brush his teeth.

In fact, he was quite interested. "Oh! Boogie!" And we were all very pleased with the outcome.

But I think I've now made the boogies my responsibility.

Because a little later, he came over to me and pointed at his nose and said, "Big boogie!"

Which was true. He did, in fact, have another big boogie. Which I obligingly pulled out.

I think it's getting to be about time to teach my son to pick his own nose.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

What to do when you only have two hands and the world is so full of shiny stuff

I am one of those people who always overestimates how much she can handle physically.

I'm always certain that I can carry more groceries than I am able, or can lift a piece of furniture twice my size. I'm really stubborn, and this gets me pretty far. But sometimes you just have to realize your physical limitations.

One of the things Jordan is just starting to understand is that you can't hold everything you own in your two hands at the same time. Until recently he'd have both hands full, then try to pick up another toy, thus dropping one of the first ones. So he'd pick that up, start over, drop a different one...

This could continue for quite some time.

But on our trip, I saw the first glimpse of realization that he has two little hands, and thus can pretty much pick up two sizeable things - one in each.

He was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with one hand and holding a car in another. And then he spotted his favorite ambulance. Must pick it up!

He looked down at one hand and then another. And then tucked his PB&J under his arm for safe keeping.

Monday, June 06, 2011

If you were falling, then I would catch you

So, I hesitated to put up this photo because I look so damned wrinkly.

Look at the wrinkles! It might not be as stark if I weren't directly next to this glowing little wrinkle-free dollop of sparkly deliciousness. Ohhh, that skin!

I've only recently started realizing the extent of my wrinkles, and honestly, I sort of want a laser peel or botox or some kind of something. I don't even know. I have a big scar on my forehead, and that doesn't bother me. It's the eye wrinkles that kill me.

I suppose they're all bits of character, though.

But looking at that smooth, sweet, innocent face, you realize how little sun it's seen, how little hardship, and how many experiences lie ahead.

You know, one day Nick and I were talking about how much life Jordan has before him. And how we're going to have to see bad things happen to him, things we can't prevent.

Nick started listing physical dangers. He said, "He has tons of skinned knees in his future. He might break an arm."

It's true. I never broke anything, but I have scars galore from scrapes and scabs. (Don't pick your scabs! But they iiiitch!)

"Yah. And then one day somebody will break his heart."

Nick got these big tears in his eyes. "Jesus, Lisa. Broken bones are one thing. I can't think about that."

Friday, June 03, 2011

Who's your daddy?

I don't mean this the way it sounds, but I'm pretty excited about the state of the hole.I took this picture this morning. It goes all the way to the third floor. Isn't that cool?

And then a couple hours later, it looked like this! We have ceiling! They're going to curve the molding behind it, which apparently is going to be kind of a bitch to pull off. But will ultimately look amazing.

Have I told you how excited I am about this elevator? And how I plan to take the day off when we finally have an installation date? And how we're totally going to throw a party after it's in, because so many of my friends have asked if they can come over and get drunk and ride our elevator?

That's not Hector Bigwood, by the way. That's Miguel. Who didn't want to smile for the camera.

You know, when he arrived this morning, Jordan said, "Hector!"

And Miguel was all, um, no. Miguel. The other Latino. We all look alike.

So I had to explain that to Jordan, every woman with long brown hair is our friend Jen. And every time he sees a tall guy with a big stomach he says, "Daddy!"

Seriously. After the "Daddy!" spotting started I realized I don't want to know who gets identified as "Mama!" when I'm not around.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Saddy sad, stabbity stab

I wonder if the reason most people don't talk about infertility is because it makes you feel like there's something wrong with you.

Or maybe it's because it just makes you so fucking sad. All the time.

Except for the cycles that you're taking Clomid. Because during those months you also walk around completely enraged, at everyone at every moment.

For me, anyway, it's like being put in a crazy jar and being able to see yourself in there, bouncing off the walls, thinking and saying angry, mean, hateful things, but not being able to unscrew the lid and let yourself out. Or even put your hand over your mouth to stop yourself.

If you see what I'm saying.

And I'm so sick of this focus on what I don't have. I do it to myself, and it's a crappy way to live. I'm trying, really trying, to focus on what I DO have, which is a great family that includes this delightful gem of a son who just fills my heart so full that sometimes I wonder if it will explode.

I mean, when I'm not feeling hateful towards him due to aforementioned hormones.

But every month that goes by, I just feel worse about myself. And worse about our possibilities. And why, why did I wait to be so OLD?

And then there are those people who, with all good intentions, just tell you to relax, that stress works against you.

It's like when I was single and Internet dating like a fiend and fretting about dying alone. And well-intentioned people were all, "Oh, just relax! You need to stop trying so hard! That's when things happen! I met my husband when I wasn't looking!"

Those suggestions always made me feel like stabbing them. When they weren't looking.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Hi turkey and pizza rocks and Boston's drinking water

In some ways toddlers are the most enthusiastic people on the planet, and in others, they're the most blasé.

And you know, wherever they go, there they are. Location is kind of abstract, I suppose.

"Jordan, we're in Boston!"

"That's Boston!"

(Wow, he gets it!)

"Boston's drinking water!"

(Uh, maybe not.)

So, you take Jordan somewhere beautiful like Martha's Vineyard and you stand there gazing out at the ocean, wondering if he's just as in awe of the blue vastness as you are. He doesn't really react.

And then you put him down on the beach and he is all, "Holy shit! Look at that! That rock looks like a pizza! And there's ANOTHER shell!"
We rented a house with friends, a house with a nice yard, down a dirt road off a main road, and on our last morning, a wild turkey strolled through the yard.

"Jordan, a turkey! Look, a turkey!"

We were all, ooh, a turkey!

Jordan just said, "Hi, turkey!"

The turkey strolled away through a hedge, and off Jordan went to find him, clutching his sleep sack all the while.
"Hi! Turkey!"