Monday, November 26, 2012

Which I now totally want to try the next time I'm wide awake at 3:00 AM

When you hear piercing shrieks in the middle of the night, you tend to leap out of bed and run towards the shriek-maker to see what the problem might be.

Because maybe something calamitous has happened to your baby. Maybe there's a bug in her bed! Or she's had a ginormous poop! Or something equally terrible!


Maybe she sat herself up for the first time ever. And cannot figure out what to do next.

I have read about babies trying out new skills in the middle of the night. Apparently it is common.

Jordan, however, did not do this. Or if he did, he did so very quietly. As far as we knew, once he started sleeping through the night, he stuck his thumb in his mouth, his butt in the air, and slept. All night long.

And by the way, he no longer removes his pants when he gets angry. I see this as serious progress.

India, however, is so very unlike her brother. She's figured out how to turn on the very same mobile that her brother enjoyed but never touched. She flips and squirms and is generally just itching to do everything she possibly can and then all the things that she cannot yet.

So I saved her from the dread sitting. She was all, "Oh, hi! Awesome to see you!"

I fully expected a repeat performance an hour later.

When I returned to bed, temporarily wide awake, I started thinking. What if adults did that?

One minute there you'd be, sound asleep, all ensconced in dreams in your cozy bed.
You'd have no idea that your partner had woken up and was trying to figure out how to pass the time before falling back asleep. She'd be thinking and thinking, and then she'd realize that her trainer had showed her this great exercise.

And then you might feel the bed shake a little. Or you might hear a tiny noise. You'd slowly begin surfacing from asleepness as you came to the realization that something was going on in your very own bed.

You'd briefly wonder if you even wanted to know. But of course you'd be curious.
So you'd open your eyes to see your partner, wide awake, practicing one-legged squats or something of the sort.

And really, "The hell?" would be pretty much all you could say, you know?

Monday, November 19, 2012

India: month seven

Dear India,

Today you are seven months old. You are joy.

Except when you're exhausted, or awake in the middle of the night and not being tended to. In those circumstances, you are all about the ragey rage. Until someone walks in, and then you immediately begin to beam.

I feel like I'm a better baby mother this time around. Not that baby wearing is the be-all, but I couldn't manage wearing Jordan - he and I just never got the hang of it. And I'm more comfortable and happier just being in the moment with you than I was with him. I wasn't a bad mother to him when he was tiny...but I know I could have been a lot better.

I tried my best, and I still do. 

I took you to vote on election day, and they didn't have my name on the rolls. So you and I very slowly snaked our way through a 2 1/2 hour special ballot line. You were amazing - much better natured than your mother. Happy, smiley, sleepy, asleep.

We didn't actually need to stay, as DC goes Democrat, but I've been so judgey the last couple elections, I felt like I absolutely had to vote.

We started you on rice and oat cereal somewhere around five months, and by now you are itching to try everything.

Yesterday we introduced you to a dill pickle at Potbelly. You kept lunging for it, and it's not on the NO WAY list, and you're our second child, and so...

You very much enjoyed it.

So far you are big on cereals, pears, blueberries, sweet potatoes, and bananas. You're in the George Bush camp on broccoli, but I think it's because the texture freaked you out.

Now you are sitting up so well on your own. I mean, you don't sit yourself up, but you stay up. You are still a rolling fiend, and oh, you want to stand. And crawl. You are thisclose to figuring it out, I fear, and I'm not encouraging it.

It's not that I want to hamper you, but all hell is going to break loose when you are totally mobile.You adore your brother, and I know that as soon as you can follow him around, you will. Jordan, for his part, quite likes that he can make you laugh. I'm hoping you enjoy each other more and more as you age.

But the thing is, he has to take every damn thing apart, which means there are 87 billion itty bitty car tires and sundry toy pieces that would be just perfect for choking. Not sure what we are going to do about this.

Anyway, my delightful girl, you are seven months old, and you are joy.

Love love love,


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Conversations with a three-year old

Jordan, walking into the living room, holding out his index finger: "Daddy, what's this?"

Nick: "I don't know. Come here and let me see it."

Jordan walks slowly toward him, all the while inspecting his finger intently.

Jordan: "Here, Daddy!"

Nick: "Ew. I think it's a booger!"

Jordan: "No. It came out of my ear."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pavlov's boobs, a three-year old teenager, and sketchy smoothies

1. Pavlov's Boobs

Every time I've taken India to Costco, I've had to find a place to nurse. And so the last couple times I've gone, I've left her at home.

I know it, but my boobs, they do not. They now fill up as soon as I walk into Costco. They start looking around for a comfortable chair.


2. The Three-year Old Teenager

If enough years go by, it turns out that the adorable little three-year old daughter of a dear friend will turn into an amazing teenager.

And you'll meet her again, and while in your mind you've had this cute, bossy little blonde toddler image of her, the reality is that she has become this tall, lithe, incredibly beautiful teen. Who is the kind of girl who would totally have intimidated you when you were in high school, but for the fact that she's also genuinely sweet.

She doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up, but she knows she likes to write. In English and French. And she likes to take photos. And now she has a blog!

She's lovely. You will like her.

3. Sketchy Smoothies

Turns out a pumpkin + chocolate protein powder + wheat grass all blended up with ice water tastes as unfortunate as it sounds.

And no, I can’t quite explain to you why I thought it might be a successful combination. 

It’s kind of like when I popped a veggie burger in the toaster at work and then kind of flopped against the side and mooshed itself against the heating wires and caught on fire and then I had a hell of a time cleaning it out. Because they are meant for the toaster oven.

It’s not the same but it’s not that different. Basically, I do these things so you don't have to.

I guess you're welcome is what I mean.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air. I know I can count on you.

Tonight is the five-year anniversary of the day my luck turned at the Tabard Inn.

I've written about it every year since, and I've said before that I find this date much more significant than our wedding anniversary, as by then we were for sure. Whereas our first date could've been just another first and last date.

Five years. One wedding + one parent death + three moves, including one condo sale and one house purchase + two children + one Betty move-in. Five full years.

These five years with Nick have included the best and the worst moments in my entire life. And he has solidly been there for all of them.

When we met, I'd all but given up on getting married, but I was terrified of dying alone. I was so happy to meet Nick, to realize that I'd finally met my person, to get married, to commit to forever.

I had no actual idea that marriage would mean so much work and so much compromise. Daily, endless work and compromise. And that the commitment to forever would sometimes be what gets you past the bumps in the here and now.

It's not that I thought that marriage was only about sex anytime you wanted and dinners out and a steady +1 for parties. Or, OK, maybe I sort of did.

Because what is marriage, if not an underwear dance party?
It's more that I didn't know that sometimes being married kind of sucks, and sometimes you might not like each other for weeks on end.

And I don't mean not like as in how I pretty much hated him for a year after Jordan was born and would lie in bed mentally dividing up the furniture. Or loathing him in the parallel parking shouting moment. Or how I joke about stabbing Nick, because really, I couldn't actually stab him, or anyone for that matter. Although if he does somehow wind up stabbed in his bed, we never had this conversation.

I mean not like as in just plain not enjoy spending time with. I mean get on each other's nerves. I mean not make each other laugh and not have fun with day after day. Marriage takes nurturing, but sometimes, particularly with jobs and kids and so many immediate demands on your time and energy, you just don't have it in you.

So it turns out that after a period of this, you hit a point where you talk about how much you're annoying each other, and how you have both recognize how much not fun you are having. And where did the fun go?

And seriously, what are the two of you going to do about it? How are you, together, going to turn this around? Because you love each other, and you are going to make it through to the end, where you die of old age together.

And suddenly, you realize that you are a team, and you've always been. And there's nobody else you would rather be with.

What I really hadn't known, and in these five years have learned, is that if you go through a period like that, what you have to fall back on is the fact that you have common goals and a commitment to  your family, the family and the life you have built together.

What you have to fall back on, in a weird way, is each other. No matter what the rest of the world (or one or the other of your kids) is up to.

And here we are. Two children - who are killing us, just a little - later. Five years older and wiser.

And unstabbed.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Jordan's taste in music

I've long claimed that I grew up with no taste of my own in music, because we lived overseas and my dad listened almost exclusively to opera and show tunes. And in the summer we'd visit my relatives, who liked country.

I embraced the 80s music at the local disco like there was no tomorrow. It's still my absolute favorite, and the only songs I recognize before the chorus are from this very narrow 1983-1987 slice of life.

So it's quite interesting to hear Jordan having his own little opinions on music at the age of three.

He and Nick go on weekend adventures, and they usually involve driving. Sometimes they go to Home Depot and Jordan watches forklifts. Sometimes to a marina. Or the hardware store. Or any construction site.

It's a magic world out there.

Jordan hears all kinds of music on XM in the car. If you start driving without music on, he requests it. And he asks you to change the music if the song doesn't appeal. So far, he's not so much on Alanis Morissette or the Beatles.

It turns out he loves Paul Simon's Slip Slidin' Away. Although he calls it Thlip Thliding.

"Play Thlip Thliding, Daddy!"

It was impossible to explain to him that we, the omnipotent parents,couldn't just make whatever song we wanted come on the radio. We are going to have to compile a Jordan's Favorites CD before our Thanksgiving drive, I think.

On Sunday we were running errands and listening to music and changing channels. Several times he asked for The Giant Song.

I looked at Nick. "The Giant Song?"

He shrugged. He didn't know either.

And then, then this song came on:


Ohhh, yeah.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

And then my body just shut the whole thing down

I'm legitimately sick today.

Despite how clever I'm feeling about my use of the Akin quote, and how my uterus grew three sizes yesterday when America voted down much negativity and hatred, instead of feeling jubilant, I feel like complete and utter crap.

And I'm feeling very sorry for myself.

I have to head out and get my enthusiastic! exhausting! son, then keep him moving (no, we can't investigate every crack in the sidewalk; yes, we have more Cheez-Its at home; let's keep going) to get my daughter. Who I will carry, and then Jordan will want me to carry him too, and frankly, I'm pretty sure that in about two years, he'll be big enough to carry me.

And! I can tell you for a fact that one of those little snotgobblers is completely to blame for my state. They are constantly sticking their fingers or whole hands into my mouth or my nose or my food or my water. They give big, sloppy kisses. I love the shit out of them.

But they've brought home one illness and another - vomiting, snuffy noses, fever - your garden plague variety of things. So I've basically been slogging along for the past couple weeks, feeling like semi-hell, but well enough to put one foot in front of the other and continue forward.

And then today, my body voted NO on my proposal to get up and go to work. I have a fever, I have chills, and I slept until 1 pm. And still didn't want to get out of bed.

This was me yesterday, ready to head out and vote. C'mon India! Let's go look at democracy!
This is me today. Please give me kleenex and let me curl up and die.
I told you I was feeling sorry for myself.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Dear laawwd ... what happened here?

Yesterday, we took Jordan to a marina to feed ducks and look at boats. While strolling in the lovely fall weather, we came across this disquieting scene. There was nobody around to ask.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

My Halloweenies

I don't have anything big to say about Halloween BEYOND OH MY GIRAFFE IS IT FUN WITH KIDS!

Last year I got Jordan an adorable, warm, fuzzy little dragon costume. He wanted nothing to do with it. "Take it OAF!" was all he said. Over and over and over.

I took it OAF! I returned it! And that was that.

So, I don't know how familiar you are with the Cars movie, but Jordan has watched it approximately 54 million times. He loves Lightening McQueen (who he refers to as LA QUEEN!), and he loves Mater. Tow-Mater. The tow truck sidekick.

We told Betty that Jordan was going to be Mater, as in Tow-mater, for Halloween, and she said, "Well, then, I'm going to be Q!"



 Uh, not that kind of tomater, tomahter, potato, potahter...

India had no say-so in her costume, but lemme tell you, she was the cutest giraffe I've ever seen in my whole entire life. She beamed and squealed in delight the whole time.

Jordan practiced saying "Twick or tweat!" and he said it so sweetly at every house. He gently took one piece of candy, and (with reminders) said "Thank you!" at each and every house.

Well, except one, when he said, "GBTFHMMFFF" and we realized that his jaw was basically cemented together with Milk Duds.