Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas! Christmas with kids is a whole nother ball game.

I won't be all Dickensian and say it was the best of times and the worst of times, but I will say this: holy cow is Christmas with a kid who is both old enough to understand PRESENTS! and interested in eating ALL THE STICKY BUNS AND THE CANDY pretty delightful and completely exhausting.

The morning began with Jordan finding a garbage truck under his stocking. A garbage truck! With actual garbage cans!

I think I've mentioned before his interest in being a garbage truck driver when he grows up. He wants to drive the truck very fast. He's offered to give us rides.

So Nick asked him if he still wants to do that, and he said yes. And then Nick asked, "Are you going to stop and pick up garbage, or just drive fast?"

"I'll stop and pick up garbage and eat my lunch."

He's all set.

Jordan's phrase of the day was, "Let me wrap it!" By this he means unwrap, and he means it for every present, no matter who it's meant for.

India spent most of her time over the holidays trying to stand up.
She has a great time, no matter what. She's also about to become a complete and utterly mobile menace. We are so in for it.

We had a spectacular morning, followed by an equally spectacular crash and a long, long nap. We had to get Jordan up for dinner when our guests arrived.

This was him at 5 pm:
He didn't wake up, even though I took a number of photos with the flash. And what I'd really like to know is, what was he doing just prior to falling asleep?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sharing joy: Mary and the reindeer

Last Friday, the little kids in Jordan's school had a holiday concert.

They'd been practicing songs for weeks. Jordan would sing snatches of songs on the walk home, or at the breakfast and dinner table. Jingle Bells and Feliz Navidad were in heavy rotation. As was Bananas in Pajamas - that old holiday classic. ??

He was so pleased. It was very cute.

Nanna and India and I were all going to see him sing! We'd made treats to bring to the party afterwards. Basically, it was the big pre-winter holidays celebration.

There was much excitement leading up to it! Last day of school! A singalong concert! And then a party! And then vacation!

Some kids had individual parts. Most of the kids sang the sweet and silly songs. Bananas! In pajamas! Are coming down the stairs!

My kid, however, sat like this the entire time:
Actually, not the entire time. Sometimes he sat like this:
And there were a few moments during which he was actually weeping -- the reason for which is unclear.

Ostensibly, he hated his nose. And antlers. And, you know, the singing. And everything except cupcakes.

India, on the other hand, sat in the audience like this:
I kept beaming at Jordan, waving, letting him know that I was so pleased to be there, so pleased that he was in this great concert! This had no effect.

So I turned to Betty and asked, "Would it be impossible to smile while he's up there? Or sing even one of those songs we've heard for weeks? Why is he sitting there like that?"

And you know what she said?

"I guess he's his mother's son. Mary."

I have to admit, she knows of what she speaks.

Ah, well, what's a concert anyway? He's been delightful since then, though, and he's so excited for Christmas.

Or, as he pronounces it, Qwithmuth.

And India, well, Qwithmuth is just another awesome day to her. Yaaay! Life is terrific!

We've got our twinkly tree, and piles of gifts -- or "gives," according to Jordan. Although also according to Jordan, they are all for him. He's almost right.

Our little family is together, and we have plans today and tomorrow with dear, dear friends. We are lucky, so lucky.

Whatever you might celebrate, I'm wishing all of you sparkles and love and hugs and joy. Because no matter what, you can never have too much of any of those, don't you think?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

So many times, it happens too fast. You trade your passion for glory...

I might be particularly sensitive to it because I have asthma, but generally, I think we can all agree that breathing is important.

So when my baby girl, who had been all coldy and congested, started wheezing last weekend, I got kind of freaked out. She was just sitting around panting and wheezing. You could feel the gunk in her chest rattling.

I called a couple urgent care places that said they didn't treat babies. And so I bundled her up and headed over to the ER at Children's Hospital.

It was a Sunday, and we got there around 12:45 pm. It took us about 30 minutes to get through the check-in line. As we were waiting, one of the nurses came out to assess the line, and she said that the room would start to clear out once the football game began.

Seriously. She said that there's typically a rush before and after football games, but the ER is very quiet during the game. The waiting room didn't empty out - it's not like parents who had waited through the line then bailed - but shortly after 1 pm there was no line. For a while.

I assumed people were just making their kids wait until after the game. Nick's take is that people aren't paying attention to their kids while the game is on, so don't notice they're really sick.

Either way, not so good.

They listened to India's congested little lungs and agreed that she was indeed wheezing.  So they gave her an inhaler and a spacer with a face mask. You have to spray the inhaler and then hold the mask on for six breaths. We've been doing this every four hours since Sunday afternoon.

It's pretty easy to count six breaths, because she's typically screaming like a banshee while I'm giving her the medication. It makes her almost as angry as when you try to wipe her snotty nose.

She'll squeal in protest when you get the tissue on her nose. She vastly prefers to just wipe her snot on your shoulder, I've discovered.

Yes, ew. This is love.

So, unlike Clinton, we've done a lot of inhaling, and thus we've had a lot of screaming. Just today I decided to sing to her while I'm holding the mask on her face. It totally calms her down.

So far, the song she likes best is Eye of the Tiger, or anyway, my approximation of it.

I feel like this is further confirmation that she is so my kid, and thus kind of screwed in the musical taste department.

Monday, December 10, 2012

In which we were two weeks early to a party and I got all mouthy with the cops

I don't know how you are with authority. Me, I am a first-born rule follower.

When rules are stupid, I work around them. I learned a long time ago with my dad that it was best to just agree and then quietly do what I wanted. I am not a face-to-face suck it authority! kind of person.


Early last Friday evening I was walking up 18th Street, and there was a police car blocking the road. There were multiple sirens going in the background. A helicopter was circling overhead with a spotlight going.

I immediately wondered if they were looking for an escaped convict.

Because I am nosy and because I was on foot and thus not blocked by the police car, I continued up towards the commotion. And also because I would know exactly what to do if faced with an escaped convict, naturally.

I could see police cars and ambulances, but police tape was blocking off the sidewalks pretty far down the block. I asked a guy directing traffic what was going on, and he said, “Accident.”

Accident being far less compelling than escaped convict, my curiosity was assuaged, and I continued on my merry way.

It turns out that a car crashed into the McDonalds in Adams Morgan. Like, just plain drove into the wall and took out a chunk of it. Crazy, huh?


A few hours later, we’d just gotten Jordan into bed and were about to head out to a Christmas party. I asked Nick if he had the address, and he looked and said, “It’s not on my calendar.” Which was surprising, because every social thing we do together goes into Outlook.

But I insisted that it had been in his calendar, and it must be there, and this was the evening and we had to get going because did he know how late it was getting? I may have gotten a little shrill.

He found the address in his contacts, and we headed out to catch a cab. We arrived at the address, paid the cab, and hopped out. And then noticed that the house was completely dark.

So weird. Did we have the right address, Nick? Yes. Were we supposed to be in NE rather than NW, Nick? No.

I called a mutual friend who I knew was planning to be there. Because what the hell? She answered...and informed me that the party, indeed on a Friday, is not until the 21st.

Oh. Well, then. Nevermind.

Aaaand so we hailed another cab, and headed back to our neighborhood, and decided to take the opportunity to have a date night. After a lot of rush rush rush, it was quite nice to just hang out the two of us.

After dinner, we stopped at the Diner to get Betty some coconut cream pie for her Rachel Maddow watching.

The police tape was still around. Less than earlier, but more, it seemed to me, than necessary. It blocked off the sidewalk where we were walking, and there were cars driving in the street. To keep walking forward not in traffic, I stepped over one strip of the tape and headed towards the crosswalk, where there was a break in the tape.

Basically, I was walking in a little police taped-off strip of road.

I was about a foot from the crosswalk when a police officer - one of oh, 15 hanging out in front of the McDonald's, charged over and yelled, "Do you not see the police tape?"

The tape that I had to step over? The other tape I was contemplating stepping over, until I realized that I'd get hit by a car? The three feet of tape I was walking between to get to a crosswalk? That tape?

I didn't say that. But by that point, after getting two kids fed, bathed, to bed, rushing to look presentable, rushing across town to a not-party, heading back...I was verging on belligerent.

So I looked her straight in the eye with my yes, imbecile look - one I perfected over years and years of dating - and said, "Of course I see the tape."

She got all bulldog-y and bellowed, "Then why are you walking in there?"

Immediately, five of her male cronies stopped chit-chatting and wheeled our direction. Seriously.

As I said, I was feeling beligerent, and was just drawing in a breath and opening my mouth to suggest something along the lines of perhaps they might make better use of my tax dollars by, I don't know, trying to actually stop some crime rather than hanging out at McDonald's when my husband took very firm hold of my arm.

"We're moving along, officer." He looked at the guys and said, very politely, "It's fine. We're going."

To me, he said, "Come on, honey." He steered me calmly and deliberately forward across the street.

I, on the other hand...You know sometimes you see a dog on a leash, and they're being pulled, but they're scrambling with their front legs and straining their head back towards a tree or bush they really want to pee on? That was me.

"But I was almost at the crosswalk. What were they even blocking off there? It was so stupid!"

"I know. But nothing good comes of mouthing off to the police. They have to be in control. You keep it up, and they will book you, and ultimately they'll let you go, but it'll waste our entire night."

"Charge me with what? Not jaywalking?"

(Strain towards the tree. Drop the leash, drop the leash...)

"Lisa." He had A Tone.

He was, in fact, right. We headed home.

And you know, now that I think about it, I was wearing all black, and I did have on my very high platform boots. Maybe I look like a kick-ass menacing ninja? One that could single-handedly fight off six cops?

That thought pleases me immensely, actually.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Bond-age and power lines

So I hauled myself off to Target last weekend for the Neiman Marcus collaboration, and while there were many items that interested me not one bit, I made the surprising but fortuitous discovery: I had this giant hole in my wardrobe that absolutely HAD to be filled with long, metal studded gloves.

Because, see, I have this 3/4-length sleeved jacket and until last weekend my arms would get cold. Which is a dreadful kind of first-world problem to have.

But no longer!
Also, I am posting this totally gratuitous photo because I love my outfit and I wish I could wear it every day.

We went to a party on Sunday, and it was the first time since getting pregnant that I've actually felt good in what I was wearing. I've been schlumping around in comfy, non-binding clothes and feeling frumpy. The regular globs of oatmeal/spit up/what is this gunk? don't help.

So I'd forgotten how much I used to like getting dressed sometimes.

I bought this dress in Paris, and it has these fabulous 60s-style buttons and front pocket. I then was immediately unable to wear it. Like, tried it on a wee bit pregnant, splurged, returned to the US, and my thighs doubled in size and refused to be squozen into it.

Now, however, with a little help of the Spanx variety, I am totally ready to kick ass.

I asked Nick if I could be an aging Bond girl in this outfit and he gave me that edge of mirth, "Sure, honey." kind of answer.

But these gloves make me wish I were a spy or hired assassin (except for the killing part) or something like that. Or just an actual international woman of mystery.

Then I would totally make my escape using the hideous power lines behind our house.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Cabbage is magic and so are Ryan Gosling's abs

I've learned or realized a number of things recently:

1. I think the ideal time to fart in public is when you are just about to get on an elevator.  That way the doors close and whisk you away.

A bad time to do so is in an elevator, even if you’re the only one in there. Because, besides the obvious negative of being stuck in a small enclosed space – even smaller than an airplane, which is perhaps the most terrible place to have a terrible fart – invariably the doors open to people who get in and know it was you. 

2. I'm a sleeper-arounder in my dreams.

Because the other night I dreamt that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie wanted to marry me (I know, I know, the arrogance on my part) but I had to tell them that actually, I was pregnant in both my uteruses, and while I was sure that one baby was theirs, I didn't actually know about the other one. Which wasn't Nick's.

I awoke all, Brad Pitt? He was so cute in Thelma and Louise, but now he just looks dirty to me.

3. Ryan Gosling, on the other hand, is kind of a delightful bon-bon.

How am I so many years behind in learning this? We recently watched Crazy, Stupid, Love and I gasped audibly when the man took off his shirt. Holy Christmas, people.

I love my big bear of a husband and I'm not at all wishing I were with Ryan Gosling instead but I cannot promise that I wouldn't ask if I could just pat his abs once - in a totally innocuous, friendly kind of way - if he were, I don't know, a friend or neighbor or I passed him on the street or something.

4. Shopping on zulily is dangerous.

So, a friend was wearing a very cute dress one day and I complimented her and asked where it was from and then she sent me a zulily invitation and said that if I signed up from her link and then ordered something, she'd get $20 in credit.

Of course I signed up and of course I ordered something because the deals! They arrive in your inbox and oh, the cute! And the brands!

Aaaand I may or may not have just ordered a pair of Fly London boots because one, they are awesome, and two, you know I have a boot problem.

Basically, I need to start recruiting zuliliers to support my habit. God. Does that make it like offering your friends drugs?

5. Cabbage is magic. This one is a re-learn. I knew this three years ago when that vegetable basically saved my life.

I am cutting down on the pumping, which last week led to some boob backing-up and soreness and I am not kidding you when I say that it's kind of hard to focus on anything else when you have a big, solid, scorchingly painful lump in your boob. You're in a meeting and all you can think is "MY BOOB! MY BOOB IS ENGORGING AS WE SPEAK!"

Or anyway, something along those lines.

And I'm not so great with the pumping anyway, so fixing a boob crisis with a pump never works for me. I got India to do some sideways nursing, to which she was amenable in the middle of the night but pretty what the fuck in the morning when she knew what was going on.

And - most importantly! - I stuck a couple leaves of cabbage in my bra on the hurty side. I had to change it a couple times, and within a day, fixed!

I am telling you: magic!

Maybe not so magic if your objective is not to fart in elevators or where-have-you, but that's if you eat it. Sticking it in your bra is a whole nother matter.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Take your economy car and your suitcase…

I’m not, in general, a wasteful human being.

Except for my love of bulk shopping at Costco, and my adoration of frivolous shoes, and it must be said, sparkles, I try to be a responsible citizen of the earth.

I don’t eat a whole lot of meat or processed food. I walk to work, and in fact, just about everywhere. When I do drive, I drive a Honda. I recycle. I tend to give real thought to purchases, I take care of my clothes and keep them a long time, and I’m genuinely pleased when I actually wear something out.


So it is with no small amount of shock and shame that I tell you the following.

We were bringing furniture back from Nick’s parents’ house, and Nick suggested we just get a truck for the drive. We rented a Ford Expedition and hauled ourselves to New Jersey and back in it.

Ford Expeditions, if you’re unfamiliar with them, are gigantor SUVs. This vehicle was approximately the size of the condo I lived in for six years, in which I had plenty of space. Except for the fact that it lacks a bathroom, a family could live in it. Seriously.

When Nick pulled up in front of the house to pick us up Thanksgiving morning, he basically blocked the street by double-parking. He kept having to drive around the block because people couldn’t pass him. Jordan was so impressed. “Woooah! Is that our truck, Mama?”

Let me mention that my son currently hopes to be a garbage truck driver when he grows up. He does not, however, seem to plan to collect any trash; he focuses entirely on how FAST he is going to drive the BIG TRUCK around the city.

This was a BIG TRUCK and my little boy was delighted.

I'm one of these people who can never remember where the car is, but this one was so easy to find in any parking lot, because it was generally the biggest car around. I had to pull myself up and kind of hop to get in.

 It gets about 16 miles to the gallon. You can basically see large swaths of the rainforest being decimated with each passing mile. It is giant and wasteful and menacing. It looks at smaller cars all, “I eat tidbits like you for breakfast, so get the fuck out of my way.”

Basically, it was so many things that I am completely opposed to all wrapped up in one giant gas-guzzling steel thing on wheels.

 It was fantastic. I loved it.

If we lived in the country and hauled stuff and, I don’t know, lived the exact opposite of our current lives, I would totally want one.

Having one of those in the city would be insanity, because can you imagine trying to parallel park it? And it would also be tantamount to saying, “Hi! I’m an asshole! I like to use up the world’s resources driving three blocks to the store in my apartment on wheels!”

Also, I was too scared to drive it at all. So there’s that.